Reminder Publications
| Candidates spent more to win in 2014 | Local schools score high on MCAS | $650 million water park resort proposed in Palmer | 68th Annual Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Parade | A tale of two riders: Pan-Mass Challenge sparks need to ride | A year in review: stories that shaped the region | Aaron Saunders announces bid for 7th Hampden District state representative seat | Academic programs prepare students for changing workplace ­­­ Area schools to offer innovative programs for upcoming year | Action on bill could affect the state’s egg supply | Addiction remains major issue in sheriff’s race | AFC deploys COVID-19 mobile testing vans in community | After victory, Velis prepares for first full term in state Senate | Agawam and West Springfield districts prepare to reopen schools | Agawam councilor will mount GOP challenge to Sen. Velis | Agawam, West Side food pantries continue to assist residents through hard times | Agawam, West Side to celebrate in-person graduations | Agawam, West Springfield assisting seniors in receiving vaccinations | Agawam, West Springfield competing to donate textiles for prize | Agawam, West Springfield educators recognized for excellence | Agawam, West Springfield give thanks for family, health, coworkers | Agawam, West Springfield legislators take chairs, set goals | Agawam, West Springfield middle schoolers in statewide service | Agawam, West Springfield remember unity, sacrifice of 9/11 | Agawam, West Springfield state budget cuts disappointing | Agawam, West Springfield voters buck trends in races with locals | Agawam, Westfield teens’ texting PSAs are state finalists | Age-friendly survey goes to Western Mass. communities | Agri-tourism increases across Western Massachusetts | Agric Organics offers mobile grocery store to help with food access | AHL All Star Game brings visitors, revenues to city businesses | Air and Space Show returns to Westover | All Morgan-Sullivan Bridge lanes now open to traffic | Amtrak finds Valley Flyer popular with younger riders during pandemic | Angledies and Coakley-Rivera discuss Register of Deeds campaigns | Annual pond tour showcases homes in Chicopee and Springfield | Annual Sheriff’s Picnic is a dizzying political mosh pit | Area businesses react to end state’s of early closure mandate | Area churches prepare for Christmas during COVID-19 | Area fire departments receive grants to educate children, seniors | Area food advocates outline steps to end hunger | Area lawmakers participate in MassSupport Twitter chat | Area legislators, educators praise proposed education funding bill | Area legislators push back against slow-down | Area libraries launch auto-renewal program to benefit patrons | Area malls move toward entertainment and lifestyle | Area men remember the late President Bush as a ‘gentleman’ | Area pantries in need of food and monetary donations | Area sees increase in tourism | Area towns receive grants to teach fire safety | Area sees change in 2015, prepares for more | ArtsHub Virtual Summit to support regional creative economy | Ashe returns to office, Rivera wins Register | Baker Administration announces programs to address food insecurity | Baker announcement about east-west rail deemed ‘historic’ | Baker announces another round of small business grants | Baker announces loosened restrictions for businesses | Baker explains phased reopening, guidelines | Baker extends emergency order to May 18 | Baker overhauls health metrics, DESE pushes for in-person learning | Baker overhauls COVID risk metrics, DESE pushes in-person learning | Baker pledges $800M to support healthcare efforts | Baker releases color-coded system for COVID risk at-a-glance | Baker signs executive order to protect reproductive healthcare | Baker unveils COVID-19 vaccination schedule | New state broadband funding won’t benefit local municipalities | Battle over SNAP benefits impacting local food pantries | Beat the Putz grand prize winner announced | Belchertown and Ludlow to host Veterans Day ceremonies | Belchertown, Ludlow prepare for Veterans Day | Belchertown, Ludlow receive rehabilitation project grants | Belchertown, Ludlow receive school safety grants | Big Brothers Big Sisters continuing to foster relationships with community youth | Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden, Franklin counties to merge | Big E foods in ‘friendly rivalry’ for Agawam, West Springfield Lions | Bill aims to legalize low-stakes senior center card games | Bill would compensate Quabbin watershed towns | Blake’s philanthropy can be seen around the region | Bob the Bike Guy sees importance in helping homeless through pandemic | Boldyga discusses committee assignments for new session | Boldyga questions decision to extend mail-in voting | Boldyga takes a rare Mass. GOP victory to keep his House seat | Bonneville selected as next superintendent of Hampshire Regional School District | Breweries collaborate to help family of car crash victim | Brightside’s Toy Drive, Motorcycle Run rolls on for another year | Broadband Institute talks digital equity at seminar | Brothers share journey through Westfield River’s history, wildlife | Bump’s report highlights area’s infrastructure deficiencies | Business owner has tips for powering through season | Calabrese, Velis bring different perspectives to Senate race | Candidates discuss problems facing the 9th Hampden District | Candidates for state senate seat define positions | Candidates pick up endorsements, announce future bills | Cannabis impact fees, host agreements get review | West Springfield, Westfield, Holyoke partner for carbon sequestration | CARES Act funding offers needed