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    The driver and a second passenger were both taken to the hospital, but authorities have not identified the extent of their injuries, according to NBC Boston.

     

    A 20-year-old woman is dead after the car she was riding in crashed into a home in Holbrook early Sunday morning, NBC Boston reports.  

    Nicole Ricci, of Stoughton, was one of three people in the car, which was traveling on Route 139 around 5 a.m. when it crossed over a lane and hit a utility pole. The car crashed through a fence and landed in a home on Kingsley Street, NBC Boston reports. 

    Ricci was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

    The driver and a second passenger were both taken to the hospital, but authorities have not identified the extent of their injuries, according to the television station. 

    Michelle Carter lives in the home with her sister and daughter, she told NBC Boston, but no one was home at the time of the crash. 


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    Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry remained in the hospital Sunday after performing with Billy Joel at New York's Madison Square Garden Saturday night.

    Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry remained in a New York hospital Sunday after collapsing following a performance with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.

    Perry, 68, had just finished a guest spot performing "Walk This Way" with Joel, went back to his dressing room and collapsed, according to TMZ. Paramedics worked on Perry for approximately 40 minutes in his dressing room before rushing him to the hospital. Joel was still onstage and unaware of Perry's condition.

    Perry's camp issued a statement on Sunday to Variety:

    "Following a guest performance during Billy Joel's show last night at Madison Square Garden, experienced shortness of breath and was treated backstage by paramedics who gave the guitarist oxygen and used a tracheal tube to clear his airway before taking him to a hospital. This morning Perry remains in the hospital where he is alert and responsive. The Aerosmith guitarist will be unable to appear today at Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp in Florida and apologizes to those attending.  Perry is expected to return to the road later this month."

    In July 2016, Perry collapsed on stage during a performance with the Hollywood Vampires in Brooklyn.


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    Todd Crevier was named Springfield Veterans Day parade marshal while Police Officer Jose L. Feliciano was named Veteran of the year.

    SPRINGFIELD - After marching through the streets of the city, Veterans Day Parade Marshal Todd Crevier asked the crowd assembled on the City Hall steps to repeat after him.

    "22," he said. "Louder: 22," he repeated, receiving a more enthusiastic response.

    "That is a rather tragic number," he said. Crevier explained an average of 22 veterans every day - more than 8,000 a year - commit suicide because they can no longer live with the physical or psychological burdens of war.

    Crevier, a disabled veteran who served two combat tours with the U.S. Army, was selected as this year's marshal in part for his efforts to help his fellow veterans. He founded New England Adventures which offers all-expense paid outdoor sporting and outdoor activities to veterans who are suffering.

    He thanked the crowd for coming to support veterans and reminded people some need help throughout the year.

    This year's Veterans Parade began at Springfield Technical College, traveled down State and Main Streets and ended at City Hall. Dozens of units participated including a wide number of veterans' groups such as the Winchester Square Vietnam Era Veterans and the Disabled American veterans; Junior ROTC units from four city high schools, the Springfield Kiltie band and the Melha Shrine marching units.

    Multiple other communities including Chicopee, Westfield and Northampton also held events on Veterans Day. Holyoke commemorated the day on Saturday at Holyoke High School and the ceremony included a Massachusetts National Guard helicopter crew landing in the adjacent field.

    Springfield Police Officer Jose L. Feliciano, who served in the U.S. Army and then the Army National Guard for 27 years, was named as the 2018 Veteran of the Year. A police officer since 1995, Feliciano was praised for his service to the city, including the many volunteer hours he commits.

    "I want to thank all the veterans who have served, who are currently serving and especially those who are currently deployed," he said.

    Danielle Witherspoon and Emmanuel Owusu, employees for the city's Veteran Services Department, handed out flags to people waiting for the parade to make its way down Main Street. While the audience was thin on State Street, people crowded the sidewalks on Main Street, they said.

    The department this year ordered 25,000 flags to place of veterans' graves in the city. They had extras so decided to hand them out so parade-goers could show their appreciation to the veterans marching, Witherspoon said.

    Mayor Domenic J. Sarno thanked the many marchers and participants and told them "Springfield remembers its veterans."

    He and others placed a memorial wreath on a monument in Court Square. A trumpeter then played taps and the Springfield Kiltie Band played "Amazing Grace."

    Sarno reminded people Sunday is the 100th Veterans Day celebrated by the country and talked a little about the history of the day. It was originally called Armistice Day to honor the ceasing of hostilities for World War I. In 1954 it was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.

    "It is because of their efforts we are able to live the lives we live and we are forever grateful," he said.


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    Wayne Hairston, 56, was last seen at the Basketball Hall of Fame where he was attending a church service.

    SPRINGFIELD - Family members of a man last seen at a church service on Oct. 21 are asking people for to help locate him.

    Family members of Wayne Hairston have put up posters in store windows in the city asking people to help find him. His sister said "in anguish" while waiting any information about him.

    Hairston, 56, was last seen at the Basketball Hall of Fame where he attended a church service, family members said.

    Police said he is about 5 feet, one inch tall, weighs about 260 pounds and wears glasses. He usually stays at the Springfield Rescue Mission.

    Anyone who has seen Hairston or has information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the police department's non-emergency at 413-787-6302 or to share tips or other information call 413-750-2253, said Ryan Walsh, police spokesman.


