HAMPDEN COUNTY

Coverage of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

A blackjack game.
Images Money / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07

Registration began Wednesday for a new gaming school for people looking to become table game dealers at MGM Springfield's resort casino, which is scheduled to open next fall. 

Peter Gagliardi, president of Way Finders Inc.,  at the Peter Pan Bus Terminal in Springfield.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

A major landmark in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Peter Pan Bus Terminal, will become the new home of Way Finders, an affordable housing nonprofit. The bus company now operates out of Union Station.

Sonja Farak, left, stands during her arraignment at Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown, Mass., Tuesday Jan. 22, 2013.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Western Massachusetts prosecutors will dismiss more than 5,000 drug convictions tied to former drug chemist Sonja Farak. 

On Nov. 27, the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts hosted a summit on church security. Pictured, Archbishop Timothy Paul speaks.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

On a cold November evening, Bishop Bruce Shaw led a prayer.

"All this violence is going on, but we know you’re the answer, Lord, Jesus. That you can curb some of this," Shaw said in front of the approximately 50 people gathered at the Centro Cristiano Nacion De Jesus church in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Holyoke Public Schools

In the months since Hurricane Maria, 1,400 students from Puerto Rico have registered for school in Massachusetts.

In the kitchen of a small colonial house in Springfield, Mass., Edanry Rivera and Louis Mitchell do-si-do around a coffee maker, handing off the creamer and reaching for a refill.

"Coffee is the lifeblood of my very existence," says Louis Mitchell, 57, a bald transgender man with a graying goatee.

Mitchell owns this home. Rivera, a 27-year-old trans woman, rents a room. Many days, to avoid scoffs, stares and physical threats, Rivera never leaves the house.

"Once I step out there, it's war, sometimes, with people," Rivera says.

Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts President Archbishop Timothy Paul is considering methods of church security.
File photo / The Republican

Recent shootings at houses of worship have led a coalition of churches in western Massachusetts to take a look at how they handle security. 

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.

Pages