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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 …

MassPIRG report urges expanded use of open-source textbooks

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AMHERST — Four years into a campus initiative aimed at reducing textbook costs by making course material available for free online, University of Massachusetts students and staff are pushing for more faculty to use this option. While the Open Source Initiative has already saved an estimated $1 million …

Gary Couchon of Easthampton released, charges against him dismissed, after judge rules him incompetent to stand trial

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — All charges against an Easthampton man accused of an attack on two women were dismissed and he was released to the care of his alleged victims after a Northampton District Court judge found him incompetent to stand trial. Gary Couchon, 59, of 21 Morin Drive, had …

Heather Whitley faces May trial on charges of embezzling deposits for failed condominium project in Easthampton

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The trial of Heather P. Whitley, accused of embezzling funds that were intended as deposits on a condominium project she was pitching, will be held in May unless she and the prosecution reach a plea agreement earlier. Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jayme Parent told Judge Mary-Lou …

Area court news

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Northampton ■ Sheila M. McCray, 49, of 51 Moser St., Apt. G, pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court on Wednesday to a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. According to court records, police arrested McCray at her home at 1:25 p.m. Tuesday after determining …

Area police news

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Amherst ■ Todd Randle Matthews 54, who listed his address as the streets of Amherst, was arrested at 11:16 p.m. Tuesday at the American Legion, 96 Amity St., on a charge of trespassing after refusing to leave the bar despite being asked to do so several times by …

Autumn Rankin of Northampton gets one year probation after admitting she smuggled heroin to ex-boyfriend in jail

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton woman was sentenced to a year of probation after admitting in Hampshire Superior Court on Wednesday that she smuggled heroin to her former boyfriend when he was in jail. Autumn M. Rankin, 36, pleaded guilty to distributing a Class A drug and possession of …

Daily Hampshire Gazette editorial staff, ad department, NIE program honored at yearly newspaper convention

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The editorial, advertising and Newspaper in Education departments of the Daily Hampshire Gazette garnered awards last weekend at the annual New England Better Newspaper Competition. The contest is sponsored by the New England Newspaper & Press Association and draws entries from six states. The newspaper received an honorable …

UMass senior Thomas Donovan files civil rights lawsuit against Amherst Police in Blarney Blowout arrest

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AMHERST — A University of Massachusetts senior has filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court alleging that four or five Amherst police officers falsely arrested him, used excessive force in taking him into custody, and deprived him …

Prolonged cold delays maple sugar season

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Farmer Leo Aloisi of Westhampton spent much of Wednesday out in his woods, plowing trails and relying on snowshoes to check on his three-mile network of plastic tubing that will, once the temperature warms up, bring gallons of …

Sgt. Brian Daly named to supervise Amherst Police Department detective bureau

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AMHERST — Sgt. Brian Daly, a member of the Amherst Police Department for nearly 18 years, is the new supervisor for the detective bureau. Daly was recently named to the post by Police Chief Scott Livingstone. He takes over the job after the position was vacated by Lt. …