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KEVIN GUTTING
Shoppers on Main Street in downtown Northampton on Friday.

Black Friday relatively low key at Valley shopping destinations

Friday, November 28, 2014

HADLEY — Michele Wojtowicz found the deal she was looking for at the Hampshire Mall on Black Friday: a $150 jacket at J.C. Penney, which she bought for her niece for $29.99. But she didn’t have to trample or claw her way to the front of lines to get the bargain. She and her husband Bob were shopping in the …

State Rep. Ellen Story joins protest in support of workers outside Hadley Wal-Mart

Friday, November 28, 2014

HADLEY — Not everyone who showed up at the Wal-Mart at the Mountain Farms Mall in Hadley on Black Friday was there to shop. About 100 protesters associated with a group called “Western Mass. Jobs with Justice” mounted an hour-long demonstration, accusing the retail giant of paying its workers such low wages that …

Area police news

Friday, November 28, 2014

Northampton ∎ A two-car accident at 5:17 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Florence and Ryan roads caused extensive damage to both vehicles. Police said Albert L. Bove, 23, of Stonington, Conn., was traveling north on Ryan Road and drove through a stop sign at Florence Road, colliding with a car driven by Julia Mailloux, 19, of Westhampton. Police said Bove was cited …

Amherst tax rate to drop slightly, although average residential bill expected to increase by 1.8 percent

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

AMHERST — With Amherst assured of $725,000 in Community Development Block Grant money as a “mini-entitlement community,” town officials are creating a process for ensuring the money is used for housing, social service and other community projects that benefit low- and moderate-income people. The first step is scheduled …

Long-awaited asbestos cleanup to begin at former Belchertown State School

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Work on removing contaminants from areas of the former Belchertown State School will begin as soon as next week. Bay State Contracting of Springfield has been awarded a $40,800 contract to remove asbestos debris from the administration building of the former state school, according to Mark …

Amherst Regional and statewide teachers unions pledge support for Carolyn Gardner

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

AMHERST — Teachers in the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District and the Massachusetts Teachers Association are committed to confronting racism and offering support for Carolyn Gardner, the math teacher subjected to racist and hostile incidents during the last school year, according to a joint statement issued Tuesday. The statement …

After 69 years in Easthampton, Peter Pan Café seized by state for nonpayment of taxes

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — One of Easthampton’s oldest bars, the Peter Pan Café, is closed after it was seized by the state last week for owing $58,000 in taxes. The bar at 46 Pleasant St., which opened as the Peter …

Area court news

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easthampton ∎ Andrea M. Biladeau, 31, of 41 Franklin St., Apt. 4, pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court on Monday to charges of strangulation or suffocation, assault and battery on a person who is disabled or over 60, and intimidation of a witness. According to court documents, …

On eve of storm, Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce raises money to restore snow removal, maintenance of downtown sidewalks

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Despite the sudden loss of the city’s Business Improvement District, merchants and shopkeepers will not have to dig out from the season’s first storm forecast for Wednesday. Several city businesses stepped up with donations that mean …

Area police news

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Amherst ∎ Youssef Elghorfi, 25, of 81 Silver Lane, Unit B, Sunderland, was arrested at 1:23 a.m. Tuesday at Stackers, 57 North Pleasant St., on a charge of defacing property and two counts of assault and battery after a window was reported smashed at the bar. Northampton ∎ …

Weather gurus predict snow for wherever you drive on Wednesday

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Max Saito of Northampton hopes to make it to Vermont by Wednesday evening, but he’ll settle for Thursday morning if necessary. Like everyone else around here with Thanksgiving travel plans, Saito lamented that one of the …

Compressor station for proposed pipeline stirs concerns in Deerfield

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DEERFIELD — When Tom and Ben Clark of Clarkdale Fruit Farm learned a month or so ago that Kinder Morgan was changing its preferred route for its proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project south from a path that would …

Northampton property owners to see $124 increase in property taxes this year, council keeps single tax rate

Monday, November 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Property owners in the city should expect to see a slight jump in their tax bills this year when third-quarter bills go out in January, though the increase will not be nearly as large as last year when a Proposition 2½ override kicked in. The City …