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FILE - This July, 2001 aerial file photo shows the Coastal Plain of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. President Barack Obama says he will ask Congress to designate more than 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the Coastal Plain, as a wilderness area. The designation would seal the area off from oil exploration and give it the highest degree of federal protection available to public lands. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)

Obama seeks bigger Alaska refuge

Sunday, January 25, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government. “They’ve decided that today was the day that they were going to declare war on Alaska. Well, we are ready to engage,” said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and chair of the Senate energy committee. The designation would set aside an additional nearly 12.3 million acres as wilderness, including the coastal plain near Alaska’s northeast corner, …

Street clock coming home: City to buy historic timepiece, install it in renovated Pulaski Park

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A historic downtown street clock dedicated by former mayor Calvin Coolidge in 1910 is coming home, after sitting in a Holyoke warehouse for a quarter-century. The city has agreed to buy the large outdoor Seth Thomas street clock that for 86 years served as a landmark at the corner of Main …

Leverett, Obama on same page with high-speed Internet

Sunday, January 25, 2015

LEVERETT — President Obama’s call Tuesday for Internet expansion to “help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world,” had a special ring for people in this town. Obama’s State of the Union shout-out to the 21st-century businesses’ need for “the fastest Internet,” and his visit to Cedar …

Northampton police news

Sunday, January 25, 2015

■ Anthony Demattia, 27, of Westfield, was arrested Sunday at 10:07 a.m. on a warrant. ■ Aaron J. Nelson, 24, of Pittsfield, was arrested Sunday at 3:07 a.m. on N. Main St. on charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, possession of a Class …

Keystone Q&A: Debate is no longer limited to oil

Sunday, January 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — Congress wasted no time this year getting back into the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, despite last voting on approving the project in November. Now with firm control of the House and Senate, Republicans are eager to contrast their energy policy with that of President …

Snowstorm expected to dump 2 feet from Monday night on; winds likely to produce blizzard conditions

Saturday, January 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Pioneer Valley could see from 20 to 30 inches of snow beginning late Monday through Tuesday during what the National Weather Service predicts will be a “crippling” storm and “potentially historic blizzard.” The snow is …

Valley Views: Blue Heron

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blue Heron Manhan River, Route 10, Southampton Photograph and text by Andrew Brodeur, Southampton I created this image just before dusk on my way home from work on Route 10 in Southampton Jan. 14. I always look in …

Hilltown Voices: Buildings demolished on Worthington property once owned by potato farmer Bernard Albert

Saturday, January 24, 2015

After a lengthy process, the dilapidated storage barn and crumbling outbuildings located between 311 and 343 Huntington Road in Worthington have been demolished and hauled away. The 36-acre parcel was once owned by prominent potato farmer the late …

Former general manager of Franklin Community Cooperative denies theft of $60,000

Saturday, January 24, 2015

GREENFIELD — Bail was set at $75,000 cash for Dwight Gaddis, the former general manager of the Franklin Community Cooperative accused of stealing $60,000 from the member-owned food co-op, who was arraigned Friday in Franklin County Superior Court. …

Many Hands Farm Cooperative abandons plan to use Logtown Road house

Saturday, January 24, 2015

AMHERST — A farming enterprise that won the right to house up to 11 workers at a Logtown Road home this summer is abandoning plans to use the residence after being required to install sprinklers. The Planning Board last week had been scheduled to hold a site plan …

Robert Pyers of Florence resigns from job as Greenfield economic development director

Saturday, January 24, 2015

GREENFIELD — The town’s economic development director has resigned effective at 5 p.m. Feb. 2, and the mayor said Friday he is taking some responsibility for that decision. Robert Pyers, 63, of Florence, who has been in the …

Bid to win presidential library splits Chicagoans

Friday, January 23, 2015

CHICAGO — Chicago’s rush to secure space in a public park for Barack Obama’s presidential library has unleashed a tussle typical of the president’s hometown — loud, contentious and full of suspicions about backroom deals and personal politics …