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Five College Area News

UMass Sunwheel and sky-watching events mark Solstice Dec. 21

AMHERST — The public is invited to witness sunrise and sunset associated with the winter solstice among the standing stones of the UMass Sunwheel on Sunday at 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Heavy rain, snow or dangerous winter conditions will cancel the gatherings. Sunwheel events mark the astronomical changes of the seasons. The winter solstice marks the date when nights are longest and days are shortest in the Northern Hemisphere and the sun rises and sets at its most southerly location along the horizon, over 0

Some at Amherst College prefer moose to Lord Jeffery

AMHERST — In the seven months since an 800-pound female moose visited Amherst College and toured the president’s house property, a vigorous campaign by students has sought to have the animal replace Lord Jeffery Amherst as the college’s mascot. Posters advancing the cause are stapled to bulletin boards in academic buildings, a Facebook page is dedicated to the moose becoming the mascot and a person dressed as a moose attends sporting events, including cheering for the football team during its game against Williams College, So 0

UMass professor David Reckhow leads national team researching low-cost ways to keep drinking water clean

AMHERST — Water — we drink it, cook with it, bathe in it, and our lives are dependent on it. Yet many people know little about how water is treated to make sure it is fit for human consumption. One expert is David A. Reckhow of Florence, a professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. Reckhow and his colleagues in November received a $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a national center for 0

Town-Gown Steering Committee in Amherst recommends permanent successor

AMHERST — A permanent board to link the University of Massachusetts and the town of Amherst, which could be vital to the success of future housing and economic development initiatives, is a key recommendation from the Town-Gown Steering Committee in its draft final report. The steering committee met for the last time Thursday and will send a memo to Town Manager John Musante and UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy urging them to create what would be known as the University-Town of Amherst Collaborative. Receiving a $60,000 0

GCC nursing program to return to Smith Voke

NORTHAMPTON — Greenfield Community College’s licensed practical nursing program will return to its roots at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School after a sharply divided board of trustees voted Tuesday. The decision will make space for the LPN program by ending a 23-year-old lease with the Northampton Parks and Recreation Department, which now has six months to find a new home. The nursing program has been housed at the VA Medical Center in Leeds in recent years and will move to a voke school building 0

UMass students disappointed in Cosby, support university’s decision to cut ties

AMHERST — Students at the University of Massachusetts who remember Bill Cosby as the fatherly Dr. Huxtable and creator of “Little Bill” are disappointed in the allegations against the comedian, and proud of their university’s decision to cut its ties with him. “If he’s not exemplifying what UMass stands for, then I don’t think it’s worth keeping him around,” UMass freshman Darlene Irons, 18, said Sunday. The university announced last week that it cut its ties with the embattled entertainer amid allegations that he sexually 0

Smith Voke to host GCC’s LPN program?

NORTHAMPTON — Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School trustees will vote today on whether to host Greenfield Community College’s licensed practical nursing program. Smith Voke Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson said “This is certainly a need of the community, and it’s a great opportunity for us.” The board of trustees will vote at its meeting at 5 p.m. in the school library on whether to give the current tenants, the city Recreation Department, six months’ notification that it will be ending the 23-year-old lease at the 90 0

UMass cuts ties with embattled Cosby

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst announced Wednesday night that it has cut ties with embattled entertainer Bill Cosby amid accusations that he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women during his career. UMass joins at least two other schools that have distanced themselves from Cosby. Cosby is a graduate of UMass Amherst and until Wednesday had served as an honorary co-chairman of its $300 million fundraising campaign called UMass Rising. He and his wife, Camille O. Cosby, are also significant donors to the 0

New courses will combine clean energy with agriculture

AMHERST — Agricultural students at the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College and Holyoke Community College will benefit from an $810,000 National Science Foundation grant that will be used to create collaborative programs combining clean energy studies with sustainable agriculture. “The main purpose of the grant is to marry what has for the most part historically been two separate sides of sustainability education — clean energy and agriculture,” said Kate Maiolatesi, coordinator of Holyoke Community’s sustainability studies program, in a statement. John Gerber, professor of sustainable 0

Key players in medical marijuana industry air implications

NORTHAMPTON — Panelists at a forum on medical marijuana this week explored the complexities of using pot medically, from the legality of growing it to finding the right dosage and knowing when it is and isn’t safe to drive. Panelist Bob Gunther of Holyoke, previously of New York City, said he did have a lot of questions when he first started using medical marijuana. But now, he says the THC-laced coconut cookies he eats have changed his life. “I’m actually in a good mood, and 0