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State and regional briefs

84-year-old man killed in Northampton crash

NORTHAMPTON — An 84-year-old man from Westfield is dead after a pickup truck slammed into the driver’s side of a car he was driving in Northampton.

Authorities says the driver of the pickup truck suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash that occurred Friday afternoon at the intersection of North King Street and Elm Street. Both drivers were taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where the elderly man was pronounced dead.

Northwestern District Attorney’s office says there were no passengers in either vehicle.

Authorities did not immediately release the names of those involved in the crash.

Investigators are trying to figure out the facts and circumstances surrounding the crash.

Clerk: Hampden County court has ‘myriad problems’

SPRINGFIELD — The Hampden County clerk of courts is hoping a letter she sent to lawmakers detailing the myriad problems at the Springfield courthouse leads to a new facility.

Laura Gentile said in the letter that the building has mold in the vents and an uneven heating system that makes some areas unbearably cold and others hot, leaks, shakes when large trucks drive past and most areas are not accessible to the disabled.

The nearly 40-year-old building is inadequate for the number of cases it handles, its lockup facilities are overcrowded and its security is insufficient, she said in the letter, according to The Republican newspaper of Springfield.

“The courthouse is too small, the security needs aren’t met,” Gentile said.

Bill would promote local fishermen

BOSTON — A group of state lawmakers led by Senate Republican leader Bruce Tarr is calling for creation of a state program to help promote seafood caught by Massachusetts fishermen.

The bill calls for a seafood marketing program to be set up within the state Division of Marine Fisheries. The lawmakers say the goal is a coordinated approach that will increase demand for seafood and consumer preference for products from the state’s own commercial fishing and seafood industry.

Tarr, who represents Gloucester, says new federal catch limits have pushed fishermen “to the verge of extinction.” He says the marketing program is one of several ways the struggling industry can be helped by state government.

The bill, which has nearly two dozen co-sponsors, includes recommendations made by a special commission on seafood marketing.

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