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  • Amherst residents divided over possible changes to town’s government

    AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst’s vote on whether to change the town charter is dividing the town. But one thing both sides want from their government is transparency and accountability.

    Amherst voters will decide whether to change their current form of government on Tuesday during their annual town election.

    The new town charter wants to install a 13-member town council to replace the 240 town meeting members. One thing that would remain the same is the town manager position.
    Amanda’s Work Car In Video


  • Body found along train tracks in Russell

    RUSSELL, Mass. (WWLP) – A body was found along the train tracks in the western Hampden County town of Russell late Tuesday morning.

    Russell Fire Chief Michael Morrisey told 22News that the body was discovered around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday by residents who live in the area of 130 Valley View Avenue near the Pochassic Road crossing.

    According to a statement sent to 22News by CSX, the person’s deadly injuries appear to be from a train but it’s not clear if it was a suicide, accident or a crime.

    “CSX is working with state and local authorities as they investigate this incident. CSX appreciates the swift response provided by the Massachusetts State Police and Russell Police Departments. Our thoughts are with those impacted by this tragic event.”

    The Hampden County District Attorney’s Office as well as Russell Police, the Russell Fire Department, Massachusetts State Police and CSX Railroad Police are investigating the death.

    Police have not released the victim’s identity.


  • Are the “We Buy Houses” signs safe for home sellers?

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new home-buying tactic is growing in popularity across western Massachusetts, but is it safe?

    Maybe you’ve seen the advertisements, bright yellow signs with messages like: “We buy houses for cash!” or “I buy houses fast.”

    The 22News I-Team found several signs by roadways across western Massachusetts. None of the signs listed names or businesses, but they did list phone numbers, so the I-Team made calls in search of answers.

    Four numbers went straight to voicemail. One person declined to talk to us, and another person agreed to an interview, but then called back to cancel.

    The I-Team searched for websites and reviews on the Better Business Bureau, but failed to find any information on the businesses behind the bandit signs in western Massachusetts.

    Depending on where you live, these signs could even be illegal. Most cities and towns prohibit people from putting up signs unless they have a permit, or permission from the property owner.

    East Longmeadow Town Clerk Thomas Florence told the I-Team, according to the town’s Building Commissioner, the “We buy houses” signs are not allowed anywhere in the town, and a permit would not be issued for these types of signs. He said if people illegally tape them to poles, enforcement officers can take them down.

    The same rule applies in Holyoke and Chicopee, and several other local communities.

    Real estate broker Kevin Sears told the I-Team, these signs are usually posted by wholesalers or house flippers, not realtors. “When I see the signs that say “We Buy Houses,” I’m always a little suspect.”

    Sears also warns depending on who the person is, they could offer you a lower price for your house than you’d get elsewhere. “What the person is looking to do is try and get as good of a deal as possible, buy a house cheap, fix it, and sell it. It’s absolutely possible a consumer could lose some money, because they’re negotiating at a point of weakness, and the person who’s looking to buy the house is in a position of strength.”

    However, Sears said the people behind the “We Buy Houses” signs do serve a purpose, especially if you can’t repair your house before putting it on the market, but he urges you to always get a second opinion. “I understand wanting to buy low and sell high, but it’s not always in the best interest of the consumer. So if a consumer is looking to sell, they should always consult with a realtor or real estate professional to find out what the value of their home is, so they can get the best deal possible.”

    Attorney Abbe McLane specializes in real estate.

    She told the I-Team while some of these people may be legitimate, you shouldn’t sign a contract with an unknown company without having an attorney look over it first. “Before you sign with a company like this, definitely talk to an attorney. Because if you don’t get paid, you have no house and no money, and that’s not a good combination.”

    McLane urges home sellers to talk to an attorney or a realtor before making any decisions.


  • 17 dead, former student in custody after school shooting in Florida

    The Florida School Shooting Was the 18th School Shooting of the Year. And It’s Only February

    PARKLAND, Fla. – An American nightmare unfolded Wednesday afternoon at a South Florida high school after police say an expelled teenager returned to campus and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing 17 and wounding 15 more in the worst school shooting in Florida history.

