New England Snapshot

PORTLAND, Maine - A spokesperson for Nova Scotia's transportation minister says a decision is expected to come sometime this week on the whether to keep the Nova Star ferry's connection to Portland, Maine.

This time of year, the Appalachian Trail fills up with hikers passing through Vermont and New Hampshire on their way to the endpoint in Maine. Some are walking to bring attention to a worthy cause. But not everyone scales the obstacles that Phil Valentine has faced. 

This week, Bedlam – recently named one of the best young theater companies in New York City by Backstage.com  will perform two nights at the Paramount Theatre, offering early glimpses of Pygmalion and a brand new play called New York Animals.

LEWISTON, Maine - Lewiston tenants and grassroots community organizations say three landlords in Lewiston are responsible for some of the city's worst code violations at 71 properties.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies is in talks with the Maine College of Art on a merger plan that could allow the Portland-based school to remain open.

Deepwater Wind has installed the first of five steel foundations for a wind farm that will sit three miles off the coast of Block Island. The project is expected to produce enough energy to power 17,000 homes. State and federal officials got an up-close look at construction for the first time yesterday. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza was with them, and she reports that Rhode Island has become an example for how to build renewable energy. 

More and more members of the military are coming back from deployments needing medical attention, and Vietnam-era veterans are aging. 

SEARSPORT, Maine - The port at Mack Point in Searsport handles ships carrying oil, gypsum, salt and forest products - even disassembled wind turbines. But as ships have grown larger, it’s become harder to for them maneuver into the port. The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed dredging a deeper shipping channel, and enlarging a basin to give them more room.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The day started out pretty well for Gov. LePage. He greeted nearly 100 supporters at the State House during an impromptu rally praising his budget priorities and "get tough" approach with legislators.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Welfare reform is front and center at the State House this week, as lawmakers consider several proposals that supporters say are designed to help those who can get off welfare reach that goal.

This story is part of our series “Rising Tide” about how – or whether - Rhode Islanders are emerging from the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. The question we’re asking is: does a rising tide really lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind?

The decision by Gov. Peter Shumlin to abandon a single payer health care system is having an unexpected impact on Vermont's larger businesses. And lawmakers will now have to make decisions that Vermont's health care law never anticipated.

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts was remembered Monday by the president, vice president, and senators from both parties as a powerful force for liberal causes who could also reach across the aisle. 

Among the senators - past and present - who paid tribute to Ted Kennedy at the dedication of the new institute in his name was Trent Lott.

“Yes, a Republican from Mississippi,” he told the crowd gathered at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

The village of Island Pond, in the Northeast Kingdom, is becoming the maple sugar capital of North America. An out-of-state company called Sweet Tree has bought about 7,000 acres and tapped 100,000 trees this year. But they say they don’t want to make the stuff you put on pancakes.

There’s always that moment, after you walk up the ramp and into Fenway Park, when you first glimpse the brilliant green of the field. And if you’re like me, your heart jumps a little. So it’s a little weird to walk in and not see any grass.

But it’s not the sea of white you might expect after this winter.

A significant hurdle to the resumption of Amtrak rail service through Vermont to Montreal was cleared Monday when the United States and Canada signed an agreement allowing the creation of a U.S. Customs facility in Montreal.  

Plum Island, an 840-acre land mass in Long Island Sound, is becoming a focal point for environmentalists. That's because of government plans to sell the island to fund the construction of a new USDA animal-testing center. 

The state’s first medical marijuana vapor lounge opened this weekend in Providence, but the legality of the lounge remains murky.

Elevated Vapor Lounge, located in downtown Providence opened Saturday.  Rhode Island medical marijuana patients can utilize the space to vaporize their doctor prescribed product.  And since state law bans smoking indoors, vaporizing is only thing allowed.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2006. Federal law continues to ban its sale.

Some of the state’s largest ski areas owe their success to lease agreements that allow them to use land owned by the state of Vermont. But State Auditor Doug Hoffer says the state ought to be charging higher rates for use of this pristine mountain land.

Gina Raimondo’s long path to the top job in Rhode Island politics culminated when she was sworn in Tuesday as the state’s first female governor. Raimondo has cautioned that making change won’t be easy in a state plagued by persistently high unemployment.

Raimondo’s inaugural on the south portico of the Statehouse was steeped in tradition, from the singing of the National Anthem to the firing of a 19-gun salute.

ANGELA EVANCIE VPR/FILE

Longtime Washington County Sen. Bill Doyle says he'll propose a constitutional amendment to make it less likely that lawmakers will be asked to elect a governor in the future. Doyle says the results of this year's election show why his amendment is needed.  

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage says he wants to promote more nutritious foods for all Mainers, including those who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. 

Long-serving former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has died. He was 71.

New federal science education standards adopted in Vermont require that students learn about climate change. So teachers are starting to create lesson plans with hands-on activities about weather patterns.

Some are getting that training deep in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom.

From gasoline to heating oil and propane, fuel prices in Vermont are lower than they were a year ago. The decline in prices will likely mean lower heating bills and less expensive fill-ups during the coming winter.

According to Chicago-based GasBuddy.com, a clearinghouse of real time information on gas prices across the country, on Tuesday the price for a gallon of regular unleaded varied in Vermont from a low of $3.18 in Rutland to a high of $3.69 in Derby.

Kevin Burgio remembered the first time he saw monk parakeets. He was out bird watching "and I ran across this puddle that had like five or six monk parakeets drinking from it," he said. "I'm like, what the hell is that? Did someone lose, like, five parrots? I didn't know there were parrots here."

All this week we’re taking a close look at the Narragansett Bay, for a series we call One Square Mile.  Today we look at the heavy industry that relies on the Providence waterfront.  Specifically, where those big piles of coal, scrap metal and salt,  sit along the Providence River.

Tuesday, independent Providence mayoral candidate Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, Jr. details his plan to turn the industrial waterfront to mixed use development, with things like hotels and marinas.   As Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, that's been the subject of a decades-long battle.

Fred Thys/WBUR

  Wesleyan University is asking its residential fraternities not to pledge freshmen and to turn over the rolls of all their members as the school issued an order to end its all-male fraternities and make residential fraternities co-ed.

It’s a decision that has received mixed reaction on campus.

The decision is felt hardest at the three residential fraternities. No one agreed to recorded interviews at any of the fraternities, but men did agree to speak to WBUR on background.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is defending his support of legislation that could make it easier for private businesses to use eminent domain to seize property for natural gas pipeline expansion. The governor says the legislation is necessary to alleviate what he calls the New England energy crisis. But the governor's two opponents oppose the move.

At issue is federal legislation known as H.R.1900, The Natural Gas Permitting Reform Act, which aims to streamline the permitting process for the development of natural gas pipeline projects.

Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.

The Automated Plate Recognition Systems, or ALPRs, use high-speed cameras mounted on police cruisers that take photos of passing cars and relay them to an in-car computer for analysis. The technology keeps track of every license plate the cruiser passes and checks each against a “hot list” of vehicles, all in real time.

Pages