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Police / Fire / Courts

Governor’s Council OKs three clemency requests

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — The Governor’s Council on Wednesday approved the first clemency requests in more than a decade in Massachusetts, voting to commute the prison sentence of a woman convicted of drug charges and grant pardons to two men who had sought to expunge from their records crimes that occurred during their youth. The council voted 6-2 to approve Gov. Deval Patrick’s decision to commute the 7 ½-year sentence of Deanne …

Afghan soldier who fled US training sent to Canada

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — One of three Afghan military officers detained after fleeing a U.S. training exercise to avoid returning to Afghanistan has been allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada, his attorney said Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement turned over Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada to Canadian authorities on Tuesday, spokesman Khaalid Walls confirmed. Askarzada, along with Maj. Jan Arash and …

Couple sues Whole Foods, ranch over son’s death

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON (ap) — A Massachusetts husband and wife who blame their 8-year-old son’s death on the ground beef they bought at a Whole Foods Market have sued the supermarket chain and the ranch they say produced and processed the meat. Melissa and Andrew Kaye, of Braintree, said in their suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston that the grass-fed beef they …

Driver to be charged in crossing guard’s death

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WEST SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a driver who struck and killed a West Springfield school crossing guard on Monday will be charged in the accident. West Springfield Police Sgt. Hubert Rees said Wednesday that a 61-year-old Agawam woman will be charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligence. …

Former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury indicted on firearms charges resulting from Belchertown incident

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A former Massachusetts police chief acquitted of charges connected to the 2008 death of an 8-year-old boy at a gun show has been indicted on unrelated firearms charges. The Republican reports that a grand jury Tuesday handed down an indictment charging ex-Pelham Chief Edward Fleury with …

Family, friends rally to help Chloe Rombach as she recovers after being struck in Northampton crosswalk

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The family and friends of Chloe Rombach, the 22-year-old city woman critically injured when struck by a vehicle in a Bridge Street crosswalk last week, have started an online fundraiser to aid in the expenses associated …

Feds charge 14 in 2012 meningitis outbreak

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BOSTON — Mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers’ gloved fingertips. Pharmacists used expired ingredients, didn’t properly sterilize them and failed to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics. Employees …

Lefen ‘Helen’ Chen pleads guilty in insurance fraud ring, may face deportation

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A woman from Taiwan may face deportation after she admitted in Hampshire Superior Court Wednesday that she led a scheme that defrauded insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over six years. Lefen “Helen” Chen, 56, of Flushing, New York, accepted a plea agreement …

Area police news

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amherst ■ A resident of an East Pleasant Street home reported at 4:39 p.m. Tuesday that the word “molly” was spray-painted on the side of the building. The resident told police the vandalism may be linked to a disturbance Dec. 5 in downtown Amherst. Easthampton ■ Shawn M. …

Serena Desantis admits role in Christmas Eve theft of donated items from Unitarian Society in Northampton

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke woman admitted in court Wednesday that she took part in the theft last Christmas Eve of items donated to a Northampton church. Serena Desantis, 34, pleaded guilty to larceny over $250 in Hampshire Superior Court on Wednesday, a day after her accomplice in the …

Trial date set in lawsuit filed by former Frontier Regional employee alleging racial discrimination

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — A trial date has been set for a discrimination lawsuit filed against Frontier Regional School by a former information technology professional who was fired after he alleged he was treated unfairly by co-workers. Sandy Moya of Holyoke, has sued the school for racial discrimination, national …

Appeals court nixes sex change for inmate at taxpayers’ expense

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BOSTON — A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate convicted of murder. Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, is serving a life sentence for …

Mom indicted on two counts of murder in babies’ deaths

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — A woman was indicted on two murder charges after the skeletal remains of three babies were found in her squalid home in September, a district attorney announced Tuesday. Thirty-one-year-old Erika Murray has been held on …