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- 12/17/17--07:10: _Springfield fire de...
- 12/17/17--07:36: _Springfield Police ...
- 12/17/17--07:46: _At least 9 dead, 50...
- 12/17/17--08:20: _Westfield crash clo...
- 12/17/17--08:58: _Springfield man fac...
- 12/17/17--09:50: _Springfield firefig...
- 12/17/17--11:13: _Police seeking Grin...
- 12/17/17--13:17: _Indian Orchard pizz...
- 12/17/17--14:07: _Woman, 32, killed i...
- 12/17/17--13:48: _Atlanta's Hartsfiel...
- 12/17/17--15:31: _Obituaries from The...
- 12/17/17--15:31: _Environmental Polic...
- 12/17/17--18:44: _Seen@ A Celebration...
- 12/17/17--19:30: _St. Lucia celebrati...
- 12/17/17--21:15: _Calif. wildfires th...
- 12/17/17--07:10: Springfield fire destroys car, damages 2 homes
- 12/17/17--07:36: Springfield Police investigating shooting, victim uncooperative
- 12/17/17--08:20: Westfield crash closes East Mountain Road for much of the day
- 12/17/17--09:50: Springfield firefighters shut down gas leak on State Street
- 12/17/17--15:31: Obituaries from The Republican, Dec. 16-17, 2017
- 12/17/17--15:31: Environmental Police warn about ice safety
- 12/17/17--18:44: Seen@ A Celebration of Hanukkah at the Springfield Museums
The cause of the fire was an electro-mechanical failure of the car.
SPRINGFIELD - A car burst into flames early Sunday morning, destroying the vehicle and damaging two nearby homes.
No one was injured in the fire that happened shortly after 4 a.m. at 37-39 Mansfield St., said Dennis G. Leger, Springfield Fire Department spokesman.
When firefighters arrived at 4:07 a.m. they found a 2013 Kia Rio parked in the driveway and engulfed in flames. The fire was so hot it partially melted the siding on the two adjacent homes at 37-39 and 33 Mansfield St., Leger said.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze and prevented it from spreading to the homes, he said.
The vehicle was destroyed and the fire caused less than $10,000 in damage to the siding on each of the two homes, Leger said.
The fire was caused by an electro-mechanical failure of the car, Leger said.
The victim, who is known to police, is not cooperating with the investigation.
SPRINGFIELD - A man was shot in the leg early Sunday morning in the Forest Park neighborhood.
The man was brought to Baystate Medical Center for treatment. His condition was not immediately known, said Ryan Walsh, Springfield Police spokesman.
The city's audio Shotspotter system activated in the area of Fort Pleasant Street at 1:09 a.m. Police searched the area and found the injured man at 61 Locust St., Walsh said.
The victim, who is known to police, is not cooperating with the investigation, he said.
Officers continue to investigate the shooting, Walsh said.
Hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church ahead of Christmas.
QUETTA, Pakistan -- Two suicide bombers attacked a church in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Sunday, killing nine people and wounding over 50 others, officials said. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for the southwestern Baluchistan province, said hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church ahead of Christmas. He said the attackers clashed with security forces, with one assailant killed at the entrance while the other made it inside.
Baluchistan police chief Moazzam Ansari praised the response of security forces guarding the church, saying the attacker who made it inside was wounded and unable to reach the main building. "Otherwise the loss of lives could have been much higher," he told reporters.
Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said a search is underway for two suspected accomplices who escaped.
Local television showed ambulances and security patrols racing to the scene while women and children were being led out of the church's main gate.
The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying two "plungers" from their group had stormed the church, without providing further details.
Wasim Baig, a spokesman for Quetta's main hospital, confirmed the attack's toll, updating earlier accounts from officials. He said three women were among the dead while another four women and two children were among the wounded. Baig added that 57 people were wounded, of whom seven were in critical condition.
A young girl in a white dress sobbed as she recounted the attack to Geo television, saying many people around her were wounded.
Aqil Anjum, who was shot in his right arm, told The Associated Press he heard a blast in the middle of the service, followed by heavy gunfire. "It was chaos. Bullets were hitting people inside the closed hall."
Dozens of Christians gathered outside a nearby hospital to protest the lack of security.
Pakistan's president and other senior officials condemned the attack.
By Abdul Sattar, Associated Press. Associated Press writer Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan contributed to this report.
The driver was treated fro non life-threatening injuries.
WESTFIELD - Part of East Mountain Road will be closed for most of the day after a car crashed into a utility pole and knocked it down early Sunday morning.
The driver in the one-car accident was treated for non life-threatening injuries following the accident, Westfield Police Officer Michael Bradley said.
