A Look Back: Dec. 22


For the Gazette

Published: 12-21-2023 10:15 AM

Modified: 12-21-2023 11:00 PM

50 Years Ago

■The first snow of the season fell Sunday night coating the area with approximately 2½ inches before changing to freezing rain Monday morning. Most area schools were closed, but only minor accidents were reported. The storm was the “latest first snow” in at least 26 years, according to Amherst College biology professor and weather buff, Philip Ives.

■The state Board of Education Wednesday suspended the traditional 180-day school year, replacing it with a more flexible requirement of 900 to 1,080 hours of instruction each year. The ruling cleared the way for a four-day school week which will not have any immediate effect on local schools.

25 Years Ago

■Northampton is poised to get its second four-way stop intersection. The City Council voted unanimously Thursday to create a four-way stop at the intersection of Hatfield and North Elm streets. The intersection of Burts Pit and Florence roads received a four-way stop sign this fall after public outcry about the dangers posed at that busy intersection.

■A plastic likeness of Santa Claus was to be back in place today outside the main entrance of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leeds, after being taken down Thursday following a veteran’s complaint. Joanne Carney, the VA public relations officer, said today the decision to restore Santa was made after VA officials continued to study the institution’s legal position on holiday displays.

10 Years Ago

■An Easthampton businessman has acquired a commercial and residential plaza on Damon Road for $3.78 million. Naresh K. Patel bought the three-building complex, known as Damon Place, from Richard R. Boyle of Florida and Southampton. Boyle built Damon Place in the early 1980s and has been its only owner.

■Area farmers are reacting favorably to a surprise early Christmas present from federal food safety regulators in the form of delays in implementing new rules that many say could have put them out of business. “I think it’s great,” said Tom Clark of Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield. “It sounds like they’re willing to re-look at things, and realize that one size doesn’t fit all.”