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New England

This story was originally published Jan. 8, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. ET.

New England electricity customers could get a direct benefit from a cut in federal corporate taxes — lower utility bills.

Consumer advocates in New England are calling on regulators and utilities to turn over to ratepayers any savings from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which the recent tax law knocked down by 40 percent.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it will not renew Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans.

As a large, powerful winter storm passes north into Nova Scotia, cold weather is sticking around in the Northeast.

"An arctic outbreak will keep temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below average across the northeastern U.S.," the National Weather Service says.

The recent cold spell has spurred oil-fired power plants throughout New England into action. But the operator of the regional electricity grid says pollution control regulations could throttle supplies from those sources.

Over the last decade, relatively low-polluting natural gas has been New England’s dominant fuel for electricity generation. But in winter, demand for gas can skyrocket from consumers who need it to heat their homes, and that can limit supplies for electricity generation.

For the most part, the minimum wage gap among New England states will narrow in 2018.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

One of Connecticut’s most uncommon species of evergreen can still be found -- if you know where to look.

David Tipling / Yale University Press

Yes we’ve gotten a few inches of snow already, but winter officially starts next week.

For animals, preparing for the season means undertaking major lifestyle changes in order to survive.

marcn / Creative Commons

New Jersey's Governor-elect Phil Murphy has vowed to "immediately" bring his state back into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. It’s a move that could strengthen the pollution-fighting partnership.

The Northeast has more than 200,000 dams and culverts, what U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Cathy Bozek described as "barriers to water flow." She said many of the dams no longer serve their original purpose, and many of the culverts need work. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Long Island Sound has a new guardian of sorts. Earlier this year, biologist Bill Lucey was named soundkeeper of the Northeast estuary.

This hour, the Connecticut native stops by our studios.

We learn more about his role and talk about efforts to improve life in and around the Sound.

Thames Society of Paranormal Investigations

Footsteps in the attic? Shadows in the basement? Who you gonna call?

Shamus Denniston.

This hour, we sit down with the founder and director of the Thames Society of Paranormal Investigations. We hear spine-tingling stories of local hauntings and take your ghostly comments. 

For some in New England, the deadly fires in California are a reminder of when fires overtook much of Maine around this time of year, 70 years ago. Wildfires in 1947 simultaneously burned over hundreds of miles for ten days, wiping out towns, and forever changing the landscape. 

Kathleen Masterson / Vermont Public Radio

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period, according to a report by a national environmental group. It's prompted a review by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, but one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Susan Collins, one of the few remaining centrist Republicans in the U.S. Senate, has decided to stay in that polarized body rather than run for governor of Maine.

Collins told a crowd of roughly 100 business leaders and a throng of local and national media at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine, on Friday that she will not seek the Republican nomination to run for governor next year. Instead, Collins said she will remain in the Senate at least until her current term ends in 2020.

David Tipling / Yale University Press

The days have gotten shorter and the leaves continue to change -- all signs autumn is definitely here. But for animals, the beginning of fall means undertaking major lifestyle changes -- in order to survive the winter.

Some civil rights advocates have raised concerns that U.S. Border Patrol may be infringing on people's civil rights as it carries out stops in its vast jurisdiction.

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.

Canada is trying to get the word out that walking into the country isn't necessarily a ticket to citizenship.

FRED BEVER / MAINE PUBLIC

New England is home to thousands of dams that have fallen out of use -- a legacy of our industrial past. 

Unlike large hydropower dams, where there's often serious political and emotional resistance to removal, conservationists are finding many landowners of small dams are happy to have them removed.

For more than half a century, a massive, oil-fired plant has been churning out electricity from an island in the heart of Maine’s Casco Bay, where sailors use its towering smokestack for navigation.

The old generator is expensive to run and dirtier than new technologies, so these days it comes on only a few times a year. Nonetheless, since December, the wires on the island have been humming pretty much nonstop.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

For the past six months, Chastity Kerr has lived at a 27-bed family shelter in Hartford, Conn., with her three children, ages 14, 11, and 8.

Supporters of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are going to have to wait to find out what’s in store for the project that encompasses nearly 88,000 acres.

Nine States Agree To Accelerate Emissions Reduction In Next Decade

Aug 24, 2017
Thomas Hopkins / Creative Commons

The nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative consortium has settled on a proposed update to the cap-and-trade program that would call for a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from the region's power plants by 2030.

This week, Newport is hosting a first in the sailing world: the J Class world championships. J Class yachts are rare, and they’re huge. 

In New England, 22 percent of the region's native plants are considered rare. Some of them are on the federal list of endangered species. Biologists worldwide and locally have been saving crop seeds, and seeds from other plants important to the ecosystem. 

A year ago, Maine was one of the first states to set limits on opioid prescriptions. The goal in capping the dose of prescription painkillers a patient could get was to stem the flow of opioids that are fueling a nationwide epidemic of abuse.

Maine's law, considered the toughest in the U.S., is largely viewed as a success. But it has also been controversial — particularly among chronic pain patients who are reluctant to lose the medicine they say helps them function.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

A public comment period has just closed on a proposal by the Trump administration to expand drilling along the U.S. Atlantic coast.  

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

Over a year ago, residents near Merrimack, New Hampshire learned their drinking water had been contaminated by emissions from a plastics plant owned by the multinational company, Saint-Gobain.  

More than a year later, some residents in Merrimack say state and federal officials haven’t done enough to protect them from the contamination. Now, a few are taking things into their own hands, going door to door.

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