Mass. startup transforms old electric car batteries into better-than-new ones

A portrait of Professor of Mechanical Engineering Yan Wang at his laboratory at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The switch to electric vehicles is accelerating worldwide. There are about 10 million battery-powered vehicles on the road today, and by the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency predicts there could be 230 million. But there’s a problem down the road. All those EVs are powered by batteries, and when they come to end of…

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Harriet Powers’ quilts leave a complicated legacy for her descendent

Alyse Minter, a descendent of Harriet Powers, the mother of the African American story quilt tradition. Two of Powers' quilts are on display in the MFA's exhibit "Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories."

Two large quilts inside a glass case dominated a dimly-lit room at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It was the last weekend of the exhibit “Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories,” and the gallery bustled with visitors. Alyse Minter stood in front of the case, taking in the kaleidoscope of faded pinks and blues…

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Congolese community leader draws African immigrants to Maine judo program

Sensei Papy Bongibo, center, and sensei Francis Bola, in blue, observe as students practice judo drills. Many students said Bongibo's standing in the community encouraged them to join the class.

Papy Bangibo is the president of the Congolese Community of Maine. But when he steps onto the mat at Fournier’s Leadership Karate Center in Westbrook, he goes by a different title — sensei. Bongibo is a third-degree black belt in judo, the Japanese martial art with a name that means “the gentle way.” Rather than…

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Reducing trash may reduce the need for incinerators in Mass.

A bulldozer levels ash on a landfill mound beside Covanta's Haverhill waste facility that incinerates trash and generates electricity.

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series about trash incineration in Massachusetts. Part 1 looks at the perspectives of the communities housing incinerators. The roads heading to the incinerator in Haverhill, Mass., can at times look like a parade in honor of trash. Dump trucks rumble in carrying garbage bags from 24 cities and…

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N.H. lawmakers consider bill that would stop new landfills, for now

Berkeley Parenteau stands in front of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services during a rally against the development of a landfill near Forest Lake State Park.

New Hampshire legislators are considering a bill that would prohibit the Department of Environmental Services from issuing new permits for landfills until they revise the state’s solid waste plan. Controversial landfill expansions, lack of leadership The state’s solid waste plan is supposed to be updated every six years, but the most recent plan is from 2003. Rep. Linda…

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Trash is a burning question with mixed answers in some Mass. towns

A front end loader pushes garbage into the bunker, so a grab crane can lift it from there into the furnace chute.

Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories about the state of trash incinerators in Massachusetts.  The first thing you notice in the warehouse at the Haverhill incinerator is the giant mechanical claw. It moves across the ceiling and drops into the second thing you notice: a pit of trash, 30 feet deep. The…

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As health care breaks down in Massachusetts, patients die waiting for care

A photo of Tony Tsantinis hangs in a collage of other photos set up for a celebration of his life on the final day Athens Pizza in Brimfield was opened for business.

Fans of Athens Pizza in Brimfield, Mass., learned the restaurant’s beloved owner was sick via Facebook. “The pizza will be closed for the rest of the week,” reads the post from Nov. 30, 2021. “Unfortunately we have been exposed to Covid.” Get well wishes poured in, but Athens Pizza will not reopen. Tony Tsantinis, 68,…

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After fatal shooting by Springfield police, calls for outside probe, more mental health training

After a 23-year-old was killed Sunday by a police officer in Springfield, Massachusetts, family members and activists are demanding better training for how officers deal with people with mental health crises. Earlene Victoria Taylor said her grandson, Orlando Taylor, had been struggling with paranoia and other mental health problems for years. She said he’d been…

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