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    Read obituaries from The Republican newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts.

     

    Here are the obituaries published this weekend in The Republican:

    Obituaries from The Republican, Nov. 10-11, 2018


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    His widow revealed that a planned memorial service in Worcester on Sunday was canceled because of threats made against her family.

    Oli Herbert, guitarist for the Springfield rock band All That Remains, drowned in a pond near Stafford Springs, Conn., home on Oct. 17 after ingesting antidepressants and a sleep aid, his wife revealed.

    In a statement on Herbert's Facebook page, his wife, Beth, also revealed that a planned memorial service in Worcester on Sunday was canceled because of threats made against the family.

    Beth Herbert stated, in part:

    "Oli was apparently self-treating for manic-depression that has run in his family for several generations. Anti-depressants were found in his system, as well as a sleep aid. The psych meds found in his system were the same ones that a close relative has been prescribed for a long time, so he knew what to hunt down for the "treatment". Seeing how he was not going (and WOULDN'T GO) to a doctor to get diagnosed with the issue and was not being prescribed the medications and monitored on them, it explains his occasional erratic behavior here at home."

    She urged anyone with information on who provided her late husband with psychiatric medication to contact the Connecticut State Police, Troop C in Tolland, Conn.

    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 Phil 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.

    Labonte revealed in an interview on Friday with Loudwire that Jason Richardson of Chelsea Grin and Born of Osiris would be filling in as lead guitarist for the band's upcoming tour.

     

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    Wildfires continued to rage on both ends of the state, with gusty winds expected overnight which will challenge firefighters.

    PARADISE, Calif. (AP) -- As relatives desperately searched shelters for missing loved ones on Sunday, crews searching the smoking ruins of Paradise and outlying areas found six more bodies, raising the death toll to 29, matching the deadliest wildfire in California history.

    Wildfires continued to rage on both ends of the state, with gusty winds expected overnight which will challenge firefighters. The statewide death toll stood at 31. The Camp Fire that ravaged a swath of Northern California was the deadliest.

    A total of 29 bodies have been found so far from that fire, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news briefing Sunday evening. He said 228 people were still unaccounted for.

    Ten search and recovery teams were working in Paradise -- a town of 27,000 that was largely incinerated on Thursday -- and in surrounding communities. Authorities called in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify victims of the most destructive wildfire in California history.

    By early afternoon, one of the two black hearses stationed in Paradise had picked up another set of remains.

    People looking for friends or relatives called evacuation centers, hospitals, police and the coroner's office.

    Sol Bechtold drove from shelter to shelter looking for his mother, Joanne Caddy, a 75-year-old widow whose house burned down along with the rest of her neighborhood in Magalia, just north of Paradise. She lived alone and did not drive.

    Bechtold posted a flyer on social media, pinned it to bulletin boards at shelters and showed her picture around to evacuees, asking if anyone recognized her. He ran across a few of Caddy's neighbors, but they hadn't seen her.

    As he drove through the smoke and haze to yet another shelter, he said, "I'm also under a dark emotional cloud. Your mother's somewhere and you don't know where she's at. You don't know if she's safe."

    He added: "I've got to stay positive. She's a strong, smart woman."

    Officials and relatives held out hope that many of those unaccounted for were safe and simply had no cellphones or other ways to contact loved ones. The sheriff's office in the stricken northern county set up a missing-persons call center to help connect people.

    Gov. Jerry Brown said California is requesting aid from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has blamed "poor" forest management for the fires. Brown told a press briefing that federal and state governments must do more forest management but said that's not the source of the problem.

    "Managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change," Brown said. "And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years."

    Firefighters battling the Camp Fire with shovels and bulldozers, flame retardants and hoses expected wind gusts up to 40 mph (64 kph) overnight Sunday. Officials said they expect the wind to die down by midday Monday, but there was still no rain in sight.

    More than 8,000 firefighters in all battled three large wildfires burning across nearly 400 square miles (1,040 square kilometers) in Northern and Southern California, with out-of-state crews arriving.

    Two people were found dead in Southern California, where flames tore through Malibu mansions and working-class Los Angeles suburbs.

    The burned bodies were discovered in a driveway in Malibu, where residents forced from their homes included Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West and Martin Sheen. Actor Gerard Butler said on Instagram that his Malibu home was "half-gone," and a publicist for Camille Grammer Meyer said the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star lost her home in the seaside enclave.

    Flames also besieged Thousand Oaks, the Southern California city in mourning over the massacre of 12 people in a shooting rampage at a country music bar Wednesday night.

    In Northern California, Sheriff Honea said the devastation was so complete in some neighborhoods that "it's very difficult to determine whether or not there may be human remains there.

    Authorities were also bringing in a DNA lab and said officials would reach out to relatives who had registered their missing loved ones to aid in identifying the dead after the blaze destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, nearly all of them homes.

    The 29 dead in Northern California matched the deadliest single fire on record, a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, though a series of wildfires in Northern California wine country last fall killed 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes.

    The Camp Fire on Sunday stood at 173 square miles (450 square kilometers) and was 25 percent contained, but Cal Fire spokesman Bill Murphy warned that gusty winds predicted into Monday morning could spark "explosive fire behavior."

