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Hilltown Voices: Large turnouts in Chesterfield and Goshen approve WiredWest broadband fiber-optic network

Saturday, July 4, 2015

In two of the best-attended special Town Meetings in recent memory, Chesterfield and Goshen this week each overwhelmingly approved spending more than $1 million to help create a regional state-of-the-art broadband fiber-optic network. The project will be built and operated by WiredWest, a cooperative seeking to provide broadband to 32 towns in western Massachusetts. On Monday, Goshen voters unanimously approved $1.4 million as the town’s share of the project, and …

The Rev. Thomas Shea retires from St. Patrick’s Church in South Hadley after 49 years as a priest

Saturday, July 4, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — The Rev. Thomas Shea was in Rome for a four-month course on sacraments and moral teachings when Thomas Ludger Dupré, then bishop of the Springfield Diocese, called to say there was an opening for a priest at St. Patrick’s Church in the Falls neighborhood of South Hadley. “Would I go?” …

Area police news

Friday, July 3, 2015

Amherst ∎ Dennis Lavigne, 36, of 12 Weaver Circle, was arrested at 6:20 a.m. Friday on Cherry Lane on a warrant. Police said Lavigne was found in a vehicle with Vermont license plates parked on the street after a resident reported that someone might be living in the vehicle. ∎ Thomas Charles Crossman, 32, of 10 Gatehouse Road, Apartment 320, was arrested at …

Two hikers rescued by Hadley Fire Department after getting lost on the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HADLEY — Two Longmeadow residents were rescued by the town Fire Department after they got lost while hiking on the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail in Hadley on Tuesday night, according to Hadley Police. Officer Jesse Green said the hikers, a 30-year-old man and 34-year-old woman, had started hiking around 6 …

Former Deerfield Academy student files federal lawsuit alleging sexual abuse during athletic trips to Connecticut in 1980s

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. — A former student at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts has filed a federal lawsuit alleging he was sexually abused by a faculty member while on athletic trips to Connecticut in the 1980s. The former student names Deerfield Academy and its former golf and squash coaches as …

US, Cuba to announce plan to open embassies

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba have finalized an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, a major step in ending hostilities between the Cold War foes, a senior administration …

Whately Board of Health to consider raising legal age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WHATELY — Following the example of other nearby Franklin and Hampshire County communities, the Board of Health will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss revising the town’s bylaws to make it harder for young people to obtain tobacco products. The hearing will be in …

Jody Kasper makes history in taking over Northampton Police Department as chief

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Police Chief Jody D. Kasper acknowledges that generally speaking, these aren’t good times for police squads across the country, something she finds both daunting and inspiring as she assumes leadership of the city’s 74-person department. She …

Municipal investment in public art supported in Amherst

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

AMHERST — Municipal investment in public art that would make Amherst a more prominent destination for artists and people visiting cultural attractions appears to have widespread support in the community, with town officials beginning to examine the best ways to ensure such financing is possible. Results of feedback …

Granby Veterans Memorial Committee continues to raise money for construction project

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GRANBY — When the Granby Veterans Memorial Committee first got together in 2012, the members had one goal — to dedicate their time to the development and construction of a memorial to honor Granby residents who served their country in times of war. Working hand-in-hand with Friends of …

Children’s book author Molly B. Burnham announces candidacy for at-large Northampton School Committee seat

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Children’s book author Molly B. Burnham, of 18 New Street in Florence, has announced her candidacy for an at-large seat on the Northampton School Committee. She is at least the fourth candidate for the two at-large seats in the Nov. 3 election. Burnham, 48, is author …

James Ainsworth pleads guilty in crash that killed Edward and Brittany McGrath; sentencing continued to August

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Family members and loved ones of Brittany and Edward McGrath sobbed in Hampshire Superior Court on Tuesday as they described the “brilliant” father and daughter, and how they cannot keep from imagining the pair’s final moments …

Area police news

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Amherst ∎ A wallet was stolen from a vehicle broken into while parked at the Notch Visitors Center, 1500 West St. The incident was reported to police at 7:07 p.m. Monday. ∎ Police are investigating a break-in to the Aerobics and Fitness Studio, 20 Belchertown Road, reported at …