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Head Start might have leg up as Massachusetts budget priority

02-25-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Although they would not explicitly commit to fulfilling a funding request for Head Start, two of the most powerful players at the State House indicated Wednesday that funding the early education program is at the top of their priority list in...


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Can you get there from here? Online tool tracks how reach to food pantries and stores without a car — or not

02-25-2024 5:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — Food and other necessities can be found at the Goshen General Store on Route 9. For low-income individuals in Goshen and surrounding communities, the Hilltown Food Pantry, at the nearby Town Office Building, distributes food every...


Athol board supports application for $950K street repair grant

02-25-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The Selectboard has voted unanimously to support the application for a $950,000 Community Development Block Grant to improve several streets in town.Planning and Development Director Eric Smith and Andrew Loew, director of Community...


Athol Library hosts Arthropod Petting Zoo with Professor Bugman

02-25-2024 5:00 PM


Senate plans another sex education reform vote next week

02-23-2024 5:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

Senators next week will vote again on a bill to update the state’s sex education guidelines, something the chamber has already approved four times without getting buy-in from the House.The Senate Committee on Ways and Means polled the so-called...


Former International Paper Mill in Erving nearing RFP deadline again

02-23-2024 5:01 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

ERVING — The former International Paper mill’s third Request For Proposal (RFP) is nearing its deadline, and there’s yet to be interest, while demolition is “on the table,” according to Town Planner Mariah Kurtz.The $1.49 million property at 8...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 24

02-23-2024 5:00 PM

Athol Democrats to elect delegates to state conventionATHOL — On Saturday, March 9, at 10 a.m., Democrats will convene at the Athol Town Hall, Liberty Hall (use basement door), to elect four delegates and four alternates to represent Athol at the...


With 55K at risk of losing internet service, activists call on Congress to extend pandemic-era program

02-23-2024 5:00 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

SPRINGFIELD — Local activists, organizations and representatives from western Massachusetts’s congressional delegation are urging the U.S. federal government to extend a pandemic-era program that covers internet costs for more than 55,000 low-income...


Massachusetts to ramp up outreach about tuition aid expansion

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — A recently expanded state financial aid program has yet to make a major impact on high school seniors evaluating their college options, a leader of an educational nonprofit recently warned.The MASSGrant Plus expansion program, supported by a...


Sportsman’s Corner: The big catch

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

By Mike RocheLast Saturday my brother Chris joined me and a bunch of other folks fishing on White Pond in South Athol, where my wife and I own property. The pond community is close and one of the pond residents has undertaken to put together a day of...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 24

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

Sheriff’s office celebrates Random Acts of Kindness WeekATHOL – For their third year, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office staff celebrated the nationally recognized Random Acts of Kindness Week, this year...


Survey of Athol service lines for lead continues

02-22-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The town’s Water Division is renewing its efforts to complete a survey of service lines to ensure none are made of lead.At its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Selectboard met with Department of Public Works Director Dick Kilhart to discuss...


School Committee approves hardship exception for student

02-21-2024 5:55 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL—The Athol Royalston Regional School District’s School Committee has approved a hardship exception to the enrollment policy for a student whose family moved out of the town, allowing them to remain in the school system through the end of the...


Royalston makes request for State Police assistance

02-21-2024 5:10 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – At its meeting on Tuesday, the Selectboard approved a letter to the Massachusetts State Police formally asking for help in meeting the law enforcement needs of the community.Board Vice-Chair Deb D’Amico explained that she and Royalston...


Management role: Forestry experts explain efforts to bolster forest health, climate resilience

02-21-2024 5:09 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

With the state dealing with catastrophic consequences of climate change, the debate around forest management continues to make headlines as Massachusetts policymakers discuss the best way to maximize carbon sequestration in forests.Trees and other...


CDC considers dropping 5-day COVID isolation rule as local hospitals bring back mask requirements

02-21-2024 5:08 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering loosening isolation requirements for people who test positive for COVID-19, meaning they would no longer have to stay at home for at least five days when infected with the virus.Under the...


Markey bill includes funds for paraprofessional hires, training

02-20-2024 4:24 PM

By TANISHA BHAT

The region’s paraeducators could receive additional support from the federal government when it comes to recruitment, training and retention as part of a bill proposed in Congress by Sen. Ed Markey.The bill — called the Preparing and Retaining All...


Athol principal selected as superintendent for School Union 28

02-20-2024 4:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

ERVING — Athol Community Elementary School Principal Shannon White-Cleveland is being tapped as the next School Union 28 superintendent, overseeing four K-6 elementary schools attended by children in Shutesbury, Leverett, Erving, Wendell and New...


Proposal to allow Athol school buses to use Vine Street gate fails

02-20-2024 4:23 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — A much-contested pilot aimed at lessening congestion at the Athol Community Elementary School (ACES) will not proceed, following a vote at the Feb. 14 meeting of the Athol Royalston Regional School District School Committee.The vote followed...


North Quabbin Notes, Feb. 20

02-19-2024 3:51 PM

North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy speaks at Lions Club meetingATHOL — At a recent meeting of the Athol Lions Club, Executive Director of the North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy Nate Johnson and Administrative Coordinator Jessica Gale-Tanner spoke to the club...



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