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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  • Schools, restaurants react to Baker's restrictions
  • Schools, restaurants react to Baker's restrictions

    Date: 3/15/2020

    WESTERN MASS. – On the evening of March 15 Governor Charlie Baker hosted a press conference where he announced a new set of sweeping measures the state would be taking to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

    Included in the statewide measures were the mandatory closing of all public and private schools for three weeks, limiting gatherings to no more than 25 people and the prohibition of on-site food and beverage consumption at restaurants and bars for three weeks. All orders went into effect beginning March 17 and will continue until April 6. 

    While a large number of schools in the Lower Pioneer Valley had announced two-week closures on March 13, Baker’s three-week suspension extended the closures by a full week. During the conference, Baker repeatedly asked families not to treat the closure as an “early summer vacation,” but instead to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing if they needed to go out. While pre-school and childcare services were not suspended, the order strongly urges such providers to observe guidelines issued by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

    Baker cited the “rapid steps” as ways “to protect the health and safety” of Massachusetts residents and “to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” The measures, he said, “ensure residents can still access key state services while taking necessary precautions…”

    While restaurants and bars would not be allowed to provide on-site offerings during the measure, they will still be able to complete take-out and delivery orders. However, the order states that the establishment must “follow the social distancing protocols set forth in the Department of Public Health guidance.”

    The restrictions on gatherings include fitness centers, private clubs, conference rooms, theatres, faith-based events, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals, community events, civic events, stadiums and any confined indoor or outdoor space. 

    As of March 15, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had risen to 164, including Hampden County’s first confirmed case.

    The Reminder Publishing staff reached out to school districts and local restaurants in the area that would be impacted by the new measures to find out what steps they were taking during the three-week period. Many restaurants were unsure of what they would do, and advised us to contact them on March 16 when they would have a more solid plan. Some restaurants, however, were able to comment.


    The Agawam School District announced they would be closing for two weeks on March 13, but since hearing Baker’s order they have extended their closing to meet the three-week requirement set forth by the state. Agawam Superintendent Steven Lemanski told Reminder Publishing the district was “working on supplying students with a connective to school,” and would have “a better idea” on what that meant by the end of the day on March 16. At the time of press, the district had not yet finalized a plan for students’ education throughout the closure.

    When discussing the closure decision made on March 13, West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt said, “Primary prevention comes into play in the pre-disease phase. It is an important step to take before people or the community are exposed. Intervention at this phase will hopefully prevent our students, teachers, and staff from ever becoming infected.”

     Reichelt confirmed that plans were being developed to provide breakfast and lunch to families that rely on this service during the school year.

    “This is unchartered waters that we’re in,” said Longmeadow Public Schools Superintendent Marty O’Shea. He said the district is moving forward with plans that had been outlined when the decision was made on March 13 to close school districts served by the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative for a period of two weeks. With the governor’s order that all schools in the state be closed until April 7, O’Shea said, “Our expectations remain the same.”

    O’Shea said that while the schools are closed, custodians will continue to report to work to clean and sanitize the schools. He said they would even have a chance to get to some tasks that are usually put on the back burner during the school year.

    Understanding that the COVID-19 outbreak may make students anxious, O’Shea said that counselors are putting together resources for families on how to talk to their kids about the coronavirus. They are also continuing to reach out to students whom they normally serve.­

    Though Reminder Publishing did not receive comment from either the Hampden Wilbraham Regional School District (HWRSD) or East Longmeadow Public Schools district on Baker’s latest announcement by press time, both districts had previously made the decision to close schools for two weeks.

    Prior to Baker’s latest round of restrictions, on March 13, East Longmeadow Public Schools Superintendent Gordon Smith explained that they are working with the Board of Health, and that the decision to close is “really out of prevention.” He said, “It kept coming back to what is our responsibility at this step?”

    Continuing, Smith shared that they have received guidance from the state. “They gave us scenarios and ways to think about it, but it ended up being a local decision.”

    The district has started to look at “remote or continuous learning,” as Smith said they are “well equipped” to use Google Classroom in the district. “We’re always concerned about the students,” he said, adding that they’re doing outreach to put together options for students who rely on free or reduced lunch and breakfast.

    Also on March 13 prior to the three-week closure announcement, HWRSD Superintendent Al Ganem explained that in the coming days the district would be deciding what to do in terms of distance learning.


    Owner Bobby Barkett of Longmeadow restaurant, The Kitchen, explained that during his phone call with Reminder Publishing he was working on writing a note to patrons, explaining the situation and how the business was planning to “retool.” 

