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School Committee vote opens ARHS track project to grass playing field
02-03-2024 10:50 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Reorienting and expanding the high school track and rebuilding its interior playing field is in some question after the Amherst Regional School Committee this week narrowly rescinded a $1.5 million borrowing authorization. Committee members...

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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...


Historic guideboard on Shutesbury town common packed up for repairs
02-15-2024 8:16 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — A historic guideboard on the Shutesbury Town Common since 1837, helping travelers navigate to Massachusetts communities both near and far, is temporarily absent from the green as a restoration project begins.The wooden guideboard was...


Cute and charming: Shutesbury swears in Charlie, its first police comfort dog
02-08-2024 8:45 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — On his first day at Shutesbury Town Hall, a week before officially being sworn in as the Police Department’s first K-9 officer, Charlie provided a calming distraction for a stressed and flustered resident who had come to the town...


Amherst chamber boss Pazmany to step down
02-08-2024 8:42 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — In a region where most businesses are small, with 20 or fewer employees, having an organization to advocate on their behalf, help market them and assist them through unforeseen challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic is critical, says Amherst...


Amherst-Pelham schools to make plea to town of Amherst for help closing $1.9M budget gap
02-03-2024 11:00 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — To stave off a portion of what could be nearly $1.9 million in reductions and efficiencies to balance next year’s Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools budget, Amherst representatives to the Regional School Committee intend to seek more financial...


Shutesbury voters OK new wetlands bylaw at special TM
02-03-2024 11:00 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — After a series of amendments and nearly three hours of discussion and debate, a new wetlands protection bylaw is in place in Shutesbury, adopted without a sentence that some interpreted as giving developers veto power over certain...


Amherst picks 20 people for its superintendent search committee
02-03-2024 11:00 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A 20-member search committee, whose members represent a range of backgrounds and identities, hometowns and work experience, will be responsible for identifying the candidates to become the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and...


Special TM in Shutesbury rescheduled to Jan. 23
01-22-2024 11:07 AM

By Scott Merzbach

SHUTESBURY — A special Town Meeting that includes a revised wetlands protection bylaw to replace one adopted in 1987 is being postponed to next week due to Tuesday’s snowstorm.The seven-article warrant, which also has various spending items, will be...


Amherst Regional School Committee meeting roiled over principal pick
01-22-2024 10:43 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An internal choice to become the new interim principal at Amherst Regional Middle School no longer wants the position following a tense Regional School Committee meeting on Tuesday in which a parent of a student who was repeatedly bullied at...


Boosters reach goal for ARHS track, but project with turf field still $1M short
01-22-2024 10:43 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A $4.74 million project to rebuild and reorient the high school track and field is receiving significant financial support from families, individuals and businesses who have contributed to the Amherst Hurricane Boosters’ fundraising...


Shutesbury’s ConsCom leader resigns, cites personal attacks, interference from town
01-22-2024 10:43 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — The chairwoman of the town’s Conservation Commission has stepped down, a decision she said stems from alleged personal attacks and interference by elected and appointed officials at Town Hall.Miriam DeFant’s decision came on the eve of a...


Amherst Regional superintendent search begins with public input sessions
01-22-2024 10:43 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Amherst, Pelham, Shutesbury and Leverett residents are being invited to offer thoughts for the ongoing superintendent search for the Amherst-Pelham Regional, Amherst and Pelham district schools at six community input sessions, the first of...


Vote looms on contentious new Shutesbury wetlands bylaw
01-11-2024 11:48 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — A new wetlands protection bylaw to replace one first adopted 37 years ago is part of a seven-article warrant for a special Town Meeting set for Jan. 16.Before the meeting is held, though, the activist group Smart Solar Shutesbury is...


Boosters reach goal for ARHS track, but project with turf field still $1M short
01-11-2024 11:45 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A $4.74 million project to rebuild and reorient the high school track and field is receiving significant financial support from families, individuals and businesses who have contributed to the Amherst Hurricane Boosters’ fundraising...


Timeline for Amherst’s sixth grade move up in the air 
01-02-2024 10:35 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Beginning in either fall 2025 or fall 2026, sixth graders at Amherst’s three elementary schools will be relocating to the Amherst Regional Middle School.But even after extensive planning was previously completed for a move that was supposed...


Preliminary budget for Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools shows $1.9M gap
12-26-2023 11:05 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Various adjustments and cost savings totaling $1.9 million may be necessary before a fiscal year 2025 operating budget for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools can be adopted by the four member towns, according to school officials.“It is...


Amherst’s interim superintendent defends HR consultant after union calls for resignation
12-15-2023 11:28 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The regional school district’s interim superintendent is defending the work of a human resources consultant as critical for the district during a tumultuous time, responding to a demand from the school union that she resign.Last Thursday,...


Amherst Regional School Committee restarting middle school principal search
12-15-2023 11:28 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A search process for a permanent Amherst Regional Middle School principal that failed last spring when both finalists withdrew, including a candidate who had completed a public interview and was invited for a site visit, will resume in the...


Guest columnist Susie Mosher: Disability activists also oppose aid in dying
12-15-2023 11:20 AM

By SUSIE MOSHER

The article “Bill seeks to give terminally ill options” published in the Gazette on Oct. 23 gave a slanted report on the public hearing held at the State House on Oct. 20. From reading the article one would be led to believe opponents of the Medical...


Amherst Regional may revisit synthetic turf for its track and field project
12-09-2023 1:19 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — With designs and precise cost estimates for a new track and field at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School possibly still six to nine months from being completed, members of the Regional School Committee are considering revisiting a 2022 vote...

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