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NEXT Episodes

View and download the latest episodes from NEXT.

Episode 55: On the Grid

August 17, 2017

A new draft federal climate report forecasts warmer temperatures, higher seas, and more precipitation for the Northeast than predicted just three years ago. We speak with a UNH climatologist. And one town is host to a surprising amount of resources New Englanders, and that’s taking a toll on local residents. We find out how Massachusetts’ big renewable energy procurement is shaping up, and learn about local efforts to save seeds from disappearance. Plus, visits to a West Indian food fest in Hartford, and an influential artist colony in Peterborough, NH. Jill Kaufman fills in for John Dankosky this week.

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Episode 54: Overflow (Updated)

August 9, 2017

From Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River, overtaxed sewage systems are being pushed to filter out more pollutants. This week, we look into what it takes to clean up our water systems. Following the announcement that Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics, we revisit Boston’s aborted Olympic bid in search of lessons about…

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Episode 53: Whistleblowers

August 3, 2017

Untreated spinal conditions, rusty medical equipment, and a fly infestation are a few of the complaints alleged by a group of doctors at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. We speak with a reporter who’s following the story. And a Massachusetts man, in prison for murder, fights to get a new trial after over 30 years in prison. Plus, we bring you the brief and fascinating history of a little-known anti-immigration party that swept the Massachusetts government in 1854, and more.

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Episode 52: Yes, In Your Backyard

July 27, 2017

Lyme disease has been on the rise in New England, and early data suggests this is a particularly risky summer. We speak with a doctor who’s been trying to track the history, and discuss why preventing transmission can be so tricky. And we consider an immigration ruling by the high court in Massachusetts and how it may come into conflict with Trump administration directives. Plus, a 400-mile kayak trip, and other recreational opportunities.

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Episode 51: Not In My Backyard

July 20, 2017

New England has been waiting for years for real, high speed rail to get travelers more quickly from New York to Boston, but the path of that new line caused big headaches in some small towns. Federal railroad officials have now backed off part of a new high speed rail plan — listen for our update. And it may be easier to keep a railroad from intruding on your property than a more dogged adversary: beavers. Plus, we visit an ultra-low energy use apartment building that’s so well insulated you can turn off your heat in February — in Maine.

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Episode 50: Like a Rolling Stone

July 13, 2017

The New Hampshire state parole board often addresses inmates using “indelicate language.” Is it defensible? Plus, an investigation into the long-term fallout from Rhode Island’s disastrous deal with former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. And, we look back at the history of the Newport Folk Festival, and Vermont’s short-lived gold rush.

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Episode 49: One Man’s Trash

July 5, 2017

This week,  some stories and interviews from our archives. We find out what a Reveal/APM Reports investigation tells us about police de-escalation training in New England, and visit police in New Hampshire who are reaching out to children who’ve been traumatized by witnessing crime. We also explore the work of Marsden Hartley, whose art defined the rocky coast, the looming hills, and the working men of Maine.  Plus a trip to New England’s biggest flea market, where the people are as fascinating as the stuff on display.

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Episode 48: The Catch

June 29, 2017

Alex Ciccolo, the 24-year old who was arrested two years ago in Adams Massachusetts on charges of attempting domestic terrorism is back in the news. His mother spoke with our reporter Jill Kaufman. Later in the show, we’ll take a look inside the multi-million dollar world of eel trafficking in Maine, and learn about an effort on Martha’s Vineyard to help small fishermen get a foothold. Plus we’ll discover the surprising origins of a body pulled in by a fishing boat off the coast of Cape Cod, and explore our region’s ambiguous relationship with inclusivity, through the arts.

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Episode 47: Safe Space

June 22, 2017

This week: New Hampshire’s largest addiction recovery organization faces allegations of dysfunction and verbal abuse, and Boston considers whether to allow a facility where drug users can inject under medical supervision. Plus,we take a big-picture look at casino gambling in New England, and meet a Connecticut biologist who’s trying to breed a hardier honeybee.

