Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Convoy welcoming vets home to begin in Pelham

A convoy of military, fire and police vehicles to welcome home veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will begin in the Pelham Public Safety Complex on Saturday at 10 a.m. and travel through Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, Williamsburg and Goshen, arriving in Cummington for a ceremony at noon.

The convoy will end at the The Small Town Veterans Expo, sponsored by Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services District and the VA Central Western Massachusetts Health Care system, at the Cummington Fairgrounds. The Expo takes place Friday and Saturday from noon to dusk. It will feature entertainment, refreshments and include information on health care, housing assistance and loans, educational opportunities and other resources.

Among the participating vehicles will be a cruiser from the Pelham Police Department, driven by Patrolman Kalju Lee, a veteran of the Iraq war.

Steven James Connor, director of the Central Hampshire Veterans Services District, invited the fire and police departments of all 10 towns in the Central Hampshire district to participate.

The event is a chance for all local communities to say thank you to returning veterans, Connor said.

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Plant sale

The Pelham Plant Sale is returning Saturday after a five-year hiatus. The event, a fundraiser put on by the Friends of the Pelham Library, will take place outside of the Pelham Library. It will begin at 9 a.m. with the ringing of a gong and is expected to last until early afternoon.

The sale will offer a variety of homegrown potted plants, including perennials, annuals, ferns and small shrubs, all donated by local residents.

Alisa Pearson, chair of the plant sale, said she is still looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event.

Plant donations, bearing identifying labels, can be brought to the library between 1 and 5 p.m. on Friday. Wendy Larson, who is in charge of setup for the sale, recommends visitors bring a box to carry home purchased plants.

There will also be a raffle for prizes including a $50 gift certificate to Hadley Garden Center, a patio planter box and other garden-related gifts and books, said Jodi Levine, director of the Pelham library.

For information, Pearson can be reached at 230-3782 and Larson at 256-8256.

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New officer

Sean Casella of Easthampton has been hired as a new patrolman for the Pelham Police Department. He began work May 1.

Casella, who has about 10 years of experience including work for the Athol and Northampton police departments, will replace patrolman Ken Hartright, who resigned in April, said Police Chief Gary Thomann.

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