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Gov. Deval Patrick takes train to region, announces state to spend $17 million on track for passenger service

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GREENFIELD — Gov. Deval Patrick rolled into Greenfield aboard a passenger train Wednesday to announce the state is spending $17 million to advance the Amtrak Vermonter passenger service, scheduled to begin Dec. 29. That money will buy 49 miles of track between the Connecticut and Vermont borders, once again carrying passenger trains through Greenfield, which was once a hub of freight and passenger train service. “Every place a train has … 0

Deerfield Select Board opposes Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline, schedules hearing on health issues

Thursday, August 21, 2014

DEERFIELD — A lawyer with an office in Amherst has offered his assistance to the town of Deerfield in its fight to stop the proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline. Cristobal Bonifaz made the offer during a standing-room-only special meeting of the Select Board Wednesday night called to consider a resolution opposing the pipeline that is similar to those approved by other Franklin County … 0

Amherst launches pilot program to increase recycling downtown

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AMHERST — The town has launched an initiative to increase recycling in downtown Amherst and reduce the amount of trash from the commercial district that is being disposed. The Department of Public Works is installing seven recycling bins throughout downtown, including in front of Town Hall, as part of a pilot initiative expected to run from September through at least next May. Susan … 0

Amherst activist Rosa Clemente describes reaction to ‘police brutality’ in Ferguson as ‘unprecedented’

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AMHERST — Activist Rosa Clemente has seen a lot in 20 years of community organizing but the Amherst resident said Wednesday that the “police brutality” and subsequent reaction in Ferguson, Missouri, is unprecedented. Protests have continued each day in Ferguson since the shooting death of Michael Brown, an … 0

I-91 repair needs another two months Additional deterioration found on bridge over Route 5

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Due to additional deterioration found on the bridge over Route 5 it could be another six to eight weeks before motorists on Mount Tom Road can once again use the northbound on-ramp to Interstate 91. An … 3

Area briefs

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Northampton NHS FRESHMEN TRANSITION: Northampton High School will hold its first-ever transition event for freshmen and their parents from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The event is aimed to ease anxieties of students and their parents about entering the high school. Students will meet the high school administrators, … 0

US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, the Obama administration said Wednesday. Officials said the rescue mission was authorized … 0

Beheading spurs attacks on Islamic militants

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes against Islamic State extremists Wednesday and weighed sending more troops to Iraq as President Barack Obama vowed to be relentless in pursuit of the terrorist group that … 0

After ‘Smacked’ forces N.H. to declare emergency, local police and health officials are monitoring situation closely

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — While New Hampshire officials deal with a rash of overdoses caused by a potent type of synthetic marijuana called “Smacked,” a merchant who helps run two downtown head shops said the product is unfamiliar to him. … 0

Town and school officials back out of WHMP radio’s broadcast on racial issues in Amherst

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AMHERST — Four Amherst officials backed out of a live broadcast by radio station WHMP on racial issues the day before Thursday’s planned event, saying the town and schools are in the early stages of an effort to … 0

Grand juries indict 38 people allegedly involved in large-scale auto insurance fraud ring; nine to be arraigned Friday in Greenfield

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Nine people allegedly involved in a scheme to defraud auto insurance companies of hundreds of thousands of dollars are scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon in Franklin Superior Court. According to a statement from the Northwestern … 0

Jose Laboy of Springfield sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to 23 charges related to thefts from vehicles in Amherst

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Springfield man was sentenced to three years in state prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to breaking into about a dozen vehicles in Amherst last summer, stealing their contents and selling the items for money to buy drugs. Jose Laboy, 41, pleaded guilty in Hampshire Superior … 0

Obama weighs broader move on legal immigration

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is considering key changes in the nation’s immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups, in a move that could blunt Republicans’ election-year criticism of the president’s go-it-alone approach to immigration. Administration officials and advocates said the steps would go beyond … 0