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Five College Area News

Town Manager Musante’s salary hiked to over $150,000

AMHERST — Amherst Town Manager John Musante’s salary will increase to more than $150,000 after he and the Select Board agreed to adjustments to his five-year employment contract this week. The Select Board met in executive session Monday to finalize an agreement with Musante that will pay him $150,628 annually beginning Oct. 1. This includes a 2 percent pay increase from his current base salary of $144,942, as well as an additional longevity payment of $2,787. All municipal employees eligible for benefits who have worked 0

Three County Fair opens Friday

NORTHAMPTON — Throughout the Three County Fair’s 197-year history, one tradition that stands the test of time is the exhibit hall where children and adults show off food they made, flowers and produce they grew, arts and crafts they created. Among those setting up Wednesday in preparation for the fair’s opening day Friday was volunteer Janet Mollison. She was overseeing exhibitors as they set up their displays of fruits and vegetables. About 50 exhibitors from age 4 to 80 will compete this year, she said. 0

Amherst seeks state grant for utility improvements

AMHERST — Town officials are seeking $1.5 million in state money to pay for burying the above-ground wires along East Pleasant, Triangle and Pray streets. Town Manager John Musante said Wednesday that Amherst will request the money from the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which assists communities with projects that promote economic development and the creation of jobs. The application is due Friday. “The goal is to seek infrastructure grant money to bury these wires, which we think will help with redevelopment of that corridor of East 0

UMass, Amherst gear up for return of students starting today

AMHERST — The town’s population will swell today as the 4,650 members of the freshmen class at the University of Massachusetts arrive for orientation. While entering students spend their Labor Day weekend learning the ins and outs of living at UMass — including taking a pledge to affirm the campus’s community values — the town’s public safety officers continue to learn from past experience. Police Chief Scott Livingstone said his department will have additional patrols throughout the weekend. With help from an Underage Alcohol Enforcement 0

Montague man accused of lewd acts at UMass

AMHERST — A Montague man believed to be responsible for two incidents in which he exposed himself to female students on the University of Massachusetts campus last week was arrested Wednesday afternoon, according to UMass police. Christopher M. Williams, 38, of 17 Ave. C., unit 2, was arrested on two counts of open and gross lewdness by UMass and Greenfield police after a warrant was issued for his arrest Wednesday at 2:40 p.m., said UMass Deputy Police Chief Patrick Archbald. Williams was arrested without incident 0

Amherst Regional school district hires finance director

AMHERST — The man who has been filling in since the sudden, unexplained departure of the School Department’s finance director has been hired as the permanent replacement. The appointment of Sean Mangano, formerly the assistant director, was unanimously approved by the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Tuesday at a salary range between $95,000 and $105,000. It followed a search advertised in nine print and online outlets from which Mangano emerged as one of four finalists, according to Superintendent Maria Geryk. The board went into executive session 0

Smile for the camera

It may seem unlikely for a recent college graduate with a degree in dental hygiene to take up professional acting, but that’s what 25-year-old Northampton native Miranda Brooks has done; she made her TV debut last month, using the screen name Miranda Roldan. Roldan is her mother’s maiden name. “It’s a nice way to embrace the Hispanic side of my family,” she said. Brooks, or Roldan, starred on the Investigation Discovery series “Happily Never After,” which features re-enactments of true crime stories. Brooks graduated with 0

New PVTA bus route vital to many

It may seem unlikely for a recent college graduate with a degree in dental hygiene to take up professional acting, but that’s what 25-year-old Northampton native Miranda Brooks has done; she made her TV debut last month, using the screen name Miranda Roldan. Roldan is her mother’s maiden name. “It’s a nice way to embrace the Hispanic side of my family,” she said. Brooks, or Roldan, starred on the Investigation Discovery series “Happily Never After,” which features re-enactments of true crime stories. Brooks graduated with 0

Amherst-Pelham School Committee hit with Open Meeting complaint

AMHERST — An Amherst man has filed a complaint with the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee claiming members of the board violated the state’s Open Meeting Law when they met in defiance of then-chairman Lawrence O’Brien to discuss a controversial reprimand of committee member Amilcar Shabazz in July. In the complaint, Thomas Flittie of Ridgecrest Road singles out member Trevor Baptiste, who has since been elected to replace O’Brien as chairman of the school board, for holding the meeting July 14, which Flittie says was not 0

Letter: State treasurer

Tom Conroy, candidate for state treasurer, will have my vote in the Democratic primary on Sept. 9. My decision is based on the bold actions he has taken to advocate for a flexible and progressive carbon tax in order to reverse climate change, reduce pollution and foster more renewable energy production. Last year, Tom Conroy showed foresight in addressing climate change, by introducing the Barrett-Conroy bill, No. 2532. This Carbon Tax and Rebate Bill, a revenue-neutral carbon tax imposed on fossil fuel providers, will cut 0