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YOSHITAKA HAMADA
The climber is seen at the Bridge Street School's playground in Northampton Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.  The equipment is one of new additions to the playground.

Improvements made to Bridge Street School playground in Northampton

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Bridge Street School’s colorful playground has long been an eye-catcher. The community recently celebrated special new features to the beloved play structure. Over the summer, the hard-packed dirt outside the school was transformed into a bouncy rubber surface, where children can play without worrying about kicking up dirt or getting muddy. There is also now an asphalt area for basketball and wall ball, tables for arts and crafts, and a playhouse. “There’s lots of places for them to explore and just be kids,” Bridge Street School Principal Beth Choquette said recently while looking out at the new play area from her office window. …

Easthampton Matters to host informational forum on ballot questions

Saturday, October 25, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — A community group is hosting an informational forum Wednesday for voters who want to learn more about the four state ballot questions in the Nov. 4 election. The free forum takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 50 Payson Ave. It will also be broadcast live on local cable channel 5 by Easthampton Community Access …

Power back on in Northampton after 90-minute Friday afternoon failure linked to squirrel in substation

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Power was restored to more than 5,000 customers, many in downtown Northampton, about 90 minutes after a power failure knocked traffic lights out of service and forced diners and shoppers from darkened restaurants and stores. Much of downtown turned into a parking lot as drivers inched along major routes. The power …

Veterans Voice

Friday, October 24, 2014

Announcements FREE DINNER: The Florence VFW Post 8006 will offer free dinners to any area veteran and his or her spouse or partner on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Social half-hour will start at 5.30 p.m. with a buffet at 6 p.m. This year’s menu will be spaghetti, ziti, …

Amherst zoning board determines Many Hands Farm Cooperative may continue using home on Logtown Road

Friday, October 24, 2014

AMHERST — A farm program that trains college students won a reprieve Thursday night when the town’s zoning board decided the program can seek special approval to place more than four students in a rental house. The Zoning Board of Appeals, at the request of Building Commissioner Robert …

Amherst motorists and residents find fault with slow pace of Pine Street reconstruction

Friday, October 24, 2014

AMHERST — Commuting from her Leverett home to her job at Whole Foods Market in Hadley, Sarah Burke veers her vehicle around potholes, divots and depressions on what is likely the region’s most heavily traveled gravel road. “Today …

Skrillex concert at Mullins Center result in eight arrests, medical attention for nearly two dozen

Friday, October 24, 2014

AMHERST — An electronic dance concert that entertained more than 3,000 spectators at the Mullins Center Thursday night resulted in nearly two dozen people who were treated for alcohol consumption and other issues. Eight people were arrested outside the arena on charges of drug possession. Amherst Fire Chief …

Suspect arrested in threat to re-enact Columbine shooting at Frontier Regional

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — A threat to “re-enact Columbine” at Frontier Regional School led to the arrest of a Sunderland teen and placed the school under a “shelter in place” order Thursday morning. Nicholas R. Schauer, 19, of 28 …

Parents, teachers critique high-stakes tests at Northampton forum

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Gus Morales, president of the Holyoke teachers union, thinks that if the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System had been around when he was growing up, he would not have received his diploma. “Had this been the culture …

Suspect in Springfield fatal shooting last November captured in Mexico

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Federal marshals say a suspect in a fatal shooting in Springfield nearly a year ago has been captured in Mexico. Daniel Spellacy, supervisor for the Springfield U.S. Marshals office, tells WSHM-TV that Julio Leiva was apprehended in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday night. Leiva, whose address …

Mark Pruhenski signs contract and will start Nov. 10 as Whately town administrator

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WHATELY — Mark Pruhenski, a special project manager from Great Barrington, has officially accepted Whately’s offer to become the new town administrator. Pruhenski’s decision concludes a search for a town administrator that began when Lynn Sibley left the position to take a job as Shelburne’s treasurer in early …

MAP ‘Live United’ campaign Saturday by 40 businesses in downtown Northampton

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Chuong Son had no way of knowing how much help the United Way of Hampshire County would be a year ago as he watched a fire destroy a Hadley building that housed his Vietnamese eatery. Had …

Robert O’Connor retires after 35 years with Amherst Police Department

Thursday, October 23, 2014

AMHERST — Lt. Robert J. O’Connor, a 35-year-member of the Amherst Police Department who assisted in the creation of a school safety response plan and was instrumental in the department’s participation in the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Torch Run …