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My Turn: Digging up lost diaries of first dogs
06-01-2024 11:24 PM

By GENE STAMMEL

Note: These excerpts from recently unearthed diaries offer unique perspectives on the lives of important historical figures in American history.Sweet Lips (March 26, 1785)When I was a little pup, I kept sniffing around for Aunt Vernon. That is what I...

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Amherst Regional board aims to set stage for new superintendent
06-05-2024 2:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Regional School Committee members are expecting Superintendent E. Xiomara Herman will hit the ground running and begin a successful tenure overseeing the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional schools as of July 1, even if she is not...


Amherst regional school board rejects hybrid financial strategy panel
05-30-2024 3:58 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A proposed panel bringing together public school officials and representatives from the four regional towns, to examine ways to confront both short- and long-term fiscal challenges facing local education, is being rejected by the Regional...


Amherst council raises concern over bearing brunt of track expenses
05-26-2024 2:01 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Members of the Amherst Town Council are expressing concern about being asked to appropriate more money for a preferred track and field overhaul at Amherst Regional High School, when no similar requests are being made to the other towns in...


Officials sorting out disarray at Leverett Elementary School
05-24-2024 4:02 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

LEVERETT — With the interim Leverett Elementary School principal on a leave that began in mid-March after being criticized for a lack of transparency, representatives of the teachers union are seeing the leadership situation as contributing to a “very...


Herman signs on as Amherst-Pelham Regional superintendent
05-21-2024 4:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A superintendent for the St. Croix, Virgin Islands Department of Education has reached terms of a contract and will be the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham regional schools beginning July 1, earning $176,500 in...


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...


Walk for Peace in Gaza set for Saturday in Leverett
05-16-2024 9:41 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

LEVERETT — A Walk for Peace in Gaza, bringing participants from Leverett Town Hall to the New England Peace Pagoda, takes place Saturday, an event that organizers view as a way to stand with those experiencing loss and grief.Sponsored by the Village...


GurujiMa: Walk for peace In Gaza
05-14-2024 4:55 PM

On Saturday, May 18, the Village of Light Ashram in Leverett is sponsoring a Walk for Peace in Gaza.This walk, beginning at the Leverett Town Hall and ending at the Peace Pagoda, is meant to include everyone. It is a testimony of the heart that seeks...


Overlooked no more: Leverett artist’s woodcut prints celebrate remarkable women of the past
05-09-2024 4:05 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It started in early 2018 with a special New York Times series of articles, “Overlooked,” obituaries about notable people whose deaths had gone unreported in the newspaper, which first began publishing obits in 1851.Leverett printmaker and collage...


Sharing a few notes: High schoolers coaching younger string players one on one
05-07-2024 3:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Carefully holding and balancing his violin, 12-year-old Heedo Noh, a Fort River School sixth grader, gets a suggestion for positioning the bow so it runs straight across the strings as he practices G.F. Handel’s “Chorus from Judas...


Funding will limit ARHS track/field makeover to cheapest option
05-06-2024 5:10 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Widening the existing track from six to eight lanes and rejuvenating the interior grass field appears to be the extent of renovations that can be done to Amherst Regional High School’s track and field because of limited funding.While the...


My Turn: Gaza and lies
05-03-2024 9:02 PM

By NANCY GROSSMAN

 Say, “I don’t believe the numbers.” Insist “It’s complicated.”Say, “There is no alternative. Hamas has called for the destruction of the state of Israel and thus, Hamas must be destroyed.” Disregard the Israeli leaders who have called for the...


Guest columnist Gene Stamell: We know what we know
05-01-2024 5:43 PM

By GENE STAMELL

 Columnist’s note: The following contains many parenthetical asides and seemingly unimportant details that somehow, one hopes, lead to a conclusion that the reader finds moderately interesting or entertaining or, at the very least, bearable.  Once...


Island superintendent picked to lead Amherst-Pelham region schools
04-30-2024 9:17 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Ericilda Xiomara Herman, a superintendent of a school district in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, will be the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional schools, pending successful contract negotiations.Citing...


Leverett residents back Gaza cease-fire resolution at Saturday’s Town Meeting
04-29-2024 12:29 PM

By AALIANNA MARIETTA

LEVERETT — Residents elected town officials, signed off on a $7.56 million budget for fiscal year 2025 and passed a resolution calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza during their Annual Town Meeting on Saturday.After uncontested elections, the...


Final pick for Amherst regional superintendent, from Virgin Islands, aims to ‘lead with love’
04-26-2024 4:34 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Editor’s note: The third of three finalists for the job of superintendent was interviewed Thursday. A decision could be made as soon as Monday. AMHERST — Collaboration, empathy and communication are being emphasized as traits Ericilda Xiomara Herman,...


Amherst Regional School Committee proposes new budget that lowers assessments for towns
04-26-2024 11:31 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The Amherst Regional School Committee agreed on Wednesday to a new budget proposal for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools next year that is nearly $500,000 less than a spending plan approved in March. The new budget means smaller 6%...


Super defers Amherst middle school principal pick to successor; one finalist says decision is retaliation for lawsuit
04-25-2024 3:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Interim Superintendent Douglas Slaughter has opted against hiring a permanent middle school principal despite a search that yielded three finalists, a decision one of those finalists says is retaliation against her because she recently filed...


Amherst regional superintendent candidate stresses collaboration, experience
04-25-2024 8:39 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Editor’s note: The second of three finalists for the job of superintendent was interviewed Tuesday. The final candidate will be interviewed Thursday. AMHERST — Experience in teaching, administration and establishing collaborative relationships,...


Amherst regional district towns seek middle ground on school increase
04-23-2024 10:44 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Scaled-back increases in the assessments for the Amherst Regional Schools are expected to be considered by residents when Shutesbury and Leverett hold their annual Town Meetings on Saturday.But the compromise 6% increases over the current...

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