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    Police said that though the tactic would force motorists to stop, they understand that it's illegal to do so.

    Sutton police are chiming in after photos of a bus crossing a center line and blocking both lanes of traffic made rounds on social media.

    They posted the photos to their Facebook page Friday morning, saying they understand the frustrations the bus driver must endure when motorists don't stop, despite flashing red lights.

    "With that being said, if positioning a school bus in this fashion causes motorists to stop, and a child to safely board or disembark their school bus, we're in favor of it," they wrote.

    However, they added that although the tactic would force motorists to stop, they need to make clear that it's illegal to do so.

    Several people commented on the post in favor of the tactic.

    "I have seen a few in Spencer. Leicester and oxford on my way into work do the same great job protecting the children," wrote Patty Dipadua.

    "Thank you to that bus driver for putting the children's safety first," wrote Trudy Beique Plante.

    Not all of the responses have been positive.

    "So just to add a counter point," wrote Tony Veale. "Bus stops diagonally across the road. Fire truck or ambulance appears with flashing lights. Bus stalls or breaks down. Emergency services cannot get past. Unlikely scenario I know but has a finite possibility and is completely avoidable."

    Police say all vehicles must stop for a school bus with flashing red lights and not proceed until flashing lights are deactivated. The only two exceptions to the law are if a police officer signals an operator to proceed or cars are approaching from the opposite direction on a divided highway.


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    Authorities say a JetBlue gate agent took advantage of a special company code to convert low-cost flights made by friends, family and acquaintances to flights to more expensive destinations.

    Authorities say a JetBlue gate agent took advantage of a special company code to convert low-cost flights made by friends, family and acquaintances to flights to more expensive destinations. 

    Tiffany Jenkins, 30, of Chelsea, was arrested Thursday and has been charged with wire fraud, following an investigation. She appeared in federal court in Boston on Friday and was released with conditions. 

    The U.S. Department of Justice District of Massachusetts claims that between July 1, 2016 and Sept. 27, 2017, Jenkins entered a special code in the airline's computer reservation database that enabled her to take low-cost flights booked by her family, friends and acquaintances and change them to different, and much more expensive flights. The code is intended to be used by agents to change flights for customers who missed their flights or experienced a death in the family. 

    The U.S. Attorneys office alleges Jenkins didn't just do this a few times, but in fact, had changed 505 flights for more than 100 passengers.

    "Many of those exchanges occurred after the passenger was first booked on domestic flights at one of the airline company's lowest available fares -- often, roundtrip flights between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Long Beach, California," The U.S. Attorney's Office stated in a press release. "A short time later, Jenkins exchanged those tickets for a completely different city pair, generally involving much more expensive international locations, for friends, family and acquaintances."

    The U.S. Attorney's office referred to Jenkins as a "former" gate agent. JetBlue on Friday responded to a MassLive inquiry on whether Jenkins was still employed with the company stating that it does not comment on ongoing litigation or investigations regarding current or former crew members. 

    "We will fully cooperate with any external investigation brought by the DOJ if asked," JetBlue said in a statement. 

    The charge of wire fraud can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.


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    "It's a shame we had to go this route," Desilets said. "Hopefully, we are done with it and the project will now run smoothly."

    SPRINGFIELD -- A contractor has paid fines totaling $16,775 relating to alleged plumbing violations and two stop-work orders at the SilverBrick Square housing redevelopment project in the past month.

    With the fines paid, and new plumbing permits pulled for the project at 122 Chestnut St., renovations were allowed to resume in the building, except for plumbing work that could resume Monday, said Steven Desilets, the city's code enforcement commissioner.

    "It's a shame we had to go this route," Desilets said. "Hopefully, we are done with it and the project will now run smoothly."

    Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, who has been sharply critical of the project and plumbing issues, said the project and city tax incentives that were granted to The SilverBrick Group, the developer, remain under review by city departments.

    Desilets said that plumbing work had been done in 26 of the 94 apartments without needed permits, and with some unlicensed plumbers, leading to the stop work order on Wednesday. The stop order was issued on all work being done in the building.

    The stop order was lifted Friday after the permits were taken out by a recently hired plumbing company, 413 Plumbing and Heating, of Pittsfield, to correct all work, and after the fines were paid by 413 Plumbing.

    Desilets said 413 Plumbing was not responsible for any violations, but paid the fines and would be reimbursed by either the developer or the general contractor, A&G Contracting, of New Haven, Connecticut.

