(WWLP) – As the year comes to an end, here is a look at the Top 20 stories with the most page views on WWLP.com in 2018.
Eight-month-old Lily Torres died in late July after she was allegedly beaten by her father, Daniel Torres. The infant was intially place on life support after she was taken to the hospital, but died as a result of her injuries. Daniel initially changed his story several times, but later admitted to hitting his daughter out of frustration. Daniel is facing several charges in connection with the baby’s death.
446 people were arrested in Holyoke during the month of June. The arrests were made as part of the Holyoke Police Department’s Operation Full Throttle IV, which cracks down on crime in the city. In addition to the arrests, police seized 2,200 bags of heroin, nearly half a kilogram of powdered cocaine, 129 bags of powdered cocaine, 502 bags of crack cocaine, six handguns, two rifles, $11,000 in cash, and other items.
Eight Massachusetts state police troopers were arrested during 2018 in connection with the overtime abuse scandal. Governor Charlie Baker and Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Kerry Gilpin announced the scandal in April. Nineteen troopers were initially said to investigated for the accusations, including 9 of whom were suspected without pay. Since then Troop E has been eliminated and several troopers have pleaded guilty in connection with the scandal.
In June, 7 women were arrested in Springfield as part of the city’s effort to try to stop prostitution in the area of School, High, Maple, and Temple Streets. The investigation into prostitution in the area were a result of community concerns in the Springfield Police C3 meetings.
It was announced in March that the iconic Hu Ke Lau restaurant in Chicopee would be torn down and rebuilt. After more than 50 years of business the restaurant closed in April and demolition of the building began in December.
In late September 13 men were arrested after they allegedly solicited prostitution in Springfield. The arrests were made as part of the city’s effort to continue to crack down on prostitution solicitation.
In September it was announced multi-million dollar water park resort-spa and sports complex will be built in Palmer. The project is planned on a 250-acre area of land off of the Palmer exit on the Mass Pike. A spokesperson for the project said the resort is expected to draw millions of visitors and add about 2,000 jobs to the local economy.
Five people were arrested after 30,000 bags of heroin and nearly hafl a kil of raw heroin were seized in Hampden County in May. The arrests were made after an investigation into heroin trafficking in the county.
An accident on the Mass Pike in Brimfield involving several big rigs shut down the eastbound side highway for several hours. The closure caused traffic and backups as crews worked to clear the trucks from the road.
An officer with the Pittsfield Police Department went viral on Facebook after he posted a video of him participating in the “Lip Sync Challenge.” The video reached over 785,000 views with over 16,500 shares.
Human remains found in March in Hatfield were identified as 39-year-old Joanne Ringer. The Clarksburg woman went missing in March of 2017 and her car was found days later in Easthampton. Her husband, 42-year-old Charles Reidy of Clarksburg, who committed suicide in April 0of 2017 is considered the prime suspect in her death.
Months of delays kept recreational marijuana shops across the state from opening. The shops were estimated to open on July 1, but the Cannabis Control Commission took longer than expected to approve an independent testing lab. The delay is said to have cost the state quite a bit in sales tax. The first two recreational marijuana shops opened in November, four months after they were originally set to open.
In June, the Hampden County DA announced 11 people were arrested after 6,700 bags of heroin, $48,000 in cash, and three loaded firearms were seized as part of a months-long heroin trafficking investigation.
Stewart Weldon was arrested in early June after the bodies of three women were found at his home on 1333 Page Boulevard in Springfield. The women were identified by the Hampden County DA as 47-year-old Ernestine Ryans of Springfield, 34-year-old American Lyden of Springfield, and 27-year-old Kayla Escalante of Ludlow. More than two months after his arrest in August, the DA announced the indictment of 52 charges, including triple murder, for Weldon.
One woman and a 7-year-old girl were killed in a November accident on Page Boulevard in Springfield. The two were killed and three-year-old child was also seriously injured when the car they were in collided with a tractor trailer.
MGM Springfield officially opened its doors for business at the end of August! A procession with the Budweiser Clydesdales and other entertainment made its way through downtown Springfield before the grand opening of the casino. People traveled to Springfield from all over Massachusetts, Connecticut, and even New York to be the first to visit the casino.
In honor of New England’s cold weather and car troubles, Friendly’s made a limited edition flavor called “Nor-eastern Pothole.” The flavor was made up of chocolate ice cream, fudge swirl, crushed chocolate cream cookies, and chocolate chips.
In January, a line-painting project on I-91 North in Springfield contributed to a deadly accident that involved two tractor trailers and three other cars. The driver of one of the tractor trailers, a man from Connecticut, was killed in the accident and three others were hurt.
In late July, the entire police department in Blandford resigned. The department cited several reason for their resignation including inadequate staffing, poor pay, and
In July state police announced they were looking to find homes for two newly retired police dogs. State police received over 500 inquiries from people wanting to adopt Klauss, a 5-year-old Malinois, and Alex, an 8-year-old German Shepard.