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Episode 46: Afterburn

June 15, 2017

With the closure of  Massachusetts’ last coal fired power plant last month, some South Coast towns are pinning their hopes on offshore wind. Plus, we’ve heard the stories about immigrant farm workers facing deportation – but what is their daily life like? And why do they make the risky journey to Vermont? And, decades after the AIDS crisis hit, residents of Provincetown remember the impact on their community.

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Episode 45: Dystopia

June 8, 2017

This week, we have stories about immigrants face misunderstandings and confusion in their interactions with the criminal justice system. Plus, the popular Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale prompts us to look back at the New England Puritan culture that provided the underpinnings for Margaret Atwood’s women’s dystopia. And we take in nature’s bounty at one of New England’s less appreciated destinations – Long Island Sound.

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Episode 44: Uncovered (Updated)

June 1, 2017

This week, a few updates on stories from our archives. The Boston Globe Spotlight team shines light on sexual abuse at elite New England boarding schools, and it prompts more investigations and more allegations. Plus, we follow scientists who are recreating ancient forests, and tracking the effects of climate change on moose. And we hear about a program at a rapidly-diversifying New Hampshire high school that aims to build understanding between American-born students and newcomers.

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Episode 43: Ebb and Flow

May 25, 2017

Southern New England states are hungry for renewable energy. There’s energy up north, but there are hurdles to bringing down to southern states. This week, we look at the stalling of wind energy in Maine, and the controversy over a project that would bring hydro-electric power from Quebec to the New England grid. Plus, we have updates to government plans to clean up the Long Island Sound, install high speed rail, and conserve land – or not- in our region. And we learn what makes “New England’s Magazine” tick. Buckle up.

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Episode 42: Overflow

May 18, 2017

From Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River, overtaxed sewage systems are being pushed to filter out more pollutants. This week, we look into what it takes to clean up our water systems. We also revisit Boston’s aborted Olympic bid in search of lessons about urban planning and civic engagement. And we follow the journey of an aluminum can, and meet a DIY Youtube star from the woods of Maine.

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Episode 41: Public Comment

May 11, 2017

This week, we find out what a Reveal/APM Reports investigation tells us about police de-escalation training in New England, and visit police in New Hampshire who are reaching out to children who’ve been traumatized by witnessing crime. We go inside the public input process in two big regional transportation projects – and find out what role citizens can play in shaping highways and railways. We take an electron’s tour of New England’s power grid, and wonder whether we might be ready for Daylight Saving Time, full-time.

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Episode 40: Not Just Four Walls

May 4, 2017

This week, the death of a veteran raises questions about a VA facility in Vermont; and what the story of a mentally ill homeless man in Connecticut tells us about systemic neglect. Plus we’ll talk about town-gown relations in cities large and small, and we hear the stories and music of refugees.

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Episode 39: First in the Nation

April 27, 2017

This week, a political reporter’s history of the New Hampshire primary. Plus, we follow scientists who are recreating ancient forests, tracking the effects of climate change on moose, and fighting to keep funding for weird-sounding research. And we hear the story of a soccer team that’s leveling the playing field for kids of all backgrounds.

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Episode 38: Uncovered

April 20, 2017

This week the Boston Globe Spotlight team shines light on sexual abuse at elite New England boarding schools, and it prompts more investigations and more allegations. Connecticut’s unpopular Democratic governor says he’s not running for re-election. We’ll find out why and ask “why are so many blue New England states now being run by Republicans?” And we’ll hear about “duckling diplomacy” in Boston, and Moscow.

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Episode 37: Landscape

April 13, 2017

This week, we tackle the confusing and contradictory world of health care, from politics that are personal, to overcoming the trauma of being a refugee, to the shifting language of addiction. We also explore the work of Marsden Hartley, whose art defined the rocky coast, the looming hills, and the working men of Maine.

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Episode 36: A Roll of the Dice

April 5, 2017

This week: immigration enforcement has been directed to begin detaining and deporting all unauthorized immigrants. We’ve talked about sanctuary cities, but what about jurisdictions where law enforcement does report to ICE? We look at the very different approaches taken by Vermont and New Hampshire. Later, we visit the front lines of a border war between competing casino developments. Plus, we meet New England’s other NEXT.

