Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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State Region

CAROL LOLLIS
Stan Rosenberg.

Rosenberg’s partner’s job moves to Fla.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

BOSTON — Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg’s domestic partner has been reassigned to his public relations company’s Florida office after weeks of scrutiny about his relationship with the presumptive state Senate president. The Boston Globe reports (http://bit.ly/1CoBYk5) that Bryon Hefner will be relocating to Florida and working with clients for Regan Communications Group in that region. Hefner, who joined the firm in May, had allegedly mocked outgoing Senate President Therese Murray on Twitter and boasted about his influence in the Legislature. Regan markets itself as being able to help clients build relationships with lawmakers across local, state and federal levels through lobbying, according to its …

Patrick sees much to cheer in tenure

Sunday, December 21, 2014

BOSTON — “I am an optimist,” Gov. Deval Patrick said in his first inauguration speech, “but not a foolish one.” Spoken amid the celebratory atmosphere of that January 2007 day in which Massachusetts welcomed Patrick, the state’s first black governor and first Democratic governor in 16 years, those words seem prescient now as …

Tsarnaev’s lawyers seek trial delay

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings. Security was tight …

Afghan soldier who fled US training sent to Canada

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — One of three Afghan military officers detained after fleeing a U.S. training exercise to avoid returning to Afghanistan has been allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada, his attorney said Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement turned over Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada to …

Couple sues Whole Foods, ranch over son’s death

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON (ap) — A Massachusetts husband and wife who blame their 8-year-old son’s death on the ground beef they bought at a Whole Foods Market have sued the supermarket chain and the ranch they say produced and processed the meat. Melissa and Andrew Kaye, of Braintree, said in …

Driver to be charged in crossing guard’s death

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WEST SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a driver who struck and killed a West Springfield school crossing guard on Monday will be charged in the accident. West Springfield Police Sgt. Hubert Rees said Wednesday that a 61-year-old Agawam woman will be charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligence. …

Saint Francis to merge with Trinity Health

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford-based Saint Francis Care has announced plans to merge with Trinity Health and form a nonprofit regional health system in New England. Trinity is a national system of Roman Catholic health care institutions that already includes the Sisters of Providence Health System in Springfield, …

Appeals court nixes sex change for inmate at taxpayers’ expense

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BOSTON — A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for an inmate convicted of murder. Michelle Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, is serving a life sentence for …

Baker says heroin crisis is among early priorities

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BOSTON — Tackling the scourge of heroin and opiate addiction will be an early priority after taking office, Gov.-elect Charlie Baker said Tuesday as state police reported dozens of suspected overdose deaths around the state in recent weeks. “It cuts across geography. It cuts across class. It cuts …

Mom indicted on two counts of murder in babies’ deaths

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — A woman was indicted on two murder charges after the skeletal remains of three babies were found in her squalid home in September, a district attorney announced Tuesday. Thirty-one-year-old Erika Murray has been held on …

FBI: Casinos raise risk of public corruption

Monday, December 15, 2014

BOSTON — The head of the FBI’s Boston office said Monday he’s concerned the expansion of casino gambling might lead to an increase in public corruption and financial and organized crime. Special Agent Vincent Lisi, whose office covers …

Patrick says future wide open after Jan. 8

Monday, December 15, 2014

BOSTON — Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday he has no intention of being a “pundit” when he steps down in January, but he is leaving his professional and political future wide open. During an interview with The …

Rings given to Salvation Army fetch $21,000 for toys

Monday, December 15, 2014

BOSTON — Not even J.R.R. Tolkien could dream up rings as precious as these. A former Salvation Army bell ringer is paying $21,000 for a diamond engagement ring and wedding band that a widow placed inside a red …