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Northampton to ask state for five above-quota liquor licenses

Saturday, December 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Nothing is quite as frustrating for Juan Suarez as watching a potential customer walk out the door of his downtown Mexican restaurant after realizing they cannot order a cocktail or martini with their dinner. Yet that’s exactly what happens nearly every night at Ibiza Tapas Wine Bar on Strong Avenue downtown because the restaurant does not have an all-alcohol liquor license and can only serve wine and beer. …

Around South Hadley: Apartments proposed for former library in South Hadley Falls, vacant lot on Canal Street

Saturday, December 20, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — The town has received one response each to requests for proposals on development at the former public library at 27 Bardwell St. and a vacant lot at 1 Canal St. across from the new public library. The Select Board will hear presentations on each at its Jan. 6 meeting. Both …

Claim of rapes roils swim community

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sitting in a coffee shop in Southampton, Monica Strzempko of Westfield recalled when her now 20-year-old daughter, Anna, was a happy, popular 13-year-old who was good at most everything — especially swimming. She had Olympic aspirations and was training hard with the Greater Holyoke YMCA Vikings club, an elite team that drew swimmers …

Obama faults Sony decision to cancel ‘Interview’ release

Friday, December 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama criticized Sony Pictures Entertainment on Friday for retreating on a film that seemingly instigated a devastating cyberattack now blamed on the North Korean government. Amid escalating concerns over porous U.S. electronic security, the FBI said it had amassed evidence linking North Korea to …

Two men arraigned on weapons, drug charges after Hatfield traffic stop

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Two men from New York and Vermont were held on $25,000 bail after they denied weapons, drug, and motor vehicle charges in Northampton District Court on Friday, a day after they were arrested during a traffic stop in Hatfield. Anthony Brundage, 37, of Staten Island, New …

Glenna O’Connell gets 18 months in jail after pleading to drug distribution charges

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Vermont woman was sentenced to 18 months in the county jail and two years probation after pleading guilty in Hampshire Superior Court on Thursday to drug distribution charges. Glenna O’Connell, 34, of Chester, Vermont, was sentenced after reaching a plea agreement on two cases against …

Is USA Swimming taking sexual abuse allegations seriously?

Friday, December 19, 2014

HOLYOKE — Indianapolis attorney Jonathan Little has represented many athletes who said they were sexually abused by their coaches or fellow athletes in sports, including swimming and track and field. After hearing Anna Strzempko’s account about being raped repeatedly by her former Greater Holyoke YMCA swimming coach, Little …

Commuter rail options next step in improved rail service along ‘Knowledge Corridor’

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Now that the decades-long dream of a high-speed train zooming along the Connecticut River is a lock, the region’s leaders expect to turn their attention to the next significant game-changer — a commuter rail system shuttling …

Gov. Deval Patrick to lead inaugural ride on Vermonter through ‘Knowledge Corridor’

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick is scheduled to lead an inaugural ride on the Amtrak Vermonter service along the “Knowledge Corridor” Monday afternoon. Later that night, the Ward 3 Neighborhood Association in Northampton will hold a forum to discuss the project and hear a safety presentation from an Amtrak officer. …

Solstice sessions honor Judith Young, astronomer who created UMass Sunwheel

Friday, December 19, 2014

AMHERST — On Sunday the sun will rise and set over the shortest day of the year. It will be the first winter solstice in more than 15 years when Judith Young, an astronomy professor, will not be …

Bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black-headed gull was found Sunday in Hadley. A Barrow’s goldeneye, three canvasbacks and a red-necked grebe were seen at Turners Falls. Another red-necked …

Valley Views: Adumbration

Friday, December 19, 2014

Adumbration, Springfield Road, Belchertown Photo and text by Julius Lester, Belchertown November is its own season. The colors of autumn have faded, but winter has not arrived. On Nov. 13, when I saw the dead leaves with a …

South Hadley police and fire rescue despondent man from Connecticut River

Friday, December 19, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — A 30-year-old man threatening to commit suicide was rescued from the Connecticut River Thursday night, according to South Hadley Police Chief David LaBrie. A 911 call was received at 9:32 p.m. from a friend of the man. LaBrie declined to identify either of them. Four …