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President Barack Obama bestows former Army Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts with the Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House Monday, July 21, 2014, in Washington. Pitts is the ninth living recipient of the nation's highest decoration for battlefield valor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Afghan veteran who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor

Monday, July 21, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bleeding from both legs and his arm, Ryan Pitts kept firing at about 200 Taliban fighters, even holding onto his grenades an extra moment to ensure the enemy couldn’t heave them back. On Monday, President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck, in a somber White House ceremony that also paid tribute to his … 0

The Dignity Project: Mount Holyoke President, medical ethicist, Lynn Pasquerella: A challenge to idea that death is un-American

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dying is certainly not what it used to be. During my career as a medical ethicist, there has been a remarkable shift in the types of end-of-life cases I have been asked to consult on. Today, the most common scenarios are like the one described by my family practitioner during a recent visit. … 1

'No one knows where my money is' Pre-paid funeral funds at beleaguered Ryder's missing; State demonstrates lax oversight of pre-paid system

Monday, July 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — On March 19, Pamela Rys and her sister sat down with former funeral director William W. Ryder at the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley and made funeral arrangements in advance for their elderly parents. Rys handed over two checks totaling nearly $17,000 to Ryder that night to pay for … 0

New Amherst restaurants make downtown melting pot of tastes

Sunday, July 20, 2014

AMHERST — On the walls of a new downtown restaurant, artwork represents the alphabet and numbers written in Thai and displays feature miniature tuk-tuks common to the streets of the Asian country. “We get everything from Thailand so … 0

When ‘middle man’ is a badge of honor For 40-plus years, Squash Inc. delivers food around the Valley

Sunday, July 20, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — By recognizing Squash Inc., a food distributor in the Pioneer Valley since 1973, as a Local Hero this summer, CISA also recognized the importance of what Squash co-owner Eric Stocker calls “the dreaded middle man” in … 0

B2B ID: Nina Smolyar

Sunday, July 20, 2014

NAME, TITLE: Nina Smolyar, director of operations, Pioneer Valley Local First, Northampton serving Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties. WEBSITE: www.pvlocalfirst.org AGE: 34 WHAT YOU DO: I work with the board of directors, members and allies of Pioneer Valley … 0

Celtic pride abounds at annual Scottish fest at Look Park in Northampton

Saturday, July 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — With traditional food, music and dance in abundance, along with stone- and hammer-tossing competitions, Celtic pride filled the air at the 21st annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival at Look Park Saturday. The festivities were spread throughout … 0

Jehovah’s Witnesses convention brings 6,000 to the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts

Saturday, July 19, 2014

AMHERST — More than 6,000 people descended upon the University of Massachusetts campus this weekend, filling the Mullins Center with prayer, song and a vibe of goodwill. “We try to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable here,” said … 0

Warren energizes progressives in Michigan

Friday, July 18, 2014

DETROIT — At a summertime getaway for liberals, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has captured the hearts of Democratic activists beginning to think about an heir to President Barack Obama. But their minds tell them that Hillary Rodham Clinton … 0

Obama OKs East Coast oil search using sonic cannons

Friday, July 18, 2014

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. — Opening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil exploration for the first time in decades, the Obama administration on Friday approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine … 0

Debtor’s jail? South Hadley man describes day he was jailed in dispute over $508

Friday, July 18, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Iheanyi Daniel Okoroafor, a 73-year-old African immigrant and retired mental health case manager, thought he’d get a chance to explain to a judge why he didn’t pay for a furnace repair he says was not … 0

Amherst Human Rights Commission member Carol Ross hired to help close racial divisions in town

Friday, July 18, 2014

AMHERST — After a year in which Amherst schools faced difficult racial issues at every turn, Superintendent Maria Geryk and Town Manager John Musante created the Amherst Together initiative and announced Friday they’ve tapped Carol Ross, a member … 0