Nancy Eve Cohen

Reporter/Producer/Host Berkshire Bureau

Nancy Eve Cohen has worked in public radio for more than two decades.

She served as the environmental reporter for WNPR and the managing editor of the Northeast Environmental Hub. She has also covered breaking news including the shootings in Newtown and the tornado in Springfield for WBUR. For VPR she reported on the two-year recovery from the floods of Tropical Storm Irene in southern Vermont.

Early in her career, she was an editor at NPR in Washington DC.

Before radio, Nancy produced environmental documentaries for television. As part of a camera crew, she covered the war in Sarajevo, the early days of glasnost in Moscow, and in Cuba, a rare interview with Fidel Castro.

Nancy was named the Environmental Reporter of the Year by the Rivers Alliance of Connecticut. She contributed to VPR’s award-winning coverage of Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy. Her work has garnered awards from American Women in Radio & Television, the CT Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Besides reporting, Nancy helps young people get started in the field. She has taught writing and journalism at Smith College, University of Hartford, UMass, Amherst and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

Ways to Connect

Pittsfield City Hall.
Kenneth C. Zirkel / Creative Commons

Gerald Doyle, Jr., who was mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, from 1998 to 2002, has died at 62. He was a key player in talks between General Electric and the government to clean up toxic waste left behind by the company.

Billboards in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 2019 sought victims of child sexual abuse.
Heather Bellow / The Berkshire Eagle / berkshireeagle.com

For decades, Massachusetts, along with other states, have provided funds to victims of violent crimes to pay for things like counseling, medical care and lost wages. But advocates for victims of childhood sexual abuse have argued the state’s deadline for filing a funding application hurts those victims.

Debra Jo Immergut just published her third novel, "You Again."
Joseph Marks / Courtesy Debra Jo Immergut

Author Debra Jo Immergut describes her third novel, "You Again," as part mystery, part thriller, part literary fiction.

Downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 2019.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Two groups in Berkshire County — one focused on helping immigrants, the other on economic development — are launching a project to support immigrant-owned or operated businesses. 

The Self-Defense Brigade Anti-Oppression Rally for George Floyd, at the Keney Park Woodland entrance in Hartford, Connecticut, on June 1, 2020.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public / NENC

After more than a month of protests against racial injustice by police and the killing of George Floyd, some police departments are considering revising their policies on use of force. 

A fish advisory next to a path to a fishing spot on the Housatonic River, in a file photo.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The EPA is proposing changes to its toxic waste cleanup plan for the Housatonic River, and is asking the public to submit comments starting Tuesday. The public comment period ends August 28.

Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
Greg Saulmon / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Springfield, Massachusetts, city and police officials have responded to a scathing government report that charges the narcotics bureau with a pattern of excessive force with no accountability.

The office of the bishop of the Springfield Catholic Diocese.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

An independent investigation commissioned by the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese found allegations of sexual abuse against the late bishop Christopher J. Weldon to be credible.

Ula Richardson, 78, has continued to work part time, caring for the elderly, during the pandemic. She said building up her immune system and praying has helped her through the past three months.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

COVID-19 has been especially lethal to senior citizens. In Massachusetts, nearly 95% of the people who have died from the coronavirus were over 60. The average age of death is 82.

The Springstube Farm in West Stockbridge, Mass. sold its development rights on 165 acres as a way to preserve the farm fields and pastures.
Berkshire Natural Resources Commission

The state of Massachusetts has purchased the development rights on 165 acres of farmland in West Stockbridge. In a statement, the state said preserving farmland is all the more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tony Marinello, a drain technician with Fletcher Sewer and Drain, stands in front of a storm drain in West Springfield, Massachusetts. He fixed a pump inside of it.
Courtesy Tony Marinello

The problem that Tony Marinello fixes is always urgent.

Erica Heinlein manages the natural foods department at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington, Mass. where all workers have been required to wear masks since mid-April.
Submitted / Alana Chernila

The coronavirus pandemic has fed fears of both getting sick and food scarcity. And that’s infused grocery shopping with more anxiety for customers and workers. 

Amber VanBramer, 33, is a critical care nurse at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She cares for patients with COVID-19.
Amber VanBramer / Courtesy Amber VanBramer

Critical care nurses like Amber VanBramer are confronting challenges they've never faced before, with about 3,500 people in Massachusetts hospitalized with COVID-19, and about a quarter of them in intensive care.

