By MICHAEL R. BLOOD and DON THOMPSON
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Monday giving California the nation's highest statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2022.

That and a similar effort in New York mark the most ambitious moves yet to close the national divide between rich and poor. Experts say other states may follow, given Congress' reluctance to act despite entreaties from President Barack Obama.

"This is about economic justice. It's about people. It's about creating a little, tiny amount of balance in a system that every day becomes more unbalanced," Brown said before signing the bill at the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles.

Republicans and business groups warn that the move could cost thousands of jobs, while a legislative analysis puts the ultimate cost to taxpayers at $3.6 billion a year in higher pay for government employees.

A $15 base wage will have "devastating impacts on small businesses in California," Tom Scott, executive director of the state branch of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement. "Ignoring the voices and concerns of the vast majority of job creators in this state is deeply concerning and illustrates why many feel Sacramento is broken."

Democrats who control the Legislature approved the compromise legislation Thursday, days after the agreement was announced. The measure passed with no Republican support.

The bill will bump the state's $10 hourly minimum by 50 cents next year and to $11 in 2018.

Hourly $1 raises will then come every January until 2022, unless the governor imposes a delay during an economic recession. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees have an extra year to comply.

Wages will rise with inflation each year thereafter.

The Democratic governor negotiated the deal with labor unions to head off competing labor-backed ballot initiatives that would have imposed swifter increases with fewer safeguards.

About 2.2 million Californians now earn the minimum wage, but University of California, Irvine, economics professor David Neumark estimated the boost could cost 5 to 10 percent of low-skilled workers their jobs.

Brown has said California, with the world's eighth largest economy, can absorb the raises without the problems predicted by opponents.

California and Massachusetts currently have the highest statewide minimum wage at $10. Washington, D.C., stands at $10.50. Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities have recently approved $15 minimum wages, while Oregon officials plan to increase the minimum to $14.75 an hour in cities and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022.

New York's state budget includes gradually raising the $9 minimum wage to $15, starting in New York City in three years and phasing in at a lower level elsewhere. An eventual statewide increase to $15 would be tied to economic indicators like inflation.

Thompson reported from Sacramento, Calif.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/story/31632764/california-enacts-highest-statewide-minimum-wage-in-us#ixzz44sifnhX6


           By Conor Berry | cberry@repub.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on April 20, 2016 at 6:05 PM, updated April 20, 2016 at 6:40 PM

Sgt. Thomas Sullivan

Posthumous Purple Heart awarded to Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Springfield native killed in Chattanooga terrorist attacks
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A 'lasting tribute': Springfield honors Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan in naming park in his honor

SPRINGFIELD — Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, a Springfield native who was among five U.S. military personnel killed in last summer's terrorist attacks in Tennessee, has been awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

Sullivan's brother, Joseph Sullivan of Hampden, said his family is "delighted and honored" that the fallen Marine has been awarded one of the military's highest honors. The Purple Heart is given to those wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military.

Joseph Sullivan joined his parents, Jerry and Betty Sullivan, also of Hampden, and his sister, Dianne Sullivan-Caron, of Wilbraham, at a medal ceremony Wednesday at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee. "Tommy," as family and friends called him, was among four Marines who died in a July 16, 2015, terrorist attack at a U.S. Navy Reserve center in Chattanooga. A Navy sailor died of his shooting injuries two days later.

Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire at two Chattanooga military installations that day. He first committed a drive-by shooting at a recruiting center, then traveled to the Navy Reserve center, where Sullivan and the other military personnel were shot. Abdulazeez died in a gunfight with police at the center.

The attack initially was not categorized as an act of terrorism. In December 2015, however, FBI director James B. Comey announced that the shootings were "motivated by foreign terrorist organization propaganda," making the Marines and sailor eligible for the Purple Heart.

The posthumous medal was Tommy Sullivan's third Purple Heart. He received two other medals for being wounded in action during tours of Iraq

The other Marines who received posthumous Purple Heart medals on Wednesday were Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist and Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip" Wells. The medals were presented to surviving family members by Lt. Gen. Rex McMillian, head of Marine Corps Forces Reserve, the Military Times reports.

"Our brothers were taken from us; your sons, your husbands, your fathers, your brothers were taken from us," McMillian said. "But what cannot, and will not ever be taken from us, is the incredible impressions they made on each and every one of us," the Times reports.

Earlier this year, Purple Hearts were presented to the family of Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith, the sailor killed in the attack, and to Marine Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley, who was wounded in the drive-by shooting at the recruiting center. Dennis Pedigo Jr., a sergeant with the Chattanooga Police Department, also was shot in injured in that attack.

Tommy Sullivan, 40, was raised in Springfield's East Forest Park neighborhood. When his body was returned to Western Massachusetts for burial, thousands of people lined the streets of Springfield to watch the motorcade that escorted the hearse carrying his casket. 

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Crash victims identified

Updated: Feb 23, 2016 2:47 PM EDT
[(Western Mass News photo)] (Western Mass News photo)

The victims of Monday morning's crash on Federal Street in Montague have been identified as Anthony Darling and Brittney Wheeler both 24 years old of Millers Falls. 

More >>

Chicopee Comp Colts Hope to Bring a State Title Back to WMass

Updated: Dec 05, 2015 12:13 AM EDT

Given the opportunity that lies ahead for the Chicopee Comp football team, you might expect to see a tense atmosphere of nervous anticipation at the team's practice as Saturday draws closer. However, if you were on the field for Colts practice this week, you would have no idea.

More >>

Western Mass Thanksgiving Football Recap

Updated: Nov 26, 2015 8:39 PM EDT

Thousands of western Mass. fans, family, and friends gathered for the annual high school football Thanksgiving rivalry games. Some teams are approaching their hundredth holiday meeting, others met for the first time, while two teams met for the last time. The decades-old rivalries were re-fueled against an emotional back-drop of many seniors suiting up for their last game.

More >>

Chicopee Comp Football Carries Momentum into States

Updated: Nov 21, 2015 12:46 AM EDT

Chicopee Comp's win in the Division IV Western Mass Title game was about as dramatic as they come. The Colts upended the undefeated Agawam Brownies and now set their sights on a run at the State Title. However, they're by no means an underdog.

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Central Football Eyes Spot in State Final

Updated: Nov 21, 2015 12:35 AM EDT

The Central Golden Eagles were no doubt the most impressive team in the AA Conference in the 2015 high school football season. However, their 9-1 record on their way to a Western Mass Title by no means tells the whole story.