The crash happened around 1:45 a.m. in the area of 51 East Mountain Road near the intersection of Route 20. The road is blocked at the busy Route 20 intersection, he said.
"The pole had everything on it," he said. That included a transformer and wires for a number of different utilities, making it complicated to repair.
Westfield Gas and Electric is working to replace the pole now. Officials are estimating the road will be reopened between 4 and 5 p.m., he said.
A Springfield man will appear in a Vermont court Monday after police say he was caught with 240 bags of heroin during a traffic stop.
A Springfield man will appear in a Vermont court Monday after police say he was caught with 240 bags of heroin during a traffic stop.
The heroin may be linked to overdoses in the state, authorities said.
Bennington, Vermont police said they pulled over a vehicle driven by 44-year-old Dean Carbone of Springfield, Massachusetts Saturday around 11 a.m.
Police searched Carbone and found 240 bags of heroin and $300 on him, according to a news release. Investigators said the street value of the heroin was roughly $3,000.
"The 'stamp' on these 240 bags of heroin has been found at the scene of several recent overdoses," police said.
Carbone is being held on $25,000 cash bail until Monday where he will be arraigned on heroin trafficking and drug charges in a Vermont court.
The leak was caused by a faulty connection to a ceiling furnace.
SPRINGFIELD - A faulty gas line connection caused a natural gas leak on State Street Sunday morning.
The Springfield Fire Department responded to the call of the smell of natural gas at about 10:25 a.m. near 631 State St., Dennis Leger, Fire Department spokesman.
Firefighters discovered the gas coming from the Spartan Break Shop. Further investigation showed the gas was leaking from a faulty connection to a ceiling furnace, Leger said.
No one was injured. The line was shut down and the building was closed until code enforcement officials can examine the heating unit, he said.
The U.S. Marine Toys for Tots program gives away thousands of toys to poor children across the country every year.
NORTH BROOKFIELD - Police are asking for help to find a Grinch who stole money donated to the Toys for Tots program so low-income children can have a visit from Santa this Christmas.
A woman distracted the cashier in the Cumberland Farm, 225 North Main St., on Wednesday and grabbed the Toys for Tots Donation bucket filled with money. She stuffed it under her coat and then fled from the store, police said.
Officers are now releasing photographs of the suspect, who was caught on the store video camera. Anyone who can identify her is asked to call the Police Department at 508-867-0206.
The U.S. Marine Toys for Tots program gives away thousands of toys to poor children across the country every year. A number of agencies, including local police departments, have been running drives to collect toys for children throughout the area this month.
Springfield Police are investigating the armed robbery of Husky Pizza in Indian Orchard.
SPRINGFIELD - Two men armed a pizza restaurant at gunpoint Sunday afternoon.
The men entered Husky Pizza, 565 Main St. in Indian Orchard, and one demanded money and threatened an employee with a gun, said Ryan Walsh, Springfield Police Department spokesman.
The men then fled with the cash. Police did not say how much money they took.
Police put out an alert to surrounding departments asking for them to be on the lookout for the suspects. Officers are continuing to investigate the crime and if anyone has any information they are asked to call police at 787-6355.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but it is not believed to be arson, Vermont State Police said.
BROOKLINE, VT - A 32-year-old woman was killed and two people were seriously injured in a fire that destroyed a home early Sunday morning.
Elizabeth Cutts, of Brookfield, Vermont, was found dead in the home when the fire was extinguished. Vermont State Police said.
The homeowners Bruce Cutts, 70, and Sally Cutts, 63, were able to escape the fire but suffered significant burns and other serious injuries. They were brought to Grace Cottage Hospital-Townshend by ambulance and then flown to Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, police said.
The fire was reported at about 2 a.m. in a home on Papoose Lane, located about 10 miles from the Massachusetts border. When firefighters arrived they learned someone was still inside, but the home was engulfed in flames and they could not safely enter the building, police said.
After the fire was extinguished, investigators found the body of Elizabeth Cutts. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will now conduct an autopsy and make a positive identification, police said.
The cause is under investigation but it is not considered suspicious, police said.
Firefighters from Newbrook Volunteer Fire Department, Townshend Volunteer Fire Department, Putney Volunteer Fire Department, Wardsboro Volunteer Fire Department, Saxtons River Volunteer Fire Department, West Dummerston Volunteer Fire Department, East Dover Volunteer Fire Department, Jamaica Volunteer Fire Department and emergency medical staff from Rescue Inc. responded to the fire. Vermont State Police detectives from the Arson Investigation Unit, members of the Vermont Division of Fire Safety and Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Detectives also responded and are assisting in the investigation, police said.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the Vermont State Police Sgt. Eric Albright at 802-722-4600.
A power outage has halted flights to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the busiest air hub in the world.
A power outage has halted flights to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the busiest air hub in the world, Sunday.
