Death and destruction follow a Siberian coal mine fire

MOSCOW — A devastating fire swept through a Siberian coal mine Thursday, killing 52 miners and rescuers about 250 meters (820 feet) underground, Russian news reports said. Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and a high concentration of carbon monoxide fumes from the fire. The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials...

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Will Reichelt, the mayor of West Springfield, Massachusetts, and chair of the town's Cryptocurrency Exploratory Committee.
Douglas Hook / The Republican / Masslive

West Springfield, Massachusetts, to explore cryptocurrencies for payments and investments

Officials in West Springfield, Massachusetts, will explore whether cryptocurrencies like bitcoin should become part of how the municipality conducts business.

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Poet Martín Espada won a 2021 National Book Award for the collection "Floaters."
David Gonzalez / Courtesy David Gonzalez

For poet Martín Espada, National Book Award is a recognition for his book and the people in it

The poet Martín Espada describes the 2021 National Book Award for his poem collection “Floaters” as an extraordinary megaphone to recognize the people he writes about.

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Connecting Point

Crafts of Colrain Studio Tour highlights work of Hilltowns Artisans

The Holyoke Soldiers' Home on May 1, 2020.
Greg Saulmon / The Republican /

The attorneys for the former Holyoke Soldiers' Home superintendent and medical director said they are pleased a judge has dismissed criminal neglect charges against their clients.

Cara Rintala arrives in Hampshire Superior Court for a bail hearing on November 23, 2021.
Karen Brown / NEPM

Cara Rintala, who was accused of killing her wife in 2010, is out on bail – two months after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court vacated her 2016 conviction. She still faces a possible fourth trial.

Baker order aims to preserve hospital capacity in Massachusetts

Nov 23, 2021
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on January 21, 2021.
State House News Service

Updated at 4:52 p.m. 

As COVID-19 hospitalizations in Massachusetts climb and residents seek care that they might have put off over the last year and a half, the Baker administration will next week begin requiring hospitals to roll back non-essential and non-urgent scheduled procedures if the number of available beds at the facility is limited.

Outside the Holyoke Soldiers' Home.
The Republican /

A Massachusetts judge on Monday dropped criminal charges against two of the top officials at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home, saying their actions did not lead to the deaths of five veterans in their care.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is warning residents not to be complacent during the holiday season, because the state’s COVID-19 infection rate is on the rise.

Even though the state has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the country with 84% of residents 18 and older fully vaccinated, the infection rate is inching up, he said. And surrounding states are experiencing even higher rates of infection.

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In the past year, fiction writer Diane Lederman has received dozens of rejection letters.

The rejections keep coming and this author keeps writing

In the last year, I’ve been rejected about four dozen times. An amalgam of agents, literary magazines and contests said no — and that’s not counting the rebuffs by silence: The ones where agents warn that they get so many letters and queries they only respond to ones they’re interested in.

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Multilingual liaisons are ‘cultural brokers’ for refugee students in Vermont school district

In an office at Burlington High School, just off Lake Champlain in northern Vermont, Chacha Ngunga made a phone call. “ Jambo jambo ,” he said, greeting a student’s father in their shared language, Swahili. Ngunga is a multilingual liaison — one of 12 employed by the Burlington district. A few feet away, Noor Bulle, another liaison, made a call in Maay Maay, one of the two major dialects of the Somali language. He reaches a Somali Bantu mother whose five children would soon enter district...

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