Five College Area News

Letter: Securing parental rights

Did you know that parents with disabilities are far more likely than other parents to lose custody of their children as well as their parental rights during juvenile court proceedings? Despite abundant case law and anti-discrimination statutes, disabled parents still suffer from discrimination based off of the presumptions that having a disability means you cannot adequately raise your children. But all hope is not lost for these families, Stavros Center for Independent Living, state legislators, and other advocates are currently supporting H. 1370: An act 0

UMass Dining’s Blue Wall wins Best Concept Award from Food Management Magazine

AMHERST — Dining Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected as a winner in the Best Concept Awards given by Food Management magazine. A winner in the Best Renovation category, UMass Dining Services was honored for the Blue Wall, which reopened in September 2014 following a nine-month renovation. A staple of campus life since the early 1970s, the Blue Wall was renovated in response to the announced construction of the neighboring Integrative Learning Center. Today, the Blue Wall is a state-of-the-art campus 0

UMass climate report addresses regional species at risk

AMHERST — State fish and wildlife agencies across the Northeast and Midwest are now updating their 10-year state wildlife action plans, and climate change is a bigger concern than ever before. To help them gauge what’s ahead, scientists at the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offer a report on response to climate change for hundreds of regional species of greatest conservation need. Authors Michelle Staudinger and Toni Lyn Morelli, both ecologists with U.S. Geological Survey, and adjunct faculty in 0

Letter: Father of GCC

Much has been said and written about former State Rep. Walter Kostanski since his death at age 91. And rightly so. Few people contribute as much to improving the quality of life in their community as Walter. Fewer still leave a legacy that spans generations. Among his innumerable achievements in the Legislature, arguably his most significant was the leadership role he played in the founding of Greenfield Community College in 1962. At that time, community colleges were being established in the more populated areas of 0

South Hadley funeral director pleads innocent to more than 60 charges

NORTHAMPTON — Former funeral director William W. Ryder pleaded innocent Wednesday morning to over 60 charges filed in connection with the closing of his South Hadley funeral home last year, including several dozen counts of larceny. Ryder, 54, was arraigned on the charges in Hampshire Superior Court after a grand jury handed down its indictments Tuesday. The charges include 56 counts of larceny over $250 and five counts of improper disposition of a human body. Ryder was released on his own recognizance under the conditions 0

Family sues over UMass student death in bike lane

NORTHAMPTON — The family of a University of Massachusetts Amherst student killed when she was struck by a vehicle on North East Street last year has filed a wrongful death suit against the driver. Hannah Frilot, 20, was walking her bicycle in the bike lane on North East Street in Amherst about 11 p.m. on July 31, 2014, when she was struck from behind by a Toyota Rav4 driven by Cynthia S. May, 64, of Orleans, according to court documents. Frilot was thrown about 50 0

I-91 King Street exit closed in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — A southbound Interstate 91 exit that drops travelers onto North King Street near the intersection with Damon and Bridge roads will be closed for at least the next 60 days as part of bridge and road work that began in March, according to a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman. The closing of Exit 20 is necessary to rehabilitate and preserve the bridge on the ramp, said MassDOT spokeswoman Amanda Richard. 0

Jury selection for second defendant continues in UMass gang rape trial

NORTHAMPTON — Jury selection for the rape trial of Justin A. King of Pittsfield will continue today as court officials said eight jurors were chosen Monday. Judge Bertha D. Josephson on Tuesday will continue questioning a new pool of over 100 potential jurors, based partly on questions suggested by the attorneys in the case. If a jury is impaneled Tuesday, opening statements are expected to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday King, 21, and his co-defendants denied allegations that they gang-raped an 18-year-old student while she 0

Pulling for the pollinators: Slovenian professor visits UMass, advocates for a ‘World Bee Day’

AMHERST — As pollinators across the world — particularly the honey bee — are succumbing to diseases and colony collapses, the government of one bee-loving country is trying to create a day to celebrate their worldwide importance. Janko Božič, a professor of animal behavior and beekeeping at Ljubljana University in Slovenia, visited the University of Massachusetts on Monday to promote World Bee Day, which he hopes will be established on May 20 starting in 2016. In Slovenia, 8,000 of the national population of 2 million, 0

UMass lauded for community service

AMHERST — For the eighth year in a row, the University of Massachusetts has achieved recognition for its community service projects from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The organization placed UMass on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, according to a statement from the university issued last week. UMass has been recognized on the honor roll since it was established in 2007, the statement read. Organizations placed on the honor roll are chosen based on percentage of student participation in 0