Five College Area News

Human services workers rally in Northampton after soured negotiations

NORTHAMPTON — A breakdown in contract negotiations sent more than 100 human service workers from Clinical & Support Options into the street to protest outside the agency’s headquarters Wednesday morning. The agency provides services to thousands of people in Franklin and Hampshire counties. Chanting “Two, four, six, eight, CSO negotiate,” the employees were calling attention to what they described as high staff turnover spurred by low wages and productivity stress at the agency. “We know all mental health workers aren’t paid well,” Leslie Lauf, a 0

Jury convicts man in UMass gang rape case

NORTHAMPTON — A jury Monday found Emmanuel T. Bile Jr. guilty of two counts of aggravated rape and acquitted him of a third count in connection with the 2012 rape of an 18-year-old student at the University of Massachusetts -Amherst. Bile, 21, of Pittsfield, was the first of four men to be tried in Hampshire Superior Court for allegedly gang-raping the woman while she was incapacitated by alcohol in her dorm room on Oct. 13, 2012. He was expressionless as the jury foreman read the 0

Route 9 Diner in Hadley shutters amid sexual harassment complaints

HADLEY — The state attorney general claims owners and managers of the Route 9 Diner in Hadley knew about but failed to protect female employees from “at least a decade of regular and repeated sexual harassment” in violation of federal law. The attorney general’s office filed a complaint Friday with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, detailing conduct that had been earlier cited by individual wait staff members. The complaint cites the alleged workplace discrimination experienced by 10 former wait staff members and hostesses. In a 0

Finding fault

AMHERST — New modeling and analyses of fault geometry in the Earth’s crust by geoscientist Michele Cooke and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are advancing knowledge about fault development in regions where one geologic plate slides past or over another, such as along California’s San Andreas Fault and the Denali Fault in central Alaska. Findings may help more accurately predict earthquake hazards and allow scientists to better understand how Earth evolved. Geologists have long been uncertain about the factors that govern how new 0

Patrick Donnelly appointed seventh poet laureate in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — Patrick Donnelly once studied classical singing and acting, with an eye to becoming an opera singer. Although those plans did not work out, he also had a deep interest in writing that he subsequently developed — and now he intends to bring his literary and performance background together in a new role. Donnelly, who lives in South Deerfield and teaches poetry at Smith College, has been appointed Northampton’s newest poet laureate by the city’s Arts Council. He’s the seventh artist to hold the 0

UMass police chief to leave for Rockport

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Chief John K. Horvath will take a pay cut to become chief of the Rockport Police Department on the North Shore, according to a report in the Gloucester Times. When Horvath was hired as UMass chief in 2012, his salary was announced at $140,000. The Gloucester Times reported that Horvath would earn between $100,000 and $115,000 as chief in Rockport. In a statement issued Wednesday, UMass Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Campus Life Enku Gelaye confirmed that 0

Blarney Blowout costs: $500K and counting

AMHERST — What does it cost to keep 22,000 students under control? On the weekend of Blarney Blowout, the University of Massachusetts Amherst managed it for about $500,000. Of that total, $305,000 went to pay artists Juicy J, Kesha and Ludacris at a Mullins Center concert attended by 5,200 students, who received free tickets from the university, UMass spokesman Edward Blaguszewski said in a statement. Other expenses included an estimated $20,000 in police mutual aid, $3,800 for parking staff and signs and $3,000 for ambulance 0

Chieftains, astronaut to play at UMass

AMHERST — Six-time Grammy Award winners The Chieftains return to the University of Massachusetts’ Fine Arts Center Sunday at 7 p.m., with their traditional Irish music, and with guests that include astronaut Cady Coleman of Shelburne. Coleman, an amateur flutist, took Chieftain founder Paddy Moloney’s whistle and Chieftain Matt Molloy’s flute “out of this world” when she traveled to the International Space Station in 2010. And while in space, she also played an Earth-space “duet” with flutist Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. “As cultural ambassadors, 0

Amherst fire, police officials counting down to Blarney

AMHERST — Preparing for the worst with throngs of drunken students, the Amherst Fire Department has scheduled 10 ambulances and crews to be on duty throughout Saturday. And the Police Department says it’s ready, too. “We’re treating the whole 24-hour period as if it were a spring weekend,” Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said Tuesday. Last year, thousands of young people came to Amherst and caused large-scale disturbances during pre-St. Patrick’s Day partying commonly called Blarney Blowout. Police arrested 55 people, including 20 University of 0

UMass experts confirm regional cold records

In this area, 1934 no longer reigns supreme. UMass climate experts say that with February now concluded, weather observations show that Amherst, Hartford, and several other locations throughout New England will establish new record lows for February, and for any month on record. At Amherst the average temperature was 11.2, eclipsing the previous record for any month of 11.6 set in February 1934. While the official period of record for Amherst begins in 1893, unofficial measurements extend to 1835, initiated by Ebenezer S. Snell at 0