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Police / Fire / Courts

House fires not often sparked by lightning, officials say

Thursday, July 24, 2014

House fires started by lightning strikes like the one that destroyed a Northampton residence Thursday morning are rare, but may happen no matter how many precautions are put in place. “Lightning is going to strike where it wants to strike,” said Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson. “It’s one of those things. What are you going to do?” Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office, said in an … 0

Three guilty in probation hiring case

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BOSTON — Former state probation commissioner John O’Brien was convicted Thursday of rigging the department’s hiring process to favor politically-connected applicants over those who were more qualified. The guilty verdict on charges of racketeering and mail fraud came after seven days of deliberations in a case that focused attention on the patronage culture … 0

Burke’s supporters see verdict as massive injustice

Thursday, July 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The attorney for former deputy probation commissioner William Burke calls the conviction of his client in a public corruption trial a “grave injustice.” “I have deep respect for the jury system and I respect the jury in this case for their effort. However, like all human systems, mistakes are made, and I believe that their decision in this case is a … 0

Beware E-ZPass email scam

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A new email scam that popped up this month may seem like highway robbery, and some may be paying a high price as a result. People across the country have fallen victim to a new scam that sends authentic-looking emails notifying people of supposed road toll violations and … 0

Leeds man cited after collision

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Leeds man was cited after police say he ignored a stop sign and was struck by an oncoming truck at the intersection of Cooke Avenue and Hatfield Street Tuesday morning. James Flynn, 65, of 421 North Main St. Apt. #26 was cited for failure to … 0

Area police news

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Amherst ■ Police are investigating a break-in to an Eames Avenue residence reported Wednesday at 2:16 a.m, after a screen window was pushed in and a bag was stolen from inside the home. ■ Daniel Charles Brown, 52, who provided an address as the streets of Amherst, was … 0

Arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BOSTON — A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the investigation said Tuesday. Stephen Silva made an initial appearance in federal court … 0

Hernandez lawyer: Pats records dispute over

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FALL RIVER (AP) — A dispute over team records that lawyers for Aaron Hernandez had sought from the New England Patriots has been resolved, the defense said Tuesday, though it’s unclear whether the documents were turned over. Hernandez … 0

Plane crash bodies taken from war zone

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

KHARKIV, Ukraine — A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner finally reached Ukrainian government-held territory Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the full-scale investigation demanded … 0

Courts split on health law clash

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday. But the split rulings … 0

Northampton police

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

■ Giles R. Farrington, 22, of 112 Elm St., Hatfield, was arrested about 1:08 a.m. Tuesday on North Main Street on charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, possession of a Class C drug (hash) and operating a motor vehicle without a valid inspection … 0

Crash at major Northampton intersection

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A female driver was hospitalized after a lone car slammed into the curb at the intersection of Main and Pleasant streets Tuesday morning. According to officers at the scene, at 11:28 a.m. the driver, whom police … 0

Carriage Shops area draws concern

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AMHERST — A downtown location where police have responded numerous times during the spring and summer for various incidents, including a purse snatching, was the scene of a reported break-in Monday afternoon. Police responded to the Amherst Carriage Shops, 233 North Pleasant St., at 5:39 p.m., after a … 0