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Five College Area News

UMass, Amherst gear up for return of students starting today

AMHERST — The town’s population will swell today as the 4,650 members of the freshmen class at the University of Massachusetts arrive for orientation. While entering students spend their Labor Day weekend learning the ins and outs of living at UMass — including taking a pledge to affirm the campus’s community values — the town’s public safety officers continue to learn from past experience. Police Chief Scott Livingstone said his department will have additional patrols throughout the weekend. With help from an Underage Alcohol Enforcement 0

Montague man accused of lewd acts at UMass

AMHERST — A Montague man believed to be responsible for two incidents in which he exposed himself to female students on the University of Massachusetts campus last week was arrested Wednesday afternoon, according to UMass police. Christopher M. Williams, 38, of 17 Ave. C., unit 2, was arrested on two counts of open and gross lewdness by UMass and Greenfield police after a warrant was issued for his arrest Wednesday at 2:40 p.m., said UMass Deputy Police Chief Patrick Archbald. Williams was arrested without incident 0

Amherst Regional school district hires finance director

AMHERST — The man who has been filling in since the sudden, unexplained departure of the School Department’s finance director has been hired as the permanent replacement. The appointment of Sean Mangano, formerly the assistant director, was unanimously approved by the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Tuesday at a salary range between $95,000 and $105,000. It followed a search advertised in nine print and online outlets from which Mangano emerged as one of four finalists, according to Superintendent Maria Geryk. The board went into executive session 0

Smile for the camera

It may seem unlikely for a recent college graduate with a degree in dental hygiene to take up professional acting, but that’s what 25-year-old Northampton native Miranda Brooks has done; she made her TV debut last month, using the screen name Miranda Roldan. Roldan is her mother’s maiden name. “It’s a nice way to embrace the Hispanic side of my family,” she said. Brooks, or Roldan, starred on the Investigation Discovery series “Happily Never After,” which features re-enactments of true crime stories. Brooks graduated with 0

New PVTA bus route vital to many

It may seem unlikely for a recent college graduate with a degree in dental hygiene to take up professional acting, but that’s what 25-year-old Northampton native Miranda Brooks has done; she made her TV debut last month, using the screen name Miranda Roldan. Roldan is her mother’s maiden name. “It’s a nice way to embrace the Hispanic side of my family,” she said. Brooks, or Roldan, starred on the Investigation Discovery series “Happily Never After,” which features re-enactments of true crime stories. Brooks graduated with 0

Amherst-Pelham School Committee hit with Open Meeting complaint

AMHERST — An Amherst man has filed a complaint with the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee claiming members of the board violated the state’s Open Meeting Law when they met in defiance of then-chairman Lawrence O’Brien to discuss a controversial reprimand of committee member Amilcar Shabazz in July. In the complaint, Thomas Flittie of Ridgecrest Road singles out member Trevor Baptiste, who has since been elected to replace O’Brien as chairman of the school board, for holding the meeting July 14, which Flittie says was not 0

Letter: State treasurer

Tom Conroy, candidate for state treasurer, will have my vote in the Democratic primary on Sept. 9. My decision is based on the bold actions he has taken to advocate for a flexible and progressive carbon tax in order to reverse climate change, reduce pollution and foster more renewable energy production. Last year, Tom Conroy showed foresight in addressing climate change, by introducing the Barrett-Conroy bill, No. 2532. This Carbon Tax and Rebate Bill, a revenue-neutral carbon tax imposed on fossil fuel providers, will cut 0

Amherst BID teams up with town to add to tree stock

AMHERST — Where three trees once stood on the south side of Main Street near Town Hall, only deteriorating stumps remain at the center of the stone-lined tree wells. To improve the aesthetics of this section of Main Street, dominated by a parking lot and a PVTA bus stop, the Amherst Business Improvement District and Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee are launching a pilot partnership that at the start will plant three ornamental trees. Sarah la Cour, executive director of the BID, said this will 0

Green overhead

NORTHAMPTON — Alarmed by a steady decline in the number of public shade trees in Northampton, a group of residents has asked the city to follow the lead of Amherst by hiring a professional tree warden to coordinate and care for trees. It is a step Mayor David J. Narkewicz said Tuesday he intends to pursue. Whether the trees are aging because they are over a century old, being planted in the wrong spots, or suffering the effects of being in an urban environment, few 0

United Way targets economic insecurity

NORTHAMPTON — Some of the newest programs backed by the United Way of Hampshire County will help people facing hard times today do better tomorrow. The group, which announced Tuesday it reached its $1,257,000 goal, spent the past year looking for ways to support projects that target economic insecurity in the region. One such program is the Northampton Survival Center. It will receive $40,000 a year over the next three years — a funding plan designed to stabilize and improve human-services programs. “We are able 0