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Episode 35: Outfished

March 30, 2017

“He has no compunction about telling you how he’s screwing you,” is how one fisherman described the way the man known locally as “the Codfather.” This week, how one man gamed the system meant to keep fishing fair and sustainable off our shores. Plus, we talk gentrification in two very different Boston squares. And with the first hints of spring, we bring back the story of a grandma who conquered the Appalachian trail.

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Episode 34: Color Lines

March 23, 2017

This week, we have updates from the front lines of the battle over immigration policy. An African immigrant tries to cross into Quebec, nearly freezing to death in the process, and a Syrian family just barely skirts a travel ban to come to Connecticut. We’ll also try and answer two tricky questions: Why is Vermont so very white, And whatever happened to Boston’s Black renaissance? Plus, the climate’s getting warmer- can I start my seedlings yet?

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Episode 33: Goodbye Winter

March 16, 2017

With plenty of fresh powder on the ground, we’ll look at how climate change is changing our region’s ski industry; and learn why the sport now comes with such a high price tag. We’ll also hear about how Providence, Rhode Island is grappling with being a “Sanctuary City.” And, we get inside the unique, intensely democratic process that is a New England town meeting.

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Episode 32: A Tall Order

March 9, 2017

Today, we parse what’s clear, what’s changed and what hasn’t changed, about US immigration policy and the powers of ICE, the federal immigration police. We hear what the vetting process was like for one refugee in Maine, and follow NPR’s Code Switch podcast as they trace Puerto Rican identity in a Massachusetts town. Plus, a look into the often-overlooked history of slavery and emancipation in New England.

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Episode 31: Rising Tides

March 2, 2017

This week, stories of very different places in battle with the sea. We’ll consider a massive – and expensive – seawall plan that could save Boston, and coastal adaptation in New Hampshire. We speak with the author of a new book about Martha’s Vineyard, the island tourist hub that’s been slowly eroding for 20,000 years. And, from the failed attempt to brand Rhode Island with the slogan “Cooler and Warmer,” to the enduring “Live Free or Die,” to the new “West Mass,” we look inside the marketing of New England.

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Episode 30: Crossing Borders

February 23, 2017

This week: more stores from our series Facing Change, about shifting demographics in New England, and the impact of immigration. A reporter crosses the border to find those leaving the US to seek asylum in Quebec, and we go to prep school to meet a pair of teenage refugees. We’ll meet people trying to build political power in the region’s growing Muslim community, and visit a Spanish-language bookstore that’s open for just five more weeks.

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Episode 29: Taking a Leap

February 16, 2017

This week, we look at how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – the Northeast’s plan to cut carbon emissions – has been working, and what the shifting political environment might mean. We dig into a new study about plans to expand natural gas capacity in New England. On a farm in Vermont, we find out what’s really worrying the young people working the land. We’ll also track otters, fly through the air, and dash through the snow pulled by a horse – minus the sleigh.

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Episode 28: Sanctuary

February 9, 2017

This week, we have updates from New England News Collaborative reporters on the impact of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries. Another executive order is aimed at punishing so-called “sanctuary cities” — municipalities that refuse to detain undocumented immigrants. Our guest says that’s just the first of many battles we’ll see between cities and the Trump administration. And we hear about a program at a rapidly-diversifying New Hampshire high school that aims to build understanding between American-born students and newcomers.

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Episode 27: A Leg Up

February 2, 2017

While Boston has more than rebounded from the great recession, many of New England’s smaller cities are still feeling the pain of de-industrialization. In Massachusetts, some of these former mill towns are plotting a comeback. We take a look at what two so-called Gateway Cities are doing to provide economic opportunity. We’ll also learn about the down and dirty politics of Providence, Rhode Island in the 1970s and ’80s, when city leaders cozied up to the mob, with the makers of the podcast Crimetown. And with the “Greatest Show on Earth” coming to a close, we pay a visit to a museum dedicated to P.T. Barnum in the showman’s hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Episode 26: The Price of Admission

January 26, 2017

This week, immigrants and the mayor of Boston react to President Trump’s executive actions on immigration. Plus, people in mental health crises are getting stuck in emergency rooms, sometimes for days. We consider two very different Boston-area squares that are experiencing gentrification. And finally, the New England accent that time forgot.

