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UMass hosts Buffalo at 1 p.m. in the season finale at McGuirk Stadium.

UMass center Matt Sparks: Offensive line needs to boost QB Austin Whipple

Monday, November 24, 2014

AMHERST — Matt Sparks said Austin Whipple will be better than he looked against Akron when UMass plays Buffalo in the season finale at 1 p.m. Friday at McGuirk Stadium. UMass’ junior center has seen the redshirt freshman quarterback in practice enough to feel good that game No. 2 has a chance to be better than game No. 1. Whipple …

UMass freshman F Zach Coleman ready to increase his minutes, contributions

Monday, November 24, 2014

AMHERST — In the first few games of the season, UMass men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg wasn’t as much reluctant to put redshirt freshman Zach Coleman in the game as he was reluctant to take Maxie Esho out. Kellogg had raved about Coleman’s potential in the preseason, but Esho had 21 points against …

Long a dream, high-speed passenger rail service set for Dec. 29 launch throughout the Valley

Monday, November 24, 2014

Five weeks and counting. After years of planning for higher-speed passenger rail service in the Valley, the first Amtrak train is on track to roll up the river just before the first of the year. “From everything we know, the Amtrak Vermonter will move back on the main line for the first time …

Ashfield woman faces charges after Jeep strikes utility pole in Amherst, cutting power and closing road

Thursday, November 20, 2014

AMHERST — A 22-year-old Ashfield woman will be summoned to court on several motor vehicle-related charges after the Jeep she was driving at the intersection of Sunderland Road and Route 116 struck a utility pole early Thursday morning, police said. The woman, who was not at the scene …

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 …

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 …

Chicago PG LuWane Pipkins signs with UMass

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LuWane Pipkins is finally officially a future UMass men’s basketball player. The 5-foot-10 point guard from Chicago signed his National Letter of Intent Monday and UMass officially verified it, Wednesday. “He’s a great addition to our team and family. He’s a guard who can push tempo and really …

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 …

Keeping Tabs on the Arts: Holiday bash at ECA+ and other arts events this week in the Valley

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Black-and-white bash The “Light Up the Arts Holiday Bash,” an evening that includes a small works show, an auction and awards announcements, will take place Dec. 4 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Old Town Hall, 43 …

Ken Maiuri’s Clubland: Jamming with singer/songwriter Marcia Gomes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“More trees, less traffic, a slower pace and open space” is what singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Marcia Gomes was looking for when she left Boston and moved to the Valley in January 2012. She’d lived in the big city for more …

Music Review: Jeremy Denk dazzles at Bowker Auditorium

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pianist Jeremy Denk, who performed Nov. 13 in Bowker Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is an engaging personality. He is also a master of communication, both spoken (as he showed during this recital) and written (as …

Unimaginable images: Mead exhibits chronicle artistic responses to past wars

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

At this time of year in Europe 100 years ago, the quick, decisive war the major nations had been hoping for in August had become a distant memory. What became known as World War I had devolved into …

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 …