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Support in Amherst for second downtown parking garage

Thursday, March 26, 2015

AMHERST — Beginning the process of bringing a second parking garage to downtown Amherst appears to have strong support from business owners, residents and some town officials. People who attended the third downtown parking forum, sponsored this week by the Planning Board and Select Board, made it clear that pursuing construction of a new parking facility, which would supplement the Boltwood parking garage that opened in 2002, should be a …

Increasingly ugly environment discourages some candidates from running for Amherst School Committee

Thursday, March 26, 2015

AMHERST — In one sense, the town of Amherst exemplifies the spirit of local democracy: just about everyone who has an opinion shares it. But by another measure, the town falls short — at least this year. Voters heading to the polls for Tuesday’s elections will find only one actively contested races for …

Amherst write-in campaign backs Lawrence O’Brien for school panel, but he says he will not accept seat

Thursday, March 26, 2015

AMHERST — Supporters of incumbent School Committee member Lawrence E. O’Brien are staging a write-in campaign on his behalf in advance of Tuesday’s town elections. Problem is, he’s not interested. O’Brien, who withdrew from the election despite collecting enough signatures to be on the ballot, said Thursday he will not serve another term …

Non-union, full-time town employees in Amherst will get 2 percent raise

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AMHERST — All eligible full-time town employees who are not part of municipal unions will receive 2 percent pay raises beginning July 1. The Select Board Monday voted unanimously to support the recommendation from the Personnel Board to offer the increase. Those employees who are already at the …

Area briefs

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Amherst TRIANGLE STREET ONE-WAY: Triangle Street at the intersection of East Pleasant Street will be narrowed to one lane between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday to accommodate equipment needed for construction of the five-story Kendrick Place project. Central Mass Crane Inc. will set up its equipment in …

Amherst Housing Authority approves contract extension, raise for executive director

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AMHERST — An extension of the contract for Amherst Housing Authority’s executive director was approved this month on a 3-1 vote by the five-member commission. The two-year extension for Denise LeDuc, and the 1½ percent pay raise that will bring her annual salary to more than $86,250, was …

National Grid to lower rates May 1

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Valley home and business owners can expect some relief from high electric bills this spring. On Monday, National Grid announced that, pending Department of Public Utilities approval, the cost of power is expected to drop from the current …

Obama: Hope dims for end to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the U.S. is weighing whether to back Palestinian efforts to seek U.N. recognition for an independent state and that recent remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dim hope for a …

US to slow pullout from Afghanistan

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama agreed Tuesday to slow the U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan at the request of its new government but insisted the delay won’t jeopardize his commitment to end America’s longest war before leaving office. …

Around Easthampton: Healthy eating class at Congregational Church, ECA+ seeks participants, mayor announces coffee hours

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — City pediatrician Dr. Nora E. Hanke will host a seven-week cooking and nutritional class at the Easthampton Congregational Church. A study by Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton identified Easthampton as a community with high rates of chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, that can be …

Area police news

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Amherst ∎ A 2004 Polaris snowmobile valued at $3,000 parked on the front lawn of the Alpha Tau Gamma fraternity, 118 Sunset Ave., was reported stolen at 10:42 a.m. Monday. The residents told police the snowmobile was likely taken sometime during spring break. Easthampton ∎ Police were called …

Medical exam focus of third day of testimony in trial of Emmanuel Bile Jr., accused in alleged gang-rape at UMass

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A nurse who examined the former University of Massachusetts student who alleges four men raped her in her dorm room testified Tuesday that the 18-year-old woman said she may have been unconscious for one to three …

Amherst Housing Authority candidate Emilie Hamilton drops out of race, citing inability to mediate differences on commission

Monday, March 23, 2015

AMHERST — One of two candidates for a five-year seat on the Amherst Housing Authority has dropped out of the race, saying that the atmosphere at commission meetings is too contentious. Despite collecting more than 50 signatures to get her name on the March 31 election ballot and …