New England

AUGUSTA, Maine - A bill that would let prosecutors seek felony charges in possession cases involving heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and more than 14 grams of cocaine is gaining support.

The Portland Press Herald reports that members of the Maine Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 8-4 Monday in Augusta in favor of the bill.

The bill would also downgrade possession of small amounts of oxycodone pills to a misdemeanor.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Sen. Susan Collins has joined the growing number of senators calling for passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. 

The measure would provide for additional prevention and education efforts aimed at the drug crisis and for additional resources to treat addicted jail inmates.

"It is clear Mr. President that we need to take a comprehensive approach to this epidemic and the bill before us is a vital step forward," Collins said today on the Senate floor.

The big day is finally here — after tonight's Super Tuesday results, there will be a much clearer picture of how both the Republican and Democratic races could shake out. Will Donald Trump continue his dominance? Can Marco Rubio catch up? Can Ted Cruz rebound? Will Hillary Clinton roll through the South? Can Bernie Sanders bounce back after a devastating South Carolina loss?

John Narewski / U.S. Navy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun reviewing cleanups at nine Superfund sites in New England.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed Maine's first case of the Zika virus.

A Hancock County resident over age 65 tested positive after returning home from one of the Zika-affected countries.

The virus is principally transmitted by a mosquito bite, so Maine epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett says Mainers need not worry about catching the virus from the individual who tested positive.

Maple industry groups have sent a letter to the Food And Drug Administration asking it to take enforcement action against food companies that label items “maple” when they don’t actually contain maple.

Ian Donnis/File Photo/RIPR

Rhode Island’s legendary rascal king, Buddy Cianci, died Thursday morning.

Cianci was hospitalized with stomach pain while taping ABC6 On the Record, a TV show, Wednesday night.

The Northern Pass project is bidding for a contract to sell a portion of its energy to the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The three states have requested proposals in a process they are calling the "Clean Energy RFP" which they hope will drive down the cost of large-scale renewable energy, by buying in bulk.

The program is accepting bids from utility scale wind, solar and large-scale hydropower projects, as well as hydrogen fuel-cells and even battery storage.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in Washington yesterday titled “Attacking America’s Epidemic of Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.”  It came as legislators consider the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.  Several of the witnesses that appeared at the hearing were from the Northeast, including New Hampshire’s senators and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.

New Hampshire Primary Now A Race For 2nd Place

Jan 9, 2016

The Republican presidential primary race in New Hampshire is turning into a contest for second place.

With businessman Donald Trump so far ahead in the polls, the other GOP candidates are ratcheting up efforts to win over crucial undecided voters in the next four weeks.

Breaking Out Of The Pack

Vermont musician Jamie Masefield has been improvising on the jazz mandolin for decades. He's recorded six albums, including one with Blue Note Records, and brings everything from folk and funk to the literature of Leo Tolstoy to the stage. But some years back, his eclectic creativity brought him to an unexpected second career.

When I meet Masefield at work, he's chipping away at some pinkish stone with a small hammer. "In the industry we call it 'rainbow stone,'" he offers. "It's very nice to work with."

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has apologized for telling a Bridgton audience this week that out-of-state drug dealers were coming to Maine and impregnating white girls. But he refused to acknowledge the remarks were racist.

Charles Fulton / Creative Commons

Amtrak said the entire Northeast Corridor now has Positive Train Control.

U.S. Senate Democrats

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and more than a dozen officers traveled to the halls of the U.S. Senate recently to speak up for a program that is universally supported at home. 


Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corporation have closed on the Spanish firm's $3 billion purchase of the Connecticut parent company of several local energy firms.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Alternatives for rail lines in the northeast got a public hearing on Monday night in New Haven. The meeting was the second in a series meant to elicit feedback on proposed improvements to the Northeast Corridor.

Foreign ministers in Paris have a tough week ahead as they tackle the first draft of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But local observers are still encouraged by positive signs in the climate negotiations.

After being missing for more than a decade — and believed to have been stolen — a centuries-old map that depicts 17th century Canada and New England has been returned to the Boston Public Library.

The BPL announced Friday that Carte Geographique de Nouvelle France, which was compiled in 1612 by explorer Samuel de Champlain, was found this summer for sale at an antiques dealer in New York City for $285,000.

Creative Commons

Connecticut students who learn English as a second language drop out of high school at a rate higher than any other New England state, according to an analysis by the New England Secondary School Consortium

This year marks the centennial of the last long log drives on the Connecticut River. From the late 1800s and early 1900s, logs as big as 30 feet long were floated down the river to sawmills in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Now two Vermonters are keeping the history alive, chronicling the history of the drives.

At Sunday night's Jefferson Jackson dinner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took a moment on the stage to express his opposition to the Northeast Energy Direct—the controversial natural gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan.

"I opposed the Keystone Pipeline from day one," Sanders said. "And that is why, here in New Hampshire, I believe the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, that would direct fracked natural gas for four hundred miles, through seventeen communities, is a bad idea, and should be opposed."

TheCulinaryGeek / Creative Commons

For most of us, Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn't be the same without pie. Despite stuffing ourselves with turkey and dressing, we all manage to save a little room for pie.

Local concern over large deposits of silt in two Deerfield Valley rivers has forced Mount Snow to call a public hearing on the issue.

The controversial Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline is now in the hands of the federal government.


New England doesn’t need more natural gas pipelines to maintain reliable energy supply levels in the coming years, according to a study by an economic and financial consulting company.

Paul Morigi / Brookings Institute

In a special edition of our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we are joined by reporters from Vermont Public Radio to discuss their new radio documentary Becoming Bernie, which will air on WNPR. We discuss the rise of Bernie Sanders and how the Democratic party is responding to his popularity in the 2016 race for president.

Minutes after hitting one of the biggest field goals of his career, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski stood at his postgame press conference and revealed his secret to staying calm under pressure.

Well, part of his secret:

“I sing a song in my head,” he said.

“What song?” reporters asked.

Bill Dickinson / Flickr

A plan to transform the nation's busiest commuter rail line has reached a milestone.

MichaelTK (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Interstate fishing regulators are considering what to do about southern New England's collapsed lobster population, and fishermen fear new restrictions could land on them as a result.

Vermonters are proud of many things: maple syrup, skiing, a presidential candidate and, of course, cheddar cheese.