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Region Roundup: Stoughton Man Dies in Fire, Oliver Ames Senior Passes Away Suddenly, Canton Broker Arrested on Drug Charges & More

A look at what is happening around the region this past week.

Stoughton College Student Dies in Amherst Apartment Fire

Jake Hoffman, 21, of Stoughton, was identified as the UMass Amherst college student who died in an early morning fire in an off-campus apartment building in Amherst Jan. 21.

Hoffman, a 2009 graduate of Stoughton High School, was in his senior year at the UMass Amherst, studying Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Fire crews responded to a three-alarm fire at the Rolling Green apartment complex in Amherst around 4:45 a.m. on Monday. The fire, which caused severe damage to the building, displaced 32 people, 22 of whom are students at UMass, according to The Republican of Springfield.

Hoffman was the only reported fatality. The State Fire Marshal's Office said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the fire is believed to have started in the unit where Hoffman was found.

Click here to read an in memoriam column.   

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Oliver Ames Senior Passes Away Suddenly

The Oliver Ames High School community is mourning the death of a student.

Devin Ness, a senior at the high school, tragically died Friday morning.

Ness, who was a captain for the Oliver Ames wrestling team, suddenly became sick last night, according to OA athletic director Bill Matthews. He was taken to the hospital where he passed away.

"He did die of an aneurysm," Oliver Ames Principal Wes Paul said. "He was dog sitting for his cousins in West Bridgewater. He didn’t feel well and next thing you know he wasn’t doing well at all and they called an ambulance. He went to the hospital. He got brought to Boston Medical and he was pronounced dead this morning around 9:30. That’s unfortunately what happens with an aneurysm – they just come out of nowhere."

Read more by clicking here.

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Waxy O’Connor’s Liquor License Suspended 16 Days for 4th Violation

Despite four liquor license violations in less than two years, Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen agreed Tuesday to a settlement that would allow Waxy O’Connor’s to continue its business in town – but not without penalty.

As part of the settlement agreement, Waxy’s liquor license has been suspended 16 days, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 23 and lasting through Thursday, Feb. 7. The suspension includes no alcohol service on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3).

In addition to the suspension, the Main Street pub will also gift the town $2,000 in legal fees and $8,000 in police/public safety training.

The pub failed a compliance check administered by Foxborough police on Sept. 27, 2012 when a bartender served a 19-year-old female operative a beer at the bar.

Read more by clicking here.

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Canton Mortgage Broker Arrested for Alleged Drug Violations

Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s Drug Task Force, along with Canton and Stoughton detectives, seized close to 70 pounds of alleged marijuana and $110,000 in possible drug proceeds – arresting four, including a mortgage broker from Canton. William H. Newman, age 32, of Canton pled not guilty Wednesday, Jan. 23, at his Stoughton District Court arraignment to trafficking in marijuana and conspiracy to violate the drug law. Assistant District Attorney Michael C. Connolly asked that Newman successfully argued for $50,000 cash bail. He is due back Feb. 12 for pre-trial conference. Newman’s occupation was given as Mortgage Broker at Newman Financial Group in Canton.

Read more by clicking here.

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Mansfield Family Receives National Attention After Photo Goes Viral

When the children of Mansfield resident Ryan Cordell asked if they could get a new puppy on the condition that a picture of them on Facebook asking for one got a million likes, he didn’t expect that it would only take 13 hours to reach that goal.

The photo, which says “Hi world, we want a puppy! Our dad said we could get one of we get 1 million likes!” has been liked almost 1.7 million times on Facebook as of the evening of January 18. The popularity of the photo has turned the story into an internet sensation and has even caught the attention of the national media.

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