University of Massachusetts Prof. Mostafa Elfawal prepares thin blood smears on slides Tuesday in his lab at Fernald Hall.

UMass researchers find value in ‘whole plant’ treatment of malaria

Sunday, January 25, 2015

AMHERST — Purified drugs created in labs, long thought to be the gold standard in fighting disease, may actually be inferior to the herbal remedies they replaced as far back as the 19th century. University of Massachusetts Amherst scientists Mostafa A. Elfawal, Stephen M. Rich and their team at the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology found that malaria parasites in … 0

Gill-Montague approaches preliminary budget, envisions cuts

Sunday, January 25, 2015

TURNERS FALLS — The early prognosis for the Gill-Montague Regional School District budget calls for cuts. The district’s business director presented early numbers for the 2015-2016 school year budget at the Jan. 13 meeting of the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee. “The elephant in the room is that we’ve got to make a bunch of staff reductions, that’s what is recommended in the budget … 0

Renting college textbooks online can save money

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMHERST — At a time when University of Massachusetts students spend about $1,200 a year on textbooks, would the authors of the nearly $300 “Essentials of Investments” advise students to buy a new copy of their own book? That was not the path chosen by finance major Curtis Kowalski of Boxford, for whom the book is a required text in a required course. … 0

Greenfield schools get grant for safety upgrades

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Public Schools is getting a $13,000 slice out of a $2 million pool from the state to be used for upgrades to video monitoring and surveillance, two-way radios and a smart phone communication app. Out of 100 applicants, Greenfield schools were one of 15 to … 0

Discovery School to get greenhouse

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

GREENFIELD — With the help of a $5,000 Greenfield Education Foundation grant, students at the Discovery School at Four Corners will be able to sustain their classroom gardens throughout the winter. The grant will allow the innovation school to purchase a roughly 9-by-13-foot greenhouse for students. The greenhouse, … 0

Franklin Tech School set to get 3-D printer

Monday, January 5, 2015

TURNERS FALLS — By fall, students at Franklin County Technical School will be able to model real-life fit-to-scale designs with a 3-D printer in their engineering and physics classes. The technical school received a $99,557 STEM grant from the Mass. Life Sciences Foundation to upgrade school equipment and … 0

Student newspaper proves good read

Sunday, January 4, 2015

SHELBURNE FALLS — When Buckland Shelburne Elementary School parent John Snyder volunteered to lead an after-school enrichment course last spring, starting a school newspaper wasn’t even on his mind. “I said I knew something about journalism and I’d … 0

Educators to weigh in on state aid formula

Sunday, January 4, 2015

GREENFIELD — Education leaders across western Massachusetts will now have a chance to weigh in on how the state allocates aid to schools. A Foundation Budget Review Commission has scheduled six public hearings across the state, with the next meeting at Northampton High School on Jan. 10 from … 0

Recommended new hire would explore housing options for Amherst and UMass

Sunday, January 4, 2015

AMHERST — The special committee formed by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the town to address common housing and economic development opportunities has recommended hiring an economic development director, who would be charged with exploring mixed-use development sites, pursuing public-private development and creating a university “anchor strategy” for … 0

Greenfield High School nears final phase of construction

Friday, January 2, 2015

GREENFIELD — As high school students pass by the school library, they can see the empty frame of the new gymnasium being shaped. Behind that, the old auditorium has been gutted to its bare walls and the former … 1

Tech still working toward roof, other renovations

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — Franklin County Technical School officials continue to eye the building’s aging roof. Authority to approve spending for the project, formerly thought to be in the hands of the spring annual town meetings of member towns, … 0

Two finalists for Union 28 Superintendent

Monday, December 29, 2014

ERVING — School Union 28 has two finalists for the superintendent’s position, with public interviews scheduled for Jan. 26. Interim Superintendent Robert Mahler wrote in an email that the finalists to replace him are Tara Brandt of Chicopee and Jennifer Haggerty of Fitchburg. Union 28 is the administrative … 0

State grant to help GHS buy batteries for solar

Monday, December 29, 2014

GREENFIELD — The Patrick administration this week announced the divvying up $18.4 million for energy resiliency projects, with $367,310 to the town of Greenfield for batteries to store energy from a proposed solar array at the high school. The money is to provide battery storage to complement a … 0