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The Beat Goes On: Album release shows by Barnstar! and Lisa Bastoni, a Young@Heart Chorus concert with new special guests, and more
04-18-2024 7:16 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

’Tis the season of gigs by artists dropping new albums.In early April, the Valley indie-folk band Cloudbelly celebrated a new disc, “i know i know i know,” with back-to-back shows at The Parlor Room in Northampton, and Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini,...


Amherst set to start work on trail system at old Hickory Ridge Golf Course
04-18-2024 7:16 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Construction of a new trail system on portions of the former Hickory Ridge Golf Course, including a loop trail for recreation and a north-south trail that will provide a more direct connection for East Hadley Road residents to Pomeroy...


ValleyBike Share readying to roll again: Eight-town e-bicycle network gears up for relaunch
04-18-2024 7:16 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — About 500 electric-assisted bicycles at 78 stations in eight area communities could be returning later this spring as ValleyBike Share gets ready to relaunch with a new vendor.Amherst last week became one of the final communities to enter...


You’re up next: Western Mass open mic scene heats up post-pandemic
04-18-2024 7:14 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Not so long ago, there was a general lament sometimes heard among Valley musicians: “There aren’t enough places to play around here.”That might have been true for professional players who wanted to be paid — and maybe, despite the opening of new local...


Next 5-story building cleared to rise in downtown Amherst
04-18-2024 7:14 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A five-story mixed-use building to be attached to the historic Hastings building at 45 South Pleasant St. can move forward following final site plan review and special permit approvals from the Planning Board.Board members unanimously...


Gravel pit defenders in Granby make case
04-18-2024 7:14 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — David Trompke grew up walking and riding his bike down Bachelor Street back when five gravel pits were in operation.Now, at 75, the lifelong Granby resident whose family developed a subdivision off Trompke Avenue wants to lease 19 acres for a...


Amherst council approves mandatory rental inspection program
04-11-2024 6:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The town is moving ahead with a revised residential rental property bylaw that will replace the current complaint-driven inspection system with a requirement that all rental homes be inspected once every five years, despite objections from a...


Amherst officials cool to bid to double spending hike for regional schools
04-11-2024 6:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A request for nearly $1 million more from the four member towns of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District to support a $35.75 million fiscal year 2025 budget for the regional schools is being met with a lukewarm response and skepticism...


One upon a story slam: This year’s Valley Voices winners head to a final competition
04-11-2024 6:33 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The assignment is pretty straightforward: Tell a concise story about your life, in no more than five minutes, that reflects a certain theme.The challenge is in telling that story with enough heart, spirit, verve, humor or whatever else you can conjure...


Police investigating bullets striking homes in Belchertown
04-11-2024 6:32 PM

Staff Report

 BELCHERTOWN — Local and state police are investigating bullets striking two homes on Mountain View Drive within the past year and shattering glass doors, including one incident last week, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s...


As Hadley works on energy storage bylaw, some question why the town has to allow them at all
04-11-2024 6:32 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — As a proposed energy storage bylaw continues to be refined by the Planning Board in advance of annual Town Meeting next month, some residents are questioning whether it’s appropriate to allow such systems in Hadley.“Sometimes we have to stand...


In federal lawsuit, teacher accuses Amherst schools of violating civil rights, other district policies
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A special education teacher who previously led the teachers union has filed a federal discrimination and defamation lawsuit against the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, its current interim superintendent and its former leaders.An...


Three vying for two Hadley Select Board seats in sole contested race
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

HADLEY — A three-way race for two seats on the Select Board is the lone contest anticipated at the May 21 town election.Amy Parsons, who currently chairs the board, is running for a second three-year term and will face former board member David J....


Water rate hike eyed to fund new tanks in Hadley
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Hadley water rates could go up 10%, with an average household paying about $8 more per quarterly billing cycle, under an initial plan to cover the $9 million cost of replacing the Mount Warner and Mount Holyoke water tanks.The Select Board on...


Residents seek to balance intersection upgrades with preservation of Sunderland character
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — With Stantec consultants back in town to gather feedback on potential changes to downtown Sunderland, streetscape improvements, traffic-calming measures, multi-use paths and other similar infrastructure were at the top of residents’ minds...


The Lehrer Report: April 12, 2024
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

Reminder: Monday, April 16 is Patriot’s Day, a state holiday. Town offices are closed but the post office will be open.Reminder: Because of the holiday, the deadline to file state and federal income taxes is Tuesday, April 17.The check(s) will be in...


Around Amherst: Education foundation funds array of projects
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Special programs and projects outside of school budget funding are being supported with $24,594 in grants from the Amherst Education Foundation, which is in its 30th year of helping educators at the four Amherst and Pelham elementary schools...


WMass on display in new movie trailer for Annie Baker’s ‘Janet Planet’
04-11-2024 6:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Mount Pollux in Amherst and The History of Women Mural in Northampton are among area locations visible in a trailer released for “Janet Planet,” the feature film directorial debut by playwright Annie Baker that is expected to hit theaters on...


Valley arts organizations win Mass Cultural funding: Awards are designed to mitigate casinos’ entertainment clout
04-11-2024 6:30 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

As part of a funding program for municipal and nonprofit performing arts centers, the Massachusetts Cultural Council is awarding over $150,000 to 10 arts organizations and centers in the Valley.The awards — part of $3.66 million in funding the MCC is...


Made in the shade: Eclipse mixes science, magic for many in Valley
04-11-2024 6:30 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL and EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — Residents across the Pioneer Valley turned out in force to witness a rare solar eclipse on Monday, with western Massachusetts witnessing a 95% coverage of the sun by the passing moon.Despite being outside the path of full totality, which...

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