Friends and Neighbors: Community members’ achievements

  • Walter Bara, of Holyoke, and a llama, Hombre Ralph, greet passers-by on West Farms Road in Florence, Monday, while decked-out in Christmas attire. The tradition started more than a decade ago when Bara played Santa Claus at a now-closed gift shop at Hickory Dell Farm in Florence, where the llama resides. Customers at the store would take pictures of their friends and family with Santa and a llama. After the store closed, Bara wanted to continue the tradition and has been parading the farm's llamas around since. He often stands at the corner of Westhampton Road and West Farms Road as he will on Sunday from 12:30-2 p.m. He also plans to be at the site on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Owen Price has been accepted for admission for the 2018-19 academic year at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Price has been awarded the Founders Scholarship.


Katherine Helly, a senior athletic training student at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, was awarded the 2018 District II Kent Scriber Scholarship by the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association.


Paul Sperry-Fromm graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a bachelor’s degree in political communication.

South Deerfield

Lucille McCormick graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a bachelor’s degree in film production.

UMass Amherst

The following local students received bachelor’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in September.

Amherst: Anthony William, Alicea Mtalika, William Banda, Kendra Ann Buck, Yuhan Duan, Matthew Golben

Andrew Todd Kosloski, Erik Minseok Kwon, Rafael L Loveszy, Abigail C. Lynn, Miguel Angel Paredes

Meredith Catherine Pennisi, Samuel T. Rosenbach, Timothy Zhilyaev

Belchertown: Brianna Marguerite Gladu, Jeremiah M. Kermensky, George N. Ngugi, Emily R Schneider

Easthampton: Jessica L King

Florence: Michael Joseph Mathers

Granby: Christina M. Gregorio

Hadley: David R. Knightly Jr.

Hatfield: Bridget Collins Campbell, Harris Benjamin Miller

Leverett: Derek Clougherty

Northampton: Aaron Gabriel Benton, James R Carrie, Julia Eve Comly-Green, Colleen Helen Dehais, William E Simmons

Shutesbury: James Parsons

South Deerfield: Stephanie Elizabeth Lawson, Priscilla Jeanne Mayoussier

South Hadley: Melinda C Cavanaugh, Justin L. Crespo, Stephanie J Sheehan, Kevin Kai Shi, Xinyu Tang, Ryan G. Williams

Southampton: Adam M. Beaupre