Jennette Barnes | CAI

Jennette Barnes


Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. She feels grateful every day to see life through the eyes of people who share their stories.

Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to WCAI. She wrote for The Boston Globe for five years and twice worked at The Standard-Times of New Bedford, where she began as a reporter, rose to the position of editorial page editor, and later returned to write long-form projects.

Jennette got her start in journalism chasing politicians as a member of the New York State Capitol press corps, and then landed in Rhode Island, where she learned the art of community news at The Warwick Beacon.

Her work has received numerous New England journalism awards.

A series she pitched for The Standard-Times on Portuguese-American culture became the book A Nossa Vida: The Portuguese Experience in America. She loves learning about cultural heritage of all kinds, especially if it involves a bakery.

She is a mom, a kayaker, and a serious public television fan.

Ways to Connect

Umass Dartmouth

The dean of the School for Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth is stepping down at the end of the month.

Eve Zuckoff

Members of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force say that increasing traffic and hotel reservations show the Cape is slowly getting back to its traditional summer activities.

Traffic coming over the Bourne and Sagamore bridges still lags behind a normal year, but it has edged closer to that mark in the last several weeks.

Liz Lerner

Print newspapers have been hollowed out over the past two decades, chiefly by the rise of the Internet. Now, the economic fallout from COVID-19 is increasing the pressure on local news.

“Very quickly, we realized that we had lost about 75 percent of our advertising revenue,” said George Brennan, editor of the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

Liz Lerner

A state memo appears to say classrooms could be limited to 10 children in the fall, but officials say that’s not the final word.


Youth voices have played a key role in the anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd. Among them is Jendell Teixeira, who lives in Marion and has been speaking at local protests about growing up black in predominantly white towns.

Liz Lerner

Cape Cod Healthcare has acquired a machine to run COVID-19 tests in-house, and 50 of the more than 600 furloughed workers have returned.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

On Saturday morning in Sandwich, mask-wearing shoppers perused the racks on the sidewalk outside Sundance Clothing in Merchants’ Square.

Jennette Barnes

Protesters in New Bedford gathered Wednesday for the fifth consecutive day to denounce police brutality against black Americans in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.

With the end of this highly unusual school year right around the corner, summer camps have been forced to make difficult choices about whether — and how — to open.

Barnstable County

The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force wants to get the word out about reopening Cape Cod after a quiet Memorial Day weekend. That includes new beach signs and a new website.

Marcy Smith

Some houses of worship held their first in-person services this week after the state lifted the COVID-19 closure order.

Liz Lerner

Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, spent an hour this week answering reporters’ questions about how to stay coronavirus-safe while you enjoy the summer with family and friends. WCAI has boiled it down to a few essentials to answer questions that may be on your mind.

Alecia Orsini

As businesses and religious organizations react to Gov. Charlie Baker’s Phase 1 reopening plan, the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce is calling on the state to reconsider the decision not to include in-store shopping.

Liz Lerner

Nearly two months after Massachusetts curtailed business to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker plans to announce the first phase of reopening on Monday. But for many laid-off workers, the shock of unemployment is far from over.

Jennette Barnes

Hundreds of Chatham residents and business owners gathered on a video conference call Monday to brainstorm about how to keep the town safe and operating during the summer season.

Alecia Orsini

Cape Cod Healthcare furloughed more than 600 employees Thursday in an effort to heal financial wounds caused by the pandemic.

CEO Mike Lauf said he could no longer keep paying everyone in the face of mounting losses.

Falmouth Village Association

As restaurants plan ways to safely reopen for table service, some Cape and Islands communities are considering expanded outdoor seating.

Among the communities investigating the idea is Falmouth, where people have proposed closing a section of Main Street to vehicles to allow for European-style seating at outdoor tables.

Jennette Barnes

Hours at the drive-through test site for COVID-19 at Cape Cod Community College have been reduced from 48 to 30 each week.

Buttonwood Park Zoo

New Bedford’s Buttonwood Park Zoo lost a furry face last month when a black bear succumbed to age-related illness. The nation’s 12th-oldest zoo has a significant population of geriatric animals, each with very particular needs. Today, we look at the ways humans provide for older wildlife in captivity.

Barnstable County Government

Barnstable County health director Sean O’Brien is thanking the many volunteers who are helping Cape Cod respond to the pandemic.

Daan Stevens

The leader of a national association of certified nursing assistants is warning that CNAs in nursing homes don’t have enough protective gear and are struggling to find the emotional support they need during the pandemic.

Krys Alex

Arts and culture are a staple of the summer season on the Cape and Islands, and winter sustenance for year-rounders from New Bedford to Provincetown. With shows postponed because of the pandemic, institutions are adapting — but some are seeing staggering losses.

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has by far the most COVID-19 patients of any hospital in the state – 447 cases as of Tuesday. WCAI spoke recently with a nursing student from Cape Cod who is caring for COVID patients at Mass General, and she shared how difficult and isolating the experience has been for both patients and staff.

With the new interactive tool, users can click on a town to see the number of new cases over a 24-hour period. Areas are color-coded by level of risk, and some towns are broken down by zip code.

Alecia Orsini

With no date on the horizon for recreational travel to resume, local restaurants and lodging establishments are trying to adapt and plan for the future.

Wendy Northcross of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce said the road could be tougher than for retail.