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Police / Fire / Courts

FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2007, file photo, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., announces that he will not seek re-election for a 12th term in Yorkville, Ill. Federal prosecutors have indicted Thursday, May 28, 2015, the former U.S. House Speaker on bank-related charges. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey, File)

Charge: Hastert paid $3.5M in hush money

Thursday, May 28, 2015

CHICAGO — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a person from the town where he was a longtime high school teacher silent about “prior misconduct” by the Illinois Republican who was once second in line to the U.S. presidency, according to a federal grand jury indictment handed down Thursday. The indictment, which doesn’t describe the alleged misconduct by Hastert, charges the 73-year-old with one count of evading bank regulations by withdrawing $952,000 in increments of less than $10,000 to skirt reporting requirements. He is also charged with one count of lying to the FBI about …

Westhampton home destroyed in fire touched off by lightning strike

Thursday, May 28, 2015

WESTHAMPTON — A lightning strike touched off a fire that destroyed a Tipping Rock Road home Wednesday evening as heavy storms moved through the area, Fire Chief Christopher W. Norris said Thursday. Norris — speaking shortly after crews cleared the scene over 12 hours after the fire was reported by the homeowners at …

Area police news

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Amherst ∎ Two of the four occupants of a vehicle on State Street in the area of Puffer’s Pond were arrested at 5:24 p.m. Wednesday. The vehicle was located after a brief search following a report that it was being driven by a person under the influence of marijuana, police said. Christopher R. Hardy, 20, of 986 South East St., was arrested on …

At Ludlow jail, addicts must wear shirt and tie

Monday, May 25, 2015

LUDLOW — A western Massachusetts prison believes dressing for success can help inmates break the stranglehold of addiction. Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe Jr. requires inmates at his jail’s minimum-security substance abuse treatment facility wear a shirt and tie from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. …

Anonymous threats disrupt several commercial flights

Monday, May 25, 2015

NEW YORK — Anonymous telephone threats against commercial airliners on Monday, possibly from the same source, caused a scare involving at least six international flights at airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Authorities said the threats did not appear to be credible. They described searches done …

Ex-Israeli PM gets 8 months

Monday, May 25, 2015

JERUSALEM — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter, capping the dramatic downfall of a man who only years earlier led the country …

Malaysia unearths graves at human traffickers’ camps

Monday, May 25, 2015

WANG KELIAN, Malaysia — Malaysian authorities said Monday a cluster of abandoned jungle camps used by human traffickers contained 139 suspected graves as well as barbed-wire pens likely used to cage migrants, shedding more light on a regional …

Cleveland, feds settle on policing

Monday, May 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — The city of Cleveland has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations by the police department, and the agreement could be announced as soon as Tuesday, a senior federal law enforcement official said. The official …

Police cruiser damaged as officers break up crowd near Mill River

Monday, May 25, 2015

Northampton ∎ A Northampton police cruiser was damaged about 4 p.m. Sunday after police dispersed a group of people near a dam behind Chartpak on River Road in Leeds. Police said they plan to summon a 21-year-old Chicopee man on charges of trespassing, trespassing with a motor vehicle, …

Area police news

Monday, May 25, 2015

Northampton ∎ Kenneth L. English, 50, of 43 Center St., was arrested near 109 Main St. at 12:27 p.m. Sunday on an Eastern Hampshire District Court warrant for assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime. ∎ Police investigated a reported shoplifting at Wal-Mart at 180 North …

Joseph Morrison works to live right ‘outside the wall’ and share his story with others

Sunday, May 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In the spring of 2013, Joseph Morrison was 14 years into his 15-year prison sentence for masked, armed robbery. He was coming to terms with the things he had done, from violent crime to dealing drugs …

Children on their own among migrants landing in Indonesia

Sunday, May 24, 2015

KUALA CANGKOI, Indonesia — It was just the two of them, brother and sister, out on the open ocean with hundreds of other desperate migrants, mostly Rohingya Muslims fleeing their homes in Myanmar. For nearly three months, the …

NSA begins closing data collection

Sunday, May 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — Hours after the Senate balked at reauthorizing the bulk collection of U.S. telephone records, the National Security Agency began shutting down a controversial program Saturday that senior intelligence and law enforcement officials say is vital to track terrorists in the United States. The Senate had debated …