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Venus venture: Mount Holyoke professor among leaders for first mission to planet in 30 years
04-14-2024 1:01 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — A planetary scientist has a mix of expertise in history, science and politics.But it took more than 300 papers and 40 years in astronomy research for Mount Holyoke Chair of Astronomy M. Darby Dyar to tackle the latter.Dyar is the deputy...

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Gazette seeks nominations for Person of the Year, Young Community Leader awards
04-12-2024 5:33 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

NORTHAMPTON — The Daily Hampshire Gazette, together with the United Way of Franklin and Hampshire Counties and the Greenfield Recorder, have opened nominations for two annual awards recognizing individuals creating positive impact in their...


South Hadley to hear residents’ thoughts on new trash system, wastewater rate increases at Saturday hearing
04-11-2024 2:47 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — Residents will have a chance to weigh in on separate proposals that call for increasing wastewater rates and adopting a new trash system during two public hearings on Saturday at the Senior Center.Beginning at 9 a.m., the wastewater...


Belchertown Select Board gives Saunders earful over state funding
04-11-2024 12:45 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

BELCHERTOWN — A week after the town’s school system laid off 17 staff members due to funding woes, the Select Board had a simple message for state Rep. Aaron Saunders during a recent meeting — help us.Saunders, D-Belchertown, however, was not brimming...


Gravel pit defenders in Granby make case
04-09-2024 2:31 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — David Trompke grew up walking and riding his bike down Bachelor Street back when five gravel pits were in operation.Now, at 75, the lifelong Granby resident whose family developed a subdivision off Trompke Avenue wants to lease 19 acres for a...


Eclipse myths and misfortunes: Local experts explain that eclipses have a rich, reality-defying history
04-07-2024 6:01 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Manju Sharma remembers sitting on the lawn of her childhood home in Himachal Pradesh — the northern-most state of India — years ago, gazing at a solar eclipse reflected in a flat water vessel.Sharma’s school closed early that day to prevent children...


South Hadley School Committee seeks new member to fulfill term
04-05-2024 2:20 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — The School Committee is searching for a new member to serve until April 2025 after former member Lynda Pickbourn resigned at the beginning of March.In a letter to the board, Pickbourn said she needed to immediately resign for reasons...


U.S. Rep. Neal scopes out new veterans home
04-03-2024 5:18 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

HOLYOKE — Congressman Richard Neal often frequented the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke years ago to visit his grandfather and uncle — the latter of whom served in the Korean War for exactly one year, one month and one day — and witnessed firsthand the...


Tree wreckers causing havoc: Spongy moth, emerald ash borer killing off oak and ash populations in area towns
04-01-2024 5:05 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — The trees along the roadsides in Granby keep disappearing.Resident Cheryl Funk first noticed the phenomena during daily trips past West Street Cemetery, where trees that had long greeted mourners were suddenly gone. Then she realized the tree...


Saluting their service: South Hadley celebrates Vietnam Veterans Day with a tribute to those who served
03-29-2024 4:13 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — In 1968, a young Susan Opalenik stared out of the window of her intermediate junior high school classroom at the American flag, realizing its position at half-mast was for her cousin.Robert J. Sowinski was a corporal in the U.S. Army...


Valley Art Supplies finds right mix by adding bar to longtime Easthampton business
03-27-2024 2:41 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

EASTHAMPTON — Unlike most bar logs, the pages of the small black book found on the homemade bartop at Valley Art Supplies are filled with doodles and scribbles: a cat Statue of Liberty, a skull cocktail glass and platypus gyroscope lily...


South Hadley schools expect layoffs to approach 30 positions
03-22-2024 5:11 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY— The school district anticipates cutting at least 27 positions — the most any school system in Hampshire County has announced so far this spring — next fiscal year as officials grapple with a $1.2 million budget deficit being driven by...


‘Voices from Inside’: Film illuminates power of shared experiences to uplift incarcerated women
03-21-2024 4:42 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

HOLYOKE — Sonia Mendez never imagined how writing could give her a second chance.She attended her first creative writing workshop while incarcerated and spent most of the class clowning around, joking with the class facilitator and poking fun at the...


South Hadley braces for jump in sewer rates over next five years
03-20-2024 4:38 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — Just as the citizens in the musical world of “Urinetown” paid a fee for the privilege to pee, so too do residents of South Hadley — and that fee is about to go up significantly in the coming years.Over the next few months, the Select...


State gripped by solar slowdown: Worst year in decade for installations
03-18-2024 5:22 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Massachusetts’ solar development just had its worst year in over a decade in terms of new installations, but Greenfield Solar partner Claire Chang says her firm that does jobs throughout the Valley hasn’t experienced the same downturn.As a small...


All aboard the Tiger train: Rabid fan base ready to cheer on South Hadley girls hoops in state finals Sunday
03-15-2024 4:29 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — On a typical Tuesday evening, the only thing the occasional passerby can hear at The Boathouse Restaurant is the water lap against the shore.But last Tuesday, the waterfront restaurant at Brunelle’s Marina boomed with cheering and...


South Hadley Planning Board backs mixed-use zoning change
03-11-2024 4:28 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — The Planning Board has endorsed a zoning amendment that will head to Town Meeting in May permitting mixed-use multifamily residential development in a district that currently doesn’t allow it. Himanshu Patel, owner of Liquor...


Belchertown eyes regionalizing dispatch services with Wilbraham
03-08-2024 2:09 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

BELCHERTOWN — The town this summer is likely to become the latest to follow a growing trend in the region of outsourcing emergency communications to regional dispatch centers.Staffing shortages for dispatchers and $7.6 million in upcoming radio...


By 2-1 margin, South Hadley voters back merger of fire districts
03-06-2024 11:56 AM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — By a wide margin, voters at Tuesday’s election said they want the town’s two fire districts to merge.Of the 2,973 residents who answered the nonbinding ballot question, 2,029 people voted “yes” to petition the Prudential Committees of...


Rural issues on a global stage: Renowned climate justice activist Flowers gives keynote at UMass for Black History Month
03-01-2024 5:13 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — Before acclaimed environmental activist Catherine Coleman Flowers said one word about herself at the outset of a talk at UMass on Thursday night, she expressed gratitude to marginalized communities across the country who trusted her to share...


Thomas Stark named South Hadley’s District 1 fire chief
03-01-2024 3:46 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — Over his 33 years with the District 1 Fire Department, Thomas Stark worked his way up the ranks from on-call firefighter to emergency medical services coordinator to captain. Last week, Stark received his final promotion when Fire...

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