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FILE - In this June 2, 2014 file photo, a hill of coal is seen at the North Omaha Station, a coal-burning power station, in Omaha, Neb. The Environmental Protection Agency will announce Wednesday, Nov. 26, a preferred range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to reduce the amount of smog-forming pollution allowed in the air, people familiar with the proposal told The Associated Press. The agency's scientific advisers had endorsed a standard as low as 60 parts per billion. The current standard is 75 parts per billion, put in place by President George W. Bush in 2008. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

US moves to tighten smog limits

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — In a fresh confrontation with Republicans, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed stricter emissions limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness. The move fulfilled a long-delayed campaign promise by President Barack Obama but left environmental and public health groups wanting more. Business groups panned the Environmental Protection Agency’s new ozone regulations as unnecessary and the …

UPDATED: First storm of season comes in as predicted: a whopper on Thanksgiving eve

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Carla Tettah-Kpodar’s first brush with snow — in her lifetime — turned out to be an eventful one Wednesday. The Smith College first-year student, who hails from Ghana in West Africa and had only seen snow on television, maintained a cheery attitude despite having a flight to Washington out of Hartford’s …

Peter Pan Café reopens in Easthampton after agreement on tax payment reached with state

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — The doors of the Peter Pan Café were unlocked at noon Wednesday and the neon Miller Lite sign in the window invited patrons back to the bar, eight days after it was shuttered by the state for nonpayment of taxes. Behind the bar, co-owner Robert LaBombard said happily that he and his partner, Sandra Wheeler, worked out an agreement with the …

Deerfield seeks solution to keep wet wipes, other materials from jamming wastewater treatment plant equipment

Friday, November 21, 2014

DEERFIELD — Thinking about sending that flushable wet wipe down the toilet? The director of the Deerfield Highway Department hopes you will think twice, because those and similar items have been jamming up equipment in the wastewater treatment plant and slowing operations. Highway Superintendent Kevin Scarborough explained the …

Land of plenty? Food pantries opt for more food, rather than turkeys-only in parceling out Thanksgiving ingredients

Friday, November 21, 2014

For many years, local food pantries such as the Northampton and Amherst survival centers have filled their freezers with turkeys so clients — even those who don’t regularly rely on them — can count on the main ingredient …

Missing man found dead in pond inside Look Park

Friday, November 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Police Friday morning found in a Look Park pond a body believed to be that of Reed Bennett, the 34-year-old Easthampton man who went missing Monday night, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. Meantime, police …

John Peloquin of South Hadley ordered held without bail after incident at Springfield strip club

Friday, November 21, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A South Hadley man arrested for brandishing a shotgun outside a Springfield strip club where his stepdaughter was a dancer has been ordered held without bail for four months after a judge ruled him a danger to society. The Republican reports that a judge at …

Northampton City Council resolution offers support to undocumented immigrants

Friday, November 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — President Barack Obama’s plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation includes an initiative to gut a controversial enforcement program called Secure Communities and replace it with one focused on deporting undocumented immigrants who are felons. Many communities throughout the state have refused to participate …

Area police news

Friday, November 21, 2014

Northampton ■ Adalberto Colon, 24, of Chicopee, was arrested at 2:31 a.m. Friday on Pleasant Street on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license and having no inspection sticker. Police said Colon’s vehicle …

Joshua Alicea of Easthampton found not guilty of assault charges in bar fight

Friday, November 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A 24-year-old Easthampton man was found not guilty by a Northampton District Court jury on charges in connection with a bar fight at the Pulaski Club in Easthampton in March. The jury Thursday cleared Joshua Alicea, of 19 Arlington St. of one count of assault with …

Quabbin Photo Group offers presention from international exhibit Monday

Friday, November 21, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — The featured program of the Quabbin Photo Group’s November meeting is a visual and audio selection of 500 images from the 2014 Massachusetts Camera Naturalists (CAMNATS) International Nature Exhibition. The meeting, which is open to the …

Earth Matters: The future of agriculture; we must all be ecologists

Friday, November 21, 2014

In the autumn, as our neighbors fill their grain bins with barley, and their cellars with potatoes, I am always amazed at their productivity. What a long, interesting journey we and our food plants have taken. Yet farms …

Bird Sightings: Birds recently spotted in western Massachusetts

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. An eared grebe was found on Lake Quaboag in Brookfield. A snowy owl, seen one evening in Longmeadow, may be the same one that …