Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Sunny
82°
Sunny
Hi 78° | Lo 57°

News

CAROL LOLLIS
A building at the former Belchertiown State School is torn down last week. An 83-unit, assisted-living facility is planned for the site.

Development at former Belchertown State School site ‘visibly taking hold’

Saturday, May 23, 2015

BELCHERTOWN — It has been well over two decades since the last patients, staff and administration left the Belchertown State School for the last time. This week, demolition crews moved in on some of the buildings that housed them. In the intervening years, some municipal buildings and a few businesses have been constructed on the periphery of land the state …

Armed Forces Family Appreciation Day at Look Park provides camaraderie, information to those who served

Saturday, May 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Sitting at a picnic table at Look Park Saturday as giggling children ran by and dozens of families enjoyed grilled food, William Rakaska said appreciation for veterans has come a long way since his U.S. Army service during the Vietnam War. “What they’re doing today is good,” the Florence resident said. …

Amherst police say man found dead in bathroom at Hess Express gasoline station on West Street

Saturday, May 23, 2015

AMHERST — An Amherst man was found dead in a gasoline station bathroom early this morning, police said. The 36-year-old man, who is not being publicly identified, was discovered in the rest room of the Hess Express at 468 West St. in South Amherst around 3 a.m. Saturday, according to Mary Carey, spokeswoman …

Couple found dead in Greenfield identified as Dennis and Margaret Pekkala

Thursday, May 21, 2015

GREENFIELD — The Northwestern district attorney’s office has identified the couple found dead Wednesday in their 21 Prospect St. apartment as Dennis Pekkala, 54, and Margaret Pekkala, 53. Investigators released no further details Thursday about the circumstances of their deaths. Greenfield police found the two dead in their …

Fourth group of machinists graduates from Franklin County Technical School

Thursday, May 21, 2015

TURNERS FALLS — The Franklin County Technical School machine shop turned out its fourth group of machinists Thursday through the adult training program of the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board. The 13-week Middle Skills Manufacturing Initiative graduated 13 students Thursday for a total of 43 trained since the …

Northampton City Council approves single-use plastic bag ban effective Jan. 1, 2016

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The City Council on Thursday officially banned single-use plastic bags in retail stores, joining a handful of other communities in Massachusetts which have done the same, including Cambridge, Brookline and Newburyport. The ordinance, which the council unanimously approved, takes effect Jan. 1, 2016 and will require …

Establishing trust funds one strategy for communities facing millions in unfunded liabilities for retirees’ benefits

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Predictions that unfunded health care expenses for municipal employees when they retire will total in the millions of dollars have prompted some communities to establish trust funds to begin setting aside money toward those costs. But the amounts …

Christopher Conley of Northampton charged with attempted murder for allegedly trying to poison seriously ill daughter

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A city man accused of trying to kill his 7-year-old daughter by poisoning her with Liquid-Plumr allegedly told police Wednesday that he wanted to end her pain because she has a serious illness. Christopher W. Conley, 32, of 73 Barrett St., Apt. 5155, was ordered held …

Greenfield Community College eyes Amherst Regional Middle School for courses, programs

Thursday, May 21, 2015

AMHERST — School officials, local politicians and the leadership at Greenfield Community College are all eager to hold community college classes at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School as part of a proposal that would move middle school classes …

Trade bill narrowly clears Senate hurdle

Thursday, May 21, 2015

WASHINGTON — In a triumph for President Barack Obama, sweeping legislation to strengthen the administration’s hand in global trade talks advanced toward Senate passage Thursday after a showdown vote that remained in doubt until the final moment. The …

Planning committee named for Burts Pit Road land leased to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A committee of local residents, school and state officials has been formed to help decide the future of the 280-plus acres of former Northampton State Hospital land off Burts Pit Road leased to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. Smith Vocational Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson said the …

Area brief

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Northampton STUDENT ART EXHIBIT: Community members have a final chance to see the Northampton High School student art exhibit in the Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library, which will remain on display until Tuesday. The exhibit features drawings, paintings, ceramics and other art by students of Northampton High School …

Area police news

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Amherst ∎ Brian James Knox, 38, of 464 Bay Road, was arrested at 1:51 a.m. Thursday on South East Street on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (second offense), negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger, failure to stay within marked …