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Peter Kocot of Northampton, Massachusetts, represented parts of Hampshire County in the state legislature.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

This week, longtime Northampton State Representative Peter Kocot died at the age of 61. And State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose announced he is leaving the Democratic Party and becoming an independent, or "unenrolled" as it's known in Massachusetts. 

Solomon Goldstein-Rose celebrates with supporters after his win in the Democratic primary in September 2016.
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Massachusetts House Speaker Bob DeLeo has not publicly said whether state Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose of Amherst will be able to keep his committee assignments. Goldstein-Rose announced on Tuesday he was leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent.

Northampton State Rep. Peter Kocot, 61, Passes Away After Illness

Feb 22, 2018
Northampton state Representative Peter Kocot in a file photo.
File photo / State House News Service

Northampton Rep. Peter Kocot, who has served in the legislature since 2002, has died, according to the House Speaker's office.

Drinking Fountains
uncoolbob / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/uncoolbob

Massachusetts is expanding a program testing water in public schools. Officials are using leftover money from an existing initiative to include Head Start and special education programs.

Roxane Gay on the Age of American Disgrace

Feb 21, 2018
Roxane Gay
TED Conference / FLICKR / CREATIVE COMMONS

Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay’s work has garnered international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. With a keen eye on modern culture, she critiques its ebb and flow with wit and ferocity. Gay’s essay collection, Bad Feminist, is considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. NPR named it one of the best books of the year, and Salon declared the book “trailblazing.” Her debut novel, An Untamed State, was long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. In 2017, Gay released her highly anticipated memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, as well as a collection of short stories titled Difficult Women

Empty classroom with chairs.
Creative Commons

Students are taking part in walkouts across the country on Wednesday following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Massachusetts public schools are on February break, but students are organizing for the next planned walkout, scheduled for March 14.

Radio producer Karen Werner and translator Wendy Call discuss a radio documentary on Zapotec poet Irma Pineda, and explore translation and the loss of language and cultural identity. 

Segments of the radio documentary You Will Not See Me Die were used with the permission of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s series Earshot.

taking a test
Alberto G. / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/albertogp123

Students in Massachusetts lead the nation in achievement on Advanced Placement exams. 

Samuel Bowles was a dynamo, known for his wit, intelligence, and dashing good looks.
unknown / Bowles-Hoar Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections,Amherst College

Samuel Bowles was the editor of The Springfield Republican. As a young man in the 1850s, he transformed the Republican into one of New England’s most admired newspapers.

Solomon Goldstein-Rose celebrates with supporters after his win in the Democratic primary in September 2016.
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Amherst, Massachusetts, state Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose made headlines in 2016 when he was elected at the age of 22. Now, he’s making news again, for dropping his Democratic Party affiliation.

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