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Whately officials again seek support for proposed renovation of Town Hall

Monday, September 22, 2014

WHATELY — The Municipal Building Committee is once again seeking support for a proposed renovation of Town Hall, three months after it was defeated during the town election. According to Select Board member Paul Newlin, the committee voted at its last meeting to ask the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration for proposals to set up a series of community meetings where both supporters and opponents of the project could express …

Symposium on open meeting, conflict of interest laws Saturday in South Hadley

Monday, September 22, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — A legal symposium Saturday with David Giannotti, who is in charge of public education for the State Ethics Commission, will cover open meeting and conflict of interest laws. This free forum takes place at the South Hadley Town Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. “Giannotti is probably the foremost expert on ethics laws” in the state, said Town Administrator …

Attorneys in Ryan Welch murder trial make closing arguments, jury begins deliberating

Monday, September 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The fate of Ryan D. Welch is now in the hands of a jury. But before jurors retired to deliberate in his murder trial around noon Monday, they heard conflicting interpretations of the evidence against Welch in closing arguments from attorneys. Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jeremy Bucci alleges that Welch murdered …

US nixes lethal aid for Ukraine

Friday, September 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, President Barack Obama welcomed the new leader of the embattled former Soviet republic to the White House Thursday, but he stopped short of fulfilling his visitor’s urgent request for …

Slope project delayed

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Hoping the two sides can reach an agreement, the City Council Thursday postponed a vote on whether to grant temporary easements allowing public works officials to cross land owned by a Leeds couple to complete a slope stabilization project near Musante Beach. The Department of Public …

Senate majority OKs aid for Syrian rebels

Thursday, September 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — In the heat of an election campaign, Congress cleared the way for the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic State militants Thursday night, reluctant ratification of a new strategy …

Report faults UMass and Amherst police for mishandling ‘Blarney Blowout,’ calls for better crowd control, coordination and police training

Thursday, September 18, 2014

AMHERST — A much-anticipated report on the March 8 “Blarney Blowout” faults University of Massachusetts officials for failing to recognize the risk of a swelling group of young people on campus and Amherst police for reacting with too …

Tylor Sevene, 20, of South Deerfield charged with third OUI after accident on Route 91 in Hatfield

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A 20-year-old South Deerfield man was arraigned Thursday on his third drunk driving charge and other charges in regards to an accident that injured him and his girlfriend in August. Tylor J. Sevene, of 13 Elm St., Apt. 20, pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court …

Area police news

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Amherst ■ Jesus Merino, 20, of 188 East Hadley Road, unit 136E, was arrested Wednesday at 8:11 p.m. on Main Street on charges of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and failure to stop/ yield and on a warrant, police said. Easthampton ■ …

Court news

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Northampton ■ Daniel Flores, 21, of 605 Northampton St., Holyoke, denied a charge of assault and battery of a family or household member in Northampton District Court Thursday. According to court documents, Flores was arrested at the Northampton Police Station Wednesday at 2:40 p.m. after allegedly punching an …

Historic figures mural near Emily Dickinson’s Amherst gravesite may get new life when the wall it graces is torn down

Thursday, September 18, 2014

AMHERST — It appears the mural depicting Amherst’s historical figures facing the West Cemetery will be repainted in its current location by its original artist after the Amherst Carriage Shops building it graces is torn down. With the Amherst Community History Mural in jeopardy because it is painted …

Prosecution case nears end as state trooper, DNA specialist take stand; Ryan D. Welch murder trial may go to jury Monday

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A state trooper told jurors Thursday that when Ryan D. Welch was in a hospital bed unable to speak due to a neck wound, he mimed picking up a knife, cutting his throat and dropping it …

Journalists rap White House on secrecy

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CHICAGO — Editors and reporters meeting in Chicago raised concerns Wednesday about what they described as a lack of access and transparency undermining journalists’ work, several blaming the current White House for setting standards for secrecy that are spreading nationwide. Criticism of President Barack Obama’s administration on the …