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New HCC president reflects on journey: Timmons sees his own struggles and arc in students’ paths
04-19-2024 4:43 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

HOLYOKE — George Timmons knows just how much a difference a college president can make in a student’s life.As a senior at Norfolk State University, a historically black university in Virginia, Timmons faced the possibility of not being able to...

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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...


Southampton’s Hannah Wodecki breaks Westfield State softball’s single season RBI record
04-19-2024 3:22 PM

By GARRETT COTE

WESTFIELD — As cliche as it sounds, records are truly made to be broken.And Westfield State sophomore Hannah Wodecki didn’t just break an Owls softball record, she’s going to shatter it when all is said and done.With still 10 regular season games...


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...


2018 World Series trophy to be in town for Sunday’s Northampton Baseball and Softball League opening day
04-19-2024 3:14 PM

By GARRETT COTE

NORTHAMPTON — Youth baseball and softball is just around the corner in Northampton, as the city’s nine youth baseball teams and three youth softball teams will be in action against other local teams next week to kick off their respective seasons.But...


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...


Guest columnist Bill Dwight: How to make sense of Northampton’s school budget dilemma
04-19-2024 11:36 AM

By BILL DWIGHT

 Before 2013, our school budget process was an annual exercise in misery. Then it wasn’t. Now it is again. A review of the history can help get us back on track.Proposition 2½ limits to 2.5% how much Massachusetts cities can annually increase their...


Hitting the ceramic circuit: Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail turns 20 years old, April 27-28
04-19-2024 11:32 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

A lot can change in 20 years: Presidents and other politicians come and go, new cultural fads and technologies emerge, clothing styles morph, and music and movies take on different dimensions.In these parts, one tradition hasn’t changed. Since 2005,...


Best Bites: A familiar feast: The Passover Seder traditions and tastes my family holds dear
04-19-2024 11:20 AM

By ROBIN GOLDSTEIN

Passover has always been my favorite Jewish holiday. The Passover Seder my parents host annually in my childhood house in Northampton has been the most festive and joyous meal of the year for as long as I can remember.My dad’s childhood Seders were...


Valley Bounty: Your soil will thank you: As garden season gets underway, Whately farm provides ‘black gold’ to many
04-19-2024 11:13 AM

By JACOB NELSON

“Compost is not soil, but it makes your soil better,” says Mike Mahar, owner of Bear Path Compost in Whately. “It adds life to it. If you’re going to take something out of the soil by harvesting, you should put something back in, and compost is...


Holyoke man gets 5 years for assault, drug charges
04-19-2024 9:53 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke man arraigned last month in Hampshire Superior Court on drug trafficking and assault charges was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to most of the charges he faced.Hector Diaz Torres, 22, admitted...


Shelter money fading, but ‘not at the end of the line’
04-19-2024 9:15 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — State dollars for the emergency family shelter system are dwindling, and restaurateurs who for years enjoyed expanded outdoor dining and the ability to sell drinks to go remain “in limbo” amid a sustained period of legislative...


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...


AT&T’s proposed cell tower extension moving forward in South Deerfield
04-19-2024 4:45 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — AT&T’s plans to extend the cell tower behind the South Deerfield Fire District can proceed following recent approval from the Deerfield Zoning Board of Appeals.The project previously received approval from the Planning Board to raise...


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,...


High schools: Hampshire Regional baseball rallies to force extras, falls to powerhouse Pioneer 5-4
04-18-2024 9:03 PM

Trailing 4-2, the Hampshire Regional baseball team tied things up on the road against Pioneer Valley Regional with a clutch two-run double off the bat of Drew Thompson, who went 4-for-5 with the two RBI on the day.But the Panthers responded with a...


Boys lacrosse: Landon Andre, Nico St. George help Belchertown hold off Amherst 11-9 (PHOTOS)
04-18-2024 5:25 PM

By GARRETT COTE

BELCHERTOWN — After a quick 3-1 flurry from the Amherst boys lacrosse team erased Belchertown’s three-goal lead, the Orioles clung to a 9-8 advantage early in the fourth quarter on Thursday afternoon.Somebody had to step up for Belchertown to put a...


The Real Score: Curveballs and casinos rarely save cities
04-18-2024 4:39 PM

About 10 years ago, the two major urban centers of central and western Massachusetts decided to engage in new regional industrial policy to spur on their local economies. Worcester and Springfield had been effectively hollowed up by decades of...


Intermittent rail trail closures expected in Amherst, Belchertown
04-18-2024 3:39 PM

STAFF REPORT

AMHERST — Intermittent closures of the Norwottuck Rail Trail from Station Road in Amherst to Warren Wright Road in Belchertown are beginning Friday and will run through June 5.The periodic closures, which will necessitate detours, were announced by...


Fearful Belchertown residents blame stray bullets on nearby gun club, appeal to town for help
04-18-2024 3:19 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

BELCHERTOWN — Jake Hulseberg won’t let his children play on the swing set he built them in their backyard on Mountain View Drive because of bullets that shattered glass doors on two houses on the street.Instead, Hulseberg keeps his kids in the front...


Painting a more complete picture: ‘Unnamed Figures’ highlights Black presence and absence in early American history
04-18-2024 3:17 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

In partnership with the American Folk Art Museum, Historic Deerfield is presenting an exhibition on the unexplored histories of Black people in early America.“Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in the Early American North” explores Black...

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