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Environment

In this photo provided by the Nepalese army, a Nepalese army soldier searches for avalanche victims at Thorong La pass area in Nepal, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with last week's snowstorms that killed 38 hikers, had to bring to safety new climbers who set out on the same mountain trails where the blizzards struck. (AP Photo/Nepalese Army)

Nepal closes trekking route with storm’s death toll at 38

Sunday, October 19, 2014

KATMANDU, Nepal — Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with last week’s snowstorms that killed at least 38 people, had to save new hikers who set out after the blizzards on the same deadly trails. The dead from the blizzards and avalanches that hit the upper section of the Annapurna trekking …

Hikers enjoy Salamander Trail at newly opened Mount Warner Reservation in Hadley

Saturday, October 18, 2014

HADLEY — Outdoor enthusiasts dodged falling leaves Saturday to take the inaugural hike on the newly opened Mount Warner Reservation. “Every time you walk a trail here, it’s different,” said Hadley resident Andrew Morris-Friedman. “It’s great to be aware of the rhythms of the seasons by walking the trail over and over again.” …

From costumes to art, Northampton ReUse Committee encourages repurposing waste

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Ellen Smith showed up at the Halloween costume swap at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Saturday morning to drop off the makings for a skunk and rooster. She and her 5-year-old twin sons Gabe and Rob left with superhero and race-car driver garb. “They were very excited,” she said. The …

Reports: China body-searched 10,000 pigeons

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BEIJING — The 10,000 doves released in a ceremony Wednesday for China’s National Day underwent unusual scrutiny, each having its feathers and anus checked for dangerous materials, state-run media reports said, reflecting government jitters over possible attacks. The …

Operator of region’s electricity grid supports request by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage for increased winter capacity

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The operator of the region’s electricity grid is backing plans to pump more Connecticut River water through the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage hydrogenerator this winter. Northfield Mountain’s owner, FirstLight Power, wants federal approval to boost the capacity of its generator station by 22 percent to augment the electricity …

Hampshire Power will supply Lowell with locally produced renewable energy in first-of-its-kind deal

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — In what its leaders believe is a first-of-its-kind agreement, the Hampshire Council of Governments has signed a deal to supply power to the city of Lowell solely through renewable energy produced in New England. The state’s fourth-largest city has signed a contract through which Hampshire Power …

‘Ghost riders’ draw scrutiny for transit systems

Sunday, September 28, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Transit agencies across Pennsylvania are being scrutinized by the state over the subsidies they claim for transporting riders 65 and older, with at least four agencies being docked millions for inflating senior ridership numbers. Criminal charges are pending against two high-ranking employees of the transit …

Miraculous migrations in the insect world

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Now that summer is behind us, many Valley residents are making plans for trips to warmer climes during the colder months and students are migrating back to college. But we aren’t the only creatures traversing thousands of miles …

Maine woman finds 2-headed baby snapping turtle

Friday, September 26, 2014

HUDSON, Maine (AP) — A woman in Maine has come across a two-headed baby snapping turtle that was trying to cross the road. Kathleen Talbot of Hudson tells WLBZ-TV she found the tiny creature this week while she …

CHART Electricity rates to jump significantly in Valley this winter due to shortage of natural gas supplies

Friday, September 26, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Homeowners and businesses throughout the Valley should brace for significantly higher electricity bills this winter season as a result of a shortage of natural gas for generating plants. Two days after National Grid announced that its …

Bird Sightings

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A blue-winged teal, a marsh wren , dickcissel and 15 pine siskins were seen in Northampton. A Connecticut warbler was found in Wendell. Five …

Obama to expand ocean preserve

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

UNITED NATIONS — President Barack Obama is carving out a wide swath the Pacific Ocean for an expanded marine preserve, putting the waters off-limits to drilling and most fishing in a bid to protect fragile underwater life. The …

Climate summit produces no binding pledges

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

UNITED NATIONS — In the first international test for his climate-change strategy, President Barack Obama pressed world leaders Tuesday to follow the United States’ lead on the issue, even as a United Nations summit revealed the many obstacles …