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New England News Collaborative

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Severe storms. Heat waves. Rising seas. New England is already seeing the impacts of climate change, and scientists project they will become more severe and deadly, shaping how we live and work in the northeastern U.S.

In a special ahead of Inauguration Day, the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified look at climate change in our region and how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration could affect future climate action. Biden has proposed the most ambitious climate platform of any incoming U.S. president in history.

Ski season is beginning to ramp up across New England. Some mountain operators said they're adjusting to more than pandemic-related safety restrictions.

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to federal data. Those emissions have harmful impacts on health and the environment, and it's a problem we contribute to when we drive, fly, take public transportation or buy food that was carted across the country. 

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Hunting and fishing license sales are booming this year across northern New England.

In New Hampshire, there’s been an 18% increase in resident hunting licenses since last year. Vermont saw its sales go up 20%. The increase was smaller in Maine, at 9%.

NOAA Permit #932-1905

The tension between protecting the environment and people’s livelihoods is on full display in the new documentary “Entangled,” a film that focuses on one of the world’s most endangered species – the North Atlantic right whale – and the lobster industry, which is the most valuable fishery in North America.

New Method To Save New England Salt Marshes Piloted In Mass.

Nov 19, 2020
Wenley Ferguson, director of habitat restoration for Save the Bay in Rhode Island, stands by the excavator on the Little Bay salt marsh in Fairhaven.
Eve Zuckoff / CapsandIslands.org

Wearing tall rubber boots, a scientist walked along an overgrown path to the Little Bay salt marsh in Fairhaven, on Cape Cod.

“I'm going to kind of weave us up through this back zone,” said Alice Besterman, the post-doctoral researcher with the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Murray Carpenter / Maine Public

Sen. Susan Collins is keeping her job. In a big victory for New England Republicans, the Associated Press called the race for Collins Wednesday afternoon. Democrats hoped challenger Sara Gideon, speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives, would flip the seat, increasing their chance at winning control of the Senate.

"I feel like this is an affirmation of the work that I've been doing in Washington to fight for the people of Maine every day," Collins told a cheering crowd in Bangor, Maine.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

This election, NPR and many local affiliates, including stations within the New England News Collaborative, will count on The Associated Press to call the winner of the presidential race and other key contests in the U.S.

To make its call, the AP deploys a network of stringers and analysts in all 50 states to examine the vote tallies as they come in from local and county clerks.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Affordable Care Act following the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett would not affect Connecticut law.

Hackers hijacked a virtual campaign meeting for Democratic U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes. They hurled racist slurs at the state’s first Black congresswoman. Political observers view this "Zoom bombing" as an example of how hostile the upcoming election will be.

Alonso Nichols

Liliana Cruz of Boston has just been selected for a school desegregation program. At dawn, she takes the bus to a mostly-white high school in the suburbs. There she makes friends, endures microagressions and racism, wrestles with her identity and finds her voice. That's the premise of Jennifer De Leon's debut novel “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From,” which came out this year. 

Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrapped up a public comment period on its controversial plan to remove toxic PCBs from the Housatonic River. The agency said it hopes to issue its final plan by the end of the year.

That would be before any possible change at the White House.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

There’s only one Republican serving in Congress from New England: U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, whose seat is highly contested this year.

The story of how thousands of rescued Yiddish books became the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, has been told a few times. Now, it’s an illustrated children's book. 

Elodie Reed / Vermont Public Radio

What we don’t learn in school can matter as much as the lessons we do learn. In this fourth and final episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we talk to teachers and students about the harm of omitting stories and cultures from curricula — and how we can do better.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Racism is trauma. But racism’s impact on mental health can be hard to talk about. In this third episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we hear about the stressors to mental health in the region and ways to get relief. 

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday afternoon that certain communities defined by the state as “lower risk” for COVID transmission will soon be permitted to loosen several mandatory restrictions on gatherings and recreational activities.

The Baker administration released its decision in a statement minutes before his coronavirus press conference.

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.

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. 

Don Treeger / The Republican/Masslive.com/Photos

Springfield, Massachusetts-based MassMutual is selling its retirement business, which represents about a quarter of the company's U.S. workforce.

According to MassMutual, 2,000 employees currently work in the retirement area, with a majority of them based at the company's office in Enfield, Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

It’s been three weeks since Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. Like other sports, teams have played in isolation and without fans. But they’ve taken steps to make the season feel normal, from canned crowd noise (like at this Red Sox game against the Mets) to cardboard cutouts of fans in the stadium.

Ben James / New England Public Media

When a peer says something you think is racist, ignorant or wrong, what do you do? Most people agree that staying silent is not a good idea. But do you talk to them privately or take them to task publicly? Known as call-out culture, some think public shaming is a way to further social justice and change. But not everyone agrees with that approach.

Courtesy Huma Farid

Since the killing of George Floyd, some Americans have been examining their role in perpetuating racism and are committing to no longer being silent and inactive.

When the meatpacking industry in the U.S. started seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, local officials in New Bedford, Mass., worried that their city was next. But the city took action, issuing emergency orders that safety experts say should be a model for workplaces across the U.S., if those orders can be properly enforced.

Jon Mitchell, the city's mayor, issued two COVID-19 orders on May 6 in a city where nearly 15% of the population works in manufacturing and 20% is Latino.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has spent most of her life observing the natural world and writing about it. She’s written 14 books over her half-century career, including the New York Times-bestselling book “The Hidden Life of Dogs.” Her new book, “Growing Old: Notes On Aging With Something Like Grace,” came out this year. Thomas, 88, joined NEXT and talked about enjoying the slower pace of aging.

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.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

Did you know that before the clock was invented, we used to sleep in two installments? Or that the standardization of cameras and film led to racial bias in the production of photographs?

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