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Sanders tops ‘honest’ category among NH voters in UMass poll

Sunday, February 7, 2016

AMHERST — More Republicans view Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as more honest than almost all of their own candidates, according to a poll released Sunday by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and WBZ-TV in Boston. Among likely Republican voters in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, 66 percent found the Vermont senator either “somewhat” or “very” honest (with 94 percent saying so on the Democratic side). Only former Florida Gov. Jeb …

UMass hackathon seeks to unravel mysteries of PVTA bus performance

Saturday, February 6, 2016

AMHERST — These students already know the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority buses pretty well. They know certain buses tend to run a few minutes behind. They know that on weekend evenings, leaving downtown Amherst, they’ll have to squeeze. And sometimes, if traveling from one spot on the University of Massachusetts campus to another, …

Basement fire causes $15,000 damage to Easthampton home

Saturday, February 6, 2016

EASTHAMPTON — A fire tore up an Easthampton basement early Friday morning, causing $15,000 in damage, Fire Capt. Dennis Peck said. No one was injured in the fire, which was reported at 1:31 a.m. Friday at 6 Valley Lane. Easthampton sent two engines to the scene, and the Northampton Fire Department assisted with one engine. They wrapped up shortly before 4:30 a.m., Peck …

Valley Views

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Barred Owl Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton Photograph and text by Dot Barnard, North Hatfield A friend and I visited the Arcadia Sanctuary recently in search of several different birds that had been seen there by local birders in …

Winter returns

Saturday, February 6, 2016

More snow than forecast results in slippery roads, school closings

Saturday, February 6, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Though many schoolchildren cheered as class was canceled Friday after a sudden drop of snow, the Pioneer Valley faced a less significant impact than eastern parts of the state where the heavy, wet snow caused power …

State Sen. Benjamin Downing in final year cites opioid epidemic, changing demographics as key issues

Saturday, February 6, 2016

BOSTON — After almost 10 years in office, state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing has checked many items off an impressive to-do list. The Pittsfield Democrat has worked to increase the amount of solar energy in the state by more than 500 percent, and supported efforts to rebuild college …

Forbes Library aims tech classes at people with vision loss

Friday, February 5, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Forbes Library is launching a series of free technology classes on Monday aimed at people with vision loss. Stretching into September, the classes will cover everything from magnification software to mobile Apple devices and audio description tools. The first class, titled “Keep Reading Digitally via Ear …

Area police news

Friday, February 5, 2016

Amherst • Francisco Barros, 19, of 81 Belchertown Road, Unit 67, was arrested at 3:03 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Main and South East streets on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger, operating …

Prosecutor reveals details of alleged attack on mother in dangerousness hearing of autistic Belchertown man

Friday, February 5, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — By the time the police arrived at the Belchertown home last September, the mother — covered in her own blood — was standing outside with her youngest son. Joann Holmes’ face, stomach, back, wrists and neck …

Jury convicts Patrick Durocher of raping UMass Amherst student on lawn outside Campus Center in 2013

Friday, February 5, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Sharp exhales and cries broke the silence of the courtroom Friday afternoon as a former University of Massachusetts Amherst student was found guilty of raping and assaulting a female classmate on the lawn outside the Campus …

Mass Alternative Care selects site on University Drive; second medical marijuana dispensary to do so this week

Friday, February 5, 2016

AMHERST — Two medical marijuana dispensaries could be located within a few hundred yards of each other if they both receive state and town approvals. Officials with Mass Alternative Care, who earlier this week hand-delivered notification of interest to the Select Board, on Friday provided Town Hall with …

Jones Library and Strong House museum in Amherst near agreement on expansion project

Friday, February 5, 2016

AMHERST — Officials representing the Jones Library and the Strong House museum, buildings which are on neighboring properties downtown, are nearing an agreement essential to the library’s planned expansion and renovation. The Buildings and Facilities subcommittee of the Jones Library trustees will meet with Amherst Historical Society representatives …