LISTEN: WTBU News Brunch, Episode 1: Feb. 11, 2020

Good morning, and welcome to your WTBU News Brunch.

Let’s start with a look at the New Hampshire Primaries. WTBU reporter Katherine Swindells was up in Manchester Tuesday morning to talk to voters and candidates alike. Even before the snafu at the Iowa Caucus last week, many critics have argued that Iowa and New Hampshire are not the best places to open the presidential election.

Climate change has finally made it to the big leagues this election season, with polling showing it has now become a top issue for Democratic voters. WTBU reporter Sofie Isenberg looks at how big an effect it is likely to have on candidates’ campaigns.

The death toll for the coronavirus now outnumbers even SARS. As hospitals in China fill up, the disease is appearing worldwide. With up to 12 confirmed cases in the United States, including Boston, fear is beginning to set in.  But WTBU reporter, Kendall Tamer, said that despite the World Health Organization declaring a global health emergency, the fear may not be warranted.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is holding a series of free pop-up concerts this month throughout the Greater Boston region. WTBU reporter Frank Hernández said it’s all thanks to the coronavirus.

A bill allowing immigrants to get drivers licenses is moving forward in the Massachusetts legislature after making it past the first hurdles. WTBU’s Hannah Harn said the new policy is also expected to improve public safety.

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that would eliminate the duration of the status component for students and exchange visitors studying in the US, and replace it with a maximum period of stay. WTBU reporter Emily Wilson said it would make it harder for international students to come to the country for extended periods of time.

Boston’s first retail marijuana dispensary will open next month, more than a year after the first shops opened elsewhere in Massachusetts. WTBU’s Hannah Harn said that this milestone also marks progress in encouraging some people to get into an industry that previously shut them out.

Students at Boston University are honoring Black History Month in their new and improved Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. WTBU reporter Ina Joseph takes a tour.

WTBU reporter Frank Hernández took a look at Cambridge’s ban on tree cutting, which has been controversial among city residents.

WTBU reporter Kendall Tamer took a look at the Housatonic River after General Electric agreed to help clean up toxic sediments left by PCB dumping.

Lastly, WTBU reporter David Johnian updates us on the Beanpot, where the BU Terriers lost to the Northeastern University Huskies in a heartbreaking double-overtime finale.

This edition of WTBU News Brunch was produced by Kendall Tamer, Sofie Isenberg, Emily Wilson, Ina Joseph, David Johnian, Hannah Harn, Katherine Swindells, and Frank Hernández. Our Technical Producer is Danny Roa.

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