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UMass basketball: St. Bonaventure beats Minutemen at own game, scores 75-67 win in front of largest crowd of the season at Mullins Center
02-24-2024 7:32 PM

By GARRETT COTE

AMHERST — Throughout the season, it’s clear the UMass men’s basketball team has built its identity doing the dirty work. Following several conference matchups over the past month, most coaches took the time to say the Minutemen are the most resilient...

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The ABCs of children’s books: ‘Alphabet Soup’ at the Eric Carle Museum looks at how picture books come to life
02-23-2024 2:22 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has no shortage of material to draw on for exhibits.Aside from highlighting work from traveling exhibits, or showcasing illustrations of specific artists drawn from various sources, the Amherst museum can...


Head Start might have leg up as Massachusetts budget priority
02-22-2024 4:12 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...


New year, new look: Bombyx Center adds more varied arts programming to its lineup while making infrastructure improvements
02-22-2024 1:30 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

What a difference a year makes.Late last May, the Northampton Fire Department abruptly shut down virtually all music performances at the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity in Florence, citing inadequate fire prevention measures at the venue.The move...


Class B semis: Poised South Hadley holds off SICS for 14th straight win, punches title-game ticket (PHOTOS)
02-21-2024 9:20 PM

By GARRETT COTE

SOUTH HADLEY — CC Gurek slowed things down for what felt like the first time all game as the clock approached the final two minutes to go in the fourth quarter.Everyone in the gym took a breath.The South Hadley guard sensed the importance of the...


UMass basketball: Minutemen bounce back, roll to 74-52 victory over VCU
02-20-2024 10:23 PM

By GARRETT COTE

AMHERST — Anxious murmurs percolated throughout the Mullins Center crowd as a Roosevelt Wheeler layup cut VCU’s deficit to 48-38 – the closest it had been since 12-2 in the opening minutes – with exactly 14 minutes to go in regulation.The UMass...


Adding up fire losses at Red Fire Farm: $1M in damages includes barn full of supplies and memories
02-20-2024 5:52 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — Days after a large fire engulfed Red Fire Farm’s barn and farm store on Carver Street on Saturday afternoon, farm staff slowly recounted the equipment and inventory lost in the fire, as well as the memories attached to them.The fire caused an...


UMass basketball: Red-hot VCU comes to Mullins Center on Tuesday
02-19-2024 5:38 PM

By GARRETT COTE

AMHERST — The saying all season long for the UMass men’s basketball team is a simple one: Don’t let the highs be too high, and don’t let the lows be too low.After a disappointing loss to then last-place La Salle over the weekend, the Minutemen are...


Four-alarm blaze at Red Fire Farm in Granby causes an estimated $1M in damages
02-18-2024 5:02 PM

By AALIANNA MARIETTA

GRANBY — A blaze engulfed Red Fire Farm’s barn and farm store on Carver Street on Saturday afternoon, leaving the west side of the barn “completely obliterated” and causing an estimated $1 million in damages, according to co-owner Ryan...


From Holland with love: Julia van IJken takes up more of the reins with Young@Heart Chorus
02-16-2024 3:59 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, Julia van IJken was at her parents’ home in the Netherlands, unable to travel back to England, where she’d been working on a master’s program in art and communication at the Royal College of Art in...


Art Briefs: Classical music in Hadley, jazz in Amherst, and a unique art exhibit in Northampton 
02-16-2024 8:46 AM

Haydn and Hummel in Hadley (with Beethoven) HADLEY — Arcadia Players will give an early boost to spring, or least to the spirit of spring, on Feb. 18 with a performance of chamber works from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including...


The love behind a perfect match: Pet rescue organization using AI to help rehome pets
02-14-2024 3:49 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — No dog trainers, behaviorists and even an psychic animal communicator could prevent Melissa Bekisz’s two dogs from fighting.The New York resident inherited her ex-partner’s 4-year-old Australian shepherd Marjoram after he moved out. Marjoram...


Taking up long-form fiction: Acclaimed short-story writer Kelly Link is set to debut her first novel
02-09-2024 12:33 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Kelly Link has piled up quite a few accolades and honors over the years: a MacArthur “genius grant,” a Pulitzer Prize nomination, several awards for fantasy fiction — a Hugo, a World Fantasy, and three Nebulas — and the kind of praise writers dream...


Art that traveled far, wide: Smith College exhibit showcases venerable art from the Persianate world
02-08-2024 3:29 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Before it became recognized by its modern name in 1935, Iran was known for centuries — at least in the western world — as Persia, a name that reflected the language of the same name and the culture that was part of it.In the 1970s, academics coined...


Still harmonizing after all these years: Silver Chord Bowl marks its 40th anniversary
02-08-2024 3:21 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The 1980s witnessed the start of what have become some longstanding artistic landmarks in Northampton: the Young@Heart Chorus, the downtown New Year’s Eve festival called First Night Northampton, and a good-natured competition involving collegiate a...


UMass basketball: Last-second George Mason foul helps Minutemen pull off 66-65 victory
02-03-2024 4:55 PM

By GARRETT COTE

AMHERST — Hanging on desperately to a two-point lead in the final minute against George Mason, the UMass men’s basketball team needed one stop to secure its second consecutive Atlantic 10 victory for the first time this season.The Minutemen forced the...


After years of moving around, Matt Cross has found a home at UMass; and the Minutemen have found their leader
02-02-2024 5:46 PM

By GARRETT COTE

As Matt Cross woke up each day during the offseason, it felt like another teammate was heading for the exit. The UMass men’s basketball team lost eight of its final 10 games – including a 33-point blowout to Richmond in the first round of the Atlantic...


Rare views into an earlier age: Clark Art Institute exhibits some 80 original images in paper and photographs
02-02-2024 10:43 AM

By DON STEWART

There are those who see winter not as a season but as a siege. They tire of shoveling white glittering fractals from their driveways and see snow as the unnecessary freezing of water.If you’re among those who don’t consider the frozen monochrome of...


Arts Briefs: New exhibits and a gallery expansion in Easthampton, a musical cabaret in Amherst, and more
02-01-2024 3:08 PM

A grand reopeningEASTHAMPTON — With a dramatic increase in space, 50 Arrow Gallery will inaugurate its new locale Feb. 8 with a celebratory reopening and the unveiling of a new exhibit, featuring the work of Valley artist David Andrews.The gallery’s...


Earth Matters: Queering the outdoors: The Venture Out Project empowers LGBTQIA2S+ people through community and adventure
02-01-2024 3:07 PM

By ALLIE MARTINEAU

Affinity spaces for queer people are essential, to share the things we carry. To meet friends, trade craft and clothing, talk about our lives, how to find doctors and well-sewn binders, how to come out, change a tire, ask for a raise, or cook for a...


Around and About with Richard McCarthy: Plane of dreams: Cheering on young athletes as they gain life experiences
02-01-2024 3:07 PM

By RICHARD MCCARTHY

Recently, I was at an airport and waiting for the same plane was a group of what looked to be about 12-to-14-year-old boys, all wearing the same black sweatsuits, with the same logo on the front of the sweatshirt. You could feel the electricity...

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