Area news briefs

Students walk to and from the Mount Holyoke College Blanchard Campus Center.

Students walk to and from the Mount Holyoke College Blanchard Campus Center. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 02-26-2024 7:00 AM

Talk at Mt. Holyoketo discussRwandan Genocide

SOUTH HADLEY — Freddy Mutanguha, the CEO of Aegis Trust and director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, will be at Mount Holyoke College on March 5 for the discussion “30 Years After the Rwandan Genocide.” This conversation, held at 5 p.m. in Gamble Auditorium, is free and open to the public.


Mutanguha will be in conversation with Professor Kavita Khory, director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives. They will discuss the 1994 Rwanda genocide and how it left Mutanguha an orphan head of household. Topics will also include his dedication to human rights advocacy, peace and education and preventing genocide as well as mass atrocities worldwide. He has lectured across the globe on the importance of forgiveness as a way of post-conflict reconstruction.


This event will also be livestreamed. Those who wish to watch the livestream will need to register to obtain the Zoom event link.

Chiefs promoteinstallationof smoke,CO alarms

Fire chiefs from across western Massachusetts gathered late last week to promote the first line of defense against an emergency at home: smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

“About 30% of last year’s residential fire deaths took place in western Massachusetts,” said Westfield Fire Chief Patrick Egloff, vice president of the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association, which represents more than 100 communities across four counties. “Our members serve large urban centers, small rural towns, and everything in between. But no matter where we work, we all agree on one thing — working smoke and CO alarms are vital, life-saving tools. They belong in every home, apartment, rooming house, and dorm.”

Egloff was joined by dozens of fire chiefs, State Fire Marshal Jon Davine, and Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Mary Nathan. Their joint press conference at the East Longmeadow Fire Department was a proactive measure to spread a message that fire chiefs often have to share after a deadly tragedy. And it was timed as Massachusetts approaches what was a deadly time of year in 2023.

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“Last year in Massachusetts, nearly half of all residential fire deaths took place in March and April,” said East Longmeadow Fire Chief Paul Morrissette, who hosted the gathering.

State Fire Marshal Davine said 45 Massachusetts residents died in fires last year.

Easthampton Fire Chief Christopher Norris pointed out that smoke alarms are like any other appliance — they don’t last forever.

“The manufacturing date is printed on the back of the device,” said Norris. “Smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years. If your alarm was made before February 2014, or if there’s no date at all, it’s time to replace it.”

S. HadleyTM ReviewCommittee to hold program

SOUTH HADLEY — Know Your Town of South Hadley will host a program by the Town Meeting Review Committee on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Main Public Library. It will also be broadcast live on Cable Channel 12.

The presentation by the committee will include an overview of the committee and what it does, an introduction of members, what has been accomplished, a Town Meeting 101 primer and Town Meeting survey results will be unveiled.

The members of the committee are: John Hine, Chair; Carlene Hamlin, Nicole Casolari, Ira Brezinsky, Michael Davis, Rudy Ternbach, David Solender, Meghan Bristol, James Everett and Larry Dixon.