About 1:30 p.m., the airport tweeted that there was a power outage affecting "several areas" of the airport. Officials later elaborated to say a ground stop was in place, preventing Atlanta-bound flights from departing from other airports. Meanwhile, flights out of Atlanta were experiencing delays of about 90 minutes, according to Flight Tracking website FlightAware.
International flights were diverted to other airports, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The nature of the problem was not immediately known. Georgia Power, the utility supplier, said crews were working to find the cause.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the power outage is affecting the airport's terminals. The control tower did not lose power, the FAA said, "however, departures are delayed because airport equipment in the terminals is not working."
(c) 2017, The Washington Post. Faiz Siddiqui wrote this story.
View obituaries from The Republican newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts.
People should stay off the ice until it is at least four inches thick and snowmobile riders should stay off until it is five inches thick.
Following this week's cold snap ponds and other bodies of water are freezing and the state Environmental Police is issuing information on ice safety.
Every year people fall through the ice and are injured or die
People should stay off the ice if it is less than 2 inches thick. If at least four inches of ice covers a pond it is safe for people to go out on foot for skating or ice fishing. Ice should be a minimum of five inches for snowmobiles and ATVs but it should be at least 8 inches thick to support a small truck and more than 1 foot thick to support a large truck, police said.
Ice also does not form uniformly so people should watch for weak spots. Police recommend against traveling on ice covered rivers and streams because currents made ice thickness variable. Even lakes and ponds have spring holes and currents that can create thin spots, police said.
Environmental Police are warning people not to follow a pet onto the ice after a number of people have fallen through thin ice while trying to rescue the animal. Instead they should go for help. Officers also advise people to keep dogs leashed to prevent them from running onto thin ice.
People who do fall through the ice are advised to keep on winter clothing because it traps air and helps people float. The victim then should turn to the spot they were walking, put their hands on the ice and kick to help push onto the ice. Once on the surface they should roll to thicker ice before trying to stand, police said.
Anyone who witnesses someone falling through the ice should call 911 immediately. If the victim is within reach from shore they can throw the person a tree branch, a rope, jumper cables or anything else that can help drag them out. If the victim is farther away try to throw something like a rope that will float to the person, police said.
If there is a chance the second person will also fall through the ice, they should not attempt a rescue and instead immediately call for or go for help, police said.
It was a celebration of Hanukkah at The Springfield Museums on Sunday as visitors were treated to traditional Hanukkah games and activities in addition to the ongoing exhibits of the museum.
SPRINGFIELD - It was a celebration of Hanukkah at The Springfield Museums on Sunday as visitors were treated to traditional Hanukkah games and activities in addition to the ongoing exhibits of the museum.
An open game of Dreidel was played on the second floor of the Springfield Science Museum as a Latke tasting was being served at the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Other activities included making beeswax candles, making clay Menorahs, and a puppet show by Anna Sobel, and her Talking Hands Theater which was presented in the Davis Auditorium.
A live animal display was on the lower level of the Springfield Science Museum where children and adults had the opportunity to learn about and hold small reptiles that live in the science museum.
For the deep-space enthusiasts, the Planetarium Center held three shows for a slight additional charge to non-museum members.
One popular event was an olive oil tasting, which is an integral part of Hanukkah celebrations.
Upcoming events at The Springfield Museums include, The Museums Strike Back: A Week of Space and Sci-Fi where visitors will meet members of the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance, December 27-30. A special Star Light - Star Bright celebration will be held Thursday, December 28, from 5-8pm in an after-hours dance party and observatory tour. For additional programs and information check out their website at https://springfieldmuseums.org
An afternoon of hymns and traditional Swedish holiday dances heralded the annual celebration of Sankta Lucia at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Sunday.
EAST LONGMEADOW - An afternoon of stories, hymns and traditional Swedish holiday dances heralded the annual celebration of Sankta Lucia at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Sunday.
The 3 p.m. event sponsored by Brage-Iduna Lodge, and featuring members of the Three Crowns Children's Club, told the tale of St. Lucia, a martyr of early Christendom who was killed as punishment for giving away her wedding dowry to the poor and refusing to renounce her faith.
"The legend was that she was seen coming across a lake in Sweden, during a time of famine, with light all around her ... and she brought food to the poor," said Karin Johnson, co-leader of the children's club. The girl who plays St. Lucia in traditional celebrations wears a crown of candles to signify this moment.
Emma Kindblom played Lucia this year. She was escorted by her white-gowned court, and the Star Boys, who wore pointed hats and carried star-shaped paper scepters. They took turns telling portions of the legend, punctuated by Swedish Christmas carols.
Young children dressed in red portrayed the tomten, elf-like creatures said to help farmers complete their work when no one is watching.
