News

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With 55K at risk of losing internet service, activists call on Congress to extend pandemic-era program

02-23-2024 5:00 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

SPRINGFIELD — Local activists, organizations and representatives from western Massachusetts’s congressional delegation are urging the U.S. federal government to extend a pandemic-era program that covers internet costs for more than 55,000 low-income...


Massachusetts to ramp up outreach about tuition aid expansion

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — A recently expanded state financial aid program has yet to make a major impact on high school seniors evaluating their college options, a leader of an educational nonprofit recently warned.The MASSGrant Plus expansion program, supported by a...


Sportsman’s Corner: The big catch

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

By Mike RocheLast Saturday my brother Chris joined me and a bunch of other folks fishing on White Pond in South Athol, where my wife and I own property. The pond community is close and one of the pond residents has undertaken to put together a day of...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 24

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

Sheriff’s office celebrates Random Acts of Kindness WeekATHOL – For their third year, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office staff celebrated the nationally recognized Random Acts of Kindness Week, this year...


Survey of Athol service lines for lead continues

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The town’s Water Division is renewing its efforts to complete a survey of service lines to ensure none are made of lead.At its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Selectboard met with Department of Public Works Director Dick Kilhart to discuss...


School Committee approves hardship exception for student

02-21-2024 5:55 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL—The Athol Royalston Regional School District’s School Committee has approved a hardship exception to the enrollment policy for a student whose family moved out of the town, allowing them to remain in the school system through the end of the...


Royalston makes request for State Police assistance

02-21-2024 5:10 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – At its meeting on Tuesday, the Selectboard approved a letter to the Massachusetts State Police formally asking for help in meeting the law enforcement needs of the community.Board Vice-Chair Deb D’Amico explained that she and Royalston...


Management role: Forestry experts explain efforts to bolster forest health, climate resilience

02-21-2024 5:09 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

With the state dealing with catastrophic consequences of climate change, the debate around forest management continues to make headlines as Massachusetts policymakers discuss the best way to maximize carbon sequestration in forests.Trees and other...


CDC considers dropping 5-day COVID isolation rule as local hospitals bring back mask requirements

02-21-2024 5:08 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering loosening isolation requirements for people who test positive for COVID-19, meaning they would no longer have to stay at home for at least five days when infected with the virus.Under the...


Markey bill includes funds for paraprofessional hires, training

02-20-2024 4:24 PM

By TANISHA BHAT

The region’s paraeducators could receive additional support from the federal government when it comes to recruitment, training and retention as part of a bill proposed in Congress by Sen. Ed Markey.The bill — called the Preparing and Retaining All...


Athol principal selected as superintendent for School Union 28

02-20-2024 4:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

ERVING — Athol Community Elementary School Principal Shannon White-Cleveland is being tapped as the next School Union 28 superintendent, overseeing four K-6 elementary schools attended by children in Shutesbury, Leverett, Erving, Wendell and New...


Proposal to allow Athol school buses to use Vine Street gate fails

02-20-2024 4:23 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — A much-contested pilot aimed at lessening congestion at the Athol Community Elementary School (ACES) will not proceed, following a vote at the Feb. 14 meeting of the Athol Royalston Regional School District School Committee.The vote followed...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 20

02-19-2024 3:51 PM

North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy speaks at Lions Club meetingATHOL — At a recent meeting of the Athol Lions Club, Executive Director of the North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy Nate Johnson and Administrative Coordinator Jessica Gale-Tanner spoke to the club...


Psychedelics petition backers use Oregon as model

02-19-2024 3:50 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Massachusetts voters may get the chance to cast ballots to legalize access to some psychedelic substances this fall. And though advocates say the Oregon psilocybin therapy program that would be used as a model for Massachusetts is beneficial...


Savings help avoid Royalston sewer budget increase

02-19-2024 3:50 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – Due a number of cost reductions and savings, it appears that the town’s sewer spending won’t see any significant increases in next fiscal year’s budget.Selectboard Chair Rick Martin – the board also acts as the town’s Sewer Commission –...


A Page From North Quabbin History: Mystery mechanism identified

02-19-2024 3:49 PM

By Carla CharterThe mystery mechanism highlighted in the Dec. 28 “A Page From North Quabbin History” has been identified as a 10-inch salesman’s model of a fulling machine.“A salesman often had miniature models of what they had to promote. A real...


Massachusetts to create AI task force to support adoption of technology

02-18-2024 6:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey has signed an executive order to create a task force meant to study artificial intelligence and to advise her administration on the state’s role in implementing and encouraging private sector use of the new technology.The...


From lab to tworld: UMass researchers land $5.5M grant to help translate work into products

02-18-2024 6:01 PM

By XINJI YANG

AMHERST — Researchers at the University of Massachusetts will soon get help translating their work conducted in campus laboratories into solutions to real-world problems related to human health and well-being.That’s the broad focus of a new $5.5...


Village School’s Black History Month program celebrates differences

02-18-2024 6:00 PM

By Greg Vine

ROYALSTON – In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month, stating at the time that the annual recognition gave Americans “the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in...


Jeffrey Riley to resign as DESE head in March

02-16-2024 5:02 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley plans to step down on March 15 after six years leading Massachusetts’ K-12 school system, according to a letter he sent to the state’s education board Thursday.Riley plans to...



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