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Wendell group gives Comerford petition seeking pause on large-scale battery storage systems
06-12-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Moments before state Sen. Jo Comerford’s Town Hall event at Greenfield Community College on Monday, members of a citizens group that was formed last year in opposition to a proposed battery storage facility in Wendell handed the state...

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Mass. Senate backs end to ‘home equity theft’
05-31-2024 1:07 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

The state Senate unanimously passed an amendment to its annual spending plan that would prohibit municipalities and private companies from taking the entire equity of a home in the event of a tax lien foreclosure, a piece of legislation that, if...


Athol man pleads to guilty to 27 counts of sexual crimes involving minors
05-30-2024 5:22 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD – A man formerly of Athol will spend the next 25 to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty on Thursday to 27 counts of sexual crimes involving three minors.Jose Oquendo, 51, appeared in Franklin County Superior Court to accept...


Local officials, residents air concerns with FirstLight relicensing
05-30-2024 3:37 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

TURNERS FALLS — As FirstLight advances its decade-long license renewal to continue operating its hydroelectric facilities on the Connecticut River, town officials and residents voiced concerns its potential environmental impacts with the project to...


Bike Month event in Greenfield looks at favorite cycling spots in Franklin County
05-14-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

GREENFIELD – In celebration of Bay State Bike Month and in anticipation of a new Franklin County Regional Bike Plan, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) welcomed cyclists to the John W. Olver Transit Center for breakfast Tuesday...


Lawyer argues Joshua Hart’s 2018 conviction for Orange murder had inconsistent verdicts
05-08-2024 2:30 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Spurred by a state Supreme Judicial Court opinion that pointed to inconsistent verdicts, the Franklin County Superior Court judge who oversaw Joshua Hart’s murder trial in 2018 has taken under advisement a defense attorney’s motion to set...


Community Legal Aid expands Disability Benefits Project to Franklin County
05-06-2024 2:50 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — Community Legal Aid, a nonprofit that offers free civil legal support to elderly and low-income residents in western and central Massachusetts, has expanded its Disability Benefits Project into Franklin County, a change that coincides...


Office of Travel and Tourism director tours Franklin County, looks to increase presence
05-05-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Looking to increase her department’s presence around the state, the executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism recently visited some of Franklin County’s tourism destinations.Kate Fox was taken on a whirlwind tour around the...


McGovern, Gobi visit development sites in Greenfield, Wendell
04-29-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Though they lay dormant now, the former Wilson’s Department Store in downtown Greenfield and the former depot store and post office in Wendell were once bustling hubs of thriving communities.On Friday, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern and Director of Rural...


Orange man gets 12 to 14 years for child rape
04-17-2024 3:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — An Orange man will spend 12 to 14 years in prison after being convicted in Franklin County Superior Court of aggravated rape and abuse of a child.David Prue, 36, was sentenced by Judge John Agostini on Tuesday morning following a jury...


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...


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...


Local success informs federal guidelines on addiction treatment
04-03-2024 5:00 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

The federal government is marching to the beat of Behavioral Health Network’s drum in its new methadone treatment regulations, effective Tuesday, April 2.BHN, a mental health service provider in western Massachusetts with methadone clinics in...


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...


FRCOG leaders meet with local, state officials to talk transportation challenges
03-19-2024 5:00 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — Seeking state support for local transportation infrastructure upgrades, Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) officials took Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt and other state and local...


‘Remarkable’ enrollment increase continues for second semester at GCC
03-10-2024 5:00 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College saw a 13% increase in enrollment this semester, marking the college’s second consecutive semester of enrollment growth after a more than 10-year decline.By the end of 2023, 150 more students enrolled in the...


Haley a common vote among Franklin County residents
03-05-2024 5:39 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley appeared to be holding her own in Franklin County on Super Tuesday, garnering votes from Republicans distancing themselves from Donald Trump and from Democrats hoping to soften the blow in the event that...


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...


$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...


‘They are public safety’: EMTs, paramedics train to treat K-9s under Nero’s Law
02-16-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

With their training complete in advance of this month’s deadline, local EMTs and paramedics now have the skills to provide medical treatment and transport of police K-9s injured in the line of duty under a new state law.Nero’s Law, which has been...


Local officials tout governor’s municipal tax plan as ‘very exciting’
02-15-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s proposal to give cities and towns new tax-hike authority would provide “game-changers” at the local level, especially for less-populated areas, local mayors say.A bill Healey filed last month would offer municipalities the...

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