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Leverett Town Meeting voters will decide cease-fire call, budgets, town elections
04-22-2024 12:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

LEVERETT — Money for continued restoration of the North Leverett Sawmill, a citizen petition calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, and a $7.56 million budget for fiscal year 2025, which adds a fourth police officer to the Police Department, are...

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UMass set to inaugurate Javier Reyes as chancellor on Friday
04-22-2024 10:42 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Javier Reyes, whose leadership of University of Massachusetts flagship campus began July 1, will be formally inaugurated as the university’s 31st chancellor on Friday morning.The inauguration ceremony, being held at the Mullins Center and...


Amherst officials examine Quincy shelter for ideas to develop former VFW property
04-20-2024 4:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A Quincy-based temporary shelter that includes transitional housing, along with a resource center for people to find jobs, medical care and permanent homes, is being eyed as a model for how Amherst might redevelop the former VFW site at 457...


South Hadley man fatally shot in attempted robbery
04-19-2024 4:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

CHICOPEE — A South Hadley man is dead following a shooting during an attempted robbery of a smoke shop and convenience store in Chicopee Thursday night, according to the Hampden district attorney’s office.Robert Papalardo, 53, died after being taken...


Historic murals restored at Victory Theatre in Holyoke
04-19-2024 3:17 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HOLYOKE — A $400,000 restoration of two 23-foot-tall murals at the Broadway-style Victory Theatre, created by Italian immigrant Vincent Maragliotti in 1942, is complete, another step in the process toward reopening the 1920 building that has been...


Boards balk at limiting use of Hadley Town Common
04-19-2024 2:06 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Significant work and time for municipal staff associated with preparing for New England Public Media’s annual Asparagus Festival is prompting Hadley officials to examine whether fees should be increased and other adjustments made to how...


Sinkhole closes Eastman Lane in Amherst
04-19-2024 5:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A section of Eastman Lane, from the traffic signal at East Pleasant Street to just east of the entrance to Sylvan Lot 44, is closed after a leaking drainage culvert caused a sinkhole in the road Wednesday.Jersey barriers are set up and...


Around Amherst: Sustainability Festival camping out on Common Saturday
04-18-2024 11:55 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Family fun, education and entertainment are expected to be part of the Amherst Sustainability Festival, being held for the 12th time on the Town Common on Saturday.Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the festival will have a number of vendors,...


Developer lands $400K loan for affordable housing project in Easthampton mill district
04-18-2024 12:06 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

EASTHAMPTON —  A Springfield nonprofit developer planning to construct One Industrial Lofts, a 96-unit affordable housing development at the former Hampton textile mill at 11-15 Ferry St., is receiving a $400,000 loan from a public-private community...


Hadley planners advance battery storage bylaw
04-18-2024 11:31 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — A bylaw that would allow standalone energy storage systems in most zoning districts in Hadley, but which would prohibit them in the aquifer protection areas, is being brought to annual Town Meeting next month, with an endorsement from the...


Amherst Fire Chief Walter ‘Tim’ Nelson to retire in June
04-17-2024 5:04 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Fire Chief Walter O. “Tim” Nelson, who has led the department since early 2010, will retire from the position at the end of June, bringing to a close a more than 43-year career in fire services in which his emphasis has been on helping...


First look at how little Amherst’s police alternative being used called troubling
04-17-2024 3:55 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The tiny number of emergency dispatch calls directed to the Community Responders for Equity, Safety and Service since mid-December, when the department began taking 911 calls, is prompting worries by members of the Community Safety and...


Flair and flavor: Couple draws on European, regional travel and food expertise to bring gourmet Aster + Pine Market to Amherst
04-17-2024 12:44 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — From their own journeys in Europe and across New England and the Northeast, and their experience in the hospitality industry, a Northampton couple is creating a market featuring wines, pantry staples and fresh, local produce in downtown...


Developer pitches new commercial building on Route 9 in Hadley
04-17-2024 12:44 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — An Amherst developer is proposing to construct a new commercial building on Route 9 that will become the headquarters for a Holyoke metal roofing and gutter company.At Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting, Thomas Reidy, an attorney at Bacon...


Crocker School kids draw on historical picture books for library banner project
04-16-2024 5:03 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An unfolded brown paper bag is being transformed, through use of crayons, pencils and paint markers, into a banner showcasing an acclaimed American naturalist, artist and academic.“I think Anna Comstock was very impressive in her work,” says...


Revised plan to combat bullying in Amherst regional schools questioned
04-16-2024 3:38 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A revised plan for investigating bullying and stopping such incidents at the Amherst-Pelham regional schools is raising concerns for some members of the Regional School Committee, who see the changes as taking a backward step.“This new...


Sadiq to leave Amherst middle school principal role
04-16-2024 11:04 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — As a process continues to find a permanent Amherst Regional Middle School principal, High School Principal Talib Sadiq is relinquishing his oversight of the building where seventh and eighth graders are educated.Interim Superintendent...


Three Amherst Regional Middle School counselors absolved of Title IX offenses
04-15-2024 2:45 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Even with complaints that their actions and behavior, including intentional misgendering students were likely offensive, three counselors at the Amherst Regional Middle School have been cleared of violations of the federal Title IX law in...


Lawmakers, Jewish groups accuse Massachusetts Teachers Association of bias
04-15-2024 12:39 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Two Massachusetts state senators and several Jewish-affiliated groups are calling on the Massachusetts Teachers Association, led by an Amherst resident and University of Massachusetts professor, to distance itself from recent actions that...


Shutesbury Elementary School principal leaving in June after 10 years
04-15-2024 9:31 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — After 10 years as principal at Shutesbury Elementary School, Jacqueline Mendonsa is leaving the position at the end of June to relocate to the Boston area.“It is very hard for me to put into words my true love and appreciation for our...


Amherst-Pelham schools look to address school absences with new plan
04-14-2024 10:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Understanding that chronic absences affect the ability of students to learn and contributes to achievement gaps among some school populations, the Amherst-Pelham Regional schools are developing steps to reduce absenteeism as part of its...

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