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Ryan D. Welch listens to testimony on Tuesday, the fourth day of his murder trial in Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton.

Police officer in Welch murder trial says defendant talked of fight with slaying victim Jessica Ann Pripstein

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The Easthampton police officer who arrested Ryan D. Welch on a drunken driving charge after he struck a telephone pole on Valentine’s Day 2012 said Welch reported fighting with his girlfriend earlier in the day. “He stated to me that he had just been in a fight with his girlfriend and just wanted to go home,” Officer Robert …

Police: No prior reason to enter home where babies’ remains found

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BLACKSTONE — Police responded to several calls in recent years from a home where the remains of three infants were found last week but never had reason to check conditions inside the home, according to police logs released Tuesday. Erika Murray, 31, who lived in the home, is being held without bail on …

Lumber town assesses fire damage

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WEED, Calif. — They had prepared for wildfires and knew of the drought-parched forests, but the inferno that swirled through the California lumber town of Weed moved so quickly all people could do was flee. In just a few hours, wind-driven flames destroyed or damaged 150 structures, a saw mill and a church. …

Sides: High court needs to settle gay marriage

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

WASHINGTON — Both sides in the gay marriage debate agree on one thing: It’s time for the Supreme Court to settle the matter. Even a justice recently said she thinks so, too. The emerging consensus makes it likely …

Leominster man injured in dump truck rollover on Route 202 in Shutesbury

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

SHUTESBURY — A 37-year-old Leominster man was injured and taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield after the dump truck he was driving rolled over on Route 202 in Shutesbury Tuesday afternoon, police said. Ruben Diaz was driving north on Route 202 just over the Pelham line shortly …

Daniel Williams of Amherst arrested for drunken driving after two-car accident in Hadley

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

HADLEY — A two-car crash at the intersection of Routes 9 and 116 early Tuesday led to the arrest of a 29-year-old Amherst man on drunken driving and several other charges. No injuries were reported. Sgt. John Robitaille said shortly before 1 a.m. a southbound car driven by …

Appliance fire closes Platinum Pony in Easthampton for one day

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — The Platinum Pony at 30 Cottage St. closed Monday night to let the restaurant, bar and theater air out after a small fire in an appliance earlier that day. Owner Kristen Davis said the fire that started in a rotisserie oven was a “silly mistake” and …

Area police news

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Amherst ∎ Bicyclist Joseph G. Habib, 22, of Worcester, was riding south on University Drive when he was involved in a collision at 7:41 p.m. Tuesday with a westbound vehicle on Northampton Road driven by Neal T. Bannon, 25, of 27 Hemenway Road, Unit A, Leverett, police said. …

Stephanie Sueppel resigns after two months as Easthampton library director

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — After two months and six days on the job, the director of the Emily Williston Memorial Library has resigned. Stephanie Sueppel, 50, who moved to Easthampton from Iowa to take the job, submitted her resignation effective …

Jury selected for murder trial of Ryan Welch, opening arguments scheduled for Thursday

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The 16 jurors who will decide the murder trial of Ryan D. Welch have been selected and the trial will begin with opening arguments scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday. Welch, 38, formerly of Easthampton, is charged …

Judge denies motion to dismiss murder charge against Cara Lee Rintala who faces third trial

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge has denied a defense motion to dismiss the murder charge against Cara Lee Rintala who is accused of murdering her wife in 2010. The nine-page ruling Monday by Judge Mary-Lou Rup …

Jamaican rescuers end search for small plane

Monday, September 8, 2014

KINGSTON, Jamaica — After scouring an expanse of white-capped waters off Jamaica for three days, rescuers have called off a search for a small plane that crashed after a ghostly journey down the U.S. East Coast and the …

Amherst police seek public’s help in finding Marissa Jackson who was last seen Friday

Monday, September 8, 2014

AMHERST — Police are calling on the public’s help to find a 26-year-old Amherst woman missing since she was last seen walking on foot near her apartment on Belchertown Road at 10:30 p.m. Friday. Marissa L. Jackson is …