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Police / Fire / Courts

KEVIN GUTTING

Former drug lab chemist Sonja Farak consults with her attorney, Elaine Pourinski, during an appearance in Hampshire Superior Court in January, 2014. .

Future unclear for thousands charged or convicted based on drug samples tested by Sonja Farak

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Sonja J. Farak told a nurse at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee in December 2013 that she used methamphetamines and other stimulants “whenever she could get her hands on them.” And since her job as a chemist was to test drug samples at a state drug lab in Amherst, that opportunity came daily. According …

Three-car vehicle accident on Route 9 in Hadley sends three women to hospital

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

HADLEY — Three women were brought the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a three-vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon on Route 9. According to Officer Jesse Green, a 2005 Chevrolet TrailBlazer driven by a Hadley woman was waiting to make a left turn into a parking lot near 40 Russell St. (Route 9), with a Subaru station wagon or small SUV driven by an Amherst …

Was Bill Cosby’s moralizing key to his undoing?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NEW YORK — For decades, Bill Cosby cast himself as America’s dad and then as America’s granddad, a moralist with tough talk for young people about acting responsibly. It was that image that proved to be his undoing. The judge who unsealed documents on Monday revealing Cosby’s 2005 admission that he obtained quaaludes …

Area police news

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Amherst ∎ Several junk vehicles parked at College Street Motors, 260 College St., had windows and mirrors smashed in an overnight vandalism spree reported to police at 10:15 a.m. Monday. Management requested additional patrols in the area to prevent damage in the future. ∎ Sage Y. Grasso-Monroe, 19, …

Body found in Ware park; no foul play suspected

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WARE — Police are investigating the death of an unidentified man whose body was found at Grenville Park early Wednesday morning. A spokeswoman for the Northwestern district attorney’s office said no foul play is suspected. The body was found about 5:30 a.m. in the park, which is bordered …

Power outages planned in Easthampton Tuesday night for electric system upgrades

Monday, July 6, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — Upgrades to the electric system will lead to a scheduled power interruption overnight Tuesday into Wednesday for residents and businesses on several streets in the city’s center. The work is scheduled for 11 p.m. Tuesday to about 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to a press release from …

Cosby admitted obtaining drugs to sedate women for sex

Monday, July 6, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 that he got quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and that he gave the sedative to at least one woman and …

State medical examiner determines that UMass student Chloe Malast died of blood clots

Monday, July 6, 2015

AMHERST — A state medical examiner has determined that a 21-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student who died in October succumbed to blood clots in her lung’s arteries that may have been brought on by birth control pills. Chloe Malast, a student in the Commonwealth Honors College from …

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan estimates 2,000 local cases may be impacted by ex-chemist’s tampering

Monday, July 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Now that court documents reveal former crime lab chemist Sonja Farak may have tampered with drug samples for much longer than state officials originally represented, Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan estimated about 2,000 local cases …

Area police news

Monday, July 6, 2015

Amherst ∎ Kawal M. Namou, 21, of Wayland, was arrested at 2:53 a.m. Sunday on University Drive on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger and speeding. ∎ Sage Y. Grasso-Monroe, 19, of Queensbury, New …

Two men deny breaking into cars in Easthampton and stealing chow mein

Monday, July 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two men denied in Northampton District Court on Monday that they broke into numerous unlocked, parked cars in Easthampton in the early morning and stole two boxes of chow mein and loose change. Daniel Taylor, 18, of 93 Pomeroy St., and Dylan C. Pinkham, 22, of …

Amherst police field noise, fireworks complaints over Fourth of July weekend

Monday, July 6, 2015

AMHERST — Noisy Independence Day celebrations and periodic complaints of fireworks set off in residential neighborhoods kept police busy during the Fourth of July weekend, with officers responding to 149 calls for service. The most significant disturbances were reported at 164 Sunset Ave., a long-time student rental home. …

Police identify man killed in head-on crash with police cruiser

Monday, July 6, 2015

CHICOPEE (AP) — Police have identified a man killed in a head-on crash with a police cruiser this weekend that also left an officer injured. Chicopee police Officer Mike Wilk said an SUV driven by 37-year-old Richard Chapin of Chicopee crossed into the opposite lane on Front Street …