Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Police / Fire / Courts

House fires not often sparked by lightning, officials say

Thursday, July 24, 2014

House fires started by lightning strikes like the one that destroyed a Northampton residence Thursday morning are rare, but may happen no matter how many precautions are put in place. “Lightning is going to strike where it wants to strike,” said Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson. “It’s one of those things. What are you going to do?” Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office, said in an … 0

Three guilty in probation hiring case

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BOSTON — Former state probation commissioner John O’Brien was convicted Thursday of rigging the department’s hiring process to favor politically connected applicants over those who were more qualified. The guilty verdict on charges of racketeering and mail fraud came after seven days of deliberations in a case that focused attention on the patronage … 0

Burke’s supporters see verdict as massive injustice

Thursday, July 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The attorney for former deputy probation commissioner William Burke calls the conviction of his client in a public corruption trial a “grave injustice.” “I have deep respect for the jury system and I respect the jury in this case for their effort. However, like all human systems, mistakes are made, and I believe that their decision in this case is a … 0

Weather turning helpful for Wash. firefighters

Sunday, July 20, 2014

WINTHROP, Wash. — Cooler temperatures and lighter winds are forecast to descend on wildfire-stricken Washington state, helping firefighters battle flames that have been growing unfettered for a week and have covered hundreds of square miles. While Sunday’s weather … 0

AREA POLICE NEWS

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Westfield woman hospitalized in I-91 crash HOLYOKE — A 36-year-old Westfield woman was hospitalized after the vehicle she was driving left the highway and went into the woods off Interstate 91 Sunday night. A 2011 Ford Fusion driven by Justine Murphy went off the southbound lane of 1-91 … 0

Dutch mother: ‘Send my children home’

Sunday, July 20, 2014

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A distraught, grieving mother summed up a swelling mood of despair and anguish in the Netherlands on Sunday at faltering efforts to repatriate the bodies of loved ones killed in the downing of … 0

US: Russia complicit in downing of jetliner

Sunday, July 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site. “A buildup … 0

Bodies from jet piled in boxcars

Sunday, July 20, 2014

TOREZ, Ukraine — Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from the downed Malaysian jetliner into four refrigerated boxcars Sunday in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from … 0

Panel backs early release for 46,000 drug felons

Friday, July 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of federal inmates serving time for drug crimes may be eligible for early release under a cost-cutting proposal adopted Friday that would dramatically reduce the nation’s prison population over time. The U.S. Sentencing … 0

Unlicensed mortician had 12 bodies in storage

Friday, July 18, 2014

BOSTON — An unlicensed funeral director accused of stealing more than $12,000 from an elderly couple could face more charges after authorities found 12 bodies and the cremated remains of more than 40 others in two self-storage units … 0

Family of slain robbery hostage starts own investigation

Friday, July 18, 2014

STOCKTON, Calif. — Family members of a hostage slain during a running gun battle with assault weapons between suspected bank robbers and police in a Northern California city on Friday launched their own investigation into the incident. Greg … 0

‘Funnel of fire’ destroys homes in Wash. state

Friday, July 18, 2014

PATEROS, Wash. — A fire racing through rural north-central Washington destroyed about 100 homes, leaving behind smoldering rubble, solitary brick chimneys and burned-out automobiles as it blackened hundreds of square miles in the scenic Methow Valley. Friday’s dawn … 0

Credible probe sought in jet tragedy

Friday, July 18, 2014

ROZSYPNE, Ukraine — World leaders demanded Friday that pro-Russia rebels who control the eastern Ukraine crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 give immediate, unfettered access to independent investigators to determine who shot down the plane. At an … 1