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UMass faculty, librarians vote no confidence in chancellor over protest breakup

05-20-2024 8:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Nearly 500 members of the faculty and librarians are expressing no confidence in the leadership of University of Massachusetts Chancellor Javier Reyes stemming from the breakup of a pro-Palestinian encampment on May 7 that led to the arrests...


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State OKs Valley Green Energy program for Amherst, Northampton, Pelham

05-20-2024 10:11 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A program offering Northampton, Amherst and Pelham residents more electricity supplied by green sources should be ready to launch by this fall.Amherst officials announced on May 8 that the state Department of Public Utilities recently...


The Lehrer Report: May 17, 2024

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

Garden report: The bluebells have bloomed and some are pink. The iris buds should open by the end of the week.Reminder: take down bird feeders. Several bears have been spotted in neighborhoods.***Senior Services Director Hayley Bolton sent me an...


Amherst College faculty join students in urging divestment from military suppliers to Israel

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The faculty of Amherst College is joining the college’s Student Senate in asking trustees to divest from corporations supplying military equipment to Israel in its ongoing war in Gaza.The divestment appeal, made last week, came with support...


Three candidates for two Select Board seats make pitches in Hadley

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Protecting farmland, keeping Hadley affordable and family friendly, and promoting commercial development appear to be areas of agreement for the three candidates vying for two seats on the Select Board at next week’s town election.Fielding...


UMass graduation speaker Colson Whitehead pulls out over quashed campus protest

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Disturbed by the arrests of 132 protesters on the University of Massachusetts campus this week during a pro-Palestinian encampment, Colson Whitehead, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the...


Around Amherst: High school sleuths point out $2M mistake in town budget

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Members of Sunrise Amherst recently uncovered a $2 million discrepancy in the fiscal year 2025 municipal budget when it was released on May 1, showing how the same vehicles for various departments were listed for purchase two years in a row...


South County Senior Center opts not to renew church lease after rift over LGBTQ program

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Senior Center Board of Oversight has opted to not renew the center’s lease to use the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church’s function hall after a disagreement over the Rainbow Elders program.With the current lease expiring May 31,...


Large, loud parties in Amherst lead to arrests on last weekend before UMass graduation

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Eight college-age people are facing criminal charges for violating the town’s noise bylaw after police responded to two large and loud parties over the weekend, the last before University of Massachusetts commencement on May 18.At a Pelham...


Pelham TM backs 6% school assessment, community choice aggregation program

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

PELHAM — A 6% increase in the assessment for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools and the final step in establishing Valley Green Energy, a municipal community choice aggregation program for Pelham, Amherst and Northampton residents and businesses,...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Venture beyond your garden walls: Plant sales and noteworthy gardens to visit this season

05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

After long weeks of yearning for gardening weather, we’re suddenly inundated by spring. Endless outdoor chores beg for our attention — composting, mulching, edging, scrubbing birdbaths and, at least in my garden beds, pulling out multitudes of maple...


Deerfield’s Tilton Library expansion ‘takes a village’

05-20-2024 10:04 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — With tosses of dirt, dozens of residents, town officials and legislators celebrated the start of Tilton Library’s expansion last Friday.The ceremony was more than a decade in the making and officially kicked off the project as the...


Plans to overhaul Amherst’s War Memorial Pool site questioned

05-20-2024 10:03 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A preliminary vision for breathing new life into the 2-acre area around the War Memorial Pool shows a new bathhouse building anchoring the site, along with play areas, a spray park, walking paths and a memorial area.While Kuth Ranieri...


Jones trustees ask Amherst town manager to reject library bid

05-20-2024 10:03 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Trustees for the Jones Library are recommending that the lone bid for renovating and expanding the Jones Library, which is at least $6.5 million above projected costs, should be rejected.In 6-0 vote, the elected trustees advised Town Manager...


UMass chancellor defends protest crackdown, arrests

05-20-2024 10:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts Chancellor Javier Reyes defended the arrests of 134 people at a campus pro-Palestinian encampment last week, telling a special session of the Faculty Senate on Tuesday afternoon that the decision to break up the...


Political newcomer defeats Shores Ness for Deerfield Selectboard seat

05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — In the town’s highest-turnout race in at least a decade, political newcomer and longtime resident Blake Gilmore defeated Deerfield political fixture Carolyn Shores Ness, 898-857, for a seat on the Select Board.Gilmore claimed victory...


‘Home away from home’: North Amherst Library officially dedicated, as anonymous donor of $1.7M revealed

05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An avid reader throughout her life, who often brought her three children to the North Amherst Library as they were growing up, Hilda Greenbaum saw the need to improve the 1893 building to ensure it would continue to serve future generations,...


Funding will limit ARHS track/field makeover to cheapest option

05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Widening the existing track from six to eight lanes and rejuvenating the interior grass field appears to be the extent of renovations that can be done to Amherst Regional High School’s track and field because of limited funding.While the...


Granby Bow and Gun Club says stray bullets that hit homes in Belchertown did not come from its range

05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By EMILEE KELIN

BELCHERTOWN — The president of the Granby Bow and Gun Club insists that stray bullets that hit two homes and a shed in the Turkey Hill area of town did not originate from the club’s long range.Club President Ryan Downing read a statement at the...


Town manager’s plan shorts Amherst Regional Schools’ budget

05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A $97.3 million town budget for fiscal year 2025, maintaining municipal staffing and programs and promoting climate change and racial equity objectives, is being proposed by Town Manager Paul Bockelman, even as concerns are being raised that...



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