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Amherst firefighters raise alarm over 2-person response to night blaze
07-08-2024 2:15 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A late-night fire in downtown Amherst, during which only one career firefighter/paramedic was available to extinguish the blaze, is prompting the union representing town firefighting staff to renew its longstanding appeal for enhanced...

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Statewide 911 outage fixed after two hours offline
06-18-2024 2:52 PM

Staff Report

The state’s 911 dispatch system went offline for two hours Tuesday afternoon, forcing residents to call their local police department’s administrative numbers for emergencies during the dispatch system outage. Notification of the system’s failure...


Southampton voters to decide on $2.2M override to buy land for new public safety complex
06-09-2024 1:00 PM

By Alexa Lewis

SOUTHAMPTON — The town will take another significant step toward the construction of a new public safety complex on June 25, when voters will decide at a special election whether to buy land that was already approved at this year’s annual Town...


It’s official: Fasoli sworn in as Southampton’s new fire chief
05-16-2024 9:17 AM

By Alexa Lewis

SOUTHAMPTON — Standing against the gleaming red backdrop of Engine 3, Richard Fasoli was sworn in as the Southampton Fire Department’s new fire chief in a brief ceremony on Wednesday. “I couldn’t do it without all of your help,” Fasoli said to those...


Southampton takes key step toward new public safety complex following TM vote
05-12-2024 3:02 PM

By ALEXA LEWIS

SOUTHAMPTON — Stepping over fire hoses and wires, Southampton Fire Chief Richard Fasoli opened the driver’s door to one of the fire engines as far as he could on a recent afternoon during a tour of the aging and cramped public safety complex. The...


Granby Bow and Gun Club says stray bullets that hit homes in Belchertown did not come from its range
05-01-2024 4:41 PM

By EMILEE KELIN

BELCHERTOWN — The president of the Granby Bow and Gun Club insists that stray bullets that hit two homes and a shed in the Turkey Hill area of town did not originate from the club’s long range.Club President Ryan Downing read a statement at the...


Public safety chief flags ‘warning signs’ around police hiring, retention
03-24-2024 11:00 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy warned lawmakers last week that big cities and small towns face a “major issue” with recruiting new candidates for law enforcement jobs and said he’s worried about the future of public safety in...


Bill would raise retirement age for police, fire officials
11-16-2023 4:34 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

As a way to help cities and towns retain police and firefighters longer, a local lawmaker has filed a bill that would allow them to work in public safety roles until age 72.Under state law, emergency services personnel such as police officers and...


Dearth of dispatchers forces Southampton to seek help from Easthampton
10-15-2023 2:00 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

SOUTHAMPTON — As Southampton’s dispatch services transfer to Easthampton’s Public Safety Communications Center, residents who enter the lobby of the Southampton Police Station will notice a few changes, namely a lack of in-person staff at times.Due to...


Officials gear up for another run at new Southampton police-fire station
08-17-2023 6:16 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

SOUTHAMPTON — With $35,000 secured in the state budget to help pay for a feasibility study, the town is moving forward with planning for a new public safety complex to replace the police and fire stations, an effort that has been ongoing for...


Easthampton moves to hire civilian flaggers to fill vacant police detail jobs
06-22-2023 4:51 PM

By EMILY THURLOW

EASTHAMPTON — With open trenches, rough terrain and orange cones and reflective barrels in full bloom at numerous housing and infrastructure project sites, it’s no surprise to anyone that much of the city is under construction.However, with so many...


Drivers weigh in on potential cellphone use ban
07-03-2017 9:28 AM

By JACK SUNTRUP

EASTHAMPTON — If it were up to Tim Sharrow, all cellphone use would be banned in cars.He has seen distracted drivers rear-end people, distracted drivers slow to go when the light turns green, distracted drivers who don’t seem to realize the...


Collect them all: Northampton Police introduce trading cards
06-08-2017 12:08 AM

By JACK SUNTRUP

NORTHAMPTON — Forget Pokémon cards, or whatever children are trading these days. The newest craze could be trading cards featuring Northampton cops.On Tuesday, Police Chief Jody Kasper announced a new trading card initiative designed to strengthen...


Authorities identify Florence man struck by car, killed
05-16-2017 9:53 PM

By EMILY CUTTS

NORTHAMPTON — A 78-year-old Florence man was hit by a car and killed while riding his bike Monday afternoon.Alan H. Porter was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Northwestern district...


Easthampton man pleads not guilty to 61 counts in bomb-making case, held on $150,000 bail
05-09-2017 10:43 PM

By EMILY CUTTS

NORTHAMPTON — An Easthampton man accused of manufacturing explosives and explosive devices was ordered held on $150,000 bail Tuesday. Bryan O. Desmarais, 42, of 36 Ridgewood Terrace, pleaded not guilty in Hampshire Superior Court Tuesday afternoon...


High-Five Friday is no more, but a new program is planned for Northampton elementary schools
05-01-2017 11:06 PM

By JACK SUNTRUP

NORTHAMPTON — More than two months after the cancellation of High-Five Friday rattled Northampton, the school district announced Monday a permanent police liaison to its elementary schools.The four district elementary schools have lacked a steady law...


Easthampton Fire Chief: No sky lanterns, please
04-26-2017 12:18 PM

By JACK SUNTRUP

EASTHAMPTON — For the love of Easthampton, please don’t release sky lanterns.That firm request comes from Fire Chief David Mottor, who said Wednesday he received an email asking if it was OK to launch what are essentially tiny, unmanned air balloons...


Gunman robs Florence convenience store, Northampton police say
04-20-2017 11:29 AM

By JACK SUNTRUP

FLORENCE — Jim’s Variety Store in Florence was robbed Wednesday night, the second time the convenience store’s cash register has been plundered since January.Northampton Police Department Capt. John Cartledge said in a news release that a male suspect...


Dry, windy days sparking brush fires
04-18-2017 8:25 AM

By JACK SUNTRUP

SOUTHAMPTON — When 16-year-old Damien Cox caught a faint burning smell Sunday afternoon, he assumed the scent was wafting from a neighbor’s kitchen. It was Easter, after all.“So we didn’t think anything of it,” he said.Later, his godfather spotted the...


New $180,000 robot system helping Northampton Fire Department dispatchers do their job
03-31-2017 3:12 PM

By Dusty Christensen

NORTHAMPTON — Journalists and the occasional enthusiast spend lots of time listening to emergency dispatch scanners, the static voices on the radio providing a window onto the work a city’s emergency services do day and night. So it may only have come...


Northampton police: heroin overdoses nearly triple in city
01-06-2017 9:41 AM

By EMILY CUTTS

NORTHAMPTON — The number of heroin overdoses in the city has nearly tripled in the last year, according to data released Wednesday by the Northampton Police Department .“We are indeed in the midst of a terrible epidemic,” the department wrote in a...

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