News

Wages, turnover put drag on early education

03-01-2024 5:01 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — The early education and care sector is seeing high turnover and a lack of younger educators entering the field, according to a report released Tuesday by The Boston Foundation, while the study’s authors recommended lifting up the sector with...


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FERC solicits public comment for FirstLight relicensing projects

03-01-2024 5:00 PM

BY BELLA LEVAVI

GREENFIELD — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has accepted the relicensing application for FirstLight’s hydroelectric dam in Turners Falls and pump storage facility in Northfield and area residents now have 60 days to submit comments on the...


Area sugarhouses start tapping season early after warm winter days

03-01-2024 5:00 PM

By DIANE BRONCACCIO

The groundhog predicted an early end to winter: did that also mean an earlier start to maple sugaring? Apparently so, according to several maple sugarers in Franklin County.“This is the earliest we’ve ever started,” remarked Chip Williams of the...


Decision time nearing on state’s to-go cocktails policy

02-29-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Gov. Maura Healey’s push to overhaul local procurement procedures, rethink post-employment benefits and make permanent some pandemic-era policies won over many city and town leaders, but points of friction in her bill could create some tricky...


Updates underway to Athol master plan

02-29-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The town’s new Master Plan Committee met for the first time on Wednesday in order to update two aspects of a plan that was last updated in 2015.This latest effort will address the chapters related to open space and recreation and natural and...


Sportsman’s Corner: Northward bound

02-29-2024 5:00 PM

By Mike RocheThis time of year this writer finds his eyes searching the skies. About now, migrating birds are beginning to move and head north to find suitable habitat for nesting. Some travel great distances, like the arctic tern that can literally...


Athol seeks grant for Rabbit Run land survey

02-28-2024 3:59 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – Planning and Development Director Eric Smith went before the Open Space and Recreation Commission on Tuesday to announce that he has applied for a MassTrails that would allow the town to start work on the proposed Rabbit Run Rail Trail. When...


A Page from North Quabbin History: Founding of the Fisher Museum

02-28-2024 3:58 PM

By Carla CharterAt Harvard Forest in Petersham, visitors can learn about the forest and its history through dioramas dating back to the 1930s. The dioramas and the museum that was built for them was the idea of Richard T. Fisher, who was named...


$1M in grants to boost local food system in Franklin, Hampshire counties

02-28-2024 3:57 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE and JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Area organizations are welcoming grant awards that will boost the supply of fresh, local food available to those in need and provide support for local farmers.“We’re really thrilled to have been selected,” said Lev BenEzra, executive...


Athol man faces drug, gun charges

02-28-2024 1:05 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Two men from Athol and Needham and a woman from Weymouth were arrested Monday in Boston’s Downtown Crossing on several drug-related charges, according to police.At around 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26, the Boston Police Department’s A-1 (Downtown)...


Sleep in Heavenly Peace to hold charity drive in Orange

02-27-2024 3:43 PM

By ABNER ROJAS

ORANGE — Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a volunteer organization dedicated to making and delivering beds free of charge for children in need, will be holding a can, bottle and bedding drive on March 16.The fundraiser will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the...


Officials discuss signage at Royalston Town Hall

02-27-2024 3:42 PM

By Greg Vine

ROYALSTON – One might assume that installing signage for a municipal building would be a relatively simple matter.In the case of Royalston Town Hall, however, such a task has proven more challenging. The building, which opened its doors to conduct...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 28

02-27-2024 3:41 PM

Athol Savings Bank donates to River Rat RaceATHOL—On Thursday, Feb. 22, members of the Athol Lions accepted a $1,000 donation from Athol Savings Bank, a long-time supporter of the Athol Lions Club River Rat Race. This year marks the 59th year of the...


Massachusetts ratepayers fed up with high energy costs

02-27-2024 3:40 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — From the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Lynn to the state’s western border in Richmond, people in Massachusetts are letting the state know how they feel about wallet-busting energy bills.“I struggle to pay my bills, my electric runs $250 a...


Mass. Republicans dispute Trump’s unity claim

02-27-2024 11:18 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

In South Carolina, former President Donald Trump notched another primary victory Saturday as he seeks the GOP presidential nomination, declaring afterwards that he has never seen Republicans “so unified.”But do Republicans here in Massachusetts feel...


Royalston meeting will unveil Whitney Hall study

02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – The results of a months-long marketing study which could serve as a guide for the future of Whitney Hall will be unveiled at a public meeting this Thursday.This meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Royalston Town Hall, will...


FAFSA fiasco: Financial aid form meltdown trips up students, colleges

02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — A continued challenge for some prospective students and their families in accessing federal financial aid applications, and a corresponding delay in relaying the information from these forms to colleges and universities, is raising...


Dial ‘A’ for anachronism: Landlines languishing in US

02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By DEEPTI HAJELA

NEW YORK — When her cellphone’s service went down last week because of an AT&T network outage, Bernice Hudson didn’t panic. She just called the people she wanted to talk to the old-fashioned way — on her landline telephone, the kind she grew up with...


Proposal for electric vehicles for Athol departments will need revisions

02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – A proposal from the town’s Public Works Department to purchase two all-electric vehicles (EVs) was met with some skepticism at last week’s Capital Program Committee meeting as it begins a review of FY25 capital expenditure requests from...


Head Start might have leg up as Massachusetts budget priority

02-25-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Although they would not explicitly commit to fulfilling a funding request for Head Start, two of the most powerful players at the State House indicated Wednesday that funding the early education program is at the top of their priority list in...



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