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UMass Deputy Police Chief Patrick Archbald defends confidential informant program

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts Deputy Police Chief Patrick Archbald on Tuesday defended a confidential informant program that has come under scrutiny, saying it reduces illegal drug activity and the potential for gun violence on campus. He said the program using students, which dates back to at least 2009, is part of the department doing everything in its power to pursue potentially bigger drug dealers. “We have had confidential informants …

Refugee of war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo relates his story to Smith Vocational and Agricultural School students

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Jowel Iranzi was barely 10 years old in 1996 when his life was turned upside down by war in his home country of Zaire — now the Democratic Republic of Congo. His family fled to Rwanda, then to Burundi, before war broke out there too. His father was killed in the …

Massachusetts chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving honors Amherst police

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AMHERST — The state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored Amherst police Tuesday as its “department of the month.” Amherst police officers Scott Soverino, Richard MacLean, Rita Contardo, Andrew Hulse, Benton Carr and Nicholas Chandler, were recognized for their efforts to enforce impaired driving laws and prevent drunken driving. David DeIuliis, program manager for MADD Massachusetts, said in a statement that Amherst …

Consumer watchdog group sponsoring funeral planning forum in Northampton

Monday, September 29, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts will sponsor an education forum Oct. 15 on the legal and financial aspects of funeral planning. Called “Dispelling the Myths about Funeral Prepayments,” the event is being held in the community room of the Rockridge Retirement Community from 1 …

Battle against Islamic State creates strange bedfellows

Monday, September 29, 2014

AMMAN, Jordan — On a recent evening, two of Jordan’s top pro-al-Qaida ideologues held court on the rooftop of a villa decorated with strings of lights. Sporting shaggy beards and robes, the Muslim preachers whispered to each other …

Hiker’s injured ankle triggers six-hour rescue on Holyoke Range

Monday, September 29, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Four friends, three from Springfield and one from Amherst, were helped off the Holyoke Range Sunday night in a six-hour rescue by about four dozen emergency workers. No one was seriously injured in the incident …

Cooley Dickinson Hospital, nurses agree on contract after 10 months of negotiations

Monday, September 29, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital and the association that represents its registered nurses reached a tentative agreement on a new contract Monday, canceling a picket planned Tuesday by nurses in front of the hospital. David Schildmeier, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said Monday the two sides …

State regulator proposes end to consumers prepaying funeral homes

Monday, September 29, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A state funeral industry regulator is proposing reforms he says would “shut the door” on the kinds of alleged financial fraud at the former Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley and elsewhere in the commonwealth. One proposal would stop consumers paying funeral directors or funeral homes …

Anthony Rogers of Amherst injures ankle, rescued from Mount Israel in New Hampshire

Monday, September 29, 2014

AMHERST — It took six hours to get an Amherst man off the mountain, but the ankle injury he received when he slipped on a trail on Mount Israel Saturday was described a routine for hikers in the White Mountains this time of year. Anthony Rogers, 65, of …

Area police news

Friday, September 26, 2014

Northampton ∎ A 44-year-old Ashland woman was stopped by police Sunday at 10:44 a.m. at 300 N. Main St. after police observed her driving erratically and almost hitting a guardrail. Police said the woman appeared groggy and lethargic. They took prescription medications that were in the car and …

Area police news

Monday, September 29, 2014

Amherst ∎ Mitchell Aaron Strojny, 21, of 5 Laurie Drive, Southampton, was arrested at 10:05 p.m. Monday outside downtown bars on a charge of violating the town’s open container bylaw. ∎ A 20-year-old Kings Park, New York, man will be summoned to court on a charge of malicious …

Hot-air balloon makes emergency landing in breakdown lane of Interstate 91 morthbound in Whately

Monday, September 29, 2014

WHATELY — Cars, pickups and an occasional tractor-trailer truck are common enough sights in the Interstate 91 breakdown lane. Hot air balloons are not so frequent. Dorothea Wrobel of North Adams was headed home from Northampton on Saturday night after dropping her daughter off at college when she …

Easthampton school notes: Easthampton High School student Bryan Delaney keynoter at annual conference

Monday, September 29, 2014

Easthampton High School senior Bryan Delaney will be a keynote speaker at “Find Your Voice,” the third annual Youth Conference on Substance Abuse Prevention Oct. 8 at Greenfield Community College. The conference, organized by Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office, aims to steer youth away from substance …