FRANKLIN COUNTY

Coverage of Franklin County, Massachusetts.

In 2003, Greenfield, Massachusetts, adopted a mayoral form of government, technically changing from town to city, according to state regulations. But Greenfield kept calling itself a town for 14 more years.
Andrew Varnon / NEPR

In official state documents, we used to be referred to as “The City known as the Town of Greenfield.” Kind of embarrassing.

Figurines in snow.
Peter Lee / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/oldpatterns

Western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut can expect snow and wind Thursday. But the weather's not likely to generate the blizzard conditions eastern New England could see.

Excerpt of love letter posted on Greenfield, Massachusetts, police Facebook page.
Courtesy of Greenfield, Mass. Police Department

Not all mysteries pursued by the police are crimes.

"Town Hall" in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
File photo / Masslive.com

Fifteen years after changing its government to act like a city, Greenfield, Massachusetts, will now officially be called one. 

Opioids.
frankieleon / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/armydre2008

Greenfield, Massachusetts, has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers in U.S. District Court, arguing they intentionally understated the addictive nature of opioids. 

Michael Buoniconti is superintendent of the Mohawk Trail Regional School District.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

A school superintendent in western Massachusetts has asked the state board of elementary and secondary education not to renew a charter school.

Seven weeks ago, Hurricane Maria roared through the center of Puerto Rico. Winds battered the palm leaves and rain poured over the houses in the town of Barrancas.

The storm brought terror to German Santini, who was inside his home. Santini emerged the next day to see a town that looked like it had been hit by airstrikes.

“You get the urge to cry,” he said. “You don’t feel like doing anything, seeing everything destroyed. Puerto Rico is going to take a long time to recover from this.”

MassLive

The Board of Selectmen of Montague, Massachusetts, was scheduled to meet Monday night to confirm an acting police chief.

Abigail Morris (left) from Amherst, Mass., with Alyssa Helton from Whitesburg, Kentucky.
Karen Brown / New England Public Radio

After the last election, many people felt inspired to mend the country's deep divisions. So when a group of liberal activists in Leverett, Massachusetts, learned that a more conservative community in Letcher County, Kentucky, was open to a cultural exchange, they started to organize.

Appalachia
DM flickr.com/photos/dmott9 / Creative Commons

Two groups of rural voters from Appalachia and Western Massachusetts -- regions that voted very differently in the last election -- are meeting this weekend to seek common ground.

Mary C. Serreze / The Republican

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear four cases in Greenfield on Tuesday. One of them involves a man named Anthony Ortiz, and it could impact state law on the search of a car during a traffic stop.

This week, the Trump administration announced it arrested almost five hundred people across the country for immigration violations, focusing on areas that don't cooperate with immigration officers.

The town hall in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
File photo / MassLive / masslive.com/photos

Town officials in Greenfield, Massachusetts, are calling in the state auditor's office after the head of the town's broadband service was fired.

Greenfield Community College President Bob Pura announced his retirement
Masslive / Masslive

The president of Greenfield Community College, Bob Pura, announced his retirement after 17 years at the helm.

Susannah Whipps, during a meeting with the Springfield Republican editorial board.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

A Massachusetts state lawmaker representing the North Quabbin said she's leaving the Republican Party.

Susannah Whipps has served in the state House since 2015, part of the small Republican minority in the Democratic dominated legislature.

Nurses on the picket line at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. during a one-day strike in June 2017.
Dave Roback / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Nurses and management at two western Mass hospitals are heading back to the bargaining table next week.

Episode #2: Living Theater—Stacy Klein

Jun 28, 2017
In Contrast Double Edge Theater
Burns Maxey / NEPR

The 2nd Episode of NEPR's In Contrast is a conversation on living theater with Stacy Klein, founder and Artistic Director of Double Edge Theatre

Record-Breaking Year For Mass. Maple Syrup Producers

Jun 13, 2017
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette

For the third year in a row, maple syrup production in Massachusetts was at an all-time high.

A federal survey found the state's sugarmakers produced 7,000 more gallons this year than last year.

Massachusetts Maple Producers Association Coordinator Winton Pitcoff said the weather helped. Warm temperatures in January and February started the season off. Colder temperatures in March allowed production to continue into April.

The renovated Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield.
Karen Brown / NEPR

A small group of residents in Franklin County -- and a top Massachusetts lawmaker -- are urging court officials to stop destroying legal books and documents.

A sign against the "Indians" mascot.
Phil Demers / Masslive

The Gill-Montague Massachusetts school committee has a new line-up following an election Monday that also addressed a controversial sports mascot.

In more than a two-to-one margin, voters in Montague supported keeping the "Indians" as the Turners Falls High School mascot.

The referendum was non-binding, however. It does not change the school committee's previous vote to eliminate the mascot, which has been called offensive by many Native Americans.

Finding Community, One Radio Variety Show At a Time

May 11, 2017
The last rehearsal before the first "Shad Ladder Radio Hour."  From left to right: Rae Ann Jenks, Holly Osborne, Gershon Eigner, Janet McKenna-Lowry, Carmela Lanza-Weil, Stephen Fruchtman, Christine Mirabal.
Submitted Photo / Sarah Kanabay

Finding cures for the blues can sometimes take some ingenuity. Commentator Sarah Kanabay wondered whether relief might come from putting together a radio variety show, a kooky Yankee cousin to "A Prairie Home Companion." She says it's worked wonders.

An online petition urged the school committee to change the mascot of Turners Falls High School.
Screen shot / Change.org

Even though the Gill-Montague school committee in western Massachusetts voted in February to get rid of a controversial sports mascot, some voters will get their say this month.

The Indians have represented Turners Falls High school for decades. After several public forums, the regional school committee sided with mascot critics, who say it's disrespectful to Native Americans.

The Franklin County House of Correction in Greenfield, Mass.
Henry Epp / NEPR

Earlier this week, a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's executive order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities. These cities, including some in our region, have explicitly said they won't comply with requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold detainees.

At the same time, some local prisons are holding inmates on behalf of ICE, including the Franklin County House of Correction in Greenfield, Massachusetts. 

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