NEXT Episodes

View and download the latest episodes from NEXT.

Episode 221: What’s Motivating Early Voters In New England; Toxic Dangers Lurking In Local Water

October 22, 2020

In-person voting has started in some New England states. This week on NEXT, we talk about what’s driving people to vote early this general election. Plus, as temperatures warm due to climate change, toxic cyanobacteria are increasingly polluting our water. And we talk to author Jennifer De Leon about “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From,” her new young adult novel set in Boston.

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Episode 220: The Maine Race That Could Help Flip The Senate; Coping With New England’s Severe Drought

October 15, 2020

After years of strong support from Maine constituents, Republican Sen. Susan Collins is in one of her greatest political fights. This week on NEXT, how a few highly contested races in New England could impact party control at the national level. Plus, we’ll talk about how New Englanders are coping with a severe drought.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: Lessons Lost: The Struggle To Talk About Race In Some New England Classrooms

October 8, 2020

What we don’t learn in school can matter as much as the lessons we do learn. This week on NEXT, we talk to teachers and students about the harm of omitting stories and cultures from curricula — and how we can do better. It’s the final show in a special series on “Racism in New England,” produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified. 

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NENC/America Amplified Special: Addressing The Toll Of Racism On New Englanders’ Mental Health

October 1, 2020

Racism is trauma. But for many of us, racism’s impact on mental health can be hard to talk about. This week on NEXT, we hear about the stressors of racism in New England and ways to get relief. It’s the third show in a special series on racism in New England — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: How Segregation Persists In ‘Progressive’ New England

September 24, 2020

Despite progress in civil rights, segregated communities still exist throughout New England. This week on NEXT, we look at how housing laws and discrimination influence where we live. It’s the second show in a special series on racism in New England — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

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NENC/America Amplified Special: New England’s Abolitionist History at Odds With Racist Realities

September 17, 2020

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem. But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and white supremacy. It’s a legacy that lives with us today. This week on “Episode 216” of NEXT, we premiere a special series on racism in New England — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

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Episode 215: First-Gen Ivy Leaguer Straddles Two Worlds; Actor Luis Guzmán On Living In Vermont

September 10, 2020

The pandemic has been a balancing act for first-gen college students like Mikayla, who attends Brown University while worrying about her family back home. This week on NEXT, Mikayla’s audio diaries on navigating 2020 as an Ivy Leaguer and the daughter of undocumented immigrants. Plus, when a student gets COVID — what’s it like in the “isolation dorms”? And actor Luis Guzman on making Vermont his home.

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Episode 214: Who Will Get The COVID Vaccine?; Canadian Court Ruling Says U.S. No Longer Safe For Refugees

September 3, 2020

A Canadian court has determined the U.S. is no longer safe for refugees. This week on NEXT, we go to the border of Vermont and Canada to learn what this could mean for asylum seekers heading north. Plus, when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, who will want one and who will get priority? New Hampshire residents who commuted to Massachusetts before the pandemic are not keen on the state’s persisting income taxes as they work from home.

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Episode 213: Bracing For The Return Of College Students; Why A Doctor Quit Showering Five Years Ago

August 27, 2020

College students are heading back to some New England campuses. This week on NEXT, how schools are dealing with the influx of students during a pandemic. Plus, a doctor who quit showering five years ago talks about the impact of “too much” hygiene on skin health. And a New Hampshire town considers how to honor a Black Revolutionary War hero who did not get his dues.

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Episode 212: Early Lessons As Rural Maine Returns To School; Challenging Hometown Culture Of Silence Around Racism

August 20, 2020

Most New England schools are still fine-tuning their reopening plans. This week on NEXT, we visit a school in northern Maine that has started the year early — and hear about the lessons learned so far. Plus, two sisters re-examine the racism they experienced growing up in a predominantly white Massachusetts town. And we hear from early survivors of COVID-19 about their long recovery process.

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Episode 211: Protests Spark Some Police Reforms in New England; The Case Against Call-Out Culture

August 13, 2020

Following the rise of protests against police brutality, we look at what has changed, from police reforms to employee walk-outs. Also on this week’s show, we talk to an activist who says today’s call-out culture is toxic — and who advocates “calling in.” Plus, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo find community in an Orthodox Armenian church in Rhode Island.

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Episode 210: Teachers Consider Quitting Job In Face Of Health Risks; A Doctor Vows To Speak Up Against Racism

August 6, 2020

This week on NEXT, we hear from teachers who are agonizing over going back to school and putting their families and themselves at risk — or quitting their jobs. Plus, a doctor who has experienced racism vows to stop being silent when she witnesses injustice. And we remember a Black transgender woman whose brutal murder in Boston helped spark a global movement.

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Episode 209: Divorcing After Fighting For Marriage Equality; Insulting Cops Lands NH Man In 1st Amendment Dispute

July 30, 2020

This week, in a special episode of NEXT, we listen to a collection of award-winning stories from the New England News Collaborative — from the divorced couple that was the face of marriage equality in Massachusetts, to a close look at a First Amendment dispute in New Hampshire.

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Episode 208: The Debate Over Controversial Statues; Heat Waves And How COVID-19 Complicates Efforts To Stay Cool

July 23, 2020

This week on NEXT, New Englanders debate the removal of controversial statues. Plus, schools in New England are trying to figure out how to safely teach students this fall. And we look at how the pandemic and climate change are complicating efforts in New Hampshire to stay cool during this hot summer.

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Episode 207: We Changed For COVID. What About The Climate Crisis?; How Companies Say They’ll Fight Racism

July 16, 2020

The pandemic forced many of us into new habits. Why can’t we do that with climate change? This week on NEXT, why seismic lifestyle shifts to help the environment could be possible right now. Plus, how the business community is addressing systemic racism. And the tension over thru-hikers who resisted calls to quit the Appalachian Trail during the pandemic.