    Aaron Papowitz, founder and managing principal of The SilverBrick Group, issued the following statement after not commenting Wednesday or Thursday:

    "A stop work notice was issued for 122 Chestnut Street on November 7th, 2018. On November 8th, 3 Chestnut, LLC representatives met with city representatives to give a comprehensive on-site tour and help ensure code compliance. On November 9th the stop work notice was lifted. An engineer stamped drawing for a specific scope of work will be submitted to the City for approval before that work begins. We thank the Building Commissioner, Inspector and their team for their swift action. We look forward to the successful completion of the project and its positive impact on the Springfield community."

    He declined further comment regarding the fines and the alleged violations.


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    "That should not have happened," said Town Clerk Margaret Z. Nartowicz.

    AMHERST -- It is a mystery why 1,510 fewer ballots were cast in the Town Council contest compared with the number cast in the statewide election Tuesday.

    "That should not have happened," said Town Clerk Margaret Z. Nartowicz.

    In each of the 10 Amherst polling locations, registered voters were first given the statewide ballot. After that was completed, voters were given a second ballot for the town election, Nartowicz said in an interview.

    Unofficial results, as of Thursday, show 11,005 residents voted on the state ballot versus 9,495 who voted in the council races. In other words, 14 percent of those voting in the state contests didn't take a ballot for the town races.

    This contrasts with what happened during the Sept. 4 primary election.

    Polling data provided by the clerk's office shows that 5,442 Amherst residents voted in the preliminary Town Council election two months ago, when the field of candidates was narrowed from 33 to 26. In the state primary the same day, 5,566 took a ballot to vote. That means 98 percent of those who voted in the state primary also voted in the town preliminary election.

    "I invite voters to contact me directly with their own voting experience so we can work to improve procedures for all future elections," Nartowicz said in an email statement to The Republican.

    "I can't speculate as to the reasons any voter chose to vote, or not to vote, in either election" Tuesday, she said. "Both elections were conducted in accordance with law as they were for the September 4th State Primary and Town Preliminary Election."

    "We prepared for and worked tirelessly toward the success of the double elections," Nartowicz said.

    "That said, I'm truly sorry to hear that any voter experienced difficulty or confusion in receiving a town election ballot. That should not have happened," the town clerk said.

    The variance between numbers of ballots cast differed widely depending on the polling location.

    The busiest voting location that day, Precinct 8 at Munson Library, reported a difference of only 2 percent: 1,650 voters cast state ballots and 1,614 then voted in the Town Council races.

    But in the Precinct 10 polling place at the Bangs Community Center, voters turned in 820 state ballots but only 523 town ballots, an overlap of 64 percent.

    Precinct 4 voting was also at the center, where 407 cast town ballots -- 62 percent of the 655 voting in the state election. In September in that precinct, 248 residents voted in the council preliminary out of 258 voting in the state primary, or 96 percent.

    Complete results by precinct are below.

    There are 21,990 registered voters in Amherst.


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    According to his office, Gov. Charlie Baker is going to Las Vegas this weekend with his family where the Bakers will attend a Blink-182 concert.

    When the governor said he was going to "let it rock" in a second term he wasn't kidding. According to his office, Gov. Charlie Baker is going to Las Vegas this weekend with his family where the Bakers will attend a Blink-182 concert.

    Baker left Friday morning and plans to return on Monday, the day before the governor's 62nd birthday, according to an aide.

    Baker won re-election on Tuesday to a second four-year term, and had said that he would be taking a post-election vacation with his family after the campaign was over.

    The governor's affinity for Blink-182 has been well-documented since he was first introduced to the Alexa voice-activated personal assistant at Amazon's Kendall Square office in 2015.

    "Alexa, play Blink-182," the governor instructed the device, which was under development. He has since said that the band was one his whole family could agree on.

    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker pledges to stay all four years of second term


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    Two departments to team up to help veterans access food benefits.

    BOSTON - The commonwealth is engaging in a new effort to address food insecurity among veterans.

    The Department of Transitional Assistance and the Department of Veterans' Services have announced a joint commitment to help veterans access a monthly benefit to purchase food under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as SNAP.

    "SNAP is the commonwealth's first line of defense against hunger, and we owe it to our veterans to support them," said Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Jeff McCue in a release.

