Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Police / Fire / Courts

‘The stars aligned’; reflected sunlight the cause of Amherst bedroom fire

Saturday, December 20, 2014

AMHERST — It wasn’t electrical. The residents weren’t smokers. The fire began in a home on South East Street seemingly out of nothing, consumed an old chair and then sputtered out after damaging a nearby wall. The chair was clearly where the fire started, according to Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson, who headed up the investigation team, but the rest was a mystery. “There wasn’t anything left in the …

Claim of rapes roils swim community

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sitting in a coffee shop in Southampton, Monica Strzempko of Westfield recalled when her now 20-year-old daughter, Anna, was a happy, popular 13-year-old who was good at most everything — especially swimming. She had Olympic aspirations and was training hard with the Greater Holyoke YMCA Vikings club, an elite team that drew swimmers …

Two men arraigned on weapons, drug charges after Hatfield traffic stop

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Two men from New York and Vermont were held on $25,000 bail after they denied weapons, drug, and motor vehicle charges in Northampton District Court on Friday, a day after they were arrested during a traffic stop in Hatfield. Anthony Brundage, 37, of Staten Island, New York, pleaded not guilty to charges of two counts of possession of a firearm without …

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 …

Reporter Risen told to testify at hearing before spy’s trial

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — New York Times reporter James Risen was ordered Tuesday to appear at a Jan. 5 hearing to give limited testimony in advance of the trial of a former CIA officer who is charged with revealing classified information, including embarrassing details of CIA operations in Iran that …

Belchertown man wanted for allegedly assaulting infant

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Police are asking for help finding a 29-year-old man wanted for alleged assault and battery on an infant. Keith Truehart, 29, who was last known to be living at the Lord Jeffery Apartments, is wanted on …

Stephanie Solivan of Northampton denies beating another woman with chain

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton woman in Hampshire Superior Court Tuesday denied beating another woman with a chain in October. Stephanie A. Solivan, 26, of 241 Jackson St., Apt. 4B, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, breaking and entering …

Springfield man admits theft of clothes, other items for homeless collected at Unitarian Society in Northampton

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Springfield man admitted Tuesday in Hampshire Superior Court that last Christmas Eve he stole clothes and other items from a church that were donated to help the homeless, and stole two cartons of cigarettes from a Main Street pharmacy a few weeks later. Thomas W. …

Australian PM: System didn’t track gunman

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SYDNEY — Australia’s prime minister acknowledged Wednesday that the nation’s security system failed to keep track of a gunman responsible for a deadly siege at a Sydney cafe, and promised a transparent investigation into why the man was …