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Child porn case against former state police captain from Amherst inches ahead
06-19-2024 3:12 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Legal proceedings in the case of a retired State Police detective captain accused of eight counts of possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material have moved slowly since charges were first brought.Francis Hart, 64, was...

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Overcoming addiction: Day treatment center opens in Northampton
06-19-2024 4:34 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — When Empower Health Group opened its new day treatment program in Northampton in February, it didn’t take long for people to come knocking.“We had 25 or 30 clients within two weeks,” company CEO Matthew O’Malley said.O’Malley, who said...


Plainfield man, 55, dies in crash
06-18-2024 12:49 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

PLAINFIELD — A 55-year-old local man was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Grant Street around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, the Northwestern district attorney’s office reported.John Henry Burt of Plainfield died after when his car went off the road into the...


Pot company to pay $350K fine over worker’s death at Holyoke plant
06-17-2024 1:19 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A leading cannabis company has agreed to pay a $350,000 fine to the Cannabis Control Commission to settle allegations that lax safety protocols at its Holyoke production plant led to the death of a worker there in January 2022.The...


Judge denies Rintala’s motion to reduce prison sentence
06-14-2024 11:59 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire Superior Court judge has denied convicted killer Cara Rintala’s motion to reduce the 12-to-14-year prison sentence she’s serving after being convicted last year of manslaughter in the killing of her wife in 2010.Rintala...


Middlefield man remains held on 62 charges in child rape case
06-14-2024 9:40 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A Middlefield man facing 62 charges in a sweeping indictment involving child rape was returned to jail Thursday after pleading not guilty on all counts in Hampshire Superior Court.Keane E. Kendall, 36, has been held without the right to...


Humble superstar: Lee Anderson is the Gazette’s Person of the Year
06-13-2024 3:37 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — When Lee Anderson first had the opportunity to cook for and serve the guests at the Manna Community Kitchen, an idea took form in his mind.“I realized we had something we weren’t optimizing,” he said.It was 2016 and he had begun...


Man who fled state in 2019 arraigned on slew of charges
06-13-2024 1:57 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A man who was facing numerous charges in Hampshire Superior Court when he removed his GPS tracking device and left the state in August 2019 was arraigned Wednesday on an outstanding misdemeanor larceny charge.Rene Garcia-Alvarado, 25, is...


Digital life in hilltowns: Landmark survey outlines how older populations use tech
06-11-2024 6:51 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

WILLIAMSBURG — Advocates who work to keep older people up to speed with digital technology gathered Monday to mark the release of a landmark report on how hilltown residents are faring.Developed from a survey sent to people 60 and older in Hampshire...


For Hampshire and Franklin county offenders, drug diversion and recovery starts here
06-11-2024 2:08 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Maria Pantoja credits her late aunt and dearest friend Doris Colon with giving her a valuable lesson about helping people in the throes of drug addiction.“She showed me how to treat the person, then the problem,” Pantoja said.Colon had...


Civil lawsuit against Northampton, officers stemming from 2017 arrest in front of City Hall set for fall trial
06-10-2024 3:48 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A civil lawsuit brought against the city by a former Northampton man who claims he was illegally arrested and defamed when he was detained while protesting in 2017 is set for trial in October.Eric Matlock filed suit in 2020, claiming two...


Four anti-war activists face charges in wake of protest at L3Harris
06-07-2024 4:07 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — After some three hours of drilling, grinding and cutting Thursday afternoon, police were able to free four anti-war protesters who had blocked the gates at L3Harris by securing themselves to a pickup truck filled with concrete. The four...


Anti-war protesters form concrete blockade at L3Harris in Northampton
06-06-2024 3:35 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Four anti-war activists secured to a pickup truck blocked the shipping and receiving gate at L3Harris, Thursday morning, to protest the company’s role in Israel’s assault on Gaza.Police responded to remove the activists and some 20...


Teen driver dies in Pelham crash
06-05-2024 4:13 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

PELHAM — A teenage driver died Monday evening after his vehicle crashed into a tree off Daniel Shays Highway (Route 202) and caught fire, authorities said.Joseph Tucker, 19, of Essex was brought by helicopter to Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer, where...


Holyoke man facing rape, assault charges remains in jail
06-05-2024 11:30 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke man remained jailed on $25,000 bail after pleading not guilty last week in Hampshire Superior Court to an eight-count indictment charging him with aggravated rape, kidnapping and indecent assault and battery, among other...


Williamsburg voters OK $9.5M budget with increases for police, fire
06-04-2024 4:09 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

WILLIAMSBURG — Town Meeting voters approved a $9.5 million budget and all other articles on the warrant Monday evening.“Everything passed,” Town Clerk Brenda Lessard said. Ninety-five voters showed up at the Anne T. Dunphy School for the annual...


A call to act on gun violence in Holyoke: Survivors share stories, seek answers
06-04-2024 9:15 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Lyn Horan remembers the time many years ago she got a call from the emergency room at a Baltimore hospital asking her if she was sitting down.She learned that a man facing eviction had put a gun to her mother’s head and fired twice. The gun...


Getting a fix on homelessness: Advocates convene, strategize
05-31-2024 9:07 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — After a disabling truck crash left Jocephus Grant unable to work, his wife moved out and the bank foreclosed on the Springfield home he had bought in 2009.The bank sold his home to an investor “for pennies on the dollar,” the investor moved...


Man gets 2½ years on drug charges
05-31-2024 11:13 AM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — After weighing recommendations from defense and prosecuting attorneys, a Hampshire Superior Court judge sentenced a longtime Northampton man to 2½ years in jail on numerous drug distribution charges at a change-of-plea hearing...


For 20 graduates, time to move on from PVCICS ‘family’
05-30-2024 4:29 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HADLEY — With cheers and flowers, thanks and praise, the 20 members of the senior class and their families celebrated graduation early Wednesday evening at the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School’s eighth commencement, held in the school’s...


Judge orders Plainfield couple to leave their home; owners taking steps to sell property
05-29-2024 5:07 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Continuing a series of legal sanctions against a Plainfield couple accused of violating sanitary and building codes at their Bow Street residence, a Hampshire Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered the couple to leave their home until the...

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