Craig LeMoult

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As some states begin relaxing pandemic restrictions on gatherings, many families are eager to reschedule weddings and other long-postponed events. That's welcome news for function halls and other event-related businesses, even as they continue to navigate a new normal, with the pandemic not over yet.

On a recent sunny March morning, acclaimed nature illustrator David Allen Sibley tromped through a brushy area near his western Massachusetts home, and spotted a tiny songbird with a patch of yellow on its head.

"Here's a golden crowned kinglet, right here," he said as he watched the bird hop from branch to branch. The bird continued to stick around, something Sibley said was unusual. "It's not a rare bird, but unusual to see it that cooperative, that close."

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China is threatening to impose new tariffs on lobsters from the U.S. in what could be the latest volley in a growing trade war. But the American lobster industry is already starting to feel the impact of steel tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

Bob Morris opens the bulkhead doors to his basement in Rockport, Massachusetts, and heads down into his workshop. Morris is a lifelong lobsterman, and when he's not out hauling lobster traps, he's building them in his basement.

NECCO wafers are a polarizing candy. Some online haters have compared the brittle sugar disks to chalk, or antacid tablets. But now, the company that makes them could soon close shop — and that's brought out some of the candies' very loyal fans.

At Sugar Heaven in Somerville, Mass., David Sapers points out that there is a lot more NECCO on his shelves than just those controversial wafers. NECCO buttons and NECCO Sky Bars share shelf space with the classic wafers at his store.

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The winter storm that worked its way up the East Coast this week brought more than just snow to New England. Many communities along the coastline there are dealing with major flooding. From member station WGBH in Boston, Craig LeMoult reports.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans were treated for addiction to prescription opioids or heroin in 2015, according to federal estimates, and when those people get seriously hurt or need surgery, it's often not clear, even to many doctors, how to safely manage their pain. For some former addicts, what begins as pain relief ends in tragedy.

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When walking into the front vestibule of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in the seaside town of Scituate, Mass., it doesn't look or sound like the average church.

"What the hell are you doing?" an actor from The Young and the Restless says on a big-screen TV with two recliners set up in front of it. They're all arranged right next to a stained-glass window.

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It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Nicole Hockley says she used to be the kind of person who knew where she was going in life. Then, last Dec. 14, her 6-year-old son, Dylan, was one of the 26 victims killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"Every plan I had went out the window, and I just kind of lost my way in terms of where do you go from here, how do you pick yourself up and move forward and find a new path," Hockley says.

The phone kept ringing at home, and media outlets sent flowers with cards asking for interviews.

As parents send their kids off to school this fall, many are wondering what's been done since last year to make sure they're safe.

Many schools have embraced new security measures since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, from uniformed police on hallway patrol to shatterproof laminated windows.

'How Could This Have Happened?'

Bob Gay of Newtown, Conn., has a tattoo on his arm of his daughter Josephine's footprints as a baby and the number "2560," for the number of days she was alive.