Higher Education

The UMass Amherst campus.
Mark Bonica / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/23119666@N03

New ICE Policy Rattles Massachusetts Higher Ed Landscape

A new federal immigration policy ordering international students to leave the country if their colleges or universities offer online-only classes this fall has prompted an outcry from educators and campus officials in Massachusetts, who slammed the move as "cruel" and likely to cause massive economic damage.

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Regional News

A mosquito.
Malcolm Tattersall / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/malcolm_nq

EEE Detected in Mosquitoes Earlier Than Anticipated In Massachusetts

The risks of COVID-19 transmission are higher indoors, and as summer ramps up, Massachusetts is beginning to see signs that another public health hazard is emerging again outdoors.

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The rolling seven-day average of positive COVID-19 cases in Connecticut was less than 1% over the past week, lower than every other state except Vermont, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday.

With fewer than 100 new confirmed infections a day, 885 contact tracers are able to follow up on 96% of all reported cases within 48 hours, but fewer than half of those contacts result in interviews useful in the prevention of outbreaks, Lamont said.

Massachusetts Senate Bill Embraces Wide-Ranging Policing, Justice Reforms

Jul 6, 2020
Massachusetts state Senator Karen Spilka outside the Statehouse.
State House News Service

The Massachusetts Senate plans to vote Thursday on a wide-ranging bill that would create a process for certifying and de-certifying officers and impose new limits on use of force, including a ban on chokeholds and restrictions on the use of tear gas. 

If you’ve missed hitting the gym or your Pilates class since the pandemic shut down the state in mid-March, there’s good news — starting Monday, your gym, unless it’s in Boston or Somerville, can reopen.

(Boston and Somerville indoor fitness centers can open next Monday, July 13.)

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont suggested he will slow down the timetable to fully reopen bars in the state.

After being closed for the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baker Administration has given Massachusetts museums the green light to reopen.
Courtesy MASS MoCA

Three major Berkshire County museums say they plan to reopen next weekend after shutting down for nearly four months. 

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Policing In Schools

Richard Parris Scott, with megaphone, is a recent graduate of the High School of Commerce in Springfield, Massachusetts. He's pictured speaking at Springfield City Hall in opposition to school policing.
Ben James / NEPR

Organizers Want Western Mass. Schools To Rethink Their Relationship With Police

School will look very different in September than it did last year. There will be more distance between students, masks on every face — and in some schools across the country, fewer police in the hallways.

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Andréa Comer, with her husband Bradford Comer, a lieutenant at Virginia Union University who has served in law enforcement for more than a decade.
Devon Fagan / Courtesy of the author

Searching For Grace While Black And Blue

Twenty-two. That’s how old I was when Yusef Hawkins was killed by a bat-wielding, gun-toting mob of white men in New York. Eleven years later, it would be Amadou Diallo, who reached for his wallet and was met with 41 bullets.

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Our Commitment: Civil Dialogue, Context and Conversation

We are deeply saddened by the tragic events of the last several weeks which have shaken the Black community. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other Black Americans have triggered national and international outrage and calls for systemic change. We once again see the bitter truths about racism, inequality, and injustice. This is a difficult time in our Nation’s history. Unlike many countries around the world which have experienced similar horrific...

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Without MASS MoCA, Tanglewood And Other Attractions, Berkshires' Arts Tourism Is Hurting

Tourism has been decimated by widespread coronavirus closures. The impact is especially hard felt in regions that rely heavily on seasonal dollars, including the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Its a place where art, theater and music drive a post-industrial, creative economy now shuttered by the pandemic. Without Tanglewood During a normal summer 350,000 visitors stream through the gates at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox. Some take one of the 5,700 seats in the Koussevitzky...

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