News

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New language program to benefit older immigrants at Jones Library 

01-04-2023 8:47 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Older immigrants to the region, including those without English skills and a formal education, will benefit from development of a new curriculum for a program that will be housed in the long-running English as a Second Language Center at the...


State school building authority boosts reimbursement to towns

01-04-2023 8:47 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Communities across Massachusetts, including Amherst, will get more financial support from the state for school building projects they are pursuing, although a reimbursement increase recently approved by state officials fell short of appeals...


Route 9 roadwork taking toll on Hadley businesses

01-04-2023 8:45 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Customers trying to get into the Wanczyk Nursery parking lot on the morning of Dec. 28 may have found their way blocked by a deep, narrow trench dug for utilities extending across the entrance and a police officer directing vehicles past the...


signAround Amherst: Schools getting nearly $200K toward another electric bus

01-04-2023 8:43 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A sizable portion of the costs associated with buying an electric school bus and a charger for the Amherst public schools are being covered as part of $1.8 million being provided to cities and towns through a state program.The schools are...


Pelham committee rejects $53K in funding for track project

01-02-2023 11:32 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

PELHAM — The town’s Community Preservation Committee has rejected a $53,380 funding request to go toward a $4.7 million project at Amherst Regional High School that would rebuild and reorient the track, and put an artificial turf field inside it.The...


Hadley’s plastic bag ban kicks in Jan. 1

01-02-2023 11:29 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — One-time use plastic bags at supermarkets and department stores, foam containers for takeout food and plastic straws at restaurants will be prohibited in Hadley beginning on Jan. 1.Licensing Coordinator Jennifer Sanders James recently sent a...


Expanded Jones Library design receives unanimous support in Amherst

01-02-2023 11:29 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Final schematic design elements for an expanded and renovated Jones Library, including putting the art gallery near the basement entrance and moving the young adult area to the second floor, are being endorsed by the Jones Library Building...


Amherst man faces charges for placing deer heart on windshield 

01-02-2023 11:29 AM

AMHERST — An Amherst man is facing criminal charges after allegedly placing a deer’s heart on a vehicle’s windshield on Fearing Street on Christmas Day, police said.The 21-year-old man is being summoned to court on charges of disturbing the peace and...


Christmas trees wanted to feed goats at Amherst farm

01-02-2023 11:29 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A small farm in Amherst near the Hadley town line is accepting Christmas trees, with ornaments and tinsel removed, to feed a half-dozen goats.Michelle Chandler, who has six Nigerian dwarf goats at her farm, said that people are welcome to...


Former state police captain indicted on child porn charges

01-02-2023 11:29 AM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — A retired Massachusetts State Police captain and Amherst resident has been indicted on eight counts related to possession and distribution of child pornography by a Hampshire County Court grand jury. Francis Hart, 62, was arrested at his...


Former Amherst billiards hall may serve as transitional housing for ServiceNet

01-02-2023 11:29 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An East Amherst village center building that once housed the long-running Michael’s Billiards could be converted into 12 efficiency apartments for ServiceNet clients.The Planning Board is in the midst of doing a site plan review for an...


Valley CDC nears purchase of EconoLodge on Route 9 in Hadley 

01-02-2023 11:28 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Valley Community Development is nearing acquisition of the EconoLodge hotel on Route 9, meaning a comprehensive permit application for its conversion into affordable apartments could be filed with the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals early in...


2021 shooting cases at Hadley Walmart resolved

01-02-2023 11:28 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — A final defendant in the 2021 shooting inside the Walmart in Hadley will serve a year in the house of correction, followed by a year on probation, after entering a guilty plea in Hampshire Superior Court this month, according to the...


Petition backing Nipmuc garners support 

01-02-2023 11:28 AM

By EMILY THURLOW

BELCHERTOWN — An online petition advocating for the return of 400 acres of state-owned farmland in Belchertown back to the Nipmuc people has garnered more than 900 signatures in less than six days. The Change.org petition, which was launched by a...


Exploring mill past to build a future

01-02-2023 11:28 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

Scattered throughout the woods of Leverett are clues, both large and small, of an industrial past the town has left behind as the world around it developed and further modernized.And scattered throughout the last three years have been presentations...


Amherst accused of inequitable distribution of rescue funds

01-02-2023 11:25 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — For a dozen years, Yasmin Brandford has owned and operated Amherst Extensions and Beauty Salon, specializing in maintenance and care for African American hair.But Brandford says she didn’t seek American Rescue Plan Act money to grow her 460...


The conservation card: Land trusts and the forests they preserve play a crucial role in fighting climate change

01-02-2023 11:23 AM

By BOB FLAHERTY

For Sale: 200 Acres. Build to Suit. You see a lot of these enticements on the highways, and anyone with a wad of cash and a fleet of backhoes likely salivates at the sight of them.It’s estimated that 28,000 acres of New England forest each year are...


Amherst Police staffing woes hit department morale

01-02-2023 11:23 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An already short-staffed Amherst police force, which recently had three members leave for lower-paying jobs at other area departments, means the remaining officers are working more overtime and having to prioritize emergency call...


Around Amherst: Police chief leads town employees marking anniversaries

01-02-2023 11:20 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Several municipal employees were recently recognized for marking milestone anniversaries in 2022.Leading the way in years of service was Police Chief Scott Livingstone, who celebrated his 45th anniversary on the town’s police force in March....



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