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Westfield

Westfield State University to break ground on $33 million science center

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WESTFIELD — Westfield State University will break ground Thursday on a $33 million science center, the first new academic building on campus in more than 40 years, according to university officials. State Secretary of Education Matthew Malone is expected to speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony behind the public safety building along with Westfield State University President Elizabeth H. Preston and other local and state officials. The 54,000-square-foot science center …

Guard colleagues at Barnes recall ‘Moose’ Fontenot as natural leader

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WESTFIELD — Just seven months into his tenure at the Barnes Air National Guard Base, Lt. Col. Morris M. Fontenot Jr. already made an impact on those around him by inviting members of the fighter squadron to his Longmeadow home one at a time, starting with the juniormost members. There, Fontenot could make …

Fighter jet crash victim Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr., seasoned F-15 pilot, decorated combat veteran

Friday, August 29, 2014

The pilot who died in an F-15C fighter jet crash Wednesday was a seasoned pilot and decorated combat veteran who moved to western Massachusetts earlier this year to join the 104th Fighter Wing. Officials at the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield on Friday identified Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr. as the …

In wake of Dobelle debacle, Westfield State interim president adds spending safeguards, increases transparency

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Six months after taking over as interim president of Westfield State University in November, Elizabeth H. Preston has instituted changes in financial practices to bring accountability and oversight to campus along with greater transparency to restore …

Michael Wellspeak of Westfield injured in rollover accident on Interstate 91

Monday, May 26, 2014

HOLYOKE — A 22-year-old Westfield man was injured in a rollover accident on Interstate 91 and taken to Holyoke Medical Center early Monday, according to State Police. The single-car accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. on I-91 in Holyoke. The Northampton Fire Department responded and took Michael J. …

Bird Sightings

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. Southerly winds and sunny days brought an arrival of resident songbirds from the south. The most notable were ruby-throated hummingbird, great crested flycatcher, least …

Westfield State University alumnus John Walsh offers to create $100,000 scholarship fund if Evan Dobelle drops lawsuit

Friday, April 11, 2014

WESTFIELD (AP) — A Westfield State University alumnus has offered to create a $100,000 student scholarship fund if ex-president Evan Dobelle drops his lawsuit against the school. John Walsh, owner of skin care company Elizabeth Grady Co., said Dobelle will accept the offer “if he has the best …

Lawsuit filed by former Westfield State University president Evan Dobelle advances

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A federal magistrate judge has allowed a lawsuit filed by former Westfield State University president Evan Dobelle against several people to move forward. The Republican reports that in a decision filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, the judge allowed the suit against three school trustees …

State Supreme Judicial Court denies Bryan Johnston’s appeal for a new trial in slaying of UMass student David Sullivan in 2004

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AMHERST — Bryan Johnston was not suffering from mental illness when he put six bullets into his friend and University of Massachusetts student David Sullivan in 2004, according to the state Supreme Judicial Court. The state’s highest court denied Johnston’s appeal for a new trial in a 14-page …

Lawyers duke it out over Dobelle’s federal lawsuit

Monday, March 17, 2014

SPRINGFIELD — Seven lawyers took the first step in U.S. District Court Monday to argue the merits of former Westfield State University President Evan S. Dobelle’s federal lawsuit against university trustees, the state’s higher education chief and an accounting firm. The 40-page civil suit, filed in October, alleges …

Commonwealth to have greater oversight in Westfield State University president search

Friday, February 28, 2014

As Westfield State University’s trustees ramp up their search for a new president, state education leaders will have more oversight than they did when Evan S. Dobelle was hired in 2007. New guidelines for the search, selection, appointment …

Nanci Salvidio, named in Westfield State presidential spending probe, no longer employed at university

Monday, February 10, 2014

WESTFIELD — Nanci Salvidio, whose name surfaced in a report last year critical of former Westfield State University President Evan S. Dobelle’s spending habits, no longer works in the president’s office at the school. Salvidio had worked at …

Westfield State University faces at least $1.2 million in legal bills resulting from battle with former president Evan Dobelle

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WESTFIELD (AP) — Westfield State University’s legal battle against its own former president is expected to cost at least $1.2 million. The university’s top financial officer told trustees Monday that $500,000-plus in bills already received from the Boston law firm of Fish & Richardson will likely double, and …