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WMass Football Sectional Finals Recap

Updated: Nov 16, 2015 1:07 PM EDT
The Western Mass Sectional Finals did not disappoint on Friday night. Six teams battling for three Western Mass titles. It featured two incredible finishes in the final minutes.More >>

Friday Football Fever -- 10/23

Updated: Oct 24, 2015 1:29 AM EST
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Friday Football Fever -- 10/16

Updated: Oct 19, 2015 8:07 AM EST
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Friday Football Fever -- 10/9

Updated: Oct 11, 2015 2:11 PM EST
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Friday Football Fever -- 10/2

Updated: Oct 03, 2015 12:12 AM EST
Week 4 featured several intriguing match-ups across Western Mass., but many highly anticipated contests turned into lob-sided affairs Friday night.In the AA Conference, Longmeadow and Central were fighting to keep pace atop the standings as they squared off in Springfield.More >>

Friday Football Fever -- 9/25

Updated: Sep 26, 2015 1:09 AM EST
The top high school football teams in Western Mass. were tested in the third week of the season, all fighting for position in their respective conferences. All eyes were on East Longmeadow Friday night, where the Longmeadow Lancers were hoping to build upon last week's one-point win over Holyoke.More >>
Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/category/305006/friday-football-fever#ixzz46bf6Hm00


BREAKING

Kinder Morgan suspends plans for northeast gas pipelinePosted: Apr 20, 2016 5:51 PM EST Updated: Apr 20, 2016 6:06 PM EST
By Ryan Trowbridge, Web Content Manager
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 [(photo MGN-Online)] (photo MGN-Online)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Kinder Morgan has announced that it is suspending a pipeline project that sparked controversy in Franklin and Berkshire Counties.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that they and their subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, has "suspended further work and expenditures on the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project."

The proposed $3.3 billion project would have brought a 30-inch, 350 mile long high pressure pipeline that would have run from Wright, NY to Dracut, MA.  It would have had the capacity to bring two billion cubic feet of natural gas to New England.

Kinder Morgan said that they company's board approved the project in July 2015 based on existing contractual agreements at that time with local gas distribution companies that would purchase gas from the project, as well as expected commitments from additional companies.

"Unfortunately, despite working for more than two years and expending substantial shareholder resources, TGP did not receive the additional commitments it expected. As a result, there are currently neither sufficient volumes, nor a reasonable expectation of securing them, to proceed with the project as it is currently configured," the company explained.

MA Senate President Stan Rosenberg released a statement saying:

“Kinder Morgan’s decision to suspend the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project is a game changer. This allows us to have a broader discussion about how to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs. Our discussions moving forward must focus on a comprehensive approach to reducing energy costs for all while meeting our increasing renewable energy needs and continuing to protect our priceless public spaces. For many months now, I’ve been pressing Berkshire Gas to articulate what their ‘Plan B’ would be to lift the moratorium and serve the customers of Western Mass at their earliest possible convenience if the pipeline were not built. Unfortunately, the only solution they recognized was the proposed NED pipeline.  I now urgently call on Berkshire Gas to implement industry-standard practices to lift the moratorium which constrains economic development in the region.  Those alternatives include increasing use and storage of liquid natural gas, compressed natural gas, or propane, as well as reducing existing leaks, in order to lift the moratorium immediately.”

U.S. Senator Edward Markey added in a statement, saying in part:

“I have opposed Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline through Massachusetts and New England because of concerns that it could have led to the export of American natural gas to foreign countries, the impact it would have had on local communities in Massachusetts, and its potential to worsen climate change. Using New England as a throughway to export U.S. gas to overseas markets might be good for the bottom lines of pipeline companies but it could raise prices and be a disaster for consumers and businesses in our region."Kinder Morgan noted that Tennessee Gas Pipeline has worked in New England for several decades and will remain committed to the region.

Kinder Morgan added that Tennessee Gas Pipeline has operated in New England for several decades and will work to meet the need for additional natural gas infrastructure in the region.

"Although we have suspended work and further expenditures on the NED project, TGP will continue to work with customers to explore alternative solutions to address their needs, particularly local distribution companies that are unable to fully serve consumers and businesses in their areas because of the lack of access to abundant, low-cost domestic natural gas," the company noted.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more as it becomes available.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.
Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/story/31776678/kinder-morgan-suspends-plans-for-northeast-gas-pipeline#ixzz46PSEILL6


[Mets Red Sox Spring Baseball]
A damaged ball sits on the field that was foul tipped off the bat of Ryan Hanigan in the third inning of an interleague spring training baseball game against the New York Mets on Thursday, March 24, 2016, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) (Tony Gutierrez)
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[Jen McCaffrey | jmccaffr@masslive.com] By Jen McCaffrey | jmccaffr@masslive.com
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on April 04, 2016 at 11:20 AM, updated April 04, 2016 at 12:16 PM

CLEVELAND – The calendar indicates its the Red Sox season opener, but the weather in Cleveland feels like October.

The Red Sox are set to take on the Indians at 4 p.m. on Monday at Progressive Field and as of late morning, little precipation is expected.

Temperatures are in the mid-30s with a 20 mph wind and thick fog and mist, according to weather.com.

There's a 10 percent chance of percipitation, but it shouldn't affect the game.

Bad weather on the East Coast postponed the Yankees-Astros opener to Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

If you need some pre-game reading, here are our season predictions for the Red Sox.

AMHERST – The Joint Capital planning is recommending $4.6 million in capital spending including the $17,500 fire officials requested for protective vests and helmets.

Fire Chief Tim Nelson requested 10 vests and helmets, two sets for each of the town's five ambulances.

He said these would not be the super vests police wear but protection to keep them safe should they have to rescue people injured during a mass shooting. The money would come from the town ambulance fund, according to the report.

The vests would only be used when needed and would be stored in vehicle compartments to preserve them.

Nelson said vests last five years under continuous use or if constantly exposed to sunlight. He said in an email he expects the vests would last 10 years or more.

"Ours would be kept in vehicle compartments with limited wear & tear.  They would be out of the sun and only brought out when necessary. 

"We should get at least 10 years of use out of them."

The Joint Capital Planning Committee is recommending the town spend $1.8 for equipment, $1.8 for buildings and $1 million for facilities.

The Joint Capital Planning Committee is recommending that 8 percent of the local property tax levy be committed to the capital plan for fiscal year 2017, an increase of .5 percent from fiscal 2016.

The goal is 10 percent of the levy.

The committee is recommending $140,000 be spent to replace four police cruisers, $260,000 for an ambulance, $175,000 for police portable radios, $180,000 to replace a sidewalk plow, $60,500 for a one-ton dump truck, $93,000 for a school bus, and $202,900 for school computers among the dozens of recommendations.

