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Police / Fire / Courts

Two plead guilty to 2011 Springfield slaying

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Two Springfield men have pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in connection with a fatal shooting in the city three years ago. James Texidor and Manuel Lora had originally been charged with murder in the August 2011 slaying of 25-year-old Jonathan Tallaj but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge. The Republican reports that the 20-year-old Texidor was sentenced to 10 years in state prison followed by two years …

Absent judge delays hearing for probation officials

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday postponed a hearing on requests from former Massachusetts probation commissioner John O’Brien and two deputies to throw out their convictions in a job-rigging case or grant them a new trial. The hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, was canceled because the judge was unable to attend. The court said the proceeding would be rescheduled …

Alleged leader of auto insurance fraud ring based in New York indicted on 29 more charges

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The alleged leader of an auto insurance fraud ring has been indicted on 29 new charges. Lefen “Helen” Chen, 55, of Flushing, N.Y., is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on those charges of insurance fraud, perjury and conspiracy. Chen is accused of being the ringleader of a New York-based insurance scam. “The indictments stem from the largest car insurance fraud investigation and prosecution …

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 …