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KEVIN GUTTING
Mount Holyoke College seniors Bharati Manandhar, left, and Maame Appiah-Korang work together during a 48 hour "HackEbola" event in the University of Massachusetts Lederle Graduate Research Center on Saturday.

HackEbola at UMass aids fight against West African epidemic

Saturday, November 22, 2014

AMHERST — From across the world, young mathematicians, biologists and other scholars at the University of Massachusetts Amherst crunched numbers Friday night and Saturday in hopes of aiding the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. “It has to start somewhere,” said Andrew Smith, 26, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in organismic and evolutionary biology at UMass. On Smith’s laptop …

Douglas Finn leaves Frontier Cable Access Televsion for Deerfield government job

Friday, November 21, 2014

DEERFIELD — The town has hired Douglas Finn, the general manager of Frontier Cable Access Television, as executive assistant to Town Administrator Kayce Warren. The decision ends a search that started in February, when Warren was named interim town administrator. Warren held the assistant position for a decade until former town administrator Bernard Kubiak retired in June 2013. Since February, she’s been working …

Deerfield seeks solution to keep wet wipes, other materials from jamming wastewater treatment plant equipment

Friday, November 21, 2014

DEERFIELD — Thinking about sending that flushable wet wipe down the toilet? The director of the Deerfield Highway Department hopes you will think twice, because those and similar items have been jamming up equipment in the wastewater treatment plant and slowing operations. Highway Superintendent Kevin Scarborough explained the problem and possible solutions to the Select Board on Wednesday during a discussion about setting …

Area briefs

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Amherst CITRUS SALE: Citrus is being sold to benefit the band and orchestra programs in the Amherst Regional schools. Oranges and grapefruit are being sold in two-fifths and four-fifths bushels as well as 10-pound bags. To order, email Ben Peterson, high school orchestra conductor, at petersonb@arps.org. High school …

Key players in medical marijuana industry air implications in community forum

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Panelists at a forum on medical marijuana Wednesday discussed the various complexities of using pot medically, from the legality of growing it to finding the right dosage and knowing when it is and isn’t safe to …

Northampton City Council to consider zoning changes for larger residential projects, possible end to moratorium near downtown

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Some 14 months after putting a hold on approval of large-scale residential projects close to downtown, the City Council is expected to decide Thursday whether to adopt new zoning regulations and lift the moratorium. If approved, the rules would guide the future development of several key …

UMass, Hampshire and Holyoke Community colleges get $810,000 grant to combine clean-energy studies with sustainable agriculture

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

AMHERST — Agricultural students at the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College and Holyoke Community College will benefit from an $810,000 National Science Foundation grant to create collaborative programs combining clean energy studies with sustainable agriculture. “The main purpose of the grant is to marry what has for the …

With new class, Northampton High School students tell stories through song

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton High School has become a more soulful place thanks to a new songwriting course this year, where students in Grades 9 through 12 have the opportunity to write and perform original music. The one-semester class …

Northampton BID opponents say they are not invited to mayor’s downtown stakeholder meeting Thursday

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A meeting of downtown stakeholders called by Mayor David J. Narkewicz is scheduled for Thursday, but it is not open to the public and apparently will not include some opponents of the Northampton Business Improvement District, which a judge last week ordered shut down. Among those …

Rental permitting program in Amherst helps to identify and resolve problems

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

AMHERST — A dilapidated fire escape, unsafe porches and debris strewn on the lawn have been among the problems reported to the town’s inspection services department at a three-family home rented to college students on Phillips Street. With stepped-up inspections as the result of the rental permitting program …

Area police news

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Amherst ■ Michael Lane, 43, of Springfield, was arrested at 10:59 a.m. Wednesday on University Drive on charges of shoplifting by concealment and disorderly conduct. Lane allegedly stole items from a store on University Drive, setting off its alarms, and then ran in and out of the nearby …

Northampton to hold public hearing on new tax rate; bill for average home would increase by $124 annually

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The City Council is expected to hold a hold a public hearing Thursday on the city’s tax rate for this fiscal year and likely vote on the new figure. Assessors have calculated the tax rate this fiscal year at $15.80 per $1,000 of assessed property value, …

Second suspect arrested in alleged chain beating at Meadowbrook Apartments in Northampton

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Police on Wednesday arrested a second suspect who was allegedly involved with dragging a woman from her home at Meadowbrook Apartments in Florence last month and beating her with a chain. Veronica Lisenby, 26, of 491 Bridge Road, Apt. 331, was arrested at her Meadowbrook Apartments …