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Episode 25: Yankee Go Home

January 19, 2017

When nonviolent arrestees can’t afford even a low bail, should the bail system be done away with? Emily Corwin reports from New Hampshire. Plus, asbestos in Boston’s renovation boom. We check back in with author Colin Woodard to learn why some in the region he calls “Yankeedom” flipped from blue to red in the presidential election. Plus, one woman remembers the 2007 ICE raid in New Bedford, MA.

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Episode 24: On Ice

January 12, 2017

Federal policy changes were supposed to end random deportations of people who aren’t criminals, but in parts of New England, it’s still happening. We continue our series “Facing Change” and talk to Vermont farm workers. We also hear how Boston police are enforcing that city’s pro-immigrant “Trust” act. We also explore the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s formative time in the tobacco fields of Connecticut, and the story of how New England’s biggest mountain — home to some of the worst weather in the world — became a tourist haven.

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Episode 23: Back from the Edge

January 5, 2017

Across New England, there’s been an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdose, and death. This hour, we dig deep into the causes of this crisis with health reporter Martha Bebinger. We travel to Cape Cod to hear firsthand the stories of those affected. We also look for solutions, including for those most at risk of overdose: inmates getting out of prison. And we examine the role of New England’s traditional dairy industry in creating the landscape we love, as we remember forgotten farms.

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Episode 22: A Roof Over Your Head

December 29, 2016

In January of last year, a disabled homeless man was struck and killed by a car in Concord, New Hampshire. Gene Parker’s death led to a lot of questions about homelessness in that state. This week we hear from two reporters who went looking for answers. Plus, what we’ve learned about acid rain, climate change and more from 50 years in the life of an experimental forest, and what biologists are doing to help big animals move safely under highways. And last, an inside look at policing and race discrimination.

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Episode 21: Facing Change

December 22, 2016

Perhaps nowhere else in the country is the impact of recent immigration trends so pronounced as in New England, where the predominantly white population is quickly aging, and where the influx of young immigrants is changing the identity of the region. This week, we hear from employers who bank on immigrant labor, community members getting ready for an influx of Syrian refugees, and foreign-born workers training to care for the elderly.

Also, the Connecticut origin story of the Gun that Won the West, and a how the murder of a priest taught us all a lesson about protecting the innocent.

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Episode 20: Concealed

December 15, 2016

This week we meet a couple who found themselves drinking water contaminated by radioactive lab waste, and a man who has to wear a hazmat suit to enter his house. We’ll also learn about the down and dirty politics of Providence, Rhode Island in the 1970s and 80s, when city leaders cozied up to the mob. Finally, immigrants to New England give us a sense of what we should be grateful for.

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Episode 19: Peek Into the Mountain

December 8, 2016

This week, a rare look a gigantic battery that’s helping to balance our region’s energy grid. Plus, perspective from Maine’s top energy official, who is stepping down. We’ll also take trips to tiny island where opioid addicts go to seek treatment, and to the city that inspires the country’s most famous horror writer. And we’ll learn what charitable donations – or lack thereof – say about New Englanders.

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Episode 18: The Side of the Road

December 1, 2016

We dig into data showing racial disparities in traffic stops and get a play-by-play of one, talk to historian Colin Woodard about what means to be a Yankee, and get rid of invasive plants and animals… by eating them, with chef Bun Lai of Miya’s in New Haven.

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Episode 17: Out at Sea

November 23, 2016

A new report in Massachusetts found cases of serious abuse and neglect at a private special education school, illuminating a larger problem. Also this hour, we head to Block Island, Rhode Island, where the nation’s first offshore wind farm is about to get spinning. And on Soundcloud, From Brady to Big Papi to Bentley, Only A Game’s Bill Littlefield gives us his take on New England Sports culture.

