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Addiction in Franklin County

Armed robber sentenced to 2½ to 3 years in state prison

Friday, January 16, 2015

GREENFIELD — A Bernardston man will spend up to a year in state prison for each of the three stores he robbed at gunpoint. Dylan Wickline, 19, pleaded guilty in Franklin Superior Court Friday to three counts of armed robbery. Charges of assault with a dangerous weapon were dropped. He was sentenced by Judge Edward McDonough Jr. to 2½ to … 0

Heroin, opioid abuse at center of AG-elect’s agenda

Monday, January 5, 2015

GREENFIELD — A local group focused on fighting the heroin and prescription painkiller problem hopes the incoming attorney general’s recently announced plans will help combat drug abuse. Monday, AG-elect Maura Healey announced a multi-pronged plan to fight the state’s opioid addiction epidemic, and leaders of the county’s Opioid Task Force were glad to hear it. “Those of us who watch this crisis harm … 0

Heroin dealer sent to state prison

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GREENFIELD — A Westfield man caught with nearly 1,000 bags of heroin was sent to state prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to reduced charges. Antonio Rivera III, 28, also known as “Gizmo,” pleaded guilty in Franklin Superior Court to a single charge of possession of heroin with intent to distribute. He was sentenced by Judge John Agostini to 2 years to 2 years … 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

Prescribers sign on to opiate-monitoring pledge

Sunday, May 11, 2014

As of late last week, 57 Franklin County doctors, nurse practitioners and other prescribers had signed a pledge to minimize the danger of opioid painkillers. The pledge is a short list of best practices worked up by the health care subcommittee of the Opioid Education and Awareness Task … 0