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Town clerk sends election day campaign flier to Office of Campaign & Political Finance for review

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AMHERST — An election day flier left Tuesday at homes in a North Amherst precinct may have violated state campaign laws, although likely only if those who printed it spent more than $250, according to a spokesman for the state’s Office of Campaign & Political Finance. Town Clerk Sandra Burgess said Wednesday that the double-sided sheet of paper, which endorsed election of 10 Town Meeting members and three candidates for …

Area brief

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Amherst BIRDS OF PREY TALK — Raptor rehabilitator Julie Anne Collier will give a live birds of prey presentation from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Amherst Copy and Designworks, 37 East Pleasant St. Birds to be displayed include an American kestrel, a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed  hawk and a great horned owl. Collier’s artwork, including portraits of the raptors she cares for, will also be on display. …

Northampton City Council to consider raising water and sewer rates

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The City Council Thursday night will consider a request from Mayor David J. Narkewicz to increase water and sewer rates starting in July. The proposed rates are $5.74 per 100 cubic feet for water and $6.27 per 100 cubic feet for sewer — up from the current rates of $5.58 per cubic feet for water and $6.08 per cubic feet for …

Concerns raised about impact of state’s early retirement proposal on Department of Agricultural Resources

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tuesday was “Ag Day” on Beacon Hill, meaning it was a day for state legislators and administration officials to get an earful on key farming issues and a bellyful of Massachusetts farm products. Some expressed concern that proposed early retirement of state employees to save money might hurt …

Franklin Council of Governments will offer assistance to towns in Tennessee Gas Pipeline filing

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments is looking into providing legal and technical assistance to help towns deal with the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. The COG’s Regional Pipeline Advisory Committee, which has been coordinating its efforts with the Berkshire Regional Planning …

Wolfie’s Restaurant in South Deerfield closes temporarily for repairs after fire

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Local firefighters quickly put out a kitchen fire at Wolfie’s Restaurant early Tuesday, causing it to close temporarily for repairs. At 1:41 a.m., Deerfield Police were dispatched to 52 South Main St. for a reported …

Emmanuel Bile Jr. sentenced to eight to 10 years in state prison for role in 2012 gang rape at UMass

Monday, March 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Hampshire Superior Court Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder on Wednesday sentenced Emmanuel T. Bile Jr. to serve eight to 10 years in state prison for his part in a gang rape the judge characterized as an “alcohol-fueled, …

High level of disinfection byproducts found in Amherst water supply

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

AMHERST — A higher-than allowed concentration of disinfection byproducts were found in the municipal water supply last year, though public works officials said the results did not pose a threat to the public. “This was not an emergency,” according to a statement released Tuesday by the Department of …

Hazzard, Douangmany elected to Amherst School Committee

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

AMHERST — Two new members elected to the Amherst School Committee pledged to listen to the community and work together with their colleagues after winning seats at Tuesday’s town elections. Phoebe F. Hazzard, 208 Snell St., who previously …

Iran talks push past deadline

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — With stubborn disputes unresolved, nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers went past a self-imposed deadline and into overtime as negotiators renewed efforts to hammer out the outline of an agreement. Enough progress had …

Maple sugaring season comes at long last to Valley, as producers hope for best after long-delayed start

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — Easy does it. Now that maple sap is flowing, sugarers hope spring continues to play hide-and-seek in the Valley to salvage a sluggish season. With night freezes and daytime thaws finally here, sugarers are making syrup, …

Judge allows former Ryder Funeral Home employee Thomas Pascucci to attach real estate for unpaid wages

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge allowed a former employee of the closed Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley to stake a claim on a residential home that belongs to former funeral director William W. Ryder. Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder issued a court order allowing Thomas A. …

August trial planned for Robbie Rossi, held on $50,000 bail in case of 2011 Westhampton home break

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Worcester man was nearing the end of a state prison sentence for filing fraudulent Springfield tornado disaster claims, but a judge in Hampshire Superior Court ruled Tuesday that he be held after that sentence ends on $50,000 bail on charges related to a 2011 Westhampton …