Fall is a great time to plant trees. Many nurseries offer discounts so that they do not have to overwinter trees. The cooler weather means the soil stays moist longer and planting trees in the fall means they don't undergo as much of a transplant shock as in the late spring/summer.

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AMESBURY – Amesbury Educational Foundation Inc. has honored staff members for their “grassroots initiative” for six years, but 2020 has challenged teachers more than ever.

BOSTON — Voting rights advocates are urging communities to install more drop boxes to collect vote-by-mail ballots sent ahead of the November election, and the state's top election official is pledging to pick up the tab.

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SALISBURY — A Rabbit Road man who was the focus of an hours-long police standoff in December pleaded guilty to illegal gun charges Friday in Newburyport District Court and was sentenced to two years in jail. 

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SALISBURY — Resident-only beach parking has long been a hot topic in town. Thanks to a South End resident, homeowners will have a chance to give a new program the up or down vote next month.

BOSTON — Drinking water systems will be required to remove contamination from "forever chemicals" under new statewide rules that go into effect next month.

NEWBURYPORT — The Paula Estey Gallery, A Center for Art & Activism, will host a creative poetry performance Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. by artists from Elevated Thought of Lawrence.

NEWBURYPORT — St. Paul's Episcopal Church will sponsor a fundraising pizza party at Flatbread in Amesbury on Oct. 6 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Dennis Condry was born in Newburyport in 1794. At an early age he made several voyages to the West Indies as an ordinary seaman. In 1821 he was admitted to membership in the Newburyport Marine Society and was captain of the ship Potomac built in Salisbury for William Bartlet of Newburyport. …

NEWBURYPORT  – The executive director of C-10, the organization that monitors the Seabrook nuclear power plant, will be a featured guest on Saturday's Local Pulse internet radio broadcast. 

Like many other events, an annual John Lennon tribute concert that takes place in his adopted city of New York on his Oct. 9 birthday has been forced online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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BOSTON -- In what she described as the first case in the country involving criminal charges linked to long-term care facility deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday that two top leaders at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home will be charged for their role in a fatal outbreak there.

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NEWBURYPORT — City officials and other community leaders will send the message that “Hate Has No Port” in the city through a new video that is in the works.

NEWBURYPORT — Several residents encouraged the City Council on Wednesday to vote against the proposed fiscal 2021 budget next week, expressing the need for a full reopening plan and list of school expenses.

NEWBURYPORT – A North Andover man was ordered by a judge to stay away from his cousin after local police say he launched an unprovoked attack in early July that left the victim battered and bloody. 

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NEWBURYPORT – A lawyer for Thomas Bradbury, a Strong Street man charged with attacking a 70-year-old acquaintance with a knife in February, told a judge his client would like to resolve the charge against him as soon as next week. 

AMESBURY — In a letter sent Thursday, Mayor Kassandra Gove let the state education commissioner know the city’s schools are well-prepared to welcome students back to the classroom when the proper time comes.

Hot lunch anyone? In September 1960, Newburyport school Superintendent Rupert Nock told the School Committee that the school lunch program had lost money for three years. A nine-cent federal subsidy was available for a 25-cent hot lunch, but not for the sandwiches, candy and ice cream studen…

Last weekend, the songbird migration on Plum Island was something I hadn’t experienced since the 1960s and '70s — and that was usually in the spring, not fall.

It’s been almost three months since the slots parlor and casinos in Massachusetts reopened and regulators said Thursday that each of the gambling facilities are now starting to expand their offerings.

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s niece followed up her best-selling, tell-all book with a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the president and two of his siblings cheated her out of millions of dollars over several decades while squeezing her out of the family business.

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The way lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse tell it, he wasn’t just a scared teenager acting in self-defense when he shot to death two Kenosha, Wisconsin, protesters. He was a courageous defender of liberty, a patriot exercising his right to bear arms amid rioting in the streets.

HOLYOKE (AP) — A police officer has been sentenced to a year of probation for grabbing a 15-year-old high school student by the neck and pushing him against wall, then lying in his report about the incident, authorities say.

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker signed an order Thursday activating up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard as cities across the country prepare for possible protests following the decision not to charge officers for killing Breonna Taylor.

To see a complete listing of local religion notes, go to newburyportnews.com. To have religion notes listed on Friday for the weekend, please email them to ndnnews@newburyportnews.com by Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday again declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Thursday after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for massage parlor sex.

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An enigmatic painting from Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli will go on auction next year, and art watchers will be seeing if it fetches more than its eye-watering $80 million estimate, despite the pandemic.

AMESBURY — The elimination of 15 positions in the School Department appears to have been averted after the City Council voted Tuesday night to add $700,000 to the mayor's operating budget, while also cutting their own pay.

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NEWBURYPORT — A Plum Island couple commissioned local artist Alan Bull to paint a roughly 17-foot-wide, 4-foot-high mural of the view of Plum Island from Joppa Flats for a wall of their home.

BOSTON — Restaurants will allowed to seat more customers beginning next week under loosened COVID-19 guidelines unveiled by Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday.

ROWLEY – A local man who told police in March that his sister was infected with the coronavirus to avoid being arrested on a domestic violence-related warrant avoided jail time Wednesday on a charge of spreading false information about COVID-19.

NEWBURYPORT — Operation Warming Hearts, Anna Jaques Hospital and The Salvation Army of Newburyport are preparing to cook and deliver free Thanksgiving-style dinners to hundreds of members of the community Saturday as a way to help people struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEWBURYPORT – The family of a late Plum Island man recently received more than $5,000 from a Reading contractor charged with larceny for not completing work at the man's 70th Street home last year.

NEWBURYPORT — Several residents encouraged the City Council on Wednesday to vote against the proposed fiscal 2021 budget next week, expressing the need for a full reopening plan and list of school expenses.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hours after a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for Breonna Taylor's death and protesters took to the streets, authorities said two officers were shot and wounded Wednesday night during the demonstrations expressing anger over the killings of …

WEST NEWBURY — With unpredictability continuing during the global pandemic, town officials came to an agreement with the police union to extend its current contract rather than enter into full negotiations to secure another three-year agreement.

A more disagreeable day to hold a county fair could hardly be had, reported the Newburyport Daily Herald on Sept. 24, 1885. Rain, cold, raw and blustery wind was too much even for winter clothing. Still, about 2,000 people attended the horticultural exhibition alone. David Smith’s plowing ex…

NEWBURYPORT — Newburyport Adult & Community Education is presenting numerous online programs this fall through Zoom.

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