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Guest columnist Pema Latshang : School leaders need to further invest in their teachers
02-05-2024 4:42 PM

By PEMA LATSHANG

Over the past three years, it’s become clear just how essential teachers are to the everyday lives of the western Massachusetts community. In remote and hybrid settings they were there for us throughout the pandemic, with many stepping up to do this...

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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...


State Sen. Velis alarmed over pharmacies limiting Narcan access
02-01-2024 11:26 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

WESTFIELD — State law requires the overdose prevention drug naloxone — known by its brand name, Narcan — to be always be available over the counter, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed it to be sold directly to consumers since last...


Making news in business, Jan. 25
01-24-2024 11:47 AM

Bank donates $10K to housing projectNORTHAMPTON — Greenfield Cooperative Bank has donated $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity’s Victoria Bismark Farm project. This initiative calls for the construction of three single-family homes on Burts Pit Road in...


Cheri Rodriguez Jones: Give dialysis patients time to plan
01-18-2024 7:02 PM

Kidney failure changed my life. I’ve learned a thing or two after spending 18 years on dialysis, receiving a kidney transplant, and spending years as an advocate for my fellow patients.In the initial 30 months of dialysis, dialysis patients have...


Guest columnist Patrick O’Connor: Out of school and in jail
01-17-2024 3:58 PM

By PATRICK O’CONNOR

There is a crisis in Holyoke’s public schools. Each year, a classroom-sized group of students with learning disabilities drops out. These students are then more likely to be arrested and jailed on Holyoke’s streets. Although unintentional, we are...


State awards $800K in community empowerment grants to four Holyoke organizations
01-14-2024 2:13 PM

HOLYOKE — Four Holyoke organizations are among 67 across the state sharing part of more than $15 million from the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Program, which aims to bring positive economic outcomes to communities adversely impacted by the...


HCC grant to help recruit, train nurses
12-29-2023 12:21 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

HOLYOKE — More than 175 people in the region will receive training and job placement assistance — including the creation of a training program at Holyoke Community College designed to help the nursing shortage at area hospitals — as part of nearly...


Holyoke superintendent/receiver: End state control over schools
12-27-2023 3:38 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Receiver/Superintendent Anthony Soto is recommending that the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education begin the process of releasing the school district from receivership after more than eight years under state control.In a...


Fred Beddall: ‘Dual-use’ solar makes farmland less viable
12-21-2023 3:46 PM

As a full-time farmer, I say "no thanks" to the Amherst Working Group's support of so-called "dual-use" solar on farmland. Why? Massachusetts solar regulators have no requirement that the farmer receive the solar income, if the farmer is not the...


Lifting spirits: Holyoke veteran surprised with free holiday lights display at his home
12-15-2023 1:15 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

HOLYOKE — On Wednesday evening, Holyoke veteran Kurt Bluemer arrived home to twinkling white lights lining the porch rail, roof and bushes outside his house and a prominent wreath hanging from the top window.The decorations were hung earlier that day...


Pop-up printing event in downtown Holyoke for clothes, goods with local art continues Friday
12-12-2023 10:57 AM

Staff Report

HOLYOKE — An ongoing pop-up project in which a screenprinter and local artists make clothing and household items that can be used as holiday gifts continues Dec. 15.Paper City Clothing Co., run by screenprinter Carols Peña, is coordinating the...


Family of cannabis worker sues over 2022 death at Holyoke production plant
11-22-2023 10:49 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

SPRINGFIELD — The family of a woman who died after suffering an asthma attack from working in a Holyoke cannabis production plant is suing the corporation that employed her, a health and safety manager and a contractor.Lorna McMurrey, 27, died in...


Guest columnist Patrick O’Connor: How much we’ve lost by having just one new school
11-19-2023 2:11 PM

By PATRICK O’CONNOR

It is really hard to watch Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia and School Superintendent Anthony Soto cheer for the construction of one new middle school when so many of us know what we lost. We know the damage one middle school will cause to our children’s...


Amy Driver: Tortured turkey a sad story
11-12-2023 6:42 PM

Sad story about animal cruelty and a tortured turkey [“Two men face charges over injured turkey,” Gazette, Oct. 31]. It's a tough world out there, the news is so alarming and difficult. It's worse when we have to read about young adults at UMass...


EPA grants to enhance air pollution monitoring in region
11-10-2023 5:03 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Amherst’s Hitchcock Center for the Environment will be taking an active role in ensuring rural communities in the area are part of an expanded regional air pollution monitoring network, while Holyoke residents will be among those benefiting...


One for the record books? Florence man’s 40-mile pumpkin paddle ends with ‘only one near-capsize’
11-07-2023 4:21 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Hop in a car at the Stillwater Bridge in Deerfield and you can make it to the Dinosaur Footprints in Holyoke in about a half-hour. A bicycle can you get you there in roughly 2½ hours and walking will likely take you eight hours. Dave Rothstein now...


DA Sullivan presses for legal drug-use sites at State House hearing, saying need has never been more urgent
10-24-2023 6:00 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

BOSTON — Stressing that legal drug consumption sites would save hundreds of lives and that there isn’t a moment to waste, Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan implored lawmakers on Monday to muster up the courage to pass legislation before...


Sharon Farmer: Many benefits to pairing affordable housing with land conservation
10-18-2023 9:39 PM

Kudos to the Kestral Land Trust, the city of Easthampton, Mass Audobon, Community Builders, and the anonymous donor for moving forward with Growing Green: Easthampton, which will convert 53 acres of hayfield, meadow and riparian forest into an 11-acre...


Girls Inc. gets a $2M federal boost for new headquarters in Holyoke
10-17-2023 11:42 AM

Staff Report

HOLYOKE — A $2 million federal earmark is supporting the renovation of the 480 Hampden St. headquarters and program center for Girls Inc. of the Valley, a nonprofit organization that serves to empower more than 1,000 girls from underserved...


2 suspects charged with accessory to murder in fatal Holyoke shooting
10-17-2023 9:53 AM

Staff Report

HOLYOKE — Two Holyoke residents who allegedly helped one of three suspects wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of an infant on Oct. 4 are facing charges, according to the Hampden district attorney’s office.Jose Galarza, 31, and Jay Marie...

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