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Episode 206: Tackling The Anticipated Rise In Evictions; Investing In ‘Green’ Pandemic Recovery

July 9, 2020

Eviction cases are expected to soar this summer. This week on NEXT, the debate over extending an eviction moratorium. Plus, a recent night of vandalism in Providence, Rhode Island, was blamed on “outside agitators” — the story is much more complicated. And 16 ideas for investing in a green pandemic recovery.

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Episode 205: Tips For Avoiding Coronavirus As States Reopen; The U.S.’s Worst COVID-19 Racial Disparity Is In Maine

July 2, 2020

This week on NEXT, how to stay safe during a pandemic as reopening continues in New England. Plus, Maine has the worst racial disparity for coronavirus infections in the country — we’ll talk about why. And a tattoo artist that covers up racist tattoos for free gets an uptick in requests.

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Episode 204: Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis; The Hidden History Of Black Vermonters

June 25, 2020

This week on NEXT, we talk about the different ways racism has become a public health crisis. Plus, the story of recent efforts to resurface the history of Vermont’s 19th century Black communities after some residents tried to cover it up. And unexpected lessons from scientific inventions that have transformed our lives.

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Episode 203: How Zoning Rules Can Perpetuate Segregation; #BlackintheIvory Rises As Scholars Talk Racism In Academia

June 18, 2020

Racial segregation is a modern-day problem. This week on NEXT, we hear from an expert on how zoning rules continue to perpetuate segregation in New England. And we interview the co-founder of #BlackintheIvory about racism in academia. Plus, how can we cut carbon emissions during and after a pandemic?

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Episode 202: The Impact Of Anti-Racism Protests On Pro Sports; What Historical ‘Female Husbands’ Teach Us About Gender And Sexuality

June 11, 2020

As protests continue over racism and police violence, some professional athletes in New England are not staying on the sidelines. This week on NEXT, how protests could impact changes in pro sports. And when courts put eviction hearings on hold amid the pandemic, some landlords in Rhode Island resorted to shutting off utilities to try to push out tenants. Plus, connecting the history of “female husbands” to our modern understanding of gender and sexuality.

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Episode 201: New England Protesters Condemn Systemic Racism; Maverick Town Leaders Hatch Plan To Sidestep Sea Level Rise

June 4, 2020

This week on NEXT, as protests continue over police brutality and the death of George Floyd, we hear from an educator on how to dismantle racism in public schools. And a Rhode Island community threatened by sea level rise is taking action to save their town. Plus, a project that gets hair clippers to transgender people brings needed comfort during the pandemic.

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Episode 200: Experts Answer Social Distancing Questions; Advocates Seek Aid For Immigrant Dairy Workers

May 28, 2020

Even as restrictions loosen in New England, uncertainties remain over how to avoid spreading COVID-19. This week on NEXT, medical experts answer listener questions about staying safe in this newest reality. And immigrant workers on Vermont’s dairy farms are considered essential, but they’re not getting coronavirus aid from the government. Plus, a birder coaxes Purple Martins back to Cape Cod.

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Episode 199: The Complications of Reopening; Students Sue Universities in New England Over Remote Classes

May 21, 2020

This week on NEXT: A slow reopening is now underway in every New England state. But the uncertainty over COVID-19 is prompting some businesses on Cape Cod to scale back or not reopen at all. Plus, colleges in New England are facing lawsuits from students who allege they didn’t get the education they paid for this spring. And we hear about a laughing club that is trying to bring levity to current circumstances.

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Episode 198: New Hampshire Beaches Closed To Deter Out-of-Staters; Can Summer Camps Open Their Doors?

May 14, 2020

As parts of New England reopen, states are working to protect themselves from visitors. This week on NEXT, New Hampshire is wary of beachgoers from Massachusetts. And despite hiccups distributing stimulus money to small businesses, some bankers are working overtime to secure funds. Plus, Maine summer camps wonder if they can open this year.

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Episode 197: Families Consider Removing Loved Ones From Nursing Home Hotspots; The C-19 Blues

May 7, 2020

This week on NEXT, New England states are still competing for COVID-19 testing supplies. But researchers at Yale University are studying new saliva tests that show promise. Plus, we hear from a country singer in Rhode Island about this catchy lyric: “Six feet apart or six feet under.”

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Episode 196: Science Teachers Adapt Hands-On Lessons For Remote Learning; Dealing With COVID-19 In Vermont Prisons

April 30, 2020

For a hands-on subject like science, remote learning is particularly tricky. This week on NEXT, how science teachers and students are adapting and experimenting from home. Plus we go inside Vermont prisons to see the response to COVID-19.

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Episode 195: Does New England Have Enough COVID-19 Tests?; The Fight To Save Yiddish

April 23, 2020

Public health experts say it will take widespread testing to reopen the economy. This week on NEXT, we look at where testing capacity lags in New England. And we hear from a Dartmouth scientist on how the Trump administration’s overhaul of mercury emissions rules could impact human and animal health.

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Episode 194: The Moral Dilemmas For Frontline Health Care Workers; Coronavirus Deepens Racial Health Disparities

April 16, 2020

Health care workers are facing moral dilemmas and complicated questions during the pandemic. This week on NEXT, we hear from hospital workers in New Hampshire who feel torn between serving their families and the public. And COVID-19 is not the great equalizer: we’ll talk about the inequities driving racial disparities in infection rates and deaths in Connecticut. Plus, how the sudden quiet outside is affecting birds.

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Episode 193: Losing Sense Of Smell From COVID-19; New England Fishing Industry Takes a Hit

April 9, 2020

This week on NEXT: Loss of smell has emerged as a possible symptom of COVID-19. We delve into cases in Rhode Island and how the state is screening patients. Plus, a look at how the iconic New England fishing industry is navigating the pandemic. And we take a ride with a Boston limo driver who says this isn’t the first pandemic to touch his life.

