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Early success in Greenfield prompts statewide launch of Family Treatment Court
04-10-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Early success in the Franklin County Probate and Family Court has spawned a statewide launch of Family Treatment Court sessions to address the needs of families involved in Juvenile Court cases in which substance use is a contributing factor.PATHS...

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‘One of the great gifts of nature’: Expert shares science, viewing methods behind April 8 solar eclipse
04-05-2024 4:36 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

During the afternoon of Monday, April 8, folks around the Pioneer Valley and throughout the U.S. will be treated to one of the solar system’s most extraordinary events.At approximately 3:28 p.m., the moon will overtake the sun and our celestial...


School nurse resigns after Orange administrators discover lack of license
04-04-2024 12:51 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — The man employed as a licensed practical nurse at Fisher Hill School from Oct. 2 to Feb. 28 did not have a proper license, a matter that is under investigation, according to the Ralph C. Mahar Regional and Union 73 school districts.Robert...


Erving man wins $4M in state lottery
04-03-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD – An Erving man says he plans to purchase a house and a car after winning $4 million in the Massachusetts State Lottery last month.Jeremy Bouchard played the “$4,000,000 Jumbo Cash” game with an instant ticket he purchased from the Sandri...


Officials talk funding for, hear feedback on Northern Tier Passenger Rail
04-01-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

As the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) study of the Northern Tier Passenger Rail project continues, officials and consultants Thursday night collected more feedback and laid out some of its potential funding streams in the final...


Franklin County lodging managers say a lack of rooms is impacting tourist trade
03-31-2024 5:00 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

When Brolin Winning owned Smokey Bro’s BBQ on the Mohawk Trail several years ago, tons of tourists who stopped at his Shelburne establishment for a bite to eat had the same question for him.“Every single weekend, people would ask us if there was a...


DCR sees booking surge at state campgrounds
03-28-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

It seems people from all over are anxious for spring to arrive as bookings at the three state camping locations in Franklin and Hampshire counties are filling up fast.The state Department of Conservation and Recreation reports that at least 756 total...


Orange Libraries director announces resignation, effective May 3
03-28-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE – The director of the Orange Public Libraries has decided to close this chapter of her life and step down following eight years in the position.Jessica Magelaner, who heads the Wheeler Memorial Library at 49 East Main St. and the Moore-Leland...


Karuna Center adds peacebuilding experts to team
03-25-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

With two new members on its board of directors, the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding is looking to continue its international work, while also expanding on its mission right here in the valley.In recent weeks, the international and domestic...


Wheeler Mansion in Orange to reopen as bed and breakfast
03-24-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE – No, this is not a joke.The Revival Wheeler Mansion’s bed-and-breakfast is slated to open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony slated for 4 p.m. on April 1.“It’s a long time coming,” said owner Cynthia “Sinde” Butler, who purchased the North Quabbin...


Film illuminates power of shared experiences to uplift incarcerated women
03-22-2024 5:00 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

HOLYOKE — Sonia Mendez never imagined how writing could give her a second chance.She attended her first creative writing workshop while incarcerated, and spent most of the class clowning around, joking with the class facilitator and poking fun at the...


No word from Wendell Town Counsel on battery facility bylaw
03-22-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

WENDELL – The Selectboard is waiting to hear from Town Counsel before taking a stance on a potential bylaw submitted by a citizens group formed last year in opposition to a 105-megawatt battery storage facility proposed for the center of...


Streak of hardships plague valley farmers
03-17-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

Farming is already a tough field to make one’s living. Throw in three consecutive years of extreme weather and personal burnout and you’ve got a recipe for what is shaping up to another difficult year for valley farmers, as they prepare their fields...


Public comment sought on responsible clean energy development
03-14-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

By DOMENIC POLIStaff WriterResidents have until Friday to submit their input regarding the process by which clean energy projects are permitted in Massachusetts.An online survey is soliciting public comment on how the state should protect health,...


UMass plans to triple early college slots for high schoolers around state
03-13-2024 3:51 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

AMHERST — UMass plans to triple early college enrollment over the next five years, giving 2,000 high school students a head start on their college education, university President Marty Meehan said Tuesday in his annual “state of the university”...


Slavery North: Researcher brings initiative, $2.65M grant to UMass to explore, tell story of enslaved people in northern U.S. and Canada
03-11-2024 5:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — In film, literature, paintings and other forms of art, palm trees and warm climates are almost always the settings depicted for slavery in North America, from the plantations of the American South to the transatlantic ships transporting...


Yankee Candle settles $1.2M class action lawsuit over time clock rounding
03-08-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SPRINGFIELD — More than 2,400 current and former Yankee Candle employees are eligible to split $1.2 million from a class action lawsuit brought forward by an employee alleging the company failed to pay workers for “thousands of hours of work” due to...


Rural issues on a global stage: Renowned climate justice activist Flowers gives keynote at UMass for Black History Month
03-04-2024 5:00 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — Before acclaimed environmental activist Catherine Coleman Flowers said one word about herself at the outset of a talk at UMass on Thursday night, she expressed gratitude to marginalized communities across the country who trusted her to share...


At state budget hearing, school officials say rural districts face unique challenges
03-03-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

GREENFIELD – At the Joint Committee on Ways and Means’ fiscal year 2025 state budget hearing, held Friday at Greenfield Community College, the focus was on statewide education and local aid.At the regional level, though, legislators, school officials...


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...


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...

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