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Police / Fire / Courts

At Ludlow jail, addicts must wear shirt and tie

Monday, May 25, 2015

LUDLOW — A western Massachusetts prison believes dressing for success can help inmates break the stranglehold of addiction. Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe Jr. requires inmates at his jail’s minimum-security substance abuse treatment facility wear a shirt and tie from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. Ashe recently announced that the policy, which has been in place since 2007, will remain in effect as the Western Massachusetts Correctional …

Anonymous threats disrupt several commercial flights

Monday, May 25, 2015

NEW YORK — Anonymous telephone threats against commercial airliners on Monday, possibly from the same source, caused a scare involving at least six international flights at airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Authorities said the threats did not appear to be credible. They described searches done on the jets as a precaution. In one instance Monday morning, U.S. military jets escorted …

Ex-Israeli PM gets 8 months

Monday, May 25, 2015

JERUSALEM — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter, capping the dramatic downfall of a man who only years earlier led the country and hoped to bring about a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians. Olmert was convicted …

Bomber sentencing set for June

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced to death next month after at least 20 victims describe the impact the terror attack had on their lives. Judge George O’Toole Jr. said during a status …

Judge OKs $200M settlement in 2012 meningitis outbreak

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Victims of a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by a now-closed Massachusetts compounding pharmacy will have access to a $200 million compensation fund, following approval Tuesday by a federal bankruptcy judge. The new fund will be available to compensate creditors and victims who became ill or …

Local banks report increase in fraudulent debit card activity

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

HATFIELD — A spike in fraudulent debit card activity this month left several residents’ bank accounts compromised, including one woman who discovered over $5,000 in fraudulent charges. Hatfield resident Sally Winings said that when her husband went online …

Stephen MacDonald, arrested May 12 for alleged assault, charged Tuesday with attempted murder and rape

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Florence man arrested last week for allegedly beating a woman at a home on Ice Pond Drive was arraigned Tuesday on new charges including attempted murder and aggravated rape, based on statements the woman made at the hospital where she was being treated for her …

Jeffrey Miller denies distributing drugs from his Cosmic Cab office in Northampton

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The owner of Cosmic Cab was arraigned in Northampton District Court on Tuesday on drug distribution charges after police allegedly found marijuana packaged for sale in his office. Jeffrey D. Miller, 39, of 78 Conz St., pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession with intent …

Judge rules three remaining defendants in alleged UMass gang rape case will be tried separately

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The three remaining defendants charged in connection with an alleged 2012 gang rape at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be tried separately, a judge ruled, despite the state’s efforts to combine two of the trials. Hampshire Superior Court Judge Bertha D. Josephson on Friday denied …

Eric Bertrand committed for mental health treatment, delaying proceedings on charges of arson at Forbes Library and throwing cayenne pepper at Hadley shoppers

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Court cases against Eric Bertrand, the former Easthampton man accused of lighting a fire at Forbes Library and throwing cayenne pepper on Whole Foods shoppers, will be delayed after he was committed to a Worcester hospital for one year. There is a chance the court case …

Area police news

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Amherst ∎ Police are investigating two minor accidents Monday night involving the same vehicle operated by a possibly intoxicated driver. At 8 p.m., a resident at Ann Whalen Apartments, 33 Kellogg Ave., reported that a 2014 Ford Mustang struck a tree, causing no damage, before leaving. About 45 …

Improper disposal of smoking materials in mulch ignited fire that destroyed Southampton home

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — Improper disposal of smoking materials that ignited wood mulch caused a fire that destroyed a home at 30 Helen Drive late Monday night, State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Fire Chief John C. Workman ruled …

SJC issues decision in drug lab scandal

Monday, May 18, 2015

BOSTON — Thousands of defendants convicted of drug crimes after a chemist in a state lab tampered with evidence can’t be charged with more serious crimes or given harsher sentences if granted a new trial, Massachusetts’ highest court …