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Founders Day to honor authors of Amherst history book

Authors of a pictorial history book focused on North Amherst and Cushman will receive this year’s Conch Shell Award from the Amherst Historical Society.

Patricia Holland and William Robinson, who compiled photographs from a number of sources and interviewed dozens of long-time residents, will be honored at the Founders Day ceremony, which begins Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Grace Church parish hall, 18 Boltwood Ave.

“We both feel thrilled to receive the Conch Shell Award and thereby be included among the distinguished historians who have illuminated Amherst’s past,” Holland said.

Historical Society President Philip Shaver said the event celebrates the 110th anniversary of the founding of the Amherst Historical Society. The Conch Shell, first given out in 2007, takes its name from an 18th century device that called residents to Town Meeting and worship. It is exhibited at the Simeon Strong House at 67 Amity St.

The event will also recognize Allen and Sylvia Torrey with the Stephen J. Puffer Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, just the second time the honor has been given, Shaver said.

Sylvia Torrey is a past president of the Amherst Historical Society, while Allen Torrey served as Amherst’s first town manager.

Robert Romer will be giving the Mabel Loomis Todd lecture at the event, with his talk focused on black soldiers and white officers, and Amherst College and the town of Amherst during the Civil War. Refreshments will be served at the free event.

No flag vote

The Select Board has decided not to put a non-binding question on the April 9 seeking opinion from residents on whether 29 commemorative flags should fly every Sept. 11.

While the American flag is displayed at eight municipal buildings every day of the year, the board’s policy is to have these smaller commemorative flags only displayed on Patriot’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day through Bunker Hill Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day and Inauguration Day, as well as Sept. 11 every five years during so-called milestone anniversaries.

Larry Kelley, of South Pleasant Street, proposed the ballot question at Monday’s meeting as a way to gauge public opinion. “All I’m asking from you is to let the people decide,” Kelley said.

Board member Diana Stein said Kelley should collect signatures to have the question appear on the ballot.

“I don’t think it has to fall on our shoulders to make that decision,” Stein said.

Game store opening

A store that allows people to turn in and purchase used video games is opening on University Drive.

GamePlay USA will be located next to the Big Y Supermarket and run by Jacob Hannoush of Springfield. Hannoush already runs existing GamePlay USA locations at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield and in downtown Westfield.

The Select Board recently approved a license for the store to sell second-hand merchandise.

New officer

Samuel W. Hebb, 23, of Hadley, graduated from the state police academy in New Braintree in mid February and is now in 12-week field officer training program.

The son of Arthur and Teri Hebb, he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Endicott College last year.


Monday: Select Board, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

Tuesday: Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Working Group, 3 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall, followed by public forum at 7 p.m.; Housing and Sheltering Committee public forum on housing production plan, 7 p.m., fifth floor lounge, Ann Whalen Apartments.

Wednesday: Board of Assessors, 5:30 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall; Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

Thursday: Joint Capital Planning Committee, 9:30 a.m., and Zoning Board of Appeals, 6:30 p.m., both at Town Room, Town Hall; Finance Committee, 7 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.

Saturday: Regional School District Planning Board, 9 a.m., high school library.

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