Town Meeting has to consider and approve the spending. The meeting begins May 2.


           By Jack Flynn | jflynn@repub.com
on April 04, 2016 at 10:25 AM, updated April 04, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Crime and Courts

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SPRINGFIELD – A Springfield high school student facing a murder charge has admitted being present when a Ludlow man was killed last week but denies firing the fatal shot, according to court documents.

Charles Sierra, 16, told police that a teenaged accomplice pulled out a revolver and shot 20-year-old Jeffrey Freitas during a botched drug robbery on Sheldon Street in the North End, according to the arrest report and other documents filed in Springfield District Court.

The two teenagers believed the victim was a "drug dealer they could rob," and agreed to meet him late on March 26, ostensibly to buy two ounces of marijuana, according to a summary of Sierra's interview with police.

When Freitas arrived the next night, he had two passengers in his late model Camaro. The would-be robbers approached the car and spoke with Freitas for several minutes before one of the passengers appeared to reach for something in his sweatshirt, Sierra told police.

His accomplice shot Freitas in the face and ran, Sierra said.

Mr. Sierra stated he "froze" for a moment before also fleeing, a detective wrote.

When police arrived, the victim was slumped in the driver's seat, with an ounce-bag of marijuana in his hand and a BB gun under his leg, the report said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sierra, a student at the alternative Mill Pond School in Springfield, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge and was ordered held without right to bail. Though 16, the defendant is being tried as an adult and faces the possibility of a life sentence without parole if convicted.

The accomplice identified by Sierra is also a minor, and has not been charged with a crime.

No details of the shooting were disclosed during Thursday's arraignment, which was attended by family members of the victim an defendant.

But according to court documents, Springfield homicide detectives interviewed the two passengers in Freitas' car and a third witness, along with Freitas's parents, friends and acquaintances within hours of the killing.

In one interview, a Ludlow teenager acknowledged using Facebook to set up a drug deal between the victim and Sierra; after the shooting, Sierra called to say "this is all your fault. If you don't delete everything (on Facebook), I'm going to put a bullet in your head," he told investigators.

The teenager, who attends the Mill Pond School with Sierra, told police he also sells marijuana. "He said Charles (Sierra) wanted to order weed and he didn't want to deal to him so he put him in touch with Jeff Freitas," court documents state. "He gave him Jeff's phone number."

That teenager denied setting Freitas up for a robbery, police said.

Four days after the shooting, Sierra offered a different account to investigators. He insisted that the Ludlow teenager suggested robbing Freitas during a meeting with him and the accomplice on March 25 in Jefferson Park.

The teenager "told them he knew a drug dealer they could rob and ... provided Jeffrey Freitas' phone number," Sierra told police.

Police interviewed Sierra Wednesday after arresting him at school for an alleged parole violation.

Sierra initially denied involvement in the shooting, but later changed his story, police said. His father was present for the session.

Two of Sierra's fingerprints were found on the outside of the driver's door, and the front seat passenger told police the shooter's name was "Charles," the report said. The second passenger was unable to identify the shooter.

At the scene, a neighbor told police she heard a shot and saw a male wearing a red jacket running from the scene, according to the arrest report.

At the end of Sierra's interview, police seized two cellphones from him, plus the red sweatshirt he was wearing, noting that it was the same color as the jacket described by the witness.

Sierra is due back in court on April 26.


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[(Western Mass News photo)] (Western Mass News photo)

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[(Photo provided by Kimberly Perron-Burke)] (Photo provided by Kimberly Perron-Burke)
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[© AP Photo] © AP Photo
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Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/slideshow#ixzz46EXaMWXd


First Warning Weather

Snow Continues to Blanket Western MassPosted: Apr 04, 2016 3:51 AM EST Updated: Apr 04, 2016 12:51 PM EST
By Dan Brown, First Warning Meteorologist
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By Jacob Wycoff, Meteorologist
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By Ryan Trowbridge, Web Content Manager
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The snow started to fall this morning and will continue well into the afternoon! A clipper system slides south of New England today bringing with it a swath of snow that will come down at varying rates of intensity into the afternoon and evening commute.  A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for all of western Mass until 8 PM tonight. 

Roads continue to be slushy and snow packed. Snow will fall moderate to heavy at times into the afternoon. Even though the strong April sun angle will cause for some melting to take place during the day, accumulations will still run around 2-3" in the valley with 4-5" in the higher elevations. The snow will especially accumulate on grass and rooftops.

Snow totals thru 12 p.m.:

Becket: 3"
Greenfield: 3"
Russell: 2"
Rowe: 3"
Ware: 2"
Westfield: 2"
Belchertown: 2"
Deerfield: 2"
Chicopee: 1"
West Warren: 1"
Springfield: 1"
West Springfield: 1"

Highs today only top out in the low 30s. 

Depending on the intensity of the snow, roads could be just plain wet to snow-packed and slippery. You'll want to pay attention on the roadways for the evening commute. 

Skies will gradually clear tonight but it will feel like mid-winter with temperatures dropping into the lower 20s.  

Tomorrow will be bright but the sunshine will be ineffective. We stay cold with temperatures in the 30s yet again. There will also be a breeze that makes it feel like the low 20s. 

The chilly Tuesday will set us up for a frigid start on Wednesday. Readings will be down into the lower teens overnight, which could set a new record low for Wednesday. Temperatures will bounce back a bit on Wednesday with highs in the 40s followed by rain and milder temps and rain on Thursday. 

Find the latest First Warning forecast on the Weather page of westernmassnews.com or on the Weather tab on the Western Mass News app.

Stay on top of the latest traffic conditions.  Check out the Traffic page of westernmassnews.com or the Traffic tab on the Western Mass News app.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.
Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/story/31633025/another-blast-of-april-snow-to-start-the-week#ixzz44shfm0rc

SPRINGFIELD -- When the city released its report on police misconduct last week, one statistic stuck out among the tallying of civilian complaints and disciplinary actions against officers.

The number of calls for service had dipped by 24 percent in the last two years, the report said -- from 186,220 in 2014 to 141,521 in 2015. It appeared to be a sharp decline without obvious cause, even as the number of arrests stayed steady and the department continued with its well-publicized efforts at community engagement, including the expansion of its C-3 anti-gang policing program to Forest Park.

As it turns out, there was a simple explanation -- the report was comparing apples and oranges, Police Commissioner John Barbieri wrote in response to a MassLive inquiry.

"Upon reviewing the data it was discovered that the numbers used for calendar years 2011-2014 relating to calls for service were queried in a different manner by the previous administration," Barbieri said.

