Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 53° | Lo 31°

Police / Fire / Courts

Chicopee man sought for alleged online threat

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CHICOPEE (AP) — Police in Massachusetts say they will seek charges against a Chicopee man who posted the phrase “put wings on pigs” on Facebook. The phrase allegedly posted by 27-year-old Charles DiRosa is similar to an online posting made by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who authorities say killed himself after fatally shooting two New York City police officers. A Chicopee police spokesman says the phrase is a threat “in the eyes …

Harassment not protected speech — SJC

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BOSTON — Harassing neighbors is not a form of constitutionally protected free speech, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled Tuesday in upholding the jail sentences of a former Andover couple who pestered their neighbors through fake Craigslist ads and a false child abuse report. William Johnson was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail in December 2011 after he was convicted of criminal …

Cold case solved: Police say Edward Mayrand, now deceased, killed Judith A. Whitney of Amherst in 1987

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

AMHERST — Police said Tuesday they have solved the 27-year-old cold case murder of Amherst resident Judith A. Whitney, who disappeared while on a camping trip in 1987, and a deceased man formerly of Northampton has been named her killer. Whitney, 43, had gone on a camping trip in Keene, New Hampshire, with …

Northampton swears in six new police officers, begins return to fully-staffed department

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Six new full-time officers were sworn in Thursday, joining five current members of the Northampton Police Department who were promoted during a ceremony celebrating what Chief Russell P. Sienkiewicz described as progress after a “dark time” …

Authorities still not releasing name of driver in fatal Belchertown accident

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — An investigation of the single-car crash Sunday morning that killed an 18-year-old Lancaster woman and seriously injured the 23-year-old driver remains under investigation. No additional details about the fatal accident, including the name of the driver, are available, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office. Spokeswoman …

Area court news

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Goshen ■ Jason Tomaskowicz, 33, of 102 Bissell Road, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Northampton District Court to charges of assault on a family or household member and malicious destruction of property over $250. According to court records, police arrested Tomaskowicz around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after determining that …

Suspicious package that closes Rocky Hill Road in Hadley contains typewriter

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HADLEY — A section of Rocky Hill Road was closed for nearly 40 minutes Thursday morning while state and local police investigated a suspicious package left at a resident’s home that turned out to contain a typewriter. Police received a report of a suitcase left on a resident’s …

Guy Bush Jr. of New York indicted on charges including rape of a child in South Hadley

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A New York man accused of raping a girl in South Hadley a dozen years ago when she was approximately 5 and 6 years old will be arraigned Jan. 13. A Hampshire County grand jury indicted Guy Bush Jr., 45, of Grand Isle, New York, Tuesday …

Area police news

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amherst ■ Laquan L. Wood, 21, of 170 East Hadley Road, Unit 106, was arrested at 10:22 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of South Pleasant and Snell streets on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to …

Governor’s Council OKs three clemency requests

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — The Governor’s Council on Wednesday approved the first clemency requests in more than a decade in Massachusetts, voting to commute the prison sentence of a woman convicted of drug charges and grant pardons to two men who had sought to expunge from their records crimes that …

Afghan soldier who fled US training sent to Canada

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — One of three Afghan military officers detained after fleeing a U.S. training exercise to avoid returning to Afghanistan has been allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada, his attorney said Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement turned over Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada to …

Couple sues Whole Foods, ranch over son’s death

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON (ap) — A Massachusetts husband and wife who blame their 8-year-old son’s death on the ground beef they bought at a Whole Foods Market have sued the supermarket chain and the ranch they say produced and processed the meat. Melissa and Andrew Kaye, of Braintree, said in …

Driver to be charged in crossing guard’s death

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WEST SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a driver who struck and killed a West Springfield school crossing guard on Monday will be charged in the accident. West Springfield Police Sgt. Hubert Rees said Wednesday that a 61-year-old Agawam woman will be charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligence. …