Walk to School Day

Hundreds of Springfield public school students went to school on foot Wednesday, in honor of International Walk To School Day.

A long line of about 100 children is parading down Tiffany Street toward the Alice Beal School. Their parents dropped them off four blocks away and teachers are escorting them…

Big-E Generates Big Revenues

The Eastern States Exposition, or the Big E, in West Springfield came to an end this past weekend, after more than two weeks of ferris wheel rides, cream puffs and livestock shows. Attendance wasn't record-setting, perhaps because of recent rainy weather, but the Northeast's largest fair drew more than a million people.

Despite several rainy days, the Big E again drew huge crowds.

“Source to Sea” Cleanup

The annual Connecticut River Cleanup may be needed this year more than ever, after Tropical Storm Irene carried trash and debris into the waterway. On Saturday [Today] hundreds of volunteers are expected to pick up trash from river banks, and even scuba dive.

The Connecticut River Watershed Council is pushing its "Source to Sea" cleanup this weekend. Andrew Fisk is executive director of the group, coordinating the annual event. He's standing where the Westfield and Connecticut rivers meet, in Agawam.

Post-Irene Cleanup and Repairs Continue

Nearly five weeks after Tropical Storm Irene blew through the Connecticut River Valley, residents, farmers, small businesses and ecologists are making headway in the recovery. But there's plenty of work still to be done.

Williams Farm in South Deerfield sits on the banks of the Deerfield River and saw heavy flooding after Tropical Storm Irene. The river deposited up to 3 feet of silt on almost all of its fields of vegetables. Chip Williams owns and operates the 250-acre farm with his father.

New UMass President Visits Amherst Campus

UMass system president Robert Caret says he won't be sharing any new  information on the reasons for the departure of current UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert Holub, who announced in June that he will leave at the end of the academic year. Caret says his focus is on selecting Holub's successor.

Springfield Smog Report

The nonprofit Environment Massachusetts has released a new report showing that Springfield residents were exposed to air pollution that exceeded federal safety standards on a total of five days last year. Anika James is a field associate with Environment Massachusetts.

"And there were four more days that, according to scientists, it was dangerous to breathe but because of outdated federal air regulations the public wasn't alerted to the danger."

Nonprofit Aims to Restore 25 Springfield Homes in 5 Days

The Springfield chapter of Rebuilding Together says it has attracted a thousand volunteers – enough to repair at least 25 homes between October first and October fifth.

"There's a lot of sense of urgency right now with winter approaching again to get the blue tarp off the roof so that it can be rectified."

Colleen Loveless is the executive director of Rebuilding Together's Springfield chapter.

Prostitution Sting in Springfield

Undercover prostitution stings conducted by police this week led to the arrests of 13 would-be customers, or "johns," seven of whom police say live outside the city. Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney says many of the arrests took place during commuting hours.

Irene’s Fungal Bounty

Pat McDonagh and two friends have just discovered their first mushroom patch of the day.

"Oh yeah, that's a nice, oh two of them. They often just grow singly. Old man of the woods. Strobilomyces floccopus."

It's a weekday morning in Northampton, Massachusetts. The group is scanning the grounds of some wooded conservation land, not far from downtown. McDonagh often takes friends out to forage for mushrooms and teaches them which species are edible.

Mayoral Race Results

Springfield's two-term incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno will face off against City Council President Jose Tosado in the Nov. 8 city election. School committee member Antonette Pepe was eliminated. If elected, Tosado would be the city's first Latino mayor, but he says he's looking for support from all Springfield residents.

Springfield Hires Redevelopment Firm

After the June 1st tornadoes severely damaged several neighborhoods in a half-mile swath across Springfield, city officials were overwhelmed with the rebuilding efforts. They've now hired a consulting firm to help them form A long-term plan, and to estimate construction costs.

Springfield’s River Inn Condemned

Code violations at the River Inn on State Street range from rats and bed bugs to black mold and unfinished construction. The city condemned the building this week, putting up notices on each door. Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney says it's been a long time coming.

Grocery Stores Eliminate Self-Checkout Machines

They were introduced earlier this decade at Big Y and many other supermarket chains as a time- and money-saving alternative to checking out with a cashier, but as it turns out, self-checkout lanes are a flop.