Unlike the statistics released by previous Police Commissioner William Fitchet's administration, the report did not include many administrative and non-emergency calls for service, Barbieri wrote. He assigned the department's Crime Analysis Unit to analyze the unexpected dip, and found that when using the old calculations calls for service had actually risen to 205,950 in the last year.

City Solicitor Ed Pikula, whose office compiled the report, wrote in an email that the calls-for-service numbers were provided by the police department, and that reforms initiated by Sarno should lead to better reporting in the future. The department's Crime Analysis Unit is expected prepare future reports; previously, the executive order called on CitiStat, a now-defunct city department, to help analyze the data.

"What should be noted from your question and the response is that utilizing the Crime Analysis Unit to replace the expertise that had been supplied by Citistat before that department was eliminated is a positive step in providing data to the public," Pikula wrote. "I would expect that future CPHB reports, utilizing the expertise of the Crime Analysis Unit, will result in additional improvements."

The misreporting of data may be another misstep for the Police Community Hearing Board report, which was delayed by a full year due to a lack of manpower in the city's law department, according to city officials. Mayor Domenic Sarno has since issued an executive order to reform the city's release of police complaint data.

But when properly calibrated, the data shows a rise in calls for service that reflect the department's efforts at community engagement, Barbieri wrote.

"The rise in calls for service is more in line with what I expected," Barbieri wrote. "The C3 programs in the city's most economically disadvantaged areas were expected to generate more calls for service as the officers work to improve communication and trust in those communities. Additionally this department has increased outreach efforts exponentially with expanded crime watches and use of technology such as neighbor next door, [which we] believed would generate an increase in our numbers of calls for service."

[Springfield releases police conduct report]

Springfield releases police conduct report

The city's Community Police Hearing Board sustained six of the 140 complaints it heard against police officers in 2014, and 18 of the 123 cases heard last year, according to a city report.

"This does not equate to an increase in crime - it does relate to better communication to the police regarding crimes that previously were unreported," he continued. "It is our goal to use the information gleaned from improved reporting to generate information regarding trends and patterns to improve responses and drop crimes rates, hopefully also eventually resulting in fewer calls for service."

The city released the report for its Community Police Hearing Board on March 25, detailing the last two years of activities for the civilian oversight board which hears complaints against police officers and makes disciplinary recommendations to Barbieri. The board was established in 2010 by Sarno to replace Mayor Charles Ryan's Community Complaint Review Board, which lacked subpoena powers.

The CPHB sustained 18 of the 123 complaints it heard against police officers last year and six of the 140 complaints heard in 2014, according the report. Last year, eight suspensions, seven written reprimands and three verbal reprimands were issued to officers. Eleven officers were ordered to complete retraining following complaints. In 2014, two suspensions were issued, along with one verbal reprimand, one written reprimand and nine retraining sessions.

The hearing board is required to report information about its findings every quarter, according to the executive order by Mayor Domenic Sarno that established it in 2010. MassLive reported in January that the city had not released its mandated reports since 2014, and in March Sarno pledged reforms and revised the executive order to improve public access to information on complaints against officers.

"The public has the right to be kept informed of police misconduct cases, especially at a time of heightened concern over police use of force across our nation," Sarno said in a statement.

In an interview, Barbieri said that his officers have always cooperated with board investigations, even as front-line patrolmen still worry about the effects of civilian oversight.

"We've never had an issue where has an officer hasn't cooperated with the board," Barbieri said. "There's always the concern that whatever board is there isn't biased, and isn't concerned with the politics of the moment or external bias."

Barbieri, who has final say over discipline meted out to officers, said he has always followed or exceeded the civilian board's recommendations.

"If the board gets it's wrong, it's my job to the be the gatekeeper and make sure the right thing is done either way. So far I have not had to countermand their decisions," he said.  "I think the board does do a phenomenal job, especially considering they are volunteers from the community."

The report also showed a rise in from six sustained complaints in 2014 to 18 such complaints last year, even as the total number of allegations against officers dipped. Barbieri attributed the spike to both the number of substantiated incidents and a possible change in approach among board members.

"In 2015 there was a case that involved five officers and another that sustained charges on two of the officers involved. There were 11 cases involving single officers that were sustained, bringing the total to 18," Barbieri wrote. "Also I believe that during 2015 as some of the newer members of the board gained experience they sustained more cases and recommended retraining more often."

Barbieri also addressed the report's finding that the department has paid out $2.45 million in 44 lawsuits since 2006, more than half of which ended in judgments or settlements with the plaintiffs.

"Considering the volume of calls for service and arrests, as well as the number of citizens' complaints, the number of lawsuits appears to be within reason of what can be expected from this urban city, and probably is below the average of what is seen in comparison to similar urban areas," Barbieri said. 

That figure includes a seven-figure judgment against the department in 2014, when officer Sean Sullivan was found to have violated the rights of 15-year-old Delano Walker. The teenager was struck and killed by a car during a confrontation with officers in 2012; witnesses for the plaintiff said Sullivan sent Walker spinning into traffic.

"As to the amount of the payments, the amount of money expended by the City to pay settlements and judgments on cases claiming a violation of civil rights as a result of police misconduct has seen a dramatic increase over the past two years. The Law Department has informed me that this is consistent with national trends in median jury awards," Barbieri said. "Overall, it appears to me that the complaints involve sporadic bad incidents or the actions of the occasional bad officer, but do not appear to constitute a pattern or practice of misconduct."

SPRINGFIELD — Investors backing the latest Springfield entry into the American Hockey League come from industries as diverse as hotels, real estate development, construction, doughnuts and the law.

But whatever business they do, they do it in Springfield, key members of the ownership group said Friday while meeting with editors and reporters at The Republican and MassLive.

And the new investors plan on drawing on that diversity of local business contacts, as well as what they see as a rebounding downtown Springfield and a sense that patrons are looking for entertainment – like music and contests – in addition to hockey as they fill seats in what has too often been a sparsely filled MassMutual Center.

"What is going to be fun is the first night we fill that house with 6,500 people for the first time and they are all enjoying it, feeling secure and having a good time," said Springfield Hockey LLC part-owner Fran Cataldo of C&W Real Estate.

The ownership group is still recruiting new investors, but it was able to reveal many of its members at the meeting: Paul Picknelly, president of Monarch Enterprises and the Springfield Sheraton; Cataldo and his business partner at C&W, Mike Wallace; Frank Colaccino of Colvest, a developer of retail property; attorney Frank Fitzgerald; Derek Salema and Peter Martins, who own Dunkin' Donuts franchises in the area; David Fontaine of Fontaine Brothers Construction in Springfield; Dinesh Patel, owner of the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in Springfield's South End; and Vidhyadhar Mitta, owner of the Quality Inn in Chicopee.

