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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 the area. It was a perfect winter day to walk the trails. With binoculars in hand, we worked our way around one of the trails where a barred owl had been spotted. After about 30 minutes of searching, we had not seen even one small bird. We decided to go to the Visitor’s Center to ask if the bird was still around. Assured that it was, indeed, …

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 outages. Hampshire and Franklin counties saw between 3 and 6 inches of snow, which began …

Northampton City Council urges state legislators to eliminate solar net metering cap

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — City Council members urged state legislators to immediately eliminate the cap on solar net metering, sending a strong message at their meeting Thursday that Northampton is tired of stalled solar projects and Massachusetts must do more to address climate change. Councilors voted unanimously to pass a …

Deerfield threatens to arrest anyone on private property without permission in connection with gas pipeline

Thursday, February 4, 2016

DEERFIELD — Local police will be used to protect property owners who refuse to allow Kinder Morgan pipeline surveyors or any other agency or individual onto their land with or without an order from the state Department of Public Utilities. Kinder Morgan, which plans a natural gas pipeline …

Second man charged with showing gun on UMass campus released with GPS monitoring

Thursday, February 4, 2016

BELCHERTOWN — Jeremy Arbore, one of two Berkshire County teenagers charged with bringing a loaded gun onto the University of Massachusetts campus, was released from the Hampshire County Jail on Thursday and placed under house arrest at his mother’s home in Sheffield. Judge Jacklyn Connly had ordered his …

Jury begins deliberations after hearing closing arguments in UMass rape trial

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — On the night Patrick Durocher allegedly attacked and raped a young woman outside the University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus Center, he did not run away, defense attorney Vincent Bongiorni said during closing arguments Thursday. Durocher even …

State Senate unanimously approves bill reforming public records law, setting up negotiations with House which passed different version earlier

Thursday, February 4, 2016

BOSTON — The state Senate Thursday unanimously approved a bill updating Massachusetts’ 40-year-old public records law, setting up negotiations with the House, which passed a different version in November. The Senate bill would move the public records law “into the 21st century,” Sen. Karen E. Spilka, D-Ashland, chairwoman …

Hispanic supporter of Donald Trump in Sunderland says he was ‘persecuted’ because of his political signs

Thursday, February 4, 2016

SUNDERLAND — Calling himself a “lonely soldier,” George Vazquez says he is one of the few vocal supporters of Donald Trump in the region, but he knows many more will vote for the presidential candidate across the country. …

Amherst Select Board gets second proposal this week for medical marijuana dispensary

Thursday, February 4, 2016

AMHERST — A second company came forward this week proposing to bring a medical marijuana dispensary to Amherst. Town officials now have received a total of three dispensary proposals in the last six months. Shortly after the Select Board on Monday issued a letter of support for the …

UMass investigates alleged workplace fraud at Physical Plant, five employees on paid leave, one resigns

Thursday, February 4, 2016

AMHERST — Five employees at the University of Massachusetts have been put on paid leave while another has resigned as part of a continuing internal investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct that involve the misreporting of time and …

League of Women Voters study identifies affordable transportation and housing as issues for seniors in Amherst

Thursday, February 4, 2016

AMHERST — A lack of inexpensive transportation and affordable housing are concerns for the town’s growing population of senior citizens. Those findings are included in the study “Aging in the Amherst Area” launched by the League of Women Voters of Amherst in May and presented to the Council …

Area police news

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Amherst • A Gray Street resident reported at 7:55 a.m. Thursday an attempted arson at his home after a Maine state flag displayed from the garage caught on fire. Police officers and firefighters responded and determined a security camera malfunctioned and overheated, charring the flag. • Police found …