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Five College Area News

Three County Fair fires up this weekend

NORTHAMPTON — Visitors at the Three County Fair this weekend can expect to enjoy old favorites such as the demolition derby and the exhibit hall with 15-foot sunflowers and giant pumpkins, as well as some additions — including Moto Maniacs, in which riders perform a high-wire act on motorcycles. The agricultural fair, now in its 198th year, will also include a variety of live music performances, carnival rides, and children’s shows. And, of course there will be animals — cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, 0

UMass issues traffic advisory ahead of student move-in days

AMHERST — They’re coming. University of Massachusetts Amherst students will move in to campus housing between Friday and Sunday. First-year students — 4,685 in all, according to the university — will arrive between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday. Transfer students will move in on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 13,000 returning students will move in on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Traffic will be rerouted on and near campus during portions of Labor Day weekend. On Friday, vehicles 0

Goodbye Best Buy: Chain’s Hadley store closing

HADLEY — Electronics chain Best Buy will close its Hampshire Mall store on Oct. 31. The store employs a total of 64 employees, 26 of whom work full-time. All employees will be given the chance to apply at a nearby store, and those who don’t will be eligible for a severance package, according to company spokeswoman Carly Charlson. Charlson said the closure is in line with the company’s standard “course of business.” She said the decision to shut a store’s doors often comes from increasing 0

American Reckoning: UMass professor’s book looks at the tangled legacy of the Vietnam War

Christian Appy jokes that, to many of the students who take his class about the Vietnam War, the long struggle seems almost like “ancient history.” But as the University of Massachusetts Amherst history professor sees it, the Vietnam War has left a long, tangled legacy that is still very much with us today. Appy, who teaches a number of courses on modern American history, is the author of three books on Vietnam, including “Patriots,” an acclaimed 2003 oral history of the war in which he 0

New app aims to make UMass move-in easier

AMHERST — Moving into the dorms at the University of Massachusetts? There’s an app for that. This week UMass unveiled a free digital application for Apple’s phone and tablet operating system and Android devices called “Living at UMass.” Eventually, it will provide students with assistance in a number of aspects of campus life, but its initial focus is on the fall move-in, a ritual a UMass statement introducing the app called “that annual logistical challenge of getting thousands of students and belongings into their rooms, 0

Hampshire County Briefs

Route 9 diner to reopen with new owner this fall HADLEY — A family that owns and operates several restaurants in the Pioneer Valley — including four in Amherst and South Hadley — intends to reopen the former Route 9 Diner as Johnny’s Roadside Diner this fall. Andy Yee, general manager of real estate and development for Johnny’s Diner LLC, said Thursday that the diner-style restaurant — serving American comfort food and focused on breakfast offerings — should be open by Nov. 1. “We saw 1

UMass notches a record year for patents

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts was awarded 65 U.S. patents during the past fiscal year, a record amount for the system, which has doubled down on increasing research in recent years, university officials say. “Cutting-edge research by our faculty puts us in the upper echelon of universities nationally and makes UMass a major leader in innovation,” said UMass President Martin Meehan. “The level of activity we are seeing across the UMass system creates an atmosphere of invention and entrepreneurism that excites and inspires our 0

Rosenberg asks UMass to reduce fee increase

AMHERST — State Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg is calling on University of Massachusetts leadership to look again at reducing a fee increase to students, while university spokesman Robert Connolly is asking for another $46 million from the Legislature to eliminate the increase entirely. In a letter dated Aug.13, Rosenberg wrote to UMass President Martin T. Meehan that the UMass system will receive $531.8 million in state funding, a $20.6 million increase over the final spending in the previous year, and pointed out that the 0

Herrell’s to expand space, add offerings at Thornes home

NORTHAMPTON — Herrell’s Ice Cream is planning to expand its Thornes Marketplace location in order to offer more treats to more people — with additional space to move around. “We’re renovating because we’re tripping over each other,” Herrell’s president, Judy Herrell, said Tuesday. Herrell plans to begin building a custom kitchen in October in what is now a storage space adjacent to the ice cream store. Scoopers will continue slinging the sweet stuff until January, when the store will close for 20 days to complete 0

Amtrak ridership booming in region

Local ridership of the Amtrak Vermonter has increased by more than half since it was rerouted to Northampton and Greenfield in January, which officials say helps make the case for increased state and federal investment in rail. From January to May 2014, 5,870 passengers used the now-closed Amtrak station in Amherst. During that same period this year, 7,014 passengers used the Northampton station and 2,820 used the one Greenfield. Moreover, the Northampton and Greenfield stops are on track to generate nearly 25 percent of the 0