[Springfield investors step up to save hockey for city]

Springfield investors step up to save hockey for city

The city seemed doomed to lose its team before a local group called Portland.

Springfield Hockey LLC purchased the Portland Pirates AHL franchise last month. The ownership group cannot disclose the purchase price.

Fitzgerald, Picknelly, Cataldo and Colaccino were among the new hockey owners who visited with The Republican and MassLive's Editorial Board on Friday.

"It's a very diverse group," Cataldo said. "We all bring different skills to the table. But what we do share is a love of Springfield."

Also, insurance giant MassMutual Financial Group donated money to the Springfield Business Improvement District so it could buy in as nonprofit member of the ownership group, Fitzgerald said.

He added that the owners are still accepting new partners, including one who came forward the morning of the meeting.

"It's a state of flux," Fitzgerald said.

The same could be said of everything associated with the new hockey team, an enterprise Picknelly organized in just a few days after the Springfield Falcons left town for Arizona.

With training camp set to open at the end of the summer, deadlines for logos, colors, marketing plans and all the other things it takes to make a hockey team run are looming. The partners figure it's six or eight months of work stuffed into five or six weeks.

The one thing they know for certain: Opening night is Oct. 22.

The new team doesn't have a name, although a name-the-team contest on MassLive generated thousands of suggestions in 40 hours, Cataldo said. An announcement will be made in two weeks, just in time for Reebok to start making the uniforms, Picknelly said.

The Falcons name left with that franchise.

[Florida Panthers top prospects and players to watch for next season]

Florida Panthers top prospects and players to watch for next season

With the Portland Pirates reportedly set to relocate to Springfield for the upcoming 2016-17 AHL season, local fans will have to get used to a new crew of players taking the ice at the MassMutual Center. The Pirates — affiliates of the Florida Panthers — put together an impressive season in 2015-16, finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division with a...

"It can't be Falcons," Fitzgerald said. "It can be Indians. But that would be a management decision." Prior to the establishment of the Falcons in 1994, the AHL franchise in Springfield was known as the Springfield Indians.

Fitzgerald said the new team will play in the MassMutual Center, which is managed by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, but it hasn't signed a lease agreement yet. The group praised its early relationship with the MCCA.

The team will announce its day-to-day management this week.

Even specifics concerning the fun and diversions planned for hockey nights in Springfield will have to wait, the partners said.

"What is going to be fun is the first night we fill that house with 6,500 people for the first time and they are all enjoying it, feeling secure and having a good time." ~ Fran Cataldo

What they do have is an operating agreement with the Florida Panthers whereby the NHL club will send its prospects to play in Springfield.

"Hockey is here in Springfield," Picknelly said. "And here to stay."

AHL hockey – considered second-highest level in North America behind the National Hockey League – has a long history in Springfield going back to Eddie Shore, a pioneer of the game who played, coached and owned in the city. Springfield has had an AHL team since 1936, with the exception of a brief hiatus in the early 1950s. Springfield teams won Calder Cup championships in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1971, 1975, 1990 and 1991.

Picknelly described himself as a third-generation business owner in Springfield. His grandfather started Peter Pan Bus Lines, his father ran it and his brother runs it today.

Not only did he not want to see hockey go, but he feels that with $2.7 billion in ongoing public and private investment in the city, Springfield has the momentum to make the team a success.

"In my opinion, Springfield's time is now," he said.

And AHL hockey both preserves and enhances the good things going on in the city, Picknelly said. "This is high-quality entertainment at affordable rates," said Picknelly said. "This is exactly what Springfield needs."

Hockey nights also fill restaurants and mean millions of dollars in business downtown, Picknelly said.

"You can't get in Red Rose on a game night," he said of the popular South End restaurant.

The city just couldn't afford to lose that business, Picknelly said.

Picknelly said he and his partners did have to convince the Panthers and Peter Luukko, executive chairman of The Florida Panthers Hockey Club and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, that Springfield was the right place to put his minor league team and his up-and-coming hockey prospects.

They new hockey team owners were able to fly him in, Picknelly said, and introduce him to people and show him the city from Union Station in the North End to Union Street in the South End, including the MGM site. They talked about promotions. They talked about police presence.

Luukko was very impressed with the city, Picknelly said, and its ability to support professional hockey.

[AHL approval makes Springfield hockey's 'name game' next]

AHL approval makes Springfield hockey's 'name game' next

It's not known whether the team will go by "Falcons" or another name.

"When he was getting on the plane at Bradley, he told us we would hear the next day," Picknelly said. "We thought we'd have to wait a week for an answer."

He added that Luukko is a UMass graduate who is from Worcester, facts that helped Springfield's cause.

MGM figures heavily in the partner's plans. Picknelly said he expects the casino to comp tickets, to promote the team to hotel guests as he will at his hotel. Picknelly is a 1 percent owner in MGM Springfield.

Also, Cataldo and Wallace sold South End real estate to MGM for the project. C& W's office buildings at 1200 Main St. and 85-95 State St. sold for $8.4 million.

Hockey is both a business investment as well as a civic undertaking, all four men agreed.

Colaccino spoke of the frantic first few days as Picknelly called around assembling his team of investors. He asked Picknelly if he'd get this money back eventually. When Picknelly said yes, Colaccino agreed that he was in.

"Springfield has been very good to me," the city native and American International College graduate and trustee said. "This is a way of giving back."

And they all have long histories with hockey in Springfield. Fitzgerald remembers Shore turning off the lights at the Eastern States Coliseum (where the Indians played until the then-Springfield Civic Center opened) to tell schoolboy teams that practice was over and to go home.

He said Shore threw him out of the rink once for putting his feet up on the chair in front of his seat during an Indians game.

WILBRAHAM — Dean Foods Co., new owners of Friendly's ice cream manufacturing and distribution network, is the country's largest processor and distributor of milk and other dairy products, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

But in recent years the Dallas-based national conglomerate has been forced to adjust to changing tastes and to a changing marketplace where behemoth retailer Wal-Mart will process its own milk for its own stores at a new plant in Indiana.

Wal-Mart's plans alone will cost Dean the sale of roughly 100 million gallons of milk a year starting next year, according to published reports.

Dean foods also announced Tuesday first-quarter profits of $39 million. Its stock, (DF) on the New York Stock Exchange, traded at $18.05 on Tuesday. That's down 15 cents on the day.