    About 150,000 people statewide were under evacuation orders, most of them in Southern California, where nearly 180 structures were destroyed, including a large mobile home community in rugged Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu.

    Brown's request for a major-disaster declaration from Trump would make victims eligible for crisis counseling, housing and unemployment help, and legal aid.

    Drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change, and the building of homes deeper into forests have led to longer and more destructive wildfire seasons in California. While California officially emerged from a five-year drought last year, much of the northern two-thirds of the state is abnormally dry.

    "Things are not the way they were 10 years ago. ... The rate of spread is exponentially more than it used to be," said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen, urging residents to evacuate rather than stay behind to try to defend their homes.

    One of the Northern California fire's victims was an ailing woman whose body was found in bed in a burned-out house in Concow, near Paradise.

    Ellen Walker, who was in her early 70s, was home alone when the fire struck on Thursday, according to Nancy Breeding, a family friend.

    Breeding said Walker's husband was at work and called a neighbor to tell his wife to evacuate, but she was on medication and might not have been alert. Authorities confirmed her death late Friday.

    "A fireman took him to the house to confirm," Breeding said. "This is a devastating thing, and it's happening to so many people."

    --By Gillian Flaccus and Andrew Selsky, Associated Press. Janie Har, Daisy Nguyen, Don Thompson, Martha Mendoza, Christopher Weber, Andrew Dalton and John Antczak contributed to this story.


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    The updating of maps by guidance-providers like Google and Mapquest is ongoing and includes monitoring for bad intent.

    HOLYOKE -- Google, it turns out, is only human.

    Information appearing on Google Maps, including addresses, is only as accurate as the data fed to the service, a spokeswoman said.

    "The various types of data found in Google Maps come from a wide range of sources. Our basemap data -- things like place names, borders and road networks -- comes from a combination of third-party providers, public sources and user contributions," communications manager Liz Davidoff said by email.

    Services such as Google and Mapquest are constantly updating information, with Google Maps alone seeing tens of millions of updates each day around the world, according to Davidoff. 

    So while establishing an address for Roberts Sports Complex in Holyoke is perhaps a quirky issue here, it's a routine step for global positioning purveyors.

    The push to create an address for the sports venue came after an ambulance had trouble finding the site when a field hockey player suffered a neck injury in October 2017. A year later, two major mapping services -- Google and Apple -- still return mixed results for anyone trying to find it.

    Apple Maps lists 500 Beech St., which is the front door of Holyoke High School, as the address for the field. In Google maps, a search for "Roberts Sports Complex Holyoke" returns 500 Beech St., while a search for "Roberts Field Holyoke" brings up the correct entrance off Resnic Boulevard -- albeit without a specific street number. 

    The venue doesn't show up in searches on Mapquest.

    The Department of Public Works is responsible for making address changes in Holyoke.

    "While we regularly update the map, the amount of time it takes to update varies," Davidoff said. "Once the city has assigned an address to Roberts Field Sports Complex any user can add the location and new address to Google Maps and Search. Or a local public official or journalist can send us a follow up email and we can make sure it's added."

    Mapquest gets its map data from TomTom, a company based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, which produces traffic, navigation and mapping products, Mapquest spokeswoman Leila Qualheim said.

    "When there are large updates to existing data or new locations, we typically receive those via a data ingestion through TomTom. We can edit or update existing address locations on an as-needed basis, but larger updates come through TomTom," Qualheim said in an email.

    In terms of guarding against map information providers engaging in pranks or something malicious, Qualheim said, "All updates we receive are verified by our internal support team before updating in our system or prior to sending to our data provider."

    Google Maps sends emails to listing owners about changes to their listings to help them stay up to date and fend off people making mischief, Davidoff said.

    "Notifications range from whether a business/place is marked as permanently closed to whether the phone number has been changed. But overall, spammers and others with negative intent are a problem for consumers, businesses and technology companies that provide local information. We also use automated systems to detect for spam and fraud, but we tend not to share details behind our processes so as not to tip off spammers or others with bad intent," she said.

    Among the millions of updates the company makes to its mapping service each day, Davidoff said, are the latest road names, business addresses, public transit schedules and Street View images.

    "In addition, our users make millions of edits to local data and map data every day," she said.

    Users who see an error or missing place on Google Maps can use the "Report a Problem" tool, found at the bottom right corner of the map. On Google Maps for mobile and Google Search, users can submit missing places and submit address corrections using links labeled "Add a Missing Place" and "Suggest an Edit," she said.

    "We review your edits, so your changes might take some time to be updated on the map. Google may email you about the status of your edits and may forward you questions from other people who review your edits," according to Google.

    Google Maps uses imagery from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Landsat 8 satellite to pull data that is crunched to create Google's maps.

    "Landsat 8 captures images with greater detail, truer colors and at an unprecedented frequency -- capturing twice as many images as Landsat 7 does every day," according to Google. "This new rendition of Earth uses the most recent data available -- mostly from Landsat 8 -- making it our freshest global mosaic to date."

    NASA launched the Landsat 1 satellite in 1972.

    "For over 40 years, the Landsat program has collected spectral information from Earth's surface, creating a historical archive unmatched in quality, detail, coverage, and length," according to landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/

    Google officials don't discuss how often map updates are made, but the number of such changes differ depending on the location in the world, said Techjunkie.com, a hub of tips and tutorials, in a May 2017 story.

