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Lawmakers wade into CCC ‘trainwreck,’ mull possible action
07-10-2024 9:36 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Lawmakers from both parties signaled Tuesday they share a government watchdog’s concerns about upheaval at the Cannabis Control Commission, but Democrats who wield decision-making power stopped short of indicating what kind of response they might...

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Valley politicians express shock in wake of assassination attempt against Trump, worry about the country’s future
07-15-2024 6:14 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The shock waves from the shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday have continued to reverberate across the country, including in western Massachusetts.Local politicians reacted to the shooting, which resulted in the death of an...


Biden tells Hill Democrats he won’t step aside amid party drama: ‘It’s time for it to end’
07-08-2024 7:28 PM

By LISA MASCARO, ZEKE MILLER and SEUNG MIN KIM

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, in a letter to congressional Democrats, stood firm against calls for him to drop his candidacy and called for an end to the intraparty drama that has torn apart Democrats since his dismal public debate...


Former state rep. wants assessors unseated in Orange
07-01-2024 10:34 AM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — A resident has proposed unseating the appointed three-member Board of Assessors and appointing new assessors “because of the performance in that office.” Denise Andrews, who formerly served as state representative for the 2nd Franklin...


Webinar seeks to debunk myths about affordable housing
06-27-2024 5:58 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

When talking about affordable housing, as with anything, it is important to separate fact from fiction.It was with this in mind that the Franklin Regional Council of Governments partnered with the Boston-based Citizens’ Housing and Planning...


Orange to bill church $13.7K after complaint of unfair treatment
06-18-2024 4:31 PM

By SAM FERLAND

ORANGE — After receiving a letter in March advising them of a complaint alleging special treatment of Mission Covenant Church, Selectboard members, in collaboration with the assessors, have decided to bill the church $13,723.54 for taxes.Americans...


DC group presses Orange town officials on church use
06-06-2024 5:11 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — An organization dedicated to guaranteeing political distance between religious institutions and the government has not heard from town officials nearly three months after informing them of a complaint alleging special treatment of Mission...


Protesters decrying US role in Gaza siege set flag afire outside McGovern’s office
05-28-2024 8:01 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Protesters angered by Israel’s most recent deadly attack in Gaza brought a metal trash can and an American flag to the sidewalk outside Rep. Jim McGovern’s Pleasant Street office on Tuesday.As passersby honked in support or shouted...


Montague seeks feedback for ‘Five Villages’ plan through workshops
05-28-2024 11:37 AM

MONTAGUE — The town is wrapping up a multi-year effort to create a comprehensive plan, “Five Villages: One Future,” and will be holding two open houses to review the draft plan and its recommendations.The Montague Comprehensive Plan, last produced in...


Bike Month event in Greenfield looks at favorite cycling spots, room for improvement
05-14-2024 4:15 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

GREENFIELD — In celebration of Bay State Bike Month and in anticipation of a new Franklin County Regional Bike Plan, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) welcomed cyclists to the John W. Olver Transit Center on Tuesday.With...


Senate tries again on early ed bill aimed at helping more Massachusetts families
03-17-2024 3:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — More Massachusetts families would become eligible for subsidized child care and “transformational” grants that kept the early education system afloat during the pandemic under a bill the Senate unanimously passed late last week.It’s the...


Sunshine Week meets shade on Beacon Hill
03-15-2024 10:35 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1913 that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” and Massachusetts residents on both ends of the political spectrum agreed this week that Beacon Hill could stand to open the...


Public comment sought for Franklin County Bike Plan update
03-05-2024 3:59 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

GREENFIELD — The Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) is asking the public to complete an online survey with an interactive mapping component to provide information for a new Franklin County Bike Plan.By updating the bike plan for the...


Healey wants $1 billion each for life sciences, climate tech
03-01-2024 10:58 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

Filling in some blanks on her economic development plans, Gov. Maura Healey said Thursday she wants to reauthorize the life sciences initiative at $1 billion for the next decade, and launch a separate $1 billion, 10-year climate tech initiative that...


Decision time nearing on state’s to-go cocktails policy
02-28-2024 12:19 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Gov. Maura Healey’s push to overhaul local procurement procedures, rethink post-employment benefits and make permanent some pandemic-era policies won over many city and town leaders, but points of friction in her bill could create some tricky...


Former International Paper Mill in Erving sees no offers as deadline looms
02-23-2024 3:46 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

ERVING — The former International Paper Mill’s third attempt to find a developer is nearing its deadline, and there’s yet to be interest, while demolition remains “on the table,” according to Town Planner Mariah KurtzThe $1.49 million property at 8...


Plan looks to ‘make a lasting impact on health’ in next five years
02-09-2024 2:40 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Representatives from organizations and towns across the region gathered at the John W. Olver Transit Center on Thursday afternoon to kick off a new five-year Community Health Improvement Plan, or CHIP.The Franklin County/North Quabbin...


January tax slump in Massachusetts creates new budget pressure
02-06-2024 2:19 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Having already made mid-year budget cuts and dimmed the outlook for tax collections through June based on six consecutive months of underwhelming receipts, the state reported Monday that tax revenue came in below even downgraded expectations...


Handbook for Massachusetts Select Board Members dedicated to late legislator Stephen Kulik
02-01-2024 11:21 AM

Staff Report

BOSTON — An updated and, for the first time, online edition of the Handbook for Massachusetts Select Board Members has been dedicated to the late Stephen Kulik.A longtime state legislator and town official from Worthington, Kulik was described in a...


Sunderland eyes site for senior center on Plumtree Road 
01-28-2024 9:40 AM

By BELLA LEVAVI

SUNDERLAND – Local residents on Saturday had the opportunity to tour the former Sinauer Associates/Oxford University Press building, which Sunderland is considering as the potential future site for the South County Senior Center. The...


Healey will target cities for new child care aid
01-16-2024 11:13 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey will press forward in her annual state budget with major investments into early education and child care despite her administration’s own forecast of limited revenue growth.Healey announced Tuesday that she will propose...

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