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

Dartmouth Public Schools

As communities around Massachusetts consider whether to eliminate their Native American school mascots, Dartmouth’s handling of the situation continues to come under scrutiny.

Google Earth street view

Wareham Healthcare, one of three Massachusetts nursing homes to receive a termination notice last week from MassHealth, carries a red warning badge on Nursing Home Compare, a U.S. government web tool.


The badge indicates the nursing home has been cited for abuse.

Courtesy David Bergmark

This summer, David Bergmark isn’t coming to the family cottage in Truro. Like many people, he’s staying closer to home, which for him is Prince Edward Island.

But he says rentals of the cottage on Cape Cod are going strong.

“It’s been a completely different experience,” he said. “We could have rented it two or three times for each week period.”

Liz Lerner

Clusters of COVID-19 infections tied to parties on Cape Cod are raising concerns that the true number of local cases could be higher than people realize.


The concerns come because test results for non-residents staying here for the summer may not initially be reported as Massachusetts cases.


Jennette Barnes / WCAI

July 23 marks a year since three tornadoes touched down on Cape Cod, a rare event that surprised even people who saw the warnings.

Liz Lerner

Members of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force gave a community update Thursday focused on what’s happening in town government, including efforts to encourage mask-wearing and the outlook for summer recreation income.

Image from FCTV livestream

Falmouth Police Chief Edward Dunne is responding to questions about qualified immunity, police funding, and other issues under scrutiny nationally as part of a renewed push for racial justice in the United States.

Dunne fielded questions from a panel of local residents during a televised forum hosted by No Place for Hate - Falmouth.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

The rain held off Saturday as 150 people came to the Hyannis bandstand to listen to people share their personal experiences of racism on Cape Cod.

Liz Lerner

COVID-19 has disrupted many of the face-to-face interactions that give people in substance recovery crucial support. But some are finding new avenues for recovery that could last beyond the pandemic.

Ashley, who lives on Cape Cod, had been alcohol-free for 10 months when the pandemic reached the Cape. 

Liz Lerner

Newly available data show that Black people on Cape Cod have contracted COVID-19 at a rate three times that of the white population.

Vaira Harik of the Barnstable County Department of Human Services said the disproportional effect on Black residents is concerning — and reflects broader disparities in five social determinants of health: economic stability, education, access to health care, a person’s residential environment, and the community context.


State and federal officials have signed a memorandum of understanding to give Massachusetts, instead of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead role in designing and building the new Bourne and Sagamore bridges.

Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to transfer ownership of the Bourne and Sagamore bridges to the state of Massachusetts as part of the plan to replace both bridges.

Liz Lerner

School districts have their work cut out for them with state guidelines released Thursday on the reopening of schools.

The state guidance asks superintendents to plan for three scenarios: everyone back in school, everyone learning remotely, and a hybrid of the two.

Barnstable school Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown said that at Barnstable High School, bringing 1,800 students back in the building could be too much.

Vineyard Wind /



A series of five virtual meetings will give the public a chance to comment on the federal government’s latest evaluation of Vineyard Wind. The meetings start Friday, June 26.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will host the meetings live online over the next two weeks. They will address the Trump administration’s expanded review of Vineyard Wind 1 in the context of other offshore wind projects.

The administration considered new fishing data and alternative transit lanes.

Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy in Chatham has brought someone new aboard — and she’s 18 feet long.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

Two beaches on the Cape Cod National Seashore will not have lifeguard protection this summer, and money isn’t the issue.

White supremacist flyers have been discovered in a Falmouth man’s mailbox and along Yarmouth roads.


The citizens’ panel overseeing the decommissioning of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station met Monday for the first time since the state reached a settlement with Holtec, the company that owns Pilgrim.

Seth Schofield, a lawyer in Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, gave an overview of the settlement. He said it’s a good deal, in part because it provides financial assurances that Holtec will decommission and clean the site properly.

The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force

In an effort to boost COVID-19 safety on Cape Cod for the summer, the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force plans to expand COVID-19 testing capacity in partnership with medical facilities and Barnstable County.

State Senator Julian Cyr said that about 7 percent of year-round residents have been tested, a number that lags behind other regions of the state.

“In order to get to this ambitious goal of 20 percent, we're going to need a minimum of five thousand test kits,” he said.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

Activists who oppose Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson held a rolling protest through the streets of New Bedford and Dartmouth on Thursday.

More than 30 cars decorated with signs demanding that Hodgson resign and alleging that he sympathizes with white supremacy drove past the jails he operates.

Wikicommons / Jennifer M. Rangubphai /

This Friday is Juneteenth, a holiday that marks the date in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, a movement to make Juneteenth a national holiday is gaining local support. 

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.