assistance to colleges, students | Catie’s Closet seeking outerwear for children in need this winter | Census data reveals population decrease in Holyoke, Granby while South Hadley increases | Census response rates trend higher in local towns | Census shows increased diversity in Agawam, West Side | Centuries-old churches welcome teacher as shared pastor | Albano’s former political rival endorses Cocchi | Applications for new charter schools announced | Chester, Westfield pupils win snowplow naming contest | Chicopee, Springfield and Holyoke mayors denounce illegal dirt bike riders | Chicopee, Springfield receive FY23 S.A.F.E. grants | Chip Harrington announces state rep. bid | Chorus seeks new singers in return from COVID-19 break | Clean energy industry increases in Massachusetts | Clerks in Monson, Ware credit mail-in, early voting with solid election turnout | Clerks share thoughts on same-day voter registration bill | Coalition calls on Baker to recommit to clean energy | Cobble Mtn. Reservoir valued for water supply, public access | Two-plus years of work pays off for Cocchi campaign | Cocchi settles into new role during first 100 days | Cocchi sworn in as Hampden County sheriff | Collaborative for Education Services receives funds for youth substance use prevention | Springfield Rescue Mission collection nears its end | Comcast awards grants to support digital equity in Western Mass. | Comerford joins sheriff’s race as sole Republican candidate | Communities benefit from funds for abandoned or vacant properties | Communities celebrate the holidays with numerous events | Communities consider ban on trick or treating due to pandemic | Communities join together for All Hamptons Read initiative | Communities note National Child Abuse Prevention Month | Communities provide information for upcoming state primary | Communities receive fire safety education funds from state | Communities ring in holiday season with tree lightings | Community colleges reverse course on vaccine mandates | Community comes together at Jack’s Walk in hope, support | Community organizations face declining membership | Community Outlook 2021: Eversource promises safety as it takes over for Columbia Gas | Community Outlook 2021: Habitat for Humanity looking forward to 2021 after tough year | Community Outlook 2021: NAMI-WM warns of mental health crisis created by pandemic | Community rallies to support area resident dealing with serious illness | Community youth hockey back on ice | Congressman McGovern: Putin is guilty of war crimes | Conserving forested land easier under new program | Controversial police reform bill seeks Baker’s approval | Countless donors support Toy for Joy’s mission to raise $150k | COVID-19 causes higher education to adapt | COVID-19 impacting local, national movie theaters | COVID–19 hits dog daycare industry, local businesses persevere | CSA farm share program offers season of fresh veggies | CTEC students preparing for business competition nationals | Cumberland Farms among those raising money for disabled vets | DA presents internet safety program for children | Dakin to host Barks and Brews at home | Daycare centers close to limit exposure to coronavirus, local centers react | Democrats in the 9th Hampden seek your vote | Democrats in the 9th Hampden seek your vote | Democrats vie for open Senate seat in Southwick, Hilltowns | Dempsey gathers local endorsements for state auditor run | Despite budget delay, lawmakers see opportunities ahead | Detailer cleans emergency vehicles | Detailer sanitizes police cruisers | Diehl defeats Doughty for Republican gubernatorial nomination | Diocese lays out distance learning plan and schedule | Discussions on return to in-person learning continue | Districts continue remote learning, schools to remain closed | Downing seeks to bring Western Mass. to governor’s office | Durant wins Worcester, Hampshire Senate District special election | E-ticketing expanding at Agawam, West Side varsity games | Early education outreach gets boost from state CFCE grant | Early voting kicks off in local communities | Eastern Equine Encephalitis threat present in Western Mass. | Educators awarded for excellence discuss love of teaching | Educators now eligible to register for COVID-19 vaccinations | Electric buses on their way after LPVEC gets federal grant | Endorsements come for democratic senate candidates | Enfield still in play as location for additional Connecticut casino | Entertainment offerings expand thanks to non-profit arts venues | Essential retailer works to stay safe while providing public with supplies | Eversource in process of assessing their natural gas services | Eversource to buy Columbia Gas following plea agreement | Expert talks part of local libraries’ Climate Week program | Exploring radicalization of the American right | Facing unemployment? Local experts offer advice on adjusting to new norm | Facing unemployment? Local experts offer advice on adjusting to new norm | Family honors loss through Toy for Joy | Farms receive funds for assistance with storm, frost damage | Fate of CASH Act stimulus bill is in the hands of Senate | Fields set for upcoming Agawam, West Springfield elections | Fire departments commit to share personnel | Fire education grants awarded to local municipalities | First Congressional District race reaches home stretch | Fishing Friends aims to provide children hobby, mentorship | FLN-MAR continues tradition of supporting Toy for Joy | Food Bank fills critical local role during pandemic | Food pantries prepare for busy holiday season | Former Mass. Governor announces presidential campaign | Foster Memorial Church to remember the anniversary of