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Spring brings new art: A look at what's on tap in April at selected local galleries
04-12-2024 2:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

April weather can be fickle, as this week, with some warm, sunny days to start, followed by a few days of clouds and rain, has shown.But if you can’t get out into nature as much as you’d like, you can still see plenty of artwork in the region, which...

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Accused Holyoke ex-councilor Puello-Mota bolts to join Russian army
04-11-2024 5:05 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

A one-term Holyoke city councilor who appears to have decamped to fight with Russian forces in the Ukraine war to avoid having to register here as a sex offender has, unsurprisingly, become the focus of national and international media coverage.Wilmer...


Bail set at $7,500 for Holyoke man on drug, weapons charges
04-08-2024 11:15 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A Superior Court judge set bail at $7,500 for a Holyoke man charged with drug trafficking and weapons offenses at his arraignment March 27.Judge Edward McDonough also ordered that Carlos Santiago Cosme, 29, submit to GPS monitoring,...


Holyoke woman files suit against city, 2 officers over forceful arrest a year ago
04-03-2024 3:55 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke woman arrested and pepper-sprayed by two Northampton police officers a year ago has brought a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming she was deprived of her constitutional rights of equal protection under the law and from...


Sublime Systems lands $87M federal award for low-carbon cement plant in Holyoke
03-25-2024 3:45 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — A developer of low-carbon cement is in line for up to $87 million from the federal government to accelerate the construction of its manufacturing plant in Holyoke.Sublime Systems announced the award Monday from the Department of Energy’s...


‘Voices from Inside’: Film illuminates power of shared experiences to uplift incarcerated women
03-21-2024 4:42 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

HOLYOKE — Sonia Mendez never imagined how writing could give her a second chance.She attended her first creative writing workshop while incarcerated and spent most of the class clowning around, joking with the class facilitator and poking fun at the...


Thrifty fabric: Former NYC costume designer, partner open Paper City Fabrics in Holyoke
03-06-2024 1:55 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

HOLYOKE — A new store on Holyoke’s High Street hopes to rekindle business development downtown — while paying homage to the city’s history as a textile manufacturer.Paper City Fabrics opened its doors to the public on Jan. 31, offering a cornucopia of...


Valley Bounty: Building community, year-round: Holyoke Farmers Market is a source of positivity and local fare
03-01-2024 11:50 AM

By JACOB NELSON

‘When I was a kid in Puerto Rico, I always liked going to the roadside markets and farm stands,” says Alexis Diaz DeJesus. “People had their fruit and vegetables all displayed, and you could negotiate prices or even trade for things. Then there were...


Maryanne Bernini Caughlin, Catherine Brown and Cornelia Klimczak: Unitarian Universalists advocating for reparations
02-29-2024 3:39 PM

Several members of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence’s (USNF) Racial Justice Team attended New England Public Media’s and Springfield College’s Feb. 15 hosting of the screening of a very moving new documentary film “The Cost of...


Sharon Ann Farmer: All of us can take steps to address our state’s homeless crisis
02-27-2024 5:12 PM

According to HUD’s December 2023 Annual Homelessness Report, Massachusetts now has the 10th highest proportion of homeless people in the U.S., and our proportion of homeless families with children puts us at the very top of the list. We reached this...


Digging out from deluge: Municipal clerks scramble amid flood of ballot requests, paperwork
02-09-2024 8:32 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

A temporary worker in the Holyoke city clerk’s office brought on to deal with the influx of mail-in ballot requests for the presidential primaries is ensuring that 2,700 or so ballots are already in the hands of those who want to cast their votes...


Guest columnist Pema Latshang : School leaders need to further invest in their teachers
02-05-2024 4:42 PM

By PEMA LATSHANG

Over the past three years, it’s become clear just how essential teachers are to the everyday lives of the western Massachusetts community. In remote and hybrid settings they were there for us throughout the pandemic, with many stepping up to do this...


State Sen. Velis alarmed over pharmacies limiting Narcan access
02-01-2024 11:26 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

WESTFIELD — State law requires the overdose prevention drug naloxone — known by its brand name, Narcan — to be always be available over the counter, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed it to be sold directly to consumers since last...


Making news in business, Jan. 25
01-24-2024 11:47 AM

Bank donates $10K to housing projectNORTHAMPTON — Greenfield Cooperative Bank has donated $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity’s Victoria Bismark Farm project. This initiative calls for the construction of three single-family homes on Burts Pit Road in...


Cheri Rodriguez Jones: Give dialysis patients time to plan
01-18-2024 7:02 PM

Kidney failure changed my life. I’ve learned a thing or two after spending 18 years on dialysis, receiving a kidney transplant, and spending years as an advocate for my fellow patients.In the initial 30 months of dialysis, dialysis patients have...


Guest columnist Patrick O’Connor: Out of school and in jail
01-17-2024 3:58 PM

By PATRICK O’CONNOR

There is a crisis in Holyoke’s public schools. Each year, a classroom-sized group of students with learning disabilities drops out. These students are then more likely to be arrested and jailed on Holyoke’s streets. Although unintentional, we are...


State awards $800K in community empowerment grants to four Holyoke organizations
01-14-2024 2:13 PM

HOLYOKE — Four Holyoke organizations are among 67 across the state sharing part of more than $15 million from the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Program, which aims to bring positive economic outcomes to communities adversely impacted by the...


HCC grant to help recruit, train nurses
12-29-2023 12:21 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

HOLYOKE — More than 175 people in the region will receive training and job placement assistance — including the creation of a training program at Holyoke Community College designed to help the nursing shortage at area hospitals — as part of nearly...


Holyoke superintendent/receiver: End state control over schools
12-27-2023 3:38 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Receiver/Superintendent Anthony Soto is recommending that the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education begin the process of releasing the school district from receivership after more than eight years under state control.In a...


Fred Beddall: ‘Dual-use’ solar makes farmland less viable
12-21-2023 3:46 PM

As a full-time farmer, I say "no thanks" to the Amherst Working Group's support of so-called "dual-use" solar on farmland. Why? Massachusetts solar regulators have no requirement that the farmer receive the solar income, if the farmer is not the...


Lifting spirits: Holyoke veteran surprised with free holiday lights display at his home
12-15-2023 1:15 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

HOLYOKE — On Wednesday evening, Holyoke veteran Kurt Bluemer arrived home to twinkling white lights lining the porch rail, roof and bushes outside his house and a prominent wreath hanging from the top window.The decorations were hung earlier that day...

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