A Look Back, May 13


For the Gazette

Published: 05-13-2024 6:01 AM

50 Years Ago

■Three Holyoke youths were rescued from falling off a moving Boston and Maine freight train last night by Northampton policeman Gerald L. LeVitre. The youths had boarded the train in the freight yards in Holyoke and had hung onto the ladder on the side of a freight car as it began to move northward. LeVitre saw the boys and radioed to have the train stopped.

■The state Senate voted Monday to require that all University of Massachusetts faculty teach an average of nine hours per week. The average is 6.55, according to the senate. The purpose of the legislative move was to allow more students to enter state colleges and the university next year at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.

25 Years Ago

■Officials with the Three-County Fair in Northampton are concerned the cancellation of thorough-bred racing in Berkshire County this summer may reduce the field of horses available here. Traditionally, owners raced their horses in Great Barrington and then moved on to Northampton, where nine days of racing followed the Great Barrington meets.

■Mayor Mary L. Ford has found a creative way to fill the shoes of her executive assistant, who leaves this week: two city employees will share the job. Mary Kasper, co-coordinator of the Northampton Arts Council, and Cynthia Williams, a staffer in the Office of Planning and Development, have been appointed to the post.

10 Years Ago

■A Northampton educational activist who opposes high-stakes testing and received national coverage for fighting outsourcing of teacher assessments won election Saturday as president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Barbara Madeloni, a member of the Massachusetts Society of Professors, beat a Brockton teacher to secure a two-year term as head of the 110,000-member union.

■The planned keynote speaker for Smith College’s commencement Sunday has dropped out amid student and faculty outcry. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said her action was in response to an online petition that had collected about 479 signatures, which objected to her appearance based on disagreement with the policies of the IMF.