Parkland school shootings | Four legislative efforts could help improve regional economic development | Four Western Mass. nursing homes facing impending closure | Four young piano students win competition to play Carnegie Hall | Free canvases now available for community mosaic project | Free Comic Book Day returns to local comic shops on May 7 | Frigid fundraiser in Westfield to benefit Special Olympics | Funding awarded for affordable housing in South Hadley, Holyoke | Galvin encourages residents to fill out U.S. Census | Gaming Commission report: casino hasn’t hurt lottery sales | Gandara Center hosts necessities drive for quake-stricken Puerto Rico | General, CEO has 2 missions: defending U.S., hiring in Western Mass. | Gobi pledges to work with all rural communities | Gobi’s departure leaves Senate seat up for grabs | Golf courses were ready when governor eased restrictions | Governor Charlie Baker announces new COVID–19 restrictions | Governor’s Council race heats up after Hurley’s announcement | Grants allow towns to address areas vulnerable to climate change | Grants will aid Agawam, West Springfield traffic enforcement | Gratitude abounds for family, community on Thanksgiving | Greater Westfield supts. say MCAS change adds to pandemic stress | Group seeks to bring sports betting to lottery agents | Group supporting Big E vaccination site proposal grows | GSSSI warns of COVID-19 scams | Guided tours slated at museums, historical sites in 3 towns | Gulluni touts National Guard’s donation of TruNarc device | Hampden County Sheriff’s department partners with Toy for Joy | Hampden County Sheriff’s Office distributes toys to over 400 kids | Hampshire and Franklin County police, Northwestern DA’s office partner for 20th Drug Take Back Day | Healey administration tightens focus on human trafficking | Healey, Patriots team up with local schools | Healey’s mid-year budget cuts impact local towns | Health officials, schools prepare for lifted restrictions | Helpline for those who abuse opens in region | High-speed East-West Rail could be part of national network | High school graduation rates up around the region | Hilltowns elect officers, weather power outage on primary day | Law enforcement takes action against ‘Hollywood’ heroin | Holyoke and Chicopee host peaceful protests in support of Black Lives Matter movement | Holyoke Community College displays Gary Hallgren artwork | Holyoke motorcycle museum proposal in question | Holyoke native chosen as 2019 JFK Award winner | Holyoke, South Hadley, Granby fire departments to purchase equipment through grants | Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Parade 2018 | Holyoke, Westfield sites featured in series of historical mystery novels | Holyoke Catholic, Cathedral could be combined by 2016 | Holyoke, Westfield, Springfield sign community compact | House passes bill to name Rt. 20 the Medal of Honor Highway | Housing a critical issue for incoming Healey administration | Housing remains a concern for those aiding Afghan evacuees in the Pioneer Valley | How your community is addressing coronavirus | Humason proposal helps hunters transport guns | Hunger Action Month is time to help the Food Bank in its mission | I-391 included in Baker’s bridge funding announcement | Pioneer Valley businesses brace for impact from I-91 repairs | Updates announced for 91 construction projects | IMPACT: Abandoned mills continue to make impacts | IMPACT: East West passenger rail project chugs forward | IMPACT: Fares, convenience part of bus ridership lag | IMPACT: No longer niche: The cannabis market in Western Mass. experiences growing pains | IMPACT: Reform act creates difficulties for communities | IMPACT: Shared-use path work continues | IMPACT: Superintendents talk pressures, changes to job | IMPACT: Where are they now? | In first 100 days, Oliveira works on ‘equity’ for Western Massachusetts | In the pandemic, safety net expanded to meet food needs | Irish heritage celebrated | Iron Duke Brewing has its first win in court | Iron Duke, WestMass dispute terms of lease | Medical marijuana: Is it actually medicine? | Jacobs wins seat as District 8 member of Governor’s Council | Fundraiser to help Ludlow boy to get the van he needs | Jesse Lederman joins Markey’s Office as new regional director | Jewish Federation continues operations in temporary Holyoke home | Kos, Sarno speak at Knowledge Corridor forum | Large crowd gathers to celebrate Michael Ashe | Lawmakers hear testimony from dozens affected by pyrrhotite | Lawmakers work to pass wiretap carve out for evidence of abuse | League of Women Voters sponsors video contest | Legislation would prohibit abusers from collecting alimony from abused | Legislators at ERC5 breakfast warn of ‘choppier’ waters ahead | Legislators call for Western Mass. representation on SJC | Legislators host hearing on Medicare for All | Legislators insist for larger Soldiers Home | Legislators strongly debate the death penalty bill | Legislators urge more vaccination sites here | Lesser announces run for lieutenant governor | Lesser discusses economic impact of pandemic, $49 million loss | Lesser ends tenure in state Senate, stays mum on future plans | Lesser: Legislature is considering New Jersey’s sports betting law | Lesser sees House action on East-West rail as ‘positive’ | Lesser, Humason wrap up Senate re-election bids | Lesser secures manufacturing training funds | Lessers discuss mental health concerns during the pandemic | Librarians support book access laws, get few calls for bans | Lieutenant governor talks rural issues | Link to Libraries to celebrate at gala | Local bakeries offering unique ways to keep kids entertained | Local bakeries