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Gas leak forces evacuation

Sunday, September 21, 2014

FLORENCE — A broken gas pipe at a Woods Road house forced firefighters Sunday to evacuate several homes in the immediate area for half an hour until the gas could be should off. Capt. Tom Clark said firefighters were called to a home on Woods Road, off of Burts Pit Road near Ryan Road School, at about 12:30 p.m. after workers with Columbia Gas of Massachusetts reported a meter they …

Amherst firefighters take 13 intoxicated concert-goers to hospital

Sunday, September 21, 2014

AMHERST — Town firefighters and emergency personnel had their hands full Friday night, attending to 24 intoxicated students and young people at an electronic dance concert, 13 of whom had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Amherst Fire Chief Tim Nelson said his department had prepared for the show, at the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts, where a crowd …

Amherst police keep ‘Halfway to Blarney’ revelry in check

Saturday, September 20, 2014

AMHERST — Police dispersed a crowd of more than 200 University of Massachusetts Amherst students and their friends celebrating the halfway point to St. Patrick’s Day at the Amherst Townehouse Apartments at 50 Meadow St. Saturday. The festivities, dubbed “Halfway to Blarney,” began early in the afternoon amid concern from town and UMass …

Hampshire Superior Court judge approves injunctiion preventing William Ryder from selling funeral home business

Friday, September 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A judge Friday granted a request from the state attorney general’s office prohibiting William W. Ryder from selling his embattled funeral home business or any of its assets until victims are compensated. The decision may give some hope to the 63 people who say they gave …

Amherst, UMass officials pledge support for reforms

Friday, September 19, 2014

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts, town and police officials acknowledged their mistakes, described a new set of remedies and expressed optimism that the blueprint former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis delivered in a 65-page report for protecting the …

Forum scheduled in Amherst to discuss priorities for Community Preservation Act money

Friday, September 19, 2014

AMHERST — Every year, projects that protect open space, preserve affordable housing and promote historical preservation come before annual Town Meeting. Almost all of these projects financed using Community Preservation Act money since the town adopted the surcharge in 2001 have been approved by the members. Last spring …

New building at Kendrick Place in Amherst will not have on-site parking for tenants, businesses

Friday, September 19, 2014

AMHERST — A five-story building that will house 102 tenants and three businesses is being constructed at the intersection of Triangle and East Pleasant streets. When these units at Kendrick Place are leased next fall, there will be no on-site parking for residents or patrons of the businesses. …

Area court news

Friday, September 19, 2014

■ Michael Tomasella, whose address is listed as the streets of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court Thursday to three counts of violating an abuse prevention order and intimidation of a witness. According to court documents, Tomasella was arrested at 5:14 p.m. Wednesday at …

Area police news

Friday, September 19, 2014

Amherst ■ Elody Y. Ramirez Jr., 22, of Lawrence, was arrested at 1:42 a.m. Friday on East Pleasant Street on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger, failure to stay within marked lanes and failure …

‘The Very Busy Spider’

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bird Sightings

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A short-billed dowitcher was found in the town of Washington. An upland sandpiper, a marsh wren, American pipits,and a Connecticut warbler were in Northampton. Over the last two days, more than 2,500 broad-winged hawks …

Heading Outdoors

Friday, September 19, 2014

∎■ Skinner State Park — Department of Conservation and Recreation sponsors free programs at Joseph Allen Skinner State Park, Route 47, Hadley: Sept. 20 and 21: 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m., Summit House Tour (meet at Summit House); Sept. 22: 10 a.m., Advanced Hike for Seniors (meet at …