    According to The Google Earth Blog, the more popular a place is, the more often it will be updated. New York and Los Angeles, for example, get updated weekly while updates occur less often in rural areas.

    "Analyzing the data from 2012 onwards, we believe Google is covering the whole country roughly every three years," according to a column on The Google Earth Blog July 11, 2016 by Timothy Whitehead, a programmer in Cape Town, South Africa.

    The Google Earth Blog's website said it is not affiliated with Google.


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    Hundreds of visitors to events at Roberts Sports Complex phone the Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department seeking an address for the site to plug into their smartphone GPS. Watch video

    HOLYOKE -- On a fall morning in 2017, a field hockey player suffered a neck injury in a game at Roberts Sports Complex. An ambulance was called.

    What happened next stumped even Google and has led to an examination of place names in this age of ubiquitous GPS searches by smartphone.

    A year later, an effort to assign a more accurate address to Roberts Sports Complex -- 86 Resnic Blvd. -- is still in progress.

    On the day of the field hockey game in October 2017, the address that showed up in online searches for the high school athletic venue of Roberts Sports Complex was 500 Beech St., which is the front door of Holyoke High School.

    That's still the case for some mapping services in November 2018, despite a city councilor's push earlier this year to establish the Resnic Boulevard address.

    Robert Sports Complex is adjacent to the high school. But in terms of getting there by car or truck -- or ambulance -- the high school is still around the corner and a few stop lights away from the turf where the field hockey player was hurt.

    "If this had been something serious, it could have been a tragedy," said Jamison Gottier, of Agawam, whose daughter Dayne was the injured player.

    Dayne, a 14-year-old forward on the Agawam team, spent the night in the hospital after a collision resulted in a compressed neck injury during the Valley Cup Field Hockey Tournament. She missed a few games but otherwise is fine, Gottier said.

    Despite being stationed up the road at a former fire station at 490 South St., the Action Ambulance that day took 17 to 25 minutes to reach the concerned parents and players. 

    The ambulance first went to Fitzpatrick Skating Rink. At 575 Maple St., it's also adjacent to Roberts Sports Complex. Parents said they believe there was confusion when "hockey" was mentioned in transmissions. 

    Once on scene, the EMT's provided care for Dayne that was roundly praised, according to her father and others.

    Twist No. 1: The EMTs that provided the initial care to Dayne Gottier were from an ambulance that happened to be driving in the area, and not the ambulance that actually was dispatched for the field hockey injury. The EMTs that got there first were in an ambulance flagged down by a coach, parents said.

    Twist No. 2: 86 Resnic Blvd. already is the address of the 50 yard line of the actual field where the field hockey game was played at Roberts' Sports Complex. That turf itself is known as John F. Gilligan Field.

    "John F. Gilligan Field" and "Roberts Sports Complex" occupy the same sign overlooking the venue.

    But look up "Roberts' Sports Complex" on Google maps and you get 500 Beech St.

    Look up "John F. Gilligan Field" on Google maps and you get 86 Resnic Boulevard. And, search for "Roberts Field" and you get the Resnic Boulevard entrance.

    Previously, the same results would occur upon plugging in "John F. Gilligan Field" and "Roberts Sports Complex" into Mapquest, the free online mapping service owned by Verizon. But more recently those entries have yielded nothing specific to those venues on Mapquest.

    Quirks of Holyoke geography aside, the incident has left some parents and city officials wondering how an ambulance service could be unable to find a 22-acre sports complex that features a 3,000-seat stadium in a small city, whatever the street address.

    "What if this was a life-threatening injury? Response time is critical and Holyoke High's address, 500 Beech St., is not an accurate address when there is an emergency on the turf," said Ellie Wilson, of Holyoke, the tournament coach who flagged down the passing ambulance Oct. 14, 2017.

    "We heard a siren and waited. No ambulance arrived. We continued to wait. Finally, I ran down to the bottom of the parking lot and saw an ambulance, without lights on, passing by. I screamed and waved my hands to get their attention. They turned around and responded," Wilson said.

    "The EMT from the second ambulance told the injured player's mother that there was some confusion and they went to an ice hockey rink. They were there for at least 10 minutes," Wilson said.

    Action Ambulance CEO Michael Woronka told The Republican in January that the ambulance that is stationed at 490 South St. went to 500 Beech St. before radio communications led to EMTs reaching the injured player.

    Specifying the address would be helpful all around, he said.

    "Any time that you can reduce the amount of address confusion is not a bad thing," Woronka said in a phone interview.

    Woronka hasn't returned calls seeking more detail such as what kind of training Action Ambulance staff receive about Holyoke streets and landmarks.

    The Parks and Recreation Department fields hundreds of calls during baseball, softball and football seasons from parents and others outside the city who want an address for Roberts Sports Complex to plug into their GPS devices, department director Terry Sheppard said.

    "I would tell people that it is behind the High School. So I would tell them 500 Beech St.," she said.

    The Valley Cup Field Hockey Tournament is a competition between teams organized by municipal parks and recreation departments and sponsored by the Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department, she said.

    The tournament was not required to have an ambulance on site and the event is not a Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA)-sanctioned tournament, she said.

    Nevertheless, MIAA Associate Director Richard L. Pearson said in an email, "I know of no law that states that an ambulance needs to be stationed at youth athletic events."

