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Area court news

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Northampton ■ Rodney A. Boyce, 56, of 64E Musante Drive, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Northampton District Court to charges of strangulation or suffocation, assault and battery on a family or household member, and intimidation of a witness. According to court records, Boyce was arrested at his home at 3:57 a.m. Tuesday after allegedly pushing his girlfriend onto a bed and putting his hands around her neck. The woman told …

Suspicious package that closes Rocky Hill Road in Hadley contains typewriter

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HADLEY — A section of Rocky Hill Road was closed for nearly 40 minutes Thursday morning while state and local police investigated a suspicious package left at a resident’s home that turned out to contain a typewriter. Police received a report of a suitcase left on a resident’s front steps at 9:19 a.m. Hadley police and firefighters were called and the road was …

Planning Board approves Atkins Farms satellite store expected to open next summer in North Amherst

Thursday, December 18, 2014

AMHERST — A satellite Atkins Farms Country Market remains on track to open in North Amherst next summer. The Planning Board Wednesday approved site plans for the project at 113 Cowls Road, within what is being called the Mill District development, as well as granting a special permit that will allow deliveries to be made to the Atkins store through an existing driveway …

State approves tax deal for Mohawk Fine papers envelope plant in South Hadley

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Mohawk Fine Papers moved a step closer to bringing up to 37 manufacturing jobs to South Hadley by winning unanimous approval Wednesday from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development Economic Assistance Coordinating Council for a tax incentive crafted by the town. The company announced last …

Easthampton City Council approves $5,000 increase in mayor’s pay to take effect in 2016

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — The City Council unanimously approved a $5,000 increase in the mayor’s salary Wednesday that will take effect in 2016. The mayor currently earns $70,000 annually, according to City Clerk Barbara LaBombard. The 7.14 percent increase to $75,000 will take effect in January 2016, after the first …

Area police news

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amherst ■ A resident of an East Pleasant Street home reported at 4:39 p.m. Tuesday that the word “molly” was spray-painted on the side of the building. The resident told police the vandalism may be linked to a disturbance Dec. 5 in downtown Amherst. Easthampton ■ Shawn M. …

Serena Desantis admits role in Christmas Eve theft of donated items from Unitarian Society in Northampton

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke woman admitted in court Wednesday that she took part in the theft last Christmas Eve of items donated to a Northampton church. Serena Desantis, 34, pleaded guilty to larceny over $250 in Hampshire Superior Court on Wednesday, a day after her accomplice in the …

Robert Caret resigns from UMass presidency to become chancellor of University System of Maryland

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret has resigned to return to the University System of Maryland, where he will become chancellor. The University System of Maryland late Wednesday afternoon announced Caret’s hiring, effective July 1. …

State grant expands precision-machinist training in Franklin and Hampshire counties

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GREENFIELD — With a $276,705 state grant, Greenfield Community College and Franklin County Technical School will be able to continue to offer its precision-machinist training over the next two years as well expand offerings to include blueprint reading, metrology, grinding and lean manufacturing. A total of 56 adults …

Northampton to study crosswalk safety after pedestrian critically injured last week

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — City officials plan to conduct a study of all city crosswalks in light of safety concerns after a Northampton woman was critically injured when she was struck by a car in a crosswalk on Bridge Street …

HitPoint Studios, successful gaming company, leaves Amherst for Springfield

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

AMHERST — With its move to Springfield next week, an Amherst company that has developed online video games for Facebook and smartphones is poised to launch its own channel from which gamers can select the new content they wish to play. The relocation of HitPoint Studios is prompted …

Easthampton City Council to vote on $5,000 increase in mayor’s pay

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — The Easthampton City Council plans to vote Wednesday after a public hearing on a proposed $5,000 increase in the mayor’s salary that would take effect in 2016. The mayor currently earns $70,000 per year, according to …

Sex offender Charles Capen of Easthampton accused of sexually assaulting teenager after chaperoning party

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — An Easthampton sex offender accused of inappropriately touching a teenager after chaperoning a party in Hatfield was arraigned in Northampton District Court on Monday and bail was set at $5,000. Charles W. Capen, 32, of 4 Clinton St., pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent …