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New England

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Despite New England’s progressive reputation, residential segregation still exists in communities throughout the region. 

In this second episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we look at how housing laws and discrimination influence where we live — from the predominantly white states of northern New England to cities and suburbs in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Premieres: Thursday, September 24, 2020

Check your station here for specific air dates in New England.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem.

But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and segregation. It’s a legacy that lives with us today. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public/NENC

From suburban Connecticut to rural Maine, demonstrators occupied highways and town greens over the summer with banners and calls for racial justice. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A union representing thousands of workers at Stop & Shop grocery stores around New England says it will file charges against the chain with the National Labor Relations Board. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union says the decision to end additional hazard pay -- or so-called “hero” pay -- for front-line workers at the beginning of July in this time of pandemic is “inexcusable.” 

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

The pandemic has forced many people in New England into a dire economic situation. But there is at least one potential silver lining: the opportunity for climate action. It’s likely the federal government will approve stimulus money again to try to boost the economy, and many environmentalists propose we intentionally direct some of those funds toward “green” recovery. 

Wilson Ring / AP Photo

For more than a decade, Vermont tattoo artist Alex Lawrence has been offering to remove racist tattoos — such as swastikas or the white supremacist slogan “white power” — for free. Recently, as protests over police violence continue and his work has gotten more exposure, Lawrence has seen an uptick in clients taking him up on the offer.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Like the country at large, New England states are taking a patchwork approach to reopening during the pandemic. Rhode Island just entered phase three on Tuesday, while most of the other states are still in phase two — meaning we can now go inside a restaurant to eat, more stores can open, and in many states, people can go to the gym. But don’t be fooled, experts say: Reopening does not mean the pandemic is over.

In New England, Declining Car Sales Prompt Call For Electric Bike Rebates

Jun 23, 2020
Richard Masoner / Flickr Creative Commons

As interest in cycling rises and electric vehicle sales drop off amid the pandemic, advocates are calling on Connecticut officials to extend the state’s rebate program to include electric bicycles.

Jacquiline Rabe Thomas / Connecticut Mirror

Racial segregation is a modern-day problem that is perpetuated in New England through local zoning laws.

Travis Wise / flickr creative commons

In 2007, journalist Alan Weisman published The World Without Us. It was an international bestseller. The book tries to answer what is ultimately a simple question: What happens to the Earth if human beings disappear? Here's how Weisman puts it in the book: "Say a Homo sapiens-specific virus -- natural or diabolically nano-engineered -- picks us off but leaves everything else intact." Then what?

And over these last few months, we've gotten maybe a fraction of a percentage point there. Temporarily. Maybe not directly because of coronavirus, but indirectly because of our absence and scarceness due to stay-at-home orders and the like. And so... then what?

locals only sticker
HOWARD WEISS-TISMAN / VPR

Across New England, tensions already existed between year-round residents and "part-timers."

Now, as coronavirus pushes more people from crowded cities to rural second homes, it's raised the question: "Whose town is this anyway?"

national guard
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

New London native and 26-year Coast Guard veteran Capt. W. Russell Webster is FEMA’s New England regional administrator. And he’s in charge of the agency’s response in this region to the slow-moving disaster that is the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke with our All Things Considered host, John Henry Smith, about federal aid, PPE supplies, decontamination facilities and his relationship with the Lamont administration.

Transportation And Climate Initiative Moves Ahead Amid Pandemic Uncertainty

Apr 13, 2020
pumping gas
Amanda Lovelace / U.S. Air Force

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states working on a regional compact to reduce vehicle emissions are still hoping to produce a final memorandum of understanding before summer, despite the pandemic shutdown. 

Meanwhile, plunging gas prices and the economic fallout from the coronavirus have put the partnership’s political odds and projected impact in flux.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

From small business to big employers — from family farms to fishermen — New England’s economy is taking a hit from the coronavirus. 

Join us for an America Amplified special from the New England News Collaborative. We'll bring together voices from across the region, and we want to hear yours.

