Meet The Students Who Dreamed Up Friday's National School Walkout

When Lane Murdock, a high school sophomore, heard that 17 high school students and educators had been killed in a shooting in Parkland, Fla., she says she felt numb. To her, and so many others, mass shootings can feel all too common in the U.S. "In the time I've been in high school we've had the Pulse, Las Vegas and now, [the Parkland] shooting," Murdock says. So that same day, Feb.14, Murdock started a petition that so far has received more than a quarter-million signatures. Her...

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Regional News

Evacuees from Puerto Rico and activists gathered in Springfield Thursday.
Christopher Ayala / NEPR

Federal Deadline Creates Housing Uncertainty For Puerto Rican Evacuees

In the wake of an island-wide blackout, evacuees from Puerto Rico living in western Massachusetts gathered Thursday at the Springfield offices of U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey to call for a housing solution.

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Before he signed a package of criminal justice reforms Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker outlined new legislation he was filing to fund some of its costs and alter some of its provisions.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Implementing a massive criminal justice reform law signed last week will cost Massachusetts an estimated $15 million this fiscal year and as much as $40 million next year, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Air quality in our region continues to rank among the worst in the country. The 2018 State of the Air Report from the American Lung Association gave failing grades in air quality to most of the counties in the region.

Three-quarters of the federal cash that was recently allocated to help families in Eastern Connecticut with crumbling foundations has been diverted by state officials for other needs.

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Gun Control

A March for Our Lives rally at Court Square in Springfield, Massachusetts, in March 2018.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican /

Parents Of Slain Parkland Student To Join Springfield, Mass., Gun Violence Forum

Students across the country are walking out of school Friday to advocate for gun control. In Massachusetts, where schools are closed for vacation week, local activists are holding a community conversation in Springfield.

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Classical Music

Vespers Or Vision Quest? Soulful Music For A Violin In Flight Vespers, the traditional late afternoon prayer service, gets an enigmatic twist in a new video by director James Darrah, premiered here, with music from Missy Mazzoli , performed by the spirited violinist Olivia De Prato. The track is from her new album, Streya . The narrative, shot in slow-motion, opens with dancer Sam Shapiro's character, heavy with sleep, stirring on a sun-drenched morning. It mysteriously unfolds as a kind of barefoot vision...

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Jazz, Freed: On Cecil Taylor's Expansive Brilliance

Cecil Taylor , whose stunning and bravely unorthodox piano language made him one of the most important postwar American avant-gardists in any artistic medium, leaves more than a legacy of musical provocation after his death yesterday evening. Over a career that sprawled across six full decades, Taylor maintained an unwavering standard of expedition. And what he discovered — in an endless, boundless process — was a world unto himself. His dazzling pianistic signature combined explosive...

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Wyatt Cenac Wants To Talk About Policing

Wyatt Cenac knows his aesthetic, and his aesthetic seems to be "PBS in the 1970s." The logo of his new HBO series Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas looks precisely like the public television of a couple decades ago, with its friendly-looking sans serif lowercase letters in earthy colors. The set is the same way, looking much like one that a host might have wandered around to talk about the beginnings of the world or the ways of the penguin. Cenac is gently sending up that documentary format while...

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Higher Education

University of Massachusetts Boston.
Joe Difazio / WBUR

UMass Boston Students, Faculty Want UMass Amherst To Drop Mount Ida Acquisition

Some students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus want officials at the system's flagship school, UMass Amherst, to reconsider their plan to acquire the 74-acre Newton campus of Mount Ida College.

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First Lady

Barbara Bush’s Life and Philanthropy Left Their Mark on Maine

Barbara Bush’s Life and Philanthropy Left Their Mark on Maine Barbara Bush made an indelible mark on the state of Maine, through her generous philanthropy – and the force of her personality. Her death yesterday at 92 is a deeply-felt loss for Kennebunkport, the family's summer home.

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In Contrast

The Artist of Hair

Ilan Stavans in conversation with Sonya Clark


Mark Singleton on Presto!

Morning Classical Music host, John Nowacki, talks with the Artistic Director of Voce.

Spring Music Series


Ilan Stavans on Tertulia

Stavans speaks with Raquel Obregon about his new book of poetry

Jazz Beat

Anat Banner - Jazz Beat
Courtesy of

Jazz Beat 41 - Anat Cohen

This edition of Jazz Beat features an interview that Tom Reney conducted with Anat Cohen in 2008 when she was the Billy Taylor Artist in Residence at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

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Media Lab Podcast

Experience the 10th Episode

Students from the Springfield cohort and The Care Center in Holyoke tell their stories.

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Sarah Elizabeth Charles.
Matthew Pandolfe / Courtesy Sarah Elizabeth Charles

Sarah Elizabeth Charles Explores Where Jazz Is Headed Next In 'Free Of Form'

Jazz vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, a native of western Massachusetts, has been making a name for herself nationally.

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