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

What does it take to build a new library? Erving, Greenfield, other towns look to Athol’s shiny new example

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When Athol’s public library took shape in 1918 it was built on land given by local businessman Laroy Starrett and with money donated by industrialist and noted library philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, but behind that were decades of negotiations and politics as the book collection moved from one temporary home to another. When the … 0

Neighbors: 25th annual Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest seeks entries

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hello neighbor. Well folks, it’s that time again. The 25th annual Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest has begun, and Friends of the Greenfield Public Library are looking for poems from you. The event is open to all Franklin County residents and students. You can submit up to three poems. The deadline is March 7, … 0

MBI to meet with cable towns on broadband expansion options

Friday, January 29, 2016

Over the next few weeks, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute will meet with officials in towns with partial broadband access to talk about “last mile” broadband options through Comcast Cable. The Franklin County towns with partial cable access through Comcast include Buckland, Conway, Northfield and Shelburne. MBI has set … 0

Committed to memory: Mahar students recite poems for school contest

Thursday, January 28, 2016

ORANGE — “I am the soul of the soul toil kills,” Levi Baruch recited Thursday night, giving feeling to the words put down by W.E.B. Du Bois in his poem “The Song of the Smoke.” The Mahar Regional … 1

Orange OKs spending

Thursday, January 28, 2016

ORANGE — The “ayes” had it at Thursday night’s special town meeting, approving money for the Department of Public Works and schools. The first two articles provided a total of $30,000 for the DPW. The first $20,000, which goes to the wages line, interim Director Josh Knechtel said … 0

Neighbors: Stone Soup Cafe celebrates four years; attracts people from all walks

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hello neighbor. Stone Soup Cafe is celebrating its fourth year this year. The unique, pay-as-you-can community meal, which is served at All Souls Church in Greenfield every Saturday at noon. On Monday, Stone Soup Cafe will be the … 0

Rescued dog continues to heal

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ORANGE — “Chessie” the Chesapeake Bay retriever continues to recuperate, with a full veterinary schedule in the week after he was brought in from 43 days of cold. “There’s a lot of coyote prints out there, too. It’s … 0

Hit by car, dog found alive but cold 43 days later

Monday, January 25, 2016

ORANGE — A search lasting days and firefighters with thermal-imaging cameras found nothing, but a dog who went missing after being struck by a car in mid-December turned up alive this weekend after 43 days of coping in … 0

Orange library hosts Friday films for adults

Monday, January 25, 2016

ORANGE — The Wheeler Memorial Library will begin its Fourth Friday Film Series for adults with a showing of the movie, “The Martian” starring Matt Damon, on Friday at 7 p.m. The film looks at what happens when astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, leaving behind a … 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

Woman airlifted to hospital after Orange car crash

Friday, January 22, 2016

ORANGE — A woman was transported to the hospital by helicopter after her pickup struck a utility pole on Daniel Shays Highway early Friday morning. The accident happened at 4:20 a.m. when the operator lost control and crossed over the opposite lane, according to Orange police Sgt. James … 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