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Episode 192: Out-of-State Visitors Must Self-Quarantine; The ‘Choice’ In School Integration

April 2, 2020

New England states are asking visitors to self-isolate for 14 days to slow the spread of coronavirus. This week on NEXT, we look at Rhode Island’s approach to out-of-staters as COVID-19 cases rise. And we head to Maine, where a toilet paper company is trying to meet demand for rolls of “white gold.” Plus, the unintended consequences of school choice.

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Episode 191: Weathering Coronavirus Through FaceTime; Getting Drug Users Clean With Help, Not Handcuffs

March 26, 2020

Before the coronavirus outbreak, a wife visited her husband nearly every day at the nursing home. This week on NEXT, how visitor limitations are separating the couple for the first time in 70 years of marriage. Plus, how homeless shelters are coping with the pandemic. And we talk with singer-songwriter Heather Maloney about music, meditation and how she found her voice during a silent retreat.

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Episode 190: Remote Learning During Coronavirus; The Town That Brought Back A Mascot Critics Called Racist

March 19, 2020

This week on NEXT, elementary school teachers scramble to put together remote learning for students as schools close amid the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the backlash in a New England town that reinstated a school mascot critics say is racist. And the resilient journey of an ESPN editor whose headline went viral for the wrong reasons.

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Episode 189: New Englanders Prepare For The Coronavirus; Racial Harassment Or Free Speech?

March 12, 2020

As the coronavirus spreads, we look at how New Englanders are preparing. And after the only black woman in Vermont’s House of Representatives was targeted by a white nationalist, state officials and community members debated racial harassment versus free speech. Plus, “The Portuguese Kids” tap their culture experiences for comic material.

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Episode 188: From Your Parents To Foster Care In A Split-Second; Lily King’s ‘Writers & Lovers’

March 5, 2020

Mary’s life changed drastically when she became the foster parent for four grandnieces and nephews. This week on NEXT, we explore the ways foster care is succeeding and struggling in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. And for families looking to adopt, we hear about the most affordable option — and other routes that could break the bank. Plus, bestselling author Lily King weaves parts of her life into her new novel, Writers & Lovers.

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Episode 187: Fight Over Religious Exemptions For Vaccines; Sex Ed In New Hampshire

February 27, 2020

Activists in Maine and Connecticut are fighting against mandatory vaccine rules for students in public schools. This week on NEXT, we look at the fate of religious exemptions for vaccines. And the only requirement for sex education in New Hampshire is that teens learn about HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Some teens are having conversations around inclusivity, consent and abstinence.

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Episode 186: The ‘Choice’ In School Integration; Feds Ramp Up Immigration Enforcement In Some Sanctuary Cities

February 20, 2020

White parents say they want their kids to go to integrated schools. But when they’re given the power to choose, schools tend to be more segregated. This week on NEXT, we’ll dig into a recent report on school choice. And we hear from a mother who says her son was on the losing side of school integration. Plus, a soldier exposed to secret nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War returns to college at 83.

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Episode 185: Sanders Takes New Hampshire Primary; Coronavirus’ Economic Impact Felt In Boston’s Chinatown

February 13, 2020

The economic impact of COVID-19 or the coronavirus outbreak in China is trickling down to Boston’s Chinatown. This week on NEXT, how unusually quiet restaurants indicate ignorance and possibly racism. And a Harvard study outlines the long-term health risks for gunshot survivors. Plus, we’ll recap the New Hampshire primary.

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Episode 184: Ahead Of New Hampshire Primary, Identity Politics And Climate Change In 2020 Election

February 6, 2020

After delays in the Iowa caucus results, we turn our attention to the New Hampshire primary on February 11. This week on NEXT, what to expect from the Granite State in the 2020 presidential election. And a political scientist shares how identity politics has impacted the race so far. Plus, a look at how candidates are addressing climate change — a top issue for New Hampshire voters.

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Episode 183: All New England Licenses Now Offer Non-Binary Gender Option; ESPN Editor Fumbles Headline, Turns To Priesthood

January 30, 2020

Connecticut became the last New England state Monday to include a non-binary option on its driver’s licenses. This week on NEXT, we talk to the person who helped push for change in Maine — the first state in the region to include the non-binary designation. And ahead of the New Hampshire primary Feb. 11. we hear where Democratic presidential candidates stand on drug policies. Plus, what happened to the ESPN editor whose headline about Jeremy Lin was interpreted as a racial slur.

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Episode 182: Northern New England Is The Oldest Place In The Country; A Senior Home With No Rules

January 23, 2020

The U.S. population is getting older. And in northern New England, it’s even more pronounced: Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are the oldest states in the nation, on average. This week on NEXT, stories of housing for seniors, including an investigation into inadequate care facilities and a window into alternative housing situations that work. Plus, we hear from three women named Dot who grew up together in the same town, turned 100 last year and remain friends.

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Episode 181: The Town That Reinstated The “Redmen” Mascot; A Mother Helps Her Son With Severe Autism

January 16, 2020

A New England town has decided to reinstate a school mascot critics say is racist. This week on NEXT, the school board in Killingly, Conn., ditched the old “Redmen” mascot — then brought it back in what may be the first reversal of its kind. We also look at the impact of college football on the rise of two Massachusetts colleges. Plus, we talk to a mother about raising an adult son with severe autism.

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Episode 180: 2020 Is A Big Year For New England Politicians; Coal Still Powers Our Electricity

January 9, 2020

2020 is a big year in politics, and New England senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are among the Democratic front-runners challenging President Trump. This week on NEXT, we look at where things stand in the presidential race and impeachment. And we hear how coal continues to play a role in New England’s electrical grid. Plus, how paid leave proposals and nursing shortages highlight cross-border economies.

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Episode 179: Coral Could Hold Secrets To Fighting Climate Change; Female Punk Rockers

January 2, 2020

This week on NEXT, some scientists believe the Northern Star coral in New England’s cold oceans could hold valuable secrets for fighting climate change. And we look at what it would take to create an effective public transit system and cut back personal car use in Vermont. Plus, how a drummer influenced a generation of female rockers.