    "We're proud to commit to giving back to the people who gave to our country, and are excited about this partnership with the Department of Veterans' Services to come up with ways to make sure our nation's heroes aren't hungry."

    Department of Veterans Services Secretary Francisco Urena added, "Partnering with DTA, our VSOs and other service organizations will ensure that veterans who now face food insecurity will receive benefits and support so that they need not face a hungry day."

    According to the release, there are nearly 365,000 veterans in the state of which an estimated 24,000 currently receive SNAP benefits.

    Food insecurity has been found among certain populations of veterans and to affect management of their health conditions.

    DTA administers SNAP on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service.

    Of all SNAP households in the state, 72 percent earn less than the federal poverty limit - or $24,300 for a household of four.

    Over the next year, DTA will work with DVS and other partners that serve veterans, according to the release, including Veterans' Legal Services and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, to bring these to fruition.

    These efforts include:


      • DTA will forge new partnerships with Veteran Service Organizations, enabling them to help veterans complete SNAP applications, submit verifications, assist with the recertification process, and access the provider end of DTA Connect, the Department's online and mobile application.

      • DTA will hold five regional training sessions with agencies and organizations that work with veterans that will seek to improve knowledge of the SNAP application process, as well as eligibility for veterans and how specific veteran benefits may affect SNAP benefits.

      • DTA will create a SNAP for Veterans resource guide to help veterans and organizations understand the SNAP application process and how different veteran benefits may or may not affect SNAP benefits and eligibility.

      • DTA will partner with other state agencies and Veterans Service Organizations to host a resource fair for veterans where information on services and benefits available will be shared.

      • DTA will attend the Department of Veterans Service annual conference and host a SNAP Workshop to increase awareness of SNAP benefits among groups that serve them.

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    Pittsfield police said a shooting victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshots wounds Friday morning. Officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation on Columbus Avenue and found the victim on arrival.

    PITTSFIELD -- Police are investigating a shooting Friday morning that left an unidentified victim with apparently non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

    Pittsfield police said in a news release that officers responded to an alert from the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system in the 300 block of Columbus Avenue Friday morning to find a victim with multiple gunshots wounds.

    Police rendered first aid to the victim until emergency medical personnel arrived and took the victim to the Berkshire Medical Center.

    The victim was unable to provide any information about the shooter, police said.

    The incident remains under investigation by the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau, Crime Scene Services and the Uniformed Patrol Division. 

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Tips can be called in anonymously at 413-448-97908 or by texting "PITTIP" plus your message to TIP411 (847411).


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    Lindsey Webster regularly visited Borderline, the site of Wednesday's shooting.

    Two days Lindsey Webster was still wading through her emotions. After the shooting that killed 12 people plus the gunman in her favorite bar in Thousand Oaks, California, the former UMass softball player was trying to figure out what she could do next.

    As a teenager, Webster counted down the years until she was old enough to go to Borderline.

    She's see her older sister Sarah Jane pull on cowboy boots and jeans shorts and go from their hometown of Northridge, California to the 18-and-older country music bar in nearby Thousand Oaks. When Lindsey Webster turned 18, she became a regular.

    "I loved it. I was my Disney Land. Country music, line dancing, pool tables, dart boards, friendly people," said Webster now 27. "There were 70-year-old wanna-be cowboys with decked out vests and rhinestone belt buckles and cowboys hats that would teach you how to dance. It really sparked my interest in learning how to dance."

    During her trips home from UMass, she almost always made time for a night at Borderline. She was last there this summer.

    "We went there after my best friend's wedding. She was in her wedding dress. I was in my bridesmaid dress," she said. "I went there any chance I could. Every single Christmas break, summer break, that was the place I went with my friends. I'm going to be home for three weeks? Perfect I can go to Borderline three times."

    Webster lives in Oregon now where she works in the athletic department at Portland State. When he phone rang at 5:30 a.m. Thursday she was concerned. Casual calls don't come that early. It was her friend Kate Kammer breaking the news:

    "Lindsey there was a shooting at Borderline."

    Webster sat up and called anyone she could think of that might have been there that night.

    Webster didn't know anyone personally among the 13 who'd been killed, but the faces in the pictures she'd studied were friends of friends. Throughout the day her friends reached out. Even though Webster lives almost 1,000 miles north now, her friends so associated her with the bar that they knew, if she'd happened to have been home she might have been there. 