    Just before dismissal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, thousands of students puzzled at the sound of an unexpected fire alarm were launched into a panic when gunfire punctuated the din. As teachers and students fled through hallways and hid under desks, a gunman opened fire, leaving a trail of bodies and chaos in his wake.

    The Broward Sheriff’s Office says Nikolas Cruz, 19, walked the halls of the high school wielding an AR-15 and multiple magazines. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson told reporters that Cruz pulled a fire alarm and then, wearing a gas mask, began tossing smoke bombs and shooting people as they ran through the haze.

    Police say Cruz, known to other students as a loner obsessed with weapons, shot his way onto campus. He gunned down a dozen people inside buildings on the school’s sprawling campus, two more on the grounds, and one more on the corner of Pine Island Road as he fled. Two more died at the hospital. Many underwent surgery at Broward Health hospitals.

    The shooter managed to make it off campus before he was taken into custody by police near the community entrance to Pelican Pointe at Wyndham Lakes in Coral Springs. He was transported to Broward Health North, and then sped away from the hospital in a police escort.

    The Broward Sheriff’s Office says the school, home to about 3,200 students, had been cleared by early evening. They did not identify any victims.

    Warning: Video contains graphic content

    “It’s a day that you pray, every day when you get up, that you will never have to see. It is in front of us. I ask the community for prayers and their support for the children and their families,” said Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, appearing at a media staging area near the school. “Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn’t have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”

    The shooting began just before dismissal around 3 p.m. Police say Cruz walked onto campus, and shot his way into a school building. Then he pulled a fire alarm.

    Students and teachers were puzzled because the school had already held a fire drill that day. Still, some left their bags by their desk and walked out of their classrooms.

    “Six kids ran back into my room, and I locked the door, turned out the lights and had the kids go to the back of the room,” math teacher Jim Gard said. “I told the kids to hang in there, it may still be a drill.”

    It wasn’t.

    On the first floor, Rebecca Bogart was in holocaust class when bullets shattered a window into the room and struck at least one classmate. Rebecca, 17, said she hid under her teachers desk.

    “Four kids in my class were hurt. There was blood everywhere. I’m so glad to be living right now,” she said. “I knew what gunshots sounded like, but not that loud or extreme. It smelled Smokey.”

    Police say Cruz was all over the campus during the assault. One student told Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS4 that at one point he ascended to the third floor. In a theater class bathroom, Sarah Crescitelli typed a text to her parents: “If I don’t make it I love you and I appreciated everything you did for me.”

    A video posted to social media showed students hiding under desks, screaming as at least 20 gun shots rang out. Some students believed there was a second shooter at the school. Some at the school said a football coach and security guard, Aaron Feis, was shot when he jumped in front of several students, although that report remains unconfirmed.

    Geovanni Vilsant, 15, said he was in a Spanish classroom in the three-floor 1200 building when the fire alarm went off. Two minutes later, gun shots rang out enveloping the building in explosions, he said.

    Geovanni, a freshman, said he saw three bloody bodies on the floor as he was fleeing the school.

    “There was blood everywhere,” he said. “They weren’t moving.”

    Israel, whose triplets once attended the high school, called the shooting a “detestable act” and “catastrophic.”

    He did not name a motive for the shooting, which he said doesn’t immediately appear to have been prompted by any confrontation and federal authorities don’t believe is related to terrorism. Nor did Israel explain why Cruz was expelled from school beyond saying that it was for disciplinary reasons.

    But Gard, the math teacher, told the Miami Herald that Cruz, 19, had been identified as a potential threat to fellow students in the past. He believes the school administration had sent out an email warning teachers that Cruz had made threats against other teenagers in the past. Another student interviewed by the Miami Herald said Cruz was punished once for having bullet casings at school.

