THE SHORT LIST

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / CDC

An 'Alarming And Scary' COVID Rise, And A Huge 'Gap' In Hospital Staffing

Calling the spike "alarming and scary," Mayor Domenic Sarno said there were more then 250 new cases of COVID-19 in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Tuesday and Wednesday combined.

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Regional News

The seven candidates for mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, meet for a debate on September 9, 2021.
Screen Shot / Holyoke Media

Holyoke Voters To Pare Down Crowded Mayoral Field In Preliminary Election

Holyoke, Massachusetts, will hold its preliminary election for mayor on Tuesday. Voters will have a crowded field of seven to choose from, with the top two finishers advancing to November’s general election.

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BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Kate Messner's novel "Chirp" is set on a cricket farm. Messner said she visited cricket farms in Vermont and Texas for research.
Courtesy

In Kate Messner's 'Chirp,' Female Crickets Are Silent But A Young Girl Learns To Speak Up

“Chirp” by Kate Messner is a story about friendship, the joys of summer — and how to make yourself heard if an adult acts in a way that makes you uncomfortable.

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Connecting Point

Sculpture Now at the Mount in Lenox

Connecticut is likely to have digital credentials for COVID-19 vaccines available by the end of the month. Officials said it would make it easy to scan and verify vaccination status.

Connecticut Losing Ground On Building Emissions Despite Efficiency Programs

Sep 16, 2021

Greenhouse gas emissions from heating and cooling buildings continue to rise in Connecticut despite the state’s efforts to improve energy efficiency.

An annual greenhouse gas inventory released last week for 2018 — the latest available data — showed vehicle exhaust remains the state’s largest problem, but the sharpest year-over-year increase came in the residential sector. Commercial building emissions were also higher.

South Hadley High School in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Courtesy / South Hadley Schools

Students at South Hadley High School begin the semester Thursday — online and two weeks late.

National Guard troops are used to being activated during times of natural disaster or civil unrest — but in Massachusetts, they're being called out to drive students to school.

The office of Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that as many as 250 Guard members would be made available "to address staffing shortages in certain districts," according to a news release. It said that 90 would be training immediately for service in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn.

Signs in Lee, Massachusetts, call for no PCB dumps in the area.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

A legal challenge against an agreement to dispose toxic waste in Lee, Massachusetts, has been dismissed. That's the ruling of Berkshire Superior Court judge Michael K. Callan.

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CULTURE

Yes, We're Calling It Hispanic Heritage Month And We Know It Makes Some Of You Cringe

Updated September 17, 2021 at 11:54 AM ET As the headline unambiguously states, here at NPR we've kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month. Not Latino Heritage Month. Not Latinx Heritage Month. Not even a compromise or a combination of the three: Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Heritage Month. To be honest, NPR began to participate in the national event that is called Hispanic Heritage Month with no discussion about existing tensions within Latino communities regarding the use of the word Hispanic, its...

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Environment

New England Forests Can Help Slow Climate Change. A New Report Shows Exactly How Much

In the big scheme of things, the Bobryk forest is pretty small potatoes. Its about 300 acres of birch, hemlock and other hardwood trees, sandwiched between two larger state forests in western Massachusetts. It feels weird to say this forest isnt special because thats not what I mean, says Laura Marx, a forest ecologist at The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. Rather, says Marx, Bobryk forest is a really cool example of things gone right, and an illustration of exactly how preserving...

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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says a proposed Massachusetts ballot question concerning app-based drivers is "not just about Uber drivers," and could result in hotel, grocery and retail workers losing jobs or benefits.
Chris Lisinski / State House News Service

Hotel, Retail Jobs At Risk Under Massachusetts Ballot Proposal, Warren Says

Joining a heated political fight that could decide pay and benefits for more than 200,000 gig economy workers, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday warned that a proposed Massachusetts ballot question would harm scores of workers beyond the app-based drivers at its center.

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