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Police / Fire / Courts

In this Nov. 18, 2014, photo, a researcher simulates a check done for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS, at the FBI’s criminal justice center in Bridgeport, W.Va. NICS did about 58,000 checks on a typical day in 2013. That surged to 145,000 on Black Friday. (AP Photo/Matt Stroud)

Thousands of gun sales beat checks

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — More gun sales than ever are slipping through the federal background check system — 186,000 last year, a rate of 512 gun sales a day, as states fail to consistently provide thorough, real-time updates on criminal and mental histories to the FBI. At no time of year is this problem more urgent. This Friday opens the busiest …

Man who fell from ceiling naked held without bail

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston man who police say fell naked through the ceiling of a women’s bathroom at Boston’s airport and then assaulted an elderly man has been ordered held without bail pending a hearing next week. Cameron Shenk was arraigned Wednesday on charges that include attempted murder, assault and battery on a person over 60, and lewd and lascivious conduct. Police …

Leveled strip club’s owner sues over gas explosion

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The owner of a strip club that was destroyed in a natural gas explosion in Massachusetts has sued the utility for $5 million, claiming the company was deprived of years of “generous” income. The lawsuit against Columbia Gas says the owner of Scores Gentleman’s Club “has forever lost the ability to use the property for its club” because a 2003 …

Body found in overturned car in Westfield

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WESTFIELD (AP) — Westfield police are investigating after a body was found in an overturned car in a farmer’s field. The farmer reported the car in the field at about 7 a.m. Wednesday, but police say it’s unclear how long the vehicle had been there. The person who …

US Ebola monitors find no cases

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NEW YORK — For three weeks, Dr. John Fankhauser and his family lived in two RVs in a meadow in North Carolina, watching movies, playing cards and huddling around a fire pit — with no other campers around. …

Ferguson prosecutor faces new criticism

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. — He criticized the media. He talked about witness testimony that didn’t match physical evidence. And he did it at night, as a city already on edge waited to learn if a grand jury would indict …

Justice Ginsburg has heart stent implanted

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart stent implanted on Wednesday, reviving talk about how long the 81-year-old liberal jurist will be staying on the court. Ginsburg was expected back at work on …

Cleveland cop shot boy seconds after encounter

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CLEVELAND — The police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun fired within 1½ to 2 seconds of pulling up in his cruiser, police said Wednesday. During those few moments, he ordered the youngster …

Judge denies bail reduction for Fabian Williams, charged with raping two girls at Northampton residential treatment program for teens

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge Wednesday denied a request to reduce the bail of Fabian Williams, a 27-year-old Springfield man who is accused of raping two girls when he was an overnight staff member at a former residential treatment program for children in Northampton. Williams’ attorney, …

Florence woman cited for texting while driving after car hits telephone pole

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Deborah L. Feen-Epstein, 52, of 168 Maple Ridge Road, Florence, was given a written warning for texting while driving after her vehicle struck a telephone pole on Pine Street in Florence Tuesday evening. Feen-Epstein was not injured in the accident. According to police, she was driving …

Area police news

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Northampton ∎ Francis Besson, 51, of 421 North Main St., Apt. B6, Leeds, was arrested at the Northampton Police Station at 1:47 a.m. Wednesday on a warrant issued by Woburn District Court for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and speeding. ∎ A report that someone had rubbed …

Grand jury focused on ‘tussle’ between Ferguson officer, suspect

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. — Some witnesses called it a tussle. Others described it as a tug-of-war. Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson testified that they were fighting over his handgun. None of the witnesses who testified, other than Wilson, could say …

Hundreds gather in Northampton to protest Ferguson grand jury decision

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Hundreds gathered outside City Hall Tuesday night to express outrage over Monday’s grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, and decry what they described as a legacy of racism in policing and the criminal justice system. The …