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Volunteering is in his blood: Four Rivers Charter grad Sam Whitney recognized as Gazette’s Young Community Leader
06-13-2024 3:15 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — To say that Sam Whitney likes to play sports might be something of an understatement.At the Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield, where Whitney graduated this spring, he played soccer, basketball, and the school’s signature...

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Heat wave rolls in: Cooling centers to open as high humidity, upper 90s take hold for rest of week
06-17-2024 4:41 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The Pioneer Valley is bracing for a potentially record-setting heat wave this week, as local cities and towns open cooling centers and put out their own advisories warning residents. According to the National Weather Service station in Norton, the...


UMass launches task force in wake of spring protests, will also review police activity
06-17-2024 4:33 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

AMHERST — UMass Amherst Chancellor Javier Reyes has announced the creation of a Campus Demonstration Policy Task Force and an independent review of police activity on campus following events this spring that lead to more than 100 arrests on campus...


Northampton panel member’s reappointment opposed after ‘ugly’ handicapped access remark
06-16-2024 12:01 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — A routine reappointment to the city’s Central Business Architecture Committee became a little more complicated after a member of the Northampton City Council objected to the committee member’s description of a proposed handicapped-access...


Northampton school superintendent: Union’s no-confidence vote shows ‘lack of courtesy’
06-16-2024 10:01 AM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Portia Bonner expressed “deep disappointment” in the school union’s recent vote of no confidence in her, saying that it showed a “lack of courtesy.” She also pushed back against the notion that...


Jewish Voice for Peace teach-in backs calls for cease-fire, embargo
06-14-2024 4:40 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — As the war in Gaza grinds on into an eighth month, opposition to it continues to grow in the U.S. and particularly in the Pioneer Valley, just as a potential cease-fire proposed by President Joe Biden on May 31 and endorsed by the U.N....


Former social studies teacher returns as principal at Northampton High School
06-14-2024 4:18 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Former Northampton social studies teacher Ben Taglieri has been selected as the new principal for Northampton High School, replacing retiring principal Bill Wehrli.The School Committee on Thursday chose Taglieri over Jonathan Bruno of...


Northampton school union votes no confidence in superintendent
06-12-2024 7:37 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton Association of School Employees union took a vote of no confidence this week in Superintendent Portia Bonner, the latest development in an ongoing battle between the union and the city over the school budget for next...


Horticultural rebirth: Two years after fire, Smith Vocational breaks ground on new $7M building
06-11-2024 3:15 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School broke ground on its new planned horticulture building on Tuesday, with plans to cut the ribbon on the finished building by next summer.The previous horticulture building, which housed the...


Northampton budget stalls over school funding after 2 councilors force a delay in vote
06-07-2024 5:01 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The City Council’s effort to vote on a budget for next fiscal year will have to wait two weeks after two councilors who support giving more money to the school system raised multiple charter objections at Thursday’s meeting.“I think the...


Northampton City Briefing: YMCA opens new airnasium
06-06-2024 11:01 AM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The Hampshire Regional YMCA marked the grand inauguration of its airnasium on Wednesday, the first YMCA in the Northeast to do so. The new 2,250-square-foot outdoor gymnasium, features exercise bikes, weight racks and a roof to protect...


Mayor boosts Northampton school spending after public outcry
06-05-2024 8:34 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — A day before an expected final vote Thursday on the city’s budget for the coming fiscal year, Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra has submitted a new budget that increases school funding by twice her originally planned 4% hike, after more than a...


Walking for water: JFK students raising funds to help drill wells in South Sudan
06-05-2024 2:31 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Over the span of a few days between the end of May and the start of June, members of the sixth grade class at JFK leave their classroom and head outdoors to walk together in laps around the school building. But these kids are doing more...


Plum Boutique aims to bring whimsy, joy to downtown Northampton
06-05-2024 2:30 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Several years ago, Heidi Weeks made the decision go into business with her business partner Tim Fisk, who runs Salon Herdis in Northampton. The two had the idea of opening up a boutique shop in Greenfield, where Weeks was living.“Between...


Sustainability on menu: High school academy in Northampton recognized for garden, other ‘green’ efforts
06-04-2024 1:53 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — In a small outdoor corridor wrapping around the school building of HEC Academy lies a garden, with various patches of land and small pots sprouting vegetation such as squash, pumpkins and zucchini. Around half a dozen students help...


The future is now for Northampton High’s class of 2024 as more than 200 graduates say goodbye
06-02-2024 10:00 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Sunday marked a turning point in the lives of Northampton High School’s class of 2024, the day they would finish their lives as high school students and move on out into the world to start their post-secondary life. For some, it was a...


Advocates press for more money for Northampton schools at lengthy budget hearing
05-31-2024 5:31 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — One by one they came to the podium in City Council chambers — or they zoomed in online — with a straightforward message for councilors: Save the city’s school system from cuts in next year’s budget.Among them was Janis Totty, a retired...


Smith Voc commencement: Graduates ready for next steps
05-31-2024 5:05 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — When the state’s Department of Agricultural Resources commissioner Ashley Randle took the podium at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School’s football stadium in front of a crowd of hundreds of parents and families Thursday...


Amtrak expands Valley Flyer service with evening runs to and from Valley to NYC
05-29-2024 3:36 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Residents in the Pioneer Valley looking to get away to New York City for the weekend now have more of a means to do so, thanks to additional Amtrak Valley Flyer trains running between Greenfield and New Haven, Connecticut, that can...


Northampton superintendent outlines school layoffs on eve of budget hearings this week
05-27-2024 4:01 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The city’s schools are poised to layoff 17 full-time teachers next school year, the most significant of expected cuts should the City Council approve Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra’s proposed fiscal 2025 budget next month.On the eve of the...


GOP silences McGovern over Trump remarks
05-23-2024 5:28 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

For the first time in his 27-year career in Congress, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern had his remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives struck from the record on Wednesday, after he criticized former U.S. President Donald Trump for his numerous...

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