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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

Task force makes dual drug busts in Turners Falls building

Friday, June 20, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — Two Montague women were arrested and a small child taken into state custody in a Thursday night drug raid. Jessica Lawor, 41, of apartment 9, 15 Fifth St., was arrested on charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine, possession … 0

New England governors outline drug abuse fight

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

WALTHAM — New England governors agreed Tuesday to seek stronger cross-border monitoring of prescription painkillers as part of a regional strategy to stem a rising tide of heroin overdoses and abuse of other opioids. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick convened the meeting at Brandeis University with his fellow governors … 0

Gov.’s Opioid Task Force offers ideas for addiction solutions

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

GREENFIELD — The state task force charged with bringing recommendations to the governor relative to the state opioid addiction crisis has done so. The task force’s recommendations include expanding state-funded residential treatment programs for underserved populations and “geographically underserved” areas such as Franklin County. “It’s definitely a great … 0

RECOVER Project 5k race Saturday

Thursday, June 5, 2014

GREENFIELD — Registration is still open for the Firebird 5k race against addiction Saturday and organizers are pleased with how things are going. Greenfield firefighter Adam Mitchell said he was told to expect about 30 people for a first-year race, so he wasn’t unhappy with the 72 registrants … 0

Caught on camera

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

GREENFIELD — An alleged heroin dealer has been charged after an alert citizen snapped photos of a suspected deal and called police. Dwight Belisle, 46, of 8 Quincy St., Greenfield, pleaded innocent to charges of possession of heroin … 0

Opioid task force calls on state for support

Friday, May 30, 2014

GREENFIELD — Members of the Franklin County Opioid Task Force told the state’s public health commissioner Friday that more support would allow the county’s work in fighting opioid abuse to expand and serve as a statewide model. Department … 0

I-91 traffic stop nets dozens of bags of heroin

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

GREENFIELD — Four people face heroin charges after allegedly trying to bring dozens of bags of the drug to New Hampshire along I-91. Nicholas Santana, 23, with a last known address in Hartford, Conn., pleaded innocent to charges … 0

State sees need for Franklin County detox beds

Friday, May 23, 2014

The detox gap in Franklin County could be filled, and insurers could face official scrutiny of the criteria they use to determine who is eligible for addiction treatment. These are among the 36 recommendations released this week by the state panel charged by the governor with generating recommendations … 0

Monson man charged in railroad copper theft

Friday, May 16, 2014

CHARLEMONT — One man died and another faces trial after the two allegedly stole copper wire from the railroad. Duane Pierce Jr., 30, of Monson pleaded innocent to charges of malicious injury to railroad property, larceny over $250, receiving stolen property over $250, malicious destruction of property over … 0

G-M nurses to get Narcan

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — Following a vote Tuesday night by the School Committee, the heroin and pill overdose antidote Narcan will join the epinephrine and defibrillators in the life-saving toolkit in the Gill-Montague Regional School District. Turners Falls High … 0

2 arrested en route to alleged heroin handoff

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WHATELY — A Springfield man and a Holyoke woman face heroin dealing charges after their rental car was stopped by police. The pair was pulled over on Routes 5 and 10 near Christian Lane after state police spotted … 0

Mass. Senate approves addiction bill

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The state Senate has unanimously approved a bill that increases opportunities for long-term addiction recovery help. The bill, which now goes to the House of Representatives, supports a continuum of care for addicts and removes barriers to treatment … 0