    “I have no plans of closing [The Kitchen,] I’m tooled to do this – thank god we have a very robust takeout menu, but I can’t serve those 40 seats [in the restaurant.] I do have to scale down, unfortunately,” Barkett explained. He continued to state that they will continue to serve at takeout capacity, and that the restaurant is asking for support as “best [residents] can.”

    When asked how he felt about the movement that has been heavily discussed on social media recommending that people buy gift certificates to restaurants, even if they don’t plan on using it for weeks, Barkett thought that it was “very helpful” and that it would help to “bridge the gap.”

    “They get the value if they buy [the gift card] in advance, and we have some working capital to get us through. We’re all trying to hold on and get through these times,” Barkett said. “It’s tough for the small businesses, very tough.”

    Barkett explained that The Kitchen specializes in making people feel at ease. Earlier in the day, he noted, the news was on in their restaurant on the T.V. A customer asked to change the channel to a Red Sox classics special that showed games of only the Red Sox winning. He noted that people “started to feel better.”

    “We want [customers] to feel good when they’re here. We’re comfort food,” he said.

    Continuing, Barkett explained that he serves a “crazy amount” of pancakes to go, and that he thinks that selling comfort foods such as pancakes, burgers, milkshakes, deli sandwiches and more will aid in helping people feel comforted during uncertain times.

    Barkett reiterated that he has “no intention” of closing The Kitchen during this time, and hopes that people will continue to order takeout.

    “Lord knows what’s going to happen with this, it’s going to be a big domino effect. People are going to have to tighten their belts,” he said, closing, “We have comfort food and we want people to feel comforted.” 

    The Kitchen is located at 791 Williams St. in Longmeadow, and can be reached at 754–3770.

    Owner Bill Collins of East Longmeadow restaurant, Center Square Grill, explained to Reminder Publishing within an hour after Baker made his announcement that all local restaurants and business owners are “all in this together” and that “there is strength in numbers to weather the storm.”

    “As I looked at this pandemic spreading and all of the store shelves emptying I could see this coming in the near future, that closure was probably going to be a definite, not a maybe. For me, I said, ‘So what can I do?’” Collins explained, “I called up my buddy Peter and we brainstormed some ideas.”

    The result of the conversation turned into his idea of how locals can support their favorite businesses during this time of uncertainty. He said that he has spoken with eight to 10 local restaurants that, when combined, employ over 2,000 people in Western Massachusetts. Noting that “taking care of our employees is our number one priority,” Collins shared. 

    He explained that the restaurants would release a memo explaining that first, they appreciate the support that the local communities have given them over the years. From there, he said they would explain that this is a “critical time for [the restaurants] where we really need [support].”

    Collins said that each of the restaurants involved will be offering gift cards for sale, and for every $100 spent, they will give the purchaser an additional $20. 

    “We will use proceeds to pay our staff in short term closure. This is an investment in your favorite local restaurants, which will certainly be opening after the closure is lifted, to help sustain operations of hourly employees,” Collins said.

    “We’re all in uncharted territory – we’re all in uncertain times,” Collins noted, continuing, “All business owners are bleeding together here. We need to find a way to figure out how we’re going to sustain.”

    Collins shared that Center Square Grill employs 95 people, and that he is “committed to not have [his] employees starve.” 

    “This is an interesting time, and it’s my responsibility as a business owner to take care of the families that depend on me. I’m trying to get creative to do anything that will accomplish that mission,” Collins said.

    While Collins said that he had not made a final decision on whether or not Center Square Grill would completely close for the few weeks or try to bolster their to–go offerings, he did reiterate that his “main goal is to get his employees to work so everyone earns a wage.”

    “We’re all in this together, you know? We’re a big part of the community, and for us, we want to do everything the best we can do to support our employees, the community, and come out of this a stronger operation than we went into it. I believe we will and that our community will,” Collins closed.

    Center Square Grill is located at 84 Center Sq. in East Longmeadow, and can be reached at 525–0055.

    Adam Field, owner of Fieldcrest Brewing Company in Wilbraham said the order from Baker is “certainly not ideal for us. We generate pretty much all of our sales in-house.” Field employs five people in his brewery at 2343 Boston Rd. He said they would still be selling growlers, containers used to sell take-out draft beer during the restricted period.

     “I feel like we will be able to get by for the couple weeks of this,” Field said. Fieldcrest Brewing Company can be reached at 596–3632.

    Dan O’Connell, owner of Wilbraham’s Blue Elephant Restaurant was less optimistic.

    “If it’s for two to four weeks we should be okay, but if it’s longer than that it’ll be tough,” O’Connell told Reminder Publishing. He said the restriction will deeply impact his business.

    “My overhead expenses are almost $40,000 a month,” he said, and while the restaurant does a lot of take-out business, he said it would not be enough to make up for the loss of on-site service.

