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Athol seeks grant for Rabbit Run land survey
02-28-2024 3:59 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – Planning and Development Director Eric Smith went before the Open Space and Recreation Commission on Tuesday to announce that he has applied for a MassTrails that would allow the town to start work on the proposed Rabbit Run Rail Trail. When...

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A Page from North Quabbin History: Founding of the Fisher Museum
02-28-2024 3:58 PM

By Carla CharterAt Harvard Forest in Petersham, visitors can learn about the forest and its history through dioramas dating back to the 1930s. The dioramas and the museum that was built for them was the idea of Richard T. Fisher, who was named...


$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...


Athol man faces drug, gun charges
02-28-2024 1:05 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Two men from Athol and Needham and a woman from Weymouth were arrested Monday in Boston’s Downtown Crossing on several drug-related charges, according to police.At around 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26, the Boston Police Department’s A-1 (Downtown)...


Sleep in Heavenly Peace to hold charity drive in Orange
02-27-2024 3:43 PM

By ABNER ROJAS

ORANGE — Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a volunteer organization dedicated to making and delivering beds free of charge for children in need, will be holding a can, bottle and bedding drive on March 16.The fundraiser will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the...


Officials discuss signage at Royalston Town Hall
02-27-2024 3:42 PM

By Greg Vine

ROYALSTON – One might assume that installing signage for a municipal building would be a relatively simple matter.In the case of Royalston Town Hall, however, such a task has proven more challenging. The building, which opened its doors to conduct...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 28
02-27-2024 3:41 PM

Athol Savings Bank donates to River Rat RaceATHOL—On Thursday, Feb. 22, members of the Athol Lions accepted a $1,000 donation from Athol Savings Bank, a long-time supporter of the Athol Lions Club River Rat Race. This year marks the 59th year of the...


Massachusetts ratepayers fed up with high energy costs
02-27-2024 3:40 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — From the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Lynn to the state’s western border in Richmond, people in Massachusetts are letting the state know how they feel about wallet-busting energy bills.“I struggle to pay my bills, my electric runs $250 a...


Royalston meeting will unveil Whitney Hall study
02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – The results of a months-long marketing study which could serve as a guide for the future of Whitney Hall will be unveiled at a public meeting this Thursday.This meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Royalston Town Hall, will...


FAFSA fiasco: Financial aid form meltdown trips up students, colleges
02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — A continued challenge for some prospective students and their families in accessing federal financial aid applications, and a corresponding delay in relaying the information from these forms to colleges and universities, is raising...


Dial ‘A’ for anachronism: Landlines languishing in US
02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By DEEPTI HAJELA

NEW YORK — When her cellphone’s service went down last week because of an AT&T network outage, Bernice Hudson didn’t panic. She just called the people she wanted to talk to the old-fashioned way — on her landline telephone, the kind she grew up with...


Proposal for electric vehicles for Athol departments will need revisions
02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – A proposal from the town’s Public Works Department to purchase two all-electric vehicles (EVs) was met with some skepticism at last week’s Capital Program Committee meeting as it begins a review of FY25 capital expenditure requests from...


Head Start might have leg up as Massachusetts budget priority
02-25-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Although they would not explicitly commit to fulfilling a funding request for Head Start, two of the most powerful players at the State House indicated Wednesday that funding the early education program is at the top of their priority list in...


Can you get there from here? Online tool tracks how reach to food pantries and stores without a car — or not
02-25-2024 5:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — Food and other necessities can be found at the Goshen General Store on Route 9. For low-income individuals in Goshen and surrounding communities, the Hilltown Food Pantry, at the nearby Town Office Building, distributes food every...


Athol board supports application for $950K street repair grant
02-25-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The Selectboard has voted unanimously to support the application for a $950,000 Community Development Block Grant to improve several streets in town.Planning and Development Director Eric Smith and Andrew Loew, director of Community...


Athol Library hosts Arthropod Petting Zoo with Professor Bugman
02-25-2024 5:00 PM


Senate plans another sex education reform vote next week
02-23-2024 5:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

Senators next week will vote again on a bill to update the state’s sex education guidelines, something the chamber has already approved four times without getting buy-in from the House.The Senate Committee on Ways and Means polled the so-called...


Former International Paper Mill in Erving nearing RFP deadline again
02-23-2024 5:01 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

ERVING — The former International Paper mill’s third Request For Proposal (RFP) is nearing its deadline, and there’s yet to be interest, while demolition is “on the table,” according to Town Planner Mariah Kurtz.The $1.49 million property at 8...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 24
02-23-2024 5:00 PM

Athol Democrats to elect delegates to state conventionATHOL — On Saturday, March 9, at 10 a.m., Democrats will convene at the Athol Town Hall, Liberty Hall (use basement door), to elect four delegates and four alternates to represent Athol at the...


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...

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