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Barrington Lewis, 50, of Jamaica, participates in the Connectict River Valley Farmworker Health Program.

Migrant and seasonal farmworkers take advantage of Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers program

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DEERFIELD — Barrington Lewis has traveled from Jamaica to Deerfield for seven years to work and gather vegetables on Atlas Farm during harvest season. During the few months he works on Gideon Porth’s organic farm, Lewis, 50, visits the doctor to get his blood pressure checked and the dentist to have his teeth cleaned as part of the Connecticut River Valley Farmworker Health Program. “It’s real nice. When we really need it, they always provide health care,” he said. Lewis is one of thousands of immigrants from Jamaica and Puerto Rico who travel to the Connecticut River Valley to work on fruit, vegetable and tobacco … 0

Amherst schools leaders say they are determined to ease racial tensions this school year

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AMHERST — School Superintendent Maria Geryk is approaching September with measures she hopes will help put to rest the trauma of a school year marred by racial tensions at Amherst’s high and middle schools. “People think I’m wearing my rose-colored glasses, but I’m optimistic about this year,” she said in an interview. “I … 0

Westhampton church steeple repaired, weathervane hoisted

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — Less than four months after launching the public phase of a $200,000 fundraising campaign, the Westhampton Congregational Church of Christ has received pledges for over 95 percent of the funds and completed one of the most visible parts of the renovation work. The 185-year-old church’s spire on top of the steeple … 0

Chinese charter school begins expansion by adding Grade 10

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HADLEY — It’s a big year for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School. This year begins its expansion into what will be the first kindergarten through 12th grade Chinese immersion school in the country, according to school administration. Its program now serves 320 students in kindergarten through … 0

Smith Academy spiffy after facelift; new play area graces elementary school

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HATFIELD — When students and staff return to Smith Academy this year, they will enter a school building that has undergone considerable improvements during the summer. Topping the list is the replacement of the school’s 18-year-old roof, which, despite repairs, had been leaking for the last four years. … 0

Grades 2 and 3 combined at Berkshire Trail Elementary in Cummington due to low enrollment

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CUMMINGTON — There will be a new classroom grouping and curriculum at Berkshire Trail Elementary School this year. “New for us this year will be the reinstatement of a multi-grade classroom for Grades 2 and 3,” Principal Lorraine Liantonio said. The combined classes resulted from low student enrollment. … 0

New principal impressed with ‘welcoming’ community

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LEVERETT — With a new principal and the retirement of a longtime school psychologist, Leverett Elementary School is set for the new school year with its floors waxed and minor repairs made to a leaking office wall. Principal Margot Lacey, 61, started July 1, replacing Anne Ross who … 0

‘Meet the principal’ night tomorrow in Shutesbury

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SHUTESBURY — Jacqueline Mendonsa of Florence is preparing for her first year as the new principal of Shutesbury Elementary School. Mendonsa, 32, joined Shutesbury Elementary on July 1, replacing Maureen Ryan who resigned at the end of the 2013-14 school year. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts … 0

Two finalists for school superintendent named in Belchertown

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Two educators working elsewhere in Massachusetts were named finalists for superintendent of schools in Belchertown after a third candidate withdrew hours before the announcement was made Tuesday evening. Karen Zaleski, director of pupil services for the … 0

Bicyclist taken to hospital after collision at Market and Union streets in Northampton

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A bicyclist was hospitalized after a collision with a motor vehicle at the corner of Market and Union streets Tuesday afternoon. At 3:27 p.m., Marquie Gardner, 19, of 59 Union St., had stopped on Union Street … 0

Friendly’s restaurant closes on King Street in Northampton

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — What was for many people a nostalgic downtown fixture has closed its doors. The Friendly’s restaurant at 63 King St. closed Monday, according to a statement by the chain’s corporate headquarters in Wilbraham. GLG Corporation owned … 1

Westfield State University sends attorney general $273.48 bill for California car rental by ex-president Evan Dobelle

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Westfield State University has forwarded a $273.48 rental car bill from July to the state attorney general’s office because it appears to be from former president Evan S. Dobelle who resigned nine months ago. The bill came from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in San Francisco and lists Evan Dobelle as … 0

Hadley seeks volunteers to steer Goodwin Memorial Library building program

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

HADLEY — The Goodwin Memorial Library is seeking town residents to serve on a new committee that will oversee design plans and building improvements at the public library on Middle Street. The library’s trustees are also still accepting … 0