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Five College Area News

Amherst woman’s cause of death unconfirmed; DA’s office says ‘public should not be concerned’

AMHERST — Authorities have not confirmed the cause of death for a woman found dead near the UMass campus Tuesday, but say there is no reason for the community to worry. “The public should not be concerned,” said Mary Carey, a spokeswoman for the Northwestern District Attorney’s office. “There’s nothing to indicate the public should be concerned.” The body, found near the intersection of Amity Street and University Drive, is believed to be that of Marissa Jackson, a 26-year-old Amherst woman missing since Friday, Carey 0

Parking banned on section of High Street in Amherst

AMHERST — Parking will no longer be allowed on a section of High Street after concerns were raised by school administrators about school buses and vans navigating the narrow road. The Select Board voted unanimously Monday to prohibit parking at all times on the west side of High Street between Main Street and 22 High St. Ron Bohonowicz, director of facilities for the schools and town, said the issue is that parked vehicles are making the road narrower, sometimes forcing buses and vans to go 0

Students protest police killings of black people

AMHERST — A crowd of about 75 students — most of them black — moved slowly down a University of Massachusetts campus path Wednesday afternoon with their arms raised above their heads. Their “Hands up, don’t shoot” chant, borrowed from protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, carried across campus. Heads turned, and some students and staff stopped to watch. UMass junior Cherita Moore of Boston said that was why she attended the rally and march to denounce police killing of unarmed black people. “We need to bring 0

Some protest Barrett St. bus route changes

NORTHAMPTON — Residents of one city neighborhood say they feel slighted by sweeping changes in bus routes made last month by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. Some residents who live along Barrett Street, where Coachlight Condominums and Hathaway Farm Townehomes are located, say that eliminating a bus stop along their street has caused hardship for many of the elderly and disabled people who have relied on the R44 bus, which stopped near their homes. Now they have to walk either to nearby King Street to 0

Opponents of Retreat project celebrate in Cushman

AMHERST — Philip Mathews warmed his bagpipes up with the tune “When the Battle’s Over” as some 75 jubilant people gathered on the Cushman Common Tuesday night to celebrate the news that a 175-unit student housing project called “Retreat at Amherst” proposed for their neighborhood had been withdrawn by the developers. “A rumor has it that it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a village to stop a Retreat,” bellowed Jack Hirsch, who as president of the Save Historic Cushman Association 0

Judge denies motion to dismiss murder charge against Cara Lee Rintala

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge has denied a defense motion to dismiss the murder charge against Cara Lee Rintala who is accused of murdering her wife in 2010. The nine-page ruling Monday by Judge Mary-Lou Rup may clear the way for a third trial against Rintala, who is accused of strangling her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, 37, in the basement of the couple’s Granby home on March 29, 2010. Rintala, 47, has already been tried twice on the murder charge. Both time juries 0

Smith Voke mourns Bob the horse, dead at 34

NORTHAMPTON — Bob, a Belgian draft horse who became the “unofficial mascot” of Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, received a mint every day for the last 15 years of his life. This was his reward for saving the life of animal science teacher Don Baker after a plowing accident. The plow had hit a stone, Baker recalled, and he was thrown forward — landing between the horses and the plow. If Bob hadn’t signaled the other draft horse, Ed, to stop pulling the plow, 0

A kind soul mourned

AMHERST — A body reported to be that of an Amherst woman missing since Friday, was discovered Tuesday morning on University of Massachusetts property in a wooded area near the intersection of Amity Street and University Drive. Northwestern district attorney’s office spokeswoman Mary Carey said the body is believed to be that of Marissa Jackson, 26, who was last seen walking on Belchertown Road in the area of her Rolling Green Apartments home Friday at 10:30 p.m. Police issued an appeal Monday afternoon for anyone 0

Amherst student housing plan dropped

AMHERST — A controversial large-scale student-housing project proposed for a nearly 150-acre tract of woodland in the Cushman section of Amherst will not be built. Landmark Properties of Athens, Georgia, which proposed the 175-unit, 641-bedroom Retreat at Amherst project, withdrew its application for a cluster subdivision Friday. According to landowner and W.D. Cowls President Cinda Jones, Landmark recently requested concessions from Cowls to continue with the project. W.D. Cowls evaluated these requests and determined they were not in the company’s best interests. Jones did not 0

Pit bull that bit girls on Amherst playground now in custody

AMHERST — The pit bull terrier believed to have bitten two children last month on the playground at Crocker Farm School now last month is being held at the town pound. “I have the dog in my possession,” said Animal Welfare Officer Carol Hepburn said on Monday. Hepburn declined to elaborate on how she came to find the female pit bull, which she described as tan and brown with a white chest. Hepburn said she located and took possession of the dog Saturday morning. The 0