    The Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department maintains Roberts Sports Complex, which is owned by the Holyoke School Department. When the School Department isn't using Gilligan Field such as for a football game, the parks department handles permitting of other groups for its use, Sheppard said.

    Most renters pay $125 for a two-hour use of the field. That gets them the field, a staff member and field set up and take down, she said.

    Larger events like those attracting over 200 people have different fees and can include requirements for more parks staff, police officers for security, use of locker rooms and provision of a medical station or ambulance, she said.

    Thousands of patrons and athletes show up at the Roberts Sports Complex for events each year, even though the facility has lacked an exact address.

    And Holyoke High School holds hundreds of events a year at the complex along with gym classes, she said.

    The complex includes an eight-lane NCAA track, venue for other field events, tennis courts, an outdoor volleyball court, handball court, two full-sized basketball courts, a press box, ticket booths, field house and concession stand.

    In January, City Councilor James M. Leahy filed an order asking that the Holyoke Department of Public Works -- which is responsible for address changes -- establish an address for Roberts Sports Complex after the ambulance had trouble reaching the injured field hockey player in October.

    "It is very important to me. I don't want anyone else injured," Leahy said.

    DPW General Superintendent Michael McManus said on May 30 that he contacted Google Maps to establish 86 Resnic Blvd. as the official address for Roberts Sports Complex, a few months after the City Council considered Leahy's order. It's not unusual for the City Council to take weeks, months or even years to dispose of an order.

    McManus didn't contact Apple Maps, Mapquest or other search guides, relying on the reach of Google, he said.

    "I figured doing Google would take care of it," McManus said.

    He is unaware of any city protocols for returning to ensure such address changes have stuck, he said. "But it sounds like a good idea."

    McManus, Leahy and other officials said they have heard of no other public safety issues related to the address of Roberts Sports Complex since the incident involving Dayne Gottier.


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    The Herbology Group and INSA seek special permits to sell cannabis.

    EASTHAMPTON -- When the Planning Board meets Tuesday, it will consider two marijuana-related items.

    Herbology Group, Inc., will see a continued special permit hearing for a co-located medical marijuana and adult-use retail dispensary at the former Cooks Building Supply at 195 Northampton Street. 

    The group has an option with Robert P. Leidy, Jr. of Sea Hunter Holdings, to lease 22,000 square feet of cultivation space, and 6,000 square feet of retail space at the vacant building, according to an application with the Cannabis Control Commission states

    The Herbology Group is owned by CEO Jane Hawman of Sandy Hook, Connecticut; CFO Michael Duku of Columbia, Connecticut; and Steven Gotwald of West Palm Beach, Florida, the state application states.

    The group held its required community outreach meeting April 10 at New City Brewery, and has executed a host community agreement with Mayor Nicole LaChapelle. In 2017, Herbology Group gained provisional certification to open a facility in Chester to cultivate, process, and sell marijuana.

    Also on Tuesday's agenda is a request from INSA, with its existing medical marijuana dispensary at 122 Pleasant, to offer adult-use recreational cannabis. INSA, Easthampton's first and only cannabis establishment, previously weathered a lengthy public hearing to open its doors.

    Three other entities -- Apical, The Verb is Herb, and Holistic Industries -- have taken steps toward gaining local approval.

    If you go:

    What: Public hearings before Easthampton Planning Board
    When: Nov. 16, 6 p.m.
    Where: 50 Payson Ave.


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    "Busta Rhymes Island" is the name that a fan of the rapper has given to small plot in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

    At least he didn't call it "Trevor George Smith Jr. Island."

    When Shrewsbury, Massachusetts resident Kevin O'Brien decided to name the tiny plot of land that sits in the Worcester County town's Mill Pond after a favorite rapper, he went with "Busta Rhymes Island" and not the hip-hop artists's given name.

    "Busta Rhymes Island," of course, is not the official name for the 1,600-square-foot plot -- but it is a spot O'Brien said he maintains and hangs out in, according to the Boston Globe.

    (For a sense of 1,600 square feet, note that you could fit three such land masses on a regulation NBA court of 4,700 square feet.)

    The hunt for a place that goes by a name known by some but not all has never been unusual. But the "Busta Rhymes Island" story shows that finding where you're trying to go can be challenging even in the age of Google Maps and turn-by-turn GPS instructions delivered through a smartphone.

    And it illustrates another point: when mapping services rely in part on user contributions, those users will sometimes try to have a little fun.

    The notion of "Busta Rhymes Island" has enjoyed some play online, including a post in March on Atlas Obscura:

    But Angela Snell, director of parks and recreation in Shrewsbury, told the Globe residents there are not in the habit of calling the plot "Busta Rhymes Island."

    "It's just a small pond in the town of Shrewsbury," Snell told Boston.com.

    The island no longer appears in Google Maps searches.

    Brooklyn-born Busta Rhymes, 46, is known for delivering lyrics with machine-gun speed in hits that include "I Know What You Want," "What's It Gonna Be?" and "Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check." 


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    Being ready to answer a dispatcher's questions can help improve response time.

    HOLYOKE -- Calling an ambulance can be stressful, but helpful tips include being ready to provide details to a dispatcher such as the kind of injury someone has suffered.

    "Try to stay calm and speak clearly," Fire Chief John A. Pond said. "Let the call taker guide the conversation through questioning, directions, etc."