Bernie Sanders
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the running for the Democratic presidential nomination, but his decision Wednesday to remain on the ballot could force Connecticut to nevertheless hold a primary under the threat of COVID-19.

narcan
Karen Brown / New England Public Radio

A couple of months ago, the most talked-about public health epidemic in New England was opioid addiction. While the COVID-19 pandemic has since taken over, the drug crisis has not gone away. But addressing it has become much harder.

clinical staff medical workers
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Health care workers in New England are facing incredible challenges on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, from long hours and dangerous conditions to shifting public policies.

 The Yale campus is quiet on March 11, 2020, as the school is on spring break. The university plans to shift classes online after the break ends to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As college campuses across the country grapple with potential outbreaks of the coronavirus, Yale University has told students to not come back after spring break -- but that decision was made after spring break started, leaving many students in limbo.

lab test
Huntstock / Thinkstock

Rhode Island public health officials say they've identified the state's first and second positive cases of the new coronavirus disease. The Rhode Island Department of Health announced Sunday that an unidentified man in his 40s and a teenager who both had traveled to Europe in mid-February tested positive for the virus.

Families with children watch from the second floor as Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Manchester Canvass Kickoff with Elizabeth Warren at Manchester Community College on Feb. 8, 2020 in New Hampshire.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

The Democratic presidential candidates criss-crossed New Hampshire for a final push ahead of the Tuesday primary. Rallies were held from Concord to Manchester to Londonderry, where supporters waited in long lines to fill halls, gyms, arenas and schools to catch glimpses of -- or shake hands with -- the candidates.  Here are some of the moments that show what it was like on the ground in the Granite State.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is joining with lawmakers from New York and Massachusetts in asking big tech companies like Apple and Google to help truckers avoid accidents and collisions with bridges.

He wants GPS apps like Waze, Google Maps and Apple Maps to include height and weight restrictions for limited-access highways like the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways.

Chion Wolf

During presidential election years, a majority of Americans vote. According to the United States Elections Project, about 60% of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2016 election. 

In New England, percentages vary by state, with Maine and New Hampshire at the high end with just above 70% casting ballots, and Rhode Island at the low end, matching the national average. But no matter how you break it down, the reality is a lot of people are choosing not to vote.

Courtesy: Governor's Office

Cross-state cooperation on marijuana and on vaping issues headlined the latest meeting between the governors of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Ned Lamont, Gina Raimondo and Charlie Baker met in Providence Thursday.

The region's largest dairy cooperative will impose a new pricing system in January in an effort to curb excess milk production.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

 

Melissa Potter was standing in her kitchen when the call came in. It was her estranged nephew, Brandon Wagshol, and she was surprised — he’d never called her before.

“When I saw his name on the caller ID, I got worried that maybe something horrible had happened,” Potter said. “Or, you know, maybe something was going on with the family that he needed to tell me about. So I picked up the phone.”

Wikimedia Commons

Not all of the presidential campaigning this primary season is on the Democratic side. A few Republicans are challenging President Trump. One who’s best known to New England is Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts.

Weld is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He ran for Vice President as a Liberatarian in 2016, and he says that’s the sort of thing that plays well among New England voters. He’s trailing Trump badly in the polls, but is spending a lot of time in New Hampshire talking to voters about issues like immigration and climate change.

Northeast Heating Oil Industry Looks To Biodiesel To Reduce Carbon Emissions

Oct 1, 2019
Joe Mabel / Creative Commons

The Northeast heating oil industry plans to begin pressing New England states to mandate certain standardized levels of biodiesel content in home heating oil.

At an industry summit in Rhode Island on Sept. 19, member companies of the New England Fuel Institute and related companies voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to work toward a 15% reduction in carbon emissions by 2023, 40% by 2030, and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Trevor Allard stands in the sawmill's observation deck at Allard Lumber with his sales manager, looking down on a dusty expanse of grinding saw blades and conveyor belts.

Allard's father co-founded the company, in Brattleboro, Vermont, nearly 50 years ago. It's located where Trevor's grandfather once farmed the land. 

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) now says it will reopen certain medical deferred action cases, including for a number of Boston-area immigrants who previously received denial letters.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous week in which federal agencies contradicted one another and severely ill patients feared a total end to the humanitarian process that allows immigrants to remain longer in the U.S. while they receive medical treatment.

Dismaying immigrants and advocates, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) sent out letters saying the agency will no longer consider most deferrals of deportation for people with serious medical conditions, documents show. 

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