A beloved New England brand, Friendly's has an ice cream manufacturing plant in Wilbraham and distribution center in Chicopee. Dean's interest in Friendly's is part of the industry-wide shift toward branded products and away from the white carton labeled simply "milk" or "ice cream," observers said.

"My son, he only likes French vanilla from Friendly's, not the store brand, even though I can't tell the difference," said Bob Parsons, a professor and agricultural economist at the University of Vermont Extension Service. "You've got a regional market where Friendly has a good name. And you are looking to squeeze out a few extra dollars from customers willing to pay for a brand name and not the generic store brand of ice cream."

Parsons likened Dean Foods' purchase of the Friendly's brand to the sale of Ben & Jerry's to conglomerate Unilever back in the year 2000. The stockholders made money and the company founders are still in control — as long as ice cream sales are strong and Unilever continues to get the return it likes on its investment.


           By Scott J. Croteau | scroteau@masslive.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on April 24, 2016 at 1:55 PM, updated April 24, 2016 at 1:58 PM

SOUTHBOROUGH -- One person was trapped inside a pick-up truck and four other people were injured in a Sunday morning crash on Route 9 in Southborough.

Southborough firefighters and police were called to Rte. 9 east at Woodland Road around 2:40 a.m. after they received a report from State Police about a two-car crash, according to the Southborough Fire Department. One person was trapped in a vehicle while another person was unresponsive.

[Southborough crash] Southborough Fire Department 

"Engine 23 and Ambulance 28 responded and found on arrival a single person trapped and injured in a pick up found on its side off the side of the road," according to a news release. "The other vehicle involved had four occupants one of them being the unresponsive patient."

Emergency responders extricated the person trapped in the truck.

Authorities called for a medical helicopter, but none were available. Four people injured in the crash were taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center – University Campus in Worcester. One patient was taken to a Framingham hospital.

The area around the crash site was closed until 7 a.m. while authorities investigated the accident.


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Man under the influence of heroin drives car into Holyoke buildingPosted: May 09, 2016 10:36 PM EST Updated: May 09, 2016 10:38 PM EST
By Jamie Leslie
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Holyoke Police reported to the area of 58 Canal St. around 9 p.m. tonight for a car entering a side of a building.

The operator of the vehicle was determined to be under the influence of heroin and possibly other substances, but was said to not be hurt.

The accident resulted in the basement of the building to become flooded, which prompted police to block off a portion of North Canal St.

The vehicle has since been removed and the road has become reopened.
Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/story/31930821/man-under-the-influence-of-heroin-drives-car-into-holyoke-building#ixzz48IeiKUNV

The top high school basketball players in Western Massachusetts were honored Sunday at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Ballroom, at the MassLive Western Mass. Basketball Banquet.

Tyonne Malone of Putnam won the John “Honey” Lahovich Award as the most outstanding boys player in Western Massachusetts, while Holyoke’s Callie Cavanaugh took home with the Vi Goodnow Award as the region’s top girls player.

Another high profile award – the Harold M. “Kid” Gore Award – was presented to Springfield Public Schools athletic director Mike Martin as a lifetime achievement honor.

The William G. Wise Awards recognize court excellence, sportsmanship, determination, hustle and scholarship. The six winners are: Rachel Granger, Minnechaug; Chelsea Moussette, Hampshire; Alyssa Stefanelli, Chicopee Comp; Brian Callahan, Pope Francis; Riley Held, East Longmeadow; and Matt Koperniak, Hoosac Valley.

In addition, John O’Brien of Westfield was honored with the Eric Koszalka Award for his efforts and success in handling challenges in life. Hoosac Valley’s Bill Robinson (boys) and Andrea Enright (girls) of Longmeadow were honored as the region’s Coaches of the Year, while other honors include the Larry Briggs Scholarship award and Western Mass. Tournament Most Valuable Player awards. Approximately 125 basketball players, coaches and administrators were honored at the banquet.

Captains and coaches of the state champion Longmeadow girls basketball team were also honored for their achievements.

Longtime local media personality Scott Coen served as master of ceremonies, and John Laviolette of New England DJs provided the music.

Longmeadow senior Olivia Shapiro also had the chance to take over the MassLive Snapchat account during the banquet, and you can see her video here.

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Tree takes down utility lines in SpringfieldPosted: May 16, 2016 5:29 AM EST Updated: May 16, 2016 8:45 AM EST
By Hugh Zeitlin
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

A large tree branch has come down across a portion of Dorset Street.

The Springfield Police Department told Western Mass News that the tree has taken down Verizon lines, however, residents still have power.

One police unit has been on the scene since about 5:15 a.m.

Our Western Mass News crew on the scene reports that a tree removal crew has arrived on scene to clear the area.

Police said that Dorset Street is open to drivers.

The only road that is currently impacted by the large branch is Granby Street, but that should be cleared shortly.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/story/31979899/tree-takes-down-power-lines-in-springfield#ixzz48p78On3v


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Girls Ice Hockey, Boys Ice Hockey

All-Western Mass. Hockey: Minnechaug, Longmeadow earn four first-team picks1 / 40
Pope Francis senior defenseman Cam Griffin. (DOUG STEINBOCK)
Annie Maroon | gmaroon@masslive.com
By Annie Maroon | gmaroon@masslive.com
on April 17, 2016 11:00 PM268 shares

DIVISION I

First Team

Cam Griffin, Pope Francis. Senior defenseman and co-captain provided a steady, physical presence on the blue line. A strong one-on-one defender, reliable in all three zones, he scored his only goal of the year in a win over Central Catholic on Dec. 26 and also earned five assists this season.

Riley Prattson, Pope Francis. Junior forward became the Cardinals’ go-to player on offense, with 26 goals and 28 assists. The Providence commit stood out against the best teams in the state, with two goals and an assist in two games against eventual Super 8 champion Malden Catholic, and two assists in the Cardinals’ season-ending 2-1 win over Central Catholic. Named Western Mass. Player of the Year.

Cam Peritz, Pope Francis. Junior forward anchored the Cardinals’ top line along with Prattson all year, finishing with 19 goals and 27 assists. A quick skater and talented playmaker, he recorded his 100th career point on a late game-winning goal against Central Catholic on Feb. 24.

Dan Petrick, Pope Francis. Junior defenseman continued to grow as a shutdown defender and helped the Cardinals return to the Super 8 semifinals. A Northeastern commit, he achieved a rare feat for a defenseman when he recorded his 100th career point this season, and finished the year with eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points.

