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A ‘Refuse to Lose’ reunion: UMass stars gather to talk about Final Four run for new documentary
06-13-2024 7:56 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A Final Four run for the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team and its “Refuse to Lose” mantra that defined the program’s most successful era continues to provide fond memories for the players and coaches involved nearly 30 years...

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UMass launches task force in wake of spring protests, will also review police activity
06-20-2024 3:47 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

AMHERST — UMass Amherst Chancellor Javier Reyes has announced the creation of a Campus Demonstration Policy Task Force and an independent review of police activity on campus following events this spring that led to more than 130 arrests on campus amid...


State auditor: UMass violated law in axing Advancement office last year
06-20-2024 3:47 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts officials violated provisions of the state’s Taxpayer Protection Act law when moving fundraising operations from the Advancement office to the private University Amherst Foundation, according to a final...


Around Amherst: Grant will help assess accessibility for historic Strong House
06-20-2024 3:47 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A $30,000 Cultural Facilities Fund grant is going to the Amherst Historical Society to create an access plan and conditions assessment for the 1750s Simeon Strong House at 67 Amity St.The Historical Society, aiming to make one of the oldest...


Amherst Historical Society enlists first executive director since 2011
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — For the first time since 2011, the Amherst Historical Society will have an executive director overseeing the nonprofit’s work in the community, including maintaining and improving the 1750s-era Simeon Strong House at 67 Amity St.Liz Larson,...


Amherst Regional School Committee looks to launch financial sustainability panel
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A fiscal sustainability committee that will undertake strategic planning and identify potential cost savings and new revenue sources for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools is being established by the Regional School Committee.Even though...


Amherst Regional board aims to set stage for new superintendent
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Regional School Committee members are expecting Superintendent E. Xiomara Herman will hit the ground running and begin a successful tenure overseeing the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional schools as of July 1, even if she is not...


Ginny Hamilton: Jones Library claims
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

Even with proposed cuts to the Jones Library renovation and expansion plans, the result will be a net-zero ready building. Plans remain in place to eliminate the fossil fuel HVAC system. Solar panels were not in the original bid documents; the...


Valley social justice groups land funding for efforts to help incarcerated people, those seeking asylum
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

By Alexa Lewis

Three Pioneer Valley social justice organizations have been awarded funding to expand their missions that range from seeking the release of incarcerated people to helping individuals undergoing asylum cases.The Decarcerate Western Massachusetts...


Guest columnist Cathy Schoen: Jones Library cuts will come at high cost
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

By CATHY SCHOEN

 When I voted to support the Jones Library expansion project in December 2023, I was assured there was high confidence in the $46 million total estimate and that trustees would be able to close the $7 million gap that remained to pay for their share...


Guest columnists Austin Sarat and Sharon Sharry: Why Jones Library expansion remains best option
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

By AUSTIN SARAT and SHARON SHARRY

 The Jones Library trustees remain convinced that the proposed library renovation and expansion project represents the right vision for Amherst’s main library. This vision has been repeatedly endorsed by town residents and their government. Put...


Mary Sayer: Library or second Bangs Community Center?
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

When I read about the current plans for the renovation of the Jones library, it sounds more like the description of a second Bangs Community Center, a building with only a nod to history (front façade retained), a massed building at the back with...


David Schmidt: The unasked and unanswered question
06-20-2024 3:42 PM

In the ongoing debate about the Amherst Jones Library renovation, the Jones Library director has repeatedly asserted that renovation without expansion will cost more than the proposed expansion plan. This cost anomaly only exists because the town...


Learning to change the world: Amherst fifth graders engaged with issues
06-20-2024 3:40 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Riding a bicycle from home to Fort River School can be a scary experience, says fifth grader Logan Lakota, with obstacles such as trash cans and mailboxes along the roads and sidewalks, and approaching vehicles that can’t be always be...


Amherst College committed to partnership with schools, though talks ongoing
06-13-2024 8:03 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Despite a number of appeals and meetings seeking financial support from Amherst College for the Amherst and regional public schools, both through official and unofficial channels, no arrangement has yet been reached.Even so, both college and...


Amherst library dips into endowment to pay architects up to $551K to pare Jones project cost
06-13-2024 8:03 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — More than $500,000 from the Jones Inc. endowment will be used to pay Finegold Alexander Architects for an additional 12 weeks of work, during which its team will aim to reduce the costs of the proposed expansion and renovation of the Jones...


Federal funds heading to Amherst, Holyoke for purchase of more than two dozen electric school buses
06-13-2024 8:03 PM

By Alexa Lewis

School districts in Amherst and Holyoke are well on their way to transporting students to and from school in buses that run entirely on clean energy.The two districts were among 17 in Massachusetts to secure portions of $42 million in federal funding...


Juneteenth celebrations animate Amherst on Saturday, Wednesday
06-13-2024 8:03 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Celebrations to mark Juneteenth, the day in 1865 when the last American citizens in Galveston, Texas were informed that slavery was abolished, are scheduled for both Saturday and on the federal holiday itself.Three years after June 19, also...


Book Bag: ‘Sandwich’ by Catherine Newman; ‘The Man Who Loved Trees’ by Annaliese Bischoff
06-13-2024 7:59 PM

By STEVE PFARRER | Staff Writer

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...


Review sought of 41-acre solar/battery project on Amherst’s eastern edge
06-13-2024 7:59 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A controversial large-scale solar and battery development planned for a portion of a mostly wooded 102-acre site on the eastern edge of town is continuing to make its way through municipal permitting, with a private consultant to review...


Around Amherst: Plans to ‘art up’ utility boxes part of Electrify Amherst
06-13-2024 7:59 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — At a downtown intersection, portraits of and quotes by poets Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost are on a utility box, and in East Amherst center a Black Lives Matter theme is on a similar box.With the artwork done by artists in previous years...

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