HAMPDEN COUNTY

Coverage of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

Rebecca Lobo speaks during the Class of 2017 press conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield on September 7, 2017.
Chris Marion / The Republican

Rebecca Lobo set a Massachusetts state record for points while playing for the Southwick-Tolland Regional High School girls' basketball team. The school was just 13 miles away from the Basketball Hall of Fame.

A C-5M aircraft arrives for the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.
Dave Roback / MassLive

Officials at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts, are studying the impact of the base on the surrounding area.

Bob Bulduc, owner of the Pride Station and Store chain, stands beside the machine that printed a $758.7 million jackpot.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Massachusetts State Lottery officials are racking their brains about where they should put the machine that printed a $758 million jackpot ticket.

Some state officials have suggested the machine be displayed in a place of prominence, like the Massachusetts State House.

"We're still evaluating what the best way to preserve this piece of history, and possibly giving the opportunity to see it in person," said Lottery spokesman Christian Teja.

The machine was removed from a Chicopee gas station for routine maintenance a few days after it printed the ticket.

In a photo from April 2017, the Massachusetts Statehouse.
William Zhang / Creative Commons

A former Boston city councilor is offering a suggestion he says could help his city -- and Springfield.

Mike Ross wrote a column in Boston magazine saying Massachusetts should auction off its historic statehouse, so it could become condos. 

Chicopee Woman Wins $758.7 Million Jackpot

Aug 24, 2017
Pride Station and Store in Chicopee, Mass. sold a $758.7 million Powerball ticket
Sean Teehan / NEPR

A Chicopee, Massachusetts, resident became the largest single winner in American lottery history, hitting a $758.7 million jackpot on Powerball.

In a press conference at the Massachusetts State Lottery's Braintree headquarters, Mavis Wanczyk, 53, said she was leaving work at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield when she realized she had instantly become a multi-millionaire. 

She phoned her workplace the next morning, she said.

"I called them, and I told them that I will not be coming back," Wanczyk said with a chuckle.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference on Aug. 15, 2017, about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

The city of Boston is preparing for what is being called a free speech rally Saturday afternoon on the historic Common. Thousands of counter-protesters are also expected to show up, including some from western Massachusets.

Holyoke resident Rick Purcell and friend will be among a group that will meet in Northampton at 5:30 a.m. to carpool and then caravan to the Boston.

Purcell said he is going to the counter-demonstration because he wants to stand up to white supremacy. He said speaking out is in his legacy.

Sun Kim at her resturant, Sun Kim Bop, in downtown Springfield
Alden Bourne / NEPR

Two western Massachusetts residents of South Korean descent have been watching as tensions between the United States and North Korea have continued to escalate. 

Suk Massey is a lecturer in east Asian languages and literature at Smith College. She said Friday she's been following the exchanges between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un closely.

"I'm worrying about it but most friends in Korea don't seem to worry about that too much, because they are somehow -- they are used to it," she said.

Jim Sagalyn, president and owner of the Holyoke Machine Company.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

A manufacturer in Holyoke, Massachusetts, which first opened its doors during the Civil War, is auctioning off everything under its roof Thursday. The company is a casualty of a changing industry.

State officials announced on Monday the operator of a new commuter rail line between New Haven and Springfield, and said the launch of that service will be delayed into mid-2018.

Tertulia Colby Singleton, Program Director of Holyoke Urban Bike School
Raquel Obregon / NEPR

Colby Singleton, Program Director of Holyoke Urban Bike School at the YMCA in Holyoke, joined host Raquel Obregon on Tertulia. 

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