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Court tosses conviction in Massachusetts killing

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BOSTON — The highest court in Massachusetts on Tuesday overturned a first-degree murder conviction against a Boston man who stabbed his girlfriend to death, finding that jurors were given faulty instructions on how they could consider his use of alcohol the night of the killing. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the conviction of Mario Gonzalez and sent the case back to a lower court so prosecutors can either reduce his … 0

Interim schools chief seeks to keep steady course, foster communication

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Continuity will be a goal for the upcoming school year as the district adjusts to an interim educational leader while the School Committee resumes its search for a permanent superintendent. Robert Gazda, who is taking a semester off as an adjunct faculty at Westfield State University to lead the Belchertown schools … 0

New leadership, college-credit classes in the mix at Smith Voke

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — New administrators, new classes and new animals are just some of the changes that will greet Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School students in September. “Next year is going to be a very, very exciting year for us,” said Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson during a mid-summer interview in his office. New school … 0

Calif. teens arrested after police uncover deadly school plot

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. — Investigators acting on a tip unraveled a plot to carry out a massacre at a suburban Los Angeles high school, arresting a pair of students who planned to target three school staffers and kill … 0

UMass Amherst suspends Education Abroad programs in Israel for fall semester

Saturday, August 9, 2014

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has suspended its Education Abroad programs in Israel for students during the fall semester. The decision was announced last week by the university’s International Risk Management Committee which considered “input and information from multiple sources, including insurance and risk management consultants … 0

Public art viewing platform removed from banks of Connecticut River in Hadley

Thursday, August 7, 2014

HADLEY — Fourteen months after it went up, an artistic viewing structure designed to connect passers-by to the Connecticut River landscape along North Lane has come down. Hadley public works employees last week dismantled the series of wooden … 0

Guide to developments in Missouri police shooting

Monday, August 18, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. (ap) — Protesters have gathered daily, with some crowds turning violent, since a police officer fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Here’s a look at key elements … 0

Pathologist: Brown may have had hands raised

Monday, August 18, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. — An unarmed 18-year-old whose fatal shooting by police has sparked a week of protests in suburban St. Louis suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his … 0

Body of Marine’s missing wife found in mine shaft

Monday, August 18, 2014

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — For nearly two months, Southern California sheriff’s deputies and a legion of volunteers scoured the vast, rough terrain peppered with abandoned mine pits and deep bodies of water where the 19-year-old pregnant wife of … 0

Hernandez fiancee wants perjury charges dismissed

Monday, August 18, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez is seeking to have perjury charges dismissed. Shayanna Jenkins is charged with lying to a grand jury investigating the killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating Jenkins’ sister. Hernandez faces three … 0

Egypt: No deal yet on Gaza cease-fire, more talks

Monday, August 18, 2014

CAIRO — Egypt late Monday announced a 24-hour extension in talks between Israel and the Hamas militant group aimed at salvaging a long-term arrangement that would allow reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following a monthlong war that killed … 0

Pope: Intervention OK to protect Iraq minorities

Monday, August 18, 2014

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis on Monday said efforts to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq are legitimate but said the international community — and not just one country — should decide how to intervene. Francis was asked if he approved of the … 0

Study: Less shake from artificial quakes

Monday, August 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the … 0