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KEVIN GUTTING
Jim Brooks of Northampton takes a recreational shell out for a row on the Connecticut River. The oars are fixed into the oar locks so the blade is "square," the best angle to power through the water, but this immobilization also keeps the blade from being "feathered," or turned parallel to the surface, during the return stroke out of the water.

Northampton High School InventTeam designs special oar for rowers with disabilities

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It was 17 years ago when Jim Brooks became disabled due to complications from multiple sclerosis. Then, nine years ago, a chance encounter in a grocery store introduced the former multi-sport athlete to the world of rowing, which would soon become his main source of exercise. He had run into Stephanie Moore, the director of Holyoke Rows, while …

Towns question decision by Frontier Regional School Committee to reverse staff cuts

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SUNDERLAND — The decision by the Frontier Regional School Committee to reinstate funding for six positions and raise its budget by about 2 percent may not stand if the district’s four towns have their way. The budget will be presented at Deerfield, Sunderland, Whately and Conway’s town meetings next month, but representatives from at least three towns said during a four-town meeting Thursday …

Area brief

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Amherst NOMINATIONS FOR EDUCATOR AWARD: Parents, students, teachers and staff are invited to make nominations for the first Amherst Regional Middle School Educator Award. It will recognize an educator who demonstrates a commitment to supporting students, collaborating with colleagues and contributing in a positive way to the middle school community. It is open to all educators and staff, including teachers, paraprofessionals, and cafeteria …

Judith Houle will serve as interim school superintendent in Granby

Monday, March 2, 2015

GRANBY — The School Committee Monday night negotiated a contract with Judith Houle, the former superintendent of the Belchertown schools, who has been named interim superintendent. Houle will take over March 19 for Isabelina Rodriguez who announced earlier …

Division 3A hockey: Amherst comeback falls short in 5-3 semifinal loss to Chicopee Comp

Saturday, February 28, 2015

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Suddenly, the Amherst Regional bench, which had been quiet as a church mouse for the first half of the game, came alive. A pair of goals in a span of 63 seconds and another with 18.5 seconds remaining in the second period turned what looked …

Northampton officials reluctant to make budget cuts needed for later high school start time

Friday, February 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Superintendent John Provost said Thursday night that he does not believe a later high school start time would be worth the cuts in arts, athletics or Advanced Placement courses needed to pay for it. “The benefit of a late start notwithstanding, these cuts would be devastating …

Principal calls cyberbullies worse than Iraq insurgents

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WINCHENDON (ap) — A Massachusetts high school principal said cyberbullies who targeted some of his students are worse than the insurgents he fought in Iraq and vowed the anonymous posters would be found and punished. Joshua Romano, principal of Murdock Middle/High School in Winchendon and an Iraq War …

James Palermo of Southampton battles state education department for release of Program for International Student Assessment test results

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — Jim Palermo is no stranger to raising questions, nor to encouraging others to do the same. So when the retired workers’ rights advocate and grandfather of 17 came across a report in December 2013 declaring Massachusetts …

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Amherst Regional hockey shuts out Mount Everett, advances to 3A semifinals

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Amherst Regional hockey team wasn’t pleased with its No. 3 seed for the Western Massachusetts Division 3A Tournament. The top two seeds received a bye into the semifinals. But for a team with no …

Many Holyoke Catholic coaches, parents ready to accept merger with Cathedral

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HOLYOKE — As Holyoke Catholic softball coach Fran LaFond looked out from the bleachers in the Holyoke Community College gymnasium Tuesday night, he said he had believed the merger between his school and Cathedral High School would happen …

Snow angels leave surprise for students at R.K. Finn Ryan Road School in Northampton

Monday, February 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It would seem that snow angels were busy at work over the winter break. At R.K. Finn Ryan Road School on Monday morning, the children were delighted when they stepped outside for recess to find a …