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Five College Area News

Burst main cuts water to Leeds homes

NORTHAMPTON — For the third time in the last two months, crews from the Department of Public Works scrambled to fix one of the city’s many antiquated water mains — this time in Leeds where a pipe broke on Villone Drive Saturday night. The 8-inch pipe burst around 8:30 p.m. in front of 9 Villone, sending water gushing down the street and onto nearby Front Street, said Water Superintendent Greg Nuttelman. Homeowners in that part of Leeds get their water from a tank on Audubon

Florence group seeks ballot vote on money in politics

NORTHAMPTON — A Florence-based group is trying to remove the influence of money from politics, one vote at a time. Represent.Us, which formed about two years ago, says it has collected a little more than 1,500 signatures to put a non-binding question on November’s ballot. The question asks lawmakers to consider legislation that would prohibit politicians from taking campaign money from industries they regulate, put tougher restrictions on political action committees and keep legislators from taking lobbying jobs after leaving office, among other things. Represent.Us

Former Amherst GOP chairwoman dies at age 65

AMHERST — During the 2008 presidential election, Paulette Henderson-Brooks served as president of the Amherst Republican Committee. At the same time, her husband, H. Oldham “Harry” Brooks, led the Amherst Democratic Committee. “It was like they were the (James) Carville and (Mary) Matalin of Amherst,” said Robert Weiner, a lifelong friend of Harry Brooks and a Washington, D.C., political consultant. “They loved being known for that.” Henderson-Brooks, who was also a Town Meeting member and active in town affairs during the decade she made Amherst

Amherst renews goal of Project Backpack

AMHERST — The Amherst school district is again collecting new backpacks and schools supplies to distribute before the start of school to students in need. This will be the project’s sixth year and the fifth for a companion effort, Safe Seats for Kids, which provides car seats for income-eligible families. Project Backpack is a collaborative effort by the schools and many community organizations which donate packs, supplies and cash, said Kimberly Stender, director of community partnership and volunteers for the schools. Packs are filled with

Hampshire College joins schools in feds’ sex assault probe

WASHINGTON — Hampshire College is among five schools added by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to a list of 71 colleges under investigation for their handling of campus sexual assault. Last updated July 2, the list reflects schools where at least one student has filed a Title IX complaint related to sexual violence. Title IX is a provision of the 1972 education law that guards against discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities supported by federal funds. The Education Department

Hadley farmers describe thefts from farm stands

HADLEY — Though thieves made off with the cash box Friday at his unstaffed farm stand at the corner of Comins and Shattuck roads, by Saturday morning, longtime farmer Joseph Czajkowski was more focused more on the fact that his neighbors were watching out for him. “It’s nice that the neighbors look out like that — good neighbors make good neighborhoods,” Czajkowski said in an interview with the Gazette at his 86 Comins Road farm where he works 400 acres, including 162 that are certified

Sense of ownership

NORTHAMPTON — After working two jobs, raising four kids and putting in 250 hours of labor over the last 21 months, Kimberly Antequera finally got what she’d been striving so hard for — the keys to her first home. With the aid of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, Antequera is the latest city resident to join the ranks of homeowners. Antequera held back tears when she was handed a set of keys for the house that’s still so new, the smell of fresh varnish hangs

Forbes Library fire damage estimate as high as $150,000

NORTHAMPTON — A small army of building and artwork restoration workers will spend the next three weeks at Forbes Library repairing and restoring damage from Monday’s deliberately set fire, the damage from which is now estimated at $100,000 to $150,000, far exceeding the original estimate. Library Director Janet Moulding said one of the main drivers of the cost is that there are thousands of books, DVDS and CDs, and their corresponding plastic security cases, that will need to be taken apart, cleaned and put back

UMass dining takes gold again at Tastes of the World conference

AMHERST — UMass Dining took gold for the fourth year in a row at the 20th annual Taste of the World Culinary Conference hosted June 15-20 by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Chefs Anthony Jung, Robert Bankert, Taylor Whitmore and pastry chef Simon Stevenson competed against 16 other culinary teams from across the United States and Canada. The competition was sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation and featured some of the top culinarians in college and university dining. Schools such as Harvard, University of Connecticut,

UMass gets $1.35M to develop, test next-generation Internet

AMHERST — Someday soon, the world will migrate away from the old, original Internet to a new, next-generation Internet with far better security, greater mobility and many other improved features, but most of us will never know the change has occurred, says computer science researcher Arun Venkataramani of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “There will be no flag day, no hour when someone flips a switch to move us all over to the new Internet. Instead, the transition will be gradual, one small group at