    If you have to call an ambulance, Pond said, it's important to be ready to answer questions a dispatcher might ask:

    • What is the emergency -- in what way has the person been injured?
    • What is the location?
    • What is the patient's condition? The dispatcher's follow-up questions will vary based on the patient's condition, Pond said.
    • "It is also important to know at larger events if there is medical equipment on scene. Is there medically trained staff on scene?" Pond said.

    Follow the instructions given by the dispatcher to the best of your ability, and don't hang up until they say it's OK to hang up.

    A key tip from Pond -- "Know your location and address and ensure the address is clearly posted and legible for responders" -- is the basis for a concern raised by parents of local field hockey teams in relation to an ambulance's journey in October 2017.

    A 14-year-old girl on an Agawam team suffered a neck injury in a field hockey tournament at the city's Roberts Sports Complex, and the venue's lack of a specific address led to a delay in care. The girl turned out to be OK and the ambulance team that did arrive was praised.

    The city is in the process of assigning an address to Roberts Sports Complex.

    The athletic site, which is to the rear of Holyoke High School, will bear the address of 86 Resnic Boulevard instead of the confusingly generic 500 Beech St. The 500 Beech St. address corresponds to the front door of Holyoke High School, which is around the block and a few stop lights away from Roberts Sports Complex.


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    Two veteran firefighters with the Boston Fire Department, active duty Lt. Richard Steiner and active duty Firefighters Jamie Galarza, Jr., have died due to illness.

    The Boston Fire Department lost two veteran members over the holiday weekend due to cancer and illness.

    On Saturday night, Boston Firefighter Jamie Galarza, Junior, who worked on active duty with the city's Fire Investigation Unit, died at the age of 54 due to occupational cancer. Galarza served the Boston Fire Department for 31 years. He leaves behind his wife, Regina, and four children, according to the BFD.

    On Sunday, the department announced another sudden loss: Lieutenant Richard Steiner died after being rushed to the hospital after "becoming ill" Sunday morning, Boston Fire announced.

    Steiner was also an active-duty member of the department, and served the city for 32 years. He leaves behind a wife, Anne, and three children, according to the BFD.


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    The blaze, which broke out in a 2001 Lexus GS430, was reported at 287 Main St. shortly before 1:30 a.m., Dennis Leger, aide to Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi, said.

    SPRINGFIELD - The Springfield Arson & Bomb Squad continues to investigate a fire that destroyed car in Indian Orchard early Monday.

    The blaze, which broke out in a 2001 Lexus GS430, was reported at 287 Main St. shortly before 1:30 a.m., Dennis Leger, aide to Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi, said.

    A Ford Explorer and a Mitsubishi Eclipse were damaged by heat exposure.

    Those with information are asked to call the squad at 413-787-6370. Information can also be sent anonymously via text-a-tip. To send a text, messages should be addressed to "Crimes" or 274637, and should begin with the word "Solve."


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    Dana Pullman, the former head of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, is reportedly facing a federal investigation into the finances of the organization.

    Dana Pullman, the former head of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, is reportedly facing a federal investigation into the finances of the organization. 

    The Boston Globe reports federal agents with the FBI and IRS are looking into the finances of the police union, specifically regarding the purchase of a $70,000 Chevy Suburban and tens of thousands of dollars spent at steakhouses.

    The investigation began this summer, the Globe reports, citing an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the investigation. 

    Pullman's resignation was announced by the union in late September, citing personal reasons for leaving the position. 

    He was a decades-long veteran of the State Police. He served as treasurer of the association from April 2008 to July 2012, when he was elected president.

    As news broke of overtime abuse allegations within the department, Pullman defended union members, laying blame on former Col. Richard McKeon. 

    McKeon resigned amid a scandal involving an attempt to clean up an arrest report of the daughter of a Central Massachusetts judge. 

    "You can't characterize 99 percent of this job because of a couple of missteps here," Pullman said in April, following the announcement of reforms to the department. "To paint the whole organization with that is kind of a broad brush."

    Pullman receives an annual salary of just over $91,000 as a State Police trooper. He received $71,000 annually for his role in the union, prior to his resignation. 


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    The steel boiler structure at the site was demolished with a series of controlled charges. Watch video

    HOLYOKE - A large portion of the Mount Tom Power Plant was imploded Sunday morning as part of the removal of the Route 5 landmark to make room for a solar farm.

    The steel boiler structure that is adjacent to the plant's smokestack was taken down with controlled explosive charges. ERSI, the environmental remediation company charged with dismantling the power plant, and CDI, a demolition company from  Maryland, were in charge of the demolition.

    The project was planned with input from local and state agencies, and Holyoke police and firefighters stood by at the scene as a precaution.

    Fire Department spokesman Kevan Cavagnac said "The blasting operation went entirely as planned, and the building collapsed to the ground in a pile of steel."

    The wreckage will now be taken apart and removed using machinery.

    The smokestack, a Valley landmark that can be seen for miles by southbound traffic on nearby Interstate 91, remains standing. It is scheduled to be taken down in the same manner at a later date.

    Here's the view from the other side of the Connecticut River.


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    Relief and heartache await those starting to return home to a Southern California wildfire zone.

    Relief and heartache await those starting to return home to a Southern California wildfire zone.

