REGIONAL NEWS

With less than three weeks until the Sept. 1 primary, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Kennedy are in a tight race for Markey’s senate seat. Both have positioned themselves as strong climate and environmental justice advocates, and both are campaigning hard for the progressive vote.

So in a race between two candidates with strong environmental records — and similar platforms — climate-oriented voters have to decide which politician is more likely to make green legislation a priority, and be able to push it through Congress.

N95 masks and nitrile gloves.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

A new survey from the MassINC details the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latinos in Massachusetts, and finds Latinos living in the western and central parts of the state may have more of a buffer.

Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, Massachusetts, on July 14, 2020.
Jeanette DeForge / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Over the last week, the Democratic primary for the First Congressional District of Massachusetts took an unexpected turn. The challenger, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, has pushed back strongly against allegations of inappropriate conduct. 

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.

Maine Court Derails Transmission Project Ballot Question

Aug 13, 2020
Electricity lines.
pxhere / Creative Commons

A decision Thursday from Maine's high court means voters in that state will not decide at the Nov. 3 election whether to reverse a utilities commission decision to approve a 145-mile transmission project critical to the Bay State's energy horizons. 

The Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction in Northampton, Massachusetts.
File Photo / The Republican / Masslive.com/photos

The Hampshire County Sheriff's Office in Northampton, Massachusetts, will furlough 77 staff members to comply with state budget cuts.

Author Andrea Hairston.
Micala Sidora / Courtesy Andrea Hairston

In her creative life, Andrea Hairston covers a lot of ground. She teaches theater and Africana studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She’s a playwright, theater director, screenwriter and novelist. 

Hairston’s forthcoming book, "Master of Poisons," is a fantasy novel about a world facing destruction. 

Massachusetts voters are evenly split on a ballot question that would fundamentally change how they select candidates for state and federal office.

After five months of pandemic living, the uncertainty over the new school year is pushing many parents to the brink. When it comes to returning to school, what parents want depends on what their children need and what the risk is for staying at home.

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.

A "Welcome Back Students" sign hangs outside an Amherst, Mass., store August 6, 2020. It was the same day UMass told thousands of students because of COVID-19 developments, they would not be able to live on campus as planned.
Jill Kaufman / NEPM

Hundreds of resident assistants at UMass Amherst were expected to move into dorms this week. But UMass revised its COVID-19 policy late last week. It allows only a fraction of students to live on campus this fall, including far fewer paid RAs. 

Activists are calling on electric customers in New Hampshire and New England to stop paying their utility bills on Sept. 1, in a strike that aims to put pressure on the regional energy system to address climate change.

No Coal, No Gas campaign volunteer Jeff Gang says the goal is to have a thousand people signed up to strike ahead of time.

Four in 10 likely voters in Massachusetts plan to cast ballots by mail this November, according to a new WBUR poll (topline, crosstabs).

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in a campaign handout photograph.
Courtesy Alex Morse for Congress

Despite allegations that he abused his power in pursuit of sexual relationships with younger men, Alex Morse, the mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, is vowing to carry on with his campaign for Congress. Morse is the target of a complaint by the College Democrats of Massachusetts.

The top-line races were easy. Soon after the polls closed Tuesday night, the Associated Press declared Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Joe Biden winners of the year’s final presidential nomination contest, the twice-delayed Connecticut primary.

Alex Morse in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 2015.
Creative Commons

The Massachusetts Nurses Association says it will continue to support Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse's campaign for Congress in the state's 1st District.

The Mtali Banda Oneness Project was the opening band at the Makaya McCraven concert at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on June 4, 2019.
Ed Cohen / MassLive / masslive.com/photosMassMass

It’s been five months since live music venues and DJ clubs shut their doors to dancing crowds, and in Massachusetts they won’t be able to open in full until a COVID-19 vaccine or a proven treatment is available. If they make it that long.

UMass Amherst football players.
UMass Amherst

The University of Massachusetts is canceling its 2020 football season, officials announced Tuesday.

On a recent Tuesday morning, the English For Advancement class at Jewish Vocational Service was reviewing a lesson on team building. Like most academic classes this year, this English class for adult learners was also happening through a screen.

“Alright, we’re going to have a team meeting because you want to try to build your team’s confidence,” said teacher Wayne Griffin to the group of students appearing in boxes on the screen.

As a statewide deadline nears, school administrators across Massachusetts are deciding how to restart learning in a fall still overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

State officials — including Gov. Charlie Baker and Commissioner Jeff Riley of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education — have repeatedly recommended that districts invite as many students as possible back into school buildings this fall.

Connecticut issued its first fines Monday for violations of the state’s requirements for travelers from COVID-19 hot spot states, making an example of two residents returning from Florida and Louisiana.

“We wanted to send a message loud and clear,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “I hate to do it, but we’re going to be serious and show people we are serious about this, and to date it’s made a difference.”

The former commissioner of the state Department of Public Health is firing back over her May termination ahead of an impending report this month on Connecticut’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two months after Gov. Ned Lamont announced her dismissal, Renée Coleman-Mitchell said in a written statement released late Monday night by the law office of Eric R. Brown that she was going to “set the record straight in my own words.” 

Voters go to the polls today in an unusual election year. With over 300,000 absentee ballots requested for the primary elections, much of the voting has -- or should have -- already happened. But between delayed ballot mailing and postal service disruptions from Tropical Storm Isaias, many voters received their ballots late.

An empty classroom.
Violet Jiang / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/124094550@N02

Schools in Massachusetts are deciding whether to start the year with in-person classes. Governor Charlie Baker says he wants local school committees to make the call, but he's making his own opinion pretty clear.

As hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents adjusted to life without power last week, Gov. Ned Lamont praised the state’s COVID-19 statistics, pointing to days without recorded deaths and a low positivity rate among test results.

Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

A Massachusetts civil rights group has asked the Hampden County District Attorney’s office to divulge how much it knew about misconduct by Springfield police officers, and how it’s responded.

Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, Massachusetts, speaks to reporters during the launch of his congressional campaign on July 22, 2019.
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Alex Morse says he is staying in the race for Congress. In a statement posted to social media Sunday night, the mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, defended himself against allegations he engaged in inappropriate behavior involving college students, while again apologizing for "making some students feel uncomfortable."

Alex Morse in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 2015.
Creative Commons

Updated at 3:56 p.m.

Calling the allegations "serious and deeply concerning," UMass Amherst said Saturday it was investigating whether Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse violated university policy or federal law during his time teaching on campus.

This comes after the Massachusetts Daily Collegian reported that the College Democrats of Massachusetts wrote the mayor a letter accusing him of using his “position of power for romantic or sexual gain.” 

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

Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood in Springfield, Massachusetts, said this week her department has not changed its use-of-force policy, despite a scathing federal report and suggestions from the City Council.

Massachusetts Gov. Baker Orders New Enforcement, Gathering Size Limit

Aug 7, 2020
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on July 31.
State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is indefinitely postponing the next step of the state's reopening in response to the uptick in COVID-19 cases that Massachusetts has seen in recent weeks.

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