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Wendell unveils restored World War II memorial after long disappearance
07-21-2024 4:49 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

WENDELL — After a 3,000-mile journey east, a World War II memorial honoring 36 Wendell veterans has finally returned home.In a ceremony Wednesday afternoon, town officials, residents and veterans gathered as Wendell unveiled the recently refurbished...

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Power postpones Main Street hearing in Athol
07-21-2024 4:49 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – Mother Nature intervened to give Athol resident Matt Alden a temporary reprieve on his property at 1756 Main St. being declared a nuisance by the Selectboard.At the board’s meeting on Tuesday, July 16, a public hearing on the matter was...


Comerford joins chorus calling on Biden to exit presidential race
07-19-2024 5:41 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

State Sen. Jo Comerford is calling on President Joe Biden to stand down as the Democratic Party nominee for the upcoming presidential election, joining six other state lawmakers and at least 30 members of Congress.In a statement issued Wednesday night...


Global tech software outage zaps local courts, hospital
07-19-2024 4:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Canceled non-urgent surgeries, procedures and medical visits at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, postponed cases in the Massachusetts court system and delayed in-person services at Registry of Motor Vehicles locations are among impacts area...


Clean energy bill passes clears House with GOP opposition
07-19-2024 2:54 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House was split along party lines Wednesday night in voting to support climate and energy legislation that would “help accelerate the green transition,” according to the bill’s lead architect. “The bill before you continues...


Subdivision site in Athol to be examined for historical significance
07-19-2024 2:51 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The first installment of a public hearing for a proposed eight-lot subdivision off of Pleasant Street and Victoria Avenue was held during Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Planning and Community Development.Chris Stoddard of Stoddard...


Sportsman’s Corner: Time to prepare
07-18-2024 5:00 PM

By Mike RocheIt is only the middle of July but fall and hunting seasons will be here before you know it. Now is the time to get busy planning for the hunting seasons, taking care of details and getting your gear in order.One of the important details...


Northfield seeks new EMS chief upon Fortier’s departure
07-18-2024 2:28 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

NORTHFIELD — The town has launched a search for a new EMS chief after Chief Mark Fortier informed the Selectboard he does not wish to continue with the department, citing mental, physical and financial challenges.“This is probably the hardest...


Phillipston’s administrative assistant withdraws resignation
07-18-2024 1:10 PM

By GREG VINE

PHILLIPSTON – July 18 was supposed to be the final day for Phillipston Administrative Assistant Melanie Jackson, who had submitted her resignation.Instead, she will remain in the role, but with the new title of chief administrative officerSelectboard...


Farmers grateful for more typical growing season after 2023 floods devastated fields
07-18-2024 1:10 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

After a frantic emergency response to save animals and equipment on July 10, 2023, David Fisher and Maggie Toran assessed their farm field as memories of Hurricane Irene came flooding back.At their horse-powered, community-supported agriculture (CSA)...


Two killed in Royalston collision
07-17-2024 6:01 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ROYALSTON — Two people were killed in a crash on Athol Road Tuesday afternoon, according to Police Chief Curtis Deveneau.The crash was reported at 2:22 p.m. on Tuesday. One vehicle, occupied by only the driver, was traveling south on Athol Road and a...


Orange board seeks more financial facts on Leisure Woods Estates
07-17-2024 4:39 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

ORANGE – A decision on whether Leisure Woods Estates can raise its monthly lot fees by 43% will wait until at least August, as the Mobile Rent Control Board requested additional budget information.Leisure Woods Estates Inc. is petitioning the board to...


House to move on energy bill: Siting, new clean energy targets featured
07-17-2024 2:55 PM

By Chris LisinskI

House Democrats will make a push for new clean energy policies Wednesday, bringing forward a late-session bill overhauling how Massachusetts approves new power projects and seeking even more megawatts from green sources.The House teed up a 97-page...


Storms leave hundreds without power in Athol, Greenfield
07-17-2024 11:16 AM

By MAX BOWEN

Powerful storms hit the western Mass area Tuesday evening, leaving hundreds of homes without power into Wednesday afternoon, according to National Grid.According to Torry Dooley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Boston office,...


Homeless living in Athol garage say cost of housing is biggest obstacle
07-16-2024 3:49 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – Last week, the Downtown Vitality Committee spoke with Police Chief Craig Lundgren about concerns they have regarding people using the long-closed municipal parking garage of off Exchange and South streets as a temporary shelter.Lundgren said...


Athol committee considers ways to deter trespassers at parking garage
07-16-2024 3:48 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – With Police Chief Craig Lundgren in attendance, last Tuesday’s meeting of the Downtown Vitality Committee turned to concerns about the municipal parking garage being trespassed in.The garage was closed several years ago amid safety concerns...


Senate charts course to soothe ‘struggling’ health sector
07-16-2024 12:20 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Senate Democrats will vote Thursday on a voluminous health care oversight reform bill inspired by the crisis at Steward Health Care as well as broader industry trends inflicting pressure on hospitals, providers and patients.Nearly two months after the...


Valley politicians express shock in wake of assassination attempt against Trump, worry about the country’s future
07-16-2024 12:18 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The shock waves from the shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday have continued to reverberate across the country, including in western Massachusetts.Local politicians reacted to the shooting, which resulted in the death of an...


Upgrades planned for Athol’s retail shopping area
07-15-2024 2:03 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – Assistant Public Works Director Paul Raskevitz met with the Downtown Vitality Committee to provide an update on new amenities for the town’s retail shopping area to improve aesthetics and pedestrian safety.“We are going to order another rapid...


Pyrtel to lead Orange Economic Development and Industrial Corp.
07-13-2024 9:32 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ORANGE — Mikael Pyrtel, former economic development director for the town of Orange, has joined the Orange Economic Development and Industrial Corp. (OEDIC) as executive director.According to a July 8 announcement, Pyrtel has been in the executive...


Yankee Candle consolidation prompts loss of 100 jobs
07-13-2024 9:32 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Newell Brands, Yankee Candle’s parent company, announced Monday that Sept. 9 will be the last day of operations at its distribution facility at 27 Yankee Candle Way.The news of an official date to end distribution operations there...

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