HAMPDEN COUNTY

Coverage of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

Candace Neilson (left), tenor; Angie Clark, coach; Pia Kroes, lead; Mary Blewitt, baritone; Lin Robinson, bass, is not pictured.
Tema Silk / NEPR

On Friday, women Barbershop singers from all over New England and some parts of Canada will descend on Springfield. They're competing for a spot in the international competition taking place in Las Vegas this fall.

Dr. Nettie Maria Stevens
Carnegie Institution of Washington / Creative Commons

A pivotal but unheralded scientist is getting a building named after her at Westfield State University on Friday.

More than a hundred years ago, Westfield alum Nettie Stevens was studying beetle chromosomes when she noticed a critical difference between males and females.

"She noticed that one chromosome was smaller than the other, and because of that research, we were able to then apply that to the human genome as well," said Westfield biology professor Jennifer Hanselman.

Haymarket Cafe in Northampton, which is closing for part of May 1, 2017, to support workers and immigrants.
Jim Kinney / The Republican

The first day of May — May Day — is also known as International Workers Day. In honor of it, roughly 20 businesses and organizations in the Pioneer Valley are closing their doors for the day.

It's part of a nationwide effort, and immigrants are a key part of the focus.

WGBY headquarters In downtown Springfield, Mass.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

At a recent FCC auction, the broadcast frequency for WGBY in Springfield sold for $57 million.

The station will move to a different channel. The license for the current frequency is owned by WGBH in Boston, and the money will go into its endowment, with annual disbursements to WGBY.

"We will probably increase local content, education services -- things that we've been doing for a long time, but things that we haven't been able to enhance and grow because of financial reasons," said Lynn Page, the station's acting general manager.

The Hampden County Hall of Justice.
File Photo / The Republican

Springfield-area lawyers are frustrated that the Hampden County Courthouse did not make the state's priority list for renovations or replacement.

The Trial Court of Massachusetts released a master plan summary this week that put several courthouses, including in Northampton, Pittsfield, and Boston, into a first phase of repair, scheduled to take place through 2022.

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