Ex-bank teller pleads guilty to stealing from customers
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A former teller at a Massachusetts bank has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from several customers, including some in their 80s.
Woman charged with embezzling $122K from plumbing company
FITCHBURG, Mass. (AP) — A former bookkeeper has been charged with stealing more than $120,000 from a Massachusetts plumbing company where she worked for 13 years.
The Sentinel and Enterprise reports that Penny Soderman was arraigned Aug. 7 on nine counts of larceny released on personal recognizance.
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts State Police say they had to force their way into the home of a man accused of threatening a judge and use an electronic stunning weapon on him after he refused to surrender peacefully.
Police said in a statement that 56-year-old Jeffery Wheeler was arrested at about 3 a.m. Friday after troopers forced their way into his Athol home.
Wheeler was taken to a hospital for an examination and is expected to be arraigned Friday.
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police chief who was once an FBI agent has been placed on leave, but no one is saying why.
The Telegram & Gazette reports that Athol Town Manager Shaun Suhoski told selectmen Tuesday that Chief Russell Kleber is on leave. Former Chief Timothy Anderson has been named acting chief until further notice.
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A former supervisor at a Massachusetts bank has been indicted on charges that she embezzled more than $100,000 from customer accounts.
Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Jessica Vargas, of Athol, was indicted Thursday on one count of bank fraud and two counts of bank embezzlement. She was initially arrested in March.
DA: No charges for firearms training shooting
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — There will be no criminal charges for an unidentified person who shot a civilian observer at a police department firearms training session.
Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan announced Tuesday there will be no criminal charges filed in the "accidental shooting" of a civilian at an Athol firearms training on May 30.
Woman dies while parachuting
ORANGE, Mass. (AP) — A woman has died from injuries sustained when she veered off course while parachuting and slammed into a Massachusetts barn.
The Northwestern District Attorney's office says the unidentified parachutist collided with a barn in Orange on Saturday.
The woman was transported to Athol Memorial Hospital, and then UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester where she died Monday.
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say a civilian observing firearms training at a Massachusetts police department has been accidentally shot.
A spokeswoman for the Northwestern district attorney says the person received a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the upper rear leg on Wednesday while observing training by Athol police.
The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to the hospital.
1 killed, 2 injured in car crash
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — One person has been killed and two others injured in a one-car crash in Massachusetts.
Police arrived at the scene in Athol around 8:45 p.m. Sunday to find a Nissan Altima on its roof.
Authorities say the car apparently struck a tree and one person was ejected. Police say firefighters used hydraulic tools to free two people still trapped inside.
GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Two Massachusetts residents convicted of killing an elderly married couple during a home invasion are going to prison for the rest of their lives.
Joshua Hart and Brittany Smith, both of Athol, were sentenced Thursday to mandatory sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
They were convicted in separate trials of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 95-year-old Thomas Harty and 77-year-old Joanna Fisher.
GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman who participated in a violent home invasion that led to the deaths of a 95-year-old man and his 77-year-old wife has been convicted of two counts of first-degree murder.
Brittany Smith, of Athol, was convicted Monday by a Franklin Superior Court jury in the October 2016 home invasion in Orange that led to the deaths of Thomas Harty and Joanna Fisher. Harty died at the scene, while Fisher, who used a wheelchair, died several weeks later.
GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The second suspect in the slayings of a 95-year-old Massachusetts man and his 77-year-old wife during an October 2016 home invasion is heading to trial.
Jury selection in the trial of Brittany Smith is scheduled to start Monday in Franklin Superior Court.
Smith, of Athol, faces murder charges in the deaths of 95-year-old Thomas Harty and his wife, Joanna Fisher. Both were stabbed and beaten in their Orange home. Fisher died several weeks later.
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A former resident of a Massachusetts center for the developmentally disabled has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of another facility resident.
Athol man convicted of child rape faces sentencing
GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — An Athol man convicted of child molestation charges will learn how much time he'll spend in prison.
The Northwestern district attorney's office says 31-year-old Jeremy Currier is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Michael Callan in Franklin Superior Court on Wednesday.
Currier was found guilty Thursday of aggravated rape and abuse of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 by a jury that deliberated seven hours.
Housing complex evacuated after ice jam leads to high water
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts town has evacuated a housing complex for the elderly after an ice mass broke free in a nearby river and threatened to flood the area.
Officials in the town of Athol say an ice mass broke off in Millers River and struck the Exchange Street Bridge around 7 a.m. Saturday, sweeping away equipment that attaches a water line to the bridge.
Authorities closed the bridge and evacuated the nearby Morton Meadows housing complex as the river's water rose higher.
Man sentenced to over 3 ½ years on bank robbery charges
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to serve over 3 ½ years in federal prison for a series of bank robberies in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
Court documents say 26-year-old Vincent Torraco, of Athol, Massachusetts, robbed TD Bank branches in Gardner, Massachusetts, Rindge, New Hampshire, and Winchester, Connecticut, in September 2016.
Medical marijuana growing operation negotiating in Athol
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — A large medical marijuana indoor growing operation is negotiating for space in a largely vacant mill building in Athol, and the people behind it say it could bring hundreds of jobs.
Town Manager Shaun Suhoski tells the Telegram & Gazette he's negotiating an agreement for the facility after selectmen took a vote of non-opposition.
FITCHBURG -- It was a banner year for Monty Tech this summer at the 53rd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held in Louisville, Ky.
8 hospitalized after Massachusetts apartment fire
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts fire officials are investigating an apartment fire that sent at least eight people to the hospital.
The Greenfield Recorder reports (http://bit.ly/2olVixz ) that the severity of their injuries is unclear.
Five different fire departments were called to battle the flames Tuesday afternoon at a two-story apartment building in Athol (ATH'-uhl). It took them more than 2 ½ hours to control the fire.
Man charged with murder in 10-year-old boy’s death
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been arraigned on a murder charge in connection with the death nearly four years ago of a 10-year-old boy.
Prosecutors say 30-year-old Christopher Vinsant, of Athol, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Monday in Hampshire Superior Court in connection with the July 2013 death of Isaiah Buckner.
Authorities say Isaiah was in Vinsant's care when he was taken to the hospital with what prosecutors call abdominal trauma. He later died.
Suspects in fatal Orange home invasion held without bail
GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Two people charged with what a prosecutor called the "savage" and "senseless" killing of a 95-year-old Massachusetts man during a home invasion have been held without bail.
Joshua Hart and Brittany Smith, both of Athol, pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges at their arraignment Thursday in Franklin Superior Court.
Suspects in fatal Massachusetts home invasion in court
GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Two people charged with killing a 95-year-old Massachusetts man and seriously injuring his wife during a home invasion are scheduled to be arraigned.
Joshua Hart and Brittany Smith, both of Athol, are expected to be arraigned on several charges including murder and attempted murder on Thursday in Franklin Superior Court.
Leominster man killed by train was scouting hunting areas
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — A man killed by a train in Athol this week has been identified as a Leominster resident who was out scouting deer hunting locations when he was struck.
Authorities on Wednesday identified the man struck Tuesday morning as 65-year-old Raymond Regan.
Man apparently struck and killed by freight train
ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — Officials say a man appears to have been struck and killed by a freight train in northwestern Massachusetts.
The Northwestern District Attorney's Office says the accident happened around 11 a.m. Tuesday on a stretch of Pan Am Railroad tracks in Athol, near the Royalston town line.