A Look Back, Oct. 19


For the Gazette

Published: 10-18-2023 11:00 PM

50 Years Ago

■The Northampton Board of Public Works last night received an anonymous letter from a visitor to the city requesting that litter barrels be placed in downtown Florence. But the board declined to take action in Florence because of past vandalism.

■Mayor Sean M. Dunphy yesterday was elected president of the Massachusetts League of Cities and Towns at a meeting of the league in Framingham. The mayor has been a member of the executive board of the league for the past three years, and first vice president for the past 16 months.

25 Years Ago

■A campaign is underway to urge voters to pass a Nov. 3 Proposition 2½ debt exclusion override which would cover the city’s share of the cost — about $6.8 million — of a $22.8 million renovation and expansion of Northampton High School. The state would cover 70 percent of the cost of the project.

■Police were called several times to Thornes Marketplace Friday to deal with a crowd of young people who allegedly were bothering passersby and shop owners. The last call came after three teenage girls allegedly set a fire in a trash can outside Thornes, which prompted a call to the Fire Department.

10 Years Ago

■Westfield State University named an interim leader on Thursday, hours after the school’s trustees voted to suspend President Evan S. Dobelle amid criticism that he charged personal expenses on school credit cards and spent lavishly on foreign travel. Elizabeth Preston, the school’s vice president for academic affairs, will serve as acting president in Dobell’s absence.

■A local arts trust closed this week on a $1.5 million deal to buy the Universal Health and Fitness building on Hawley Street in a move seen as ushering in a new era for the arts in the city. The goal is to transform the property into performance space featuring a black-box theater and a multi-use hub of offices, galleries and classrooms.