HAMPDEN COUNTY

Coverage of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

Holyoke Teens Develop Anti-Bullying App

May 18, 2017
Girls Inc. Holyoke participated in Technovation Challenge. Pictured (left to right): Stella Cabrera, Crystalee Mendez, Meghan Bone (staff) and Jaylynn Rentas.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Inside a stuffy second-story conference room in Holyoke’s innovation district, a small group of developers spent about three months creating a mobile app meant to combat bullying.

But they're not employees at a hot new tech startup. They’re teenage girls from Holyoke tasked with building an app that addresses an issue in their community.

Governor Baker gets an update on the Springfield Empowerment Zone at Forest Park Middle School.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

Governor Charlie Baker was in Springfield to hear the latest on the Springfield "Empowerment Zone, which consists of six middle schools and a high school.

In an "Empowerment Zone," principals and teachers have broad autonomy over everything from the curriculum to the budget. The results after the first year were mixed, with some test results up and some down.

Honey bees.
Courtney Collison / Creative Commons

Longmeadow, Massachusetts, voters will determine the fate of beekeeping on day two of the annual Town Meeting. One citizens' petition would basically ban beekeeping, by limiting it to agriculturally zoned land west of I-91.

Mark Lantzakis is one of about a half-dozen beekeepers in Longmeadow. He said the proposed restrictions aren't typical for this part of the state. 

"There is not, as far as I know, anything going on in other towns that would bar beekeeping," he said.

Blandford Ski Area in Blandford, Mass.
Dave Roback / The Republican

The future appears uncertain for the Blandford Ski Area in western Hampden County. And the non-profit club that owns it is blaming Mother Nature for some of its woes.

In a statement, officials for Blandford Ski Area sAid they are exploring all options to stay open, but also concede that selling the property could be an option.

Springfield Signs 'Treaty' For Migratory Birds

May 7, 2017
A little blue heron at Springfield Plaza on Liberty Street in August 2014.
Greg Saulmon / The Republican

Springfield, Massachusetts, has adopted an Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds.

The city's science museum is introducing a new wildlife garden and residents will be encouraged to help create a network of neighborhood habitats.

Roxanne Bogart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Springfield and the Connecticut River are important stops for birds migrating between South America and the Arctic.

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