Top 20 local stories on in 2018


(WWLP) –  As the year comes to an end, here is a look at the Top 20 stories with the most page views on in 2018.

20. Westfield infant dies after father allegedly beat her

22 News at 7 a.m.

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.

19. 446 arrested as result of month-long Operation Full Throttle IV in Holyoke

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. 

18. 8 Massachusetts State Police troopers arrested in connection with overtime scandal

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.

17. 7 women arrested on prostitution charges in Springfield

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. 

16. Hu Ke Lau announced changes being made to Chicopee location

22 News at 5:30 a.m.

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. 

15. 13 men arrested for soliciting prostitution in Springfield

Springfield police arrested more than a dozen men on Wednesday as they continue to crack down on soliciting prostitution in the city.

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. 

14. $650 million water park resort-spa and sports complex announced for Palmer

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.

13. 30,000+ bags, half kilo of raw heroin seized in Hampden County

Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced during a news conference Wednesday  that five people were arrested and charged in connection with the investigation:

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. 

12. Multi tractor trailer accident shuts down I-90 in Brimfield for several hours

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.

11. Pittsfield Police Officer participates in viral lip sync challenge

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.

10. Human remains found in Hatfield identified as Joanne Ringer

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. 

9. Dispensaries still waiting to sell recreational marijuana

22 News at 6 a.m.

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. 

8. Hampden DA: 6,700 bags of heroin, $48K seized in drug trafficking investigation

Eleven suspects were arrested as a result of the investigation into heroin trafficking.

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. 

7. Stewart Weldon indicted on 52 charges after bodies of 3 women found in his home

22 News at 5 a.m.

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. 

6. Woman, child killed in Page Blvd. accident

The woman injured in Tuesday's accident on Page Boulevard in Springfield has died.

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.

5. MGM Springfield’s Opening Day procession

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. 

4. Friendly’s introduces “Nor’easter Pothole” ice cream flavor

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.

3.Truck driver killed in I-91 crash identified by Massachusetts State Police

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. 

2. Entire Blandford Police Departments resigns, effective immediately 

The town was faced with a similar situation in 2013, when the fire department resigned. 

In late July, the entire police department in Blandford resigned. The department cited several reason for their resignation including inadequate staffing, poor pay, and 

1. Two retired state police dogs looking for homes

If you're looking for a dog that comes fully trained and is incredibly obedient, Massachusetts State Police have just the dog for you!

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.

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