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South Hadley celebrates Independence Day with fireworks Friday evening at Michael E. Smith Middle School.

The week in photos: Hampshire County scenes from June 29 to July 4, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Time seems to slow as the Pioneer Valley slips into the heart of summer, and the Independence Day holiday week brings the timeless routines of fireworks and parades. It’s a time of long days in a season that, in a matter of weeks, will feel like it was all too short. Above, scenes from around Hampshire County captured by Gazette …

Amherst fireworks: ‘On like Donkey Kong,’ despite rain

Saturday, July 4, 2015

AMHERST — Despite a stretch of mid-day Fourth of July rain, the town’s Independence Day celebration and fireworks display will proceed as planned Saturday evening. “Today’s event is in fact on like Donkey Kong,” reads a post to the celebration’s Facebook page published around noon Saturday. A follow-up post reads: “Everyone, the celebration and fireworks are on as planned! The rain will clear …

Northampton Fourth of July citizenship ceremony celebrates 48 new Americans

Saturday, July 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Seated beside her five-year-old son outside the Hampshire County Courthouse, Erika Calderon watched as her husband, Jose Serratos, became a naturalized United States citizen on Saturday, July 4. “It’s a good opportunity to show people that we are here and we are legal now and we can vote,” Calderon, 42, of …

Jones Library trustees approve document to guide architect in potential expansion project

Thursday, July 2, 2015

AMHERST — A document that will guide an architect in developing plans for an expanded and renovated Jones Library has been adopted by the library’s trustees. The trustees on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the building program. The document includes both general information about any construction project — …

‘The Voice’ finalist Michelle Brooks-Thompson to sing national anthem at Boston Fourth of July concerts

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A local voice will fill a national stage this weekend. Michelle Brooks-Thompson, an Amherst Regional High School graduate and Mount Holyoke College alumna who competed during the 2012 season of the NBC show “The Voice,” will open Boston’s …

Amherst pool area sports new shade

Thursday, July 2, 2015

AMHERST — With the two full-size swimming pools opening for the season, Leisure Services and Supplemental Education is attempting to make both sites more attractive recreational options for families and individuals. Assistant LSSE Director Barbara Bilz said this year the department is offering both an improved experience and …

Two future UMass defensemen picked in the NHL draft

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A pair of future UMass defensemen were taken Saturday on the second day of the NHL draft. It’ll be a year before Jake Massie, who played for Kimball Union Academy and the Boston Jr. Bruins last year, joins …

UMass linebacker Trey Seals’ thoughts are on his home state of South Carolina following last week’s tragedy

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

When he heard the news, Trey Seals’ first concern was his brother. Greg Seals’ home in Charleston, South Carolina, is just 15 minutes from the site of last week’s shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. “He was …

Amherst Together survey results presented to about 50 people, focus groups next step

Friday, June 26, 2015

AMHERST — About 50 people gathered at the Jones Library Thursday evening for a presentation of the Amherst Together program’s “public perception” survey, and those who attended zeroed in on diversity, schools and the community’s relationship with the University of Massachusetts as crucial issues. Amherst Together — a …

Amherst Town Manager John Musante to attend professional development program at Harvard University Kennedy School

Thursday, July 2, 2015

AMHERST — As he nears the end of his fifth year as town manager, John Musante will take part in a three-week professional development program at Harvard University that he expects will improve his leadership abilities. Beginning Monday, …

Wednesday’s summer baseball: Northampton Juniors advance to District 2 title game

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Northampton Little League Junior team assured itself a spot in the District 2 championship game with a 14-3 victory over Westfield in five innings Wednesday evening. Noah Brink went 3 for 3, drove in four runs and scored two more for Hamp (3-0), which will play for …

UMass notebook: Starters Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transfer from men’s lacrosse team

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Two key pieces of the UMass men’s lacrosse team will finish their careers elsewhere. UMass coach Greg Cannella confirmed Wednesday that leading scorer Nick Mariano, who just completed his sophomore year with 22 goals and 20 assists, is transferring to Syracuse. Mariano will be eligible immediately as first-time …

Following Iran brouhaha, UMass revises guidelines for international admissions

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

AMHERST — Following a widely condemned decision to limit admissions and course availability to Iranian students in February and a quick reversal of that position, University of Massachusetts Amherst officials this week announced new guidelines for international admissions. …