    Like many affected by this and other shootings, Webster is following the same progression of emotions. She wants to do something, but isn't sure exactly what.

    "I'm still pretty shocked. I'm so thankful to the first responders. My prayers go out to the sheriff's deputy and his family. But a call to action is what's needed. How many times are we going to post about 'thoughts and prayers?' This is the 307th mass shooting (in 2018). That's almost as many as days in the year. That statistic should be alarming enough."

    Webster didn't think taking guns away from gun owners was the answer.

    "I'm a strong supporter of second amendment rights. I don't think taking away guns is going to fix the problem whatsoever," she said. "What we can control is stricter measures for access and better screening measures to get those guns. I don't want to make this too political at all, but this is larger than gun control."

    She suggested more education, perhaps more metal detectors and strongly advocated for improved mental health resources for veterans, as the shooter was a former Marine.

    Webster said she'd like to go back to Borderline.

    "I will be going back if the bar reopens. We have a similar bar up in Oregon," she said. "That bar really reminds me of Borderline, I want to be there this weekend and feel that same atmosphere."


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    After police pointed out her zebra-themed attire, Melissa Paradysz said she was coming from a Halloween party where she had a couple of drinks, the report said.

    CHICOPEE - A Chicopee woman charged with plowing into a parked police cruiser while driving drunk has been released on $1,000 bail and ordered to wear a high-tech bracelet that provides continuous alcohol monitoring.

    Melissa Paradysz, 37, pleaded not guilty in Chicopee District Court Nov. 1 to charges of operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation, a marked lanes violation and possession of an open container of alcohol.

    The charges were filed on the night of Halloween after Paradysz allegedly slammed into the rear of a cruiser stopped on Chicopee Street with its emergency lights on, according to the arrest report.

    Officer Ryan Moran, who suffered knee, back and neck injuries, jumped from his cruiser as Paradysz's car caught fire. Moran and another officer who arrived on the scene extinguished the fire, the report said.

    Paradysz, who was wearing a zebra-striped outfit and had black stripes faintly visible on her cheeks, said she had just left home and was going to her ex-boyfriend's house. When police pointed out her zebra-themed appearance, she acknowledged that she was coming from a Halloween party where she had a couple of drinks, the report said.

    Her eyes were glassy, her breath smelled of alcohol and an alcoholic beverage was found in a large bottle in her car, the report said.

    She was arrested after performing poorly on a field sobriety test, and her blood alcohol level was later measured at 0.24 percent, or three times the legal limit for driving, the report said.

    Both the cruiser and Paradysz's Nissan Altima suffered extensive damage, the report said.

    Judge Kevin Maltby set bail at $1,000 and ordered Paradysz to remain drug and alcohol free, report once a week to her probation officer and submit to a mental health evaluation.

    The judge also ordered Paradysz to wear a so-called SCRAM bracelet, which allows probation officials to check for the presence of alcohol in sweat every 30 minutes.

    Following her arrest, she was initially charged with operating under the influence of liquor (second offense). At a prosecutor's request, that charge was reduced to a first offense at her arraignment.

    A Holyoke native, Paradysz has two children and works between 32 and 40 hours a week as a personal care attendant, according to court records.

    She is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 30.


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    Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said he has directed city officials to revoke tax incentives granted to the SilverBrick Square housing redevelopment project after two stop-work orders in the past month due to repeated plumbing violations.

    SPRINGFIELD -- Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said Friday he has directed city officials to revoke a $150,000 tax incentive granted to the SilverBrick Square housing project after two stop-work orders in the past month related to plumbing violations.

    "The City is not in the business of rewarding developers who continue to cut corners, especially while receiving tax incentives, only to build substandard housing for our residents," Sarno said.

    On Friday, the city allowed renovation work to resume at the 99-unit housing project at 122 Chestnut St., except for plumbing, after a recently hired plumbing company obtained new plumbing permits and paid fines totaling $16,775.

    But Sarno said the issue was not over.

    "I have directed City Solicitor Ed Pikula, Chairman of the Board of Assessors Richard Allen and Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy to move to revoke the housing tax incentives from the 122 Chestnut Street Silverbrick development, after their continued and multiple missteps on not following proper and standard building codes," Sarno said.

    The SilverBrick Group, of New York, is the owner and developer of the Chestnut Street property. In May the City Council and Sarno approved a housing tax incentive intended to save Silverbrick $150,000 over the next 10 years.

