Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Police / Fire / Courts

‘The stars aligned’; reflected sunlight the cause of Amherst bedroom fire

Saturday, December 20, 2014

AMHERST — It wasn’t electrical. The residents weren’t smokers. The fire began in a home on South East Street seemingly out of nothing, consumed an old chair and then sputtered out after damaging a nearby wall. The chair was clearly where the fire started, according to Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson, who headed up the investigation team, but the rest was a mystery. “There wasn’t anything left in the …

Claim of rapes roils swim community

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sitting in a coffee shop in Southampton, Monica Strzempko of Westfield recalled when her now 20-year-old daughter, Anna, was a happy, popular 13-year-old who was good at most everything — especially swimming. She had Olympic aspirations and was training hard with the Greater Holyoke YMCA Vikings club, an elite team that drew swimmers …

Two men arraigned on weapons, drug charges after Hatfield traffic stop

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Two men from New York and Vermont were held on $25,000 bail after they denied weapons, drug, and motor vehicle charges in Northampton District Court on Friday, a day after they were arrested during a traffic stop in Hatfield. Anthony Brundage, 37, of Staten Island, New York, pleaded not guilty to charges of two counts of possession of a firearm without …

Glenna O’Connell gets 18 months in jail after pleading to drug distribution charges

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Vermont woman was sentenced to 18 months in the county jail and two years probation after pleading guilty in Hampshire Superior Court on Thursday to drug distribution charges. Glenna O’Connell, 34, of Chester, Vermont, was sentenced after reaching a plea agreement on two cases against …

Is USA Swimming taking sexual abuse allegations seriously?

Friday, December 19, 2014

HOLYOKE — Indianapolis attorney Jonathan Little has represented many athletes who said they were sexually abused by their coaches or fellow athletes in sports, including swimming and track and field. After hearing Anna Strzempko’s account about being raped repeatedly by her former Greater Holyoke YMCA swimming coach, Little …

Timothy Lakota of Belchertown faces charges in connection with Amherst vehicle break-ins, thefts

Friday, December 19, 2014

AMHERST — A Belchertown man allegedly responsible for break-ins to at least three vehicles and the theft of packages from doorsteps of Amherst homes was arrested on Newell Court early Friday morning. Timothy R. Lakota, 26, of 121 …

Not much talk among Shelburne Falls residents about sexual assault accusations against Bill Cosby

Friday, December 19, 2014

SHELBURNE FALLS — Sawyer News Co., with its spread of local and national newspapers and racks of magazines, has always been the place to go for news. The headlines on newspapers and the gossipy tabloids often spark lively …

Bail reduced for NY man shot in Ware while allegedly trying to run down officer

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge Thursday reduced bail for the New York man who was shot by a Ware police officer he was allegedly trying to run down with his car. Judge Mary-Lou Rup set bail for Sajid Dacres, who uses an alias of Quinton Avant, …

Bondage ‘master’ convicted of murder in plot to kill wife

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DETROIT — A Detroit-area man was convicted Thursday of murder in a plot to kill his wife so he could devote himself to a life of bondage and domination in an upper-class suburb with women who called him …

Three killed as speeding car slams into Calif. crowd

Thursday, December 18, 2014

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Pedestrians were filing out of a church Christmas service when a car sped around other vehicles at a red light and plowed into the crowd before hitting another car head-on, police and witnesses said. …

Tsarnaev’s lawyers seek trial delay

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was …

Woman jailed for gambling away in-laws’ money

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — A Holden woman has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing nearly $1 million from her elderly in-laws to feed her gambling habit. Chiao Fang Ku was also ordered Wednesday in federal court to pay full restitution, avoid any kind of gambling, and …

Suspect in fatal Chicopee stabbing faces fall trial

Thursday, December 18, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man charged with fatally stabbing a Chicopee woman in 2011 will go to trial next fall. The Republican reports that a Hampden Superior Court judge on Wednesday scheduled 23-year-old Dennis Rosa-Roman’s murder trial for Oct. 27. Twenty-year-old Amanda Plasse was found dead in …