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News

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. Hayes, 38, of 13 Orchard St., Apt. 319, Easthampton, was arrested at 6:43 p.m. Monday on a warrant at Amy’s Place at …

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke woman admitted in court Wednesday that she took part in the theft of items donated to a Northampton church last Christmas Eve. Serena Desantis, 34, pleaded guilty to larceny over $250 in Hampshire Superior Court Wednesday, a day after her accomplice in the crime pleaded guilty. Thomas W. Beckwith, 53, pleaded guilty to charges of larceny over $250 while …

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. Caret became the 26th president of UMass in January 2011. Before that, he was president …

Springfield man admits theft of clothes, other items for homeless collected at Unitarian Society in Northampton

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Springfield man admitted Tuesday in Hampshire Superior Court that last Christmas Eve he stole clothes and other items from a church that were donated to help the homeless, and stole two cartons of cigarettes from a Main Street pharmacy a few weeks later. Thomas W. …

Area police news

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Amherst ■ A resident of Aspen Chase, 615 Main St., reported at 11:27 a.m. Monday a break-in to an apartment. There was no additional information about whether there was forced entry or whether anything was stolen. Northampton ■ The resident of an apartment on Main Street in Florence …

Electrical fire temporarily closes Stop & Shop in Hadley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HADLEY — A small electrical fire closed Stop & Shop at 440 Russell St. (Route 9) for more than an hour Tuesday. Hadley Fire Chief Michael Spanknebel said there were no injuries and the fire was extinguished by the time firefighters arrived. “The store folks did a great …

Scholarship program seeks volunteers

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — The nonprofit scholarship program Distinguished Young Women of Greater Easthampton is looking for student volunteers to help with next year’s program. Volunteers would help with weekly rehearsals that are set to begin Jan. 30 and run through the weekend of show, which is set for March …

Valley communities consider raising minimum legal age for tobacco purchase to 21

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Encouraged by national research showing addiction to smoking to be more likely in those who start younger, several Valley communities are exploring the idea of raising the minimum age for buying tobacco. The boards of health in Leverett and Montague both have proposed regulations that would raise the …

Amherst arson squad investigates bedroom fire on South East Street

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

AMHERST — A fire inside a bedroom at a South East Street home early Monday evening was out before firefighters arrived. Firefighters responded just before 6 p.m. to the 1100 South East St. residence, where smoke was coming from the bedroom, said Firefighter Gary Flynn. “The room was …

New coalition opposing Tennessee Gas Pipeline hires lawyer specializing in energy issues

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Franklin Land Trust and seven other environmental organizations in the region have formed a coalition to fight the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline, hiring a Boston regulatory attorney who specializes in energy issues. The new group, calling itself Northeast Energy Solutions, was created to analyze, advocate and work …

King Street Liquors has license suspended for selling to underage drinkers

Monday, December 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — King Street Liquors had its license suspended for two months Monday after police investigations revealed that the store repeatedly allowed minors to purchase alcohol without verifying their ages. License Commission Chairman William Rosen said the commission voted unanimously to suspend the license of the store at …

Amherst officials seek to make Bangs Community Center safer, more welcoming

Monday, December 15, 2014

AMHERST — A series of changes are being made at the Bangs Community Center to make it safer and more welcoming for visitors, including the many elders who come to Senior Center programs and wait inside for rides to appointments. Health Director Julie Federman said last week that …

Second forum on downtown parking in Amherst scheduled for January

Monday, December 15, 2014

AMHERST — After an initial forum indicating that several business owners and residents are concerned about insufficient public parking downtown and new mixed-use projects that could further limit the supply of spaces, town officials are moving forward with plans to address these issues. Senior Planner Jeffrey Bagg told …