    “We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said Gard, who said Cruz had been in his class last year. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”

    But he returned Wednesday, re-upping America’s troubled history with guns and forcing police and parents to confront their worst fears.

    As students hid and escaped, SWAT Teams swarmed the sprawling campus. The FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force, consisting of local, state and federal agents, sent a squad to the school to assist the Broward Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement.

    Initially, they urged teachers and students to remain barricaded inside until police reached them. Eventually, they began clearing buildings one at a time. Students streamed out in a line with their hands up. Others ran like mad, bookbags strapped to their backs.

    The exodus was chaos. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High is immediately to the north of the Sawgrass Expressway, and bordered to the south and west by canals. Nicholas Coke, who was sitting in English class when the fire alarm went off, described people jumping fences, running behind the middle school and staying in classrooms to cower and pray after gunshots went off.

    “I wasn’t going to stick around and find out what was going on,” he said.

    Parents, some of whom were still searching for their kids after 8 p.m., stood about a mile away as police blocked him from getting closer to their children. Many spoke on their cell phones trying to calm their children down.

    Denise Perez paced as she spoke to her daughter Marsiel Baluja. Her daughter told her that she was sitting between Publix and Walmart with a bunch of other students. They were surrounded by armed marshals.

    Students are released from a lockdown outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. after reports of an active shooter on Feb. 14, 2018.

    “Just stay calm, baby,” she said.

    Perez just wanted to get closer to her daughter.

    “This is really hard,” she said as she cried.

    As the evening wore on, and students had been safely evacuated from the school, attention turned to those who were wounded in the gunfire. Dr. Evan Boyar, medical director for the department of emergency medicine at Broward Health North, said of the eight patients at Broward Health North, three patients remained in critical condition and three were stable.

    Boyar said the hospital routinely runs drills to be prepared for situations like this.

    Doctors would not disclose details further than that regarding injuries to any of the patients or the suspect. However, Dr. Igor Nichiporenko, the medical director for trauma at Broward Health North, did say that all of the victims suffered from gunshot wounds. Three patients were still in the operating room, Nichiporenko said.

    “They’re going to have successful surgeries. They’re going to recover,” Nichiporenko said. “They’re going to go home.”

    in the wake of the Florida shooting, tweeting that “no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

    Florida school shooting suspect called troubled ex-student who loved guns

    The man accused of opening fire at a Florida high school on Wednesday, killing 17 people, was a troubled former student who loved guns and was expelled for disciplinary reasons, police and former classmates said.Nikolaus Cruz, 19, was arrested about an hour after a shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters.

    Cruz, who had been expelled from the school for reasons that have not been made public, was found with multiple ammunition magazines and one AR-15-style rifle, Israel said.

    “We already began to dissect his websites and the things on social media that he was on and some of the things that came to mind are very, very disturbing,” Israel said.

    Chad Williams, 18, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High school, remembered Cruz as a troubled classmate from when they attended middle school together. He said Cruz would set off the fire alarm, day after day, and finally got expelled in the eighth grade.

    More recently, Williams saw Cruz carrying several publications about guns when they ran into each other at the high school. Williams thought Cruz was there to pick up a younger sibling.

    “He was crazy about guns,” Williams told Reuters, speaking by the side of the road near the high school. “He was kind of an outcast. He didn’t have many friends. He would do anything crazy for a laugh, but he was trouble.”

    Jillian Davis, 19, said she was in a school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps with Cruz in the 9th grade. She remembered him as a quiet and shy young man who would almost change personality when angry. He talked a lot about guns and knives but no one took him seriously, she told Reuters.

    “I would say he was not the most normal or sane kid in JROTC. He definitely had a little something off about him. He was a little extra quirky,” said Davis, who graduated from the school last year.

    Math teacher Jim Gard told the Miami Herald that Cruz had been banned from returning to campus while carrying a backpack.

    “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus,” Gard told the newspaper in an interview.

    Administrators sent an email to teachers warning them about Cruz, Gard told the paper.

    Another student at the school told local WSVN-TV that Cruz was known to have guns at home.

