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From left: Steve Nelson of WiredWest speaks while Eric Nakajima, director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, listens, during a meeting earlier this year at the John Olver Transit Center in Greenfield.

MBI ‘Last Mile’ overseer Nakajima quits

Friday, February 12, 2016

Eric Nakajima, the man who was to have shepherded the build-out of “Last Mile” broadband to most of Western Massachusetts, has stepped down from his job. Nakajima, who visited most of the unserved and underserved hilltowns this fall and winter to talk about their broadband needs, announced Friday he is leaving his post as director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) effective immediately. However, he will be a temporary adviser on broadband issues for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which oversees MBI, during the transition period. In the first week of February, when Nakajima met in Greenfield with Shelburne and Conway town officials, Nakajima said MBI … 0

Turners family road-ready at last: Donations allow Norwoods to buy wheelchair-ready van

Friday, February 12, 2016

TURNERS FALLS — A disabled boy’s life and the lives of his family are now a little bit better thanks to hundreds of donations toward a wheelchair-accessible van. The used 2015 Dodge Caravan was delivered to the Norwood family’s home after months of fundraising through the organization HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit that helps individuals … 0

Montague to negotiate with broadband company to nearly eliminate unserved homes

Monday, February 8, 2016

MONTAGUE — Broadband might finally make its way to the last unserved homes in Montague. Town officials voted on Monday night to enter into contract negotiations with broadband service provider Matrix Design Group to reach almost 98.5 percent of the remaining unserved households in Montague. The town will also seek permission to proceed … 1

G-M School Committee openings

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

TURNERS FALLS — Nomination papers for the annual town election to be held on May 16 for the Gill-Montague School Committee seats are available at the Superintendent’s Office, 35 Crocker Ave. Completed nomination papers are due in the Superintendent’s Office no later than 4 p.m. on March 28. … 0

Montague officials agree to sensitivity training

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

MONTAGUE — Just in time for Black History Month, town officials have agreed to participate in a cultural sensitivity training workshop to address issues of race and to build bridges across demographic differences. “As we have been talking to local businesses, we have found a real openness and … 0

Area residents react to dodging big storm

Sunday, January 24, 2016

After Winter Storm Jonas paralyzed much of the East Coast, western Massachusetts residents were thankful for clear, sunny skies much of this weekend. “I thought it was strange how the storm missed us,” said Daniel Gobillot of Turners … 0

One-car accident in Turners sends driver to hospital

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A driver smashed his truck into a tree while maneuvering around a sharp bend in the road near the Turners Falls Municipal Airport on Sunday night. Firefighters pried the driver out of the vehicle, still conscious, but with … 0

Franklin County Home Care Corp. to change name

Sunday, January 24, 2016

MONTAGUE — The Franklin County Home Care Corp. plans to change its name to LifePath Inc. in March, according to Executive Director Roseann Martoccia, who announced the news at Friday’s Chamber of Commerce breakfast. As an Area Agency on Aging in the state as well as an Aging … 0

Keeping bears safe — and out of your yard

Sunday, January 24, 2016

MONTAGUE — It’s a common misconception that you’ll only encounter a black bear in the forest. Black bears are also commonly seen in residential areas, sifting through trash barrels and bird feeders looking for food, according to MassWildlife … 0

Save the salamanders: Area expert warns of fungus that may threaten US animals

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Those bright, orange salamanders that hikers spot in summer or fall, especially after a rainstorm, might be in danger. A newly discovered fungus is killing salamanders in western Europe, and scientists are afraid the deadly disease may spread … 0

Shelter from the storm: Western Mass. may be spared impact of big coastal storm

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Most of western Massachusetts could be spared from the winter storm working its way toward the East Coast over the next few days, while eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island could be facing the year’s first big winter wallop. … 0

Neighbors: Spend time exploring our pre-dawn sky: five planets visible to naked eye

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hello neighbor. I’m sure many of you have heard by now that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can all be seen in the pre-dawn sky until about Feb. 20. I’ve counted up to four of them, I believe anyway, and though I’m not sure which ones I’m … 0

Relay for Life kickoff Saturday

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

TURNERS FALLS — To celebrate and honor the lives of cancer survivors and their caregivers, the American Cancer Society is hosting a Relay For Life kickoff event on Saturday as a prelude for the annual relay, scheduled for June. The event, which is free and open to anyone … 0