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The highest court in Massachusetts ruled Monday that local law enforcement cannot keep people in custody solely at the request of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The practice, often known as an "ICE detainer," enabled federal authorities to take a longer look at the immigration status of people whom they suspect might be in the country illegally, even if they were otherwise free to leave.

After years of encouraging solar development, Vermont seems to be attracting the attention of national solar companies.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

A new type of energy-efficient construction is drawing attention in the U.S. It’s called “passive housing” -- residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use. It’s so efficient that developers can eliminate central heating systems altogether.

Two top officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manchester have been removed pending a review of conditions described in a Boston Globe report. Several doctors at the Manchester VA complained in the report of unsanitary operating rooms and alleged substandard care.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Residents in Connecticut and Rhode Island’s coastal communities are cheering the Federal Railroad Administration's decision to back away from a controversial rail plan that would have re-routed a section of the Northeast Corridor through historic towns and important ecosystems along New England’s southern coast.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Federal Railroad Administration announced Wednesday that it won’t go ahead with a controversial plan to re-route a major rail artery in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Experts have predicted a higher than usual number of ticks this year. That could mean increased risk of Lyme disease, but not all ticks carry the infection. If you’ve found a tick recently, the University of Rhode Island has an easy way to identify it, and determine whether it might be dangerous. 

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Summer is officially here! And it looks like it's going to be a hot one.

This hour, we find out what opportunities -- and challenges -- lie ahead for Connecticut’s garden lovers. We check in with gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi, and we want to hear from you. 

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

The July 4 holiday weekend got off to a rough start for New Jersey residents and tourists wanting to enjoy the state's beaches, but a budget deal in the state legislature late Monday paved the way for the beaches to reopen.

A record-breaking 2.3 million New Englanders are expected to be hitting the road this Fourth of July weekend, driving more than 50 miles from home.

The building code commissioner for Springfield, Mass., has sent a warning letter to a church that plans to become a sanctuary for immigrants facing deportation.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Summer *officially* kicks off next week -- and if recent temperatures are any indication of what's to come, then it's going to be a hot one.

This hour, we find out what opportunities -- and challenges -- lie ahead for Connecticut’s garden lovers. We check in with gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi, and we want to hear from you. 

The credit rating for Massachusetts is now on par with most New England states. That's after a major credit rating agency downgraded the state's bonds.

Under President Trump, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are casting a broader net when it comes to who they’re prioritizing for arrest. According to ICE data, the focus in New England appears to be on immigrants with no criminal record.

ICE arrests of non-criminal immigrants living in New England without authorization have more than tripled so far this year.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont wastewater plants along the Connecticut River are waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency. Even without specifics, managers at the larger plants know they will be required to adjust the amount of nitrogen in their treated wastewater, considerably lowering the levels, potentially at a high cost.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new limits on the amount of nitrogen that wastewater treatment plants in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire can release into the Connecticut River.

Thirty-eight-year-old Jose Flores and his longtime partner, Rosa Benitez, have been living in Massachusetts for almost seven years. The Honduran nationals both entered the United States by illegally crossing the Southern border.

Benitez, 40 and with tired eyes, says she and Flores had to leave Honduras because of the violence.

‘I Came Here To Fight For My Family’

Jon Kalish / New England News Collaborative

There's a thriving scene on YouTube where woodworkers, metalworkers and other "makers" provide a step-by-step guide to their process.

In Waterford, Maine a maker named Gardner Waldeier -- who calls himself “Bus Huxley” -- has been entertaining viewers with equal portions of Yankee ingenuity and video wizardry.

PLF73 / CREATIVE COMMONS

A controversial bear hunting bill opposed by environmentalists is being considered by Connecticut legislators. The measure would seek to curb the state's growing black bear population.

Photo courtesy Dr. Benjamin Kilham

With spring comes a rise in the number of black bear sightings in Connecticut.

This hour, we learn about a bear’s lifestyle and biology with author and scientist Dr. Benjamin Kilham.

New England states are considering the idea of sticking with daylight saving time year 'round. Proposals to make the switch are being taken up by several legislatures, including Maine's.

Storytelling is built into cultures around the world. It’s a way of socializing, passing down family history, and for people of different cultures stories can reveal common ground.

Finding that common ground is what the International Institute of New England, a refugee resettlement agency operating in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, hopes to accomplish with “Suitcase Stories,” a new traveling series of live storytelling performances.

The Power Of A Story

Arturo Pardavila III / flickr creative commons

On May 2, 2016, with a 2-2 draw between Tottenham and Chelsea, Leicester City clinched the league title for the first time in their 132-year history. The BBC called it "one of the greatest sporting stories of all time." Leicester were 5,000-to-1 underdogs before the Premier League season started.

The national March for Science on April 22 – and satellite events around New England – mark a departure for many scientists. Until recently, they did not consider political activism part of their job.

Dave Sizer / Creative Commons

The Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was in Washington, D.C. Thursday advocating for more controls on air pollution carried by prevailing winds into the Northeast.

Many refugees who arrive on U.S. soil finally feel safe after decades of war or torture or loss of family members. But just because they're removed from physical harm, it doesn't mean the pain is over. 

Recent wet weather has put a dent in the drought that's been plaguing most of New England for much of the past year. 

In western Massachusetts, most of the area is tagged by forecasters as just "abnormally dry." Only a swath along along the Connecticut River in Hampden and Hampshire counties, extending into western Franklin County is still under a moderate drought.

Anthony Artusa with the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said the chances are good for above average rainfall over the next few months, which will help wipe out the drought completely.

Connecticut State Library

April 6, 2017 marks 100 years since the United States officially entered the First World War — igniting the journey for thousands of young men to the deadly trenches of Europe.

This hour, we learn about the soldiers and hear how Connecticut was one of just a few states with records that explained how some of these men viewed their service. 

For the first time in decades, the length of the U.S. ski season is shrinking. And as climate change curtails winter’s length, an industry transformation is under way: one expert says most ski mountains in southern New England could be out of business in 25 years unless they diversify their offerings. But ski areas in northern New England could benefit.

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe.

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