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Episode 178: Heather Maloney On Going From Meditation To Songwriting

December 26, 2019

This week on NEXT, we talk with singer-songwriter Heather Maloney about quitting her music degree for meditation, then becoming a songwriter during silent retreat. And the carrier pigeons of old still find a way to race across the sky. Plus, essayist Tim Clark remembers the neighbors who helped when his wife fell down the church stairs.

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Episode 177: Misplaced Breathing Tubes, A Potentially Fatal Medical Error; Choosing To Be Childfree

December 19, 2019

In 2018, a doctor in Rhode Island discovered EMS crews misplacing breathing tubes, a potentially fatal mistake. This week on NEXT, an investigation from The Public’s Radio and ProPublica into the state’s 911 emergency system. And a black feminist talks about the pitfalls of the call-out culture. Plus, as fewer babies are born in the United States, some adults are choosing to be childfree.

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Episode 176: How Latinos Saved American Cities

December 12, 2019

Voters across the region –and political spectrum– can agree on one thing: they care about immigration. This week on NEXT, a new poll of New Hampshire voters finds the immigration policies they care about largely don’t affect them. And we hear from a historian who says U.S. cities owe their revitalization to Latino immigrants. Plus, how achieving the triple decker, immigrant dream in New England is fading.

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Episode 175: Solutions And Challenges To Cutting Carbon Emissions

December 5, 2019

This week on NEXT, we talk about greenhouse gas emissions and the two sectors that are emitting the most: energy and transportation. Scientists and policy-makers agree these sectors need to transform in order to slow the pace of global warming; we look at how they’re doing. Plus, 400 years after the first slaves were brought to the United States, a jazz composer maps the history of African-Americans music.

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Episode 174: PFAS And The Ethics Of Contamination; Thanksgiving Misconceptions

November 26, 2019

PFAS chemicals have contaminated sites around New England, but when a World War II-era bomber crashed at a Connecticut airport last month, firefighters did not hesitate to use foam containing the chemicals. We’ll talk about the ethical balance between saving lives in the moment and long-term health risks. And we look at what we get wrong about Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. Plus, the case for cohousing.

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Episode 173: Legal Weed Competing With Black Market Product; ‘Collision Course’ Leads To Fatal Shooting

November 21, 2019

This week on NEXT, a teenager and officer’s “Collision Course” leads to a fatal shooting. Plus, we look at racial profiling and policing in New England. And it’s been about a year since the first legal sale of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, but cannabis sales on the black market haven’t stopped.

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Episode 172: A Nephew’s Ammo Request Pushes Aunt To Raise Red Flag; Living With Lyme

November 14, 2019

This week on NEXT, a woman turns in her nephew to police after he asks to use her address to order high-capacity magazines for an AR-15-style rifle. And a new survey shows how wrong Americans are about the leading cause of gun deaths. Plus, some Maine high schools adjust to eight-person football as school populations…

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Episode 171: Motivating New Englanders To Vote, Or Not

November 7, 2019

A year ahead of the 2020 election, NEXT looks at what motivates people to vote –whether they participate or not. Plus, we’ll talk about why New England voters aren’t that unique anymore and break down the costs of Medicare for All for four families.

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Episode 170: How Fishing Regulations Hurt Fishermen; The Life And Death Of A Football Star

October 31, 2019

This week on NEXT, we talk about the life and death of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and how his brain is helping scientists discover the long-term effects of head injuries. And fishing industry regulations can make it difficult for small-scale fishermen to make a living. Plus, a new book explores how objects in an abandoned mill building could tell the story of a town.

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Episode 169: Revitalizing Northeast Cities; A Charcoal That Could Ease Climate Change

October 24, 2019

Pittsfield, Massachusetts took a major hit in the ‘80s when General Electric downsized, taking thousands of jobs with it. This week on NEXT, we look at revitalization efforts there. And the story of an urban planner who helped shape some New England cities. Plus, all the ways biochar can ease climate change and pollution, and the pros and cons of wood heat.

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Episode 168: ‘Collision Course’ Of An Officer And Teen Leads To Fatal Shooting; ‘The Portuguese Kids’ Tap Their Background For Comedy

October 17, 2019

This week on NEXT, a teenager and officer’s “Collision Course” leads to a fatal shooting. We look at racial profiling and policing in New England. And patients forced into psychiatric treatment are suing New Hampshire for allegedly being held too long against their will. Plus, “The Portuguese Kids” tap their ethnicity for comedy material.

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Episode 167: A Nephew’s Ammo Request Pushes Aunt To Raise Red Flag; Fall And New England Forests

October 10, 2019

This week on NEXT, a woman turns in her nephew to police after he asks to use her address to order high-capacity magazines for his AR-15-style rifle. And a new survey shows how wrong Americans are about the leading cause of gun deaths. Plus, a new rule could bring more development to the largest forested area east of the Mississippi.

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Episode 166: New Hampshire Holds Tight To First National Primary; Syrain Refugees Settle Into Their New City

October 3, 2019

This week on NEXT, the Trump administration took away deportation deferrals for seriously ill immigrants and then gave them back. Plus, after three years of adjustment, a Syrian family is feeling settled in Vermont. And a new podcast from New Hampshire looks at how the state clinched the first-in-the-nation primary and held fast. Finally, we hear from residents of one of the easternmost U.S. towns.

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Episode 165: Vaping Scare Prompts Official Action; Climate Change Migrant Goes To Maine

September 26, 2019

This week on NEXT, two mayors face corruption charges and not all voters seem to care. We’ll hear why a vaccine for Easter Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is not widely available. Plus, as the Gulf of Maine warms and cold-water species travel north, fishermen who adapt will thrive.

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Rodger Gwiazdowski holds up a Puritan tiger beetle found this summer. This incredibly rare insect was spotted at a secret spot along the banks of the Connecticut River.

