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This undated image provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 shows Don Spirit. On Thursday, officials said Spirit is suspected of killing six of his grandchildren, his daughter and himself near Bell, Fla. (AP Photo/Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office)

Gunman kills daughter, 6 grandchildren, self in Fla.

Friday, September 19, 2014

BELL, Fla. — A once-convicted felon killed six of his grandchildren, including an infant, his adult daughter and himself in a shooting at the man’s home in a small North Florida town Thursday, a sheriff said. Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz at a news conference identified the man as 51-year-old Don Spirit. He would not say if the woman killed was the mother of any of the two boys and four girls, some of whom spent a lot of time at the home. Schultz said a deputy who arrived on a report of a shooting in the afternoon made contact with Spirit who then committed …

Man arrested in Calif. wildfire

Friday, September 19, 2014

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — A man with a lengthy criminal history has been charged with deliberately starting a Northern California wildfire that has shown explosive growth and driven nearly 2,800 people from their homes, authorities said Thursday. Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was arrested late Wednesday in Placerville and booked into El Dorado County Jail, …

Hunt for ambush suspect briefly intensifies in Pa.

Friday, September 19, 2014

CANADENSIS, Pa. — Hours after a slain Pennsylvania State Police trooper was laid to rest, the hunt for a man charged with killing him briefly intensified late Thursday as authorities blocked roads around the home of the suspect’s parents. The Barrett Township Fire Department opened a shelter for residents in the area who …

Three babies’ bodies found in filthy house

Thursday, September 11, 2014

BLACKSTONE — The bodies of three infants were found Thursday in a filthy house where four other children were removed by authorities last month, a Massachusetts prosecutor said. A woman who lives at the home was arrested on …

Contessa Jade Bilodeau of Holyoke avoids jail in theft of jewelry valued at more than $24,000 from mother in Southampton

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON (AP) — A Holyoke woman charged with stealing more than $24,000 worth of jewelry from her mother has pleaded to sufficient facts for a guilty finding, but avoided jail time. Contessa Jade Bilodeau entered her plea this week to a single charge of larceny, and the case …

Twin brothers from Wilbraham arrested in Amherst suspects in breaks throughout Valley and northern Connecticut

Thursday, September 11, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Twin brothers from Wilbraham arrested in Amherst Wednesday morning are suspects in a house break in Belchertown Tuesday and are also being investigated in connection with burglaries elsewhere in the Pioneer Valley and northern Connecticut in recent weeks. Belchertown Detective John Raymer said Thursday that Camron …

Two hurt in Southampton motor vehicle accidents

Thursday, September 11, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON — Two people suffered minor injuries in separate motor vehicle crashes Wednesday afternoon, according to Southampton Police. The first accident occurred at 12:24 p.m. at College Highway and Valley Road where a vehicle driven by Jenise Postell of Springfield was involved in a collision with a vehicle …

Area police news

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Northampton ∎ Melanie Barton, 41, of 129 Pleasant St., Apt. 11, was arrested at 7:58 a.m. Thursday at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on two warrants issued by Holyoke and East Brookfield district courts. ∎ Elizabeth Walsh, 47, of 4 Highland Circle in Hadley, was arrested at 12:14 a.m. Thursday …

Welch murder trial Day 1: Opening statements, jury hears 911 call night of Jessica Pripstein's death

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The first bit of evidence jurors heard in the Ryan D. Welch murder trial that started Thursday was the sobbing voice of Jessica Ann Pripstein in a recording of the 911 call the night of her …

Highway shutdown averted at Ferguson protests

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — A planned highway shutdown fell through Wednesday as a wall of officers in riot gear kept people protesting the Ferguson police shooting from walking onto Interstate 70 in a nearby St. Louis suburb during …

Area court news

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Northampton ∎ Eric V. Harris, 29, of 43 Bates St., denied in Northampton District Court Wednesday of two counts of domestic assault and battery, intimidation of a witness, breaking into a motor vehicle with intent to commit a felony, and damaging a motor vehicle. According to court documents, …

District attorney says no need for public concern after woman’s body found in Amherst

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AMHERST — Authorities have not confirmed the cause of death for a woman found dead near the UMass campus Tuesday, but say there is no reason for the community to worry. “The public should not be concerned,” said …

A kind soul mourned: Family members hold memorial for Amherst woman found dead

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AMHERST — A body reported to be that of an Amherst woman missing since Friday, was discovered Tuesday morning on University of Massachusetts property in a wooded area near the intersection of Amity Street and University Drive. Northwestern …