    (Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida: what we know

    At least 17 people are dead. The 19-year-old suspect is in custody.

     

    A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has left at least 17 people dead</a>and multiple people injured. Students and adults are among the victims, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

    A 19-year-old male suspect, Nikolas Cruz, is now in custody. Officials identified him as a former student at the high school.

    “That should not happen in Parkland, it should not happen anywhere in this country,” Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie said Wednesday night</a>. “We have got to find a way for this to stop.”

    The story is still developing, and the investigation is in its very early stages. Details, including the final casualty count, could change with more information. Here’s what we know — and don’t.

    What we know

    • At least 17 people were killed in the school shooting. At least 15 others were hospitalized, with five individuals sustaining life-threatening injuries. Teenagers and adults are among the victims, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
    • At least 12 people were killed inside the school building. Two others were killed outside, and another person was fatally shot on a street corner when the suspect fled the scene. At least two died at the hospital, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a press conferenceWednesday.
    • The sheriff said the 12 victims killed inside the school have been identified, but law enforcement is not yet releasing their names. A football coach was killed, and the son of a sheriff’s deputy suffered a non-life-threatening injury after he was shot in the arm, according to Israel.
    • Around 2:30 pm, just before class dismissal, the fire alarm went off, and shooting began. A law enforcement official told told CBS News it was believed the suspect pulled the fire alarm before the shooting rampage.
    • The lone suspect is 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. He was taken into custody off school property about an hour after the shooting, and was initially transported to a nearby hospital. He has since been transferred to the sheriff’s headquarters, reports to CBS News.
    • Cruz is a former Stoneman Douglas High School student who had been expelled for disciplinary issues, the sheriff said, though he did not say when or why. Cruz is currently enrolled in Broward County public schools, Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.
    • Sheriff Israel said Cruz was armed with an AR-15 rifle and “countless magazines.”
    • Investigators have begun to scour Cruz’s social media activities and so far have found “very, very disturbing” materials, the sheriff said.
    • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has around 3,000 students. It’s located in Parkland, Florida, north of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Classes are canceled at the school for the remainder of the week.

    PARKLAND, Fla. — The Latest on the deadly shooting at a Florida high school</a> (all times local):

    9:15 p.m.

    A law enforcement official says the former student suspected of killing at least 17 people at a South Florida high school posted highly disturbing material on social media before the shooting rampage.

    Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Wednesday the 19-year-old suspect, Nikolas Cruz, had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for unspecified disciplinary reasons.

    Israel says investigators are dissecting the suspect’s social media posts and found material that is “very, very disturbing.” He didn’t elaborate.

    An ex-schoolmate recalled Cruz posting on Instagram about killing animals and said he talked of doing target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.

    A school superintendent, Robert Runcie, told reporters he didn’t know of any concerns raised about Cruz.

    ___

    8:35 p.m.

    A student who escaped the deadly shooting at a Florida high school says he knew the suspect when he attended the school, describing him as a “weird kid” and something of a “loner.”

    Authorities said 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz is in custody after the attack Wednesday that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Officials say Cruz was a former student, having been expelled from the school.

    Student Daniel Huerfano told The Associated Press he remembers seeing Cruz walking around the school with his lunch bag, adding, “He was that weird kid that you see … like a loner.”

    ___

    8:15 p.m.

    Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida says he is “devastated and saddened” by the deadly shooting attack on a high school in his state.

    The Republican senator says he remains ready to assist state and local officials and “anyone impacted by this horrible tragedy.” He also said in his statement Wednesday that he hopes authorities can find out in coming hours and days more about why and how the killer “carried out this carnage.”

    Meanwhile, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida has also issued condolences. She called the attack in Parkland, Florida, “another senseless school shooting … this time in our community.”

    ____

    7:50 p.m.

    Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords says the deadly school shooting in Florida should “strike fear into all Americans.”

    The Democrat from Arizona was shot in the head and survived a shooting attack in 2011.

