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Five College Area News

UMass police ask DA’s help in campus rape investigation

AMHERST — Police at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have asked the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office to assist in investigating an alleged rape on campus that was reported Sept. 19. Interim UMass Police Chief Patrick Archbald said Thursday that the suspect was identified right away, but the man declined to speak with police and has not been charged. “He invoked his right to remain silent and did not assist us with any other information about what took place,” Archbald said. He said he could not 0

Meeting set with UMass officials over personnel conflict at WMUA

AMHERST — WMUA community members will meet with high-ranking University of Massachusetts officials in mid-October with the hope of addressing what they perceive as a nearly six-month-long crisis at the campus radio station. Louise Dunphy, a spokeswoman for the community group and host of the “Celtic Crossings” program, said recently that members are scheduled to sit down with associate chancellor Susan Pearson and Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs, from 1 to 2 p.m. Oct. 13, likely at the Whitmore Administration Building. During the 0

$2 million gift donated to Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

AMHERST — A $2 million gift to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art — the largest donation ever made to the museum’s endowment — will support a range of educational programming as well as author and illustrator events at the South Amherst site, which welcomes 50,000 visitors each year. “For us, this kind of fundamental gift is incredibly important, especially because we are such a young museum,” said Alexandra Kennedy, the executive director of the 13-year-old museum. Each year the museum hosts more 0

Report notes crime stats for 5-college area

AMHERST — Alcohol arrests were up at the University of Massachusetts Amherst while reported rapes were down in 2014. At Mount Holyoke College, burglaries outpaced drug or alcohol referrals. Hampshire College had its first year without a case of arson in the residence halls in three years. The area’s five colleges — Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and UMass — recently published their crime statistics for the previous calendar year, complying with a federal mandate to do so every fall. Each college and university that 0

Combatants for Peace

Working side by side, scores of Israeli and Palestinian veterans are not only talking together about how to dismantle the Israeli occupation of Palestine. They’re working on doing it, says Uri Ben Assa. As Combatants for Peace, which describes itself as the only “bi-national” organization within Israel working on the Israel-Palestine conflict, 200 former soldiers have turned away from violent confrontations to try to bring about what they see as the necessary the end of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. “We concentrate 0

UMass-Amherst rapist sentenced to 8 to 12 years

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge sentenced Adam T. Liccardi to eight to 12 years in state prison followed by five years of probation for his role in the 2012 rape of a University of Massachusetts Amherst student in her dorm room. Liccardi, 21, of Pittsfield, was convicted Sept. 2 by a jury of two counts of aggravated rape and one count of rape. He was found not guilty of another count of aggravated rape. He was the third of four men to be 0

Ralph Nader to speak at Amherst College tonight

AMHERST — Consumer advocate and former independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will be at Amherst College tonight to discuss third-party and outsider candidates and the role they could play in the 2016 election. Nader’s talk, which comes at the invitation of the nonpartisan student group Amherst Political Union, will be held at Stirn Auditorium in the Mead Art Museum from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Liam Fine, co-president of the Amherst Political Union, said Nader’s presentation will focus on the 2016 presidential election. “We also expect 0

Police arrest man who allegedly sold drugs to UMass student informant who OD’d

AMHERST — Nearly two years after the heroin overdose death of University of Massachusetts Amherst student Eric L. Sinacori, police have arrested the man who allegedly provided him the drugs. Jesse Carrillo, 27, of Derry, N.H., was indicted Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and distributing heroin, according to a statement issued by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. He was later arrested in New Hampshire, the district attorney’s office reported. Sinacori, a third-year kinesiology major from Whitehouse Station, N.J., was found dead Oct. 4, 2013, 0

Budding business: Region’s first medical marijuana dispensary opens in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — Standing against his car with a white paper bag in his hand, Kenny Flanders of Pittsfield searches for the right words to describe what medical marijuana has done for him. “I got a life,” he said. Flanders, 59, was among dozens of patients from around the region who traveled to the New England Treatment Access medical marijuana dispensary at 118 Conz St. on Monday, the first day it opened for business. New England Treatment Access spokesman and consultant Norton Arbelaez, of Franklin, said 0

Preparing to pay

The last in a series. AMHERST — During a student-debt rally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in April, one of the most powerful statements came from a student who could not attend the event. First-generation college student Aja Gaskins wrote in a statement read by one of her peers that she could barely afford to attend UMass, despite working three jobs. She would have delivered the message in person — but she was at work earning money to pay for tuition and fees. “I 0