HAMPSHIRE COUNTY

Coverage of Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts
Don Treeger / The Republican / Masslive

The top doctor at a Springfield, Massachusetts, medical facility said the region has enough capacity to treat patients for COVID-19 and other illnesses — at least for now.

Holyoke, Massachusetts, City Councilor Rebecca Lisi attends a meeting on Jan. 6, 2020. Lisi has announced she will be a candidate for mayor in 2021.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Two members of city government of Holyoke, Massachusetts, have announced they're running to replace Mayor Alex Morse.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette is based in Northampton, Mass.
File photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Five more employees have been laid off at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, based in Northampton, Massachusetts. The job reductions are again being blamed on the pandemic.

Courtesy of Springfield No One Leaves

 

The pandemic has taken a crisis of housing affordability and made it worse. In western Massachusetts and elsewhere, growing numbers of people are falling behind on rent and are in danger of being evicted, even with well-funded assistance programs.

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

The Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese said it will expand which clergy accused of sexual abuse it lists on its website.

The incoming bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Springfield, Massachusetts, William Byrne, appeared at an introductory press conference in October 2020.
Adam Frenier / NEPM

On Monday, the Rev. Bill Byrne will be installed as bishop of the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese. He succeeds Mitchell Rozanski, who left this summer to become archbishop of St. Louis.

A health care worker places a cotton swab into a vile after taking a sample from someone being tested for COVID-19 last month at a drive-through testing area at Somerville Hospital.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced on Monday an expansion of free COVID-19 testing in the western part of the state.

An inmate is tested for COVID-19 at the Hampden County Correctional Center in Ludlow, Massachusetts.
Mark Murray / Hampden County Sheriff's Office

Earlier this week, the sheriff of Hampden County announced that 10% of inmates in the department's Ludlow, Massachusetts, jail had tested positive for COVID-19.  But the sheriffs of the other three counties in western Massachusetts said they see no need to test all their inmates.

Christopher Stetson, an infant and toddler teacher in Northampton, Mass., retired earlier than planned, after the school where he taught for 20 years shut down in mid-March.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

During the pandemic, a lot of people have lost work. In Massachusetts, more than 1.6 million residents have applied for unemployment since mid-March.

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.

Annye Anderson visits the site of her family home in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lived with Robert Johnson.
Preston Lauterbach / Used with permission

The first thing to know about Annye Anderson is unless you’re older than she is — and fat chance of that; she’s 94 — you better just call her Mrs. Anderson." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

“People say, ‘Don't you have a first name?’” Anderson said from the couch in her living room in Amherst, Massachusetts. “I say, ‘Yes, I do.’ And they wait for it. But I tell them, ‘Mrs. Anderson will do just fine.’”

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.

Heavily redacted paragraphs are shown as part of a sponsored research agreement between the UMass Amherst and Raytheon in 2015. This document and 10 others like it were redacted by the university.
Screen Shot / UMass Amherst / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

The Daily Hampshire Gazette has been trying to get its hands on all the agreements UMass Amherst signs with private businesses to conduct many millions of dollars in sponsored research.

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.

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.

Supporters of President Trump and counterprotesters confronted each other in Northampton, Massachusetts, on Nov. 1, 2020.
Ben James / NEPM

Updated Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. 

Dozens of supporters of President Trump clashed with a larger group of counterprotesters holding Black Lives Matter signs Sunday in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, at left, and Republican challenger Tracy Lovvorn.
Robin Lubbock / WBUR // Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

In Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District, there's a rematch on the ballot from two years ago.

Last time, incumbent Democrat Jim McGovern defeated Republican challenger Tracy Lovvorn by about a two-to-one margin.

Hassan Aden, at right, of Enfield, Connecticut, in May 2020 with family members, in the field he farms in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Ben James / NEPM

I first met Hassan Aden last spring. My farm in Northampton, Massachusetts, sits right next to the half-acre plot that Aden and his family began working in May.

Some Additional Students To Return To UMass Amherst In Spring

Oct 23, 2020
The campus of UMass Amherst.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

UMass Amherst plans to expand its campus population in the spring, announcing Friday that first-year and transfer students will be invited to campus next semester after learning remotely throughout the fall.

Northampton, Massachusetts, City Clerk Pam Powers.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hamphire Gazette / gazettenet.com

The city clerk of Northampton, Massachusetts, said her office mailed ballots to some voters with the wrong address to send them back.

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.

Town Hall in Amherst, Massachusetts.
John Phelan / Creative Commons / commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Faolin42

With Amherst, Massachusetts, in the state’s COVID-19 red zone, the town manager says the numbers don’t reflect nuances in the population. 

From "The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come" by Sue Macy.
Stacy Innerst / Simon and Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books 2019

The story of how thousands of rescued Yiddish books became the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, has been told a few times. Now, it’s an illustrated children's book. 

Author and law professor Jennifer Taub of Northampton, Massachusetts.
Jill Greenberg / Courtesy Jennifer Taub

Unchecked crime and corruption, weak laws and ineffective enforcement are at the heart of a new release from Jennifer Taub.  

Northampton, Massachusetts, author Tiffany Jewell wrote "This Book Is Anti-Racist."
James Azar Salam / Submitted Photo

Northampton, Massachusetts, author Tiffany Jewell’s activity-driven book, "This Book Is Anti-Racist," lays out the work kids need to do before a lifetime of bias is instilled in them.

Dana Nestor and Nina Fernandes at their new Northampton, Massachusetts, house.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Home buying and selling slowed down in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but realtors in western Massachusetts say the market has picked up. 

For their daughters and themselves, Mustafa and BeckyJean Thompson said they're relieved there's now more structure to the West Springfield, Mass., online school day.
Jill Kaufman / NEPM

Most Massachusetts public schools began classes this week after a delay due to the coronavirus. Districts,  independently of one another, developed their plans and many schools are teaching remotely. That means parents and caregivers are again juggling their work schedules while also acting as teacher helpers.

Diners enjoy outdoor dining with service on the patio at Johnny's Bar and Grille in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in June.
Don Treeger / The Republican / Masslive.com/photos

Some chambers of commerce across western Massachusetts said they've seen some restaurant closures due to the pandemic. And there's concern about what fall and winter might bring.

A PVTA bus.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican / Masslive

The head of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority said ridership is down significantly because of the coronavirus, but that the agency is surviving with the help of federal aid.

From "How To Be A Person" by Catherine Newman.
Karen Brown / NEPM

"How to Be A Person" takes readers through dozens of basic skills they should learn before they’re grown up – from doing the laundry and tying knots, to writing thank-you notes and managing money. 

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