Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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CHRIS LINDAHL Signs posted by the Northampton Board of Health and the state Department of Industrial Accidents on the door of Relax and Wellness Asian Massage in Northampton. The Market Street business was closed by officials Friday after a multi-agency investigation cited at least three city businesses for multiple code violations.

Health officials say Northampton massage businesses shut down due to dangerous living conditions

Saturday, February 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A city health official said two Northampton body works businesses suspected of offering sex for money were shuttered Friday because people were living in them in situations deemed “unfit for human habitation.” The Health Department closed Revival Body Works and Massage at 241 King St. and Relax and Wellness Asian Massage at 6 Market St. following administrative inspections …

Patrick Melnick revives plan for methane digester to turn manure into electricity at Bar-Way Farm in Deerfield

Saturday, February 28, 2015

DEERFIELD — The 500 cows there don’t know it yet, but they may soon be helping to produce electricity at Bar-Way Farm. After six years of trying, and more than a year after farmer Peter Melnick had given up on the project, he has restarted efforts to turn manure into electricity. He again hopes to install a methane digester on the Deerfield farm …

Four Northampton body work businesses under investigation for allegedly offering sexual contact for money; two closed

Saturday, February 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two Northampton body work businesses were shuttered by officials Friday for multiple code violations as part of a multi-agency investigation to determine, in part, if they and two other city businesses were offering sexual contact for money, according to Northampton police Capt. Jody Kasper. At least three of the body work …

Two sites in South Hadley Falls on Canal and Bardwell streets eyed for condominium development

Friday, February 27, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — Development of two town-owned properties could bring 18 new housing units to the Falls section of South Hadley and add tens of thousands annually in property taxes, according to Town Administrator Michael Sullivan. The sites are the old public library at 27 Bardwell St. and …

UMass football player to be charged with aggravated assault and battery; three injured in fight and hit-and-run accident recovering

Friday, February 27, 2015

HADLEY — Hadley Police have identified a University of Massachusetts football player as a suspect in a fight that left two UMass students injured last weekend and say they plan to charge him with two counts of aggravated assault and battery. Police declined to name the suspect, citing …

Two llamas on loose lassoed near Phoenix

Friday, February 27, 2015

PHOENIX — Two quick-footed llamas dashed in and out of traffic in a Phoenix-area retirement enclave before they were captured by authorities Thursday, causing a stir in the streets and on social media. A large, white llama and …

Northampton officials reluctant to make budget cuts needed for later high school start time

Friday, February 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Superintendent John Provost said Thursday night that he does not believe a later high school start time would be worth the cuts in arts, athletics or Advanced Placement courses needed to pay for it. “The benefit of a late start notwithstanding, these cuts would be devastating …

Deerfield adds US Department of Energy as defendant in action against gas pipeline

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DEERFIELD — A federal tort action filed by the town against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month has been amended to add the U.S. Department of Energy to the complaint as a defendant. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, private parties have the right to sue …

Alleged shoplifter arrested in Hadley with birdseed, dog treats, coffee products and cellphone

Thursday, February 26, 2015

HADLEY — Police arrested a 42-year-old man Thursday night for allegedly stealing $84 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart on Route 9, according to Hadley Police. Police said Jason Fortin, who gave his address as the streets of Amherst, was charged with shoplifting after he was caught by security …

House GOP weighs new Homeland Security tack

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — Sounding retreat, House Republicans agreed Thursday to push short-term funding to prevent a partial shutdown at the Homeland Security Department while leaving in place Obama administration immigration policies they have vowed to repeal. “The speaker’s pretty …

District attorney, judge battle over dismissal of larceny charges against Nancy Whitley in failed Easthampton condominium project

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Days after a Hampshire Superior Court judge criticized the prosecution for its presentation to a grand jury in an embezzlement case, the Northwestern district attorney fired back Thursday by filing a motion in which he accused …

Williamsburg ZBA, Planning Board to air neighborhood dispute over CRD Metalworks

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — A dispute over a metalworking business on Hyde Hill Road will be aired during a public hearing Friday on a request by the owner for a more specific special permit that would shield his operation from neighbors who he claims have a “personal vendetta” against him. …

Town negotiating with bars to thwart blowouts of the past

Thursday, February 26, 2015

AMHERST — If negotiations under way are successful, two downtown bars that created and served as ground zero for the Blarney Blowout promotion for more than a decade will delay their opening March 7, improving the possibility of …