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Treasure in the attic: Woman steps up to save long-lost mural of 1800s Jewish immigrant congregation
02-19-2024 7:11 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

Forgotten and gathering dust in the attic of a North Adams apartment building for more than a century, a mural that’s a part of eastern European Jewish immigrant history may soon see the light of day again.If it does, it will be thanks largely to the...

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New leader to take helm of The Care Center
02-28-2024 3:49 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Family law attorney and longtime Pioneer Valley resident Oona Cook has been named to lead The Care Center, which supports young mothers in achieving academic success, personal growth and economic independence, effective Friday.She succeeds...


Arizona man held without bail for alleged violent threats against former girlfriend
02-28-2024 12:04 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A 44-year-old man charged with making violent threats against a former girlfriend as he traveled cross-country from his Arizona home toward Northampton was ordered held without the right to bail at his arraignment Tuesday in Hampshire...


Luthier to hang up his tools: After 53 years, Tony Creamer closing Fretted Instruments in Amherst this spring
02-21-2024 6:31 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

AMHERST — Tony Creamer began his career in luthiery upstairs at 49 South Pleasant St. in 1969, and he’ll be ending it there, too, when he closes the Fretted Instrument Workshop on April 1. “I will have completed 53 years in business,” he said last...


$1M in grants to boost local food system in Hampshire County
02-18-2024 9:30 AM

By 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...


Parents object to judge sending suspect back to hospital for evaluation
02-16-2024 3:39 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Loud objections from the suspect’s parents greeted a judge’s order Thursday that a Florence man facing charges of attempted murder and strangulation be returned to Bridgewater State Hospital for evaluation.“I am the victim,” the mother...


A better model of early ed: City a leader in statewide push to create local networks of preschool care
02-15-2024 7:58 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Five years into a project to expand access to early education, Northampton has become a prime mover in building partnerships among various providers in the field.“What’s happening in Northampton is reshaping the system so that it works...


Police-chase suspect from Haydenville released on $15K bail
02-15-2024 9:33 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A Haydenville man accused of drug offenses and assaulting a police officer with his car following a multitown chase in October was released on $15,000 bail Wednesday after pleading not guilty to the charges in Hampshire Superior...


Deepening divisions: UMass poll chronicles yawning divides on race, immigration
02-14-2024 5:40 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

AMHERST — Almost a third of Republicans say they agree with former President Donald Trump’s claim that immigrants are “poisoning the blood of the country,” a recent University of Massachusetts poll has found.The poll, which also questioned respondents...


Easthampton City Council airs Gaza cease-fire resolution
02-14-2024 11:54 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

EASTHAMPTON — Just like their counterparts in Amherst, city councilors in Easthampton are considering a resolution calling for a peaceful resolution to the war in Gaza. Councilor Koni Denham, who submitted the resolution along with council President...


A snow day with no snow
02-13-2024 2:40 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Snow forecast Tuesday for much of Massachusetts turned out to be overoptimistic after the bulk of the storm stayed too far south to bring anything but a dusting to Hampshire County.Up until Monday morning, forecasters had “pretty high...


Tuesday storm could drop a half-foot of snow on region
02-12-2024 12:47 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A significant storm will bring up to 6 inches of snow to the area starting early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service predicts.The storm arrives in Hampshire County between 1 and 3 a.m., according to meteorologist Alan Dunham in...


Tracking the path of totality: In a visit to Mount Holyoke, astrophysicist talks about upcoming total solar eclipse
02-11-2024 6:01 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

SOUTH HADLEY — On April 8, as the earthbound jostle to find a spot to see the total solar eclipse, Jenna Samra will be 45,000 feet above the crowds in a Gulfstream 5 jet, aiming to stay in the moon’s shadow just a couple of minutes longer.An...


Leeds man sentenced on drug counts
02-10-2024 5:49 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A Leeds man was sentenced to 3½ to 4 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday in Hampshire Superior Court to more than a dozen drug-related counts.Casey Howard, 38, entered his change of plea before Judge Edward McDonough, admitting...


‘O’ is for Oman: Northampton man completes mission of traveling the alphabet of countries
02-09-2024 12:38 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

More than 60 years after he crossed his first foreign border, Gerard Simonette this month completed a mission of sorts: He checked off the last remaining letter of the alphabet of countries he has visited with a trip to Oman.Simonette, 80, who...


Health care workers urge Neal to stand up for Gaza cease-fire
02-06-2024 5:34 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

SPRINGFIELD — Dozens of area health care professionals rallied outside the federal courthouse Tuesday to demand that U.S. Rep. Richard Neal join their call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.Speakers representing the interfaith Healthcare Workers...


Middle school construction in Holyoke set to begin this month
02-05-2024 3:50 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Construction work on the city’s new, 550-student middle school is set to begin on schedule later this month under the supervision of general contractor Fontaine Bros. The company, with offices in Springfield and Worcester, was the lowest...


DA’s office launches animal welfare task force in region
02-04-2024 2:31 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Looking to strengthen and better coordinate the work of animal welfare professionals in Hampshire and Franklin counties, the Northwestern district attorney’s office is launching a task force to share information and provide training.A...


Smith College student dining workers vote for union
02-03-2024 3:17 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Dining workers at Smith College voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of organizing as United Smith Student Workers (USSW), a new union affiliated with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153.“I am so...


Hilltown program brightens holidays
02-03-2024 9:51 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HUNTINGTON — Presents, clothing, books and other items were delivered over the holiday season to local children under the Hilltown Holiday Help program.The Hilltown Community Health Center, along with the Gateway Regional School District National...


Two free on bail on cocaine trafficking charge; warrant issued for 3rd defendant
02-02-2024 10:54 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Two people stopped by State Police while traveling on I-91 in August were arraigned Thursday in Hampshire Superior Court on charges of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy to violate drug laws following indictment by a grand jury.James...

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