Addiction in Franklin County
Karen Sims photo 
Paula Sayword looks out from the ledge at Chaco Canyon where she and her partner, Karen Sims, created a funeral ritual for their granddaughter, Ashley Sims, who they raised as a daughter and lost to an accidental heroin overdose in December of 2012.

Poets of Franklin County: Soul Chant

Friday, September 19, 2014

Editor’s note: this is the second in a series of columns by Trish Crapo on poetry that explores aspects of addiction. Readers can find links to her first column on our website: www.recorder.com Ashley Sims died at the age of 22 of an accidental heroin overdose in her Greenfield apartment on Dec. 11, 2012. It was her grandmother Karen Sims’ birthday. Ashley had planned to come to Leyden that night for a celebratory dinner, said Paula Sayword, Sim’s partner and Ashley’s grandmother. “Instead, she was dead on the floor. She didn’t intend to die,” Sayword continued. “We never questioned whether it was on purpose.” Just … 0

Franklin County Opioid Task Force regroups, continues

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GREENFIELD — The area Opioid Task Force met Tuesday for a look at the big picture of addiction in Franklin County and at reports from subcommittees working in various facets of the community problem. The meeting in the Greenfield Community College drew in the neighborhood of 100 people, with representatives of the Department … 0

Hoop dreams, heroin nightmares

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GREENFIELD — Chris Herren made it from the midsize coastal city of Fall River to his home team, the Boston Celtics. His path was paved with stints in rehab as he struggled with escalating substance abuse running the gamut from alcohol to cocaine, crystal meth and heroin. From the early promise chronicled in … 0

Detox, stabilization treatment centers coming to Franklin County to help fight opioid addiction

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

After years fighting a growing opioid addiction problem with no local detox option but a jail cell or a bed on the hospital’s mental health floor reserved for the suicidal, the drug detoxification center promised by Gov. Deval Patrick took a step closer to reality this week. And … 0

Franklin County, Athol work to monitor their own overdoses

Friday, July 18, 2014

How do you deal with a problem you can’t pin down until years after the fact? Those seeking to address the heroin problem in this area are not content to live with that situation, so a system is being put into place to provide numbers on overdoses years … 0

Alleged heroin trafficker arraigned in Superior Court

Friday, July 18, 2014

GREENFIELD — Heroin trafficking charges against a Westfield man have been brought before Franklin Superior Court. Antonio Rivera III, 28, also known as “Gizmo,” of 9 Leonard St. in Westfield, pleaded innocent to charges of trafficking in heroin … 0

Jail staff finds hidden drug

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

GREENFIELD — Several people are facing drug charges after county jail employees uncovered a variety of schemes to smuggle an addiction-fighting drug into the facility. Though they are charged in three separate cases, they all share similar elements. … 0

Drug treatment for Franklin, N. Quabbin in state budget

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Both Franklin County and the North Quabbin area will have money for new detox facilities to combat drug addiction, once the latest state budget is signed into law. In the North Quabbin region, $1 million in the public health service budget is designated for a new mental health, … 0

Buckland woman arrested on heroin, child endangerment charges

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — A woman was arrested after allegedly using heroin at a local park with two children in her car. Candace Caswell, 34, of 15 School St., Buckland, was arrested Monday on charges of possession of heroin and reckless endangerment of children. She was found when police … 0

Two arrested for alleged heroin use in Greenfield’s Hillside Park

Friday, June 27, 2014

GREENFIELD — A local man and woman face heroin charges after an alert citizen reported suspicious activity in Hillside Park in the early hours. Sarah McLaughlin, 32, of 128 Old Albany Road, pleaded innocent Friday in Greenfield District Court to charges of possession of heroin, possession of a … 0

Man facing heroin charges threatened suicide in back of cruiser

Friday, June 27, 2014

BERNARDSTON — A Connecticut man arrested on charges of heroin trafficking attempted to take his own life while in police custody, according to state troopers. State police reported that Vincent Paris, 38, of Hamden, Conn., tried to strangle himself in the back of the cruiser while en route … 0

Bernardston traffic stop results in heroin charges

Thursday, June 26, 2014

BERNARDSTON — State Police took more than 250 bags of heroin, as well as packaging materials and several grams of the unpackaged drug off the streets in an Interstate 91 traffic stop Thursday. Vincent Paris, 38, of Hampden, Conn., was arrested on a charge of trafficking in heroin, … 0

60 Franklin County doctors sign on to prescriber pledge to date

Thursday, June 26, 2014

GREENFIELD — Sixty Franklin County doctors, surgeons, dentists, psychiatrists and other health care providers have signed on to the Safe Prescriber Pledge to adopt practices that ensure safe prescribing practices for potentially addictive medications as the region battles opioid abuse. Another 19 physicians in the Ware region also … 0

Greenfield Town Councilors vow to fight heroin/opiate addiction

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

GREENFIELD — As Greenfield continues to struggle with a heroin and opioid addiction problem downtown and throughout many of its neighborhoods, Town Council is looking at how it might be part of a solution, including advocating for a youth director and program, more drug education in health classes … 0

Turners Falls man charged with beating 61-year-old man over $20 heroin debt

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

GREENFIELD — A Turners Falls man wound up on the wrong side of the law twice in one day: first for drug possession, then for beating an older man with a golf club to collect a drug debt, according to police. In Greenfield District Court on Tuesday, Oscar … 0