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AMANDA DRANE

University of Massachusetts students marking the "Halfway to Blarney" event at Amherst Town Houses on Meadow Street Saturday.

Amherst police keep ‘Halfway to Blarney’ revelry in check

Saturday, September 20, 2014

AMHERST — Police dispersed a crowd of more than 200 University of Massachusetts Amherst students and their friends celebrating the halfway point to St. Patrick’s Day at the Amherst Townehouse Apartments at 50 Meadow St. Saturday. The festivities, dubbed “Halfway to Blarney,” began early in the afternoon amid concern from town and UMass officials that the party could become as …

UMass students applaud findings in Davis report; say police overreacted

Saturday, September 20, 2014

AMHERST — Two days after the release of a report critical of they way police and University of Massachusetts officials handled the March 8 “Blarney Blowout,” students interviewed on campus Saturday afternoon said they were not surprised by criticisms contained in the report. “I think they made a lot of assumptions that were …

Early morning fire Saturday destroys family home in Leeds

Saturday, September 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A stubborn, fast-moving fire displaced two adults, two children, and their pets at a Leeds home Saturday morning. Nobody was hurt in the blaze. A cause has not yet been determined. Firefighters from Northampton, Easthampton, Westhampton and Williamsburg responded after a 911 call from a resident of the home reported smoke …

Northampton will consider ban on Styrofoam, plastic bags

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The city is considering joining a growing list of communities nationwide to ban plastic bags in supermarkets and other retail stores, and Styrofoam disposable food and beverage containers used in restaurants. Responding to multiple requests from constituents asking the city to move toward such a ban, …

Northampton may order property owners to give city permission to access land for erosion control project

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The owners of two Reservoir Road properties will not give the city permission to use a portion of their land for an erosion control project at a brook near Musante Beach, forcing the City Council to step in. The council Thursday will consider whether to grant …

Worpek brothers of Chesterfield deny charges of stealing truck parts in Westhampton

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Two brothers from Chesterfield denied multiple charges in Northampton District Court Tuesday after they were allegedly caught in the act of stealing a radiator and other parts from a Mack truck parked at a gravel pit in Westhampton on Monday. Jeffrey Worpek, 27, and Joseph D. …

UPDATED: AG files suit against Ryder Funeral Home; $342,000 said missing from pre-paid funerals; remains of two people unknown

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — More than $342,000 and the cremated remains of a Granby man and his wife are missing four months after the Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley was shut down by state regulators, according to two lawsuits …

UPDATED: Forensic scientist in Ryan Welch murder trial says blood on slaying victim Jessica Ann Pripstein dripped on her from above

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A forensic scientist who was at the crime scene after the 2012 slaying of Jessica Ann Pripstein told jurors Wednesday that the pattern of red stains on Pripstein’s fleece jacket appeared to be from “dripping blood …

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 …

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 …

Northampton tree survey volunteer gets a lesson in identification skills

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Before volunteering in the Northampton tree surveying project last weekend, I would have guessed that a “London plane” was something that flew in and out of Heathrow Airport. Now, thanks to a group of dedicated arborists, …

Kinder Morgan files plans for gas pipeline running through Franklin County with federal regulators

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. made its proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project official Monday, with a “pre-filing” to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The 36-inch-diameter pipeline, which would include 167 miles in Pennsylvania and New York and another 177 …

Belchertown School Committee names Karol Coffin new superintendent

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — After a brief deliberation, the School Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to name Karol Coffin, currently principal of the Wamsutta Middle School in Attleboro, the new superintendent. After the vote, committee Chairman Richard Fritsch telephoned Coffin …