    According to Steven Desilets, the city's code enforcement commissioner, plumbing work done in 26 apartments was done without permits, and by some unlicensed plumbers. The $16,775 in fines was the combined amount from stop-work orders in October and again this Wednesday, he said.

    The contractor, A&G Contracting of New Haven, Connecticut, denied breaking any rules on Thursday in advance of the fines being paid. The plumbing company that paid the fines, 413 Plumbing and Heating, was not responsible for violations, Desilets said.

    He expected the company would be reimbursed by either SilverBrick or A&G Contracting.


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    A powerful wildfire in Northern California incinerated most of a town of about 30,000 people with flames that moved so fast there was nothing firefighters could do.

    PARADISE, Calif. (AP) -- A fierce wildfire in Northern California incinerated most of a town of about 30,000 people with flames that moved so fast there was nothing firefighters could do, authorities said Friday. Nine people died in what quickly grew into the state's most destructive fire in at least a century.

    Only a day after it began, the blaze near the town of Paradise had grown to nearly 140 square miles (362 square kilometers), had destroyed more than 6,700 structures -- almost all of them homes -- and was burning completely out of control.

    "There was really no firefight involved," Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people get out alive. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday."

    With fires also burning in Southern California, state officials put the total number of people forced from their homes at about 250,000. Evacuation orders included the entire city of Malibu, which is home to 13,000, among them some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

    Wildfire destroys thousands of buildings in California town (photos)

    President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds for Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

    When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot. People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement center.

    Rural areas fared little better. Many homes have propane tanks that were exploding amid the flames. "They were going off like bombs," said Karen Auday, who escaped to a nearby town.

    McLean estimated that the lost buildings numbered in the thousands in Paradise, about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

    "Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed. It's that kind of devastation," he said.

    While the cause of the fire wasn't known, Pacific Gas & Electric Company told state regulators it experienced an outage on an electrical transmission line near Paradise about 15 minutes before the blaze broke out. The company said it later noticed damage to a transmission tower near the town. The utility's filing was first reported by KQED News.

    The massive blaze spread north Friday, prompting officials to order the evacuation of Stirling City and Inskip, two communities north of Paradise along the Sierra Nevada foothills.

    The wind-driven flames also spread to the west and reached Chico, a city of 90,000 people. Firefighters were able to stop the fire at the edge of the city, Cal Fire Cpt. Bill Murphy said.

    There were no signs of life Friday on the road to Paradise except for the occasional bird chirp. A thick, yellow haze from the fire hung in the air and gave the appearance of twilight in the middle of the day.

    Strong winds had blown the blackened needles on some evergreens straight to one side. A scorched car with its doors open sat on the shoulder.

    At one burned-out house, flames still smoldered inside what appeared to be a weight room. The rubble included a pair of dumbbells with the rubber melted off and the skeletons of a metal pullup bar and other exercise equipment. The grass and elaborate landscaping all around the brick and stucco home remained an emerald green. Red pool umbrellas were furled near lounge chairs and showed not a singe on them.

    Evacuees from Paradise sat in stunned silence Friday outside a Chico church where they took refuge the night before. They all had harrowing tales of a slow-motion escape from a fire so close they could feel the heat inside their vehicles as they sat stuck in a terrifying traffic jam.

    When the order came to evacuate, it was like the entire town of 27,000 residents decided to leave at once, they said. Fire surrounded the evacuation route, and drivers panicked. Some crashed and others left their vehicles by the roadside.

    "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us," police officer Mark Bass said.

    Officials said all the victims were found in Paradise, including four who died inside their vehicles.

    A nurse called Rita Miller on Thursday morning, telling her she had to get her disabled mother, who lives a few blocks away, and flee Paradise immediately. Miller jumped in her boyfriend's rickety pickup truck, which was low on gas and equipped with a bad transmission. She instantly found herself stuck in gridlock.

    "I was frantic," she said. After an hour of no movement, she abandoned the truck and decided to try her luck on foot. While walking, a stranger in the traffic jam rolled down her window and asked Miller if she needed help. Miller at first scoffed at the notion of getting back in a vehicle. Then she reconsidered, thinking: "I'm really scared. This is terrifying. I can't breathe. I can't see, and maybe I should humble myself and get in this woman's car."

    The stranger helped Miller pack up her mother and took them to safety in Chico. It took three hours to travel the 14 miles.

