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Police / Fire / Courts

‘The stars aligned’; reflected sunlight the cause of Amherst bedroom fire

Saturday, December 20, 2014

AMHERST — It wasn’t electrical. The residents weren’t smokers. The fire began in a home on South East Street seemingly out of nothing, consumed an old chair, and then sputtered out after damaging a nearby wall. The chair was clearly where the fire started, according to Amherst Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson, who headed up the investigation team, but the rest was a mystery. “There wasn’t anything left in the …

Claim of rapes roils swim community

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sitting in a coffee shop in Southampton, Monica Strzempko of Westfield recalled when her now 20-year-old daughter, Anna, was a happy, popular 13-year-old who was good at most everything — especially swimming. She had Olympic aspirations and was training hard with the Greater Holyoke YMCA Vikings club, an elite team that drew swimmers …

Two men arraigned on weapons, drug charges after Hatfield traffic stop

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Two men from New York and Vermont were held on $25,000 bail after they denied weapons, drug, and motor vehicle charges in Northampton District Court on Friday, a day after they were arrested during a traffic stop in Hatfield. Anthony Brundage, 37, of Staten Island, New York, pleaded not guilty to charges of two counts of possession of a firearm without …

Suspect in 6 killings found dead in woods

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PENNSBURG, Pa. — An Iraq War veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives in a shooting and slashing frenzy was found dead of self-inflicted stab wounds Tuesday in the woods of suburban Philadelphia, ending …

Area police news

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Amherst ■ A resident of Aspen Chase, 615 Main St., reported at 11:27 a.m. Monday a break-in to an apartment. There was no additional information about whether there was forced entry or whether anything was stolen. Northampton ■ The resident of an apartment on Main Street in Florence …

Electrical fire temporarily closes Stop & Shop in Hadley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HADLEY — A small electrical fire closed Stop & Shop at 440 Russell St. (Route 9) for more than an hour Tuesday. Hadley Fire Chief Michael Spanknebel said there were no injuries and the fire was extinguished by the time firefighters arrived. “The store folks did a great …

Amherst arson squad investigates bedroom fire on South East Street

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

AMHERST — A fire inside a bedroom at a South East Street home early Monday evening was out before firefighters arrived. Firefighters responded just before 6 p.m. to the 1100 South East St. residence, where smoke was coming from the bedroom, said Firefighter Gary Flynn. “The room was …

Police hunt Iraq war vet after 6 shot dead in Pa.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Officials in a Philadelphia suburb have yet to capture an Iraq war veteran they say carried out a shooting rampage early Monday that left six of his estranged family members dead, including his ex-wife and her 14-year-old niece. …

Newtown victims’ families sue gun maker

Monday, December 15, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The families of nine people killed in the Newtown school massacre filed a lawsuit against the maker and sellers of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting, saying the gun should not have …

Victim of deadly Belchertown car accident identified as Keely Walsh of Lancaster

Monday, December 15, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — A single-car accident Sunday morning on Route 202 that claimed the life of an 18-year-old Lancaster woman remains under investigation. The victim was identified Monday as Keely Walsh, by Mary Carey, a spokeswoman for the Northwestern district attorney’s office. Walsh was a passenger in a 1993 …

Bail reduction denied for Easthampton woman accused of strangulation, assault and battery

Monday, December 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton Superior Court Judge Mary-Lou Rup on Monday denied an Easthampton woman’s petition for reduced bail in a case involving strangulation and assault and battery charges last month. Rup continued bail at $2,500 for Andrea M. Biladeau, 31, of Franklin Street, Apt. 4. That bail had …

Police allege Ann Fisher posed as nurse without a license, stole prescription drugs

Monday, December 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton woman facing charges that she stole drugs and personal items from three elderly people in her care posed fraudulently as a licensed practical nurse, according to police. A police investigation reportedly found no record …

Overheating car battery charger starts fire that destroys Easthampton shed

Monday, December 15, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — A fire caused by an overheating car battery charger destroyed a shed in the backyard of a Pine Street home, causing $15,000 worth of damage Saturday morning, according to Jason Dunham, an Easthampton firefighter who was at the scene. Someone at the home at 20 Pine …