Zack Roncarati, Pope Francis. Freshman goalie appeared in 19 games for the Cardinals, posting a .913 save percentage in his first varsity season. Earned shutouts against St. Mary’s of Lynn and Hingham, and stopped 28 of 30 shots to beat Malden Catholic on Feb. 17.

Devan Tongue, Pope Francis. Sophomore forward posted a career-high 36 points, more than doubling his previous high of 15, with 10 goals and 26 assists. Thrived on Cardinals’ top line late in the year, setting up the team’s only goal in the Super 8 semifinals against Malden Catholic.

Second Team

Joe Brosseau, Pope Francis

Cole Foster, Pope Francis

Jacob King, Pope Francis

Tim Zmuda, Pope Francis

DIVISION II GIRLS

First Team

Katelyn Joyal, Longmeadow. Sophomore forward led the team in goals for the third straight year, scoring 19 along with five assists. Recorded four multi-goal games, and scored one of the Lancers’ two goals in the team’s first-ever playoff win, against Dennis-Yarmouth on the road on March 2.

Mackenzie Pelletier, Longmeadow. Junior defenseman led a young group of Lancers defenders, chipping in consistently on offense as well with a goal and 17 assists. Helped Longmeadow earn a 6-2 win over Archbishop Williams on Feb. 7, with two assists.

Madison Pelletier, Longmeadow. Junior forward led the team in points, with 12 goals and a team-high 22 assists. Scored the Lancers' only goal in their state tournament loss to top-seeded Methuen, and earned an assist in their first-round win over Dennis-Yarmouth.

DIVISION III

First Team

Josh DeCarolis, Minnechaug. Junior forward scored 14 goals and added 17 assists, bringing his two-year career total to 64 points. His speed made him a breakaway threat on the top line, and he played well in all three zones and on special teams, along with earning the Boston Bruins-MIAA Sportsmanship Award.

Anthony Forest, East Longmeadow. Senior forward grew into one of the division’s top offensive players in his final season, ranking second in the Berry in goals with 20. A strong two-way center, he was a constant scoring threat on the power play and recorded six multi-goal games.

Joe Fratini, Longmeadow. Senior defenseman led a strong Lancers penalty kill and consistently matched up against opponents’ top forwards. Played a tough defensive game and also added five assists, including one in the Feb. 25 win over Minnechaug that clinched the Berry title for Longmeadow.

Cam Mariani, Minnechaug. Sophomore forward built on a breakout freshman season with a division-high 22 goals, tying with teammate Anthony Piteo for fourth in the division in points with 37. A strong shooter with great hands, he had a goal and an assist to beat East Longmeadow in the WMass semifinal.

Connor McAnanama, Agawam. Junior goalie missed time due to injury, but turned in some excellent performances while healthy, finishing with a .908 save percentage despite facing an average of 36.5 shots in his nine starts. Stopped 41 of 42 shots to beat WMass champion Westfield, 3-1, on Dec. 26.

Mario Metallo, Westfield. Senior defenseman led a tough defensive group for the WMass champion Bombers, combining physical play with strong skating. Westfield’s captain led all D-III defenders in points, with seven goals and 11 assists, and shut down the league’s best players throughout the postseason.

Sean Moorhouse, Westfield. Junior defenseman was a steady, physical presence all year, consistently keeping the Bombers in close games. In addition to his toughness on the blue line, recorded five assists, including one in the Western Mass. final as Westfield beat Minnechaug.

Matt Pierson, Longmeadow. Senior forward played an excellent two-way game, finishing with 12 goals and 18 assists without sacrificing his defensive responsibilities. Scored twice, including the winning goal, on Feb. 25 as Longmeadow beat Minnechaug, 4-3, to claim the Berry League title.

Anthony Piteo, Minnechaug. Senior forward’s speed and tenacity provided a spark for the Falcons all year, and his 15 goals and 22 assists tie him for fourth in the division in points. Finished his career with 118 points and earned five assists in the WMass semifinal against East Longmeadow, leading the Falcons to their first WMass final in years.

Michael Tabb, Longmeadow. Senior forward led the division in points (43) and assists (29), finishing his career with 31 goals and 71 assists for 102 points. A quick skater with great vision and awareness on the ice, he was a threat to score or set up a teammate on nearly every shift.

Aleks Vanderleeden, Minnechaug. Junior goalie led all D-III starters with a .916 save percentage, backstopping the Falcons to the WMass final. Made a season-high 40 saves against Westfield on Jan. 26, giving Minnechaug a 3-2 win despite Westfield’s 42-23 edge in shots.

Matt Walthouse, Longmeadow. Senior forward ranked third in the division in points, with 14 goals and 24 assists. Provided size and skill on the Lancers’ top line, and finished second in the division in assists behind only his linemate, Tabb.

Ben Wosky, East Longmeadow. Senior forward finished second in the division in points (40), and ended a four-year varsity career with 61 goals and 67 assists. Followed a hat trick against Division II Stoneham on Dec. 26 with a four-point performance in a win over Longmeadow.

Liam Whitman, Westfield. Junior forward scored the two most important goals of the year for Westfield: the overtime game-winners to beat Longmeadow in the Western Mass. semifinal and Minnechaug in the final, along with a second goal against Minnechaug in that game. Led the Bombers in scoring, with 15 goals and 11 assists.

Second Team

Jack Barron, Longmeadow

Max Cocchi, Ludlow

Brett Fila, Agawam

Zach Jarvis, Westfield

Paul Iellamo, East Longmeadow

David Modzelewski, Ludlow

Nik Morrissette, West Springfield

Cam Parent, Westfield

John Passerini, Agawam

Michael Pierre-Pierre, Longmeadow

Spencer Robbins, Longmeadow

Tyler Rose, Minnechaug

Joe Saracino, East Longmeadow

Liam Walsh, Minnechaug

Shane Wilkinson, West Springfield

DIVISION IIIA

First Team

Jake Balderston, Amherst. Junior forward capped a strong season with a hat trick in the Western Mass. final, including the overtime game winner to beat Chicopee Comp, 3-2. Will enter his senior year with 96 career points after finishing tied for fifth in the division with 49 points this year.

Andrew Beaudoin, Wahconah. Senior forward led the Warriors in scoring with 40 points, providing a strong presence around the net as a senior captain. Passed the 100-point mark for his career this season, and recorded seven multi-goal games.

Brandon Bryant, Turners Falls. Senior goalie led the division with a .907 save percentage despite facing 497 shots, more than any other goalie in the Fay-Wright League. Made a season-high 50 saves on Jan. 9 to earn Turners a 3-3 tie with Western Mass. finalist Chicopee Comp, and made 49 saves in a 3-1 loss to St. Mary on Feb. 20.