see increase in demand as weddings and parties return | Local colleges close campuses, shift to remote learning | Local colleges weigh in on vaccine requirements | Local creates online space for those new to Pioneer Valley | Local districts respond to extended school closures | Local drinking water systems will improve thanks to state program | Local economists, business discuss labor shortage | Local experts weigh in on how to talk to your kids about the coronavirus | Local Farmer Awards program reaches million dollar milestone | Local fire departments receive grants for safety equipment | Local firefighters recognized with awards | Local fitness studios navigate COVID-19 challenges | Local franchise’s cut out of state relief programs | Local high school hockey players win Hobey Baker award | Local jewelers see business boom after COVID–19 | Local lawmakers blame Congress for shelter crisis in Mass. | Local leaders discuss benefits of municipal broadband | Local legislators split on proposed tax amendment | Local non-profit working to increase access to local, fresh food | Local nonprofit, artist team for coloring book for foster families | Local nonprofits share in over $8 million in food access grants | Local officials discuss potential $1.5 billion education bill | Local officials react to proposed two-month sales tax holiday | Local organizations awarded funds for early education, childcare program renovations | Local organizations receive funding to continue substance abuse work | Local potter, coffee shop collaborate on unique wares | Local residents featured in new book collaboration of women’s stories | Local restaurant owners attend roundtable on extending COVID-19 provisions | Local restaurants prepare for return of outdoor dining | Local restaurateurs react to commonwealth’s new restrictions | Local stores prepare for unique holiday shopping season | Local tourist attractions plan return | Local towns awarded grant funds to fight climate change | Local district test scores remain above state averages | Locals sewing masks for medical professionals in need | Locals take to the streets to fund cancer research | Longmeadow, East Longmeadow compete in donations drive | Longmeadow, Wilbraham receive police equipment grants | Longmeadow, Wilbraham receive road safety grants for targeted enforcement | Looking at the past helps chart a plan for the region’s future | Loomis Communities in midst of capital improvement projects | Loophole Brewing sets up shop in Ludlow Mills | LPVEC sees benefit of sealing phones away during day | Ludlow and Belchertown 2023: a year in review | Ludlow and Belchertown see little change in voter turnouts | Ludlow, Belchertown do not anticipate impacts from state budget cuts | Ludlow, Belchertown get ready to host Memorial Day events | Ludlow, Belchertown police departments receive grants to improve road safety | Ludlow, Belchertown police hosting events to help families for holidays | Ludlow, Belchertown schools get ready for new school year | Lunches stay free for all students in upcoming school year | Magic for Maddie to turn loss into positive change | Mail-in, early voting will continue in Belchertown and Ludlow | Mail-in voting not too burdensome for Agawam, West Side clerks | Malt beverages bill is brewing through the state government | Cocchi proposes excise tax hike on marijuana | Markey leads resolution for stronger protections of school support staff | Martilli notes funding an issue in race against Neal | Mass. LGBT Chamber of Commerce expands into Western Mass. | Massachusetts shutters schools for remainder of 2019–2020 school year | Marijuana: the hardest legal drug to get? | MassDevelopment provides funding for independent living | Four local communities receive MassDevelopment grants | MassMutual Center could become field hospital during COVID–19 surge | McGovern wins Second Congressional District race | Median price for single-family home in Mass. at $400k | Medical marijuana: issues confront police | Mediums at Large to conduct readings at Abundant Wellness Center | Mental Health Association receives funding for sober housing in Holyoke, Springfield | MIAA approves plan for high school sports, ADs react | Monson, Palmer offer info on start of school | Monson, Palmer, Ware set to host Veterans Day events | Monson/Palmer edition year in review: stories that shaped the region | Morse accused of inappropriate relationships with students while teaching | Mosquitoes test positive in Western Mass. counties | Natural gas infrastructure discouraged under state order 20-80 | NDR Program for Agriculture now open for farmers | Neal continues questioning proposed tax reform | Neal, McGovern react to potential Congressional district shifts | Neal witnesses chaos at Capitol building | Neal/Martilli race didn’t draw same voters as 2020 | Neal’s request for tax returns has precedents | Need for special education services, staff evident post-pandemic | ‘Never off duty;’ Local firefighters recognized for heroism | New administration creates rural development director | New bill proposes study group for dirt road maintenance | New bill would make remote meetings a permanent option | New director wants more people aware of LPVEC’s efforts | National Night Out planned for Chicopee and Springfield | New survey shows people want east-west rail | ‘No surprises ... just a ton of voters.; local midterm election trends | Non-profit collects toiletries for those in need | Nonprofit offering grants to support foster families | Nonprofit River East changes brand identity to better reflect mission | Nonprofit’s walk to share hope, fight mental health stigma | Ocean State Job Lot launches annual