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Five College Area News

Juniper Networks gives $1.5M in networking equipment to UMass

AMHERST — Juniper Networks, an industry leader in network innovation, has donated equipment worth $1.5 million to the University of Massachusetts. UMass will use the donation to build a dedicated high-speed network to support science research and increase the ease of use and speed of large academic data transfers across campus. UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said, “As our faculty and staff put it to use, there will be significant long-range benefits for our students, the computing industry and the entire economy of Massachusetts.” 0

Businesses happy to have UMass football back at home

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts football plays its first game on campus in more than three years today. For a business community that appreciated the presence of these games each fall, that’s plenty of reason to cheer. “We’re happy to have UMass football back,” said Sarah la Cour, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District. “It will be good for downtown because more people are in downtown.” “We’re looking forward to a great weekend,” said John Korpita, owner of Amherst Brewing Co. on University 0

Groundbreaking research in Arctic leads UMass professor Julie Brigham-Grette to head Polar Research Board

AMHERST — Studying glacial geology is a tantalizing mystery that can offer up a treasure trove of information if you know how and where to dig, believes University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Julie Brigham-Grette. “It’s like trying to put together a 1,000-piece puzzle and having only 300 pieces to work with,” Brigham-Grette said during a two-day stop last month in Amherst between a field study trip in Norway and presenting her work at a conference in New Zealand. An expert in climate evolution and sea-level 0

Funeral Home sued again

NORTHAMPTON — More than $342,000 and the cremated remains of a Granby man and his wife are missing four months after the Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley was shut down by state regulators, according to two lawsuits filed in Hampshire Superior Court. The complaints — filed by the family of a deceased Granby man Tuesday and by state Attorney General Martha Coakley — bring to five the number of lawsuits filed against former funeral director William W. Ryder. The AG’s complaint, filed Friday, for 0

Hamp eyes plastics ban

NORTHAMPTON — The city is considering joining a growing list of communities nationwide to ban plastic bags in supermarkets and other retail stores, and Styrofoam disposable food and beverage containers used in restaurants. Responding to multiple requests from constituents asking the city to move toward such a ban, and after several months of research, City Council Vice President Jesse M. Adams this week presented an ordinance for the council’s consideration. Adams said the city has been recognized as a leader in sustainability measures, and added 0

Study faults Amherst cops, UMass in melee

AMHERST — A much-anticipated report on the March 8 “Blarney Blowout” melee faults University of Massachusetts officials for failing to recognize the risk of a swelling group of young people on campus and Amherst police for reacting with too much force once the hard-drinking hordes surged into town. While the report by former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis assigns blame to both town and gown, it reserved its sharpest criticism for town police, calling the force and its leaders “overwhelmed and unprepared.” “During this event, 0

UMass brings discovery to all

AMHERST — Robert MacWright brings an enthusiasm for the nexus between gee whiz technology, legal logic, and the history of American entrepreneurship to his job as director of commercial ventures and intellectual property at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Sure, the office brings in money for the campus through the patents and licenses derived from the work of its researchers, he said. “But one of our most important goals is to improve the odds that science gets out of the lab to benefit the public.” 0

UMass Amherst gets $1M to help veterans enter nursing workforce

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing has received a three-year, $1 million federal grant to implement “Heroes into Health Care: Veterans Entering the Nursing Workforce,” a program designed to increase the number and percentage of ethnic minority and disadvantaged veterans who successfully complete a university-based nursing education and become employed as nurses. Funding for the new program comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. Jean E. Swinney, professor of nursing, principal investigator and 0

Two new playgrounds take shape in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — Fast-moving plans to design and build two new community playgrounds on opposite sides of the city by the end of the year were unveiled at a public meeting Thursday night. One playground is planned for a portion of Lampron Park next to Bridge Street School near downtown, while the other will be built at the new recreation fields complex in Florence. Aside from a few suggestions and minor tweaks to designs presented by Carlos Nieto, a landscape architect from Berkshire Design Group, most 0

Geryk gets $11,000 raise

AMHERST — Amherst School Superintendent Maria Geryk has been given an $11,000 salary increase by the school boards that serve the Amherst-Pelham Regional School district, boosting her annual salary to $158,000. The raise was announced in a press release Thursday by Darius Modestow of Pelham, chairman of Union # 26 which governs the Amherst and Pelham elementary schools. “We are delighted that Ms. Geryk continues her service as Superintendent of Schools for the Amherst-Pelham, Amherst, and Pelham School districts,” he wrote. Reached by telephone Thursday, 0