    “We’ve been really hands-on in keeping the place clean. [People] shouldn’t be afraid of it, but I understand,” O’Connell said, adding that the restaurant will hand take-out orders to people with as little interaction as possible to make them more comfortable.

    O’Connell, who employs 10 people, said he will do his best to keep them working.

    “We’re Americans, you know?” O’Connell said. “We’ll do what we got to do to get through this.”

    Blue Elephant is located at 2000 Boston Rd. in Wilbraham, and can be reached at 543-1500.

    Unlike many businesses that will continue take-out service throughout the restriction, Reid’s Corner, a breakfast restaurant in Hampden will have to close down completely.

    “Breakfast is not a very popular take out meal with patrons,” said owner B.J. Reid. He said that he has let his 18 employees know that they will be closed for the duration.

    “My concern is not my business, it is my employees. Without them, I don’t have a business. They and all the hourly employees in Massachusetts are the ones who will suffer,” Reid said. “I have told them I will do everything I can to help them financially during the closure.” He added. “The restaurant will survive no matter how long they keep me closed. The state can tell me to temporarily shutter, but they won’t drive me out of business.”

    Reid’s Corner is located at 20 E. Longmeadow Rd. in Hampden, and can be reached at 566-8286.

    Peter Kantos, co-owner of The Tavern in Westfield, said there was a great deal of uncertainty for not only himself but all restaurateurs.

    “Nobody’s prepared for this,” he said. “I just don’t know what’s going to happen yet. I’ve been doing this all my life and no one has ever had to go through something like this before.”

    Kantos said The Tavern would remain open for takeout and the restaurant would also be adding delivery to the city of Westfield, something that has never been offered before.

    “We’re going to do what we can, but honestly, I’m going to have to cut back on my staff and this is going to be difficult for many people,” he said.

    The Tavern is located at 2 Broad St., and can be reached at 562-0335. 

    Springfield’s Hot Oven Cookies explained in a post on their Instagram account that their plan is to focus on “spreading peace, joy, and happiness to our community by ‘sharing the cookie love through the comfort of a cookie,’ but in a safe manner.”

    The bakery continued to explain that going forward, they will only take orders on their pre–order and checkout page on their website at, which will be for curbside or takeout pickup orders. If someone is unable to pickup, Hot Oven Cookies said they would deliver locally in Springfield.

    "We, along with so many other small businesses are trying our very best to protect our Cookie Cravers, keep jobs, stay in business, and serve our greater community,” they closed.

    Hot Oven Cookies is located at 1597 Main St. in Springfield. Orders can be placed at Individuals can call the storefront with questions at 889–4099.

    Arturas Ribinskas, owner of Crepes Tea House in West Springfield and Southwick, said he’d been on the phone with his management team for hours after learning of Baker’s restrictions around restaurants. He said, “obviously it’s not good news” and called Baker’s announcement “shocking news.”

    First and foremost Ribinskas said he was worried as “a lot of employees rely on the salary.” And while he emphasized that their priority was that they “want healthy people,” he was also concerned as he could not “pay full salaries.”

    While his team had been cleaning diligently for weeks, he said the virus had already hurt his business significantly. “We lost like 50 percent of our business in the past week,” Ribinskas said. Throughout the three-week period, he said the restaurant was hoping to be “more aggressive on delivery and takeout,” and was thinking about offering a discount for those who ordered during that time.

    He added that they were also “talking about taking that time off to do renovations,” but didn’t know if that was possible as they would need money to do so. Ribinskas said delivery and takeout were not new to them as they have menus online and had “already been working tightly with GrubHub, DoorDash and Uber Eats.”

    Despite the difficult times, Ribinskas is remaining positive and said “We will be creative to keep us alive, to not spread the disease.” He added, “We’re hoping people will take out [and] drive to pick up food. It’s not like it’s a ban for driving.”

    Ribinskas said he’s hoping to change the perception that take-out and delivery is just made up of pizza, and continue to serve the communities of Southwick and West Springfield.

    Ultimately, he said, “If we’re going to miss a couple of credit payments, it is what it is. We’ll catch up in a month or so.” In the “near future,” Ribinskas said he hopes to offer “some unemployment pay to employees.”

    Crepes Tea House is located at 261 Union St. in West Springfield and 157 Feeding Hills Rd. in Southwick. The menu can be found online at Gift cards can also be purchased online to be used at a later date.

    Jerry Moccia, the sole proprietor at b’Napoli, hadn’t begun to think about how long his business could stay afloat without being open to the public for food and drink.

    “My main concern as an owner is how can I take care of my staff,” Moccia said. “What can we do and how can we help them?”

