New England News Collaborative

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan comes to a close this weekend. The final days of the holiday are meant to be a sacred culmination of weeks of prayer and daily fasting from sunrise to sunset.

But in the wake of recent violent acts against Muslims, many in the Boston-area Islamic community are coming together not only to pray, but also to seek comfort and safety.

Students from Lynda Siegel's ESL class are learning water safety through a free course at the Greater Burlington YMCA.
Doug Bishop/Greater Burlington YMCA, courtesy

For many Vermonters, swimming is learned early and central to summer fun. But for children who are new to the United States and still learning English, swimming can be a completely foreign concept.

Commercial fishermen in Northern New England face their fair share of challenges. Along with declining fish stocks and tight catch regulations, the occupation also remains one of the most dangerous in the country.

With that ever-present risk in mind, dozens of fishermen turned out in New Castle, New Hampshire recently for a day-long safety training exercise.

A man arrested by federal immigration officials after a workers’ compensation meeting is out of federal custody after more than a month in jail.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jose Flores was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents immediately following a meeting arranged by his employer. Flores’ lawyers question whether his arrest was retaliation by the employer, looking to get out of the workers’ comp claim. Advocates fear his arrest could prevent other workers in the country illegally from reporting workplace accidents.

Nine months ago, Joyce Chance left a refugee camp in Uganda where she had spent the last eleven years. Chance, who was born in Congo, boarded a plane with her two kids, and came to the United States.

A refugee resettlement agency in Concord, New Hampshire picked them up at the airport, and moved them into a one-room apartment.

Homeless Female Veterans: Undercounted and Underserved

Jun 2, 2017

A growing number of homeless veterans are women. But there are few places that specialize in helping them get back on their feet.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont wastewater plants along the Connecticut River are waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency. Even without specifics, managers at the larger plants know they will be required to adjust the amount of nitrogen in their treated wastewater, considerably lowering the levels, potentially at a high cost.

By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new limits on the amount of nitrogen that wastewater treatment plants in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire can release into the Connecticut River.

Commencement ceremonies took place this weekend at UNH, after a tense few weeks at the school, with a series of racial incidents prompting  community-wide conversations about campus diversity.

This weekend’s ceremony offered a chance to reflect but also to look forward. 

Thirty-eight-year-old Jose Flores and his longtime partner, Rosa Benitez, have been living in Massachusetts for almost seven years. The Honduran nationals both entered the United States by illegally crossing the Southern border.

Benitez, 40 and with tired eyes, says she and Flores had to leave Honduras because of the violence.

‘I Came Here To Fight For My Family’

In New England, all states except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire have bottle bills. Those are recycling programs built around a system of deposits and refunds, aimed at reducing litter and protecting the environment. But when it comes to old aluminum, it’s not just environmentalists who want to see more recycling -- there’s a real business case to be made for it, too.

A couple years ago, Manchester police lieutenant Nicole LeDoux and two colleagues decided to crunch some numbers. They found that in a single year, 400 Manchester kids had been at either domestic violence incidents or overdoses when police were called.  LeDoux is a fast talker who oversees the juvenile and domestic violence units. “I remember sitting,” she said, “and being like ‘man, that’s a lot of kids. How do we deal with that?’” 

New England states are considering the idea of sticking with daylight saving time year 'round. Proposals to make the switch are being taken up by several legislatures, including Maine's.

Reports of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. are up 86 percent so far this year, according to a study released by the Anti-Defamation League. And with that increase comes a new wave of interest in a decades-old German law reinstating German citizenship to Holocaust refugees and their descendants.

President Donald Trump this week ordered a review of the U.S. Antiquities Act. The move could impact the Atlantic Ocean's first-ever marine national monument, created last fall.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

In the northeast U.S., there is less than 1 percent of old growth forest left. A new University of Vermont study finds that harvesting trees in a way that mimics old growth forests not only restores critical habitat, but also stores a surprising amount of carbon.

Millions of river herring used to return to New England's fresh waterways to spawn, but at some collection spots today, populations have dropped into the dozens. 

Nashua’s Health Department wants you to stop using the word “addict.”

“We need to talk about substance use disorder like the disease that it is,” health educator Aly McKnight told a captive audience of thirty or so in the basement of Nashua Public Library last month.  She pointed to a list of “stigmatizing” words projected onto a screen. “Alcoholic,” “junkie,” even “addiction” should be avoided, it said. 

In February, the Trump White House directed immigration enforcement to begin detaining and deporting all unauthorized immigrants. This marked a change from Obama-era directives, telling agents to prioritize deporting individuals convicted of serious crimes.

But how do immigration agents find undocumented but otherwise law-abiding immigrants? New England News Collaborative Executive Editor John spoke with reporters Kathleen Masterson from VPR and Emily Corwin of NHPR about big differences between how the states approach working with Federal Immigration officials.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Two Vermont immigration rights' activists who were arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents were released on bail Tuesday and are back in Vermont. A third was denied bail by a federal immigration judge in a Boston court Monday.

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