    Eager to know the status of his house, 69-year-old Roger Kelly defied evacuation orders Sunday and hiked back into Seminole Springs, his lakeside mobile home community in the Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu.

    His got the thrill of finding his house intact. But some a half-block away were laid to waste, as were dozens more, and virtually everything on the landscape around the community had been turned to ash.

    "I just started weeping," Kelly said. "I just broke down. Your first view of it, man it just gets you."

    The community where Kelly and his wife have lived for 28 years and raised two children was among the hardest hit by the so-called Woolsey fire that broke out Thursday, destroying at least 177 homes and leaving two people dead.

    Despite strong Santa Ana winds that returned Sunday, no additional structures were believed to have been lost, meaning many would return in the coming week to find their home as Kelly did, authorities said.

    Santa Ana winds, produced by surface high pressure over the Great Basin squeezing air down through canyons and passes in Southern California's mountain ranges, are common in autumn and have a long history of fanning destructive wildfires in the region.

    Huge plumes of smoke still rose in the fire area, which stretches miles from the northwest corner of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley to the Malibu coast.
    Airplanes and helicopters swooped low over hills and canyons to drop loads of fire retardant and water.

    A one-day lull in the dry, northeasterly winds ended at midmorning and authorities warned that the gusts would continue through Tuesday.

    The lull allowed firefighters to gain 10 percent control of the Woolsey fire, which has burned more than 130 square miles (335 square kilometers) in western Los Angeles County and southeastern Ventura County since Thursday.

    Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby stressed there were numerous hotspots and plenty of fuel that had not yet burned, but at sunset he said there had been huge successes despite "a very challenging day."

    The count of destroyed homes was expected to increase when an update is reported Monday. Osby noted that a November 1993 wildfire in Malibu destroyed more than 270 homes and said he would not be surprised if the total from the current fire would be higher.

    The fire's cause remained under investigation but Southern California Edison reported to the California Public Utilities Commission that there was an outage on an electrical circuit near where it started as Santa Ana winds blew through the region.

    SoCal Edison said the report was submitted out of an abundance of caution although there was no indication from fire officials that its equipment may have been involved. The report said the fire was reported around 2:24 p.m. Thursday, two minutes after the outage.

    Venture County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen hadn't heard about the Edison report. "It wouldn't surprise me" if it turns out that winds caused equipment failure that sparked a fire, he said.

    The two dead were severely burned, their bodies discovered in a car on a long residential driveway on a stretch of Mulholland Highway in Malibu, where most of the surrounding structures had burned. Authorities said investigators believed the driver became disoriented and the car was overcome by fire.

    The deaths came as authorities in Northern California announced the death toll from a massive wildfire there has reached 29 people, matching the deadliest fire in state history.

    Progress was made on the lines of smaller fire to the west in Ventura County, which was 70 percent contained at about 7 square miles (18 square kilometers), and evacuations were greatly reduced. But thousands remained under evacuation orders due to the Woolsey fire.

    Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, Osby said.

    Also injured was a well-known member of the Malibu City Council. Councilman Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner was injured while trying to save his home, which burned down, Councilman Skylar Peak told reporters Sunday.

    Peak said Wagner was hospitalized but was expected to recover. Wagner runs Zuma Jay Surfboards, a longtime fixture on Pacific Coast Highway near the landmark Malibu Pier.

    The extensive celebrity community within Malibu wasn't spared. Singer Robin Thicke and actor Gerard Butler and were among those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

    Spot fires continued to occur late Sunday afternoon near the Malibu campus of Pepperdine University, where 3,500 students were sheltering in place. The university said it was closing Malibu campus and its Calabasas campus to the north until Nov. 26 but classes would be remotely administered online and through email.

    But fire officials say fire behavior has changed statewide after years of drought and record summer heat that have left vegetation extremely crisp and dry. That change has impacted the ability to move firefighting resources around the state.

    "Typically this time of year when we get fires in Southern California we can rely upon our mutual aid partners in Northern California to come assist us because this time of year they've already had significant rainfall or even snow," said Osby, the LA County fire chief.

    With the devastation and loss of life in the Northern California fire, "it's evident from that situation statewide that we're in climate change and it's going to be here for the foreseeable future," he said.


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    Although Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 election, some close to the former Democratic presidential nominee predicted this week that she will make another run for the White House in 2020.

    Although Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 election, some close to the former Democratic presidential nominee predicted this week that she will make another run for the White House in 2020. 

    Mark Penn, a former adviser to the Clintons, and Andrew Stein, a former New York City Council president, suggested in a Sunday Wall Street Journal op-ed that she won't let her "humiliating" 2016 loss -- or her failure to win the Democratic Party's nomination in 2008 -- stand in the way of her presidential ambitions. 

    "True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies," they wrote. "She won't let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House."

    Donald Trump wins presidential election, beats out Hillary Clinton

    Penn and Stein offered that while she may hold off on entering the race until "the legions of Senate Democrats make their announcements," Clinton will likely be among the 2020 candidates "by the time the primaries are in full swing."

    They added that the former secretary of state has had time to reflect on what went wrong during her 2016 run and modify her strategy. 

    "She has decisively to win those Iowa caucus-goers who have never warmed up to her," they contended. "They will see her now as strong, partisan, left-leaning and all-Democrat--the one with the guts, experience and steely-eyed determination to defeat Mr. Trump."