    Moccia employs about 47 people between his sit-down Italian restaurant, b’Napoli, located at 185 Elm St., West Springfield, and the delivery-based Bella Napoli Pizzeria and Catering. He told Reminder Publishing that he was coming up with ways to keep his employees working, including expanding his pizzeria from six days to seven and having his staff clean the restaurant and do paperwork.

    JJ’s Soft Serve also announced they would be closing their dine-in area and would only be serving food for takeout on their serving side. JJ’s, located at 336-338 North Westfield St. in Feeding Hills, said they would continue to do phone orders while the governor’s ban was in place. Their menu can be found online at and orders can be placed by calling 209-9832.

    Also in Feeding Hills, Partners Restaurant on 485 Springfield St, announced their intention to continue serving the community and providing for their staff. In a statement released on Facebook they said, “Our goal is to still be able to provide for our community as well as keeping our valued staff employed.”

    They announced they, too, would be complying by Baker’s order and shift to a take-out only model, “where we can provide affordable meals providing curbside service.” They said for the time being the restaurant would be offering a limited to-go menu that customers would be able to order from seven days a week. The statement read, “We are going to offer prepared meals for dinner for you and your families, as well as many of your favorite breakfast and lunch meals.”

    Additionally, the restaurant said they would be looking into delivery options for those who are unable to leave their homes. All of these changes, they were hoping would begin on March 17, the first day Baker’s order went into effect. They promised customers that the new menu would be posted to their website at

    Another way customers could help the restaurant during the difficult times, they said, was to buy a gift certificate. Gift certificates bought during the restaurant’s closure will only be able to be used after they reopen. Additionally, any $25 gift card bought during this time will include a free $5 gift card. The restaurant can be reached at 786-0975.

    Reichelt urged West Springfield residents to order take-out to support local restaurants. He noted that calling the businesses directly will allow restaurants to receive the total amount on the bill, rather than share it with a service such as DoorDash or GrubHub.

    “It’s our 40th anniversary. I knew it was going to be a special year, but I didn’t know it was going to be this kind of special,” joked Rick Grimaldi, owner of the Summer House, located at 552 College Hwy., Southwick.

    Speaking more seriously, he said the new regulations posed tremendous challenges, but the plan was to remain open for takeout. “It’s going to affect us greatly. I’m thankful we are not in the busiest part of the year for us yet, but we’re getting there.”

    He added, “We’re lucky that we do a large takeout business and if the weather turns warm, our dairy options are mostly takeout as well.”

    The Summer House will maintain its regular hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily as long as it was financially viable and safe to do so from a public health standpoint, but staffing levels will be need to be reduced, Grimaldi admitted.

    As a member of numerous restaurant organizations, he said he has been flooded with emails with suggestions on how to weather the restrictions.

    “It’s a very fluid situation and everybody is finding a way through their own unique circumstances,” he said.

    Grimaldi added he had yet to hear from local health officials, which may impact decisions moving forward.

    “This is a very unique situation,”?he said. “Usually these things start at the federal and state level and work their way down. I wouldn’t ve shocked if we did get a visit in the near future.”

    Carm’s Restaurant and Deli at 241 Route 20 in Chester, which hosted its grand opening on Jan. 27 and serves breakfast and lunch, is planning to offer takeout. Owners Erin Patrick and Aaron Allen are still formulating the full plan, and will have an announcement coming soon.

    The Russell Inn, located at 65 Westfield Road in Russell, indicated they would also remain open to provide takeout service.

    “The Peluso family has taken pride serving great Italian/American food to the hilltowns since 1987,” the restaurant’s statement said. “Take out & delivery will not be affected. Please come and support us as well as other restaurants during this hard time.”

    The Russell Inn can be reached at 862-3608. Their website, including menu is

    Karen Anderson from Tucker’s Restaurant said it would also turn exclusively to takeout Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and would also offer delivery on a limited basis. The regular menu will include daily specials. Typically closed on Sunday and Monday in order to host functions, the business will remain shuttered on those days.

    “Functions are a big part of our business,” Anderson said. “We are going to try to reschedule as many as we can and hopefully we will be able to find another date that works for people.”

    Anderson added she sees a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the entire situation and expressed concern over how it would impact employees.

    “I’d imagine we may have to cut some employees,”?she said. “We’ll have to see how it all starts off and move from there. Who knows, maybe it will be booming.”

    She added it has been difficult receiving guidance in preparation for these changes. “State departments are closed [March 16 and 17]. I tried to make some calls and got automated messages.”

    Tucker’s Restaurant is located at 625 College Hwy, Southwick. They can be reached at 569-0120. Their menu can be accessed online at



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