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Joey Aranjo, seated, Joshua Santiago, standing, Luis Lasanza, in tree, and Tyger Aranjo, right, all of Holyoke, take turns on a rope swing on the banks of the Connecticut River in Northampton on Tuesday.

Two injuries at Connecticut River rope swing highlight challenges of remote rescues

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — For many, weekends in the summer mean heading to the Connecticut River to beat the heat. People swim, fish, and party on boats or at beaches along the banks of the river. But the remote locations of some of those swimming spots becomes a problem when police or firefighters get a 911 call about a fight, an injury …

Group objects to co. owner’s investment in pipeline

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The lawyer for an environmental consortium is protesting the decision by the parent company of Berkshire Gas to invest in the project at the same time the natural gas company has imposed a moratorium on new customers until the project gets approved. Northeast Energy Solutions, which represents Franklin Land Trust and a 130-member …

Veterans Affairs Medical Center officials detail improvements in patient access, wait times

Monday, August 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Though Iraq combat veteran Alonzo Swift says services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs are helping him get on his feet, the agency still has a way to go in a number of key areas. Swift, 52, served in Iraq for about a year before coming back to the U.S. …

Area police news: Loose lizard prompts police response in Amherst, and more

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hadley ∎ David R. Ortiz Jr., 29, of Chicopee, was arrested and charged with shoplifting by asportation at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Wal-Mart. Ortiz allegedly took more than $100 worth of items. ∎ Police responded to a one-vehicle …

Tuesday’s local softball: Amherst/Deerfield falls to Southwick

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mikah McNamara (two RBIs) and Amanda Deskavich (run) each had two hits, but the Amherst/Deerfield Metro League softball team fell 12-3 to Southwick, on the road Tuesday. Hanna LeClair (run) doubled in the loss for Amherst/Deerfield (6-11). Softball Southwick 12, Amherst/Deerfield 3 (6) A/D 101 001 —3 7 3 Southwick (10)20 00x —12 6 …

Bail reduced for Northampton man accused of child rape

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton man accused of sexually assaulting two girls he knew had his bail reduced from $50,000 to $10,000 in Hampshire Superior Court on Monday. The decision by Judge Richard Carey came during a bail hearing for Stanley J. Michalski, 30, of 9 Florence Road. Michalski …

Peter Zygmont, accused of Florence arson, held without bail at Superior Court arraignment

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A Florence man accused of setting his home on fire in April pleaded not guilty to a single charge of arson of a dwelling in Hampshire Superior Court Tuesday. Peter C. Zygmont, 62, of 111 North …

Massachusetts lawmakers postpone vote on public records reform

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — House lawmakers have pushed a vote to reform the state’s public records law to later this year as they review various objections to the bill’s language, which continues to be revised. The bill has been under …

Light on their feet

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Police confiscate marijuana from youths on the Rail Trail — and other area police news

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Easthampton ∎ Daniel Taylor, 18, of 93 Pomeroy St., was arrested Sunday at 4:17 p.m. at 264 Main St. on a charge of disturbing the peace after police responded to two calls complaining that Taylor was being disruptive while arguing with his girlfriend. ∎ A resident of Maple …

New Northampton Fire Chief Duane Nichols sworn in with promise of increased community outreach

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Freshly sworn-in Fire Chief Duane Nichols said Monday he would ride on the enthusiasm and energy of his department and work with city leaders to increase community outreach and education. “This is a celebration of new …

Valley observers see positives in Boston 2024’s failure

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HATFIELD — Judy Strong, who competed as a field hockey player in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, said she was torn Monday on learning that Boston would not be the host in 2024. Strong, now 55 and an umpire, was 24 when her team won the bronze, …

Energy department backs pipeline contract

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has argued before the state Department of Public Utilities that Berkshire Gas Co.’s 20-year contract to use gas from Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project should be approved. DOER …