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Easthampton’s 11 Ferry St. project promises affordable five-story, 96-unit complex
07-12-2024 5:09 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — Springfield nonprofit Home City Development Inc. has long been planning an affordable housing project on Ferry Street. Now, they are close to finalizing a construction plan, and could be breaking ground this time next year.Peter...

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One Cottage Street artisans, backers huddle up as rent hikes loom
07-12-2024 5:08 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — Filing through the main hallway of CitySpace, community members stopped to read the stories of One Cottage Street tenants that line the walls, detailing their relationships to the former mill building where they run their art studios....


Playing catch-up on housing: Affordable projects in pipeline around Valley as gap keeps growing
07-12-2024 4:59 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

Thousands of new affordable housing units will be built in western Massachusetts in the next few years, but local housing advocates say this still will not be enough to meet the massive regional demand for housing relief.The lack of affordable housing...


A healing approach: Cutchins Programs CEO Tina Champagne earns top honor in occupational therapy field for mental health focus
07-08-2024 2:05 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

NORTHAMPTON — For over 25 years, Tina Champagne has been a pioneer of change and research in the occupational therapy sphere. Now, she has been awarded the highest honor the profession has to offer.“It’s my passion,” she said. “If it takes even more...


CDH, Highland Valley Elder Services launch Hospital to Home program
07-08-2024 12:01 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Highland Valley Elder Services will expand the state’s Hospital to Home Partnership Program thanks to a nearly $200,000 grant announced by the governor’s office last month. The program will involve providing...


Developer secures $2M for High Street apartments in Holyoke
07-06-2024 4:00 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

HOLYOKE — Urbanist Development has secured $2 million through the state’s Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) for the construction of 19 new apartments on High Street. The Wrights Block development resides on one of the oldest contiguous...


‘It’s not as hard as it looks’: Stompin’ Boots weekly line dances and classes rapidly growing in popularity
07-05-2024 9:50 AM

By ALEXA LEWIS

When Shellie Stone went to Nashville two years ago, she was intoxicated with the city’s quintessential culture of  music and dancing, and immediately took to the dance floor. Stone, who had been line dancing for fun since attending her first class...


Housing advocates cheer $5.4B stimulus bill, though transfer tax falls by wayside
07-02-2024 4:48 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

Local policymakers and affordable housing advocates and developers are welcoming a bill that cleared the state Senate unanimously late last week authorizing $5.4 billion in state borrowing to spur housing production amid a mounting housing supply...


In race for 4th Hampden District, Westfield city councilor Matthews-Kane ready to take leadership to next level
07-02-2024 3:07 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

SOUTHAMPTON — A new Democratic candidate for state representative will challenge Republican Rep. Kelly Pease in this year’s election for a seat representing the 4th Hampden District on Beacon Hill. Currently serving in her third term as the Ward 3...


In race for 4th Hampden District, incumbent Pease touts accomplishments as he seeks third term
07-02-2024 3:07 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

SOUTHAMPTON — As election season draws nearer, state Rep. Kelly Pease says he is using his position to advocate for Westfield and Southampton, and says he would be “honored and humbled” to continue doing so for a third term as the 4th Hampden...


Easthampton aims for Climate Leader status by adopting new building code, prioritizing EV buys
06-28-2024 1:22 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — The city is preparing to take its commitment to combating climate change to a new level now that the City Council has signed off on two key measures that will qualify Easthampton for a Climate Leader Community designation. Councilors...


Southampton voters OK $2.2M to buy land for public safety complex, other uses
06-27-2024 4:44 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

SOUTHAMPTON — Voters approved a $2.2 million override to buy land for a new public safety complex at a special election this week, allowing the town to move into the initial planning stages for the lengthy project. Community members approved the...


Easthampton council backs One Cottage Street artists in rent flap
06-26-2024 4:43 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — A galvanized arts community worried about looming rent hikes for artists who rent space at Cottage Street Studios downtown secured the backing of the City Council on Wednesday.At an emotional meeting featuring crying and shouting, the...


Thunder in the Valley festival in Easthampton to feature music, fireworks
06-26-2024 4:41 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — A day of music, fireworks, food and fun awaits Pioneer Valley residents as Thunder in the Valley returns to Easthampton for its ninth year on Saturday. Thunder in the Valley is a beloved Fourth of July celebration featuring booming rock,...


A treasure reopens: After $1.4M in repairs, Nonotuck Pool is back in business
06-25-2024 3:52 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — Nonotuck Pool has been a prominent facet of Easthampton summer fun for over 60 years, and now it’s better than ever. Children splashed about in the blue water and community members applauded as Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and Andrew Hunter...


Federal grant to speed up Route 10 work in Easthampton; Sierra Vista development to break ground in August
06-25-2024 3:52 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — The city is set to receive $960,000 from the federal government for much-needed water infrastructure upgrades along Route 10 in the coming months.The money, announced by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in a visit to the city on Monday, will be...


Around the Hamptons: Digital Equity Plan in Westhampton, free shows in Easthampton; rail trail extension in Southampton
06-25-2024 1:41 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

WESTHAMPTON — Public feedback is being sought as officials are finalizing the town’s Municipal Digital Equity Plan. There will be a public meeting at Town Hall at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for town residents to provide input on the plan and speak to their...


HERO Act ‘monumental’ for veterans, but one expert says it falls short on housing
06-24-2024 4:18 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

A leading veterans agent in the region says an expansive bill soon to become law designed to improve the lives of Massachusetts veterans is “monumental” for its expanded inclusion efforts, benefits, and health care provisions, but the measure fails to...


Easthampton seeks comment on climate action plan
06-24-2024 4:15 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — For over a year, Easthampton has been working to draft a Climate Action Plan that would make the city a model for emissions reduction and green practices.After an intensive assessment and development process involving several public...


Easthampton’s LaBombard named clerk of the year
06-22-2024 8:25 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — Barbara LaBombard is a powerful, behind-the-scenes force keeping Easthampton running smoothly on a daily basis. As the city clerk for over 30 years, LaBombard has witnessed Easthampton change from a town to an expanding city, and has...


2024 EHS valedictorian Moira Larson in running for national Distinguished Young Women title
06-22-2024 3:28 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — After graduating from Easthampton High School as class valedictorian just a few weeks ago, Moira Larson is now in Mobile, Alabama to represent Massachusetts in the 67th Distinguished Young Women National Finals. Larson is one of 50 young...

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