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Massachusetts

Emmanuel Huybrechts / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s declining jobs numbers in recent months have made the contrast with its New England neighbors even more stark. While the Nutmeg State has yet to regain all the jobs it lost in the great recession, Massachusetts is seemingly booming. 

Nancy Eve Cohen / New England Public Radio

In the weeks after Election Day, in response to current events, the U.S. flag on the main flagpole at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts has alternately been flown at full-staff and half-staff, burned, removed, and now replaced.

Emmanuel Huybrechts / Creative Commons

Labor pains and lessons from the north.

As Connecticut comes to terms with recent job loss, Massachusetts emerges as a regional leader in statewide job recovery. This hour, we explore the latest job market trends and find out what Connecticut stands to learn from the Bay State. 

Updated at 3:18 p.m. ET with McConnell reaction

With an early morning tweet, President-elect Donald Trump revived an issue that hasn't been front and center in American politics for more than a quarter-century.

Flag burning.

Here's what Trump posted at 6:55 a.m. ET:

Karen Brown / NEPR

About a dozen miles off the coast of Cape Cod sits a rustic island named Penikese — part of the Elizabeth Island chain. A hundred years ago, Penikese was home to a leper colony, then a school for troubled boys and a bird sanctuary. This past fall, Penikese opened to its newest incarnation — a treatment program for opioid addicts.

Bay Path University / Facebook

Journalist Gwen Ifill, a co-host of the PBS NewsHour, died Monday of cancer. She was 61.

Ifill was born in New York, but her father’s work as a pastor led the family to Springfield in the early 1970s. 

Brett Levin / Creative Commons

Voters in Massachusetts approved the recreational use of marijuana starting in 2018. It's a measure some Connecticut legislators have pushed for in the past without success. But now proponents think the tide might be changing in Connecticut. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We’ve been talking a lot about national politics lately on the Wheelhouse. But there’s a LOT happening here in Connecticut. 

Karen Brown / NEPR

Massachusetts is one of about 40 states where someone who abuses drugs or alcohol to an extreme can be legally committed to a locked treatment facility. In most cases, a worried family member has to go to court to make that happen.

Jill Kaufman / New England Public Radio

Thirty-seven states now provide some kind of opportunity for all registered voters to cast their ballots before Election Day. Massachusetts is the newest kid on the block with in-person "early voting" that started on Monday, October 24.

Refugees from around the world continue to find homes in Massachusetts.

The number of Syrian refugees, in particular, has more than doubled here over the last year, despite heated national rhetoric around immigration.

Increased Interest Greets New Refugees

In the basement of the First United Baptist Church in Lowell, newly arrived refugees from Syria and Afghanistan stand shoulder to shoulder with new arrivals from Somalia.

If you vote in Massachusetts, you’ve probably had a least one debate with a friend this year about whether the state should allow marijuana for recreational use.

But have you looked at the mechanics of the legal marijuana industry that ballot Question 4 would create? We’ve summarized key elements, in case you don’t have time to read all 24 pages of the proposed act before voting on Nov. 8.

La super Lili / Creative Commons

There is no shortage of places to gamble in the northeast -- with casinos in states like New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and of course Connecticut where high rollers can try their luck at Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods Resort Casino in the southeastern part of the state.

And more casinos are on their way.

This hour, we get an update on MGM Springfield and where plans stand to open a third casino in North Central Connecticut operated jointly by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. 

One of the four ballot questions Massachusetts voters will decide this November would expand the state’s five-year-old casino gaming law to allow a second slots parlor to open here in the Bay State. The referendum is being backed by a developer with a very specific plan in mind.

Courtsey of Valery Ponomarev

With the rich crop of summer jazz festivals now behind us, there’s suddenly an early autumn harvest to reap at three immediately upcoming jazz festivals in October, including a brand new, promising fest sponsored by Beth Sholom B’Nai Israel (BSBI) in Manchester. 

The hum of textile looms once filled the 19th-century mill buildings throughout downtown Lawrence. Immigrant workers from Ireland and Germany were among some of the first laborers.

Today, many of the mill buildings in Lawrence are home to refurbished work spaces — buzzing with the sounds of artists, innovators and entrepreneurs like Angie Jimenez, who is arranging pots and pans in the site of her future cooking classroom.

A black man who runs from police shouldn't necessarily be considered suspicious — and merely might be trying to avoid "the recurring indignity of being racially profiled," the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court says.

Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

Casino giant MGM International won't get its wish for more details about negotiations for a potential casino at Bradley International Airport. 

Samirah Evans

A powerhouse jazz and blues artist who was uprooted by Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans to Brattleboro, Vermont, Samirah Evans is an unstoppable force of nature on-stage, a sexy, high-octane blend of ebullient personality and explosive showbiz savvy.

Adam Frenier / NEPR

Mayor Domenic Sarno told a national news outlet that he feels Springfield, MA’s police department “accurately” reflects the diversity of his city. But the department’s own numbers — from August of 2014 — tell a different story.

Starting in 2018, it will be illegal in Massachusetts for an employer to force prospective employees to divulge how much they were making at their last job.

It’s part of a sweeping new equal pay law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker Monday.

Massachusetts becomes the first state to forbid employers from asking job applicants how much they made at their previous jobs. The goal is to prevent women from being stuck in a cycle of low salaries.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has withdrawn its lawsuit against the state of Connecticut over plans for a third casino. 

Esther Shittu / WNPR

When we did our show on Romeo and Juliet a few months ago, Tina Packer invited us to come up to Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Mass., to see her new production of The Merchant of Venice this summer. Colin said we'd love to; we'll come up there and do a show!

It seemed like the sort of niceties that people often toss off on the radio.

But it turns out they meant it. And so, so did we! So we went up and taped a show in the Berkshires with Tina and her Shylock, Jonathan Epstein.

Daniel X. O'Niel / Creative Commons

The Cat in the Hat — the iconic character of Ted Geisel, or Dr. Seuss — is running for president. The campaign parody kicks off Tuesday in Springfield.

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