    Concerned friends and family posted anxious messages on Twitter and other sites, saying they were looking for loved ones, particularly seniors who lived at retirement homes or alone.

    About 20 of the same deputies who were helping to find and rescue people lost their own homes, Sheriff Kory Honea said.

    "There are times when you have such rapid-moving fires ... no amount of planning is going to result in a perfect scenario, and that's what we had to deal with here," Honea told the Action News Network.

    Kelly Lee called shelters looking for her husband's 93-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Herrera, who was last heard from Thursday morning. Herrera, who lives in Paradise with her 88-year-old husband, Lou, left a frantic voicemail around 9:30 a.m. saying they needed to get out.

    "We never heard from them again," Lee said. "We're worried sick. ... They do have a car, but they both are older and can be confused at times."

    For one desperate day, Dawn Johnson anxiously waited for news of her father Richard Wayne Wilson and his wife, Suzanne, who lived in an RV park in Paradise that burned. The couple moved from Texas to the California foothill town about a year ago and was probably not prepared for wildfires.

    They lived in an RV park in the California foothill town and were unlikely equipped to evacuate. He has late-stage cancer and she is mostly confined to her bed, she said.

    Johnson, of Independence, Oregon, relied on fellow members of the couple's Jehovah's Witnesses congregation to check local shelters. By Friday afternoon, she learned they had been found in nearby Chico.

    "They are fine," she said.

    --By Don Thompson and Gillian Flaccus. Paul Elias, Jocelyn Gecker, Janie Har, Daisy Nguyen, Olga R. Rodriguez, Sudhin Thanawala and Juliet Williams contributed to this report.


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    Read obituaries from The Republican newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts.

    Here are the obituaries published Friday in The Republican:

    Obituaries from The Republican, Nov. 9, 2018

     

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    A distressed woman was pulled from the Connecticut River by a Springfield officer, who then sped the woman and emergency medical personnel to the hospital. The Sunday rescue just came to light Friday.

    A Springfield police officer is credited with pulling a distressed woman from the Connecticut River near the North End Bridge last Sunday. Once the woman was under the care of emergency medical personnel the officer then drove the ambulance to the hospital.

    Springfield Police Department spokesman Ryan Walsh said at about 3 p.m. November 4, officers Arjel Falcon and Alexandra Lozada were dispatched to the area of West Street for the report of someone jumping from the North End Bridge. 

    Once at the scene, Falcon and Lozada found a woman sitting on a stump on the bank of the river trying to harm herself. The two closed in on her, but as they got near she bolted and jumped into the deep water.

    Falcon jumped in after her and was able to grab her arm and pull her up over the surface of the river.  The officer carried her to shore where paramedics waited to work on the woman.

    As the paramedics worked with the woman in the rear of the ambulance, Falcon took the wheel and drove the rig to the Baystate Medical Center.  The woman was treated and survived her attempts to harm herself, Walsh said.

    The incident just came to light Friday when police officials released the report.  


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    Here are the winning numbers in Friday's Mega Millions lottery drawing. Watch video

    The Mega Millions lottery offers another hefty jackpot for someone with the right numbers.

    megamillions.jpg

    Here are the winning numbers in Friday's drawing:

    08-14-27-57-67; Mega Ball: 05; Megaplier: 4X

    The estimated jackpot for the drawing is $90 million. The cash option is about $50 million. If no one wins, the Mega Millions jackpot will get bigger for the next drawing.

    The last time the jackpot was won was November when a single ticket claimed a $1.6 billion jackpot.

    According to the game's official website, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.

    Players pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers -- five different numbers from 1 to 70 and one number from 1 to 25 -- or select Easy Pick. A player wins the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.

    Jackpot winners choose whether to receive 30 annual payments, each five percent higher than the last, or a lump-sum payment.

    Mega Millions drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays and are offered in 44 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tickets cost $2 each.


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    The body of the 44-year-old guitarist for the Springfield metal band was found in a pond near his Stafford Springs, Conn., home on Oct. 17.

    WORCESTER -- The public memorial event scheduled to honor late All That Remains guitarist Oli Herbert on Sunday has been cancelled.

    A posting on Herbert's official Facebook page alerted fans that the event at the Worcester Palladium has been called off, though no additional details were given for the cancellation. 

    The body of the 44-year-old guitarist for the Springfield metal band was found in a pond near his Stafford Springs, Conn., home on Oct. 17 after he was reported missing.  Foul play was not suspected.

