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Bicyclists cross the Green River Covered Bridge in Greenfield on Thursday. Enthusiasts want to increase promotion of the Valley as a destination for cyclists.

Increased promotion sought to bring more cyclists to Valley

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Franklin County’s back roads are on a roll. In Sunderland, Montague and Whately, in Shelburne, Conway and Deerfield, chances are you may be seeing more bicyclists on byways, in groups or in ones or twos, wending their way along some of the back roads that attract cyclists not only from around the county, but from other parts of New England, …

Whately to raise legal age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21

Saturday, July 4, 2015

WHATELY — The Board of Health plans to adopt revisions to its tobacco sales regulations July 15 that would raise the legal age of buying tobacco from 18 to 21. Chairman Francis Fortino said two residents spoke in favor of the policy during a public hearing Wednesday night. With the changes, Whately will join Greenfield, Montague, Leverett and Gill in raising the legal …

Hilltown Voices: Large turnouts in Chesterfield and Goshen approve WiredWest broadband fiber-optic network

Saturday, July 4, 2015

In two of the best-attended special Town Meetings in recent memory, Chesterfield and Goshen this week each overwhelmingly approved spending more than $1 million to help create a regional state-of-the-art broadband fiber-optic network. The project will be built and operated by WiredWest, a cooperative seeking to provide broadband to 32 towns in western Massachusetts. On Monday, Goshen voters unanimously approved $1.4 million as …

James Ainsworth pleads guilty in crash that killed Edward and Brittany McGrath; sentencing continued to August

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Family members and loved ones of Brittany and Edward McGrath sobbed in Hampshire Superior Court on Tuesday as they described the “brilliant” father and daughter, and how they cannot keep from imagining the pair’s final moments …

Area police news

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Amherst ∎ A wallet was stolen from a vehicle broken into while parked at the Notch Visitors Center, 1500 West St. The incident was reported to police at 7:07 p.m. Monday. ∎ Police are investigating a break-in to the Aerobics and Fitness Studio, 20 Belchertown Road, reported at …

Former Ryder Funeral home employee Thomas Pascucci prevails in wage lawsuit against ex-director

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton man who sued embattled former funeral home director William W. Ryder for lost wages has won his case by default. Hampshire Superior Court Judge Bertha D. Josephson on Monday ruled in favor of Thomas …

Amherst July Fourth celebration with fireworks set for Saturday at UMass

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

AMHERST — A fireworks display near Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will cap several hours of activities, including music and food, as the town celebrates Independence Day on Saturday. “It’s a huge family event,” said Ryan Grady, special events and Fourth of …

Amherst police arrest Christopher Ron Hardy on assault charge in connection with fight behind Jones Library

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

AMHERST — A homeless man accused of injuring another man in a fight behind the Jones Library on Saturday was arrested Monday night, police said. Christopher Ron Hardy, 20, who provided an address as the streets of Amherst, was arrested on a warrant issued by the Eastern Hampshire …

Man taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital after fight outside Northampton Lodging

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — One man was brought to Cooley Dickinson Hospital for treatment following a fight outside Northampton Lodging Monday evening, police said. Police Sgt. Brian Letzeisen said officers responded to the 129 Pleasant St. site at 6:50 p.m. and found a victim with minor injuries following what he …

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison in UMass gang-rape case

Monday, June 29, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Justin A. King wiped his eyes with a tissue as he was sentenced Monday to eight to 12 years in state prison for his role in the 2012 rape of a former University of Massachusetts Amherst …

Obama to propose making millions more eligible for OT

Monday, June 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — Salaried workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week would become eligible for overtime pay under a proposal President Barack Obama unveiled Monday, lamenting that too many Americans are working too many hours for less pay than they deserve. The long-awaited overtime rule from the Labor Department …

Northampton City Council unanimously approves Jody Kasper as police chief; swearing-in ceremony Tuesday

Monday, June 29, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper is a list-maker, and on the occasion of the City Council vote unanimously approving her appointment as the city’s top law enforcement officer Monday, she freely admitted that. “I have a lot of lists,” she said. “I’ve had goals since I …

Split Supreme Court upholds use of execution drug

Monday, June 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — Trading sharp words, a deeply divided Supreme Court upheld the use of a controversial drug in lethal-injection executions Monday, even as two dissenting justices said for the first time they think it’s “highly likely” the death …