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Franklin County transitions to new interoperable radio system
07-23-2024 11:14 AM

By DOMENIC POLI

Local and state partners are celebrating the transition to a new statewide radio network that will allow for faster emergency responses and enhanced coordination.The upgraded Commonwealth of Massachusetts Interoperable Radio System (CoMIRS) is the...

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Local Democrats: Different candidate, same stakes in presidential election
07-22-2024 4:26 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

“Elation” is what Nathan Markee, vice chair of the Easthampton Democratic City Committee, felt when he opened his phone on Sunday to the news that Joe Biden rescinded his candidacy for a second presidential term.Other local Democrats — whether they...


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...


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...


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...


4 partial demolition plans presented for Erving’s International Paper Mill
07-12-2024 5:15 PM

By ERIN-LEIGH HOFFMAN

ERVING — The Selectboard this week got a glimpse at four potential design plans for partial demolition and restoration of the International Paper Mill property.The $1.49 million property at 8 Papermill Road, which was seized by the town for back taxes...


State’s green energy bill doesn’t address siting worries
07-05-2024 4:42 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — A Senate-passed bill featuring a streamlined approach to permitting and siting solar and energy storage projects in Massachusetts, featuring a consolidated permit for approving clean energy infrastructure instead of multiple local,...


Study finds Franklin County homeless population on the rise
07-03-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

The number of homeless people in Franklin County has more than doubled in the last year, as the annual Point-in-Time count in January found 252 people sleeping in shelters or outside, compared to 104 in January 2023.Franklin County accounted for...


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...


HERO Act ‘monumental’ for veterans, but one expert says it falls short on housing
06-25-2024 2:49 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

A leading veterans agent in the region says an expansive bill soon to become law designed to improve the lives of Massachusetts veterans is “monumental” for its expanded inclusion efforts, benefits, and health care provisions, but the measure fails to...


Needham man pleads guilty in crash that killed Athol woman
06-24-2024 4:03 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — A Needham man was sentenced to nine months in jail on Monday after pleading guilty to a charge of vehicular homicide by negligent operation in connection with a crash that killed an Athol woman on Route 2 in Gill last year.Benoit Marande,...


Online forum addresses school funding erosion in Franklin County
06-23-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — The Franklin County Education Funding Committee used its second online forum to explain how the progress of school funding in Massachusetts has eroded over the years, disproportionately affecting lower-income districts, despite the state...


UMass launches task force in wake of spring protests, will also review police activity
06-18-2024 5:00 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

AMHERST — UMass Amherst Chancellor Javier Reyes has announced the creation of a Campus Demonstration Policy Task Force and an independent review of police activity on campus following events this spring that led to more than 130 arrests on campus amid...


Will local control be lost? State climate bill likely to usurp authority over siting of clean energy infrastructure
06-17-2024 5:00 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Regional planning groups and local municipalities remain wary of the looming implications on municipal jurisdiction should the state’s massive climate bill move ahead in the coming weeks with promises to reform the slow process of siting and...


Opioid-related fatalities in Hampshire County, state down considerably over previous 2 years
06-16-2024 5:00 PM

By STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICEand JAMES PENTLAND

BOSTON — Worcester County experienced a drop in fatal opioid-related overdoses in 2023, mirroring a trend statewide and forging a potential turning point after the state’s fatality count hit a record high the previous year.State officials say there...


For Hampshire and Franklin county offenders, drug diversion and recovery starts here
06-16-2024 9:00 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Maria Pantoja credits her late aunt and dearest friend Doris Colon with giving her a valuable lesson about helping people in the throes of drug addiction.“She showed me how to treat the person, then the problem,” Pantoja said.Colon had...


Lengthy Town Meeting warrants come at ‘critical moment’ for Orange
06-14-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — Residents are likely in store for a long night on Monday, as the Special and Annual Town Meetings to be held at Town Hall have a combined 75 articles on their warrants involving key decisions.The warrant for the Special Town Meeting,...


A ‘Refuse to Lose’ reunion: UMass stars gather to talk about Final Four run for new documentary
06-13-2024 3:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A Final Four run for the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team and its “Refuse to Lose” mantra that defined the program’s most successful era continues to provide fond memories for the players and coaches involved nearly 30 years...


Wendell man killed in SUV, motorcycle crash
06-12-2024 12:35 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

WENDELL — Evan Stoos, a 34-year-old man from Wendell, was killed in a motorcycle crash Monday afternoon.According to Leverett Police Chief Scott Minckler, the Harley-Davidson motorcyclist, later identified as Stoos, and the driver of a Chevrolet...


Franklin County Technical School told that time remains to find their passion
06-06-2024 4:19 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

MONTAGUE – The largest Franklin County Technical School graduating class in two decades was urged to take the skills and lessons learned and apply them to all facets of life Wednesday evening.Superintendent Richard Martin implored the 143 seniors to...

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