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a musician's insights into how towns thrive


NEXT is a weekly radio show and podcast hosted by John Dankosky, based at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and powered by the New England News Collaborative.

Our laboratory is all of New England — one of America's oldest places — at a time of change.

Through original reporting and interviews, we ask important questions about the issues we explore: where are we now? How did we get here? And what's next?


‘I Was Afraid Of Him And Of Immigration’: Domestic Violence Survivors Take Chance Applying For Special Visa

October 11, 2017

Immigrants living in the country illegally have reason to be on edge. An increase in immigration enforcement under President Trump has led to more arrests of immigrants with no criminal record. And reports of federal immigration agents showing up at schools and courts are heightening fear among people in the country without authorization.

Broad Jurisdiction Of U.S. Border Patrol Raises Concerns About Racial Profiling

October 11, 2017

Some civil rights advocates have raised concerns that U.S. Border Patrol may be infringing on people’s civil rights as it carries out stops in its vast jurisdiction.


One Woman’s Quest To Help With Food And Family In Puerto Rico

October 5, 2017

Veronica Montalvo was born in Willimantic and has lived in Hartford, Middletown, Waterbury — and, now, San Juan. She moved there earlier this year. And she weathered Hurricane Maria in her 300-year-old apartment building. She says the hours of howling winds were unbearable. The walls of her apartment were so wet they looked like they were crying. Part of her ceiling caved in.


To Keep Native Medicinal Knowledge Alive, Leaders Organize Plant Walks

September 28, 2017

To prevent their collective cultural knowledge about medicinal plants from disappearing, some Vermont tribal nations are sharing their expertise with those outside the native communities.


Land Conservationists Worry Power Plant Will Fragment Forest, Harm Species

September 28, 2017

As my tour guide, Bill Eccleston, and I walked through the dirt, twigs and puddles of the George Washington Wildlife Management Area in Burrillville, we heard a bird call above us.


Holyoke Schools Prepare For Influx Of Puerto Rican Families After Hurricane Maria

September 26, 2017

Students, families and many school staff in Holyoke, Massachusetts, are still desperate for news from relatives in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit last week.


Closing Homeless Shelters For The Right Reasons

September 21, 2017

This summer, the people at New Haven, Connecticut’s Careways Shelter for Women and Children, made a stunning announcement. After 27 years, the 10-bed emergency shelter’s doors would close – once the shelter residents had been placed in either temporary shelters or permanent homes.


Flood Risk For Vermonters Is More Than What’s On FEMA’s Flood Maps

September 19, 2017

Karin Hardy says she never thought much about flood insurance before Tropical Storm Irene, but she learned a pretty tough lesson the Monday after the storm in 2011.


Study: New England Loses 65 Acres Of Forest Per Day To Development

September 19, 2017

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That’s the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.


Coastal Communities Challenge Updated FEMA New England Flood Maps

September 13, 2017

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, observers are predicting that premiums for a cash-strapped federal flood insurance program are likely to rise. Along the Atlantic coast, meanwhile, communities from Rhode Island to Maine are already mounting a related challenge to the program: the accuracy of federal flood maps maps that designate who must pay those premiums in the first place.