Regional Notebook: Sept. 14, 2023

  • From right, Civil Air Patrol’s Brig. Gen. Arthur J. Pierce Cadet Squadron Maj. Steve Lauzon and Cadet Elwin Binu’s father, Binu Mathew, pin a new insignia on the 16-year-old Sunderland cadet. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Nathaniel Johnston, 16, of Greenfield, recently earned Civil Air Patrol’s Amelia Earhart Award. He is pictured with retired Massachusetts National Guard Brig. Gen. John Driscoll. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • On hand to pin a new insignia on Cadet Nathaniel Johnston, 16, of Greenfield, were his parents, Karen and Bill. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published: 9/14/2023 7:35:48 PM
OB-GYN and Midwifery Department hosting events

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s OB-GYN and Midwifery Department has returned to offering free community education events following a hiatus due to the pandemic.

The events take place in the community room of Cooley Dickinson’s Louise Finn House, often referred to as “the yellow house.” Upcoming events include:

■On Thursday, Sept. 21, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the department will host a Holistic Pelvic Health Panel. Eight pelvic health practitioners from a variety of modalities will share information on their methods and answer questions.

■On Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be a Postpartum Planning Session to assist expectant families in preparing for their postpartum needs. This event is offered bimonthly.

The department also offers quarterly infant massage classes, with the next scheduled for Nov. 16, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and another on Feb. 15.

A complete list of events can be found at

Sunderland, Greenfield cadets promoted in Civil Air Patrol

AMHERST — Sunderland resident Elwin Binu, 16, a cadet member of Civil Air Patrol’s Brig. Gen. Arthur J. Pierce Cadet Squadron, earned the Jimmy Doolittle Achievement and was promoted to cadet senior master sergeant on Aug. 28.

“Cadet Binu is one of our best cadets,” Maj. Steve Lauzon, the unit’s commanding officer, said in a statement. “His progression in our program marks him as a leader who is eager to learn and share his knowledge with others.”

On hand to pin on his new insignia was his father, Binu Mathew.

The Jimmy Doolittle Achievement is named for a general who is most famous for his daring raid on Japan during World War II. Doolittle was also a pioneer in aviation, earning a doctorate in aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1925 and becoming the first aviator to fly “blind” in 1929, meaning he used only instruments as a guide.

Additionally, Nathaniel Johnston, 16, of Greenfield, earned Civil Air Patrol’s Amelia Earhart Award and was promoted to cadet captain on Sept. 4.

“A small percentage of Civil Air Patrol cadets earn this award,” Lauzon said in a statement. “Cadet Johnston will play an increasingly important role in leadership at the wing (state) level.”

Officiating the promotional ceremony were Col. Tim Nelson, the Massachusetts wing commander, and retired Massachusetts National Guard Brig. Gen. John Driscoll. On hand to pin on Johnston’s new insignia were his parents, Karen and Bill. His grandparents, Maureen Warner, Jeff Anderson and Tom Johnston, were also in attendance.

The Earhart Award is named for Amelia Earhart, who in 1928 became the first woman to achieve a solo trans-Atlantic flight. Outside the cockpit, Earhart was a leading figure of public life, a proponent of equal rights for women, an eloquent writer and one of the key organizers of the Ninety-Nines, an association of female aviators. She disappeared in 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean while trying to circumnavigate the world in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra.

Civil Air Patrol is the civilian, volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. One of its main missions is to encourage and foster civil aviation in community aerospace education programs. Including its adult leadership, the Pierce Squadron has 27 members, with cadets ranging in age from 12 to 18. The squadron meets on Mondays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.

Valley Eye Radio seeks board

SPRINGFIELD — Valley Eye Radio, the Pioneer Valley’s only local news and information broadcasting service for those who can’t read independently due to vision impairment or other reasons, is seeking board members.

The radio station, founded nearly 50 years ago by a group of residents who wanted to help their loved ones who were struggling due to failing eyesight, looks to ensure that seniors, veterans and others who have vision challenges never feel socially isolated, vulnerable or like they are losing their quality of life because they can no longer read.

Today, volunteer readers and board members continue what that small group started. Valley Eye Radio is using 21st-century technology to be more accessible, has more financial resources than ever and needs new community members to join its board to help the organization define its future growth.

If you are interested in serving as a Valley Eye Radio board member, contact Executive Director Barbara Loh at 413-747-7337 or


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