Episode 164: New England’s Most Endangered Species; Young Climate Activists Take The Lead

September 19, 2019

This week: We search for New England’s most endangered species. We talk to young climate activists about what motivates them. Plus, the fight to stop non-organic milk from making it into products labeled organic.

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Former Sen. John E. Sununu and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu have followed the political footsteps of their father, former Gov. John H. Sununu. Photo by Casey McDermott for NHPR

Episode 163: The History Of The GOP And Climate; Growing A Better Lunch

September 12, 2019

This week on NEXT, tall tales from Springfield’s famous son, Dr. Seuss. And how another famous family, the Sununus, shaped the climate debate.

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The 'Bridge4Unity' group at the Penn Center in Beaufort, South Carolina in January. Photo by Pat Crutchfield

Episode 162: Tackling Race Through Dialogue; Hunting for Old Growth Forests

September 5, 2019

A dialogue project brings together people from Massachusetts, South Carolina and Kentucky to talk about race and racism. We’ll learn how the conversation is going between these very different parts of our country. And, we’ll go looking for the oldest trees in New England.

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Nate Clifford_Northampton's Cornucopia Natural Wellness Market

Episode 161: Hemp Hangups; Living With Lyme

August 29, 2019

Hemp is big business – farmers are growing it…stores are selling its extract, CBD, and some people are even smoking it. But big expectations for the crop are being tempered by regulatory concerns. In this episode, we’ll consider the region’s market for hemp, as well as our love-hate relationship with deer. Plus, we’ll go inside the body to understand the little bacteria that causes the big problem called Lyme Disease. And, we’ll soak in those last few days of summer on the boardwalk…with the King of Old Orchard Beach.

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Episode 160: On The Campaign Trail in New Hampshire; Seals In Cape Cod

August 22, 2019

This week on NEXT: They’re cute. Kids love ‘em, sharks really love ‘em…so, what’s the real deal with seals? We’ll wade into the controversy over seals on Cape Cod. And, as the massive Vineyard Wind project faces new delays, we’ll look at how countries with 20 years of offshore wind experience made it happen. Plus,…

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A service at the Church of the Woods in New Hampshire. Photo by James Napoli

Episode 159: New England’s Unusual Holy Sites; Harvard’s Voices From History

August 14, 2019

This week on NEXT:  How a dam removal in Maine changed the way rivers are restored. Plus, we’ll visit a unique library at Harvard University, and learn about the fascinating history of an interstate school district in our region. Finally, we’ll visit two unusual holy sites. It’s NEXT. 

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Episode 158: Life on Parole; Revisiting MGM Springfield One Year Later

August 8, 2019

This week on NEXT: When you get released from prison on parole, it’s a chance to start fresh – turn to a new chapter. But when all you get is bus fare – and there’s no support system, no job, and you’re far from anywhere…what do you do? We’ll explore what life’s like on parole. We’ll…

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John Thomas, Nico Wheadon, John Dankosky, Elihu Rubin, Cathy Stanton at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public

Episode 157: Fishermen Raise Wind Power Safety Concerns; New England’s Industrial History Preserved

August 1, 2019

Gun violence throughout our region, including police shootings. How wind farms will impact fishing in the U.S. And how to reuse old factory buildings that contain cultural importance in New England. It’s NEXT!

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Episode 156: The Confusing Tangle of Immigration Law; Hunting for Old Growth Forests

July 26, 2019

This week on NEXT: Immigration officials have traditionally honored state pardons when considering who they can deport, but that’s stopped in one state. We’ll look at legal challenges to the detention of immigrants. And, we’ll meet a family coping with a year spent apart. We’ll also go looking for the oldest trees. Plus Norman Rockwell’s…

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Architecture student Ben Hait's designs for a future Provincetown, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Adam Sherman

Episode 155: Rising Seas And A Re-imagined Provincetown; Restorative Ocean Farming

July 18, 2019

This week on NEXT:

As sea levels rise, an architecture class imagines a new future for Provincetown, Massachusetts. We’ll also hear from a family that is taking the climate into account with each decision. 

Plus, we’ll talk with a commercial fisherman turned restorative ocean farmer. And we’ll listen to a group that’s bringing new life to historic sea chanties. 

Finally, the loggers of the northern forest who are working the old fashioned way. 

It’s NEXT. 

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A service at the Church of the Woods in New Hampshire. Photo by James Napoli

Episode 154: New England’s Unusual Holy Sites; Harvard’s Voices From History

July 11, 2019

This week on NEXT: 

How a dam removal in Maine changed the way rivers are restored.

Plus, we’ll visit a unique library at Harvard University, and learn about the fascinating history of an interstate school district in our region.

Finally, we’ll visit two unusual holy sites.

It’s NEXT. 

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A racer on Whitcomb Hill Road crouches low approaching a part of the racetrack known as "the left slide." Photo by Ben James for NEPR

Episode 153: Racing Through The Forest; Food Justice For Farmworkers

July 3, 2019

This week on NEXT:

Why Vermont’s farmworkers are facing food insecurity. 

Plus, how our bicycle infrastructure was created, and a new trend in bike racing in Vermont. We’ll also learn about a skateboarding competition in Western Massachusetts. 

Finally, we’ll hear a personal story of addiction and recovery. 

It’s NEXT.

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Biologist Pete Picone. Photo by Patrick Skahill for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 152: Dr. Seuss’ New England Roots; Polluted Rivers, Rebounding Mills

June 27, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We discuss the future of natural gas in our region.

And, how Springfield-born Theodor Geisel became Dr. Seuss. We’ll also hear from young environmental activists.

Plus, we’ll take a tour down the Quinnipiac River. And, if the walls could talk, what would they say? A new book explores how objects in an abandoned mill building could tell the story of a town. Finally, we’ll meet a troubadour who’s touring our region.

It’s NEXT.

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Photo by Peter Nelson

Episode 151: Bad News For Bees; Combating Opioids

June 20, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll travel with a van that’s providing addiction services on the streets of Boston. Plus, how EMTs are helping collect overdose data in Connecticut. We’ll also discuss the choices parents of deaf children face about how to teach their children to communicate.

