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Region Roundup: Stoughton, Easton Mourn Losses of Young Residents; Epstein Stalker (And More)

A look at what is happening around the region this 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 Dies of Aneurysm

The Oliver Ames High School community is mourning the death of senior Devin Ness, who tragically died Friday morning of an aneurysm.

Ness, who was a captain for the Oliver Ames wrestling team, suddenly became sick Thursday night, according to OA athletic director Bill Matthews. He was taken to the hospital where he passed away Jan. 25.

"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 [Friday] morning around 9:30. That’s unfortunately what happens with an aneurysm – they just come out of nowhere," Oliver Ames Principal Wes Paul said.

Click here to read more.

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A Canton woman who had to be removed from the Holy Name School in West Roxbury after showing up unannounced is also a suspect in stalking former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein.

Kathleen Kearney, 45, of Canton, was charged last summer with felony stalking and criminal trespass after she allegedly flew from Boston to Chicago to look for Epstein at his home and at Wrigley Field, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Kearney allegedly showed up unannounced at the West Roxbury school earlier this month to discuss a volunteer librarian position. At some point she wandered off into the building, and school officials called 911 for Boston Police and medical help. She was found shortly after and no students were ever in danger.

Click here to read more.

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Stoughton Police Assist Norfolk County DA in Making Local Drug Bust

State Police detectives assigned to Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s Drug Task Force, working with Canton and Stoughton Police detectives, have seized as much as 70 pounds of alleged marijuana and $110,000 in possible drug proceeds – arresting four, Morrissey announced.

Click here to read more.

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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.

Click here to read more.

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