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Five College Area News

UMass professor David Reckhow leads national team researching low-cost ways to keep drinking water clean

AMHERST — Water — we drink it, cook with it, bathe in it, and our lives are dependent on it. Yet many people know little about how water is treated to make sure it is fit for human consumption. One expert is David A. Reckhow of Florence, a professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. Reckhow and his colleagues in November received a $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a national center for 0

Town-Gown Steering Committee in Amherst recommends permanent successor

AMHERST — A permanent board to link the University of Massachusetts and the town of Amherst, which could be vital to the success of future housing and economic development initiatives, is a key recommendation from the Town-Gown Steering Committee in its draft final report. The steering committee met for the last time Thursday and will send a memo to Town Manager John Musante and UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy urging them to create what would be known as the University-Town of Amherst Collaborative. Receiving a $60,000 0

GCC nursing program to return to Smith Voke

NORTHAMPTON — Greenfield Community College’s licensed practical nursing program will return to its roots at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School after a sharply divided board of trustees voted Tuesday. The decision will make space for the LPN program by ending a 23-year-old lease with the Northampton Parks and Recreation Department, which now has six months to find a new home. The nursing program has been housed at the VA Medical Center in Leeds in recent years and will move to a voke school building 0

UMass students disappointed in Cosby, support university’s decision to cut ties

AMHERST — Students at the University of Massachusetts who remember Bill Cosby as the fatherly Dr. Huxtable and creator of “Little Bill” are disappointed in the allegations against the comedian, and proud of their university’s decision to cut its ties with him. “If he’s not exemplifying what UMass stands for, then I don’t think it’s worth keeping him around,” UMass freshman Darlene Irons, 18, said Sunday. The university announced last week that it cut its ties with the embattled entertainer amid allegations that he sexually 0

Smith Voke to host GCC’s LPN program?

NORTHAMPTON — Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School trustees will vote today on whether to host Greenfield Community College’s licensed practical nursing program. Smith Voke Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson said “This is certainly a need of the community, and it’s a great opportunity for us.” The board of trustees will vote at its meeting at 5 p.m. in the school library on whether to give the current tenants, the city Recreation Department, six months’ notification that it will be ending the 23-year-old lease at the 90 0

UMass cuts ties with embattled Cosby

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst announced Wednesday night that it has cut ties with embattled entertainer Bill Cosby amid accusations that he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women during his career. UMass joins at least two other schools that have distanced themselves from Cosby. Cosby is a graduate of UMass Amherst and until Wednesday had served as an honorary co-chairman of its $300 million fundraising campaign called UMass Rising. He and his wife, Camille O. Cosby, are also significant donors to the 0

New courses will combine clean energy with agriculture

AMHERST — Agricultural students at the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College and Holyoke Community College will benefit from an $810,000 National Science Foundation grant that will be used to create collaborative programs combining clean energy studies with sustainable agriculture. “The main purpose of the grant is to marry what has for the most part historically been two separate sides of sustainability education — clean energy and agriculture,” said Kate Maiolatesi, coordinator of Holyoke Community’s sustainability studies program, in a statement. John Gerber, professor of sustainable 0

Key players in medical marijuana industry air implications

NORTHAMPTON — Panelists at a forum on medical marijuana this week explored the complexities of using pot medically, from the legality of growing it to finding the right dosage and knowing when it is and isn’t safe to drive. Panelist Bob Gunther of Holyoke, previously of New York City, said he did have a lot of questions when he first started using medical marijuana. But now, he says the THC-laced coconut cookies he eats have changed his life. “I’m actually in a good mood, and 0

Amherst teachers, staff told not to talk about Gardner case

AMHERST — Amherst Regional High School teachers and staff have been advised not to comment publicly or have discussions with students about former math teacher Carolyn Gardner, whose attorneys last month filed a discrimination complaint against the school district. Meantime, a Tuesday meeting of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee, at which supporters of Gardner had planned to deliver a petition appealing for the district to come to a settlement with her, was postponed after the meeting was not properly posted in Pelham. A candlelight vigil 0

UMass gets $5.6M for water research

AMHERST — UMass just got $5.6 million to find a modern replacement for chlorine for purifying municipal drinking water. The grant will go toward a mobile laboratory where long-term pilot tests can be done at public water supplies. On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the award of $4.1 million to create a national research center that will develop and test advanced and low-cost ways to reduce and eliminate water contaminants that pose challenges to communities. The federal money is supplemented with $1.5 million 0