And, we’ll learn about how the health of bees effects our food supply. We’ll also go fishing on the Connecticut river.

Finally, we’ll hear from former workers at prominent music venues in Western Massachusetts who say there was a pattern of labor law violations.

It’s NEXT.

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Bren Smith hauls oysters in from his ocean farm. photo courtesy of Bren Smith

Episode 150: Restorative Ocean Farming; Logging By Hand

June 13, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll hear about how housing policies have created segregated towns across New England.

Plus, we’ll talk to a commercial fisherman turned ocean farmer about the future of the fishing industry. And a group in Maine is bringing new life to historic sea chanties.

Finally, we’ll learn about the loggers in the Northern forests of Vermont who are still logging by hand.

It’s NEXT.

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Alex Williams, with Blue Earth Compost, loads barrels of food waste into a truck during a recent food scrap pickup run in Hartford. Photo by Patrick Skahill for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 149: The Next Water Contamination Crisis; High-Octane Birding In Massachusetts

June 6, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll hear about how PFAS chemicals got into the milk supply at one Maine farm.

Plus, a look at waste laws around New England.

We’ll also learn about how efforts to save one local butterfly ended up helping another. And, a 24-hour birding competition in Massachusetts. Finally, we’ll talk to citizen scientists in Vermont.

It’s NEXT.  

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The Mahican-Mohawk Trail , a 100-mile trail intended to follow the area's indigenous footpaths along the Deerfield and Cold rivers and over the Hoosac Range, is named in part for the Mohicans, whose homelands are in Berkshire County. Photo by Elodie Reed

Episode 148: Making Amends On The Mohawk Trail; Border Stops Far From The Border

May 30, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We’ll take a look at police body cameras around the region. Plus, a border stop far from the border. 

As Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA goes to close, we discuss the decommissioning process. Plus, we’ll listen to the history of the plant.

And, how the Mohawk Trail got its name, and who has been left out. 

It’s NEXT.

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Episode 147: Sir Babygirl’s Rural Roots; A Lobster War On The Border

May 23, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We look at Rhode Island’s 911 system, and Emergency Medical Services in Vermont.

We’ll learn about a lobster war on the U.S.-Canada border.

And, we’ll discuss a rural pop star’s New England roots. We’ll also visit the New England Accordion Museum.

It’s NEXT.

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Architecture student Adam Sherman's designs for a future Provincetown, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Adam Sherman

Episode 146: Rising Seas And A Re-imagined Provincetown; Purdue Pharma’s Political Power

May 16, 2019

This week on NEXT: How the Sackler family has impacted Massachusetts politics, and why their role in a ski resort is causing controversy in a small town in Vermont. And a new program helps Vermont seniors outside of nursing homes. Plus, an architecture course imagines a future for Provincetown, Massachusetts as rising sea levels threaten the town. We’ll also discuss why breweries have become a destination for candidates campaigning in New Hampshire. And we’ll go to a gravel bike race in Vermont. Finally, we’ll remember a poet who lived in New Hampshire. It’s NEXT.

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Students eat lunch. Photo courtesy of Fiona Turner from Eat Up

Episode 145: Nuclear Plant’s Impact On Hometown; New Menu For School Lunch

May 9, 2019

This week on NEXT: The city of Providence, Rhode Island is thinking about selling its water to make up for its large pension liability, but is it the city’s to sell? Plus, new lobster traps could help protect endangered North Atlantic Right Whales from entanglements. And, as the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is set to close later this month, we look at the environmental and economic effects the plant has had on its hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Finally, we’ll hear from an entrepreneur who’s working to change Boston’s school lunches, and we’ll visit a farm on Connecticut’s coast. It’s NEXT.

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The Isham-Terry house in Hartford, Connecticut. Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 144: Housing In New England

May 2, 2019

We’re going to dig into one issue this week: housing in New England. It’s not a surprise that our housing costs are some of the highest in the nation, but there a lot of other factors making this issue one of our region’s most pressing. Electricity, heat, food and transportation all cost more here. Our bustling urban hubs are attracting high-tech jobs, and sky-high rents, that are forcing lower income workers out of the cities. But the availability of affordable housing in the suburbs can be a challenge, too. And, in New England’s rural regions, many of our existing houses are old and inefficient, far from shopping centers and public transit. Today, we’re going to explore these problems and some solutions. 

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Robert Buchsbaum holds a phragmites root at the edge of the marsh at Mass. Audubon's Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 143: Invasive Plants and Climate Change; Limited Broadband Access

April 24, 2019

This week on NEXT: We’ll explore broadband access around New England. Plus, what role should invasive species play in combating climate change? And, we’ll travel to Maine and Martha’s Vineyard for discussions about race and racism. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 142: Campus Protest Then And Now; Food Insecurity On The Farm

April 18, 2019

This week on NEXT: We speak with Teresa Mares about her new book, which explores food insecurity among farm workers in Vermont. Plus, we take a look at school funding around our region. We’ll talk with NHPR’s Sarah Gibson about her new series, ‘Adequate,’ and listen to reporting from Connecticut Public Radio’s David DesRoches about private philanthropy in public schools. Finally, we’ll discuss protests on Harvard University’s campus fifty years later, and speak with activists about how student organizing has changed since then. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 141: A Historic Marathon Run; Tackling Race Through Dialogue

April 11, 2019

This week on NEXT: What CMP’s Transmission Line would mean for Maine’s forests. Plus, Vermont’s declining refugee population. And, Rhode Island’s shrinking quahog industry. We’ll also learn about a dialogue project between individuals in Massachusetts, Kentucky and South Carolina. And, we’ll meet Fenway’s Mr. Fix-It, learn about the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, and visit New Hampshire’s last Roller Rink. It’s NEXT.

