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President Barack Obama carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon" of 'Cheese' the turkey in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama on safe legal ground with turkey pardon

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has issued an executive action that some of his Republican opponents may be hard-pressed to disagree with — sparing Thanksgiving turkeys from the dinner table. In the spirit of the holiday, Obama on Wednesday took “action fully within my legal authority, the same kind of action taken by Democrats and Republican presidents before me,” to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, a 49-pound bird named Cheese. He also spared an alternate turkey, a 47-pounder named Mac. Both came from Cooper Farms in Oakwood, Ohio. “If you’re a turkey, and you’re named after a side dish, your chances of escaping Thanksgiving dinner …

With pennies, nickels, quarters, Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund launches 82nd year

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Susan Lavallee’s kindergarten class at the R.K. Finn Ryan Road School has already started raising money for the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund. So far, the class has raised 50 cents. Someone found two quarters on the floor, but no one claimed them, so Lavallee decided it was time to put out the special jar to collect for the 82nd season …

Despite storm, good food and fellowship at Amherst Survival Center Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

AMHERST — While the cold snow accumulated on the roads outside, warm food was piled onto plates at the Amherst Survival Center Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday afternoon. Despite the snowstorm, more than 100 people joined the meal at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Amherst, which was the 25th annual Thanksgiving dinner for …

Phyllis Perry

Sunday, November 23, 2014

CONWAY — Phyllis R. Perry, 60, of 266 Whately Road in Conway, died unexpectedly Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at home. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wrisley Funeral Home in South Deerfield and were incomplete at press time. …

Anthony Edward Gamache

Sunday, November 23, 2014

GOSHEN — Anthony Edward Gamache, 29, of 34 Main St. in Goshen, died Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wrisley Funeral Home in South Deerfield and were incomplete at press time. …

Massachusetts receives $1.75M for asthma programs

Sunday, November 23, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has received more than $1.75 million to fund new asthma-related programs in high-risk communities with documented health disparities. Attorney General Martha Coakley said the funding is aimed at helping thousands of children and older adults with asthma. Public Health …

ABC to celebrate Disney on Broadway in TV special

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NEW YORK — Disney will celebrate 20 years of making Broadway magic with a prime-time, hour-long special next month on ABC that highlights many of its musicals, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aida,” “Tarzan,” “The …

PBS’ ‘Odd Squad’ a new math series for children

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Consider this math problem: PBS leaves the train station headed west under a full head of steam to find a new series to teach math to youngsters. Tim McKeon and Adam Peltzman leave a train station at top speed headed east with an idea for a show that …

Young Hilltown artist Rowan McElligott follows tradition of mom (jewelry-maker) and grandmother (painter)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

There is nothing extraordinary about being a young artist in the Hilltowns, where many painters, potters, photographers and artisans in a variety of mediums reside. Still, one mixed-medium artist may hold the distinction of being the youngest among …

9 out of 10 problem drinkers aren’t alcoholics, study says

Friday, November 21, 2014

You might think that people who throw back five or more drinks in a single outing or who down 15 or more drinks in a week are likely to be alcoholics. But a new study finds that the overwhelming majority of them are not. Only one out of …

Area briefs

Friday, November 21, 2014

Easthampton ARTS BENEFIT: Off the Map Tattoo at 112 Cottage St. is offering select art-themed tattoos for $50 Saturday, with all the proceeds going to the Flywheel Community Arts Center. The event, called Tattoos for the Arts, is the fifth charity tattoo day sponsored by the shop in …

First Churches of Northampton annual festival this year features 140 homemade apple pies

Friday, November 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The annual festival at First Churches of Northampton at 129 Main St. on Saturday will feature more apple pies than before. For over 60 years, this fair has been the greatest source of fundraising for the …

Upcoming events at local senior centers

Friday, October 31, 2014

AMHERST SENIOR CENTER Bangs Community Center 70 Boltwood Walk CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP — For caregivers of seniors with dementia, Thursdays, 1 to 3 p.m. Emotional support and information on resources. Led by Helen MacMellon, LCSW and Peg DeNault, RN. Questions or to register, call 259-3062. TRAVEL — Details …