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Big project wins OK at old Belchertown State School
02-23-2024 9:47 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

BELCHERTOWN — The town has signed off on the largest project yet in its long-running efforts to redevelop the former Belchertown State School — a 100-unit mixed-income residential complex that also includes converting an old administration building...

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Superintendent warns of 20 staff cuts in Amherst-Pelham regional schools
02-23-2024 9:56 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Even with Amherst officials signaling a commitment to increase the town’s financial obligation to the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, around 20 staff members, including classroom teachers and paraeducators, could be eliminated at the middle...


Amherst gets good budget news that could stave off cuts
02-23-2024 9:56 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Amherst’s public schools, municipal government and town libraries are in line to get spending boosts in next year’s budgets that go beyond initial projections, potentially staving off recently announced cuts that could be made to elementary...


Amherst Historical Commission not ready to OK demos on South Pleasant without more info
02-23-2024 9:55 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Appeals for more documentation of a historic performance space in a downtown building, possibly used by an Amherst College fraternity in the 19th century, are being made before the three-story brick structure is razed.The rear ell at 45...


$1M in grants to boost local food system in Hampshire County
02-23-2024 9:55 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Area organizations are welcoming grant awards that will boost the supply of fresh, local food available to those in need and provide support for local farmers.“We’re really thrilled to have been selected,” said Lev BenEzra, executive...


LifePath gets $125K grant to facilitate benefits enrollment
02-23-2024 9:53 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

GREENFIELD — With a $125,000 grant from the National Council on Aging, LifePath is looking to help folks in Franklin and Hampshire counties, as well as the North Quabbin region, get past the complex forms and eligibility requirements for numerous...


Amherst town officials leery of playground surfaces
02-23-2024 9:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — With the Conservation Commission and Board of Health registering objections to the proposed poured-in-place rubber surface of a playground at the town’s new elementary school, the design team is asking the Elementary School Building...


Councilors have doubts over Amherst College ‘gateway’ sign on public green
02-23-2024 9:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A large gateway sign to greet visitors to the Amherst College campus coming from points west and north, better announcing the college’s presence at the southern edge of downtown, is again being proposed for installation by college officials...


Adding up fire losses at Red Fire Farm: $1M in damages includes barn full of supplies and memories
02-23-2024 9:43 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — Days after a large fire engulfed Red Fire Farm’s barn and farm store on Carver Street on Saturday afternoon, farm staff slowly recounted the equipment and inventory lost in the fire, as well as the memories attached to them.The fire caused an...


From lab to the world: UMass researchers land $5.5M grant to help translate work into products
02-23-2024 9:43 PM

By XINJI YANG

AMHERST — Researchers at the University of Massachusetts will soon get help translating their work conducted in campus laboratories into solutions to real-world problems related to human health and well-being.That’s the broad focus of a new $5.5...


Amherst girls capture runner-up finish at MIAA Nordic Ski Championships (PHOTOS)
02-23-2024 9:42 PM

By GARRETT COTE

WOODFORD, Vt. — The Amherst girls Nordic ski team didn’t just feel like underdogs all season long — they were underdogs.Often overlooked given the geographical location, the Hurricanes were ready to display their talents on the biggest stage, at the...


Amherst Town Council asked to support cease-fire in Gaza
02-15-2024 8:29 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The Town Council could vote as early as Feb. 26 on adopting a “Resolution for a Cease-fire in Gaza,” a measure that not only calls for a cease-fire, but the release of hostages and detainees on both sides, ensuring humanitarian aid enters...


Hadley Select Board OKs one-day liquor licenses for Young Men’s Club events
02-15-2024 8:29 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Annual events that draw in excess of 1,000 spectators, like the Country in the Country concert and spring and fall festivals for area college students, will continue to be held at the Young Men’s Club, pending approval of one-day liquor...


Five selected from limited pool to interview for Amherst police chief
02-15-2024 8:26 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Even with continued concerns over having just a small pool of applicants to be Amherst’s next police chief, a search committee is forging ahead with interviews.Five candidates, culled from 11 who submitted letters of interest in the job,...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: A garden is a canvas: “Painting the Modern Garden: From Monet to Matisse” comes to Amherst Cinema
02-15-2024 8:26 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

As the calendar page flips to the short but cruel month of February, I suspect that many gardeners, like me, are getting tired of the somber palette of gray and brown.Just in time to rescue us from seasonal ennui, a wonderful documentary, “Painting...


Earth Matters: Queering the outdoors: The Venture Out Project empowers LGBTQIA2S+ people through community and adventure
02-15-2024 8:26 PM

By ALLIE MARTINEAU

Affinity spaces for queer people are essential, to share the things we carry. To meet friends, trade crafts and clothing, talk about our lives, how to find doctors and well-sewn binders, how to come out, change a tire, ask for a raise, or cook for a...


Zoning breaks sought for four-story buildings on edge of UMass
02-15-2024 8:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An 85-unit mixed-use project is being proposed for the corner of Amity Street and University Drive, but the potential development may depend on variance requests coming before the Zoning Board of Appeals later this month.UDrive Amity LLC,...


Young kids aren’t immune: Mental health issues at crisis point amid lack of specialized therapists
02-15-2024 8:25 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Local child therapist Alice Barber says that she could discharge all 45 of her clients — children as young as 2 or 3 years old — and her practice would fill back up within a couple of weeks, “no questions asked.” Barber has colleagues who get 10 calls...


Charges against UMass sit-in protesters downgraded to infractions
02-15-2024 8:25 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

BELCHERTOWN — All of the UMass students who were arrested during a sit-in protest against the war in Gaza on Oct. 25 have had or will have their criminal charges converted to civil infractions, with those who accepted the lesser charges already...


Hadley town officials unveil $27M budget
02-15-2024 8:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — A proposed $21.7 million operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024 maintains all municipal and school programs and current staffing levels, according to a presentation by Hadley’s financial team last week.“There’s no...


Local officials tout governor’s municipal tax plan as ‘very exciting’
02-15-2024 8:25 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s proposal to give cities and towns new tax-hike authority would provide “game-changers” at the local level, especially for less-populated areas, one mayor said Tuesday.A bill Healey filed last month would offer...

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