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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 …

House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill

Thursday, March 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — In uncommon bipartisan harmony, the House approved a $214 billion bill on Thursday permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts, moving Congress closer to resolving a problem that has plagued it for years. The lopsided 392-37 vote shifted …

Co-pilot slammed plane into mountain

Thursday, March 26, 2015

PARIS — Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside. …

Area police news

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Amherst ∎ A man entering downtown businesses and allegedly yelling at customers and pushing people was reported to police at 7:43 p.m. Wednesday. The man denied bothering any patrons and told police he would spend the night at the Craig’s Place homeless shelter. ∎ A 20-year-old Oak Bluffs …

Defendant Emmanuel Bile Jr. testifies that alleged victim in UMass gang rape was conscious and willing when they had sex

Thursday, March 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On the witness stand Thursday, a Pittsfield man accused of participating in the gang rape of an 18-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student in 2012 told jurors the woman was conscious and a willing participant. “I …

Jury hears account of horrifying night

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The college student could not manage to spell her full name before breaking down in tears after she took the witness stand Wednesday in a rape trial resulting from what was an abominable night — no matter whose account you believe — in a UMass dorm …

German town mourns loss of teens, teachers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

HALTERN, Germany — Lara Beer waited at the train station, looking forward to seeing her best friend Paula returning from a 10th-grade exchange trip to Spain. The train came but her friend was not on it. “I just …

Area police news

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Amherst ∎ Anthony Calabro, 27, of Leominster, was arrested at 9:38 p.m. Tuesday on North Pleasant Street on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Easthampton ∎ Christopher O’Leary, 31, of Eastern Avenue in Northampton, was taken to the hospital at 2:06 a.m. Saturday after his pickup truck …

Five taken to hospital after accident in Hadley

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

HADLEY — Five people required treatment at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton after a Sunday morning crash on Route 9 at West Street, according to police. Hadley Police Chief Michael Mason said Wednesday that a vehicle driven by Anjali Khanna, 28, of Meadow Street, Amherst, was traveling east …

Bertucci’s reopens Wednesday after gas odor forces it to close early Tuesday

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

AMHERST — An odor of gas at Bertucci’s, 51 East Pleasant St., forced the restaurant to close early Tuesday night. Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said firefighters responded at 8:34 p.m. when staff reported smelling gas in the building. Customers and staff were evacuated as the building …

Accuser testifies in trial of one of four men accused of gang-raping her at UMass

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The woman who accused four men of gang-raping her in 2012 tearfully told a jury Wednesday that when her two female friends left her alone with the men in her dorm room at the University of …