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Timothy R. Latoka

Belchertown man 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 North Main St., Unit 5, was arrested at 6:27 a.m. on three counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle to commit a felony, two counts of larceny under $250, and charges of larceny over $250 and possession of burglary tools, police said. Lakota was located after police got a report of a suspicious man possibly entering vehicles. All of the items allegedly stolen by Lakota, both …

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 comments. But these days, when comedian Bill Cosby — Shelburne’s most famous resident — is …

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, at $35,000. He has been held at the Hampshire County Jail on $100,000 bail since …

Feds charge 14 in 2012 meningitis outbreak

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BOSTON — Mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers’ gloved fingertips. Pharmacists used expired ingredients, didn’t properly sterilize them and failed to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics. Employees …

Lefen ‘Helen’ Chen pleads guilty in insurance fraud ring, may face deportation

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A woman from Taiwan may face deportation after she admitted in Hampshire Superior Court Wednesday that she led a scheme that defrauded insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over six years. Lefen “Helen” Chen, 56, of Flushing, New York, accepted a plea agreement …

Area police news

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amherst ■ A resident of an East Pleasant Street home reported at 4:39 p.m. Tuesday that the word “molly” was spray-painted on the side of the building. The resident told police the vandalism may be linked to a disturbance Dec. 5 in downtown Amherst. Easthampton ■ Shawn M. …

Serena Desantis admits role in Christmas Eve theft of donated items from Unitarian Society in Northampton

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke woman admitted in court Wednesday that she took part in the theft last Christmas Eve of items donated to a Northampton church. Serena Desantis, 34, pleaded guilty to larceny over $250 in Hampshire Superior Court a day after her accomplice in the crime also …

Trial date set in lawsuit filed by former Frontier Regional employee alleging racial discrimination

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — A trial date has been set for a discrimination lawsuit filed against Frontier Regional School by a former information technology professional who was fired after he alleged he was treated unfairly by co-workers. Sandy Moya of Holyoke, has sued the school for racial discrimination, national …

Appeals court nixes sex change for inmate at taxpayers’ expense

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BOSTON — A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate convicted of murder. Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, is serving a life sentence for …

Mom indicted on two counts of murder in babies’ deaths

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — A woman was indicted on two murder charges after the skeletal remains of three babies were found in her squalid home in September, a district attorney announced Tuesday. Thirty-one-year-old Erika Murray has been held on …

Sex offender Charles Capen of Easthampton accused of sexually assaulting teenager after chaperoning party

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — An Easthampton sex offender accused of inappropriately touching a teenager after chaperoning a party in Hatfield was arraigned in Northampton District Court on Monday and bail was set at $5,000. Charles W. Capen, 32, of 4 Clinton St., pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent …

Mom heads to court on charges of giving son medical marijuana

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota mother heads to court this week, charged with medicating her sick child with marijuana - an act that will be legal in a matter of months. Angela Brown of Madison faces two gross misdemeanor charges of child endangerment for giving cannabis oil to her …

LA prosecutors won’t charge Cosby in alleged 1974 molestation

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Bill Cosby will not be charged with a crime after a woman claimed he molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, Los Angeles prosecutors said Tuesday. In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Judy Huth said she and a 16-year-old friend …