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It’s official: Belchertown’s request to create town manager position OK’d by state
04-11-2024 6:30 PM

By Emilee Klein

BELCHERTOWN — After nearly a year of waiting, Belchertown finally has a town manager.On March 8, Gov. Maura Healey signed legislation to create the first-ever town manager, replacing the long-used town administrator form of government. The change,...


April is a theatrical month: Latinx Theater Symposium and Shakespeare on tap at UMass
04-11-2024 6:28 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

April is shaping up to be a busy month for the University of Massachusetts Theater Department, beginning with a symposium that honors Latinx theater and closing with a fresh interpretation of a classic Shakespeare comedy.On April 8-9, theater...


Don Michak: Dig deeper after scandalous court ruling in Soldiers' Home case
04-11-2024 6:26 PM

The fact that the former superintendent and medical director of the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke got off with mere $90 fines is not merely “disgusting,” as the woman who lost her father to COVID told the Gazette, but also a major statewide scandal that...


Susan Tracy: Support Ukraine funding
04-11-2024 6:26 PM

When Congress returns next week, funding for military aid to Ukraine will be on the table in the House. However, if Speaker Mike Johnson brings Ukraine aid up for a vote which will pass, the MAGA Republicans have threatened his tenure as...


Jena Schwartz: Things I have not said
04-11-2024 6:26 PM

I continue to be consumed by the Israel-Hamas war. I read, watch, write, pray, dream, agonize, and do my best to engage in intentional and nuanced conversations about it. And yet there remain things I have not said.Or things I have said by omission.Or...


Richard S. Bogartz: What the ghosts of Warsaw Ghetto know
04-11-2024 6:25 PM

By RICHARD S. BOGARTZ I had intended to continue my four-part series on President Joe Biden, but I must interrupt that project even though Part 2 is almost complete because, even though I don’t believe in ghosts, I keep encountering ghosts who insist...


UMass trustees OK 2.5% tuition increase
04-11-2024 6:24 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts has taken a step toward hiking tuition and room and board charges for the next academic year, but some trustees said Wednesday the proposed increases are not high enough and one said the status quo would be...


Defying the odds: Hadley’s Owen Earle back competing less than two years removed from horrific accident
04-11-2024 6:22 PM

By GARRETT COTE

Lying flat on his back in the middle of a field at Four Rex Farm in Hadley, Owen Earle stared straight into an endless stretch of overcast sky, raindrops gently splashing him.Although he didn’t feel much pain, he knew there was no getting up.“I had...


Smart search shirt: AHRS invention group’s garment will report rescuers’ vital signs and location
04-11-2024 6:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Often during search-and-rescue efforts, emergency personnel in the field prioritize helping those lost, trapped or otherwise in trouble, rather than focusing on their own safety and well-being.Understanding the risks they take, a group...


Amherst police chief finalists stress anti-racism cred, discuss other issues in separate meetings with public
04-11-2024 6:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Both Chelmsford Police Lt. Todd Ahern and Amherst interim Police Chief Gabriel Ting are citing their lived experiences, as well as their significant service to public safety, as reasons they should become the next police chief of the Amherst...


Small towns wary of Amherst Regional committee’s school budget ask
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Skepticism and uncertainty from officials in Pelham, Leverett and Shutesbury over Amherst Regional School Committee’s appeal for nearly $1 million more from the four member towns is prompting the convening of a four-town meeting next month...


Amherst councilor mulls restrictions on public comment
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An Amherst councilor may seek to place some restrictions on how public comments are made at Town Council meetings, such as requiring advance sign-up for those participating remotely, as a way of combating potential hate speech.At a Town...


School backers press council for boost to Amherst regional budget
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Parents, educators and members of the Regional School Committee are making direct appeals to the Amherst Town Council to support a $35.75 million fiscal year 2025 budget that is nearly $1 million above the financial guidance provided by...


A time for every purpose under heaven: Free sing-a-long Pete Seeger Fest returns to Ashfield, April 6
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Pete Seeger’s death. The legendary folk musician, political activist, and environmentalist touched lives around the world with his songs, which were rich in hope and history and exhibited a strong sense of...


As expansion project begins, Tilton Library move set for April 15
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Tilton Library has an official date for its move next door to the South Deerfield Congregational Church’s function hall, as its long-awaited expansion project is nearly set to begin.The library will officially move on April 15, but...


‘Sport court’ eyed for Amherst recreational sites
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A dedicated outdoor fitness space could be added to the town’s recreational sites through support from a national initiative that would provide grant money to cover most costs of its installation.The Amherst Recreation Commission recently...


The love behind a perfect match: Pet rescue organization using AI to help rehome pets
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

No dog trainers, behaviorists and even an psychic animal communicator could prevent Melissa Bekisz’s two dogs from fighting.The New York resident inherited her ex-partner’s 4-year-old Australian shepherd Marjoram after he moved out. Marjoram began...


Veteran West Roxbury community booster will lead Amherst Area Chamber
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A Belchertown resident with experience in promoting economic development, leading community events and building coalitions begins his tenure as executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce this month.Jacob Robinson, most...


Deerfield woman gets probation in stabbing case
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — A Deerfield woman was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation after admitting in Franklin County Superior Court to stabbing the 82-year-old husband of a woman she was caring for as a personal care attendant last year.Kady J....


Popular Jones Library tours to continue in April
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

AMHERST — The popularity of recent tours giving the public peeks into all areas of the Jones Library, including some places set aside only for staff, is prompting the Jones Library Capital Campaign to continue the initiative through mid-April.More...

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