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Book Bag: ‘Pickett’s Dream’ by Christopher Carlisle; ‘Like Father, Like Son’ by Lesléa Newman; ‘Sabor Judío: The Jewish Mexican Cookbook’ by Ilan Stavans & Margaret E. Boyle
07-18-2024 1:01 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Pickett’s DreamBy Christopher CarlisleAustin Macauley PublishersChristopher Carlisle, at one time the Episcopal chaplain for the University of Massachusetts Amherst, later co-founded Cathedral in the Night, a Christian outdoor service and community in...

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Knitters’ paradise: Webs, ‘America’s Yarn Store’ and a mainstay for Valley crafters for generations, turns 50
07-18-2024 1:01 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

When Webs opened their doors on May 16, the first day of the store’s annual tent sale, store manager Angela Cheek watched as a rush of people flowed through the doors for three whole continuous minutes on a Thursday morning. Within an hour, the...


Amherst Town Council rejects candidate over tilt toward abutters
07-17-2024 9:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Written and oral comments from a resident indicating she would prioritize views of abutters when decisions are made by the Planning Board, and might bring a confrontational relationship toward the University of Massachusetts, have cost her a...


High-speed police chase in Hadley ends in crash, arrest on Hampton Inn lawn
07-17-2024 9:31 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

HADLEY — A high-speed chase in Hadley on July 10 ended with a car crash that closed part of Bay Road after an unmarked police vehicle collided with the pursued vehicle just outside the Hampton Inn.The incident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. with police...


Around Amherst: North Amherst Library will replace church as polling site
07-17-2024 9:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The North Amherst Library, which reopened to the public earlier this year, will be the new in-person polling location for voters in Precinct 1A, beginning with the state primary in September.Acting on a request from Town Clerk Susan Audette,...


$2M in historic tax credits for Jones Library expansion off the table
07-17-2024 9:29 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Around $2 million in historic tax credits sought for the $46.1 million expansion and renovation of the Jones Library will not be available after the project was deemed ineligible by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, whose staff are...


Working group to examine future of money-losing Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst
07-17-2024 9:28 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A working group may soon be formed to examine the future of a public golf course in North Amherst that has long relied on municipal funding to remain solvent, even though memberships, greens fees and assorted other revenues are supposed to...


Sunderland receives $195K grant to study, design multi-use trail from Whately to Amherst
07-17-2024 9:26 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — With a $195,090 MassTrails grant, visions of people walking and biking on the Norwottuck North Shared-Use Path from Whately to Amherst are one step closer to becoming a reality.Alongside a $76,840 match from Sunderland, which is the lead...


‘It’s not as hard as it looks’: Stompin’ Boots weekly line dances and classes rapidly growing in popularity
07-17-2024 9:25 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

When Shellie Stone went to Nashville two years ago, she was intoxicated with the city’s quintessential culture of  music and dancing, and immediately took to the dance floor. Stone, who had been line dancing for fun since attending her first class...


Cost-saving push for Jones project keeps library entrance but scraps other interior preservation
07-17-2024 9:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Upon completion of the $46.1 million expansion and renovation of the Jones Library in 2026, the building’s main entrance, with the formal staircase rising three floors and Philippine walnut and mahogany woodwork gracing the walls, would...


Hampshire College cuts 29 jobs in effort to save $2.7M in expenses
07-11-2024 8:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Restructuring at Hampshire College will eliminate about 29 non-faculty staff positions, or 9% of the college’s workforce, saving about $2.7 million in operating costs, according to officials at the Amherst campus.“The changes are grounded in...


Drive-thru coffee, drinks shop pitched for front of Mountain Farms Mall
07-11-2024 8:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — A drive-thru shop offering coffee, infused energy drinks, Italian sodas, smoothies, teas and milkshakes is being proposed for a vacant, mostly wooded parcel on Route 9 in front of Mountain Farms Mall.Plans for 7 Brew Coffee, brought before...


Bids sought for new K-5 elementary school in Amherst
07-11-2024 8:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A municipal advertisement is seeking bids from general contractors interested in constructing the planned $97.5 million, net-zero energy elementary school building next to the existing Fort River Elementary School at 70 South East St.The...


Around Amherst: Crocker Farm earns national Welcoming Schools Seal
07-11-2024 8:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Crocker Farm School’s Amherst Early Education Center recently became one of 35 schools across the country to earn the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence, where work over the past three years is honoring family...


ValleyBike Share program still not ready to roll in region
07-11-2024 8:54 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — Despite the city previously saying that the ValleyBike Share would restart operations at the end of May, the program has yet to resume throughout the Pioneer Valley, with an updated start date yet to be announced by city officials.On May...


Amherst firefighters raise alarm over 2-person response to night blaze
07-11-2024 8:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A late-night fire in downtown Amherst, during which only one career firefighter/paramedic was available to extinguish the blaze, is prompting the union representing town firefighting staff to renew its longstanding appeal for enhanced...


$1.4M coming to region for trail work in six communities
07-11-2024 8:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — More than $1.4 million in MassTrail state grants are heading to six communities in the region for projects ranging from an accessible trail system at the former Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Amherst to additional work on a sensory trail...


Book Bag: ‘Sandwich’ by Catherine Newman; ‘The Man Who Loved Trees’ by Annaliese Bischoff
07-11-2024 8:53 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

SandwichBy Catherine Newman; HarperCollins In late 2022, Amherst writer Catherine Newman released her first adult novel, “We All Want Impossible Things,” after previously publishing a number of nonfiction titles, a middle grade novel, and quite a bit...


Alternatives sought as reparations funding from cannabis tax dwindles in Amherst
07-11-2024 8:46 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A plan to provide $2 million over 10 years toward municipal reparations initiatives, such as programs for youth or first-time homebuyers, could be stymied by the anticipated drying up of tax revenue associated with cannabis sales in Amherst...


Amherst councilors wary of road funds fall-off in 2025 capital budget
07-05-2024 7:39 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — As $2.75 million in road and sidewalk projects continue throughout town this summer, members of the Town Council are worried that there will be significantly less financial resources available in 2025 to resurface streets and fix...


Amherst Town Council clears regional schools budget hike one-time funds and warning
07-05-2024 7:39 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Even as members of the Town Council acknowledge frustrations over the size of the Amherst-Pelham Regional schools assessment increase, and the need to use one-time American Rescue Plan Act money to cover a portion of the obligation, a $35.27...

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