Five College Area News

UMass reports off-campus student violations decline

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is reporting a 63 percent decline in off-campus code of conduct violations by students during the fall semester compared to the same period in 2013. The report released by the dean of students office showed 107 students were involved in 83 incidents in the Town of Amherst between Aug. 28 and Dec. 13, 2014. During the fall 2013 semester, 289 students were involved in 227 incidents. The university’s report supports data released by Amherst town officials in December that 0

Families mourn loss of Amherst pediatrician

AMHERST — Long time area pediatrician, Dr. Emlen Jones, has died at age 70. After attending the University of Rochester School of Medicine and getting his medical training at the University of North Carolina, Jones arrived in Amherst in 1978 to join the Valley Health Plan, an HMO with a community-minded focus. In 1986, Valley Health Plan was purchased by Kaiser Permanente, and Jones and his colleagues remained affiliated with that HMO until January 2000, when they split off into a private practice. Dr. Jennifer 0

UMass-connected neutrino research proving sun’s stability a top-10 Physics World breakthrough

AMHERST — The sun is not going to blow up or sputter out any time soon. Most people had predicted (or just hoped) that was the case, but a team of scientists called the Borexino Collaboration — including three from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst — last year established that the sun is producing the same amount of energy that it was 100,000 years ago, and therefore is considered stable. Last month, this discovery was named one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2014 by Physics 0

Amherst school schedule changes draw ire

AMHERST — Parents and other community members expressed discontent this week with proposed schedule changes at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School that would increase time for English, math, science and social studies while decreasing time for many electives. Leverett and Shutesbury elementary school students go on to the Amherst middle school. The proposal will be brought to Superintendent Maria Geryk to make a decision by Feb. 1, according to school officials. About 75 people attended a meeting at the middle school library, and most directed 0

UMass prof ‘critical’ after Statehouse collapse

BOSTON — Ralph Whitehead Jr., a journalism professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is in critical condition at a Boston hospital Thursday after he collapsed in the Statehouse following the Wednesday election of his friend, Amherst Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg, as Senate president. A Massachusetts General Hospital spokesman Thursday said Whitehead, 71, is in critical condition, though would give no further details. The UMass journalism department Thursday released this statement: “We are aware of Professor Whitehead’s condition, and we are deeply concerned. A longtime 0

Amherst fire captain to be Leverett chief

LEVERETT — An Amherst native and captain in the Amherst Fire Department will become the next fire chief in Leverett this month. John Ingram was unanimously hired for the part-time position by the Selectboard Tuesday, said member Peter d’Errico. “By the end of the month, he’ll be in the position,” d’Errico said. John Moruzzi, who has been fire chief since February 1988 and a member of the town’s force since 1974, is retiring after reaching the state mandatory retirement age of 65, but will stay 0

Recommended new hire would explore housing options for Amherst and UMass

AMHERST — The special committee formed by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the town to address common housing and economic development opportunities has recommended hiring an economic development director, who would be charged with exploring mixed-use development sites, pursuing public-private development and creating a university “anchor strategy” for segments of the local economy. The 24-member Town Gown Steering Committee cited the analysis provided by consultants U3 Advisors this fall as a “valuable starting point” and recommended creating a University-Town of Amherst Collaborative to coordinate continuing 0

Amherst sees drop in police calls, violations

AMHERST — As the fall academic semester closed, town officials say a decline in noise complaints and calls for medical help, as well as a steep drop in tickets issued for quality-of-life violations, are all indicators of improved behavior by college-age people. Town Manager John Musante said the semester saw positive steps as indicated by the reduced number of police calls for service and slightly fewer ambulance runs for intoxicated people on the college campuses. Musante said he believes students, especially those at the University 0

Military marriages

AMHERST — While numerous studies have shown that the marriage rate among military service members is much higher than civilians of the same age, new research from a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts has found specific reasons that lead these young men and women to make this important decision. And the researcher says there could be implications for the civilian population. “The biggest policy implication of our research relates to all families, not just military families,” the study’s report concludes. “... on the basis 0

Academic programs see hope for simplified Cuban exchanges

AMHERST — During his most recent visit to Havana just last week, Jerry Guidera noticed hints of a looming change in the long-strained relations between Cuba and the United States. “There was a sense of excitement building that I hadn’t seen before,” said Guidera, an Amherst resident who spent part of his week-long trip at the U.S. Interests Section, where American diplomats aid the processing of visas and help with educational exchange programs such as the Spanish Studies Abroad program he oversees. Now back on 0