    She said in a statement Wednesday that her heart goes out to the victims and survivors of the school shooting that claimed 17 lives in Parkland, Florida. She called it the latest attack in an epidemic of gun violence that continues “days after deadly day.”

    She also says in a statement that the latest in a series of deadly U.S. shootings should stir fresh resolve in Congress to “find the courage to pass the laws we need to protect our children.”

    ____

    7:30 p.m.

    Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida says the shooter in the attack on a high school in his state wore a gas mask and had smoke grenades.

    The Florida Democrat said in an interview with CNN that he was briefed on the attack by the FBI.

    Nelson says the attacker “set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall. And there the carnage began.”

    Nelson says he did not know if the gunman had used the smoke grenades but he assumed that’s why he had a gas mask on.

    ___

    7:15 p.m.

    Doctors say 16 people wounded in a deadly shooting at a Florida high school were taken to area hospitals for treatment and two of them have died.

    Dr. Evan Boyar at Broward Health North told reporters Wednesday that eight victims and the suspect had been brought to his hospital. Boyar says two victims died, three were in critical condition and three were in stable condition. He says three patients were still in the operating room Wednesday evening. The suspect was treated and released to police.

    Boyar says all the victims were shot but declined to comment on their ages or the extent of their wounds.

    Eight other victims were taken to other hospitals, but he did not have information on their conditions.

    Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says a 19-year-old former student has been arrested in the shooting that killed 17 people.

    ___

    This item has been clarified to note that 16 people were transported to be treated but two of them died.

    ___

    6:35 p.m.

    Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida says lawmakers have offered their condolences after the latest school shooting, this one in his district.

    Deutch says he found his colleagues’ outreach — in his words — both “heartwarming and obscene.” Authorities say 17 people died in Wednesday’s attack in Parkland, Florida, and the suspect, a 19-year-old former student, is in custody.

    The congressman says he uses the word “obscene” because school shootings have become so commonplace that lawmakers were offering him guidance on what to expect in coming days as constituents grapple with the tragedy.

    Deutch says it’s time to find ways to save lives. He says he wants President Donald Trump to call those concerned to the White House to “do something” about gun violence.

    ____

    6:30 p.m.

    A Florida sheriff says that 12 of the 17 confirmed deaths in Wednesday’s shooting attack on a high school were found in the school.

    Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says the attack began outside the school Wednesday afternoon.

    He told reporters that authorities subsequently found 12 people dead in the building and two more dead just outside the school and one more in a nearby street. Israel says two other people died later under medical treatment.

    Israel says the suspect, a 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is in custody. He says the male suspect was checked out at a hospital after his arrest and is now being held at a secure location in a public building.

    ___

    6:05 p.m.

    A sheriff says 17 people have died in the shooting attack on a South Florida high school.

    Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County says the 19-year-old suspect is in custody and that investigators are beginning to “dissect” what happened in the attack Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    He says the suspect, a former student, was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons.

    Israel says the man had at least one AR-15 rifle as well as multiple magazines.

    He says most of the fatalities were inside the building though some were found fatally shot outside.

    ___

    5:40 p.m.

    A man says he watched as officers arrested the suspect in the shooting at a Florida high school, where authorities are reporting numerous deaths.

    Michael Nembhard told The Associated Press he was in his garage watching TV news coverage of the shooting when he heard a police officer repeatedly yelling, “get on the ground!”

    Nembhard says he looked up to see a teenage boy on the ground about 150 yards (meters) away with an officer pointing a gun at him. The officer stood over the boy until other officers arrived, handcuffed him and led him away.

    A federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity identified the suspect as Nicolas Cruz. The official says he wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly.

    Authorities say the suspect is a former student about 18 years old.

    ____

    5:20 p.m.

    Authorities have identified the Florida school shooting suspect as Nikolas Cruz.

    A federal official who identified the suspect spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official said he had been briefed on the investigation into the shooting at the South Florida high school, but was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

    Authorities in Florida say the shooter opened fire at the school Wednesday afternoon, killing “numerous” people. The shooting sent frightened students running out into the streets and SWAT team members swarming the building.

