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Ryan D. Welch in Hampshire Superior Court on opening day in his trial on a single count of murder in connection with the slaying of Jessica Ann Pripstein in 2012 in Easthampton.

WELCH MURDER TRIAL: Sister of Jessica Ann Pripstein takes witness stand Tuesday

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Lenore Davies, sister of Jessica Ann Pripstein, said her sister told her the weekend of her death that she was “making positive steps” toward breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan D. Welch. Welch is charged with one count of first degree murder in the Feb. 20, 2012 slaying of Pripstein. Davies, who took the witness stand Tuesday morning …

Northampton police probe theft of 35 airbags from Lia Honda lot

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Police are investigating a report that 36 cars parked at the Lia Honda dealership at 293 King St. were broken into sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning and 35 airbags were stolen. Capt. Jody Kasper said police are investigating the theft. She said thieves sometimes steal and sell airbags to garages. Kasper said that the rear passenger windows were broken …

Monday’s high school girls volleyball: Amherst falls in five to Ludlow for first loss

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Amherst Regional girls volleyball team met its match, falling 3-2 to Ludlow to halt its undefeated run on Monday. The Hurricanes (4-1) dropped the final three sets (25-18, 25-16, 15-9) after narrowly winning the first two (25-22, 27-25). Justine Bohl had a career-best 42 assists and five aces. Chapin Duffy had seven kills and eight blocks, while Nina Hayes recorded eight kills …

Six names added to Eva Trager memorial honoring contributions to downtown Northampton

Friday, September 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Gary Golec touched the monument that now bears the name of his wife, Christina Cavallari, on the way back to his seat from accepting a plaque in her honor Friday evening. Cavallari, the longtime owner of …

Valley Swim School in Northampton to close due to high pool costs

Friday, September 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Rising costs to maintain an indoor pool on the former Clarke School campus in Northampton are leading to the closing of the Valley Swim School next month. That will mean some 300 children, senior citizens and …

Five College consortium to build library annex to hold excess 2.5 million volumes from member campuses

Friday, September 12, 2014

AMHERST — Prompted mainly by the need for more space at the University of Massachusetts and Smith College libraries, the Five College Consortium expects to begin construction next spring of a 2.5-million volume annex to hold lesser-used books and materials. The consortium, based in Amherst, plans to purchase …

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 …

Planned merger of Northampton, Greenfield cooperative banks moves ahead

Friday, September 12, 2014

The planned merger of Greenfield Co-operative Bank and Northampton Cooperative Bank moved a step closer this month, with Northampton Cooperative depositors’ approval of the consolidation plan. It had already been approved by the boards of directors for both banks. According to William Stapleton, Northampton Cooperative Bank president and …

Thursday’s colleges: Smith College fends off MCLA in five sets for volleyball victory

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Smith College and MCLA traded sets twice, but the Pioneers held on for the five-set women’s volleyball victory, Thursday in Northampton. Smith won 25-14, 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-9. Dayra Diaz Marquez had 24 assists and 17 digs, while Mei-Li Smith added 16 kills, 28 digs and 15 assists …

Northampton unveils designs for new playgrounds at Lampron Park, Florence Recreation Fields

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Fast-moving plans to design and build two new community playgrounds on opposite sides of the city by the end of the year were unveiled at a public meeting Thursday night. One playground is planned for a portion of Lampron Park next to Bridge Street School near …

Thursday’s high school golf: Corey Calkins, Brian Bak lead South Hadley past Chicopee

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Corey Calkins shot a career-low 38 on his home course at the Ledges Golf Club to help lead South Hadley over Chicopee, 164-172, on Thursday afternoon. Brian Bak finished with a 1-over-par 37 to earn medalist honors for …

Thursday’s high schools: Frontier Regional girls volleyball team spikes Chicopee Comp

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cassidy Ciesluk had 13 digs, 11 kills and five aces for the Frontier Regional girls volleyball team in a 3-0 road sweep over Chicopee Comp Thursday. The Red Hawks (4-0) remained perfect by game scores of 25-14, 25-22, 25-12. Rachel Cialek also had 11 kills in the win. …

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 …