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Episode 16: Life’s Rich Demand

November 17, 2016

We have more choices for our Thanksgiving meal than the Pilgrims could have dreamed of. But did we make the right choice when we decided to breed traits like herbicide resistance into some of our most common crops? And should we have the right to know when we’re buying foods made with genetic engineering? We’ll hear from both sides of the GMO debate.

Later on, we visit an innovative policing program that changes the relationship between police and people with opioid addiction. Plus, a reporter interviews one (in)famous pilgrim, and a tribe welcomes visitors to a new cultural district on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Episode 15: Election

November 10, 2016

Reliably “blue” New England turned several shades of red on November 8. President-elect Donald Trump picked up an electoral college vote in northern Maine, and lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton by fewer than 2,000 votes. Republicans won the governors’ races in New Hampshire and Vermont. Republicans also took some hard defeats. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte lost her seat to Democrat Maggie Hassan. Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts worked hard on two ballot initiatives, neither of which went his way.

Meanwhile, we saw long lines at polling places and very high turnout. We turn to turn to a few of our reporters who covered the issues, and talked to voters.

Later in the show, a dying tree gets a second life in Vermont, and the Delta Blues thrives in Portland, Maine.

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Episode 14: The Trail

November 3, 2016

With days to go before the election, we put New England’s changing political DNA under the microscope with pollster and University of New Hampshire political scientist Andrew Smith. We also have an update on the roadside outhouse turned voting booth from Episode 11. Plus, renewable energy is best for the planet, but reality here is a little…gassier. And we take a detour from the campaign trail and head for the hills, and mountains.

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Episode 13: Refuge

October 27, 2016

This week we meet some of the refugees coming to New England from Syria and Iraq. John talks Patriots, Red Sox and more with Bill Littlefield, host of WBUR’s Only a Game. And in honor of Halloween we learn about a New England tradition you’re probably less familiar with: exhuming vampires.

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Episode 12: Built In

October 20, 2016

This week: What we know, and what we don’t about PCBs in New England’s schools. Plus, what we’ve learned about acid rain, climate change and more from 50 years of research in a New Hampshire forest, and what biologists are doing to help animals like bear and moose to move safely around human infrastructure. And finally, a peak into the surprisingly bad-ass world of bird-watching.

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Episode 11: Up in Smoke

October 13, 2016

This week, disagreements over land and money pit neighbor against neighbor. In Vermont, the question is whether to build more wind turbines to help meet the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals. In Rhode Island, the fight is over which kinds of farmers get government help buying land. And with referendums that would legalize marijuana for recreational use on the ballot in Massachusetts and Maine, what’s the potential for a new black market in neighboring states? Plus, we get inside the head of the kind of embezzler who makes big news in a small state, and we visit an outhouse re-purposed as a ballot box.

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Episode 10: Back From the Edge

October 6, 2016

Across New England, there’s been an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdose, and death. This hour, we dig deep into the causes of this crisis with health reporter Martha Bebinger. We travel to Cape Cod to hear firsthand the stories of those affected. We also look for solutions, including for those most at risk of overdose: inmates getting out of prison. They say the old way doesn’t work. And we examine the role of New England’s traditional dairy industry in creating the landscape we love, as we remember forgotten farms.

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Episode 9: Looks Like Home

September 29, 2016

This week, we bring you more stories about policing and race in four New England states. The top court is Massachusetts has ruled that fleeing from police might be legal as well as in the best interests of black men in Boston. Bridgeport, Connecticut looks to remake its police force more in the image of its population. And in Nashua, New Hampshire, a black officer deals with her own feelings about police shootings; and a young Latino man, who used to be in a Providence gang, befriends a white city police officer.

We also travel to The Big E, a massive agricultural fair that draws people from all over the region to argue over what kind of lobster roll is the best. Plus, our favorite science reporter refreshes us on the science behind fall foliage.

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Episode 8: A Leg Up

September 22, 2016

While Boston has more than rebounded from the great recession, many of New England’s smaller cities are still feeling the pain of de-industrialization. But in Massachusetts, some of these former mill towns are plotting a comeback. We take a look at what two so-called Gateway Cities are doing to provide economic opportunity — and we consider how the high cost of rental housing in growing towns can keep some low-income New Englanders from getting a leg up.

