Massachusetts

MGM Resorts International has suffered a setback in a bid to block development of a casino in Connecticut that would be a direct competitor to the $950 million casino the Las Vegas-based company is building in Springfield, Massachusetts.

National Weather Service, Taunton, Mass. Office

After a quiet winter and drier than normal spring, parts of western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut are in a moderate drought.

Steve Masiello / Creative Commons

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by casino developer MGM Resorts International challenging the constitutionality of a Connecticut law creating a process for a possible third casino along the Massachusetts border.

Asnuntuck Community College

Colleges and universities in New England are increasingly offering discounts to attract students from nearby states. 

The decision for institutions to divest from fossil fuels is more complicated than just a list of pros and cons, according to a new report commissioned by Dartmouth College.

Opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts have won support for a last-ditch bid to block the project.

Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the state’s largest environmental group, says runoff from a sewage treatment plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, could hurt Connecticut rivers and Long Island Sound. This week the organization asked the EPA to hold the plant to higher scrutiny.

Bills that add gender identity to the protections for people using restrooms and other public accommodations have now been approved by both houses of the Massachusetts Legislature, in what's being hailed as a victory for LGBT rights activists.

The House approved its version of the bill Wednesday by a vote of 116-36; the Senate endorsed a similar bill last month, 33-4. The legislation will now go to a conference committee to resolve differences between the two versions.

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

Five years ago, on June 1, 2011, an F3 tornado, with wind speeds between 150 and 200 miles per hour, swept through eight communities across western and central Massachusetts, from Westfield east to Southbridge.

One of the hardest hit was Monson, where the tornado cut nearly a half-mile swath of devastation through the center of town of about 8,500 residents.

Nancy Shilts stood just inside the door of St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate, Mass., on Sunday, handing out fliers and hugs to parishioners as they arrived — for the very last time.

"It's just like I just lost my house," she said.

Shilts is one of the parishioners who have taken turns staying in St. Frances, day and night since 2004. That's when the Archdiocese of Boston said it was shutting the church down to sell the land.

This Wednesday, June 1st,  marks the fifth anniversary of a devastating tornado striking western Massachusetts.

    As he has done in years past, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has called for a city-wide moment of reflection on the tornado anniversary.

" We want to commemorate it, not celebrate it.  I've asked the houses of worship to ring the bells at 4:38 p.m.," said Sarno.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A Connecticut man who said he was sexually abused as a child at a private school in Massachusetts wants to see the statute of limitations on the crime abolished. 

Greg Scott/WBEZ / Creative Commons

Efforts to stem the tide of heroin overdoses in Connecticut could get more difficult if a powerful new heroin additive makes its way to the state.

State officials are apologizing for the way they’ve handled a plan to use an island in the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts as a breeding ground for endangered timber rattlesnakes. They say they are now looking at alternatives.

A legislative hearing held near the reservoir in Athol Tuesday brought out some strong opposition and showed what a major political issue rattlesnakes have become in that part of the state.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As Schuyler Thomson lead a group of paddlers down the Housatonic River in northwest Connecticut, he squinted through the morning sunlight on the water. 

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian is calling for a federal investigation of sexual abuse allegations at private schools in New England, such as the Fessenden School in Newton.

Adam Frenier / NEPR

A Berkshire Superior Court judge has granted Kinder Morgan an injunction, allowing it to go forward with a natural gas pipeline in Sandisfield, Massachusetts, on its way to Connecticut. But the judge did issue conditions.

Fates can change quickly in sports. The fates of two New England cities with long hockey histories became intertwined this week, with one winner and one loser.

Two weeks ago, people in Springfield, Massachusetts were bemoaning the loss of the city’s American Hockey League team to Tucson, Az. and the likely end of almost 80 years of professional hockey in western Massachusetts.

" I think people really thought we were losing hockey, but now it seems we've been able to pull a rabbit out of our hat," said  Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Matthew Sussman / Jane Ira Bloom

Jane Ira Bloom, the innovative soprano saxophonist and composer, loves to tap into non-musical art forms as sources of inspiration for her bold, original music.

This post was updated at 7:45 p.m. ET.

A central neighborhood in Boston had been left out of Amazon's plans for free same-day delivery in the city. The company said on Tuesday that will change.

A Bloomberg analysis last week showed that the predominantly black Roxbury community did not have access to the Amazon Prime service, which is offered to all adjacent neighborhoods. After looking at nationwide data, Bloomberg called the disparity in Boston "the most striking."

It was 1993 when Massachusetts Gov. William Weld declared: "A good education in a safe environment is the magic wand that brings opportunity." The Republican was signing into law a landmark overhaul of the state's school funding system. "It's up to us to make sure that wand is waved over every cradle," he added.

With that, Massachusetts poured state money into districts that educated lots of low-income kids, many of which also struggled to raise funds through local property taxes.

A federal appeals court has reinstated Tom Brady's four-game suspension over his involvement in the "Deflategate" scandal.

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that found NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was not fair when he handed down the suspension.

Plans to build a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline from New York into New England through western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire have been suspended.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. announced Wednesday it has decided to stop work on the project. It cites a lack of contracts with gas distribution companies.

The company also says New England states haven't established needed regulatory procedures to allow it to move forward and the process in each state for creating those procedures remains open-ended.

A historic church in Springfield, Massachusetts is being moved down the street to make way for the city’s new casino. 

Friday is the third anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, which resulted in four deaths and injured dozens of others.

Many heroes emerged at the marathon that day and in the pursuit of the bombers during the days that followed.

For their actions during the dramatic shootout in Watertown, three police officers there are now the most decorated law enforcement officers in U.S. history. But awards do little to heal the trauma of that night.

Maura Healey / Facebook

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office has filed its opposition to an injunction request by Kinder Morgan. The company wants to build a natural gas pipeline which would run through state-owned conservation land in Southern Berkshire County on its way to Connecticut.

General Electric plans to donate $50 million over the next five years to Boston and the surrounding area.

Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The CEO of General Electric has broken his silence over the company’s dispute with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. 

Charles Williams / Creative Commons

With an opioid crisis still underway across the country, pain and how it’s treated is under scrutiny. The Centers for Disease Control in March came out with national standards for prescribing opioid painkillers, notably that clinicians should consider other options first.

Courtesy: Briene Lermitte

As much in the American grain as Aaron Copland, William Carlos Williams, or Emily Dickenson, the celebrated composer/orchestrator and conductor/bandleader Maria Schneider is a great, lyrical celebrator of memory, home, and friendship in her latest masterwork recording, The Thompson Fields.

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