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YOSHITAKA HAMADA
The climber is seen at the Bridge Street School's playground in Northampton Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.  The equipment is one of new additions to the playground.

Improvements made to Bridge Street School playground in Northampton

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Bridge Street School’s colorful playground has long been an eye-catcher. The community recently celebrated special new features to the beloved play structure. Over the summer, the hard-packed dirt outside the school was transformed into a bouncy rubber surface, where children can play without worrying about kicking up dirt or getting muddy. There is also now an asphalt area for basketball and wall ball, tables for arts and crafts, and a playhouse. “There’s lots of places for them to explore and just be kids,” Bridge Street School Principal Beth Choquette said recently while looking out at the new play area from her office window. …

Easthampton Matters to host informational forum on ballot questions

Saturday, October 25, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — A community group is hosting an informational forum Wednesday for voters who want to learn more about the four state ballot questions in the Nov. 4 election. The free forum takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 50 Payson Ave. It will also be broadcast live on local cable channel 5 by Easthampton Community Access …

Power back on in Northampton after 90-minute Friday afternoon failure linked to squirrel in substation

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Power was restored to more than 5,000 customers, many in downtown Northampton, about 90 minutes after a power failure knocked traffic lights out of service and forced diners and shoppers from darkened restaurants and stores. Much of downtown turned into a parking lot as drivers inched along major routes. The power …

Area police news

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Amherst ■ Robert Carkhuff, 21, of 15 Bayberry Lane, was arrested at 12:08 a.m. Wednesday on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Police said his …

Current revenue projections suggest financial stability in Amherst

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AMHERST — Amherst’s schools, libraries and town should be able to continue providing the same level of services next year based on current revenue projections. Finance Director Sanford “Sandy” Pooler recently informed the Select Board, Finance Committee, School Committee and Jones Library Trustees that fiscal stability will allow …

Suspended Massachusetts State Police trooper denies indecent exposure, assault and battery charges

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A suspended Massachusetts state trooper was arraigned Wednesday in Hampshire Superior Court on indecent exposure and sexual assault charges related to incidents in Worthington in July. Christopher J. Kennedy, 31, of West Springfield, pleaded not guilty …

State places Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School on probation

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GREENFIELD — Since a state review this summer, the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School has put in place programs for Title 1 and English language learning and hired a school psychologist and three family engagement coordinators. But the changes appear to be too little, too late. The Greenfield-based cyber …

Tennessee Gas Pipeline schedules three December ‘open house’ meetings in Franklin County

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tennessee Gas Pipeline has scheduled three “open house” meetings Dec. 2, 3 and 10 in Franklin County to discuss its proposed Northeast Direct Natural Gas Pipeline project. The company on Tuesday submitted its schedule of a dozen meeting dates with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including Dec. 2 …

South Hadley Electric Light Department urged to consider site in Falls neighborhood for new headquarters

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Nearly 50 people attended a hearing Tuesday about a new site for the South Hadley Electric Light Department headquarters because of problems with its existing building at 85 Main St. Some who attended asked the …

Hatfield votes to demolish old Center School but rejects sale of property

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HATFIELD — It’s the end of an era for a town building, but perhaps a new beginning for the piece of land on which it stands. About 100 residents at a special Town Meeting on Tuesday evening voted …

State review: Southampton in ‘vulnerable financial condition’ after poor budget planning

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON — State inspectors who visited Southampton earlier this summer to review the workings of its financial offices say they found the town in a “vulnerable financial condition” because of poor budget planning. The Department of Revenue’s Division …

Southampton voters approve $7,000 to clean up condemned property on Gunn Road; take no action on land purchase behind Town Hall

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON — Voters at a special Town Meeting on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $7,000 to demolish and cleanup a condemned property at 59 Gunn Road that drew the attention of health officials and animal welfare agencies in July. Brie Eichstaedt, the town’s health agent, who spoke in support …

Kick-starting development: Gov. Deval Patrick announces almost $5 million in MassWorks grants for Amherst, Easthampton, Hatfield

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

AMHERST — A $1.5 million state grant designed to be a catalyst for continued economic development at the northern end of downtown Amherst was announced at Kendrick Park Tuesday by Gov. Deval Patrick. With the steel frame of …