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People opposed to child sex trafficking rally outside of the Washington state Supreme Court on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Olympia, Wash. The court was hearing a case filed by three victims who say the website Backpage.com helps promote the exploitation of children. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

Website contests child slavery lawsuit

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SEATTLE — A lawyer told the Washington Supreme Court on Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by three young girls who were sold as prostitutes on a website that which carries personal ads for people looking for sex should be thrown out because they didn’t write the ads, so they’re not liable. But the victims’ lawyer said the website, Backpage, doesn’t …

Jury to decide if Tsarnaev friend was lying or high

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BOSTON — A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told a string of lies to investigators, a prosecutor told a jury Tuesday, but a defense lawyer said the defendant was a frightened 19-year-old who couldn’t remember certain details because he had smoked marijuana for at least 12 hours straight. Robel Phillipos, …

Accused White House intruder ‘not competent’

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — The man accused of running into the White House last month after scaling the fence and evading Secret Service officers has been found “presently not competent” to stand trial, according to a preliminary competency evaluation. But U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary L. Collyer said Tuesday that she had ordered a more in-depth competency examination for Omar Gonzalez, 42, to occur within …

Suspected killer held as 7 deaths probed

Monday, October 20, 2014

GARY, Ind. — Police investigating the slayings of seven women whose bodies were found in northwest Indiana over the weekend said Monday they believe it is the work of a serial killer, and that the suspect has indicated …

Suspect in Va. abduction charged in DC-area rape

Monday, October 20, 2014

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — The suspect in the disappearance of a University of Virginia student was charged Monday with abducting and raping a woman in suburban Washington, D.C., in 2005. The indictment against Jesse L. Matthew Jr. was …

Nigeria declared Ebola-free

Monday, October 20, 2014

ABUJA, Nigeria — Water laced with salt and sugar, and gallons of the nasty-tasting stuff. Doctors who survived Ebola in Nigeria credited heavy doses of fluids with saving their lives as the World Health Organization declared the country …

Weekend alcohol violations in Amherst lead to 17 arrests or summons to court

Monday, October 20, 2014

AMHERST — Enforcement of alcohol laws during the weekend led to the arrest or summons to court of 17 people. While police broke up several parties as part of their responses to 229 calls for service, no arrests or tickets were issued for violations of the town’s noise …

Northampton Police break up underage party thanks to extra patrol funded by grant

Monday, October 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — City police out on “party patrol” broke up an underage party Friday night as part of a new grant-funded effort to combat underage drinking. The $5,979 state grant the city received is paying for overtime so officers can work extra shifts when they will target underage …

Rollover accident injures driver, closes part of Bay Road in Amherst while power lines repaired

Monday, October 20, 2014

AMHERST — A one-car rollover crash near 883 Bay Road injured the driver and sheared a utility pole Monday afternoon, according to police. The accident about 4:45 p.m. closed the road from the Belchertown line to the intersection …

Area court news

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hatfield ■ Matthew Obrzut, 21, of Ludlow, pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court on Monday to a charge of assault and battery on a family member. According to court documents, Obrzut was arrested in the parking lot of the Hatfield Elementary School at 5:30 p.m. Saturday after …

Two staff houses evacuated at Smith College after excavator hits natural gas line

Monday, October 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Six people were evacuated from two houses for Smith College staff when an excavator working nearby on Paradise Road punctured an underground natural gas line. Northampton Deputy Fire Chief Timothy McQueston said the damage to the two-inch pipe was reported at 12:04 p.m. and Paradise Road …

Area police news

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amherst ■ Cindy A. Drake, 49, of 189 Michael Sears Road, Belchertown, was arrested at 1:16 a.m. Sunday on West Street on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger, and failure to use care in …

Second suspect in house break on Mount Warner Road in Hadley arrested in Montague

Monday, October 20, 2014

HADLEY — The second man police allege was involved in a break at a Hadley home late Wednesday night was arrested Saturday in Montague, police said. Alejandro Arean-Raines, 19, of Montague, was arrested at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on a warrant and transferred to Hadley Police. According to the …