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UMass faculty, librarians vote no confidence in chancellor over protest breakup
05-20-2024 8:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Nearly 500 members of the faculty and librarians are expressing no confidence in the leadership of University of Massachusetts Chancellor Javier Reyes stemming from the breakup of a pro-Palestinian encampment on May 7 that led to the arrests...

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State OKs Valley Green Energy program for Amherst, Northampton, Pelham
05-20-2024 10:11 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A program offering Northampton, Amherst and Pelham residents more electricity supplied by green sources should be ready to launch by this fall.Amherst officials announced on May 8 that the state Department of Public Utilities recently...


Amherst College faculty join students in urging divestment from military suppliers to Israel
05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The faculty of Amherst College is joining the college’s Student Senate in asking trustees to divest from corporations supplying military equipment to Israel in its ongoing war in Gaza.The divestment appeal, made last week, came with support...


Three candidates for two Select Board seats make pitches in Hadley
05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — Protecting farmland, keeping Hadley affordable and family friendly, and promoting commercial development appear to be areas of agreement for the three candidates vying for two seats on the Select Board at next week’s town election.Fielding...


UMass graduation speaker Colson Whitehead pulls out over quashed campus protest
05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Disturbed by the arrests of 132 protesters on the University of Massachusetts campus this week during a pro-Palestinian encampment, Colson Whitehead, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the...


Around Amherst: High school sleuths point out $2M mistake in town budget
05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Members of Sunrise Amherst recently uncovered a $2 million discrepancy in the fiscal year 2025 municipal budget when it was released on May 1, showing how the same vehicles for various departments were listed for purchase two years in a row...


Large, loud parties in Amherst lead to arrests on last weekend before UMass graduation
05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Eight college-age people are facing criminal charges for violating the town’s noise bylaw after police responded to two large and loud parties over the weekend, the last before University of Massachusetts commencement on May 18.At a Pelham...


Pelham TM backs 6% school assessment, community choice aggregation program
05-20-2024 10:09 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

PELHAM — A 6% increase in the assessment for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools and the final step in establishing Valley Green Energy, a municipal community choice aggregation program for Pelham, Amherst and Northampton residents and businesses,...


Plans to overhaul Amherst’s War Memorial Pool site questioned
05-20-2024 10:03 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A preliminary vision for breathing new life into the 2-acre area around the War Memorial Pool shows a new bathhouse building anchoring the site, along with play areas, a spray park, walking paths and a memorial area.While Kuth Ranieri...


Jones trustees ask Amherst town manager to reject library bid
05-20-2024 10:03 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Trustees for the Jones Library are recommending that the lone bid for renovating and expanding the Jones Library, which is at least $6.5 million above projected costs, should be rejected.In 6-0 vote, the elected trustees advised Town Manager...


UMass chancellor defends protest crackdown, arrests
05-20-2024 10:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts Chancellor Javier Reyes defended the arrests of 134 people at a campus pro-Palestinian encampment last week, telling a special session of the Faculty Senate on Tuesday afternoon that the decision to break up the...


‘Home away from home’: North Amherst Library officially dedicated, as anonymous donor of $1.7M revealed
05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An avid reader throughout her life, who often brought her three children to the North Amherst Library as they were growing up, Hilda Greenbaum saw the need to improve the 1893 building to ensure it would continue to serve future generations,...


Funding will limit ARHS track/field makeover to cheapest option
05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Widening the existing track from six to eight lanes and rejuvenating the interior grass field appears to be the extent of renovations that can be done to Amherst Regional High School’s track and field because of limited funding.While the...


Town manager’s plan shorts Amherst Regional Schools’ budget
05-10-2024 9:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A $97.3 million town budget for fiscal year 2025, maintaining municipal staffing and programs and promoting climate change and racial equity objectives, is being proposed by Town Manager Paul Bockelman, even as concerns are being raised that...


Around Amherst: Bockelman joins in launch of governor’s housing push
05-10-2024 9:20 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A statewide launch of a housing agenda by Gov. Maura Healey that began in Lynn this week included participation by Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman and Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, who leads the Massachusetts Mayors...


Hadley Town Meeting OKs battery storage bylaw, honor Chunglo for service
05-10-2024 9:18 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — A bylaw to allow stand-alone battery storage facilities in town, though prohibit them in the aquifer protection district, and spending that includes a $21.7 million fiscal year 2025 municipal operating budget were easily approved at annual...


School assessment, electricity program among items on Pelham Town Meeting docket
05-10-2024 9:18 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

PELHAM — An assessment for the town’s share of the fiscal year 2025 budget of $35.27 million for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, a final step in approving a three-community plan for electricity to be supplied by green sources, and the purchase of...


Super defers Amherst middle school principal pick to successor; one finalist says decision is retaliation for lawsuit
05-10-2024 9:18 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Interim Superintendent Douglas Slaughter has opted against hiring a permanent middle school principal despite a search that yielded three finalists, a decision one of those finalists says is retaliation against her because she recently filed...


Sharing a few notes: High schoolers coaching younger string players one on one
05-10-2024 9:13 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Carefully holding and balancing his violin, 12-year-old Heedo Noh, a Fort River School sixth grader, gets a suggestion for positioning the bow so it runs straight across the strings as he practices G.F. Handel’s “Chorus from Judas Maccabaeus.”“Good,”...


Island superintendent picked to lead Amherst-Pelham region schools
05-06-2024 5:38 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Ericilda Xiomara Herman, a superintendent of a school district in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, will be the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional schools, pending successful contract negotiations.Citing...


Amherst Regional School Committee proposes new budget that lowers assessments for towns
05-06-2024 5:38 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The Amherst Regional School Committee has agreed to a new budget proposal for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools next year that is nearly $500,000 less than a spending plan approved in March. The new budget means smaller 6% assessment...

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