Passengers disembarking from a Peter Pan bus in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 10, 2020.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

As Mass. East-West Rail Debate Heats Up, Day Trip Tests Existing Transit Options

There's been a lot of debate about a new study from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on expanded rail service between the eastern and western parts of the state.

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Regional News

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Proposed Federal Rule Change Could Blow A Huge Hole In The Massachusetts Budget

The Trump administration has proposed a rule change for Medicaid, putting up to $2.4 billion in jeopardy in the Massachusetts budget.

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14 Americans Taken Off Cruise Ship And Flown To U.S. Test Positive For Coronavirus

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET Fourteen U.S. passengers evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan and flown to military bases in California and Texas have tested positive for the new coronavirus, U.S. officials confirm. Earlier, on Sunday, U.S. officials announced that 44 people from the Diamond Princess ship had tested positive for coronavirus. Those who were sick were to remain in Japan to be treated. The State Department said it was in the process of transporting more than 300 Americans who had been...

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Connecticut Towns Want Permission To Buy Clean Power On Behalf Of Residents

12 hours ago

A growing list of Connecticut towns want to play a bigger role in procuring clean energy, but first they need state lawmakers to give them the authority.

Known as community choice aggregation, the model gives local governments the right to buy power on behalf of their residents, enabling them to focus on buying more renewable energy or lowering costs, or both.

Massachusetts East-West Rail Backers Knock Study's Modeling

Feb 14, 2020
Massachusetts Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, at left, and state Sen. Eric Lesser found fault with MassDOT's approach to its east-west rail study.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

The long push to expand passenger rail service to western Massachusetts hit a key milestone last week when a still-in-progress state study put initial numbers on the projected impact.

MGM Springfield Plans $16M Contribution To 31 Elm Housing Redevelopment

Feb 14, 2020
The vacant Elm Street block in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Don Treeger / The Republican /

Officials from Springfield, Massachusetts, and the city’s MGM casino laid out a plan for the gambling empire to fulfill the requirement that residential units be part of its development by partnering with the city to help fund the redevelopment of a former downtown hotel.

After a disappointing fourth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary this week, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is facing some tough questions about her presidential aspirations.

Chief among them: Can her campaign regain its footing? Is there still a viable path for her to win the Democratic presidential nomination?

A lawsuit filed Thursday in Connecticut’s U.S. District Court alleges the Trump administration’s acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Matthew Albence, is illegally serving in that position and, therefore, enforcement changes enacted under his authority are unlawful.

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Teens Are Still Vaping Flavors, Thanks To New Disposable Vape Pens

Efforts to stem the tide of teen vaping seem to be a step behind the market . By the time Juul pulled most of its flavored pods from the market in October of 2019, many teens had already moved on to an array of newer, disposable vape products. "Juul is almost old school ... It's no longer the teen favorite," says Meredith Berkman , co-founder of the advocacy group PAVE, Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes. "Among the disposables [that] are most popular, there's Puff Bar, there's Stig, there's...

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Voter Registration

A Big Vote Registration Push Reaches Millions — But Divides Elections Officials

A nonprofit group wants to see more unmarried women, young people and people of color on the nation's voter rolls, so it recently sent 9 million letters urging those groups to register. But the mailers have upset some election officials, who say they've left voters confused. The mailers clearly state that they're from the Voter Participation Center or its sister organization, the Center for Voter Information. But the letter inside looks like it could come from the government. It says a review...

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U.S. Reaches 'Reduction In Violence' Deal With Taliban In Afghanistan

Updated 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke Saturday about a newly reached deal between the U.S. and the Taliban to deescalate the longest-running war in American history. The "reduction in violence" deal will take place over a seven-day period and ultimately will aim to bring the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan down to 8,600 from around 12,000 over the following months. The 8,600 number will still include counterterrorism and training operations. "It's all...

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

In Housatonic River Deal With GE, Towns Agree To Toxic Waste Dump In The Berkshires

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.

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