Pastor Sam Saylor of Gardner Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Springfield, Massachusetts, speaks in a Facebook video.
Gardner Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church / Screenshot / Facebook

Virtual platforms have become a gathering place for many religious groups in New England during the coronavirus pandemic. Faith leaders are tweaking the experience to bring a sense of human contact or address community needs.

Falasha Paul of Springfield, Massachusetts, after the home birth of her daughter in January 2020.
Submitted / Jharna Harvey-Ahmei

COVID-19 is upending many aspects of life, including the beginning of it.

The Williamsburg Market has had twice the amount of business than usual. Sean Mallari and Steve Smith, who just bought the business this month, unpack a recent delivery that was much bigger than usual.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

While the goal of closing schools and businesses is to slow the spread of COVID-19, the impact on employment has been swift in Massachusetts.  

Edwin Nartowicz, 96, shoots pool at the senior center in Northampton, Massachusetts, last Friday before it closed because of the coronavirus. Nartowicz also likes to go to the YMCA, but it also closed.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Most people are limiting their contact with others to protect against the virus that causes COVID-19. This is considered especially important for senior citizens, whose immune systems may have more trouble fighting it. 

Some of the Tiffany windows inside the First Congregational Church in Pittsfield, Mass. The 22,176-square-foot building is for sale.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The oldest church congregation in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is selling its building.

The Housatonic River.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Some Berkshire County residents say they should have more of a say in whether PCBs will be buried in a disposal site in the region. 

The Berkshire Innovation Center was built on part of the site of the former General Electric plant in Pittsfield, Mass.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The Berkshire Innovation Center opens officially on Friday morning. One of its goals is to help companies keep pace with changing technology. An even bigger goal is to attract and retain talented workers to the area. 

Nearly 250 years ago, a group of white men gathered in a house in Massachusetts to draft a document on independence aimed at the British crown. A woman who was enslaved in the house overheard the discussion and determined that the words applied to her, too.

Bett, who was later called Mumbet, was born enslaved south of Albany, N.Y., around 1742. In her teens, Bett was brought to the home of John and Hannah Ashley in Sheffield, Mass., where she cleaned, cooked and served the family.

A stretch of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Public meetings on a new toxic waste cleanup plan for the Housatonic River are being held in two Berkshire County towns this week. The first meeting was organized in Lee by a group that opposes the plan.

A stretch of the Housatonic River.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Updated at 11:00 p.m.

After more than a year and a half of mediation, the U.S. EPA New England office, General Electric and cities and towns along the Housatonic River have agreed to dispose some toxic PCB sediment at a site near the Lee-Lenox line, about 1,000 feet from the river. But not all participants in the mediated settlement agree with the decision. 

Deval and Diane Patrick sitting on the Patrick campaign bus in Greenland, New Hampshire.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Presidential campaigns aren’t for the faint of heart. On a recent afternoon in Greenland, New Hampshire, Diane and Deval Patrick were just beginning a six-day bus tour of the state.

The former Massachusetts governor had fielded questions from the Portsmouth Rotary Club. Then he started looking for food.

The Housatonic Rest of River Municipal Committee met behind closed doors in Lee, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Berkshire County municipal officials are discussing the details of a possible mediated agreement with General Electric on the cleanup of the Housatonic River.

The Housatonic River.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Massachusetts has allocated the last of a pot of money designated to compensate for the damage to the environment caused by General Electric's Pittsfield plant. 

A courthouse in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Berkshire District Attorney's Office / Facebook

A top lawyer in the Berkshire County District Attorney's office resigned this week after a dispute involving the release of public documents.

Elizabeth Freeman is buried in the Sedgwick family plot in the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, cemetery.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Nearly 250 years ago this month, 11 men gathered in a house on the Housatonic River to draft a document on equality and independence aimed at the British crown. A woman who was enslaved in the house overheard the discussion, and determined the words applied to her, too.

A stretch of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

A citizens group focused on the cleanup of the Housatonic River is meeting in Lenox, Massachusetts, Wednesday night, but a key issue will not be discussed.

Presidential candidate Deval Patrick serves soup at the Families In Transition-New Horizons soup kitchen and homeless shelter in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has wrapped up a three-day visit in New Hampshire. He took his presidential campaign Monday to a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Manchester.

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