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Police / Fire / Courts

This undated image provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 shows Don Spirit. On Thursday, officials said Spirit is suspected of killing six of his grandchildren, his daughter and himself near Bell, Fla. (AP Photo/Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office)

Gunman kills daughter, 6 grandchildren, self in Fla.

Friday, September 19, 2014

BELL, Fla. — A once-convicted felon killed six of his grandchildren, including an infant, his adult daughter and himself in a shooting at the man’s home in a small North Florida town Thursday, a sheriff said. Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz at a news conference identified the man as 51-year-old Don Spirit. He would not say if the woman killed was the mother of any of the two boys and four girls, some of whom spent a lot of time at the home. Schultz said a deputy who arrived on a report of a shooting in the afternoon made contact with Spirit who then committed …

Man arrested in Calif. wildfire

Friday, September 19, 2014

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — A man with a lengthy criminal history has been charged with deliberately starting a Northern California wildfire that has shown explosive growth and driven nearly 2,800 people from their homes, authorities said Thursday. Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was arrested late Wednesday in Placerville and booked into El Dorado County Jail, …

Hunt for ambush suspect briefly intensifies in Pa.

Friday, September 19, 2014

CANADENSIS, Pa. — Hours after a slain Pennsylvania State Police trooper was laid to rest, the hunt for a man charged with killing him briefly intensified late Thursday as authorities blocked roads around the home of the suspect’s parents. The Barrett Township Fire Department opened a shelter for residents in the area who …

Lumber town assesses fire damage

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WEED, Calif. — They had prepared for wildfires and knew of the drought-parched forests, but the inferno that swirled through the California lumber town of Weed moved so quickly all people could do was flee. In just a …

Survivalist suspected in killing of Pa. trooper

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. — Hundreds of law enforcement officers fanned out across the dense northeastern Pennsylvania woods Tuesday in the hunt for a heavily armed survivalist suspected of ambushing two troopers as part of a deadly vendetta against …

Area court news

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

∎ Jeanne M. Lutz, 46, of 69 Drewsen Drive, Florence, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Northampton District Court to a charge of assault and battery on a family member. According to court documents, Lutz pushed a relative during an argument at 225 King St. Sunday. Lutz was released …

Area police news

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Amherst ∎ Allyn L. Fye, 29, of 288 Grantwood Drive, was arrested at 8:25 p.m. Monday at his home on a warrant. Northampton ∎ Aaron E. Labor, 33, of Holyoke, was arrested at 3:44 p.m. Monday at Wal-Mart, 180 North King St., on a charge of shoplifting by …

UPDATED: Friends and family of Jessica Ann Pripstein testify during Ryan Welch murder trial about their relationship on the rocks

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — For the first time during the murder trial of Ryan D. Welch, relatives of Jessica Ann Pripstein were in the courtroom Tuesday as 11 witnesses took the stand to recount the end of the couple’s relationship …

Northampton Police investigate theft of 35 air bags from vehicles at Lia Honda lot on King Street

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A group of brazen thieves stole the air bags from 35 vehicles at the Lia Honda dealership on King Street late Monday or early Tuesday in what one national organization that tracks auto crimes said is …

Lawsuit in Petraeus scandal can proceed

Monday, September 15, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that a Florida woman can pursue her lawsuit alleging the government invaded her privacy in the scandal over former CIA director David Petraeus. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said …

California wildfire burns 100 homes

Monday, September 15, 2014

WEED, Calif. — A fire driven by fierce winds raced through a small town near the Oregon border on Monday, burning a church to the ground, damaging or destroying 100 homes and prompting evacuation orders for at least …

Rifle used to ambush Pennsylvania troopers

Monday, September 15, 2014

The gunman who ambushed two Pennsylvania State Police troopers outside their barracks, killing one, used a rifle and might have had formal firearms training through the military or law enforcement, authorities said Monday. Releasing a profile of the …

700 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean boat wrecks

Monday, September 15, 2014

GENEVA — This year is on track to become the deadliest ever for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea after two heavily loaded boats were wrecked in the past week, possibly killing 700 people fleeing Africa for Europe — …