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Skills Capital Grant benefits automotive program
07-02-2024 4:33 PM

Staff Report

GARDNER – Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) is one of 65 educational institutions to receive Skills Capital Grants to upgrade technology and instructional spaces to expand career programs for young people and adults.The $425,000 grant will...

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Turners Falls resource center offers help to grandparents raising their grandchildren
06-28-2024 4:52 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

TURNERS FALLS – The nuclear family is defined as a father, a mother and their child or children living in one household.But various circumstances often disrupt that “perfect picture,” and an American family can take on many forms. In fact, information...


$338K fraud drains town coffers in Orange
05-17-2024 5:20 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — Authorities are investigating an estimated $338,000 in fraud against the town, which has left Orange in dire financial straits and could result in the closure of its libraries, town officials discussed Thursday.The fraud involves the town...


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...


Equity, income concerns flagged in free college debate
04-12-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON – Moderate-income white students could gain the most under a proposal that top Senate Democrats are weighing to make community college free for all Massachusetts residents, according to a report, which urges lawmakers to make adjustments with...


Meeting to review Community Preservation Act proposals in Phillipston
04-09-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

PHILLIPSTON – The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is inviting residents to a public meeting this Thursday, April 11, to discuss projects the committee would like to fund in the year ahead.The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the former...


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...


‘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...


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...


GCC nursing students talk single-payer health care, workplace safety concerns with legislators
02-13-2024 5:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Four women representing western Massachusetts in the state Legislature visited Greenfield Community College on Monday for a panel discussion about health care with second-year nursing students.State Sen. Jo Comerford was joined by state...


Mass Senate pushes for free community college
01-11-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — “Keep your eyes peeled,” for free community college funding in the Senate’s version of the fiscal year 2025 budget, Senate President Karen Spilka said Wednesday.Making community college free for every Massachusetts resident could cost the...


Now free for some, community colleges see enrollment climb
12-31-2023 5:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HOLYOKE — At Holyoke Community College this fall, 3,706 students are enrolled and receiving credits for classes they are taking. That’s a 4.4% increase over the 3,550 students at the college in the fall of 2022.The jump in enrollment mirrors what is...


PHOTOS: Learning on display in Warwick
12-21-2023 2:52 PM


Committee outlines uses of Phillipston’s CPA funds
10-13-2023 5:37 PM

By GREG VINE

PHILLIPSTON – The Community Preservation Committee has taken the first steps in determining how best to spend the nearly $1.5 million which the town has in Community Preservation Act funds.To that end, the committee held an informational meeting on...


Phillipston committee to hold meeting on CPA funding
10-06-2023 4:24 PM

By MAX BOWEN

PHILLIPSTON — Have an idea for affordable housing, historic preservation, open space or recreation? If so, the town’s Community Preservation Committee wants to hear it.The CPC is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall,...


The State of Solar: Experts at forum discuss challenges of increasing solar in marginalized communities, weigh in on community-owned solar
09-25-2023 3:55 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Editor’s note: This is the third of four articles from the Western Massachusetts Solar Forum series taking place in September.AMHERST — At Joe Czajkowski Farm in Hadley, not only does the broccoli field produce fresh vegetables, but rows of solar...


Franklin County schools land nearly $300K for security upgrades
07-24-2023 4:05 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

Four school districts in the region will upgrade their security measures with the help of a state grant.The Pioneer Valley Regional, Hawlemont Regional, Four Rivers Charter Public and Warwick school districts each received Safer Schools and...


Report shows towns not meeting CPA guidelines
06-18-2023 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

A report done by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University shows that several municipalities which have adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA) haven’t spent money they’ve put aside for...


Community Action’s tax prep program rewards volunteers
04-07-2023 5:10 PM

By Maddie Fabian

NORTHAMPTON — Dane Kuttler, one of about 30 people who volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program run by Community Action Pioneer Valley, thinks doing taxes is fun. More than that, she loves helping low-income taxpayers in the...


Warwick school committee candidates share goals for new district
03-20-2023 5:04 PM

By JULIAN MENDOZA

WARWICK — Three candidates for Warwick’s school committee shared a unified vision for the new independent school district while meeting with residents at the former Warwick Community School on Sunday.The candidates — Adam Holloway, Alan Genovese and...


Winchendon Town Meeting says ‘no’ to CPA
03-14-2023 4:02 PM

By GREG VINE

WINCHENDON – With several projects on the horizon — including expansion of the fire station and upgrades to the trunkline carrying water from Lake Naukeag to Toy Town — voters at Monday’s Special Town Meeting voted down to a proposal to accept...

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