Easthampton, Massachusetts, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and challenger Eric Berzins participate in a debate.
Courtesy WWLP

Easthampton mayor faces challengers, but they don't seem to be running hard to defeat her

The mayor of Easthampton, Massachusetts, has two people running against her in November. But they are hardly pulling out all the stops to take the job.

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Marijuana vaping among teens has more than doubled since 2013

Teen vaping of marijuana doubled between 2013 and 2020, indicating that young people may be swapping out joints, pipes or bongs for vape pens, according to a new study. Researchers also found that adolescents who say they vaped cannabis within the last 30 days increased 7-fold — from 1.6% to 8.4% — during the same period. The report was published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday by researchers who analyzed 17 studies involving nearly 200,000 adolescents in the U.S. and Canada. Overall, they say,...

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Connecting Point

Conjure up some fall fun at Hick's Family Farm Corn Maze

The entrance to Central High School in Springfield, Massachusetts.
File Photo / The Republican / masslive.com

Police cruisers were stationed outside Central High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Monday. City officials were concerned about a threat of violence at a school with the same name in another part of the country.

Connecticut’s two Democratic U.S. Senators say President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan would combat the country’s worker shortage.

Chris Murphy, the state’s junior U.S. Senator, said the skilled worker shortage in Connecticut and across the country is complicated. But many of the programs in the Build Back Better plan would help.

“I don’t think it would solve it completely, but it’s the best legislative tool we have in order to get people back into the workforce and help employers. That plus immigration reform,” Murphy said.

Jonathan Soto left Puerto Rico in 2017 after Hurricane Maria and arrived in Holyoke, Massachusetts, not knowing much about the city's deep Puerto Rican roots.
Jill Kaufman / NEPM

Four years ago this week, high school teacher Jonathan Soto left Puerto Rico and made his way to Holyoke, Massachusetts. He was among the thousands of Puerto Ricans who evacuated from the island after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

The town of Vernon is considering a new plan that lays out a path forward for the redevelopment of the land around the former Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

The plan offers a number of options which include housing, industrial development and recreation, and the town seems willing to move forward with using the site — even if high level radioactive waste remains there.

More than 100 Hartford HealthCare employees out of work after refusing vaccine

Oct 22, 2021

Just over 100 Hartford HealthCare employees — representing 0.3% of the health system’s workforce — have left the organization as of Thursday after refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19, according to Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief Clinical Officer.

“We don’t even use the term ‘termination,’” Kumar said. “The individual decided to choose a different path in their career. … We’re very respectful of people’s choices.”

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Black and Latino families continue to bear pandemic's great economic toll in U.S.

Jonathan Eta had managed to keep his head above water after he lost his job as an auto detailer in Southern California at the start of the pandemic. But last month, the emergency unemployment benefits he relied on expired. "Basically, now we're just out on our own, you know?" he says. Eta, who was born in Honduras, lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he's a single father to his three school-aged children. The financial strain he'd staved off for 17 months has arrived. He's now three...

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A preschool class at Mt. Carmel Early Education and Care Center in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

Hiring crisis in child care: 'We're stuck in a market that's broken'

In western Massachusetts, the cost and availability of child care can be a major barrier to employment for some parents. During the pandemic, it has become an even bigger problem, in part because day care providers themselves are having a harder time recruiting employees.

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