Coverage of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

City Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts.
cmh2315fl / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/21953562@N07

The president of the City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts, said an open process will be used to fill the position of city clerk.

 A sign at the Big E grounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts, directs visitors to a COVID-19 vaccination site that opened in April.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

As Hampden County, Massachusetts, continues to rank poorly in COVID-19 metrics, officials are pushing for more vaccinations.

MGM Springfield on Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

The MGM Springfield casino's workforce grew by 8.5% in the first quarter of this year, with pandemic-related capacity restrictions still in place.

Comedian Zul Manzi of Springfield, Massachusetts, has a new animated series called "The Matumbila's."
Courtesy / Zul Manzi

A cartoon sitcom about a Tanzanian family living in a fictional western Massachusetts town has just wrapped up its first season.

Vaccination for COVID-19 takes place at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker this week announced a shift in the state's COVID-19 vaccination strategy, with more doses and appointments now available.

Officials across the country closed many outdoor basketball courts due to COVID-19 concerns.
Guettarda / Creative Commons

Springfield, Massachusetts, officials continue to field suggestions on reopening many of the city's basketball courts. They were closed at the beginning of the pandemic last year to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The Holyoke Soldiers' Home in March 2020.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed its version of a funding bill for a new Holyoke Soldiers' Home. It carries a higher price tag than the bill the House recently passed.

Calls Grow For Mass. Board of Ed Member To Resign Over Comments About Holyoke, Lawrence

Apr 29, 2021
Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member Michael Moriarty of Holyoke speaks during an April 20 meeting.
Screenshot / State of Massachusetts / Vimeo / State House News Service

A statewide teachers union and its Lawrence local are calling for a Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member to resign over comments he made at a recent meeting, days after three state lawmakers, several city officials and U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan also called for his removal.

Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts, in a pre-pandemic file photo.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Some Massachusetts business owners are gearing up to open their doors next month after the state relaxed COVID-19 restrictions this week.

The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

On Thursday, the Massachusetts state Senate will consider a bill that would provide $400 million to build a new facility for veterans.

Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Domenic Sarno in a file photo. Behind him stands Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

A Massachusetts superior court judge has largely sided with the Springfield City Council in its lawsuit against Mayor Domenic Sarno over a 2018 ordinance seeking to establish a police commission.

File Photo / Masslive

The U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts is suing the Chicopee Housing Authority and its leader. The lawsuit alleges they violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against a woman with end-stage kidney disease. 

The entrance to Palmer Paving Corporation's site in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the Palmer Renewable Energy Company wants to build a wood-burning biomass plant.
Robin Lubbock / WBUR

A Springfield nonprofit said new Massachusetts regulations that would impact a proposed biomass plant in the city are a huge victory.

Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst.
Don Treeger / The Republican / Masslive.com

A Springfield, Massachusetts, city councilor said a judge's decision in favor of establishing a police commission is good news for the residents of the city.

Mark Sebastian / Creative Commons

No one is experiencing the pandemic in exactly the same way, but we share many common fears and anxieties — even when we’re asleep. As the pandemic goes on, dream experts say the evolution of COVID-19 dreams tells us a lot about our waking life, too.

Holyoke Acting Mayor Terry Murphy addresses reporters at City Hall in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on April 16, 2021, as U.S. Rep. Richard Neal looks on.
Alden Bourne / NEPM

The new acting mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, said he hopes an infusion of federal cash could help the city's schools return to local control.

Springfield, Massachusetts, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood takes the oath from District Court Judge John Payne during her swearing-in ceremony, in October 2019.
Adam Frenier / NEPM

Updated at 6:40 p.m. 

A Massachusetts judge has largely sided with the Springfield City Council in its lawsuit against Mayor Domenic Sarno over control of the police department.

Massachusetts Lawmakers, Cities Help Lead Puerto Rico Self-Determination Push

Apr 16, 2021
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / MassLive.com

Puerto Rican leaders and their allies, like U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, voiced support this week for federal legislation that would allow the island territory to decide its future status as a state or something else, and urged state and local governments to join them.

Following mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado and Atlanta, Georgia, there’s a new push to pass stricter gun laws in Washington.

But at America’s biggest gun maker, Smith & Wesson in Springfield, business has never been better.

Proposed Massachusetts Rules Would Require More Efficient Biomass Energy Plants

Apr 16, 2021
Waste wood from a logging operation that's been chopped into "chips" for a biomass facility.
Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Proposed changes to Massachusetts regulations would make a controversial wood-burning power plant planned for Springfield ineligible for renewable energy credits and would require all new biomass projects to be more efficient.

The Holyoke Soldiers' Home.
Mike Plaisance / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

A bond bill to provide funding for a new Holyoke Soldiers' Home unanimously passed the Massachusetts House Thursday.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church on fire in Springfield, Massachusetts, on December 28, 2020.
Springfield Fire Department / MassLive / MassLive.com

A man from Houlton, Maine, faces federal hate crime charges for allegedly setting a December 2020 fire that destroyed a Springfield, Massachusetts, church.

Nicole Desnoyers and her son Ja-Seir outside their home in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Ben James / NEPM

For Dr. Joeli Hettler, the symptoms kids are showing up with in her emergency room are not only extreme — they’re confusing.

The The Holyoke, Massachusetts, City Council gathers on Zoom on April 12, 2021, to choose the next acting mayor., Massachusetts, City Council gathered on Zoom on April 12, 2021 to choose the next acting mayor.
Alden Bourne / NEPM

A new acting mayor will take the oath of office in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on Tuesday after a vote by the City Council Monday night.

Massachusetts House Likely To Pass New Holyoke Soldiers' Home Bill This Week

Apr 12, 2021
The Holyoke Soldiers' Home in March 2020.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Massachusetts legislative leaders outlined plans to advance a $400 million bill funding the construction of a new Holyoke Soldiers' Home. But it's unclear if their timeline will be fast enough to quickly secure federal funding.

File Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

The Holyoke, Massachusetts, City Council will pick an acting mayor on Monday from its own ranks. Two candidates have stepped forward.

The MGM Springfield casino.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Wednesday heard arguments in a pair of cases focusing on whether the state's two resort casinos shorted blackjack players on their winnings.

Springfield, Massachusetts, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris addresses reporters at the city's weekly COVID-19 briefing.
File photo / Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com

An increasing number communities in western Massachusetts are now categorized as “red,” the state’s highest risk level for COVID-19. There's been a bump in cases statewide, too.

Main lobby at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in a file photo.
Mike Plaisance / The Republican / masslive.com

Updated at 7:33 p.m. 

Another Massachusetts legislative committee heard testimony Monday on a $400 million bill to fund a new Holyoke Soldiers' Home. Questions arose again about geographic equity and care for the thousands of veterans outside the two state-run facilities in Holyoke and Chelsea.

Nurses talk to a patient at the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

New numbers from the state show Hampden County now trails all other Massachusetts counties in the percentage of residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19.