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FILE - In this Dec. 18, 1986 file photo, Oliver North is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to testifying before the House Foreign Affairs  Committee. In the never-ending quest to preserve the government's history, there have been plenty of weapons of mass destruction. Before there were “delete” keys on computers, there were paper shredders, "erase" buttons on tape recorders and trash cans. The current dustup over access to Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails as secretary of state is causing historians and government record-keepers alike to take stock of what may be a best-of-times, worst-of-times moment for saving government records.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

‘Delete, erase’ era of government a worry to historians

Monday, March 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — In the never-ending quest to preserve the government’s history, there have been plenty of weapons of mass destruction. Before delete keys on computers, there were paper shredders, erase buttons on tape recorders and trash cans. Think Oliver North jamming a shredder with papers from an 18-inch stack of documents during the Iran-Contra investigation. Or the mysterious 18 1/2-minute …

Church van crash in Fla. takes 8 lives

Monday, March 30, 2015

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The congregants of a close-knit Haitian church gathered Monday around Nicolas Alexis, hoping to learn what happened to 18 friends and loved ones who had been expected to return that morning from a late Palm Sunday service. Alexis described how he frantically tried to check who was alive after …

Police arrest or summon to court 17 people as the result of weekend disturbances in Amherst

Monday, March 30, 2015

AMHERST — Even with persistently cold weather, several house parties during the last weekend of March kept police busy. At 1:14 a.m. Saturday, officers broke up a large party with loud music playing at 198 Sunderland Road, said Detective Janet Lopez. A 22-year-old Amherst man will be summoned to court on charges of violating the town’s noise and nuisance house bylaws as a …

Area police news

Friday, March 27, 2015

Amherst ∎ Four men were arrested on a charge of violating the town’s noise bylaw after officers responded to and cleared out a loud party with about 100 guests at 240 Northampton Road at 12:44 a.m. Friday. Police identified them as Thomas Colby Brunton, 21, of Springfield; David …

Plymouth motorist arrested on drunken driving charge after allegedly nearly striking pedestrians, crashing vehicle

Friday, March 27, 2015

AMHERST — Two pedestrians crossing a downtown street were nearly struck by a vehicle that crashed about two miles away near a South Amherst apartment complex early Friday morning, police said. Marissa L. Gallagher, 21, of Plymouth, was arrested at 1:16 a.m. on charges of operating a motor …

Eric Poulin, charged with offering sexual conduct for a fee in Easthampton salon, has case continued without a finding for one year

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The South Hadley man charged with offering a $300 sexual massage to an undercover police in an Easthampton hair salon will have his case dismissed after a year if he stays out of trouble with the law during that time. Eric P. Poulin, 43, of 10 …

Former employee Thomas Pascucci files lawsuit alleging that ex-funeral director William Ryder owes him back wages

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — An employee of the former Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that ex-funeral director William W. Ryder failed to pay him $61,548 in earnings during his final three years on the job. Thomas A. Pascucci of Northampton was a licensed funeral …

Florence man charged with trying to pry quarters from washing machines to buy Chinese food

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Police arrested a Florence man at a laundry Thursday night after he allegedly tried to break into washing machines to get quarters to buy himself some Chinese food. John Homer Darada, 44, 3 North Main St., was arrested at 7:51 p.m. on charges of vandalizing property …

Northampton Police arrest woman on drunken driving charge hours after she declines sober transport

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Police tried to arrange rides for inebriated patrons at Club Diva early Friday morning, but an East Longmeadow woman who told officers she would not drive her vehicle was arrested two hours later after she did just that, police allege. Northampton Police arrested Julie Kristen Rybacki, …

Jury fails to reach verdict after deliberating for five hours in alleged UMass gang-rape case

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court jury deciding whether a Pittsfield man took part in the gang-rape of a University of Massachusetts Amherst freshman deliberated for five hours Friday afternoon without reaching a verdict. Court was adjourned at …

Bombing jury sees autopsy photos

Thursday, March 26, 2015

BOSTON — A medical examiner testifying Thursday in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnev described in graphic detail the devastating injuries that ravaged the body of a 29-year-old woman and caused her to bleed to death …

Senate pushes non-binding budget toward approval

Thursday, March 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans pushed a balanced-budget blueprint toward late-night approval Thursday night, laying down conservative markers for a likely veto struggle with President Barack Obama over their plans to erase deficits through trillions in spending cuts and …

‘Comeback king,’ Richard III, buried anew

Thursday, March 26, 2015

LEICESTER, England — A maligned monarch found under a parking lot was buried in pomp Thursday, as Britain embraced comeback King Richard III, a long-reviled ruler who is experiencing a remarkable posthumous renaissance. Royalty, religious leaders and actor …