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FAFSA fiasco: Financial aid form meltdown trips up students, colleges
02-25-2024 2:18 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...

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Hillside Pizza closes Hadley location, but business brisk at other locations
02-24-2024 11:20 PM

By GRACE LEE

HADLEY — Hillside Pizza has closed its 15-year-old location at 173 Russell St., though owners report that the Super Bowl marked a record-breaking year in sales and fundraising efforts for the other two locations in South Deerfield and Bernardston....


Hadley considering removing deck from deteriorating and unused Dwyer’s Bridge
02-23-2024 10:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — A deteriorating deck on a North Hadley bridge, closed to vehicles for about 20 years, is being recommended for removal, despite objections from nearby residents that this would mean permanently losing an alternative public way to the adjacent...


South Hadley officials exploring ways to close $2.3M budget gap
02-22-2024 5:44 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — Facing a $2.3 million budget gap for the coming fiscal year, government and school officials agreed this week to head back to the drawing board to craft a spending plan that adequately meets the town’s needs.“I think what’s keeping us...


South Hadley town administrator proposes merging three departments
02-22-2024 5:42 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — The town’s recreation and veterans services departments and the Council on Aging will merge under a new human services department in fiscal year 2025 to maximize impact of social and mental health services within new budget...


Chinese charter school planning for a second campus in Hadley
02-21-2024 3:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — A Venture Way office building is being envisioned as a second campus for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School.Executive Director Richard Alcorn told the Planning Board Tuesday that the school has a purchase-and-sale agreement...


Hadley Senior Center launches monthly ‘memory cafe’
02-19-2024 9:16 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Older adults with dementia or memory loss, along with their care partners, are invited to participate in a new monthly memory cafe opening at the Hadley Senior Center.Connections Cafe, which is free for both residents and people from around...


South Hadley Candidates Night set for Thursday
02-17-2024 3:31 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — Residents will have one night this year to meet the candidates running for local office and both Fire Districts in the upcoming town election.Know Your Town of South Hadley will sponsor and moderate the Candidates Night on Thursday at...


Hadley foundation wants $150K in CPA money for Phelps farmhouse fixes
02-16-2024 2:29 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — An initial phase of stabilizing the early 19th century Phelps Farm, a farmhouse that became part of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum in 2022, could depend on support from the town’s Community Preservation Act account.The...


Hadley town administrator makes final cut in Palmer
02-13-2024 1:18 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Carolyn F. Brennan, Hadley’s town administrator since mid-September 2020, is a finalist to become town manager in Palmer.Brennan and Brad Brothers, assistant town manager in Plymouth, were announced as finalists to the Palmer Town Council...


Stephen Armstrong: I'm getting a wee bit tense
02-09-2024 8:56 PM

The anger and resentment in the Gazette’s letters puzzle me. What could drive people this way? The biggest, wealthiest, and the most generous country ever, in a county that seems to be doing all right — and yet we frame our politics in this?Liberals...


Digging out from deluge: Municipal clerks scramble amid flood of ballot requests, paperwork
02-09-2024 8:32 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

A temporary worker in the Holyoke city clerk’s office brought on to deal with the influx of mail-in ballot requests for the presidential primaries is ensuring that 2,700 or so ballots are already in the hands of those who want to cast their votes...


Grooving with a bigger  sound: S. Hadley high school band visited by Bombyx Brass Collective
02-09-2024 5:36 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — The sound from the high school’s music room Tuesday morning echoed down the halls with more volume than usual.South Hadley High School’s concert band currently consists of 12 people, three of whom play trumpet. Nathan Manly is one of...


Best Bites: Where to eat dinner right now: The top 35 Valley spots for dinner and what you should order
02-09-2024 12:36 PM

By ROBIN GOLDSTEIN

If I were writing the Pioneer Valley chapter of a travel guide to New England, this would be its section for “dinner with table service.” I list restaurants first that I feel are most essential to the local dining scene, the ones we can’t live...


Hadley Select Board OKs one-day liquor licenses for Young Men’s Club events
02-09-2024 11:41 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Annual events that draw in excess of 1,000 spectators, like the Country in the Country concert and spring and fall festivals for area college students, will continue to be held at the Young Men’s Club, pending approval of one-day liquor...


Hadley town officials unveil $27M budget
02-09-2024 11:25 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — A proposed $21.7 million operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024 maintains all municipal and school programs and current staffing levels, according to a presentation by Hadley’s financial team this week.“There's no...


Plans to redevelop Subaru dealership on Route 9 in Hadley gearing up
02-08-2024 9:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Plans for the redevelopment of a Route 9 Subaru dealership, including a new 31,568-square-foot showroom and service area and a reconfigured parking lot, are being filed with town planners.As the Steve Lewis Subaru at 315 Russell St.,...


Amherst chamber boss Pazmany to step down
02-04-2024 12:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — In a region where most businesses are small, with 20 or fewer employees, having an organization to advocate on their behalf, market them and assist them through unforeseen challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic is critical, says Amherst Area...


Ellen Miller-Mack: Decarceration in Massachusetts
02-02-2024 5:29 PM

MCI-Concord, a medium security men’s prison, is closing in June. This is great news. There will be substantial savings, including nearly $16 million in operating costs. Repairs to this prison would have cost $190 million.MCI-Cedar Junction closed...


Plan to rename Plains Elementary in South Hadley in honor of ‘beloved’ principal advancing
02-02-2024 12:44 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — Plans to rename Plains Elementary School after the late principal Henry Skala are moving forward now that the school’s PTA has raised enough money to buy signs. Started by PTA President Megan Bartlett, the GoFundMe campaign raised...


Valley Bounty: Micro but mighty: At a new farm in South Hadley, small is beautiful — and delicious
02-02-2024 11:50 AM

By JACOB NELSON

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Love Leaf Farm in South Hadley, it’s this: don’t judge a farm by its size … or the size of their crops, for that matter.In the words of farmer-owner Michael Fredette, “Love Leaf Farm is a very small, indoor...

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