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Police / Fire / Courts

In this Nov. 18, 2014, photo, a researcher simulates a check done for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS, at the FBI’s criminal justice center in Bridgeport, W.Va. NICS did about 58,000 checks on a typical day in 2013. That surged to 145,000 on Black Friday. (AP Photo/Matt Stroud)

Thousands of gun sales beat checks

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — More gun sales than ever are slipping through the federal background check system — 186,000 last year, a rate of 512 gun sales a day, as states fail to consistently provide thorough, real-time updates on criminal and mental histories to the FBI. At no time of year is this problem more urgent. This Friday opens the busiest …

Man who fell from ceiling naked held without bail

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston man who police say fell naked through the ceiling of a women’s bathroom at Boston’s airport and then assaulted an elderly man has been ordered held without bail pending a hearing next week. Cameron Shenk was arraigned Wednesday on charges that include attempted murder, assault and battery on a person over 60, and lewd and lascivious conduct. Police …

Leveled strip club’s owner sues over gas explosion

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The owner of a strip club that was destroyed in a natural gas explosion in Massachusetts has sued the utility for $5 million, claiming the company was deprived of years of “generous” income. The lawsuit against Columbia Gas says the owner of Scores Gentleman’s Club “has forever lost the ability to use the property for its club” because a 2003 …

Roads likely busier this Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NEW YORK — The good news for Thanksgiving travelers: the price of gas is at five-year lows. The bad news: a lot more people will be on the road. During the long holiday weekend, 46.3 million Americans are …

Body found at Look Park believed to be that of missing man, Reed Bennett of Easthampton

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Police late Friday morning located a body in a pond at Look Park that is believed to be that of Reed Bennett, the 34-year-old Easthampton man who went missing Monday night, according to the Northwestern District …

Leaders of Easthampton, Southampton police departments feud over ‘bad arrest,’ mutual aid

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON — Easthampton and Southampton officials recently signed a new agreement pledging to support each other’s policing efforts. But don’t expect the town’s chiefs to be sending each other roses anytime soon. In an argument that began in …

‘Self-activation’ at issue in Easthampton and Southampton dispute over mutual aid agreement

Thursday, November 20, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — The new Western Massachusetts Mutual Aid Agreement that concerned Southampton Police Chief David G. Silvernail is one of many new regional agreements that are being established around the state. Easthampton Police Capt. Robert J. Alberti wrote the agreement based largely on those other regional agreements and …

Ashfield woman faces charges after Jeep strikes utility pole in Amherst, cutting power and closing road

Thursday, November 20, 2014

AMHERST — A 22-year-old Ashfield woman will be summoned to court on several motor vehicle-related charges after the Jeep she was driving at the intersection of Sunderland Road and Route 116 struck a utility pole early Thursday morning, police said. The woman, who was not at the scene …

Fire which started on porch of house in Sunderland extinguished in 10 minutes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SUNDERLAND — Michael and Carol Ahearn were sitting on the couch and recliner in their living room just after 9 p.m. Wednesday when her nose picked up an unusual smell. “She said, ‘I think something is burning,’ and we had some Yankee Candles lit, so I blew them …

Baltimore prison corruption case goes to trial

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BALTIMORE — Gang leaders ruled the Baltimore City Detention Center, using smuggled cellphones to direct crimes on the streets outside, dealing drugs and getting four guards pregnant, a prosecutor said Wednesday at the opening of a major corruption …

Police: Miss Honduras, sister slain in jealous fit

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SANTA BARBARA, Honduras — The dark-haired beauty was to have flown to London Wednesday to compete in the Miss World pageant — the high point of her reign as Miss Honduras. But the beauty queen and her sister …

Officers honored for bravery after bombing

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — Sean Collier, a police officer who authorities say was shot and killed in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, received a posthumous award for bravery during a ceremony Wednesday at which seven other officers who …

Area police news

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Amherst ■ Michael Lane, 43, of Springfield, was arrested at 10:59 a.m. Wednesday on University Drive on charges of shoplifting by concealment and disorderly conduct. Lane allegedly stole items from a store on University Drive, setting off its alarms, and then ran in and out of the nearby …