Five College Area News

Rosenberg reflects on first year as Senate pres.

NORTHAMPTON — As an agency that can remove a child from parental custody, the Department of Children and Families may hold the most significant power in a state without the death penalty and its budget should not face cuts, according to Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg. Notable failures by the agency, including the August death of a 2-year-old girl in Auburn, highlight the continued challenges imposed by a state budget that features a structural deficit and the inability to properly fund the staff needed to 0

UN cancer study gives bacon lovers indigestion: Shops like Pekarski’s not worried about effect on sales

NORTHAMPTON — Despite the World Health Organization’s announcement Monday that processed meats such as sausage, ham and bacon increase the risk of colon and stomach cancer, Pioneer Valley residents didn’t see the news as a reason to cut BLTs and hot dogs from their diets — and businesses don’t expect a sausage sales slump. WHO’s International Agency for Cancer Research examined over 800 studies in making the determination. The agency made no specific dietary recommendations and said it did not have enough data to define 0

Area mayors urge state to add rail options

NORTHAMPTON — Just as they did more than two years ago, the mayors of Northampton, Greenfield and Holyoke are calling on state officials to help establish increased rail service for commuters in the Pioneer Valley. In a joint letter to Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz — along with Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse and Greenfield Mayor William F. Martin — cited increased ridership on Amtrak’s Vermonter line since the service was rerouted earlier this year to its original path 0

UMass libraries director retires

AMHERST — After 11 years as director of libraries at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Jay Schafer is stepping down. Schafer, who will be 67 in April, started as a library assistant at the El Paso, Texas, public library in 1971. Having run the UMass libraries since 2004, Schafer said it has been “a great deal of fun.” “It’s a very large organization with 125 people and a budget of $18 million a year,” he said. “It’s a complex organization where the real mission of 0

Three finalists for UMass police chief to visit Amherst campus during next two weeks

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has three finalists for police chief who will come to campus for community forums over the coming two weeks. The candidates are Joseph R. Riley, deputy chief of the New York City Police Department; Tyrone A. Parham, chief of police and public safety at Pennsylvania State University; and Thomas Y. Trawick Jr., chief of police and director of emergency management at Clark Atlanta University, according to a statement by UMass. Riley will visit campus today and Tuesday and 0

Bomb squad called to Hadley for what is empty suitcase

HADLEY — The Massachusetts State Police bomb squad was called to investigate a suspicious package at a bus stop in front of the Chipotle on Route 9 Saturday afternoon. The package was determined to be an empty suitcase, according to Hadley Police Sgt. Mitchell Kuc. Hadley Police arrived on scene after receiving a call at 3:54 p.m. They shut down a half-mile stretch of Route 9 between North and South Maple Street and Staples, then opened one eastbound lane after the Fire Department arrived. Crews 0

Amherst school board votes to buy solar power from Deerfield project

AMHERST — A pair of solar projects planned at town landfill sites will proceed despite an Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee vote to buy power from a solar project in Deerfield, according to town officials. The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee voted Tuesday to negotiate a 20-year contract with Chicago-based Lake Street Development Partners LLC to provide solar power to the district. Lake Street’s project in Deerfield would provide a 9 percent savings on utility bills to the district, or $745,000 over the 20-year life of the 0

Tractor parade revs up Sunday

HATFIELD — The Hampshire County Farm Bureau is set to host its third annual tractor ride Sunday Oct. 18th. The tractor ride, which encompasses a scenic 30-mile route through Hatfield, Whately, Sunderland and Hadley, raises funds for local agricultural groups. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. from the Hatfield Lions Club Pavilion on Billings Way in Hatfield and is scheduled to end at the same location at 1 p.m. At the ride’s end, there will be a silent auction which benefits 4-H members and agricultural 0

UMass rape victim sues university, staff, defendants

NORTHAMPTON — The woman who has testified in three trials that she was gang-raped in her dorm room at the University of Massachusetts in 2012 has filed lawsuits against the four men she accused, as well as against the university and the people she says were responsible for Pierpont Hall security on the night in question. The lawsuits were filed Tuesday — which, under the three-year statute of limitations, was the last day she could file them. In both suits, the woman demands a jury 0

UMass to restrict guests in dormitories during Homecoming, Halloween weekends

AMHERST — As alumni return to Amherst this week for Homecoming Weekend at the University of Massachusetts, policies will be in place restricting the number of non-student overnight guests allowed in campus dormitories. Beginning Friday and running through Sunday, each on-campus resident will be allowed to sign in up to four guests — though only two can be non-UMass students. Similar rules will be in effect during Halloween weekend. “We don’t want to be in the position of having the residence halls overflowing with people 0