    Authorities later announced that they had taken a former student into custody after locating him off the school grounds.

    ___

    This item has been corrected to show authorities are now identifying the suspect as Nikolas Cruz. Authorities had previously identified the suspect with a different spelling of his first name.

    ___

    5 p.m.

    Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says the Florida high school shooting suspect is a former student about 18 years old.

    He says the suspect was arrested without incident off school grounds in a nearby community. He didn’t elaborate on when the suspect had attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    A shooter opened fire at the school Wednesday afternoon, killing “numerous” people, sending students running out into the streets and SWAT team members swarming in before authorities took the shooter into custody.

    Israel says the FBI has arrived and will begin processing what he describes as “horrific scene.”

    He called it a “catastrophic day.”

    ___

    4:40 p.m.

    Parents described scenes of chaos as they rushed to find their frightened children after a shooting at a South Florida high school.

    Caesar Figueroa says he was one of the first parents to arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, seeking his 16-year-old daughter after the shooting there.

    A shooter opened fire at the school Wednesday, killing several people and sending students running out into the streets as SWAT team members swarming in. Authorities later reported they had taken the shooting suspect into custody.

    Figueroa says: “It was crazy and my daughter wasn’t answering her phone.”

    According to Figueroa, she texted him that she was hidden in a school closet with friends after she heard gunshots.

    ___

    4:25 p.m.

    A school official says there are numerous fatalities from the high school shooting in South Florida.

    Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie sayid Wednesday afternoon: “There are numerous fatalities. It is a horrific situation.” He added, “It is a horrible day for us.”

    The Broward County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Wednesday afternoon that “so far we have at least 14 victims.” The tweet added: “Victims have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital.”

    The sheriff’s statement didn’t elaborate on the victims or the extent of their injuries.

    ___

    4:15 p.m.

    The White House has canceled its daily press briefing after a Florida high school shooting that sent students rushing into the streets.

    President Donald Trump has spoken with Florida Gov. Rick Scott about the shooting. He says in a tweet that the White House is “working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.”

    He earlier tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.

    Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump has offered Florida federal assistance, if needed. The homeland security secretary has also been in touch with state and local officials.

    Sanders says, “We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers.”

    ___

    4:10 p.m.

    Authorities say the shooter at a South Florida high school is now in custody.

    The Broward County Sheriff’s Office gave no details in briefly tweeting that development. It did not identify the shooting suspect nor say how the person was taken into custody.

    Television footage showed police putting a person in the back of a police car outside the high school.

    ___

    4 p.m.

    Parent John Obin says his son, a freshman at the South Florida high school where the shooting erupted, was in class when he heard several shots. The father says his son advised that teachers quickly rushed students out of the school. He adds the boy told his father that he walked by two people on the ground motionless — and apparently dead — as students rushed outside.

    Obin says: “This is a really good school, and now it’s like a war zone.”

    Coral Springs Police said on their Twitter account Wednesday that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was locked down and that students and teachers inside should remain barricaded until police reach them.

    ___

    3:55 p.m.

    The shooting at a South Florida high school sent students rushing into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building. Police were warning that the shooter was still at large even as ambulances converged on the scene and emergency workers appeared to be treating those possibly wounded.

    Aerial television news footage showed police in olive fatigues, with weapons drawn, entering the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Then dozens of students could be seen frantically running and others quickly walking out. A police officer waved the students on, urging them to quickly evacuate the school.

    Some students exited the building in single-file rows with hands raised overhead to show they carried no weapons. Others held onto other students as they made their way out past helmeted police in camouflage with weapons drawn.

    __

    3:45 p.m.

    Len Murray’s 17-year-old son, a junior at the South Florida high school where shooting was reported, sent his parents a chilling text: “Mom and Dad, there have been shots fired on campus at school. There are police sirens outside. I’m in the auditorium and the doors are locked.”

