WNPR

New England

While Vermont dairy farmers are experiencing some of the hardest times in recent memory, their counterparts in Quebec are thriving. The reason is a complex system that regulates the supply of milk  and sets the price farmers receive.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

This hour: a lesson in public history. How are towns and cities across Connecticut and the Northeast engaging residents with the past?

We check in with a team of experts and historians. We look at examples of locally driven projects and initiatives, and consider their impact on community building and sense of place.

Do you feel a strong tie to your community’s history? We want to hear from you. 

Massachusetts energy officials have announced they're going with Plan B to bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the Bay State.

They've selected a back-up project that runs transmission lines through Maine, after New Hampshire state regulators refused to allow Plan A – the controversial Northern Pass project.

But the Maine project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, also faces an uncertain future.

In Massachusetts, the announcement got kudos and criticism from those closely watching the state's selection of a massive clean energy project:

A pipe was the only sign of drug use near Chris Bennett’s body, in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett’s mother Liisa couldn’t understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

“I’m convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced,” she says. “That’s what he had in his system was cocaine and fentanyl.”

CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

The endangered North Atlantic right whale population took a big hit last year, with a record number killed by fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Now, an ongoing debate over threats posed by Maine's lobster industry is gaining new urgency.

tanjila ahmed/flickr creative commons

Massachusetts is rolling out legal recreational marijuana sales this summer, with pot shops scheduled to open in July.

Demand for maple syrup and maple products is growing by about 6 to 8 percent per year globally. The prospect of that kind of return is drawing in investors to Vermont like moths to a flame.

Activists across the country say they are being targeted by federal immigration authorities for speaking out at protests and accusing the government of heavy-handed tactics.

The Trump administration has warned that anyone in the country illegally could be arrested and deported under tough new enforcement rules. And federal officials deny allegations of retaliation.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say they have documented two dozen cases of immigrant activists and volunteers who say they have been arrested or face fines for their work.

It seems every few weeks there is a hate crime reported on a college campus in New England. The groups that keep track of these kinds of incidents say there is, in fact, a marked increase in the number of racist slurs found scrawled on campus walls and an increase in white supremacist group activity.

As the nation's dairy farmers struggle through their fourth year of depressed milk prices, concerns are rising that many are becoming depressed themselves. The outlook for the next year is so bleak, it's heightening worries — especially in the Northeast — about farmer suicides.

Agri-Mark Inc., a dairy cooperative with about 1,000 members, saw three farmers take their own lives in the past three years. The most recent was last month. It's a very small sample, but very sharp and disturbing increase.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Brian Rivera was finishing breakfast in the lobby of the Red Room Inn in downtown Hartford. He’s been living there with his wife and two toddlers since December. And he didn’t know yet if he’d have to move out soon.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

This hour: a lesson in public history. How are towns and cities across Connecticut and the Northeast engaging residents with the past?

We check in with a team of experts and historians. We look at examples of locally driven projects and initiatives, and consider their impact on community building and sense of place.

Do you feel a strong tie to your community’s history? We want to hear from you. 

L.L. Bean's outdoor gear — including its signature Bean Boots prized by campers and hipsters alike — is no longer guaranteed for life.

In a letter to customers Friday morning, the company said it has updated its return policy to give customers one year to return purchases, with a receipt. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years — or even decades — after purchase, has long been a selling point for the company.

A coalition of 16 states, including four from New England, fought the Trump administration in court on Tuesday. They want to overturn the president's decision to end DACA, a program protecting immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. 

Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Burlington, Vermont, are two of 23 jurisdictions that received a letter from the U.S. Justice Department threatening to pull certain federal grant funds if the communities cannot prove they comply with federal immigration authorities.

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