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Police / Fire / Courts

Judge rules that autistic man be held until trial

Monday, February 8, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Hampshire Superior Court Judge Mary-Lou Rup ruled Monday that Zachary Holmes — a 21-year-old autistic and developmentally disabled man accused of trying to kill his mother in their Belchertown home in September — is a danger to himself and others and will remain in jail pending his trial. Five months after the alleged attack, Joann Holmes maintained through multiple interviews with the Gazette that she never wanted charges …

Weekend noise complaints in Amherst will send six people to court

Monday, February 8, 2016

AMHERST — Fines totaling up to $3,000 could be imposed on individuals responsible for loud parties following police responses to two residences during the first weekend in February. The first incident occurred at 1:01 a.m. Saturday, when police were called to a home at 533 Main St. and found more than 150 partygoers making loud noise, said Detective Jamie Reardon. Police are summoning …

Netanyahu decries arson of synagogue

Sunday, February 7, 2016

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on the world to condemn a suspected arson attack against a makeshift synagogue in the West Bank where Jewish Torah scrolls were burned. The scrolls were stored inside a tent that was used as a synagogue near a West Bank outpost that …

UMass rape trial defendant Patrick Durocher says sex was consensual and woman was ‘encouraging’ him

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — “Did you rape (the woman)?” defense attorney Vincent Bongiorni, of Springfield, asked Patrick Durocher in Hampshire Superior Court on Wednesday. Durocher didn’t hesitate. “No,” he replied. Durocher, 20, a former University of Massachusetts Amherst student, testified …

Still no answers in mystery of looping Iowa fight song

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The beat goes on near a Niagara Falls bistro. And on and on and on and on. What sounds like a marching band rendition of the University of Iowa fight song plays on a …

Two people will be summoned to court after Tuesday afternoon fight in downtown Amherst

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

AMHERST — Two people will be summoned to court for their involvement in a fight outside a downtown restaurant Tuesday afternoon, according to police. Detective Janet Lopez said a man came to the police station at 1:51 p.m. to report being injured during an altercation in the park …

Lawyer wants manslaughter case put on hold in teen’s suicide

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

TAUNTON — A lawyer for a Massachusetts teen charged with manslaughter for allegedly encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself asked a judge Tuesday to put the case on hold until the state’s highest court decides her appeal. Joseph Cataldo, a lawyer for Michelle Carter, argued Tuesday that the …

Increasingly, hoaxers threatening schools online

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

LOS ANGELES — On a spring day at Mount Elden Middle School in Flagstaff, Arizona, the phone rang and a receptionist answered. A computerized female voice was on the line with a disturbing message: “I can see children. …

Ex-DA says Cosby is shielded from prosecution

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The former district attorney who declined a decade ago to bring sex-crime charges against Bill Cosby testified Tuesday that the decision was intended to forever close the door on prosecuting the comedian. Former Montgomery County …

Dutch police eye using eagles to prey on drones

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — It may sound like a flight of fancy, but Dutch police are considering using birds of prey to swoop down and pluck rogue drones out of the sky. Police are working with a Hague-based …

San Diego settles sex suit against former mayor

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

SAN DIEGO — San Diego agreed to pay $667,000 on Tuesday to settle one of three unresolved sexual battery and harassment lawsuits against former Mayor Bob Filner. The payment ends a sexual harassment suit filed by Benelia Santos-Hunter, who worked as the mayor’s executive assistant before accusations of …

Sexually transmitted Zika case confirmed in Texas

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DALLAS — Health officials on Tuesday reported that a person in Texas has become infected with the Zika virus through sex in the first case of the illness being transmitted within the United States amid the current outbreak in Latin America. The unidentified person had not traveled but …

Slain Va. girl talked of online ‘boyfriend’

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

BLACKSBURG, Va. — A 13-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom was stabbed to death by a Virginia Tech student, and another freshman already charged with hiding the body was more deeply involved, authorities said Tuesday. A neighbor …