    Those words came at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. A few minutes later, he texted again: “I’m fine.”

    Murray raced to the school only to be stopped by authorities under a highway overpass within view of the school buildings in Parkland.

    No information was immediately given to parents, Len Murray says. And he says he remained worried for all those inside.

    “I’m scared for the other parents here. You can see the concern in everybody’s faces. Everybody is asking, ‘Have you hard from your child yet?'”

    ___

    3:15 p.m.

    Authorities say a shooter at a Florida high school is still at large.

    The Broward Sheriff’s Office shared the information on its Twitter account after Wednesday afternoon’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were wounded.

    ___

    2:30 p.m.

    Authorities say they’re responding to a shooting at a Florida high school.

    The Broward Sheriff’s Office has told news outlets the shooting occurred Wednesday afternoon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were wounded.

    ____

    Associated Press writers Terry Spencer, Kelli Kennedy, Jennifer Kay, Jason Dearen, Freida Frisaro, David Fischer, Ian Mader, Curt Anderson, Adriana Gomez Licon, Gary Fineout, Lisa Pane and Josh Replogle contributed to this report.


  • Belchertown man to give-up cellphone password as fatal accident investigation continues

    The 19-year-old is due back in court on February 16 for a pretrial hearing at 8:30 a.m.

    BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – A Belchertown man is being asked to give his cell phone password to police as part of an investigation into a fatal February 2017 crash.

    NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Belchertown man will be arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court on Friday, August 4, facing charges of negligent motor vehicle homicide in connection with a February 17 crash that killed an Amherst man.

    The Northampton District Attorney’s Office said 18-year-old Ryan Fellion was driving westbound on Route 9 when his vehicle crossed over the center line and hit 62-year-old Larry Kelley’s eastbound car nearly head-on.

    Police said Kelley was pronounced dead right after the accident.

    Fellion and the two passengers he had in his car suffered non-life threatening injuries and were sent to Baystate Medical Center for treatment.

    Fellion will face up to two and a half years in prison if convicted of the negligent motor vehicle homicide charge.

    The conviction also carries a 15-year loss of license.

    According to Marey Carey of the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, 19-year-old Ryan Fellion is being charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation and related charges in connection with the accident that took the life of Larry Kelley of Amherst.

    Carey explained that authorities already had Fellion’s phone but were unable to access the contents due to encryption requiring a passcode.

    BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) –  A pre-trial hearing is scheduled Tuesday for a man charged in connection with a deadly car accident in Belchertown.

    Eighteen-year-old Ryan Fellion was arraigned on a charge of negligent motor vehicle homicide back in August. His vehicle allegedly crossed over the center line of Route 9 last February, striking the car of Amherst resident Larry Kelley, who was killed instantly.

    Tuesday’s hearing will be on a motion to access his cellphone security password.

    If convicted, Fellion faces 2.5 years in jail, and the loss of his license for up to 15 years.

    BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – The pre-trial hearing for the 18 year-old charged with motor vehicle homicide in connection to a car crash that killed Amherst blogger Larry Kelley has been postponed until December 19.

    Larry Kelley.

    Ryan Fellion of Belchertown was scheduled to be in Eastern Hampshire District Court Friday for the pre-trial hearing and a hearing on a motion by the prosecution to access his cell phone’s password. On Thursday, however, Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Mary Carey says the defense counsel filed a motion to suppress the seizure and search.

    Police say that Fellion was driving westbound on Route 9 in Belchertown when his vehicle crossed over the center line and hit Kelley’s car, nearly head-on.

    Carey said Fellion must still abide by the pre-trial conditions of not driving and not leaving the state without permission.

    Negligent motor vehicle homicide is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 2 ½ years in jail, with a 15-year loss of license.

    On Wednesday, a judge ordered Fellion to give up his password to State Police investigators so they can complete a search warrant on his phone.

    The 19-year-old is due back in court on February 16 for a pretrial hearing at 8:30 a.m.