    The cause of death has not been disclosed.

    Meanwhile, All That Remain singer Phil Labonte revealed in an interview on Friday with Loudwire that Jason Richardson would be filling in as lead guitarist for the band's upcoming tour.

    "We've got Jason Richardson, who played with Chelsea Grin and Born of Osiris and he's going to be filling in and that's the dude that Oli would've wanted. We toured with Born of Osiris for I think two tours. Oli was always talking about Jason as like that kid is the best guitar player I've ever seen," Labonte said. "As soon as we decided that we'd talked about carrying on, once we decided we were going to, we locked in someone to fill in for this tour we've got coming up and then we're going to look for a permanent replacement."

    Herbert began playing guitar at 14. His first paid gig was a Battle of the Bands on his final day of his senior year at Longmeadow High School. 

    He made a name for himself in Western Massachusetts clubs with Netherworld, a thrash metal band he formed in 1991.

    Herbert co-founded All That Remains with Labonte in 1998.

    The band played Springfield clubs, like Fat Cat and Mars Nightclub, before being signed to Prosthetic Records, a division of Metal Blade, back in 2002.

    All That Remains released its ninth studio album, Victim of the New Disease on Friday.


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    Springfield firefighters battled a midnight blaze at 30 Clayton St., that drove four people from their home. The unit in the Clayton Commons Condominium complex was heavily damaged by fire authorities believe started in the kitchen.

    Fire heavily damaged a condominium unit at the Clayton Commons development just after midnight Saturday, and sent a number of residents into the night.  

    The first fire units at the scene said they saw light smoke coming from the building.  

    Executive aide to Springfield Fire Commissioner Bernard Calvi, Dennis Leger said the fire apparently started in the kitchen of the unit at 30 Clayton St., but the exact cause remains under investigation.

    Leger estimated damage to the structure at about $50,000.  

    Three adults and one child escaped the burning unit with no injuries and are being assisted by the American Red Cross with their immediate needs. 

    Leger said three pet turtles in the unit were found deceased. 


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    As Northampton marijuana dispensary NETA prepares to launch its retail service it is also taking steps to mitigate increased traffic along Conz Street where it is located.

    NORTHAMPTON -- As NETA prepares to become one of the first retail marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts, the Conz Street business says it is collaborating with local officials to mitigate the expected traffic influx that will come with opening. 

    NETA, which opened its Northampton medical marijuana dispensary three years ago, has been preparing for months to launch its retail service. The company also has a location in Brookline. 

    Just when the new business will launch isn't entirely clear. The company is waiting to hear from the Cannabis Control Commission -- the state's official marijuana regulatory body -- about a final inspection, said Amanda Rositano, director of compliance for NETA. 

    However, Rositano said Friday that staff are "hopeful" that retail marijuana sales can launch before the new year.

    With that opening, large crowds and local enthusiasm are anticipated.

    "We expect it to be busy but well managed," Rositano said.

    The company will be hiring police details and individual officers to assist with increased traffic during the initial launch, as well as on an ad hoc basis in the future, said Capt. John Cartledge of the Northampton Police Department. 

    Conz Street is already a fairly busy place. With the launch of retail marijuana sales, more regular traffic would be a predictable result.

    Rositano said that the collaboration with police will be on an ongoing basis as needed. "For as long as we need to manage heavy volume (of traffic), we will do so in close coordination with the police department in Northampton," she said. 

    The company reached out to local officials -- including the mayor's office and the police department -- several months ago about coordinating the launch, she said.

    The company has built a strong relationship with the city's police department since first opening in 2015, Rositano said. "We've maintained that relationship," she said, "so we were able to call on them within the last month so that we could dial in on our plans" for the launch of retail sales.

    NETA is also in talks with some of its neighbor businesses to see if parking options may be expanded for customers during the initial launch.

    Rositano said that the opening days will likely be quite busy. "We're expecting that there will be crowds in the beginning -- I think that goes without saying," she said.

    In addition to help with vehicular traffic, NETA has also attempted to mitigate the increased flow of customers by doubling the number of service stations in the dispensary where products can be purchased.

    A new system will be in place wherein medical and retail customers will be directed to different service stations and the lines for merchandise will be "managed by a heavy NETA staff presence to ensure smooth operations," she said.

