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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

Your Time: Steps to a bygone era

Friday, July 3, 2015

In a world that communicates at the speed of light, where information is conveyed immediately and continuously, and even relaxation has to be planned in advance, dance can provide a timeless interlude of grace. When the Small Planet …

Let THE paradeS Begin

Friday, July 3, 2015

Yakitori

Thursday, July 2, 2015

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 …

Something old catching on anew: Dahlias are favorites of brides, gardeners

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dahlias are big. In size and in popularity. The flower you might associate with your grandmother’s garden can push out blooms as big around as a dinner plate. Both potted plants and tubers are flying off the shelves …

Your Place: Spending is up on DIY home improvements

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Home Projects Council conducted a recent survey of 507 homeowners, and 45 percent said they planned to spend $1,000 or more on outdoor do-it-yourself home-improvement projects in 2015. In 2014, just 37 percent of homeowners responding planned to spend at that level. This year’s survey responses also …

Get Growing

Thursday, July 2, 2015

‘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 …

‘The Voice’ finalist Michelle Brooks-Thompson to sing national anthem at Boston Fourth of July concerts

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A local voice will fill a national stage this weekend. Michelle Brooks-Thompson, an Amherst Regional High School graduate and Mount Holyoke College alumna who competed during the 2012 season of the NBC show “The Voice,” will open Boston’s …

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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

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 …

Banding of American Kestrels in Hadley

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A project sponsored by the Kestrel Land Trust is seeking to better understand population declines affecting the birds. …

Macy’s dumps Trump; New York City reviewing contracts

Thursday, July 2, 2015

LOS ANGELES — The Macy’s department store chain joined an ongoing exodus from association with Donald Trump and New Mexico’s governor and New York City’s mayor slammed him over his comments on Mexican immigrants. Gov. Susana Martinez of …