Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 33° | Lo 6°

State Region

Powerlines and a tress rest in the street in Pittsfield, Mass., on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, after the winter storm on Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Berkshire Eagle, Stephanie Zollshan)

Storm upsets Thanksgiving for thousands across region

Thursday, November 27, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. — The first major snowstorm of the season left more than 300,000 customers in northern New England without power, forcing many to make last-minute changes to their Thanksgiving plans. The heavy snowfall set accumulation records across the region, snapped tree branches that fell onto power lines and caused cars to skid into utility poles. Utilities said it could …

Federal regulators approve request by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project to increase winter capacity

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NORTHFIELD — Federal regulators on Wednesday granted last-minute approval for the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project to pump more water from the Connecticut River, boosting storage capacity at its mountaintop reservoir for four months beginning Monday. FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. will be able to add 22 feet of capacity to its 5-billion-gallon reservoir through March 31 to address winter electricity needs in New …

Ski areas have extra reason to celebrate

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Ski areas across northern New England were giddy Wednesday at the prospect of a major Thanksgiving snowstorm that is bringing early season skiers to the slopes and offering a promising start to the winter season. Cold weather last weekend enabled the Mount Snow ski area in southern Vermont to make snow and open with some of the best early skiing …

Statewide quarantine on ash lumber, hardwood firewood seeks to contain emerald ash borer

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One little bug is causing big problems for trees and loggers in Massachusetts. A statewide quarantine on ash lumber and all hardwood firewood took effect Monday, in an effort by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to …

Casino cash set to flow into local communities

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON — Millions of dollars in gambling money will begin flowing into local government coffers in earnest now that the state’s casino law survived an Election Day repeal effort. To be sure, casino payments have been flowing to the state long before the Nov. 4 election, when voters …

Group asks Baker to act on mental health policies

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Gov.-elect Charlie Baker should move quickly after taking office to address issues surrounding mental health treatment, including disparities between insurance payment rates for behavioral health and other medical services, an advocacy group said Tuesday. The Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness unveiled …

College football player charged with assault

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (ap) — A Western New England University football player has been held without bail after pleading not guilty to fracturing his girlfriend’s skull. John Perry, a junior linebacker from Marblehead, Massachusetts, was held after his arraignment Monday in Springfield District Court on a charge of aggravated assault …

Police: Pittsfield driver struck man on purpose

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PITTSFIELD (AP) — A Pittsfield woman police say intentionally struck a man in crosswalk with her car has been held without bail. A lawyer for 20-year-old Harmony Edwards-Persip said in court Monday that his client acted in self-defense because the man she struck is a gang member and …

Millionaire pot dealer, 79, challenges stop, search

Monday, November 17, 2014

BOSTON — When police in Junction City, Kansas, stopped a beat-up pickup truck for speeding in June 2013, the driver got a lot more than a traffic ticket: The stop led authorities to Massachusetts and Arizona, where they …

Harvard, UNC sued over admission policies

Monday, November 17, 2014

BOSTON — Lawsuits filed Monday against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill argue that affirmative action policies should be banned at colleges across the nation. The federal suits allege Harvard and UNC rely on race-based affirmative action policies that impact admissions of high-achieving …

MGM pays $85M license fee for Springfield casino

Monday, November 17, 2014

BOSTON — MGM Resorts International has paid Massachusetts a required $85 million gambling licensing fee for its $800 million Springfield resort casino on Monday, state gambling regulators announced. The Las Vegas-based company, through the limited liability company Blue Tarp reDevelopment, submitted the payment for its 15-year license electronically. …

Two women rabbis leading Worcester temples

Sunday, November 16, 2014

WORCESTER — Rabbi Aviva Fellman says it’s one “happy joke” in the local Jewish community. Congregation Beth Israel has been “taken over” by women, she said, with various ladies on the bima, or pulpit, as of late. And …

Retired colonel named outstanding woman vet

Sunday, November 16, 2014

ATTLEBORO — Julie Hall helped pave the way for women in the military, and now she’s been named the state’s outstanding female veteran. Hall, 56, and one of 11 candidates for the Deborah Sampson Award this year, is a retired Air Force colonel with 30 years of active …