In the second part of this episode, we continue our series about the biggest issues facing each of the New England states this election season. And finally, we remember an iconic New England restaurant chain as it fades from the region.

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Episode 7: That Ribbon of Highway

September 15, 2016

In the 1950s, the automobile was king. A new federal highway system and dreams of “urban renewal” took hold. But many of those highways are now broken and in need of repair. This hour, we look into what’s behind the rebuild of one important New England interstate, and we remember the communities we lost during the urban renewal era, including one city’s Little Italy.

Later this hour, we discuss the important issues heading into this election for three New England states. And at New England’s biggest flea market, NEXT producer Andrea Muraskin finds that the people are as fascinating as the stuff on display.

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Episode 6: Surf and Turf

September 8, 2016

Lovely early fall weather means we’re spending our whole hour-long episode outside. All these sunny days, though, mean a shortage of water for crops, gardens, livestock, and lawns. Climate scientists warn that droughts interspersed with periods of heavy storms are becoming the new normal in New England. We look into how farmers and the rest of us are adapting.

We also consider what “national monument status” means. President Barack Obama just granted the status to nearly 90,000 acres of the north woods of Maine, and is considering doing the same for miles of ocean canyons and mountains off the coast of Cape Cod. And: it’s back to school time, but that means something different for the children of seasonal workers, bringing in the late summer crops.

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Episode 5: Power Struggle

September 1, 2016

This hour, we look at racial disparities in the criminal justice system in one of the country’s whitest states. Plus, innovations in renewable energy technology are advancing in New England, but can ye olde grid adapt? And do you know what it takes to maintain a mountain trail? A whole lot of muscle, and some mohawks thrown in for good measure.

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Episode 4: Out at Sea

August 25, 2016

A new report in Massachusetts found cases of serious abuse and neglect at a private special education school, illuminating a larger problem. Also this hour, we head to Block Island, Rhode Island, where the nation’s first offshore wind farm is about to get spinning. Plus, we learn about a time when Martha’s Vineyard went rogue.

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Episode 3: On Foot

August 18, 2016

Heavily-trafficked Route 1 can be a headache for Connecticut drivers commuting to New York City, or turning into one of its many shopping plazas. But for pedestrians, it’s downright dangerous. WSHU reporter Cassandra Basler spoke with some who travel the highway by foot, sidewalk or no. We explore what it takes to transform a road system built for the car.

This hour, we also finish our story about the Housatonic River: the battle between the company that polluted the river, and the people who live there, over how to clean it up. And finally, we hear about the New England accent that time forgot.

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Episode 2: A Roof Over Your Head

August 11, 2016

This hour, we talk with NHPR reporters Jack Rodolico and Natasha Haverty about what life is like for people like Gene Parker — who had trouble finding shelter after getting out of prison — and others living on the “edge” of homelessness in New Hampshire.

We also hear WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti as she explores the history of a Western Massachusetts company town still recovering after decades of PCB pollution in its river, just as that company makes plans to move to Boston. And with a growing bald eagle population and fewer available fish, Maine Public Radio’s Fred Bever tells us how America’s mascot is threatening sea bird populations in Maine. Meanwhile, VPR reporter Kathleen Masterson learns how to train a hawk to hunt for her supper.

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Episode 1: The Side of the Road

August 3, 2016

It’s the first episode of our new, weekly show about New England. We dig into data showing racial disparities in traffic stops with WNPR reporter Jeff Cohen, talk to historian Colin Woodard about what means to be a Yankee, and get rid of invasive plants and animals… by eating them.

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Coming Soon: NEXT

August 2, 2016

Coming soon, NEXT is a weekly radio show and podcast hosted by John Dankosky, based at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut. Our laboratory is all of New England — America’s oldest place — at a time of change.

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NEXT is a weekly radio show and podcast hosted by John Dankosky, based at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut.

Find out more about NEXT »