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ERIC GOLDSCHEIDER
Ben Gilsdorf of Amherst, a 10th-grader and member of Boy Scout Troop 500, salutes during the Amherst Memorial Day observances.

Amherst marks Memorial Day with parade, speech by Operation Enduring Freedom veteran Justin Maynard

Monday, May 25, 2015

AMHERST — Justin Maynard told the crowd gathered at the gates of the War Memorial swimming pool Monday morning about the day in Afghanistan just over four years ago when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated an explosion next to his truck. He was knocked unconscious. Seven people, all Afghans, died in the attack. Maynard, 28 — the featured …

Obama salutes fallen at Arlington

Monday, May 25, 2015

ARLINGTON, Va. — President Barack Obama on Monday saluted Americans who died in battle, saying the country must “never stop trying to fully repay them” for their sacrifices. He noted it was the first Memorial Day in 14 years without U.S. forces engaged in a major ground war. Speaking under sunny skies to …

Soldier’s Heart founders from Belchertown seek to restore ‘the soul after war’

Monday, May 25, 2015

ROWE — As the nation on Memorial Day honored its soldiers who died in battles of every era, a psychotherapist specializing in “the war after war” says we need to resanctify the age-old compact with our warriors if we are ever to heal what he calls our “post-traumatic stress social disorder.” Edward Tick, the Belchertown co-founder with his wife of Soldier’s Heart, a …

Trio completes 48-state Vermont-to-Washington driving challenge in record time

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — About a year ago, when John Frey told his wife, Jennifer Dieringer, that he was going to try to break the record for driving through all 48 states in the continental United States, she didn’t think …

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 …