HAMPDEN COUNTY

Coverage of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

In a file photo, Elena Danek, right, an English language development teacher at Lt. Clayre P. Sullivan School in Holyoke, Massachusetts, teaches Anthony Hernandez, 13, Poala Viera, 12, and Natacha Hernandez, 12.
Michael S. Gordon / The Republican

Massachusetts lawmakers have passed a bill to give schools more flexibility to teach students in their native language.

Electric-assisted bikes in a bike share program in Canada.
TransitQuebec / YouTube

A regional bike share program is set to launch in western Massachusetts this spring.

A large crowd gathered on the green at Westfield State University to stand against racism in a rally organized by the education department.
Don Treeger / The Republican

Faculty members in the education department at Westfield State are demanding the university require employees be taught about whiteness and white supremacy. This follows racist incidents including notes on dorm room doors of some black students.

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

The Massachusetts Senate wants the state to examine what renovations may be needed at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home. The facility provides state-funded medical care to veterans. It was established in 1952.

Seven weeks ago, Hurricane Maria roared through the center of Puerto Rico. Winds battered the palm leaves and rain poured over the houses in the town of Barrancas.

The storm brought terror to German Santini, who was inside his home. Santini emerged the next day to see a town that looked like it had been hit by airstrikes.

“You get the urge to cry,” he said. “You don’t feel like doing anything, seeing everything destroyed. Puerto Rico is going to take a long time to recover from this.”

The MGM project has been promised to create a minimum of at least 3,000 casino, hotel and other jobs, of which at least 2,200 will be employed on a full-time equivalent basis with benefits.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

A budget bill signed into law last week could open up jobs in the casino industry for thousands of Massachusetts residents who have had trouble with the law.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse greets his supporters at the Gateway City Arts after winning the mayor's contest over Jay Ferreira, Tuesday night in Holyoke.
Dave Roback / The Republican

Voters in western Massachusetts turned out on Tuesday to elect new mayors in three cities -- and in two others, residents voted in the incumbents.

Kind World #47: While I'm Here

Nov 7, 2017

Forty-four-year-old Bob Charland of Springfield never had much free time.

Auto mechanic by day, bouncer by night, single dad all the time, he was the kind of guy who became a troop leader for his daughter’s Girl Scout troop and who learned sign language so he could teach an automotive class to deaf students.

He was always going. Then, about eight months ago, he noticed something was off.

“My right hand was shaking all the time,” Bob says. “My speech was going off. I was forgetting more and more.”

The polling place at Falcetti Towers in Holyoke, Mass., saw light turnout on Sept. 26, 2017, for a preliminary election for mayor.
Sam Hudzik / NEPR

Voters in some Massachusetts communities will go to the polls Tuesday to elect local government and school officials. In the four westernmost counties, five cities have contested mayoral elections.

Jamie Adams / Creative Commons

Last week, state lawmakers decided to allow some people with criminal records to work in casinos. The head of MGM Springfield said the company is "very excited" by the change. 

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