St. Lucia was said to appear on the day of the winter solstice. In modern times, the solstice falls on Dec. 21, but celebrations of St. Lucia on Dec. 13 kick off the two-week Christmas season.
In households around the world, the oldest daughter will serve dinner and Lucia buns to her family. Lucia buns are an S-shaped saffron sweet bun accented with raisins, and there were plenty to go around after Sunday's ceremony.
Attendees washed down the Lucia buns, cookies and cakes with a non-alcoholic version of the Swedish drink glogg.
Tuesday Sinclair found out about the event while reading The Republican. She said the story "felt like it was speaking to me."
Sinclair's sister moved to Sweden in the 1980s and celebrates St. Lucia, while Sinclair lives down the street from St. Paul. The church has hosted this event for years, but Sinclair stopped by for the first time this weekend because "my sister is overdue for a visit" and it felt like a way to bond with her.
"She'll be happy that I came here, because she talks about (St. Lucia) all the time," said Sinclair. "She's sent me a few pictures of stuff she's done with church groups, but nothing like this."
Brage-Iduna Lodge is a local lodge of the Vasa Order of America, a Swedish-American community organization. The event was free, and donations supported the Three Crowns Children's Club.
Thousands of firefighters tried Sunday to shield coastal communities from one of the biggest wildfires in California history while a funeral procession rolled past burn-scarred hillsides in honor of one of their colleagues who was killed battling the flames.
LOS ANGELES -- Thousands of firefighters tried Sunday to shield coastal communities from one of the biggest wildfires in California history while a funeral procession rolled past burn-scarred hillsides in honor of one of their colleagues who was killed battling the flames.
Crews cleared brush and dug containment lines above hillside neighborhoods in Santa Barbara County, taking advantage of slightly calmer winds a day after gusts fanned a flare-up that prompted more evacuations.
"Everything's holding really well," fire information officer Lisa Cox said. "Thousands of homes have been saved."
While gusts had eased somewhat, even lower intensity winds were still dangerous, she warned. The fire northwest of Los Angeles was 45 percent contained.
Television news footage showed at least one structure burned on property in the wealthy enclave of Montecito, and authorities said damage assessments could take days.
Mourners stood on freeway overpasses to pay respects to firefighter Cory Iverson, 32, who died Thursday of burns and smoke inhalation. His funeral procession was scheduled to wind through five Southern California counties before ending up at a funeral home in San Diego, where he was based with a state fire engine strike team. He is survived by his pregnant wife and a 2-year-old daughter.
The blaze is also blamed for the Dec. 6 death of a 70-year-old woman who died in a car crash on an evacuation route.
The fire that started nearly two weeks ago has burned more than 1,000 structures, including at least 750 homes. Some 18,000 more homes are still threatened.
Some evacuation orders were lifted to the east in Ventura County, where the blaze erupted, and officials reported making progress protecting the inland agricultural city of Fillmore.
Jim Holden returned to his neighborhood in the city of Ventura to find his home still standing amid widespread destruction. He told KABC-TV that at the height of the inferno, when it appeared his house would be lost, firefighters risked their own safety to retrieve his belongings.
"They broke in and they saved my family photos," Holden said, wiping away tears.
Mike and Dana Stoneking lost their Ventura home while many of their neighbors' properties were spared. The Stonekings planned to rebuild and found some solace after retrieving Mike's wedding ring from the ashes.
The 422-square-mile (1,093-sq. kilometer) blaze called the Thomas Fire crested a peak just north of Montecito, where evacuation orders remained in effect. Known for its star power, the enclave includes the mansions of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and many other celebrities.
Still praying for our little town. Winds picked up this morning creating a perfect storm of bad for firefighters. #peacebestill [?] [?]-- Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) December 16, 2017
It was not clear if the former talk show host was in Montecito.
A portion of the city of Santa Barbara was also evacuated as a thick plume of smoke blew through city streets. At the city's zoo, workers put some animals into crates and kennels to ready them for possible evacuation.
While crews on the fire lines got a break from slightly calmer winds, much of the rest of Southern California was buffeted by powerful gusts that once again increased the wildfire risk across the region. The National Weather Service forecast red flag conditions for extreme fire danger through Sunday evening for Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Trees came down after wind gusts topped 70 mph (113 kph) in mountain areas and 50 mph (80 kph) along the coast.
Everything about the fire has been massive, from the sheer scale of destruction that destroyed entire neighborhoods to the legions of people attacking it. About 8,300 firefighters from nearly a dozen states battled the third largest wildfire in state history, aided by 78 bulldozers and 29 helicopters.
The cause remains under investigation. So far, firefighting costs have surpassed $117 million.
--By Christopher Weber