    "Northampton is a great community to be the leader in this," she said. "I think they've really allowed us to come in and build our reputation and show everyone how this can be done professionally. We're really excited to get started."


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    The president of the East Springfield Neighborhood Council said that a community meeting regarding a proposed retail marijuana business on Cottage Street, scheduled by the developer is not at a convenient time but will garner attendance by her and others.

    SPRINGFIELD -- The president of the East Springfield Neighborhood Council said she is ready to hear plans and ask questions about a proposed retail marijuana shop on Cottage Street, but considers the time chosen by the developer "very inconvenient" for the public.

    The community outreach meeting, which is required by state law for any proposed recreational marijuana retail facility, is scheduled Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the John Boyle O'Reilly Club, 33 Progress Ave.

    "That's a very inconvenient time for community members, but we're going to go," said Kathleen Brown, neighborhood council president. "We need to listen to what their plan is."

    Springfield Cannabis Co. is proposing a retail cannabis business at 732 Cottage St., at the corner of Brookdale Drive. The vacant building is the former Thorn Industries property.

    After the community meeting, the company will need to seek approvals from the city and state, including a public hearing before the City Council for a special permit.

    Brown said the developer has not reached out to the neighborhood council. She is encouraging anyone interested to attend the community outreach meeting.

    The proposed retail business is in an industrial area, she said. She said word is spreading about the meeting, including on the social networking website for East Springfield known as Nextdoor.

    Brown said one of the issues she expects will be discussed is traffic and if the company has a traffic mitigation plan. The site is across the street from the new Pioneer Valley Transit Authority maintenance and storage facility, and is near the intersection of Cottage Street and Berkshire Avenue.

    The proposed site is a half-mile from the INSA medical marijuana dispensary on Cottage Street. Brown said she does not know if there would be any concern about saturation of marijuana businesses in the neighborhood.

    Springfield Cannabis Co. lists Steven Mrowzinski and Michelle Mrowzinski, both of Middle Island, New York, as the corporate officers and directors. Steven Mrowzinski is listed as company president.


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    Moments after being sprayed, Officer Brian Scott-Smith aimed his Taser at the suspect and shot him in the upper chest and lower abdomen, the arrest report said.

    AGAWAM -- An Agawam man is facing felony assault charges after allegedly attacking two police officers with pepper spray designed to stop grizzly bears.

    Ronald Siegert, 62, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Westfield District Court to two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

    The charges were filed late Tuesday after Agawam police responded to River Vista apartments on Main Street following complaints about loud music and yelling coming from Siegerts's apartment, according to the arrest report.

    Moments after police  knocked on the door, Siegert stepped outside and sprayed the officers twice at close range with a brand of pepper spray designed to deter attacks by grizzly bears, the report said.

    "The chemical agent had an immediate effect," causing eye irritation and breathing difficulty for both officers, Officer Brian Scott-Smith wrote in the report.

    In response, Scott-Smith aimed his Taser at the suspect and shot him in the upper chest and lower abdomen. Siegert immediately dropped to the ground, where he was handcuffed and arrested, the report said.

    By then, the pepper spray had spread to neighboring apartments. The Agawam Fire Department eventually cleared all tenants from the building, the report said.

    A spray canister labeled "Counter Assault Bear Deterrent (Grizzly Tough Pepper Spray)" was seized as evidence. A warning label on the canister reads "not for use on humans."

    Following his arraignment, Siegert was released on $2,000 personal surety, and ordered to report once a week to his probation officer.

    A native of Pittsburgh, Siegert is single and unemployed, according to court records. Police were called to the River Vista apartments twice this year after complaints from Sigert's neighbors, court records show. 

    He is due back in court for a pretrial hearing next month.

     

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    More than 25 local breweries and venders came together at the Log Cabin in Holyoke for a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County on Thursday.

    HOLYOKE - More than 25 local breweries and venders came together at the Log Cabin in Holyoke for a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County on Thursday.

    The three-hour event featured local and regional craft beers, a silent auction, raffle, and plenty of creative appetizers from the chefs of The Log Cabin.

    Megan Pete, director of development for Big Brothers / Big Sisters, said the organization hoped to raise $50,000 from the event with proceeds benefiting the one-to-one youth mentoring program which covers Hampden County, South Hadley and Granby.

    The signature fundraiser has raised nearly $100,000 since 2015. An estimated 400 visitors attended Thursday night's event. 


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