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Police / Fire / Courts

Area brief

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Northampton POLICE REACCREDITED: The Northampton Police Department passed a voluntary evaluation process and in January learned it had been reaccredited. The assessors appointed by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission reviewed the department in July 2014 and found it to be in compliance with the standards required to be named an accredited department. The review included training, communications, policy development, emergency response planning, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular …

Professor, UMass grad, dies in Emirates accident

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An American professor at a university in the United Arab Emirates was one of two people killed when their bicycles were hit by a car in the city of Sharjah, north of Dubai. The American University of Sharjah said Tuesday that associate professor of history Richard Gassan and a friend were struck near campus the previous evening …

Teen’s confession in teacher slaying won’t be used at trial

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

BOSTON — A Massachusetts teenager’s confession to police that he killed his math teacher cannot be used in his murder trial, a judge ruled Tuesday even as he allowed a bloody box cutter and other key pieces of evidence to be admitted. The ruling came in the case of 16-year-old Philip Chism, who …

UMass football player to be charged with aggravated assault and battery; three injured in fight and hit-and-run accident recovering

Friday, February 27, 2015

HADLEY — Hadley Police have identified a University of Massachusetts football player as a suspect in a fight that left two UMass students injured last weekend and say they plan to charge him with two counts of aggravated assault and battery. Police declined to name the suspect, citing …

400-year-old books stolen in Italy found in Calif.

Friday, February 27, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Two stolen Italian books dating to the 17th century that were discovered in the San Francisco Bay Area and many other plundered ancient artifacts will be returned to their country of origin, federal officials say. …

Argentine judge rejects cover-up in 1994 bombing

Friday, February 27, 2015

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A federal judge on Thursday firmly dismissed allegations that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez tried to cover-up the involvement of Iranian officials in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, easing a crisis for her …

Nigerian kidnappers hold US missionary

Friday, February 27, 2015

JOHANNESBURG — Kidnappers who abducted Seattle missionary Phyllis Sortor this week have demanded a $150,000 ransom, according to Nigerian police, suggesting the kidnapping was probably carried out by a criminal gang rather than militants. Police and security forces were combing the region in search of Sortor. Locals in …

Woman dies in single-car crash in Bernardston

Thursday, February 26, 2015

BERNARDSTON (AP) — Authorities say a 24-year-old woman died when her car went off the road struck a utility pole in Bernardston. A spokeswoman for the Northwestern district attorney’s office says Marlerie Kidder was driving north at about 7 a.m. Wednesday when her sedan crossed into the oncoming …

Alleged shoplifter arrested in Hadley with birdseed, dog treats, coffee products and cellphone

Thursday, February 26, 2015

HADLEY — Police arrested a 42-year-old man Thursday night for allegedly stealing $84 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart on Route 9, according to Hadley Police. Police said Jason Fortin, who gave his address as the streets of Amherst, was charged with shoplifting after he was caught by security …

District attorney, judge battle over dismissal of larceny charges against Nancy Whitley in failed Easthampton condominium project

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Days after a Hampshire Superior Court judge criticized the prosecution for its presentation to a grand jury in an embezzlement case, the Northwestern district attorney fired back Thursday by filing a motion in which he accused …

Former president Evan Dobelle drops federal suit against Westfield State University

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Former Westfield State University president Evan S. Dobelle dropped his federal lawsuit against university and state officials on Thursday, just days after his attorneys requested to withdraw from the case, citing his failure to pay them. …

Area police news

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Easthampton ∎ Workers at CVS, 118 Northampton St., reported at 4:43 p.m. Tuesday that they observed a man and a woman shoplifting two bottles of laundry detergent from the store. Police recognized the man after reviewing security footage at the store. They went to his house and persuaded …

Richard Orozco of Chicopee sentenced to prison for theft of $1,000 in quarters, negligent operation

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Chicopee man is headed to state prison for three to five years after he stole $1,000 in quarters and crashed his car while driving negligently, all within a 10-hour period on April 8. Richard J. Orozco, 40, pleaded guilty Jan. 21 in Hampshire Superior Court …