Jake Corcoran, Mount Everett. Sophomore forward recorded 24 goals and 16 assists for 40 points, bringing him to 87 points in two varsity seasons. Scored multiple goals in six games, highlighted by a four-goal, two-assist effort against Taconic on Jan. 25.

Matt Gazaille, Amherst. Senior defenseman played lockdown defense for the WMass champion Hurricanes, matching up with the division’s top forwards all year and shutting them down consistently. Stood out against Comp in the WMass final, and also recorded seven goals and 10 assists this season. 

Dylan Gillen, Belchertown. Senior forward led the Orioles with 37 points, nearly doubling last season’s total of 20. Earned five goals and three assists in a two-game stretch against Chicopee and Chicopee Comp in February, and had a goal and an assist as Belchertown beat Chicopee in the WMass quarterfinals.

Kyle Greene, Belchertown. Junior goalie consistently kept the Orioles in close games, posting a 29-save shutout in a 1-0 win over Chicopee on Feb. 10 and finishing with an .896 save percentage. Turned in another strong postseason effort to beat Chicopee in the WMass quarterfinals, stopping 24 of 26 shots.

Cam Kagan, Chicopee Comp. Senior led the area in points (81) and assists (45), with 10 multi-goal games, including one in the WMass semifinals to beat Wahconah. A physical force with great speed, he was hard to stop in open ice and tough to hold off around the net.

Nate Lapine, Wahconah. Senior captain brought speed and relentless energy on the forecheck, as he racked up 39 points for the Warriors. Scored a goal and assisted on the other three in Wahconah’s 4-1 win over St. Mary in the WMass quarterfinal.

Jeremy Lewis, Chicopee Comp. Senior forward led the division in goals for the second straight year, matching last year’s total of 37 and adding 40 assists this season. A smooth skater with a quick shot, he scored 109 goals in his career, the last one coming in the WMass final, and finished with a total of 195 points.

Nathan Masteralexis, Amherst. Junior forward scored 26 goals with 23 assists, tying with his linemate, Jake Balderston, for fifth in the division in points. Scored a goal and an assist to help Amherst past Belchertown in the WMass semifinal, and earned an assist in the WMass final to beat Comp.

Brandon Pavoni, Chicopee Comp. Senior defenseman rarely left the ice, carrying a heavy workload for the WMass finalist Colts and outscoring every other defenseman in the division by a wide margin, with 42 points. An excellent skater who was key to both sides of the ice for the Colts, he ends his career with 76 points.

Kevin Quinto, Taconic. Junior forward finished third in the division in points (54) and goals (32). Scored at least a point in all but one of Taconic’s games, and posted four hat tricks, with a season-high three goals and five assists in an 8-6 win over Mount Everett on Jan. 25.

Logan Rumbolt, Wahconah. Senior was one of the area’s toughest one-on-one defenders, fast enough to rush the puck himself and to keep up with any opponent’s top forward. Made significant contributions on offense as well, with 14 goals and 16 assists.

Johnathan Spear, St. Mary. Senior forward’s team-high 40 points helped the Saints reach the postseason for the first time since 2012. Scored a goal in the playoff-clinching win over Turners Falls on Feb. 20, and scored two against Chicopee in the regular-season finale.

Evan Sullivan, South Hadley. Senior forward finished fifth in the division in goals with 28 and sixth in points with 48, bringing his career points total to 134. A constant breakaway threat, he scored multiple goals in eight games, including a two-goal, two-assist performance to beat Belchertown on Dec. 19.

Jeff Zebrowski, Chicopee. Senior forward finished in the top 10 in the division in scoring, with 39 points, despite missing almost half of the season with an injury. A physical presence around the net, he became a leader for a young Pacers team, and earned six assists in his first game back from injury, against St. Mary on Feb. 24.

Second Team

Christian Assimus, Belchertown

John Baker, Chicopee

Mike Bloom, Wahconah

Nick Freniere, Amherst

Shaun Gezotis, St. Mary

Ben Jablonski, Chicopee

Ben Magarian, Belchertown

Ryan McDonough, Chicopee

Parker Nunes, Chicopee Comp

Garrett Riopelli, Chicopee Comp

Jack Rees, Amherst

Jonah Swotes, Mount Everett

Shane Tierney, Taconic


           By Michelle Williams | Michelle.Williams@MassLive.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on April 22, 2016 at 7:00 PM, updated April 22, 2016 at 7:03 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- More rain is ahead before clear, sunny weather this weekend. 

Much of Massachusetts was hit with heavy downpours Friday afternoon. Western Massachusetts communities saw up to a half-inch of rain, Western Mass News meteorologist Jacob Wycoff said. 

Showers and thunderstorms are possible Friday evening until around midnight in Springfield, the National Weather Service reports. Some storms could produce small hail and gusty winds around Central and Eastern Massachusetts late Friday evening. 

The low Friday will be around 54 degrees in Springfield and Worcester, 57 in Boston. 

Clouds and a few showers may linger into Saturday morning though clear skies are expected by the afternoon, Wycoff said. Patchy fog may be visible after 5 and until 9 a.m. in Boston and Worcester Saturday morning. 

Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high in the mid-60s across the state. 

Temperatures will drop into the 30s on Saturday night and rise back into the 60s on Sunday, with clear skies in the forecast again. 

Western Massachusetts forecast: 

Friday: Scattered showers, damp and mild. Some patchy fog late. Lows: 50-54.

Saturday: Morning clouds and fog giving way to afternoon sunshine, becoming breezy and much drier. Highs: 62-66.

Sunday: Mostly sunny and pleasant. Highs: 60-64.

Man stabbed in Pittsfield seriously injuredPosted: Apr 24, 2016 10:34 AM EST Updated: Apr 24, 2016 10:35 AM EST
By Jessica Michalski
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PITTSFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

A 29-year-old man was stabbed Saturday evening in Pittsfield and police report he was seriously injured.

First responders received the 911 call just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Pittsfield Police Department reports the caller said there was a disturbance at 108 Linden Street.

"Patrol units quickly arrived and found CPR being performed on an apparent stabbing victim by a civilian witness," explained police.

The victim who was transported to Berkshire Medical Center, was seriously injured.

Police say he was involved in an altercation with another man when the stabbing occurred.

The victim underwent surgery and is expected to survive police report.

Detectives continue to investigate this case and are asking for the public's help.

If you have any information about the incident, please contact the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Read more: http://www.westernmassnews.com/story/31802050/man-stabbed-in-pittsfield-seriously-injured#ixzz46m7PQ3Fi