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FILE - In this July 31, 2000 file photo, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. gives a thumbs up after taking over as chairman of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.  A newly unveiled indictment against Hastert released Thursday, May 28, 2015,  accuses the Republican of agreeing to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a person from the town where he was a longtime schoolteacher silent about "prior misconduct."   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

AP source: Hastert paid to conceal claims of sexual abuse

Saturday, May 30, 2015

CHICAGO — Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert paid hush money to conceal claims that the Illinois Republican sexually molested someone decades ago, a person familiar with the allegations said Friday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and the allegations are not contained in an indictment issued Thursday. The specific nature of the claims was not immediately clear. The federal indictment accused Hastert of agreeing to pay $3.5 million to keep a person from the suburban Chicago town where he was a longtime high school teacher and wrestling coach silent about “prior misconduct,” but the …

Paul seeks ‘spying showdown’ in Sunday Senate meeting on NSA

Saturday, May 30, 2015

WASHINGTON ­— Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said he’s ready for a “spying showdown” when the Senate holds a rare Sunday session, a sign he isn’t relenting in his fight against renewing anti-terrorism programs set to expire Monday. Paul, of Kentucky, asked supporters in an e-mail Friday to join him in opposing National Security Agency spying. Paul, like any U.S. senator, has the …

Former NY governor Pataki joins GOP presidential pack

Thursday, May 28, 2015

EXETER, N.H. — George Pataki, the 9/11-era New York governor who achieved electoral success as a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, announced his candidacy for the presidential nomination Thursday, offering himself as a unifying figure in a divided nation. Just as he was overshadowed after the 2001 terrorist attacks by Mayor Rudy …

UK exit poll gives edge to ruling Conservatives

Thursday, May 7, 2015

LONDON — The Conservative Party fared much better than expected in British parliamentary elections Thursday, an exit poll projected, suggesting that Prime Minister David Cameron is within touching distance of forming a new government. The opposition Labour Party …

Scottish National Party’s rise alters UK elections

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

EDINBURGH, Scotland — When Britain’s national elections are held Thursday, there’s a solid chance John Alexander will opt for the Scottish National Party, the group that led September’s failed separatist campaign, even though he favors unity. Alexander, an …

State Dept.: Clinton email practices ‘not acceptable’

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WASHINGTON — A high-ranking State Department official said Wednesday it’s “not acceptable” for any agency employee to conduct government business on a private email server as former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton did. Joyce Barr, the agency’s …

South Hadley to consider nearly 3 percent budget increase, fines for exessively high grass and unshoveled snow

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — Town Meeting members Saturday will be asked to approve a $43.5 million operating budget for the next fiscal year beginning July 1, which would be almost 3 percent higher than this year’s spending. The school budget would increase by 1.75 percent and account for $20,520,819 …

Westhampton Town Meeting voters to consider $5.49 million budget Saturday; override on June 6 ballot

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WESTHAMPTON — Town Meeting voters on Saturday will consider a $5.49 million budget that requires approval of a Proposition 2½ override in order to be balanced. The annual Town Meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday in Town Hall. The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 …

Fate of Center School, acquisition of vacant church for a new senior center highlight Hatfield Town Meeting

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

HATFIELD — The fate of historic Center School and the potential acquisition of a vacant church for a new senior center are the hot-button topics facing voters at the annual Town Meeting next Tuesday. Voters also will be …

Huckabee, the other man from Hope, opens 2016 bid

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

HOPE, Ark. — Mike Huckabee declared his presidential candidacy Tuesday, counting on his brand of conservative populism to make his second White House bid more successful than his first. In 2008, he captivated evangelical Republicans but couldn’t build …

‘Clinton Cash’ casts shadow over campaign

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

WASHINGTON — As Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks to focus public attention on immigration during a swing through Nevada on Tuesday, her presidential campaign staff back at Brooklyn headquarters is scrambling to mitigate damage from release of a long-anticipated book that accuses her of compromised ethics. “Clinton Cash: The …

WMUA to post podcast of ‘Focus’ discussion about Amherst Town Meeting articles that was silenced Sunday

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

AMHERST — Participants and hosts of a long-running public affairs program on the University of Massachusetts radio station say their First Amendment rights were denied when a broadcast was turned off Sunday afternoon over questions about the legality of using state property for potential financial gain. “At minimum, …

Write-in candidate William Marrapese wins Deerfield seat on Frontier Regional School Committee

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DEERFIELD — Voters Monday decided between two write-in candidates for a three-year term on the Frontier Regional School Committee, and gave William R. Marrapese a six-vote victory. He received 29 write-in votes, to 23 for Jan Flaska. Town Clerk Barbara Hancock said 171, or 4.87 percent, of the …