New England News Collaborative

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.

Refugee resettlement agencies receive funding based on the number of people they anticipate resettling, so the uncertainty around President Trump’s travel ban has serious fiscal consequences.

Jeff Thielman is the CEO of the International Institute of New England, a resettlement agency working in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His agency expects eight refugees to arrive by March 28.

For the first time in decades, the length of the U.S. ski season is shrinking. And as climate change curtails winter’s length, an industry transformation is under way: one expert says most ski mountains in southern New England could be out of business in 25 years unless they diversify their offerings. But ski areas in northern New England could benefit.

In less than eight hours last June, Yale New Haven’s emergency department treated 12 patients who had overdosed on opioids. Three died; nine were saved.

Monday is the vernal equinox: that’s the beginning of spring, according to astronomers. For ecologists, spring isn’t just a matter of the earth’s rotation around the sun.  

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Many recent immigrants living in the U.S. are scared that their claims for asylum won't have a fair hearing by the Trump administration. Hundreds of those people are fleeing to Canada — and for one man, the journey through the frigid, snowy woods nearly killed him.  

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Many refugees who arrive on U.S. soil finally feel safe after decades of war or torture or loss of family members. But just because they're removed from physical harm, it doesn't mean the pain is over. 

Nancy Eve Cohen / WNPR

At Philip G. Coburn Elementary School in West Springfield, Massachusetts, students come from all over the world. Most of the English language learners there arrive as refugees.

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