Regional News

The campus of UMass Amherst.
File photo / The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hate groups are on the rise in the U.S. and they increasingly see college campuses as prime recruiting ground.

UMass Amherst and Holyoke Community College are just two of dozens of college campuses to have been targeted by white nationalist propaganda in recent months. But finding the right way to respond to these groups can present a challenge to college administrators.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
File photo / State House News Service

Last November, Massachusetts voters legalized recreational marijuana. There's a long way to go before pot shops open in the state, but lawmakers move one step closer Monday as the legislature's new marijuana committee holds its first public hearing at the State House.

For more, we spoke to Matt Murphy, a reporter with the State House News Service. He said the list of state officials who will testify includes Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Attorney General Maura Healey and Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby.

The spread at a gathering of the cookbook club at the Stockbridge, Mass., public library.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

Reading groups, or book clubs, are a long-standing tradition at many local libraries. But there’s a new variety: cookbook clubs.

They're part book clubs, and part pot luck gatherings. Members pick one cookbook a month, claim recipes, and make the dishes. That’s all we needed to know, before deciding to visit a meeting of the Library Cookbook Club in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Springfield Sting owner Zach Baru of Longmeadow.
Dave Roback / The Republican

The Springfield Sting, the local entry in the minor league American Basketball Association, is in the midst of a playoff run.

The Sting won their first-ever playoff game last weekend and will play again Saturday against the New Jersey Express, whom the Sting have defeated three times this season.

A win there would give them the league’s Northeast Division title, and just two more wins would send them to Baltimore and the ABA’s Final Eight.

Jamie Cushman / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A pair of Western Massachusetts colleges are playing in basketball Final Fours on Friday Night. The Amherst College women and Williams men are both trying to bring home national championships.

Amherst College enters the Division III national semifinal with a perfect 31-0 record. So far in NCAA play, they have defeated their opponents by an average of 25 points per game. On Friday night, they’ll face Christopher Newport University.

Paul Keleher / Creative Commons

Students at Holy Cross will gather next week to better understand the history behind the name of the college’s mascot and school newspaper.

Some on campus have pointed out that “The Crusader” is also the name of a newspaper affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. And it’s not like the Crusades are all that popular either.

Kevin Madigan from the Harvard Divinity School said the meaning of the word “Crusader” has evolved since Holy Cross adopted it in 1925.

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

What made The Short List this week?

File photo / The Republican

With one to two feet of fresh snow on the ground after this week’s winter storm, Berkshire County ski areas say they’ll be able to do something they couldn’t do this time last winter: stay open. While there has been more snow this ski season, business on the slopes has still been something of a mixed bag.

At Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield, Sherry Roberts said they haven’t set any records, but business has been steady this season. And boy did they need it. 

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

A recent Government Accountability Office report recommends the military begin screening for potential gambling issues. This is all the more important in Massachusetts, which opened its first slots parlor in 2015 and has two resort casinos under construction.

Sean Murphy has covered this story for the Boston Globe. He said military officials don’t think gambling’s a problem among service members.

Henry Epp / NEPR

Over the next few months, workers at the Springfield Armory will be digging a lot of dirt. They’re restructuring parts of the armory’s grounds to recreate the landscape of the National Historic Site to what it looked like in the 1950s. They’ll even plant specific trees to match that era, which was the last time the armory was really in business. It built and developed weapons for the U.S. military.

At the Armory grounds, Superintendent James Woolsey explained how crews have begun turning a field into a sloping hill.

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