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Deerfield Board of Health votes to ban Tennessee Gas Pipeline construction within town’s borders

Thursday, October 23, 2014

DEERFIELD — The Board of Health voted Wednesday night to ban construction of a proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. natural gas pipeline within the town’s borders, calling the project an “unreasonable risk to the health and lives of the residents of Deerfield.” The decision came after more than two months of public hearings on the topic and is based on the advice of Cristobal Bonifaz, a lawyer who lives in …

Amherst bylaw dating back to 1966 jeopardizes farm intern program

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AMHERST — Driving stakes into the ground and stringing up tomato plants on them was hard work for Samantha “Sam” Bavelock. Despite the many hours of planting, weeding and harvesting she put in as an intern with the Many Hands Farm Corps over the summer, Bavelock said she loved the experience so much …

Bankers say data breach over that affected Easthampton, Southampton businesses, including Big E’s

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Local bankers said this week that data breaches at some retailers in Easthampton and Southampton, including Big E’s Supermarket, appear to be over, thanks partly to businesses’ efforts to upgrade security. Easthampton Savings Bank President and CEO Matthew S. Sosik said banks are always dealing with some level of fraudulent activity, …

Moderator breaks tie vote at Whately special Town Meeting over spending $10,000 to revive Town Hall project

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WHATELY — Voters this week deadlocked over spending $10,000 to explore options for improving the Town Hall building. Town Moderator Paul Fleuriel broke the 23-23 tie vote at a special Town Meeting on Tuesday by ruling in favor of the article to approve spending the $10,000 to hold …

Alleged leader of auto insurance fraud ring based in New York indicted on 29 more charges

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The alleged leader of an auto insurance fraud ring has been indicted on 29 new charges. Lefen “Helen” Chen, 55, of Flushing, N.Y., is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on those charges of insurance fraud, perjury and conspiracy. Chen is accused of being the ringleader of a New …

Proposed zoning amendment requiring affordable housing prompts disagreement in Amherst

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AMHERST — With a mixed-use redevelopment project proposed to replace the Amherst Carriage Shops, proponents of increasing affordable housing in town are seeking to leverage developers’ requests for special permits by mandating that a portion of the units be set aside for low- and moderate-income families. A zoning …

Stephanie Solivan denies charges resulting from alleged beating of woman at Meadowbrook Apartments; warrant issued for Veronica Lisenby

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Police arrested one city woman and are seeking another who they believe were responsible for dragging a third woman from her home at Meadowbrook Apartments in Florence on Sunday and beating her with a chain. Stephanie A. Solivan, 26, of 241 Jackson St., Apt. 4B, pleaded …

State Department of Housing and Community Development official due Thursday at Rolling Green in Amherst

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AMHERST — Just two days after Gov. Deval Patrick came to Amherst to announce a $1.5 million MassWorks infrastructure grant, a second state official will be in town Thursday afternoon for an event at Rolling Green Apartments. Aaron Gornstein, undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development, …

Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies sponsors harvest banquet fundraiser

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AMHERST — Without stepping away from western Massachusetts, residents will have an opportunity to spend a few hours reveling in Renaissance-era Italy by sampling its food, music and customs. The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies holds its annual harvest banquet fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. …

Appeal must be decided before third murder trial for Cara Lee Rintala scheduled

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A possible third murder trial for Cara Lee Rintala must wait until the Supreme Judicial Court rules on an appeal filed by her lawyers who continue to seek dismissal of the case. Rintala is accused of murdering her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, 37, by strangling her …

South Hadley fire that killed 11 dogs apparently resulted from electrical failure in kitchen

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — A fire that killed 11 rescue dogs and displaced a woman at 5 Grandview St. on Friday is believed to have been accidental, likely the result of an electrical failure, according to the state fire marshal’s office. The fire started in the kitchen where the …

Area police news

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Amherst ■ Robert Carkhuff, 21, of 15 Bayberry Lane, was arrested at 12:08 a.m. Wednesday on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Police said his …

Current revenue projections suggest financial stability in Amherst

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AMHERST — Amherst’s schools, libraries and town should be able to continue providing the same level of services next year based on current revenue projections. Finance Director Sanford “Sandy” Pooler recently informed the Select Board, Finance Committee, School Committee and Jones Library Trustees that fiscal stability will allow …