program to support veterans | Officials elevate risk level for mosquito-borne diseases | Officials intend to fight proposed Leeds VA closure | Officials react to remote meeting extension | Older population impacted as budget cuts hit councils on aging | Oliveira wins state Senate seat representing 12 communities | Oliveira wins primary, Lesser concedes Lt. Gov. race | Organizations help dogs on their journey to being adopted | Out of the Darkness Walk to Fight Suicide set to take place in-person and virtually | Outreach, local advocate tapped to spread Go Red message | Palmer, Hardwick awarded conservation grants | Part 2: Candidates for state senate seat define positions | Partnership with VA would help Soldiers’ Home, says Barabani | Pastor takes on incumbent, calls himself ‘full spectrum conservative’ | Pathfinder Tech Career Night produces record turnout | Pathfinder Tech to implement new cellphone policy | People urged to verify before responding to potential fraud | Pioneer Valley Travel plots return | Planning your future? Give community colleges a second look | Playgroups come together to celebrate ‘Week of the Young Child’ | Police departments discuss reform issues and implementation | Police support body cams, but wary of ban on self-review | Pop-up testing days for protest-driven coronavirus transmission | Pope Francis High School exceeds its admissions goal for 2016-17 | “Presidential Alerts” to be sent to cell–phone users on Oct. 3 | Probate race features experienced choices | Professor explores radicalization of the American right | Program adds trains linking Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke and Springfield | Program allows transit passengers to read while they ride | Program to help young girls with social media coping | Progressives fall short of unseating incumbents | Proposed bill would outlaw use of wild animals for entertainment | Proposed state legislation mirrors calls for local change | Public, education officials condemn affirmative action ruling | Puppolo focuses effort on re-election to House | PVTA buses, paratransit fare-free through end of year | PVTA to increase trips for Ware-Palmer shuttle | PVTA to start a pilot express route between Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield | PVTA to update Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield routes | Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce welcomes its next CEO | Question one back on the ballot: updating right to repair­ | Rachel’s Table continues mission to provide food for those in need | Rachel’s Table partners with Food Bank of Western Mass. | Westfield State, Springfield schools partner for ‘Reach to Teach’ | Red Cross, local hospitals manage blood shortage | Redistricting lines may lead to confusion at polls, says clerk | Redistricting would mean changes for Agawam, West Side | Longmeadow shows skepticism regarding regional 911 system | Relic of St. Maximilian comes to Chicopee, Holyoke | Rep. Boldyga bills would legalize use of psychedelic drugs, plants | Report identifies challenges for rural schools | Report notes housing unit shortage across Pioneer Valley | Republican businessman enters race against Neal | Republican gubernatorial candidate Diehl connects with region | Residents urged to help food pantries with donations on May 13 | Resources for helping kids learn during school closures | Schools, restaurants react to Baker's restrictions | Retired Westfield educator finds a new passion in sailors’ basket craft | Ridership estimates still stumbling block to East-West rail | Roofing company enjoys success within its first year in area | Runners’ Hall of Fame to Celebrate third class of inductees | Russo plans to challenge Boldyga in Agawam-Hilltowns rep. district | Safety Equipment Grants awarded to fire departments | Saunders claims 7th Hampden District seat victory | Saunders reflects on first 100 days representing 7th Hampden | Schools closed through May 4, shopping guidelines in place | Area cities see marginal growth in state aid | Scottish festival donates to nonprofits after biggest year yet | Scouts plan Girl’s World education programs in Western Mass. | Search for foster families extends across Western Mass. | Sen. Velis attends national conference for opioid policy | Sen. Velis making national connections on mental health panel | Senate candidate's petition calls for public vote on driver licenses | Senate passes “Blue Envelope” bill to aid drivers with ASD | Western Massachusetts senators discuss their legislative agendas | Senior singers return to stage with free showtune concert | Sheriff’s Department partners with Toy for Joy once again | Sheriff’s candidates continue to address addiction | Sheriff’s Department receives state grant for opioid fight | Sheriff’s race heats up | Shopping malls build back stronger, fill storefronts | Significance of organ donations recognized in April | Single mom fueling a tribe of go-getters, one power bite at a time | Sister Mary Caritas remains thankful even after 100 years | Six east-west passenger rail options proposed by MassDOT | Small anti-pipeline victory: More evidence required from Eversource | Sports betting bill goes to the Massachusetts House for review | Sports betting gaining momentum | Springfield, Chicopee superintendents discuss mask mandate in schools | Springfield’s Boston Road VCA Animal Hospital to close | State distributes Fair Share funding to towns for road projects | State faces domestic migration losses, Springfield is a concern | State grants will help Ludlow, Belchertown with climate resiliency work | State hit problematic pedestrian safety milestone in 2022 | State homebound vaccination