HAMPSHIRE COUNTY

Coverage of Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

The sign outside Meekins Library in Williamsburg, Mass. It normally lists hours of operation.
Meekins Library / Facebook

The small white sign outside the library in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, usually just lists the library's hours. That changed after the white nationalist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Scenes from an eclipse-watching party at Smith College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Parents with the kids, workers on a lunch break, astronomy buffs getting their fix. Across the region on Monday afternoon, people stared at the sky to see a sun partially obscured by the moon.

Easthampton School Committee voted teachers will receive training on how to handle information requests from federal immigration officials.
Mary Serreze / MassLive

As a new school year draws near, school officials in Massachusetts are focused on immigration policy, with some districts training their staff how to handle information requests from federal immigration officials.

In May, state Attorney General Maura Healey released guidelines for public schools that detail how cooperative they should be with US Immigration Customs and Customs agents, should they seek information about students. The advisory Healey released said schools can provide basic information, but are not required to.

Scenes from a rally in Northampton, Mass., on Aug. 13, 2017, opposing white supremacists.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Rallies sprang up around New England Sunday in solidarity with the anti-Nazi protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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.

Northampton, Mass., police arrested Eric Matlock outside City Hall on Aug. 7, 2017.
Screenshot of Facebook video / Posted by Pamela Juda

A video showing Northampton police arresting a man who allegedly blocked the entrance to City Hall doesn't portray the whole story, the city's mayor said.

The video, which was posted to Facebook, shows 33-year-old Eric Matlock clinging to a railing on the steps in front of the building, as two police officers attempt to pull him away. He spits, and appears to gasp for air.

St. Thomas Church in Huntington, Massachusetts.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette

St. Thomas Church in Huntington, Massachusetts, will go up for auction on Thursday. It's one of over 30 churches in the Springfield Diocese to close its doors in the last decade, but the first to be put up for auction.

Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said the town's decision to make the church an historic district in 2012 could have made it harder to sell.

A home setup for growing marijuana.
Zoboar / Creative Commons

The Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday is debating a proposal to raise the tax on retail marijuana sales to 28 percent.

Lawmakers opposed to the increase said it could push buyers to the black market. However, a steep tax could also help stores that sell supplies for growing marijuana at home.

"People are not going to want to spend that kind of money when they can grow it themselves for cheaper," said Ian Back, who works at Here We Grow in Hadley.

A "missing persons" ad in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, aimed at U.S. Representative Richie Neal.
Daily Hampshire Gazette / via MassLive

Some residents of the Western Massachusetts hilltowns are so frustrated that their congressman doesn't come visit, they've taken out a "missing persons" ad in a local newspaper.

A progressive activist group called Indivisible Williamsburg raised money online to take out the tongue-in-cheek ad in the Daily Hampshire Gazette -- a photo of U.S. Representative Richie Neal above the words, "Has anyone seen this man?"

The federal government estimates that on any given night, 3,000 to 4,000 female veterans are homeless.

But that estimate is probably on the low side, according to Sara Scoco, who directs the Women’s Program of the western Massachusetts-based nonprofit group Soldier On.

“When people are doing homeless counts, they’re going to shelters, they’re seeing people on the street,” Scoco said. “A female veteran is not the person you see on the street holding a sign.”

Pages