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Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks as host of the Apollo 40th anniversary celebration held at the National Air and Space Museum, Monday, July 20, 2009 in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

UMass names astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as commencement speaker

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AMHERST — Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at the undergraduate commencement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst on May 8, the school announced Wednesday. Tyson is executive editor and on-camera host for “Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey,” the 21st-century remake of the hugely popular “Cosmos,” hosted by Carl Sagan in 1980. Tyson’s series ran for 13 episodes in 2014. Tyson will speak before roughly 5,500 students receiving bachelor’s degrees at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. UMass Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, also a physicist, said he applauded the selection. “Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of those rare individuals who can understand and expand knowledge gained through rigorous scientific …

Hack@Smith takes on gender imbalance in software field; teams tackle weekend of computing projects

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A little after noon Saturday, Smith College senior Melissa Chenok pulled a photo up on her laptop, that of sinister “Harry Potter” character Draco Malfoy. Then she fetched another: celebrity Kim Kardashian, sporting blond tresses. The resemblance? Striking, actually. But the pressing question for Chenok was this: Could these two familiar …

Training drill for emergencies could draw 275

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

AMHERST — If an emergency shelter needs to be activated for Hampshire County residents during a major storm, those in charge of overseeing the site need to be prepared to safely and orderly accommodate people and their pets. This ability to ensure families have a safe place to stay is a primary objective of a six-hour emergency exercise hosted by the University of …

Frat probe broadens amid more racism claims

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NORMAN, Okla. — Investigations into racism at Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapters have extended to college campuses in Louisiana and Texas, the organization said Thursday, after its national office received word that members in those places had direct …

Spring Bulb Show at Smith College daily through March 22

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Spring Bulb Show in the Lyman Conservatory at Smith College runs from March 6 to 22. The hours are daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended weekend hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday through 8 p.m. in the illuminated greenhouses. There is a suggested $5 …

UMass Police Chief John Horvath takes pay cut to lead Rockport department

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Chief John K. Horvath will take a pay cut to become chief of the Rockport Police Department on the North Shore, according to a report in the Gloucester Times. When Horvath …

First Pioneer Valley Ecological Management Conference fuels collaborative efforts by environmentalists

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — The first Pioneer Valley Ecological Management Conference was deemed a success by organizers who were pleased by the presentations and the community turnout Saturday. “We are thrilled. This was a tremendous mix of people with a …

Northampton poet Jennifer Jabaily Blackburn a runner-up in her second ‘Jeopardy!’ episode

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You win some; you lose some. On the television show “Jeopardy!” this week, Northampton poet and Smith College employee Jennifer Jabaily Blackburn had one of each — a win on Monday and a loss on Tuesday. Because she came in second place on Tuesday, winning $2,000, …

Search committee hopes to have new UMass president hired by end of June

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

AMHERST — A search committee hopes to have a new University of Massachusetts president hired by June 30, according to its consultant, Kenneth L. Kring of Korn/Ferry International, which has its headquarters in Los Angeles. “For a search like this, while it will be extensive and there will …

Amherst Regional School Committee approves $30 million budget which cuts equivalent of 16 positions

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

AMHERST — The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee unanimously passed a budget Tuesday calling for the elimination of approximately 16 positions. The 2015-16 budget is about $30 million, an increase of roughly $400,000 or 1.4 percent from the current year’s budget. The budget was reduced by $7,000 from previous …

U of Oklahoma expels students over video

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma’s president expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event. University President David Boren said in a …

Demonstrators at UMass call for sexual assault survivors’ bill of rights

Monday, March 9, 2015

AMHERST — After a woman reported being raped at the University of Massachusetts, a sexual assault disciplinary hearing forced her to face the man she was accusing. Following the hearing, as she continued to recover from the sexual assault, her attacker not only remained a student at the …

Northampton poet and Smith College employee Jennifer Blackburn advances on ‘Jeopardy!’

Monday, March 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Millions of people watching the quiz show “Jeopardy!” Monday night saw Northampton poet and Smith College employee Jennifer Jabaily Blackburn come from behind to win the show and take home $19,700. Blackburn won in Final Jeopardy …