program launches with local help | State prioritizes return to in-person learning in the fall | State safety grants benefit local fire departments | State says bring elementary students back to school | State senate candidates discuss Hampden District challenges | State senators weigh in on police reform bill | Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield receive state housing funds | Staying home more prompts refreshes and re–dos | Strong turnouts for State Primary in spite of pandemic | Sullivan, Reichelt take mayoral elections | Summer droughts, watering bans may be new normal | Summer meals for children offered in Palmer and Ware | Super PAC adds wrinkle to lt. governor race | Superintendents ask lawmakers to ease special education costs for all | South Hadley, Granby Superintendents discuss mask mandate in schools | Taking stock in election results around Western Massachusetts | Tapestry Health hosting online Narcan trainings | Teachers nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Award | Teachers unions vote no confidence in education commish | Technology and staff provide school safety, superintendents say | Test scores show improvements, areas for growth for Westfield, West Springfield and Agawam | The 'American Pickers' look for leads in Massachusetts | The rollout of 988 makes getting help easier to remember | Thinking about being tested for coronavirus? Here’s one reporter’s firsthand experience | Thinking about boating or swimming? Check the water quality | Thoughtless disposal of nip bottles creates problems | Three candidates vying for 3rd Hampden County seat | Tips and tricks for getting the best results when using Instacart | Towns and cities name 2024 colleens | Towns and residents experiencing trash troubles with Republic Services | Towns awarded Fair Share Amendment funds | Towns get creative with public holiday celebrations | Towns identify options to regionalize services | Towns in western Hampden County to swap legislators in redistricting plan | Towns look at next steps after retirement board ‘mismanagement’ | Towns navigate how to vaccinate seniors as phase two arrives | Towns see spike in mail-in ballots, prepare for early voting | Towns see value in internet option with Whip City Fiber | Towns to observe Memorial Day with parades and ceremonies | Toy for Joy aims to raise funds to serve 1,500 local families | Toy for Joy donations continue to pour in past holiday | Toy for Joy gifts books to thousands of children annually | Traffic congestion seen as threat to economic development | Two candidates vying for 3rd Hampden seat | Two years on, COVID-19 still taking a toll in Agawam, West Side | UMass poll gives Healey early advantage for governor | Under the tree: toy shopping this holiday season | United Way of Pioneer Valley distributes holiday meals | Utilities costs are skyrocketing, here is what you can do about it | Valley Flyer looks to increase ridership | Valley Press Club honors Ray Hershel for lifetime of news | ValleyBike settles into winter riding, plans new locations for near future | Valley garden and pond tour slated for July | Vaping ban raises concerns for businesses, consumers | Velis and Cain answer question about working with the opposing party | Velis chairs committee on mental health, substance use | Velis promises common sense approach in Senate | Velis secures increased funding for Holyoke Soldiers’ Home | Velis selected to chair Veteran and Federal Affairs Committee | Velis sweeps nine-town district to win reelection to state Senate | Velis to participate in Opioid Policy Fellows Program | Velis touts bill to support military families, aid Barnes air base | Veteran groups team up to aid Gold Star family | Veterans’ home bill passes with amendment from Rep. Carey | Veterans’ Home moving forward, behavioral health jobs go vacant | Virtual Daffodil Run | Ware and Warren awarded state grant funds for parks projects | Warren thrills audience with announcement about possible presidential bid | Welch focuses on healthcare reform bill | Western Mass. brewers collaborate to support local charities | Western Mass. company hoping to expand healthcare access | Western Mass. delegation announces $7.5M for storm response | Western Mass. Golf Hall of Fame to induct five new members | Western Mass residents walk for a cure in the Jimmy Fund Walk | Western Massachusetts Passenger Rail Commission begins meetings | Western Massachusetts towns benefit from Gap Energy Grant funds | Westfield, Southwick residents taking advantage of mail-in voting option | Westfield, Southwick TV managers capture Artemis launch live | Westover to receive $42 million for funding of new hangar | White Lion Brewing to open second location in Amherst | Women’s Fund shares results of 2023 gender equity report | WooSox, Yard Goats ready for Opening Day | Year in review: 2015’s memorable moments | Youngsters eager for Westfield-West Springfield Elks gift | Shared past of area towns explored through History on the Go | 15th season for Bright Nights | 2008 has been quite a year for communities | 2010 elections yield surprises | 2013 in review: Area faces changes, challenges | Districts post encouraging MCAS marks | 2014 saw return of traditions and new beginnings | 2014: Fresh starts, old problems resolved | 2014 prepares area for significant changes | A look back at top town news | Angelides calls for reform | Angelides looks past voter fraud toward Sept. 6 primary | Angelides, Villamaino square off for state representative once again | Angels take flight in Springfield April 28 | Annual golf tournament to raise funds for Bay Path athletic teams | Annual Kalinka Russian Festival set for