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JERREY ROBERTS
Viraphanh Douangmany, center left, and Phoebe Hazzard, right, who both won Amherst School Committee seats Tuesday, look at election results during an interview by Judy Brooks and Tony Maroulis at Amherst Media.

Hazzard, Douangmany elected to Amherst School Committee

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

AMHERST — Two new members elected to the Amherst School Committee pledged to listen to the community and work together with their colleagues after winning seats at Tuesday’s town elections. Phoebe F. Hazzard, 208 Snell St., who previously taught fourth grade in Bennington, Vemont, and is a stay-at-home mother of two, and Viraphanh Douangmany, 12 Longmeadow Drive, Unit 21, a …

Iran talks push past deadline

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — With stubborn disputes unresolved, nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers went past a self-imposed deadline and into overtime as negotiators renewed efforts to hammer out the outline of an agreement. Enough progress had been made to warrant the extension past midnight Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, …

Maple sugaring season comes at long last to Valley, as producers hope for best after long-delayed start

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — Easy does it. Now that maple sap is flowing, sugarers hope spring continues to play hide-and-seek in the Valley to salvage a sluggish season. With night freezes and daytime thaws finally here, sugarers are making syrup, starting in earnest to boil at a time of year when they have sometimes been …

Northampton Police arrest woman on drunken driving charge hours after she declines sober transport

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Police tried to arrange rides for inebriated patrons at Club Diva early Friday morning, but an East Longmeadow woman who told officers she would not drive her vehicle was arrested two hours later after she did just that, police allege. Northampton Police arrested Julie Kristen Rybacki, …

Jury fails to reach verdict after deliberating for five hours in alleged UMass gang-rape case

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court jury deciding whether a Pittsfield man took part in the gang-rape of a University of Massachusetts Amherst freshman deliberated for five hours Friday afternoon without reaching a verdict. Court was adjourned at …

Defendant Emmanuel Bile Jr. testifies that alleged victim in UMass gang rape was conscious and willing when they had sex

Thursday, March 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On the witness stand Thursday, a Pittsfield man accused of participating in the gang rape of an 18-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student in 2012 told jurors the woman was conscious and a willing participant. “I …

A shot in the dark as officers train

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON The city’s police force spent three days this week taking part in specialized firearms training with Blue Line Corp. of Sudbury. The program was held at the Massachusetts State Police barracks on North King Street in Northampton …

Senate pushes non-binding budget toward approval

Thursday, March 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans pushed a balanced-budget blueprint toward late-night approval Thursday night, laying down conservative markers for a likely veto struggle with President Barack Obama over their plans to erase deficits through trillions in spending cuts and …

Oklahomans pick up after storm

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — Oklahomans salvaged soggy belongings Thursday after the Plains’ first tornado outbreak of 2015, expressing gratitude that casualties were low but understanding that nature’s next punch could be far worse. One person died and dozens …

Electric rate shock even worse than expected for some

Thursday, March 26, 2015

This has been a hard winter for many, not only because of historically cold temperatures, but also because they’ve seen electric bills shoot through the roof. The heart of the problem is the generation rate, or supply rate, that represents local utilities’ pass-through cost for the power they …

Greenfield hires owner of Lake Hitchcock Development as temporary, part-time economic development director

Thursday, March 26, 2015

GREENFIELD — The owner of a development firm in Sunderland is the new part-time economic development director in Greenfield who will work for the next three months. Mayor William Martin said Larry Jutras, owner of Lake Hitchcock Development in Sunderland, has taken the job and will work on …

Area brief

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Amherst NOMINATIONS FOR EDUCATOR AWARD: Parents, students, teachers and staff are invited to make nominations for the first Amherst Regional Middle School Educator Award. It will recognize an educator who demonstrates a commitment to supporting students, collaborating with colleagues and contributing in a positive way to the middle …

Support in Amherst for second downtown parking garage

Thursday, March 26, 2015

AMHERST — Beginning the process of bringing a second parking garage to downtown Amherst appears to have strong support from business owners, residents and some town officials. People who attended the third downtown parking forum, sponsored this week by the Planning Board and Select Board, made it clear …