WNPR

New England

Next month, a mix of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will begin arriving in Rutland, Vermont. They’ll be the first of 100 that will be resettled there over the next year. Though there's been loud opposition to the plan in the aging, blue-collar city of 16,000, proponents remain optimistic — and many have been volunteering long hours to ensure the plan succeeds.

It’s hard to avoid the hand-wringing about aging demographics in New England these days. The region's six states have the six lowest birth rates in the country. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have the oldest populations in the country, and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts aren't far behind.

(Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

New England is an old region, and not just by historical standards.

The population here is aging faster than almost any other place in the country. Fewer people are having children, and many of the states struggle to keep younger generations living and working here.

And as New England's baby boomers grow older, and live longer, the need for health care workers also grows.

Some fishermen are pinning their hopes on a new kind of trawl net at use in the Gulf of Maine, designed to scoop up abundant flatfish such as flounder and sole while avoiding species such as cod, which regulators say are in severe decline.

Rusty Blazenhoff / Creative Commons

It will be legal Thursday to possess small amounts of marijuana, or to grow it for recreational purposes, in Massachusetts. But that isn’t the the case in neighboring states, where pot possession remains illegal. And law enforcement in some of these places are getting ready.

There’s some good news for sushi lovers. A new report finds that over an 8-year period, mercury levels in Gulf of Maine tuna declined 2 percent a year — a decline that parallels reductions in mercury pollution from Midwest coal-fired power plants.

Two years ago, Dr. Nicholas Fisher, a professor of marine sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, had a bit of luck — he found out that a colleague had established a collection of 1,300 western Atlantic bluefin taken from the Gulf of Maine between 2004 and 2012.

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. 

A cell the size of a parking space is where more than 60,000 prisoners nationwide are being held in solitary confinement. That’s according to a study by Yale Law School and the Association of State Correctional Administrators released Wednesday. And there could be more people who were not counted because states like Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont couldn’t provide data.

Yesterday, a new report was released with suggestions for how Seacoast communities should prepare for the effects of climate change. The document could influence town planning and development in the region for years.

The report came from the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, which was created by the legislature back in 2013. It had 37-members representing Seacoast towns, state agencies, and private-sector interests.

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. 

FuelCell Energy, Inc.

Connecticut is home to several fuel cell manufacturers whose products are competitive on the global market, but state officials still overlooked fuel cell technology in the latest round of picks for clean energy development.

Domenic Chavez / World Bank

President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t elaborated much on immigration policy, beyond what he laid out during the campaign. But enough has been said that many believe he will limit the number of refugees allowed into the U.S.

The city of Boston has a lot of work to do to truly address its racial divisions — that’s a clear sentiment that emerged from many people taking part in the opening session of a city-wide dialogue on race organized by Mayor Marty Walsh.

A multi-racial crowd of close to 1,000 people turned out for the first session on Saturday.

For 19-year-old Nate McLean-Nichols, the police’s treatment of young African American men is his number one racial priority.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Donald Trump has always said on the campaign trail that his business experience prepared him for the presidency. But it’s not entirely clear what his economic policies will entail. So what do small businesses think of President Trump?

Sheryl Rich-Kern / NHPR

The 2016 election has been a source of significant stress for many Americans across the political spectrum. 

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