NORTHAMPTON:

New task force to aid in major-crime probes

A new anti-crime task force is being set up in western Massachusetts to help police collaborate to investigate major crimes.

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan said creation of the task force will enhance the investigative capabilities of the Massachusetts State Police Narcotics Unit attached to his office by having a centralized group of detectives from throughout the region to help with search warrants, undercover operations, and obtaining audio and video surveillance required for successful prosecutions.

The Franklin and Hampshire sheriff's departments and police departments for Greenfield, Montague, Amherst, Athol and Northampton will contribute an officer or detective for up to 25 hours each week to the task force.

Sullivan's office, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments and law enforcement partners recently received a grant of $81,300 for the new task force.

LOWELL:

Sen. Warren to visit UMass campus today

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is planning a visit to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Today's visit is the first for the Massachusetts Democrat to the university since she participated in a debate there last October during the U.S. Senate race.

This time, Warren will tour the university as an elected official instead of a candidate.

UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan, students, faculty and staff are planning to attend the event where they're expected to hear an update from Warren on her work as the state's senior senator.


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Warren's tour will include a visit to the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, which operates an incubator for medical-device startups on the UMass Lowell campus.

PLAINVILLE:

Gaming panel's rep to weigh in on slots

A representative from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is heading to Foxborough to talk about whether slot machines should be allowed at a horse track in neighboring Plainville.

John Ziemba, the gaming commission's ombudsman, was invited to come to the Foxborough Board of Selectmen to summarize the review and permitting process and answer questions, according to The Boston Globe.

The slots license is expected to be issued by year's end and full casino licenses for the Boston area, Western Massachusetts and Southeastern Massachusetts are expected to be issued starting next February.

Raynham Park, a former greyhound-racing track, has partnered with Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment to also seek a slots permit. 

 -- The Associated Press