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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.

The gritty North Shore city of Lynn may not be known for large-scale murals like, say, Philadelphia. Not yet, anyway.

Starting Thursday, 19 international and local artists will converge on the city’s downtown to turn 15 blank, brick walls into towering, outdoor works of public art during the Beyond Walls Mural Festival.

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  One of the items that did not make it to the final version of the $40 billion state budget approved a week late by the Massachusetts legislature was a high-speed rail study.  Specifically, a requirement that MassDOT do a report on the costs and benefits of linking Springfield and Boston via high-speed rail.

Elipongo / Creative Commons

The head of the MetroHartford Alliance said Hartford’s business community could be on board with a bankruptcy in the city, if it’s properly planned. Alliance President and CEO Oz Griebel said structural reform is needed to give the private sector confidence in Hartford. 

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.

ilirjan rrumbullaku/creative commons

Tax-exempt property and the impending departure of Aetna are two issues weighing heavily on Hartford as the capital city manages a fiscal crisis. 

Days after President Trump announced that he would be pulling the U.S. out of a global agreement to fight climate change, more than 1,200 business leaders, mayors, governors and college presidents have signaled their personal commitment to the goal of reducing emissions.

In an open letter, the signatories vow to "continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement," even "in the absence of leadership from Washington."

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

ISIS has claimed responsibility for Saturday's terror attack in London. The Islamic State's news agency Amaq said in a statement Sunday that ISIS "soldiers" carried out the attack.

Our original post continues

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Communities along Connecticut’s southeastern shore want faster, reliable train service to Washington, D.C, New York, and Boston -- but not if it skips their local train stations. A proposed federal plan for high speed rail would do just that.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is proposing additional major cuts to state spending in Connecticut as he addresses a widening budget deficit projected for next year. The biggest losers this time around appear to be municipalities: state aid to towns and cities is cut by $600 million. 

Ruedi Hofmann

A photography and film event called PIVOTAL Hartford: Faces of Change opens Thursday in the lobby of The Bushnell Performing Arts Center. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut U.S. Marine Michael Zacchea had a job to do in 2004: train and lead the first Iraqi Army battalion after the U.S. disbanded the country’s military post invasion.

This hour, we revisit our conversation with Zacchea, and co-author Ted Kemp about their book The Ragged Edge which details the challenges Zacchea faced leading a diverse group of Iraqis. 

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Justice Department has escalated its approach to so-called sanctuary cities, writing at least eight jurisdictions Friday to put them on notice they could be failing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Alan Hanson, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's grant-making arm, warned the cities that they're required to submit proof that they comply with federal immigration law.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has released his $612.9 million budget proposal to the City Council, one that avoids layoffs, cuts funding to most community organizations, assumes more labor concessions, understaffs departments, and still has a $49 million hole.

But there's no more to cut, Bronin said, without compromising the city. 

   The Democratic mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts said he spoke with White House officials Thursday about federal plans for infrastructure projects. 

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