Stories

Holyoke’s Fiestas Patronales pays homage to festival celebrated in Puerto Rico

August 9, 2022

Local business owners in Holyoke, Massachusetts, are paying homage to a Puerto Rican festival of the saints this weekend by having their own celebration in the city’s downtown. Commonly known as Fiestas Patronales, the annual celebration is a prominent festival in Puerto Rico where each municipality on the island celebrates one saint. This is the…

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Forester Kyle Lombard looks out the window of the small airplane, searching for damage in the New Hampshire forest below.

Meet the foresters keeping an eye on New Hampshire’s trees from the sky

August 9, 2022

Most of the year, New Hampshire’s Forest Health team is on the ground, in the woods, doing what they can to protect the state’s trees. But for a few days every summer, they get to soar above it all. Foresters Bill Davidson and Kyle Lombard make up the two-person operation affectionately known as the Bug…

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‘Bus Ambassadors’ help new immigrants navigate southern Maine transit systems

August 8, 2022

On a recent morning in downtown Portland, a woman named Vitoria was waiting at a bus stop on Congress Street. Vitoria is an asylum-seeker from Angola, who arrived in Maine just a few weeks ago with her husband and two young children. On this day, she was trying to find her way to one of…

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To solve the mystery of long COVID, researchers look to an older disease

August 8, 2022

Netia McCray likes to start her day with a cup of coffee. But sometimes, making that cup can be too much. McCray became sick with COVID more than two years ago and never fully recovered. Since then, simple tasks deplete her energy. She still has trouble breathing, moving and thinking clearly. It takes her hours…

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‘Old Ladies’ dive into Cape ponds seeking trash, emerge triumphant

August 8, 2022

People normally aren’t excited to find garbage on the bottom of a pond, but for an unusual group of underwater trash collectors on Cape Cod, there’s a certain exhilaration when the biggest discovery of the day suddenly appears 8 feet below the surface. “We found the tire!” exclaims Diane Hammer, who sits in a kayak…

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Threatened toads defy odds, appear to make a comeback on the Cape

August 1, 2022

In the 1980s, a rare and elusive amphibian called the spadefoot toad vanished from its habitat in Falmouth, Mass., on Cape Cod. For the last decade, conservationists have tried to bring it back. Now they believe they’ve reached a breakthrough in that quest. The story begins each year in springtime, when Mass Audubon researchers don…

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Festival Latino en Nashua reúne a orgullosos emprendedores

August 1, 2022

Janeth Valdez usa un complicado delineador dorado. Ella dice que siempre ha sido muy femenina, por lo que decidió iniciar su propio negocio de maquillaje. A cada paleta le ha dado un nombre que representa su personalidad. Está “soñadora”, “fisgona” y “ asesina”. Valdez vendía maquillaje para una gran empresa multinacional pero estaba cansada de…

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Nashua, N.H.’s Latin Festival brings together proud local entrepreneurs

August 1, 2022

Janeth Valdez wears a complicated gold eyeliner from her own makeup line. She says she has always been very feminine, so she decided to start her own makeup business. She has given each palette a name in Spanish that represents her personality. There is “the dreamer,” “the snooper,” and “la asesina,” which she translates as “the badass.”…

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A carbon dioxide shortage is impacting Massachusetts craft beer production

July 30, 2022

Oxygen is beer’s enemy. Carbon dioxide is its protector. Brewers rely on CO2 to keep oxidation from ruining batches of beer. But a growing shortage of this critical gas is beginning to impact production at some Massachusetts craft breweries. Many U.S. breweries have struggled to find CO2 because of pandemic-related supply chain issues, but Mass. Brewers Guild executive director…

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‘The weight of the responsibility’: Teaching genocide and the Holocaust in one Connecticut classroom

July 28, 2022

At first, Joe Goldman hesitated. When he was asked to teach the genocide elective at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, Conn., he was, for a moment, in awe of the assignment. There seemed to be little room for error. “I immediately felt some of the weight of the responsibility,” Goldman said. “It feels like…

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