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Valley Views

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cowbirds Quabbin Reservoir, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley I seem to be seeing an abundance of brown-headed cowbirds this year, but maybe I’ve just never paid that much attention before. While driving through Quabbin Reservoir I captured these two sparring males from my car window using a hand held DSLR camera with a medium length …

Bird sightings

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black-crowned night-heron has been seen for several days at Forest Park in Springfield. Two olive-sided flycatchers were reported in Belchertown and another two were seen in Tyringham. An upland sandpiper was found in the Honeypot section of Hadley. …

Friends and neighbors

Friday, September 4, 2015

Amherst Gabriel Killough-Hill has joined AmeriCorps for a term of national service on a Maine Conservation Corps field team. Gabriel is a 2015 graduate of Amherst Regional High School and the son of Bill and Ruthie Killough-Hill. The MCC conducts conservation projects throughout the State of Maine, including extensive recreational trail construction and …

Northampton’s ‘truck-eating bridge’ claims another victim; officer tries unsuccessfully to stop vehicle

Friday, September 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Police Officer Benjamin Beaver tried to stop a tractor-trailer heading toward the downtown railroad bridge early Friday morning, only to watch as the too-tall truck struck the underside of the bridge anyway. The impact of the …

Investigations by Easthampton police, national agencies lead to child pornography indictments for men from Easthampton, Southampton

Friday, September 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court grand jury this week indicted men from Southampton and Easthampton on charges that include distribution of child pornography. James J. Smith, 61, of 53 Holyoke St., Easthampton, was indicted Tuesday on three counts of possession of child pornography and one count each …

Loan from Common Good Finance boosts completion of Northeast Biodiesel plant in Greenfield

Friday, September 4, 2015

Long in the planning to ensure it is locally owned, the Northeast Biodiesel plant nearly ready at the Greenfield Industrial Park is getting a final boost from a 160-member, community-based nonprofit finance system. The $200,000, seven-year loan is provided by Ashfield-based Common Good Finance to Co-op Power, a …

Confident of state funding, President Marty Meehan says UMass will pay retroactive raises to union employees

Friday, September 4, 2015

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan announced Thursday that the system will retroactively pay raises it promised to 6,500 faculty and staff in a 2014 contract. The university system’s unionized workers have lobbied the board of …

Northampton City Council gives final approval to merger of treasurer and collector’s offices, resolution supporting mental health workers

Thursday, September 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The City Council unanimously gave final approval Thursday to the proposal by Mayor David J. Narkewicz combining the offices of treasurer and collector. The 8-0 vote on the issue’s second reading came after no discussion. City Council President William H. Dwight was absent. The councilors approved …

Bear suspected of breaking into home on Brookside Circle in Florence remains at large

Thursday, September 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Police investigating a reported break-in at a Brookside Circle home in Florence were not able to find the culprit, but they are pretty confident they know the perpetrator’s species. Big, muddy paw prints and other clues led police to conclude that a bear broke into the …

Whately seeks bids for work stablizing banks of the Mill River

Thursday, September 3, 2015

WHATELY — Town officials are seeking bids from contractors to stabilize the banks of the Mill River before they collapse and contaminate two nearby wells that supply water to nearly half of the town’s residents. The town will accept bids until Sept. 16, and a mandatory prebid conference …

Michele Gay, mother of Sandy Hook shooting victim, speaks to Williston faculty and staff about school safety

Thursday, September 3, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — Michele Gay stood in front of more than 200 faculty and staff at the Williston Northampton School on Thursday and recounted step by step what she can remember from the day her youngest daughter, Josephine, was …

Comprehensive tree management program takes root in Northampton

Thursday, September 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The streets of Northampton were much greener a century ago than they are today, according to photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those photographs appeared in a June 2014 presentation to City Council by Lilly Lombard, who led an advocacy effort last year …

‘Amherst for All’ charter commission group launches local government study with event at The Pub

Thursday, September 3, 2015

AMHERST — After 14 years of serving the community on both the Select Board and Planning Board, Aaron Hayden said he became frustrated that issues facing the town — such as student housing in neighborhoods and traffic problems — are not easily solved. “People need things done, and …