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In this image made from Colorado Judicial Department video, defense attorney Tamara Brady, left, questions Robert Holmes, top right, the father of James Holmes, background left, during the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial in Centennial, Colo., on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Colorado Judicial Department via AP, Pool)

Holmes an ‘excellent kid,’ dad testifies

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The father of Colorado theater gunman James Holmes said he never suspected his son was mentally ill before the 2012 attack, but he and his wife became increasingly concerned about him when he stopped returning their phone calls. Robert Holmes said the call they did receive was from their son’s psychiatrist, about a month before the shooting. …

More footage released from Texas jail

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HEMPSTEAD, Texas — Texas authorities on Tuesday released several hours of footage showing Sandra Bland during her three days in jail, saying they wanted to dispel rumors that she was dead before arriving there. Waller County Judge Trey Duhon said such conspiracy theories — including one that Bland’s mug shot was taken after …

Fla. teen sailors still lost at sea

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

TEQUESTA, Fla. — Two teens whose lives were intertwined with the sea remained lost in the Atlantic on Tuesday, as their families and authorities tried to maintain hope against the fading odds of their survival. The Coast Guard pressed ahead with a fifth day of searches for the boys while their families coordinated …

Senate to vote on aid to Planned Parenthood

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Senate will vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to block federal aid to Planned Parenthood, GOP leaders said Tuesday, as anti-abortion groups clamored for action by lawmakers. Democrats said they will strongly …

Congress opts for 3-month highway bill

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate Republicans acknowledged Tuesday a long-term highway deal is out of reach for now, and embraced a three-month extension that will punt yet another messy fight into the fall. “This three-month extension represents the compromise that allows the House more time,” said Rep. …

Calif. teen suspected of killing girl, 8

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — A 15-year-old boy lured an 8-year-old girl into his apartment and killed her before hiding her body in a recycling bin at the housing complex for artists where they lived, authorities said Tuesday. Santa …

AREA POLICE NEWS

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Amherst ∎ Two males fighting outside an apartment at The Boulders, 188 East Hadley Road, at 3:53 p.m. Monday ended their scuffle when police got there. They were advised they could pursue their own assault-and-battery complaints in court. Hadley ∎ Police responded to a two-car crash on Route …

Bail reduced for Northampton man accused of child rape

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton man accused of sexually assaulting two girls he knew had his bail reduced from $50,000 to $10,000 in Hampshire Superior Court on Monday. The decision by Judge Richard Carey came during a bail hearing for Stanley J. Michalski, 30, of 9 Florence Road. Michalski …

Peter Zygmont, accused of Florence arson, held without bail at Superior Court arraignment

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Florence man accused of setting his home on fire in April pleaded not guilty to a single charge of arson of a dwelling in Hampshire Superior Court Tuesday. Peter C. Zygmont, 62, of 111 North …

Police confiscate marijuana from youths on the Rail Trail — and other area police news

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Easthampton ∎ Daniel Taylor, 18, of 93 Pomeroy St., was arrested Sunday at 4:17 p.m. at 264 Main St. on a charge of disturbing the peace after police responded to two calls complaining that Taylor was being disruptive while arguing with his girlfriend. ∎ A resident of Maple …

NSA will stop looking at old US phone records

Monday, July 27, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has decided that the National Security Agency will soon stop examining — and will ultimately destroy — millions of American calling records it collected under a controversial program leaked by former agency contractor …

Bulger asks for new trial

Monday, July 27, 2015

BOSTON — Lawyers for convicted gangster James “Whitey” Bulger asked a federal appeals court Monday to grant him a new trial, arguing that his defense was eviscerated when he was barred from testifying about his claim that he …

Former Easthampton man pleads not guilty to child rape charges

Monday, July 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A former Easthampton man pleaded not guilty in Hampshire Superior Court Monday to a half dozen child rape and indecent assault and battery charges. Kevin Paulin, 43, now of Palmer, was charged with two counts each of aggravated statutory rape of a child, indecent assault and …