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Oscar Watch: ‘Birdman’ up, ‘Boyhood’ down ... for now

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

For the last few months, Richard Linklater’s micro-budgeted, experimental coming-of-age drama, “Boyhood,” has reigned supreme as the least likely best picture front-runner in the history of the Oscars, winning the Golden Globe, multiple critics prizes and a boundless supply of goodwill. That kingpin status changed this weekend as “Birdman,” the dark, dazzling comedy about an actor attempting reinvention, took top honors with the Producers Guild of America and the Screen …

Travel ban lifted for western Mass, I-91; still in effect for Mass Pike

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

FRAMINGHAM — The statewide travel ban has been lifted for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties for local and I-91 traffic, effective immediately, in an announcement made shortly after noon by Gov. Charlie Baker. The travel ban remains in effect for the entire length of the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 90, and for Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester …

Despite its weak record in stopping the flu this season, doctors still say, Get the shot

Monday, January 26, 2015

While federal health officials say this year’s flu vaccine is less effective than in previous years, local doctors and nurses encourage people to get vaccinated anyway. “The flu shot and good hygiene are still your best frontline at preventing the flu,” said Cooperative Public Health Service Nurse Lisa White at the Franklin Regional …

Digital Life: Gadget Show Review: Lots of noise, a few gems in smart home

Friday, January 23, 2015

Technology forecasters are calling 2015 the year of the Internet of Things — that idea that everyday objects will use sensors and Internet connectivity to start thinking and acting for themselves. At the International CES gadget show this …

Chef’s Best: Want Valentine’s Day ease that still impresses? Try fondue

Friday, January 23, 2015

Worried your kitchen skills may not be up to pulling together something impressively decadent for Valentine’s Day? Fear not. A pricy restaurant meal isn’t your only option. We created this delicious, yet simple pair of fondue sauces to …

Overcoming the odds: Jim Egan of Easthampton has his life back after unlikely kidney transplant

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — James “Jim” Egan III of Loudville Road had been hoping for a kidney transplant since an extremely rare autoimmune disease killed his kidney function over four years ago. But his doctors told him that due to …

Saudi King Abdullah dies; brother succeeds

Thursday, January 22, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington’s fight against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women, …

Measles not limited to the unvaccinated

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SANTA ANA, Calif. — As the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland grew to at least 70 cases Wednesday, much of the attention has focused on how the vast majority of patients were not vaccinated for the highly contagious disease. But some medical experts have also expressed concern …

Karen Couture of South Hadley wins $1 million in Massachusetts State Lottery ‘second chance drawing’

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — Each time Karen Couture of South Hadley bought a lottery ticket, she asked her daughter what color she wanted her bedroom to be when they rebuilt their house, according to the Massachusetts State Lottery. After Couture found out she won $1 million in the “second …

Northampton panel explores racial tensions, asks ‘Can Ferguson happen here?’

Monday, January 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Leaders in law enforcement and community organizers came face to face for a discussion on race, protests and white privilege this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “I could have 100 Ph.D.s and be the director of …

At Amherst College event honoring legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Billy McBride says more kindness needed

Monday, January 19, 2015

AMHERST — Courage, faith and compassion for others are blessings Billy T. McBride said he received after surviving a stabbing as a teenager growing up in Syracuse, New York. “Those blessings were often shared with my college roommate …

Fla. boy’s likely circumcision spurs legal battle, protests

Monday, January 19, 2015

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — An estranged Florida couple’s fight over whether to circumcise their son has become a rallying cry for those who denounce the procedure as barbaric. The dispute between Heather Hironimus, the mother opposing circumcision, and …

South Hadley marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day with annual ‘Bag the Community’ food drive

Monday, January 19, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — Mitch Resnick, a retired dentist, pulled out of the South Hadley High School parking lot at 10 a.m. Monday with three visiting college students from South Africa in the passenger seats of his Acura SUV. …