    Clinton hinted at a potential 2020 campaign in October, telling Recode's Kara Swisher that while she did not want to run again, she'd "like to be president" and feels she'd be prepared to address issues that remain when Trump leaves office. 

    "There's going to be so much work to be done. I mean, we have confused everybody in the world, including ourselves. We have confused our friends and our enemies: They have do idea what the United States stands for, what we're likely to do, what we think is important," she said at the time. "So the work would be work that I feel very well prepared for having been in the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department and it's just going to be a lot of heavy lifting."

    Clinton added that she wouldn't even consider a 2020 run until after the 2018 midterm election.

    Longtime advisers, however, shot down reports that Clinton was eyeing another presidential run.

    Despite that, Penn and Stein urged voters to be "rest assured that, one way or another, Hillary 4.0 is on the way," The Hill Reported.


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    Legalized sports betting is expected to begin this month in Rhode Island, as Massachusetts stays in information-gathering mode.

    Legalized sports betting is expected to begin this month in Rhode Island, as Massachusetts stays in information-gathering mode.

    In a case brought by New Jersey, the US Supreme Court ruled in May that states could allow sports betting.

    According to an Associated Press tally, aside from New Jersey, the other states offer legal sports betting include Nevada, Delaware, West Virginia and Mississippi.

    Rhode Island is close and looking like the first New England state to take the plunge.

    The state budget for the fiscal year that started July 1 includes a revenue estimate of $23.5 million from legalized sports betting.

    The Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton will have it available, the Providence Journal reported.

    The newspaper said the state's lottery director, Gerry Aubin, stated he expects the sports betting to start in Lincoln "around Thanksgiving" and in Tiverton the first week of December. Online sports wagers aren't allowed.

    IGT Corporation, which manages the Rhode Island state lottery, and partner William Hill PLC, signed a five-year contract with the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, according to Bloomberg.

    In Massachusetts, online sports betting wasn't included in the state budget and lawmakers aren't expected to return to formal sessions until January. They're currently meeting in sparsely attended informal sessions, which rarely draw controversial legislation due to the ability of one lawmaker to hold up a bill.

    At the opening of MGM Springfield in late August, Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration and the state Legislature are in "data collection mode" on the issue.

    In January, sports betting "would certainly be something we'd have to take up with our colleagues in the Legislature," he said.

    According to the Associated Press, Scott Butera, MGM Resorts president of interactive gaming, said the company expects sports betting to expand to 25 to 30 states.

    "I promise you that the vast majority of the states around the country will certainly take a look at it, and it really becomes a question of whether this is something that people believe ought to be part of their revenue stream, ought to be part of their entertainment industry or not," Baker said immediately after the Supreme Court ruling in May.

    Massachusetts should look into legalized sports betting, Gov. Charlie Baker says

    Massachusetts lawmakers in 2011 approved a law allowing up to three resort casinos and a slots parlor.

    The lone slots parlor, Plainridge Park Casino, opened in June 2015 on the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border, while Wynn Resorts is on track to open its $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino, just outside Boston, in June 2019.

    In October, MGM announced an agreement with NHL to use data for betting. The deal came after similar deals were struck with the NBTA and WNBA.

    Separately, Wynn Resorts announced in October that they've started a "strategic partnership" with a digital sports betting company in Europe, BetBull Limited.

    Illegal sports betting is already big business in Massachusetts


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    Columbia Gas and parent company NiSource are providing 20,000 Thanksgiving dinners as the majority of residential gas meters haven't been restored.

    Columbia Gas and parent company NiSource are providing 20,000 Thanksgiving dinners as the majority of residential gas meters haven't been restored in the aftermath of the Sept. 13 explosions and fires. 

    Joe Hamrock, president and CEO of NiSource, called the dinners, which he will attend, a "small token of our gratitude" for the patience of their customers in the Merrimack Valley. Customers can pick up the meals at designated locations.

    Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Sept. 13 were hit with gas explosions and fires, which blew apart homes and killed a man. Company and state officials initially had a Nov. 19 target date for restoration of service, but that's been pushed back to sometime in December.

    "I understand the ongoing disruption the recovery effort is having on customers' everyday lives, and I know this is especially trying during the holiday season," Hamrock said in a statement.

    Columbia Gas parent company NiSource faces criminal investigation over gas explosions

    More than 7,600 people are in alternative housing arrangements, according to the company.

    The restaurant firm Tuscan Brands is preparing and serving the Thanksgiving food.

    Reservations can be made for the meals until Nov. 16 at Columbia's website or calling 877-399-0506.

    Customers can sit down to eat the meals at Lawrence Elks Lodge, Andover Senior Center and heated tents on South Common Park and Pemberton Park.

    Meals can be picked up at Andover Town Hall, First & Main Marketplace in North Andover, Elks Lodge in Lawrence.

    Columbia Gas pushes restoration dates back to December, nearly 3 months after explosions

    According to a Monday update sent out by Columbia Gas, gas service has been restored 3,243 residential meters, or 44 percent of the total of 7,500 residential meters. The 7,500 meters serve 10,000 dwellings.

    Among business meters, service has been restored to 427 or 62 percent.

    The company has received 23,178 claims and paid out $52.68 million, its update said.


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