June 13 | Annual Letter Carriers' food drive taking place May 8 | Appalachian Mountain Club to host Family Fun Week Aug. 6 to 9 | A pre-school peek | Area cities, towns get extra education funds | Area koi ponds will be on display through tour | Area nonprofit group helps fund adoption process | Area still cleaning up after Nor'easter | Ashe, Puppolo set sights on future of districts | Ashe releases 2009 stats on inmate education and vocational training | Ashe's legislation to aid disaster recovery | Ashe wins Second Hampden District seat | Auditions for scholarship string program for young area musicians | Audubon issues annual legislative report card | Bay Path students honor King with day of service | Bay State consumers enticed to use fireworks illegally | Bay State in top tier of business-friendly states | Benefit to help baby with retinoblastoma | Berkshire Bank scholarship winner | Bikers get insurance refunds | Russell defends 2011 bankruptcy decision | Lesser bows out of debate, Boronski addresses marital status | Brad Shepard continues broadcasting online | Brown, Baker greet supporters in Western Massachusetts | Budget cuts threaten regional library system | Budget gaps to be filled statewide | Buoniconti, Coakley, Bennett work to curb witness, victim intimidation | Buoniconti, Mastroianni, Goodhines join crowded district attorney race | Buoniconti, Mastroianni differ on qualities needed by new DA | Cahill talks issues in Western Mass | Calculator to help people choose local, healthy foods | Candaras details issues in Register of Probate campaign | Candidacy offers voters 'real choice' | Candidates introduce themselves at forum | Candidates offer choices in state Senate race | Casino legislation provides role for city councils | Cathedral High deals with insurance woes | Celebrating 100 years of helping boys learn, grow through scouting | Challengers point to source of Neal's funds | Charges are flying between senatorial campaigns | Charter, WGGB deal to keep ABC, FOX programming | Springfield, Holyoke to address spaces under interstate highways | Cities near casinos start talking to developers | Cities pan for casino gold | Cities, towns never forget 9/11 | Cities, towns prepare to celebrate July Fourth | Coakley, Buoniconti lobby for victims' rights | Coalition for Occupational Safety releases annual report on job-related deaths | Cocchi makes early bid for sheriff | Communities cope with Chapter 90 cuts | Communities pay a price for Afghan war | Communities to get more state aid | Communities welcome the holidays | Congressional race nears conclusion | Connecticut River bacteria monitoring begins fifth season | Council seeks former Girl Scouts for Alumnae Association | Couple vying for dream wedding despite troubled times | DA candidates piling up endorsements | Longmeadow, East Longmeadow high schools ranked among tops in the country | Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society opens new spay/neuter clinic | Decreasing crime rates creating a safer Valley | Democrats join crowded race for State Senate | DESE announces PARCC exam pilot schools | Despite quake, local band plays on in Japan | Developer sees competition from other states | Diocese to cease its contributions to lay employees' pensions | Districts score well above MCAS state averages | Dozens of programs will be affected by cuts | East Longmeadow, Longmeadow among best high schools in the United States, says Newsweek | East Longmeadow, Springfield law enforcement honored | East Longmeadow, Wilbraham celebrate Veterans' Day | Economy in Western Mass. a good news/bad news situation | Economy still in flux as holidays approach | Electric companies’ critics sound off | Employment picture improves in Commonwealth | ESP needed to figure out budgets | Evan Falchuk makes bid for governor as independent | Familiar faces to take office in January | Farmer's Almanac predicts dry winter | Farmers' markets sprout up for summer | Farm stand provides income for couple | Female music group to celebrate first EP release at Iron Horse | First Time Father Project creates forum for proud papas | Fleitman hopes for chance to challenge Neal | Food drive to 'Stamp Out Hunger' | Food programs see great need | Forever in our Hearts to raise money for Shriner's hospital | Franco promises to bring balance to Governor's Council | Franco: ‘Entrenched politicians’ have directed us in the wrong direction | Free entertainment 'pops' up throughout the Valley | Future of Westover, Barnes is tied to commercial use | Goodwill looks to achieve 500,000 pound goal | Goodwill, Salvation Army issue plea for clothing | Governor wants to hear citizens' views | Gowns needed for 'Belle of the Ball' event | Graduation rates in the region show improvement | Grant boosts manufacturing | Grants aid local programs | Group makes plans for hill town youth center | Gulluni tops crowded field for Hampden County DA | Hampden, East Longmeadow work toward regionalization of IT | Hampden, Longmeadow state cases to MGC | Hampden, Wilbraham weigh impacts of Springfield, Palmer casinos | happywastelandbegi | Harrington pledges to make state more business friendly | Harsh weather holding up maple sugar production | Help your mail carrier stamp out hunger on May 9 | Happy Wasteland begins production of feature film in Pioneer Valley | Holiday outing to benefit Toys for Tots, Homeless Cat Project | Holyoke out again of casinos, Eastern States dives in | Humason wins full 2nd Hampden/Hampshire term | Hungry Hill native 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  • Two-plus years of work pays off for Cocchi campaign
  • Two-plus years of work pays off for Cocchi campaign

