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FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2009 file photo, actress Sonia Manzano, right, performs at the Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Manzano, who has played the role of Maria on the groundbreaking kid show "Sesame Street" since 1971, is retiring. Manzano broke the news Monday, June 29, 2015 at the American Library Association's annual conference. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Sonia Manzano, Maria on ‘Sesame Street,’ will retire

Sunday, July 5, 2015

NEW YORK — “Sesame Street” is about to be less A-OK. Sonia Manzano, who has played the role of Maria on the groundbreaking kid show since 1971, is retiring. Manzano, 65, broke the news last week at the American Library Association Annual Conference. She said she wouldn’t be part of PBS’ new “Sesame Street” season. A beloved resident of Sesame …

The week in photos: Hampshire County scenes from June 29 to July 4, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Time seems to slow as the Pioneer Valley slips into the heart of summer, and the Independence Day holiday week brings the timeless routines of fireworks and parades. It’s a time of long days in a season that, in a matter of weeks, will feel like it was all too short. Above, scenes …

Fireworks for the Fourth

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Volunteers make light work of insulating Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity project in Easthampton

Friday, July 3, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — A long line of vehicles stretched down the road outside 246-248 East St. on Friday morning as nearly 50 volunteers gathered for Pioneer Valley Habitat For Humanity’s “Super Insulation-Installation Day” for the two homes they are …

Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: Channeling Dashiell Hammett

Friday, July 3, 2015

I was seated at the bar when she walked in ... She strode toward me with an air of confidence — like a woman who was in her element. “Are you Tim?” she asked. “I am,” I answered, …

Marietta Pritchard’s Slice of Life: Taking stock of our ‘grand old flag’

Friday, July 3, 2015

The first patriotic song I ever learned, probably around age 5 or 6, was the one that begins “My country, ’tis of thee” — official title, “America.” For many years afterwards, I certainly had no idea what the words “ ’tis of thee” meant. If asked, I suppose …

Yakitori

TERIYAKI GLAZE • Combine 2 cups mirin and 2 cups white wine. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes to cook off alcohol. • Add 6 tablespoons brown sugar and stir until dissolved. • Add 1 cup soy sauce and 5-6 slices of crushed fresh ginger. Simmer until …

Sit up and take notice: Green River Festival wins national attention in 2015

Over the past 29 years, the Green River Festival has become an institution in western Massachusetts, the go-to outdoor musical event of the summer. What started as a modest two-band concert in 1986 has grown into a three-day …

Engagement: William Musante & Emily Klassen

William J. and Maureen (Nolan) Musante, of Florence, announce the engagement of their son, William “Bill” Musante, to Emily Klassen, both of Alexandria, Virginia. Emily is the daughter of Richard and Nancy Klassen of St. Louis, Missouri. The …

Get Growing

‘Gardening is a powerful force to help communities grow,” Roger Swain told a gathering of nearly 200 people last weekend in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Garden Club of Amherst. Swain, the former host of The …

Despite court ruling, Valley parents, experts disagree with spanking as an option for discipline

NORTHAMPTON — Sitting at the child-friendly Cup and Top Café with her 3-year-old twin daughters, Jenny Boas acknowledged that parenting isn’t always easy. But, the Florence resident said, she has never used physical discipline on her girls, Ella …