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$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...

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‘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...


LifePath gets $125K grant to facilitate benefits enrollment
02-14-2024 3:57 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

GREENFIELD — With a $125,000 grant from the National Council on Aging, LifePath is looking to help folks in Franklin and Hampshire counties, as well as the North Quabbin region, get past the complex forms and eligibility requirements for numerous...


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...


Sober Housing Summit talks providing ‘a solid foundation’ for those in recovery
02-11-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

GREENFIELD — Representatives from area sober houses and residential recovery services, along with those who faced addiction themselves, shared stories and raised awareness about treatment options during the Sober Housing Summit on Friday.The sixth...


Neal, McGovern: $78B tax bill a win for families
02-05-2024 5:00 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL and CHRIS LARABEE

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal touted a new tax relief bill passed by the House of Representatives this week, and shared his views on U.S. foreign policy during a gathering with the press on Friday morning.Speaking at the atrium inside the...


Zoom session to garner public input on opioid settlement uses
01-30-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

As money from the nationwide opioid settlement continues to be disbursed to Franklin County towns, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG), in partnership with local boards of health, is inviting residents to share their input on how this...


Flight instructors, student pilot killed in plane crash on Greenfield-Leyden line
01-15-2024 12:18 PM

STAFF REPORT

GREENFIELD — Authorities have identified the three victims of Sunday’s fatal plane crash on the Greenfield-Leyden line.Fredrika Ballard, 53, of Southwick, William Hampton, 68, of Indian Orchard, and Chad Davidson, 29, of Woodstock, Connecticut, were...


Most charges against Athol kidnapping suspect dismissed; four other defendants retain charges
01-11-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — One of the five North Quabbin residents facing charges of kidnapping and other crimes stemming from an alleged incident last February has had nine of her charges dismissed while other charges, and all those of her co-defendants, remain in...


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...


DA’s office: Court case backlog in Mass not an issue in Franklin, Hampshire counties
12-25-2023 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

The backlog plaguing courthouses across much of the state seems to have spared Franklin and Hampshire counties, where the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office reportedly put many cases to bed while in-person jury trials were suspended during the...


8 seniors honored for ‘outstanding’ academic achievement, community involvement
12-11-2023 3:19 PM

By MARY BYRNE

TURNERS FALLS — Each year, students from across the state, including in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region, are recognized by their respective superintendents for their academic achievement and community involvement.The annual award is...


Polus Center in Athol plans training program to serve people with autism
12-04-2023 3:33 PM

By MAX BOWEN

A handful of local organizations were among the recipients in the latest round of workforce development planning grants from the state, including Greenfield Community College and an Athol-based organization that hopes to develop a training program for...


Knitting the community together: Scarves, gloves and more on Greenfield Common for those in need
11-29-2023 7:12 PM

By MARY BYRNE

GREENFIELD — Six years ago, Sandra Beebe knitted 25 scarves and placed them around Greenfield Common for anyone to take. Now, backed by a team of roughly 225 volunteers throughout the region, Beebe returned to the common on Monday night with a total...


Oral history project revisits Kinder Morgan pipeline opposition
11-14-2023 3:08 PM

By MARY BYRNE

NORTHFIELD — Residents from Northfield and surrounding communities packed the Community Bible Church Sunday night for what felt like a second hurrah seven years after the defeat of the Kinder Morgan NED Pipeline.“It’s wonderful to see so many familiar...


Fuel assistance available for Franklin County residents
11-06-2023 5:02 PM

By MARY BYRNE

With temperatures beginning to drop, state and local agencies are encouraging eligible residents to apply for fuel assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.LIHEAP, offered through Community Action Pioneer Valley, is a free...


Rebecca Todd named Connecticut River Conservancy’s new executive director
10-18-2023 5:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Years ago, Rebecca Todd and her roommate decided to cap off their first year at Dartmouth College by paddling home on the Connecticut River — from Hanover, New Hampshire to Walpole, New Hampshire.“I wouldn’t say that was the start of my...


Green River Festival sold to DSP Shows
10-13-2023 5:00 PM

By JULIAN MENDOZA

GREENFIELD — After 36 years of involvement with organizing the Green River Festival, Director Jim Olsen announced Thursday that he and Signature Sounds Presents will be passing the event onto new ownership.DSP Shows, which Olsen touted as a “leading...


$400M to bolster digital equity statewi
10-08-2023 6:00 PM

By MARY BYRNE

GREENFIELD — With approximately $400 million in the pipeline for digital equity efforts across the state, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute is taking feedback that will inform plans to grow the availability of internet-connected devices, boost...


10 local schools classified as ‘requiring assistance or intervention’ following MCAS results
10-02-2023 5:00 PM

By JULIAN MENDOZA, BELLA LEVAVI, MARY BYRNE and MAX BOWEN

Gill Elementary School and Petersham Center School have emerged as two of the state’s 66 strongest-performing schools relative to MCAS test taking, while 10 others in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region have been classified as “requiring...

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