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In this 2014 photo provided by Homeland Security Investigations, two books that federal officials say are stolen Italian books from the 17th century are shown in San Francisco. The books were discovered in the San Francisco Bay Area and will be returned to their country of origin. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the books, "Stirpium Historiae" and "Rariorm Plantarum Historia Anno 1601," were taken from Italy's Historical National Library of Agriculture and sold to an antiquities dealer in Italy. (AP Photo/Homeland Security Investigations, Misty D. Miller)

400-year-old books stolen in Italy found in Calif.

Friday, February 27, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Two stolen Italian books dating to the 17th century that were discovered in the San Francisco Bay Area and many other plundered ancient artifacts will be returned to their country of origin, federal officials say. The books, “Stirpium Historiae” and “Rariorm Plantarum Historia Anno 1601,” were taken from Italy’s Historical National Library of Agriculture and sold to …

Argentine judge rejects cover-up in 1994 bombing

Friday, February 27, 2015

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A federal judge on Thursday firmly dismissed allegations that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez tried to cover-up the involvement of Iranian officials in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, easing a crisis for her government fed by the death of the prosecutor who brought the case. Judge Daniel Rafecas …

Nigerian kidnappers hold US missionary

Friday, February 27, 2015

JOHANNESBURG — Kidnappers who abducted Seattle missionary Phyllis Sortor this week have demanded a $150,000 ransom, according to Nigerian police, suggesting the kidnapping was probably carried out by a criminal gang rather than militants. Police and security forces were combing the region in search of Sortor. Locals in Kogi state, where Sortor was abducted, have been complaining about the high rate of crime …

Woman dies in single-car crash in Bernardston

Thursday, February 26, 2015

BERNARDSTON (AP) — Authorities say a 24-year-old woman died when her car went off the road struck a utility pole in Bernardston. A spokeswoman for the Northwestern district attorney’s office says Marlerie Kidder was driving north at about 7 a.m. Wednesday when her sedan crossed into the oncoming …

Alleged shoplifter arrested in Hadley with birdseed, dog treats, coffee products and cellphone

Thursday, February 26, 2015

HADLEY — Police arrested a 42-year-old man Thursday night for allegedly stealing $84 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart on Route 9, according to Hadley Police. Police said Jason Fortin, who gave his address as the streets of Amherst, was charged with shoplifting after he was caught by security …

District attorney, judge battle over dismissal of larceny charges against Nancy Whitley in failed Easthampton condominium project

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Days after a Hampshire Superior Court judge criticized the prosecution for its presentation to a grand jury in an embezzlement case, the Northwestern district attorney fired back Thursday by filing a motion in which he accused …

Former president Evan Dobelle drops federal suit against Westfield State University

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Former Westfield State University president Evan S. Dobelle dropped his federal lawsuit against university and state officials on Thursday, just days after his attorneys requested to withdraw from the case, citing his failure to pay them. …

Area police news

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Easthampton ∎ Workers at CVS, 118 Northampton St., reported at 4:43 p.m. Tuesday that they observed a man and a woman shoplifting two bottles of laundry detergent from the store. Police recognized the man after reviewing security footage at the store. They went to his house and persuaded …

Richard Orozco of Chicopee sentenced to prison for theft of $1,000 in quarters, negligent operation

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Chicopee man is headed to state prison for three to five years after he stole $1,000 in quarters and crashed his car while driving negligently, all within a 10-hour period on April 8. Richard J. Orozco, 40, pleaded guilty Jan. 21 in Hampshire Superior Court …

Eric Poulin of South Hadley denies soliciting sexual conduct for a fee at Easthampton hair salon

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A South Hadley man denied charges Thursday stemming from a police sting in the back room of an Easthampton hair salon that police say was prompted by a Craigslist notice advertising “Head to Toe Body Care …

DC defies Congress, legalizes marijuana

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — As of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the District of Columbia will legalize marijuana, despite warnings from two congressional Republicans that doing so would break the law and could lead to possible prison time for D.C. officials. “Our government is prepared to implement and enforce Initiative 71 in …

Dobelle’s lawyers want off his case

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WESTFIELD (ap) — Lawyers for former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle, who is suing state education officials, cite an “irreconcilable difference” and a failure to pay bills, in their effort to drop him as a client. Dobelle served as university president from January 2008 until his resignation …

Bombing trial set to open next week

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BOSTON — Opening statements in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be held next week, a court official announced Wednesday after the judge qualified enough prospective jurors to move on to the final stage …