Regional News

Holiday Travelers Will Face Crowds On Rail And Roads

Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest travel time of the year - when millions of people hit the roads, skies, waterways, and the rail system.

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Tradition

Native Dishes From Sudan And New Holiday Traditions in Connecticut

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and friends and share a meal together. For many U.S. families, that means roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry, and pumpkin pie. But for some refugee families, the holiday can be a time to share native dishes and new holiday traditions.

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The rail platform at the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

A study of rail service options between Boston and western Massachusetts will look into plans involving high-speed trains and regular passenger rail.

Connecticut Governor-elect Ned Lamont said that he is still focused on pushing for a truck-only highway toll, despite a state Department of Transportation study released last week that showed tolling all vehicles would generate as much as $1 billion a year.

Marijuana products sit on a counter at Cultivate in Leicester, Massachusetts, as they're rung up for purchase.
Jesse Costa/WBUR / WBUR

The opening of commercial pot shops in Massachusetts is likely to draw people from neighboring states —like Connecticut — where recreational marijuana is not legal. 

A lawn sign from the 2017 Holyoke preliminary municipal election.
Mike Plaisance / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

The ACLU of Massachusetts is suing the city of Holyoke over new restrictions on signs.

Steve Wynn, at right in a tie, speaks with reporters during a March 2016 press conference.
Gintautas Dumcius / Masslive / masslive.com/photos

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission ha been temporarily blocked from publishing the findings of its investigation into casino magnate Steve Wynn. 

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Science

What Secrets Are Hidden Inside The Call Of A Bat?

The fungal disease white-nose syndrome has killed off millions of bats across America. Since it was first identified in 2006, it’s appeared on bats in more than 30 states, including all of New England, Quebec, and the Maritimes. Now, scientists are trying to learn more about the impact of this devastating disease, by listening to the calls of the bats left behind.

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A 31-year-old British man accused of spying for the U.K. government while on an apparent academic research trip in the United Arab Emirates was handed a life sentence Wednesday.

Matthew Hedges, a doctoral candidate at England's Durham University, was detained at Dubai International Airport on May 5 after a two-week research trip for his thesis on Emirati security and foreign policy, his wife, Daniela Tejada, told Human Rights Watch.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts criticized President Trump Wednesday for the president's description of a federal judge who ruled against his asylum policy as "an Obama judge."

"We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said in a statement. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."

"That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for," Roberts said.

Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Michigan has dropped most of the charges against a Detroit doctor accused of female genital mutilation, concluding that Congress "overstepped its bounds" when it passed a law banning the practice.

That law, passed in 1996, violates the Constitution and is unenforceable, the judge concluded. Whether to ban female genital mutilation is up to individual states, he says. So far, 27 states have passed such bans — including Michigan.

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Massachusetts

Recent Incidents Have Focused Attention On The State's Aging Natural Gas System

The natural gas disaster that ripped through three Merrimack Valley communities in September, and the pipeline over-pressurization emergency in Woburn weeks later, have focused attention on the states aging gas delivery system. It is one of the oldest in the nation. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has ordered an independent examination of the states entire gas distribution infrastructure. Keeping the pipelines safely operating is the job of utilities and union workers...

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Elections

Big Latino Turnout In Midterms Raises Stakes For 2020

Election after election, pundits predict that Latinos will be a powerful voting bloc. And Latino voters consistently underperform those expectations by failing to turn out at the polls in big numbers. But this year's midterm results in Nevada, Arizona and other states suggest that Latino turnout is up dramatically — a development that could reshape the electoral landscape for 2020 and beyond. In Texas, turnout rose dramatically in heavily Latino precincts across the state — from the Rio...

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Commentary

Springfield Cemetery
Michael Carolan / Courtesy Michael Carolan

A Serendipitous Encounter With The Ghost Of A Once-Famous Belchertonian

A household name across the country, Josiah Gilbert Holland sold over a half-million copies of his books in his lifetime.

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The Global City

Saskia Sessens talks with Ilan Stavans about global systems and human migration.

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On the College Connection - John Kerry

Kerry at Mount Holyoke College talks about his new memoir Every Day Is Extra and more.

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The elephant Minnie in October at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Over 1,200 people have signed an online petition to ban wild animal acts at the Big E.
Ben James / NEPR

Why One Lawyer Wants Elephants To Be Considered 'Persons'

Gene Cassidy spends a lot of time talking about animals. As president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, his job is to promote the interests of New England farmers.

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