WNPR

Massachusetts

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.

One of the biggest fishing magnates in the country could be sentenced to prison this coming week, and the forfeiture of his boats could be a big hit for the Massachusetts port where he amassed a small empire.

Between his scalloping and groundfishing boats, Carlos Rafael – nicknamed "the Codfather" — came to be the largest single owner of fishing vessels in New England, and possibly in the country.

A study on expanding rail service between Springfield-to-Boston was left out of the final Massachusetts state budget. But lawmakers did OK another rail study, looking at seasonal service between Pittsfield and New York City.

Transportation officials in Massachusetts will look at the feasibility of weekend service between late May and October.

State Senator Adam Hinds, who represents the Berkshires, said this could demonstrate an appetite for regular, year-round trains to and from New York City.

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.

Array

Today is the 200th birthday of author, activist and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau.

Thoreau’s individualist views and distaste for government make him a hero to many people across the political spectrum. But it’s his role as a naturalist and an avid record-keeper that makes him a hero to many scientists. His notes are helping scientists like Boston University biology professor Richard Primack study climate change.

Update at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday: Iranian cancer researcher Dr. Sayed Mohsen Dehnavi and his family were put on a flight back to Iran Tuesday night, per U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Original story:

An Iranian researcher coming to work at Boston Children’s Hospital as a visiting scholar has been denied entry to the United States.

  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.

The heat of summer is felt by prospective homeowners in the housing market.

The average price of a single family home in the state has reached $410,000 — up $30,000 from the same time last year.

For many would-be homebuyers, it’s probably a little too hot.

“It’s a little scary the way things fly off the market,” says 34-year-old Katie McGee, a first grade teacher who lives in a small Somerville condo with her 2-year-old daughter and her fiancé, Charlie Linehan, a landscaper in Cambridge.

Williams College President Adam Falk is leaving at the end of the year. Falk is the 17th president in the private Williamstown college’s history. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen asked Falk about what he will do come January.

The state of Massachusetts planned to require more internet retailers to collect sales tax starting July 1st. But the initiative has been pulled just days before it would take effect.

Under the Baker administration plan, internet retailers with sales of $500,000 and 100 transaction per year in Massachusetts would have to charge the tax.

But the state rescinded the plan after two lawsuits were filed. The Department of Revenue said it will reintroduce the tax through a new regulation this fall.

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.

In 2010, Sonia Vallabh watched her mom, Kamni Vallabh, die in a really horrible way.

First, her mom's memory started to go, then she lost the ability to reason. Sonia says it was like watching someone get unplugged from the world. By the end, it was as if she was stuck between being awake and asleep. She was confused and uncomfortable all the time.

"Even when awake, was she fully or was she really? And when asleep, was she really asleep?" says Sonia.

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.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Appeals Board hears arguments Thursday on the second phase of cleaning up the Housatonic River in Berkshire County.

Chion Wolf / WNPR (file photo)

Hello. Hello? Anybody home? Think, McFly, think!

Oh, wait. Not that Biff. This BIFF: The Berkshire International Film Festival.

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