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KEVIN GUTTING
Ryan D. Welch listens to testimony on Tuesday, the fourth day of his murder trial in Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton.

Police officer in Welch murder trial says defendant talked of fight with slaying victim Jessica Ann Pripstein

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The Easthampton police officer who arrested Ryan D. Welch on a drunken driving charge after he struck a telephone pole on Valentine’s Day 2012 said Welch reported fighting with his girlfriend earlier in the day. “He stated to me that he had just been in a fight with his girlfriend and just wanted to go home,” Officer Robert …

Groundbreaking research in Arctic leads UMass professor Julie Brigham-Grette to head Polar Research Board

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AMHERST — Studying glacial geology is a tantalizing mystery that can offer up a treasure trove of information if you know how and where to dig, believes University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Julie Brigham-Grette. “It’s like trying to put together a 1,000-piece puzzle and having only 300 pieces to work with,” Brigham-Grette said …

Area briefs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Northampton TEACHING POLISH: Beginning this week, the Rev. Adam Czarnecki of St. Valentine Parish, 127 King St., is teaching Polish language classes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the parish hall of the church. There is no charge. For further information, call the rectory office at 584-0133. Deerfield ART AUCTION: The Friends of the Tilton Library will hold a month-long art auction in the …

No injuries in fire that damages Hatfield house built in 1840

Saturday, September 13, 2014

HATFIELD — As firefighters cleared burned items from the attic of his Depot Road home Saturday evening, Bernard Motyka said he was just glad that no one was hurt. “It’s about people,” said Motyka. “Not about stuff.” Motyka, …

Opinions differ on whether Board of Health could prohibit Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline

Saturday, September 13, 2014

DEERFIELD — There is a difference of opinion about whether the Board of Health has the power to prevent Kinder Morgan’s controversial Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline from passing through town. Cristobal Bonifaz, a lawyer from Conway whose law office is in Amherst, believes so, and the Deerfield Board …

Questions raised over change in police reporting of domestic violence arrests

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Over the past month, police have been carefully separating domestic violence calls from the police log, shielding them from public view as required by new legislation. But local law enforcement authorities and legislators are now questioning the merits …

Area police news

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Amherst  A 21-year-old Amherst man was arrested about 11:30 p.m. Thursday after he drove into a ditch on Amity Street near Rafters restaurant. Clarke E. Gale of 319 Pine St. was arrested after an Amherst police officer going to work saw him drive his vehicle off the …

Preparations for Northampton’s permanent 'swap shop' move ahead

Friday, September 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — As they patched and painted an old garage door Wednesday at what will soon house the city’s new swap shop, Mac Everett and Peter Rackelbusch talked passionately about what the center will mean for residents who …

Andrew Shelffo of Ward 2 resigns from Northampton School Committee

Friday, September 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Andrew Shelffo of Ward 2 has resigned from the Northampton School Committee. “Due to a recent change in personal circumstance, I am no longer domiciled in Northampton,” he wrote Friday in a letter of resignation. “It has been an honor to serve the City of Northampton …

Authorities have not yet confirmed cause of death for Marissa Jackson of Amherst

Friday, September 12, 2014

AMHERST — Authorities have not confirmed the cause of death for Marissa Jackson, the 26-year-old Amherst woman discovered dead Tuesday near the University of Massachusetts campus, but say that no life-threatening injuries were found on her body, according to a statement issued Friday by Steven E. Gagne, first …

Six names added to Eva Trager memorial honoring contributions to downtown Northampton

Friday, September 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Gary Golec touched the monument that now bears the name of his wife, Christina Cavallari, on the way back to his seat from accepting a plaque in her honor Friday evening. Cavallari, the longtime owner of …

Valley Swim School in Northampton to close due to high pool costs

Friday, September 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Rising costs to maintain an indoor pool on the former Clarke School campus in Northampton are leading to the closing of the Valley Swim School next month. That will mean some 300 children, senior citizens and …

South Hadley teachers reach agreement on three-year contract with 2 percent annual raises, benefit reduction

Friday, September 12, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — A new three-year contract for teachers includes a 2 percent annual pay raise and added longevity pay. It also contains a reduction in benefits and increased work hours. Similar agreements were reached with four other bargaining units. Superintendent Nicholas Young said he is currently negotiating …