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With accessory apartment bylaw nearly done, Deerfield Planning Board seeks input
02-23-2023 8:56 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — Although the final draft of a revised bylaw governing accessory dwelling units is nearly complete, the Planning Board held off on approving it at its meeting on Feb. 6 with the intention to encourage public input before sending it to Town...


Arts Briefs: Book launches in Amherst, jazz in Goshen, collage art in Holyoke and more
02-23-2023 8:55 PM

Launch those books by writers from the areaAMHERST — Spring is still more than three weeks away, but the days are lengthening, temperatures are mostly creeping up, and it’s not too early to think about what you might plant in your garden this year —...


The Lehrer Report: Feb. 24, 2023
02-23-2023 8:52 PM

Garden report of sorts: I was driving south on Middle Street when I saw, not one, but two forsythia in bloom. What a surprise. This is still February.Such early blooming makes me wonder how the maple syrup season will turn out. Warm days and cool...


Around Amherst: Sunday program explores Black music from 1619 on
02-23-2023 8:51 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — As Black History Month comes to a close, an event on Sunday afternoon will celebrate the music of African Americans over the past 400 years.The Human Rights Commission and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are cosponsoring “The...


Where authors take center stage: Amherst College’s Litfest returns this weekend with talks, reading, more
02-23-2023 8:49 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

February has its national landmarks: Presidents Day, the Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day.In the Valley, February also means it’s time for Amherst College’s LitFest.Now in its eighth year, the college’s literary festival brings acclaimed and...


Jones Library tea party a civilized affair, despite protest over drag queen
02-23-2023 8:48 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A children’s story hour presented by drag queen Giganta Smalls at the Jones Library Saturday morning went on as scheduled after publicity surrounding it drew a number of demonstrators, most in support of the event but also some opposed.Even...


Firefighting appeal: Departments seek ways to draw scarce new talent into their ranks
02-23-2023 8:47 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — On social media channels in Amherst, photographs of firefighter/paramedics accompanied by narratives about them are revealing why they are working for the town, along with fun facts about their lives.“Amherst Fire is an amazing place to work...


D2 girls state swimming & diving: Amherst collects 2nd-place trophy
02-23-2023 8:46 PM

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

CAMBRIDGE — Lucy Smith placed one hand on fellow Amherst Regional senior Deborah Wells’ back, said, “I’ve got something for you.”She handed over the MIAA Division 2 Girls Swimming state finalist trophy she’d held since the Hurricanes received it to...


Powerful ‘Dreams’: Pelham native’s film about a driven weightlifter turns heads at Sundance
02-23-2023 8:45 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The idea first came to Elijah Bynum about four years ago when he was exercising in a California gym and noticed an ultra-serious bodybuilder, a guy who was “radiating intensity” as he went through his paces.“There was this really intense energy about...


Amherst educators will work to rule, calling for face-to-face contract talks
02-23-2023 6:11 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Teachers, paraeducators and other members of the Amherst-Pelham Education Association are halting doing any unpaid tasks in or out of school, such as overseeing extracurricular activities for students and developing new courses, until...


Amherst proposal renews call for noncitizen voting rights
02-16-2023 9:15 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Amherst is likely to renew its efforts in seeking legislation to allow noncitizen residents who are at least 18 years old to vote in municipal elections and run for local elective office. If successful, the town would join several other...


Advocates flag concerns over solar subcontractor at old Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Amherst
02-16-2023 9:15 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Advocates for solar development that protects forests and natural resources are calling on the town to do more to keep the former Hickory Ridge Country Club, and the Fort River that traverses the 150-acre property, from being harmed after...


Amherst Town Council eyes retreat to boost efficiency, professionalism
02-16-2023 9:15 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Occasional tense meetings for the Town Council, including one involving extended discussions on appropriating money for a high school track and field project last fall, are prompting a councilor to suggest her colleagues participate in a...


Amherst man gets 5-6 years for sexual assaults on a child
02-16-2023 9:15 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — An Amherst man was sentenced to five to six years in state prison Monday after being convicted last week of five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and witness intimidation.Judge Richard Carey sentenced Jorge...


Book exchange adds appeal to Hadley transfer station
02-16-2023 9:15 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Many transfer stations around the region have become more than just places to bring household trash, recyclables and compost, becoming part of the fabric of the community with take-it-or-leave-it facilities and book sheds.Hadley’s transfer...


Brothers ‘keeping it simple’ with Deerfield diner
02-16-2023 9:15 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — Looking for a diner-style breakfast at a cheap price? Chris Dodge and Jim Dion have you covered.The two brothers, who are both military veterans, have opened The 5&10 Breakfast Club in the Tibetan Plaza at 265 Greenfield Road, with the aim...


Report finds fewer students heading to college; pols call for more investment
02-16-2023 9:14 PM

By SYDNEY KO

BOSTON — The number of students choosing to attend post-secondary education in Massachusetts has dropped significantly in recent years, a trend that started nearly a decade ago and has only been exacerbated during the pandemic.“The pandemic’s impact...


Mount Holyoke names Danielle Ren Holley as its new president
02-16-2023 9:14 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SOUTH HADLEY — Danielle Ren Holley, a legal educator and social justice scholar, will become the 20th president of Mount Holyoke College on July 1, becoming the first Black woman to serve as a permanent president in the college’s 186-year history.In...


Volunteer committee in Amherst begins advocacy for school project
02-16-2023 9:12 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A volunteer group is forming to advocate in support of the $98 million elementary school to replace Wildwood and Fort River elementary schools.Vote Yes for Our Schools, a ballot question committee that organized in late January, was...


South Hadley schools, union move forward with new contract, though 46% of members vote against ratification
02-16-2023 9:10 PM

By EMILY THURLOW

SOUTH HADLEY — After a particularly contentious contract negotiation cycle that began in the fall of 2021, the school district and the South Hadley Education Association have solidified their contract agreements.Members of the 270-member union of...

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