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Challenges, shortfalls ahead for state budget

Friday, October 24, 2014

With the state poised to see what’s largely an unprecedented moment of change following the Nov. 4 election, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer paints a picture of serious challenges ahead, not only on Beacon Hill but for the state as a whole. In what was likely his final talk in about 20 years of addresses to a Franklin County … 0

Widmer advises ‘no’ on vote Question 1

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an 82-year-old, nonpartisan public-policy organization that doesn’t endorse candidates, has taken a position on only one of the four questions on … 0

Credit union embezzler jailed, ordered to repay nearly $100,000

Friday, October 24, 2014

GREENFIELD — A former bank teller’s family cried out in disbelief as she was led away in handcuffs to spend the next year in jail. … 0

Political Notebook

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Business group endorses Lee The National Federation of Independent Businesses has endorsed Republican Susannah Whipps Lee of Athol in her bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Denise Andrews of Orange in the Second Franklin District House race. NFIB cited Lee’s background and the record of her family’s manufacturing … 0

Zombies penetrate Sunderland maze: A reporter’s narrow escape

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SUNDERLAND — Stalks swayed in the night breeze as our tractor snaked through the dense cornfield, the brushy rattling sound they produced giving us the sensation that we were being followed. As the reporter covering southern Franklin County … 1

Deerfield Health Board votes to ban proposed pipeline

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DEERFIELD — Deerfield’s Board of Health voted Wednesday night to ban construction of a proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. natural gas pipeline within the town’s borders, calling the project an “unreasonable risk to the health and lives of … 0

Whately deadlocks on consensus building

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WHATELY — Voters this week deadlocked over a plan to spend money on consensus building. Town Moderator Paul Fleuriel had to break at 23-23 tie at a special town meeting Tuesday to approve spending $10,000 to hold a series of meetings and public forums about what should be … 0

Artists ask: What’s going to happen to Arts Block?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GREENFIELD — Artists throughout the county and beyond are waiting to hear whether the Arts Block will survive and continue as is so that they have a place in the heart of Greenfield in which to perform. Edward Wierzbowski, owner of the Arts Block on the corner of … 0

At Arms’ Length: The Photography of Masha Arms

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DEERFIELD — On the wall of the Flynt Gallery in Deerfield’s Memorial Hall Museum hangs a photograph depicting a young girl with a cloth shawl draped over her head. The image, captured in 1942, hangs among a few … 1

New charges for alleged insurance fraud ringleader

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GREENFIELD — The alleged leader of an auto insurance fraud ring has been indicted on nearly 30 new charges. Lefen “Helen” Chen, 55, of Flushing, N.Y., is scheduled to be arraigned on 29 new charges of insurance fraud, perjury and conspiracy Wednesday. Chen is accused of being the … 0

Turners Falls High School hangs onto Level 2 status

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — The Turners Falls High School is actually a higher-ranked, Level 2 school under the state’s accountability status despite its being ranked earlier as a Level 3 school. The changed ranking was due to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education miscalculating the school’s participation … 0

Wednesday morning crash sends one to hospital, closes I-91 lane

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GREENFIELD — An accident on Interstate 91 put one person in the hospital and closed one lane of traffic for about an hour Wednesday morning. The accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. near exit 27. Trooper Chris Lipiec of the Massachusetts State Police Shelburne Falls barracks said a southbound … 0

West County Notebook

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hawley sets new town meeting date HAWLEY — Another special town meeting is set for Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., to address articles not voted upon in last week’s meeting, which was abruptly adjourned by residents after only one of 15 warrant articles was voted on. That article … 0