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GREG VIPREK Robert Murphy poses with two striped bass he caught off the coast of Marblehead July 30. The larger of the two fish is 44 inches long and weighs in at 31 lbs. Murphy, a South Hadley native, is researching striped bass diet and habitat as part of his doctoral dissertation at Northeastern University.

South Hadley native Robert Murphy funnels lifelong passion for fish into doctoral research at Northeastern University

Sunday, March 1, 2015

South Hadley High School science teacher Jacob Masenior remembers Robert Murphy, a 2008 graduate, conducting experiments in the town’s streams in his biology class. During his time at South Hadley High, Murphy completed a community service learning project where he studied insect larvae to determine the level of pollution in South Hadley waterways. “There’s a conservation area next to the school. We spent some time playing around in the streams there,” Masenior remembers. He says he likes to assign projects that not only benefit the town, but give students the freedom to explore scientific interests that might inspire them in college. His approach worked for …

Leverett Elementary School under repair after frozen pipes soak classrooms, displace students

Sunday, March 1, 2015

LEVERETT — Elementary School Principal Margot Lacey said she hopes students will be back in their regular classrooms later this week after frozen pipes that burst on Feb. 18 and 24 caused serious damage to walls, ceilings and flooring. Lacey was on a backcountry skiing trip in Yellowstone National Park during February vacation when she learned a sprinkler pipe had burst in the …

February was coldest ever on record in Amherst, and elsewhere

Sunday, March 1, 2015

AMHERST — Residents might want to sit down when they open their heating bills for the month of February — the last month was the coldest ever on record. The average temperature in Amherst in the past month was 11.2 degrees, the lowest average monthly temperature since records were first kept in town …

Earth Matters: The changing face of environmental education

Friday, February 27, 2015

How do we equip ourselves and our children with the tools needed to sustain the Earth? This is a challenging time for the field of environmental education. It’s no longer enough for environmental centers to help people learn …

Local bird sightings

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A northern shrike continues to be seen in Windsor, and a Bohemian waxwing was also found. A rough-legged hawk continues in Lee, and five …

Valley Views: Winter Full Moon

Friday, February 27, 2015

Heading outdoors: Area activities

Friday, February 13, 2015

∎  DCR Accessible Winter Recreation — The state Department of Conservation and Recreation hosts accessible winter recreation for people with disabilities, their families, and friends. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wendell State Forest, Montague Road, Wendell. Skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, more. Free. Pre-registration required. All Out Adventures, …

Veterans Voice

Friday, February 27, 2015

Announcements MEETING: DAV Chapter 92 will hold its next meeting March 12 at 7 p.m. at the VFW Post 8006 in Florence. Nominations for officers will take be held. All disabled veterans who would like to join are welcomed. FUND RAISER: The annual DAV Chapter 92 Forget-Me-Not Fundraiser …

Two sites in South Hadley Falls on Canal and Bardwell streets eyed for condominium development

Friday, February 27, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — Development of two town-owned properties could bring 18 new housing units to the Falls section of South Hadley and add tens of thousands annually in property taxes, according to Town Administrator Michael Sullivan. The sites are the old public library at 27 Bardwell St. and …

UMass football player to be charged with aggravated assault and battery; three injured in fight and hit-and-run accident recovering

Friday, February 27, 2015

HADLEY — Hadley Police have identified a University of Massachusetts football player as a suspect in a fight that left two UMass students injured last weekend and say they plan to charge him with two counts of aggravated assault and battery. Police declined to name the suspect, citing …

Two llamas on loose lassoed near Phoenix

Friday, February 27, 2015

PHOENIX — Two quick-footed llamas dashed in and out of traffic in a Phoenix-area retirement enclave before they were captured by authorities Thursday, causing a stir in the streets and on social media. A large, white llama and …

Northampton officials reluctant to make budget cuts needed for later high school start time

Friday, February 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Superintendent John Provost said Thursday night that he does not believe a later high school start time would be worth the cuts in arts, athletics or Advanced Placement courses needed to pay for it. “The benefit of a late start notwithstanding, these cuts would be devastating …

Deerfield adds US Department of Energy as defendant in action against gas pipeline

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DEERFIELD — A federal tort action filed by the town against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month has been amended to add the U.S. Department of Energy to the complaint as a defendant. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, private parties have the right to sue …