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Track & field: Holyoke girls 4x100 relay team wins WMass title, eyes historic trip to Nationals
05-18-2024 7:44 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

AGAWAM – For the first time in school history, Holyoke has qualified a girls relay for Nike Outdoor Nationals.The girls 4x100-meter relay qualified earlier this season, and on Saturday, they won the Western Mass. Division 1 title at the Outdoor Track...

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Summer on Strong kicks off Wednesday in Northampton
05-19-2024 1:01 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Strong Avenue in downtown will once again be pedestrian traffic-only beginning on Wednesday, marking the return of the “Summer on Strong” season in the city. The closing of the street to vehicle traffic is meant to encourage outdoor...


Amherst Planning Board member pens letter calling for town-UMass housing committee
05-19-2024 11:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Continued worries about single-family homes being turned into student rentals in Amherst is prompting a Planning Board member to draft a letter to University of Massachusetts Chancellor Javier Reyes appealing for creation of a committee,...


Amherst’s Moriah Luetjen, Logan Alfandari each win 2 titles, Northampton girls dominate en route to team title at Western Mass. Division 1 Track & Field Championships (PHOTOS)
05-18-2024 7:39 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

AGAWAM – Moriah Luetjen’s best race is the 400 meters. Two years ago as a freshman, she won it at the MIAA Division 4 Outdoor Track & Field Championships and followed it up with a first-place finish in the Freshman 400 at New Balance Outdoor...


Fire at Rainbow Motel in Whately leaves 17 without a home
05-18-2024 4:59 PM

WHATELY – A fire at the Rainbow Motel at 64 State Road shortly after midnight early Saturday morning has left 17 people without a home, though all of the residents in the building evacuated without getting hurt. Whately Police officers were the first...


Hatfield residents give blessing to all warrant articles at Town Meeting
05-18-2024 4:27 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HATFIELD — A $14.52 million fiscal year 2025 operating budget for town and school services and an additional $1.4 million to cover the costs of wastewater treatment plant upgrades were approved by voters at this week’s annual Town Meeting, along with...


Graduating amid signs of protest: 6,800 UMass students receive diplomas at ceremony briefly interrupted by walk out
05-18-2024 4:22 PM

By Elise Linscott

AMHERST — Several dozen protesters marched out of the 154th UMass Amherst Undergraduate Commencement ceremony this weekend when Chancellor Javier Reyes took the podium, including a few faculty members and people in the stands carrying banners,...


Hampshire’s Nick Brisson wins 800 meters to pace locals at Western Mass. Division 2 Track & Field Championships (PHOTOS)
05-17-2024 10:08 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

BUCKLAND – Nick Brisson stumbled to the infield grass, laid on his back and did a snow angel.After 750 meters stuck in the pack, Brisson had just completed a comeback in the final stretch of the 800 to win a Western Mass. Division 2 Track & Field...


High schools: Granby softball rallies back to beat Smith Vocational
05-17-2024 9:55 PM

The Granby softball team scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning, only to watch visiting Smith Vocational take an 11-10 lead into the bottom of the seventh.The Rams rallied however, plating a pair of runs to walk off with a wild 12-11...


Mayor’s budget boosts schools 8.5%: Advocates protest coming job cuts as spending falls short of demands
05-17-2024 5:29 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Weeks of debate over the Northampton school budget neared a conclusion Thursday night after Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra unveiled a nearly $137 million fiscal 2025 budget to the City Council that calls for an 8.5% increase in the city’s...


Narcan distribution growing at UMass as campus embraces harm reduction philosophy
05-17-2024 4:50 PM

By GRACE FIORI

AMHERST — At the University of Massachusetts, a passionate team is expanding campus access to Narcan and fentanyl testing strips, and their efforts are being welcomed by students, staff and faculty.At a recent outreach event — one of many initiatives...


A call for housing help: Easthampton meeting explores challenges, potential solutions to acute state shortage
05-17-2024 4:45 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

EASTHAMPTON — Local and state housing advocates, legislators and state agency leaders meeting with seniors earlier this week addressed the acute lack of housing in Massachusetts — especially affordable and accessible housing needed by seniors —...


Amherst Regional’s track project likely in council’s lap
05-17-2024 4:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Town Council is likely to determine the scope of renovations to the Amherst Regional High School track and its interior field after the Regional School Committee this week deferred the final decision on the project to Amherst’s elected...


Rendevous with the paper of record: Northampton artist Katy Schneider paints official portrait of New York Times publisher
05-17-2024 2:23 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Growing up in New York City, Katy Schneider recalls that the New York Times was pretty much sacrosanct in her home. Her late parents read the paper closely, her father often cutting out articles he particularly liked, and both referred to the...


Rattling those musical bones: Folk/blues veteran Chris Smither releases his 20th album ahead of 80th birthday
05-17-2024 2:22 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When Chris Smither found his live gigs shut down during the worst months of COVID-19, he figured it might at least be a good opportunity to write some new songs — something the veteran folk/blues singer and guitarist admits is not the easiest process...


Valley artists offer new sounds for spring: Singer-songwriter Lisa Bastoni and folk-rockers Eavesdrop release new records
05-17-2024 2:20 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Valley continues to be a fertile place for music, with a number of groups and artists releasing new albums this spring. Here’s a look at two of the records, with female singers at the forefront.On the WaterLisa BastoniLisa Bastoni has been making...


Columnist Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: Divided city? Pride brought us together
05-17-2024 2:14 PM

By THE REV. ANDREA AYVAZIAN

The Northampton Pride March, held on May 4, could not have come at a better time. I have marched with my family since my son was little, and he is now 36 years old. It is a part of our spring tradition. But this year, the march felt especially...


Banner time for Hadley veterans: Pennant portraits hung along town streets will honor 82 service members past and present
05-17-2024 11:45 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Active service members from Hadley, military veterans who continue to make their homes in town and others who have served the United States from World War I on will be among 82 people whose portraits will be displayed on banners around town...


Proposal would add office/apartment building to Pomeroy center
05-17-2024 11:42 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A new three-story building that will add nine apartments and two office spaces is being proposed as part of the Amherst Office Park in the Pomeroy village center.The Zoning Board of Appeals is set to hold a hearing on May 23 at 6 p.m. on the...


High schools: Jason Kim backstops Amherst boys lacrosse to impressive win over Northampton
05-16-2024 9:26 PM

By GARRETT COTE

AMHERST — With just under 10 seconds left in the game, the Northampton boys lacrosse team was finally able to clear its defensive zone and avoid a seventh consecutive Amherst goal as a defender sent the ball flying down field in the direction of...


Track & field: Hampshire County expected to fare well at Western Mass. Championships this weekend
05-16-2024 7:49 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

Hampshire County track athletes kick off the postseason this weekend with the Western Mass. outdoor track & field championships. Belchertown, Easthampton, Frontier, Hampshire Regional and South Hadley will compete at the Division 2 championships on...

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