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Layla Bermeo, Assistant Curator of American Paintings, at the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the MFA Boston. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 140: Boston’s Art Renaissance; Legal Weed’s Race Problem

April 4, 2019

This week on NEXT: How “equity measures” built into Massachusetts’ law to legalizing marijuana are working on the ground. Plus, the push to legalize sports betting around the region. And, we visit a community solar project in Connecticut. We’ll also learn about how the example of a politically influential family in New Hampshire can illustrate how the Republican Party’s attitudes towards climate change have evolved over time. Finally, we meet some of the millenials of color who are shaping Boston’s arts scene, and we’ll hear about a book of poetry inspired by the Pioneer Valley. It’s NEXT.

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Sir Babygirl in her childhood bedroom in New Hampshire. Photo by James Napoli

Episode 139: Rural Pop Star’s Rise; Lizzie Borden’s Legacy

March 28, 2019

This week on NEXT:

We look at Rhode Island’s 911 services. Plus, as rural towns in Vermont have trouble getting enough volunteers to staff EMS, how emergency care in the state is being affected.

We also discuss the trial of Lizzie Borden.

And, how a pop star who recently performed at South by Southwest got her start in New Hampshire.

Finally, we visit the New England Accordion Connection and Museum.

It’s NEXT.

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Dr. Hannah Rabin of Richmond Family Medicine says children waiting for placements at the ER deserve better care. Photo courtesy of Emily Corwin for Vermont Public Radio

Episode 138: Children Wait Days In ER For Psychiatric Care; Gunmakers Face Scrutiny For Sales, Safety

March 21, 2019

This week on NEXT: a year after a school shooting that didn’t happen in Vermont, we hear about what changes to school security are being made in the state. Plus, we learn about firearm exports out of New Hampshire. And, why children seeking psychiatric care in Vermont’s emergency rooms are forced to wait. Also six months after a casino opened in Springfield, Massachusetts, what gambling addiction services are available? Finally, a new bill would alert residents of Massachusetts if sewage is in the waterways. And we visit the abandoned towns underneath Boston’s drinking supply. It’s NEXT.

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The interior of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome in Woods Hole. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 137: Decaying Buildings Force Towns To Consider History; The Complicated Path Of Power From Quebec

March 14, 2019

This week on NEXT:A side-by-side comparison of Northern Pass and New England Clean Energy Connect, and what’s next for the transmission line that will bring hydropower from Canada to Massachusetts. Plus, we hear from a Vermont woman about her opioid addiction, and how she is moving towards recovery. And we visit two old buildings that are making communities re-think what role history should play in their future. It’s NEXT.

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A lobster in a crate. Photo by David Abel from Lobster War.

Episode 136: Climate Change, Border Dispute Lead To Lobster War; Bringing Broadband To Urban, Rural Users

March 7, 2019

This week on NEXT: We travel around New England to learn about who has trouble getting reliable internet access, and why that matters. Plus, we discuss a new documentary about the fight for lobster along the U.S.-Canada border. Finally, we’ll introduce you to the Snow Rangers of Mount Washington, and take you down a giant luge in New Hampshire. And we’ll listen in on Maine’s great chickadee debate. It’s NEXT.

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Richard Shepard and Joyce Rickson lead the way during NAACP organized march. January 2015. Vineyard Haven, MA. Photo by Ivy Ashe.

Episode 135: Race And Policing On Martha’s Vineyard; The Present And Future Of Nuclear Power

February 28, 2019

This week on NEXT: we’ll talk about how regional issues are playing out in state capitals, including discussions of tolls, clean-ups of the region’s waterways, and cross-state transmission lines. Plus, we look at the future of nuclear energy around our region. Finally, we’ll go to Maine and Martha’s Vineyard for a discussion of race. It’s NEXT.

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Episode 134: The Fate Of Thousands Of Vietnamese Immigrants; Cookbook Makes The Case for Diversifying Seafood

February 21, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in communities, including partnerships between New England Sheriffs and the agency. Plus, we explore the challenges incarcerated women, and their families, are facing in Western Massachusetts. And, why Southeast Asian refugees are especially susceptible to gambling addiction. In addition, how changes to immigration policies under President Trump are effecting Vietnamese immigrants. Plus, we learn how to cook with a diversity of seafood, and discuss why eating different types of species can help sustain our fisheries. WBUR’s Shannon Dooling guest hosts. It’s NEXT.

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From left: Marc Lapin of Middlebury College, along with Tina Heath, Charlie Hohn and Zapata Courage from the state wetlands program. They recently toured the Cornwall swamp section of the Otter Creek wetlands. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Episode 133: Preserving Wetlands To Prevent Flooding; The New Hampshire Primary, One Year Out

February 14, 2019

This week on NEXT: A year before the 2020 New Hampshire Primary, we take a look at what we can expect, and how the state’s impact on the election is changing. Plus, we learn about the importance of wetlands, and visit one in Vermont. And as more rivers in New England move towards that rare “Wild and Scenic” distinction, we visit a river that has received the honor. Finally, we’ll hear a story about how education provided a man freedom in prison. Then we’ll visit a smoothie chain run by an exoneree. It’s NEXT.

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Cyclists ride down Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Photo by Robbin Lubbock for WBUR

Episode 132: Battling Over Bicycling Culture; Lawsuit Targets Opioid Maker’s Family Fortune

February 7, 2019

This week on NEXT: we explore the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ case against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family. Plus, we discuss the process of getting lobster licenses in Maine, and learn why some have been on the waitlist for over ten years. Plus, we take a look back at the cultures and ideas that shaped road and mountain biking infrastructure in New England. It’s NEXT.

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Evan Chamberlin, 9, drinks from a water fountain at Union Elementary School in Montpelier. Union Elementary was one of the few schools that voluntarily tested its water for lead following a state-sponsored pilot study. Photo by Howard Weiss-Tisman for VPR

Episode 131: States Take A Stand Over Contaminated Water; Coastal Home Prices Plunge As Seas Rise

January 31, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss the effect of sea level rise on home values around New England. And, we look at water quality issues in Vermont and New Hampshire. Plus, we re-visit the history of the Patriots in our region. And we visit frozen lakes in Massachusetts and Vermont, where New Englanders are enjoying the cold. It’s NEXT.

