Coverage of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

"Sandra" (2019, Acrylic on canvas) by Longmeadow High School senior Wynne Dromey is one of almost two dozen portraits in a new Springfield Museums show called "This is Us."
Wynne Dromey / D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

The Springfield Museums has curated a regional portrait exhibit to coincide with the arrival of a prestigious Smithsonian show of American portraiture.

Gamblers wear face masks at the MGM Springfield slot machines in July 2020.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

MGM Springfield on Thursday gave some specifics on its workforce — which has been pared down during the pandemic. 

In this file photo, Tapestry Health employees provide free COVID-19 testing in Springfield and Agawam, Massachusetts.
Douglas Hook / MassLive / MassLive.com/photos

State legislators in western Massachusetts are turning up the pressure for more COVID-19 testing, but they don’t all necessarily agree on how that should be done.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse speaks at a press conference in the final days of his 2020 Democratic primary campaign for Congress.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

Alex Morse, who first became mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, at the age of 22 in 2012, announced Tuesday he's stepping aside when his term expires in January, 2022.

Employees tend to marijuana plants in a grow room at the INSA marijuana dispensary in Easthampton, Massachusetts, on July 18, 2019.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

Massachusetts marijuana regulators gave final approval Monday to the delivery of recreational cannabis within the state.

Springfield, Massachusetts, Schools Superintendent Dan Warwick.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

Springfield's public schools have seen a dip in enrollment following a trend across Massachusetts during the pandemic. And the city's schools superintendent warned this could affect funding for the district.

A doctor at a hospital in Italy during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Alberto Giuliani / Creative Commons

Merriam-Webster has released its list of the most looked-up words of 2020, and it’s no surprise that words related to virus and disease figure prominently.

Police cruisers in Springfield, Massachusetts.
File photo / The Republican / masslive.com

Updated at 4:45 p.m. 

Public defenders in Massachusetts are suing Springfield's mayor and city clerk over a public records request for police discipline reports.

Employee Matt Pizii stands behind a counter at Liberty Springfield in Springfield, Massachusetts, on November 20, 2020.
Alden Bourne / NEPM

Two years after recreational marijuana became available for legal sale in Massachusetts, the first adult-use pot store has opened in Springfield.

RN Alyssa Anderson administers a COVID-19 test at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford in March 2020.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public / NENC

With virus rates rising across the state and the holidays looming, western Massachusetts residents who want to get a COVID test are often waiting in hours-long lines, if they can get one at all.

Mildred Stopa, at front, was 66 years old when she retired in December 1989. Behind Stopa at her retirement party, from left to right: daughter Sheila Pelczarski, granddaughter Julia, and daughter Christina Moriarty.
Submitted photo

Massachusetts recently passed a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic: the deaths of more than 10,000 residents.

Springfield City Council President Justin Hurst on the steps of City Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts, on June 9, 2020.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

The Springfield City Council has rejected a new contract with police sergeants, lieutenants and captains.

Trump Lost In Massachusetts, But Built Latino Support In Gateway Cities

Nov 16, 2020

For the last several months, Julio Perez has been driving a bus across the country, emblazoned with a decal on the side that read “Stop the separation of families.”

He started in California, part of a caravan of immigration activists that toured the country to help turn out Latino voters. When Joe Biden was declared the winner, Perez said they celebrated.

Christina "Smiles" Remmes is a Northampton, Massachusetts, resident experiencing homelessness.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

When someone gets diagnosed with COVID-19, they must separate from others — maybe hole up in a room, or the basement — in order to not spread the virus to others. But for folks without homes in western Massachusetts, that's nothing like what they may have to go through this winter.

Roy Saigo is interim president at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

Westfield State University has spent years in leadership crises.

Republican James "Chip" Harrington, at left, and Democrat Jake Oliveira were on the ballot in Massachusetts' 7th Hampden House District.
The Republican / masslive.com

The race for the 7th Hampden District seat in the Massachusetts House is headed toward a recount. Democrat Jake Oliveira leads Republican Chip Harrington by a little more than 100 votes.

Two former top officials at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to their handling of one of the country’s deadliest coronavirus outbreaks at a long-term care facility during their arraignment Thursday.

Voters at the high school in Ludlow, Massachusetts, cast their ballots on Election Day 2020.
Jill Kaufman / NEPM

It's still unclear who won the state representative seat in Massachusetts 7th Hampden District.

Melissa and Robert Croteau, with their daughter, at a polling place in Montague, Massachusetts, on November 3, 2020.
Karen Brown / NEPM

Well over 3 million voters cast ballots this election in Massachusetts — a tally Secretary of State Bill Galvin expected will set a record turnout when all are counted.

An "I voted" sticker.
Daniel Morrison / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/danielmorrison/291582376

In Tuesday's election, three candidates are on the ballot for the 4th Hampden District in the Massachusetts House, representing Westfield. And a write-in candidate has emerged.

The elf display at the 2019 Bright Nights at Forest Park event, one of the projects that traditionally uses inmate labor.
Hoang (Leon) Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department said it may pause its practice of lending out inmates for community labor if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Talbert Swan, president of the Springfield NAACP.
Douglas Hook / MassLive

Two community groups in Springfield, Massachusetts, are renewing calls for the mayor to fire the city police commissioner, following a scathing federal report last summer. 

A subway car at the CRRC factory in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The pandemic has disrupted virtually all sectors of the Massachusetts economy, including manufacturing. CRRC, the Chinese company making trains for the MBTA, said the pandemic will further delay delivery of new trains for its two busiest lines.

Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.
File photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Campaign finance records show a political action committee representing the owners of a Springfield, Massachusetts, televsion station made a donation to U.S. Rep. Richard Neal — who beat Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in last month's Democratic primary for the state's 1st Congressional District.

The donation came right before a debate WWLP hosted.

A socially distanced polling place in Springfield, Massachusetts, on the primary election September 1, 2020.
Sam Hudzik / NEPM

For the first time in more than three decades, the 7th Hampden District seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives is up for grabs.

Mass. Lawmakers Hear Heartbreaking Stories About Holyoke Home Outbreak

Oct 20, 2020
Flags outside of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home.
Miriam Wasser / WBUR

On one day in early March, Susan Kenney had been on the phone with her father's case manager at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home, trying to set up a Zoom call with her dad, a 78-year-old veteran of the Air Force.

An early voting sign in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPM

Early in-person voting starts Saturday in Massachusetts. Some communities deemed "high risk" for COVID-19 are saying they're ready.

Rev. William Byrne, the bishop-elect of the Springfield, Massachusetts, Roman Catholic Diocese, speaking during his introductory press conference.
Adam Frenier / NEPM

Reverend William Byrne, a priest with the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., will be the new bishop of the Springfield, Massachusetts, Roman Catholic diocese. He replaces Mitchell Rozanski, who became the Archbishop of St. Louis in August.

The office of the bishop of the Springfield Catholic Diocese.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

As the Roman Catholic Diocese in Springfield, Massachusetts, continues to address the problem of sexual abuse in its churches, congregants and others are being asked to fill out an online survey by October 19.

Rollerskating at Interskate 91 in Hadley, Massachusetts.
File photo / Masslive / masslive.com/photos

Some additional types of Massachusetts businesses are allowed to reopen starting this week, as long as the COVID-19 rates in the communities they're located in are low.