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During a presentation by Fort River sixth graders Morgan Brennan, center, and Taylor Masteralexis on the portrayal of women in the media, State Representative Ellen Story, left, expressed disbelief that there really is a woman who underwent plastic surgery to have a body like a Barbie doll.  On Friday, Story and Amherst Town Manager John Musante took part in "miniature lobbying meetings" with sixth graders who put forth proposals on issues like MCAS testing, arts funding, food insecurity and relationships between police departments and communities. The classes are to have a second pair of lobbying sessions with U.S. Representative James McGovern and Fort River assistant principal Diane Chamberlain on Tuesday.

Fort River Elementary School students sound off to local, state and federal officials

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

AMHERST — Local legislators heard from a different crowd this month. Last Friday and again on Tuesday, 49 sixth-grade students at Fort River Elementary School had the chance to share with their school, town, state and federal officials how they feel about a variety of issues, including standardized testing, food insecurity and the portrayal of women in the media. “When …

Amherst teacher, like her mother, to receive Massachusetts Teachers Association Lifetime Civil Rights Award

Monday, May 25, 2015

AMHERST — Alicia Lopez of Amherst went through school knowing that whatever her life path would be, there was one career she would avoid at all costs — teaching. Both her parents were teachers, and even seeing her mother, Sonia Nieto, win the prestigious Massachusetts Teachers Association Lifetime Civil Rights Award did not convince Lopez that the hard work and long hours were …

Feeling clean

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chicopee school renamed for 1976 graduate Kevin Dupont who died of injuries suffered in Afghanistan

Saturday, May 9, 2015

CHICOPEE (AP) — A Chicopee school is being renamed in honor of a city native who died as a result of injuries suffered in the war in Afghanistan. The school committee on Thursday voted to rename the former Chicopee High School after 1st Sgt. Kevin Dupont, a 1976 …

Northampton Dollars for Scholars to present scholarships Tuesday

Friday, May 8, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — More than 100 local students will be honored Tuesday at the 41st annual Northampton Dollars for Scholars scholarship presentation. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the Northampton High School auditorium. Northampton Dollars for Scholars scholarships are open to city residents graduating from the high …

Northampton and Easthampton students get a dose of fresh air and exercise on National Bike to School Day

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A trail of children on bicycles and on foot could be seen moving through city neighborhoods Wednesday morning in celebration of National Bike to School Day. Some parents even joined in. “I like the exercise,” Jackson …

Social worker discusses perils of marijuana use with educators, parents in Northampton

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Boston social worker Rick Cresta will not argue with those who say that marijuana causes less harm than other drugs. “That, however, does not mean it’s harmless,” Cresta told about two dozen parents, educators and others …

Oldest living alum of Bridge Street School in Northampton sought for recognition at 100th anniversary celebration

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A committee is seeking help identifying the oldest living alum of Bridge Street School to be recognized at the school’s 100th anniversary celebration this month. “We have a couple of good leads, but we’d like to have more,” said Gerald S. Budgar of Northampton, who attended …

State: Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School trustees violated Open Meeting law with executive session vote, slow delivery of minutes

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

HADLEY — The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School Board of Trustees violated the state’s Open Meeting Law by failing to promptly provide meeting minutes and taking an improper vote in an executive session, a review by the office of the Massachusetts Assistant Attorney found. In an April …

Board OKs takeover of Holyoke schools

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

FITCHBURG — The state education board moved Tuesday to place the Holyoke public schools into receivership, citing disturbing trends in student achievement and dropout rates. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 8-3 at a meeting held in Fitchburg to accept a recommendation from state Education Commissioner …

Northampton High School takes risk with production of ‘This is Our Youth’

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — For its next student production, Northampton High School is taking some risks. Opening Thursday night is “This Is Our Youth,” a play by Kenneth Lonergan about the misadventures of three young adults living in New York …

Thursday events in Northampton aim to help prevent marijuana use by youths

Monday, April 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two events Thursday aim to educate the community on preventing the use of marijuana by youths. The first event is a workshop for parents and professionals on engaging youth in conversations about their use of the drug. Rick Cresta, a licensed social worker and adjunct associate …

Amherst agencies create award recognizing volunteer service by teenagers

Friday, April 24, 2015

AMHERST — Two teenagers dedicated to volunteer service in the community will be awarded cash prizes through a partnership between the Amherst Club and the Amherst Boys & Girls Club. The first Youth Community Service Awards will be presented later this spring to one high school-age student and …