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This female bobcat was tagged and outfitted with a GPS collar, which she'll wear for 300 days. Photo by Patrick Skahill for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 130: Bobcats On The Prowl In New England; Small Colleges Battle To Survive

January 24, 2019

This week on NEXT: we learn about a lawsuit levied against Dartmouth College. And, as Hampshire College seeks a “strategic partner,” and as Green Mountain College closes, we discuss the future of small colleges around our region. Plus, what are the pros and cons of heating with wood? We’ll hear about the health, economic and environmental impacts of the practice. Finally, we visit Harvard University where the future of a tree is up for debate, and we go with a biologist to learn more about where bobcats live, and what they’re doing. It’s NEXT.

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Inmate Carrisa Butkewitcz cares for Tavish, an older horse at the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals in Windham that she describes as "calm and sweet." Photo by Susan Sharon for Maine Public

Episode 129: Horses, Inmates, Recover Together; States Battle Over Minimum Wage

January 17, 2019

This week on NEXT: we take a look at minimum wages around our region. Plus, why renewable energy credits are dropping in value in Vermont. And, how states around New England could make the switch to 100% renewable energy. Finally, we go to the region’s largest horse rescue that is saving the lives of both horses and humans, and we visit a crane sitting above Boston. It’s NEXT.

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Firemen standing in thick molasses after the disaster. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

Episode 128: The Molasses Flood That Changed Boston Forever; States Battle Over Business With Mega Subsidy Deals

January 10, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss how the government shutdown is effecting individuals in New England, including through a growing backlog of cases at Boston’s immigration court. Plus, we learn about how states around our region use subsidies to lure businesses. And, on the hundredth anniversary of the “Great Boston Molasses Flood,” we hear about how the event shaped the relationship between business and government. Finally, we explore the best New England food of the past year from Yankee Magazine’s Senior Food Editor, Amy Traverso. It’s NEXT.

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Bridge Tender Mike Dorsey runs through the controls of the Grand Avenue Swing Bridge in New Haven. "People don't usually look up here," Dorsey said. "They just ride right through not even knowing that we're up here." Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Episode 127: Stories From 2018 That Defined New England, And A Look Ahead to 2020

January 3, 2019

This week on NEXT: we discuss the role that New England politicians will play in the 2020 presidential election. Plus, we look back at an important year in Maine politics. Finally, we discuss some of the stories that made us smile in 2018. It’s NEXT.

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Shaun and Melisa McDougall, of Hanover, are checked into South Shore Hospital where Melisa will deliver twin boys. They don't want a C-section, which fits the goals of Ariadne Lab's Team Birth Project, now in the testing phase at South Shore. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 126: Doctors, New Parents Work To Prevent C-Sections; Building A Better Life Jacket For Lobstermen

December 27, 2018

This week on NEXT: we go inside a delivery to hear a new project in action. Plus, we learn about a research team that’s working to build a better lifejacket. And, we discuss the shipping industry and the history of pirates in our region. Finally, a New England town celebrates it’s rich literary history.  It’s NEXT. 

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Teacher Jessica Pollard at Lee Elementary School leads her class in a mindfulness exercise. Photo by Karen Brown for NEPR

Episode 125: Teaching A School To Be Trauma Informed; Advocates Work To Keep The Heat On For Low-Income Gas Customers

December 20, 2018

This week on NEXT: we hear from a family in Rhode Island struggling to pay the bills to keep the power on. We also discuss an offshore wind auction that broke records. And, we’ll travel to Tijuana, where migrants who are waiting to apply for asylum are getting legal advice from students and teachers from Boston. Plus, we visit a “trauma-informed” school in western Massachusetts. Finally, we find an unusual way to harvest Christmas trees. It’s NEXT.

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Orlando sits in a plaza in Metapán, El Salvador. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 124: What A Student’s Deportation Reveals About School Police And Gangs; Iranian Families Reunite At The Canadian Border

December 13, 2018

This week on NEXT: we learn about how an argument in an East Boston high school set off a series of events that led to a young man’s deportation. Plus, Iranian students living in the United States who are separated from their families due to the travel ban find a place to reunite along the U.S.-Canada Border. And we speak with Vermont Congressman Peter Welch about legislation he has co-sponsored that would reduce the zone that U.S. Customs and Border Protection are able to set up checkpoints within from 100 miles down to 25. We also learn more about the electricity market that keeps power on around New England. Finally, we listen to a Middle Eastern music group in Western Massachusetts, and preview a new play that takes the audience into barbershops around the world. It’s NEXT. 

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Michael sweeping up cigarettes and other debris from the sidewalk outside the ACC Needle Exchange in Central Square in Cambridge. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 123: Meth Use Compounding Opioid Crisis; Counting The Trees That Store The Carbon

December 6, 2018

This week on NEXT: we explore the high drug overdose death rates in our region and why methamphetamine is a rising threat. Plus, we learn about why the Northeast is warming faster than other areas of the United States, and how trees, and individuals could help reduce our carbon footprint. And we look at a close race for Secretary of State in New Hampshire. Finally, we discuss President George H.W. Bush’s ties to New England. It’s NEXT.

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Veteran Steven Mandile make the first purchase of recreational marijuanain Massachusetts at Cultivate in Leicester. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Episode 122: Lining Up For Legal Pot; The Real Cost Of Electricity

November 29, 2018

This week on NEXT: we discuss the opening of recreational marijuana shops in Massachusetts, and the start of legalized sports betting in Rhode Island. Plus, we take a look at electricity prices around New England and reflect on our aging gas infrastructure. And, how an invasive species might play a role in curbing the effects of climate change. Finally, we explore what we can learn from the call of a bat, and consider the history of ‘Sheep Fever’ in New England. It’s NEXT.

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