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NEPR News Now: Ballpark Neighbors, City Hall Diversity, Farm And Suicide, Food Bugs And Smart Phones

A row of buildings on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2013.
John Phelan
Creative Commons
A row of buildings on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2013.

The city of Hartford, Connecticut, is planning changes around its new downtown baseball stadium. The once-busy, historic North End neighborhood now has a lot of vacant lots and boarded-up buildings. We check in with Hartford residents about what should come next, what the area needs and what might be lost.

Also in this episode: City councilors in Springfield, Massachusetts, recently called for increasing diversity in Mayor Domenic Sarno's cabinet. But the mayor has strongly pushed back.

We also hear a report about farmers, who have the highest suicide rates out of any profession in the country. When the folks at a New England dairy co-op mailed farmers information about how to get mental health help, they thought they were doing some good. Not everyone saw it that way.

Then, our reporter visits a performance art piece from a Westfield State University professor. He's aiming to mark Trayvon Marton's death, celebrate his life and keep people talking.

We head next to a lab at UMass Amherst, where researchers want to convert your smart phone into a device that can spot food-borne illnesses -- before you get sick.

And speaking of cellphones, commentator Susan Johnson doesn't have one. This makes her mother-in-law very worried.

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Sam Hudzik has overseen local news coverage on New England Public Media since 2013. He manages a team of about a dozen full- and part-time reporters and hosts.
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