    Date: 9/15/2016

    News Analysis

    GREATER SPRINGFIELD – The Democratic primary for the Hampden County Sheriff’s race had a narrative that was compelling to say the least: one veteran and current elected official with no corrections experience pitted against another elected official with some correctional experience and a longtime corrections officer who was Sheriff’s Mike Ashe’s hand-picked successor but was a political neophyte.

    While some people might say the political organization Mike Ashe has built over his 42 years in office was a powerful aid for Nick Cocchi in overcoming both Governor Councilor Michael Albano and Springfield City Councilor Thomas Ashe, the connection to the sheriff was at least in theory both a plus and a minus.

    Cocchi had to show he was his own man, while still acknowledging his debt to Mike Ashe. This was, of course, not the easiest thing to do as Ashe, as beloved and accomplished as he is, does have a few chinks in his armor, which this race certainly brought out.

    Cocchi started early – more than two years ago – to build his name recognition through a very intensive traditional campaign. That’s not to say, he and his team didn’t use social media, but it was clear that Cocchi’s advisors thought having a solid ground game and organization was the best route to success.

    That traditional approach to building a countywide organization worked well for Cocchi, the candidate with the least amount of name recognition at first.

    It’s obvious with the decisive results, Cocchi successfully overcame the issue of name recognition and that his message of continuing jail management with a corrections professional resonated with the majority of voters.

    The traditional approach was also taken by Thomas Ashe – no relation to the sheriff as Mike Ashe pointed out in television commercials – who went door-to-door, used lawn signs and had the support of the Springfield political establishment. Mayor Domenic Sarno, a long out-spoken ally of Sheriff Mike Ashe – was a key figure in the Ashe campaign, as was Springfield City Council President Michael Fenton.

    This must have been difficult for Sarno, who has long expressed his admiration and support for Sheriff Ashe, but clearly Sarno wanted to support Tom Ashe, who has long been an ally to him on the City Council.

    Some observers believed the coalition of the many Springfield officials would give Tom Ashe a needed edge for what was seen as a late start into the race. Ashe quickly developed his speaking point the he alone had both experience in government and corrections.

    After rumors swirled for months that Albano was going to enter the race, the incumbent Governor’s Councilor made the announcement that he was going to run for sheriff. His platform set the tone for his campaign strategy: he announced through social media.

    Through his press releases and videos, Albano emphasized his career in probations and his involvement with the police as a former Springfield mayor. While his fellow candidates did not hammer him as much as one might expect on his controversial time as mayor – his administration was marked with investigations and the fact the city was so far in debt that Gov. Mitt Romney and the Legislature brought in a Finance Control Board to run Springfield – Albano acknowledged his critics through his own “Mean Tweets” videos.

    Albano took potshots at Mike Ashe, Cocchi’s political consultant Anthony Cignoli and this reporter, among others, through social media. His campaign was certainly not traditional. He also poured money into substantial television buys.

    On Election Day, Albano spoke to Reminder Publications about his decision to craft a campaign without the traditional elements one usually expects. He noted that he did not have lawn signs and did not do any standouts. He did not go door-to-door or have an election night event.

    Albano even released a video – one of many – during the campaign stating he had never used lawn signs. He said he thought they are a waste of money and compared the cost of the signs to advertising on Facebook. For the cost of a single sign, he explained, “With a push of a button, I can reach 2,000 to 3,000 people.”

    Albano said that both voters and the media have changed. He believes it’s “almost disrespectful” to think someone would decide to vote for a candidate based on seeing that person wave a sign at a street corner. Voters decided their support based on positions and issues, he added, rather than “waving signs.”

    Albano did attend every debate and candidate forum for the race and said he enjoyed the interaction among the candidates and the public.

    A run for office in the future was not among the plans he said he has. Albano said he is considering looking at a nonprofit to aid in the opioid epidemic and wants to complete a book he has started that deals with “politics, policy and the FBI.”

    It may be unfair to say the results of the election were a test of Albano’s campaign theories. Perhaps a candidate with a less controversial past or edgier style would have fared better with a campaign based on social media.

    For the two candidates with far less corrections experience than Cocchi, the opioid crisis became their centerpiece. Ashe presented the idea of using space at the jail for treatment beds for addicts who had not been incarcerated, while Albano said he would not use the jail for that purpose but as sheriff he would work to increase the number of treatment beds.

    Cocchi kept emphasizing what is within the sheriff’s legal responsibility: providing treatment to inmates with substance abuse problems.

    On Election Night, Ashe said that he had no regrets for his campaign and was thankful for the people who supported him. He said his campaign volunteers “made a yeoman’s effort to get the message out and made every dollar count.”

    He said, “I will support his [Cocchi’s] efforts moving forward” and added he has “no negative feelings toward anyone in the race.”

    Cocchi’s Election Night celebration was simply a joyous party. Conducted at the Lusitano Club in Ludlow, the hall was jammed with supporters and elected officials. Mike Ashe seemed overjoyed, playfully dancing and striking a boxer’s poise as he worked his way through the well-wishers.  He said to the crowd, “We have a new sheriff in town,” and then added the sheriff has to be “solid, credible, has to have passion.”

    He concluded, “Nick Cocchi, that’s the guy.”

    Cocchi said to this reporter as he greeted supporters that his primary victory was the “culmination of two and a half years of work by volunteers.” He added, “It makes me feel good that the voting public knows how important the work that we do [at the jail].”

    Cocchi will be facing his colleague at the jail Independent James Gill in the final election on Nov. 8 as well as Republican John Comerford. He said his efforts to become the next sheriff are only “half-over.”



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