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Clarksburg Rollover Injures One

Staff Reports
iBerkshires

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A single-car accident injured at least one person and closed the River Road (Route 8) just north south of Town Hall shortly after 3:30 p.m.

A late-model silver Hyundai sedan was believed to be southbound when it veered and hit the soft shoulder of the road on the east side and flipped. Police were still investigating the accident and could not confirm the sequence of events.

The windshield was removed to allow emergency responders to get to the driver, a woman. The driver was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital with unknown injuries; the only other occupant, an underage boy, did not appear to be injured.

Clarksburg Police and Fire responded to the scene, as did North Adams Police and Fire and North Adams Ambulance Service.

The highway was reopened at 4:31 p.m.
 

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Clarksburg Crash Takes Fatal Turn

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A local woman airlifted to Albany, N.Y., Medical Center after a two-vehicle accident Thursday morning died of her injuries that night.

Nancy Carpenter, 61, of North Adams was a longtime educator in the North Adams Public School System.

Police said Carpenter appeared to be making right from North Eagle into the eastbound lane of West Cross Road at 11:40 a.m. on Thursday when she collided with a westbound pickup truck operated by Jennifer Lefevre of Stamford, Vt.

Both Clarksburg and North Adams fire departments responded to the scene and North Adams firefighters used the Jaws of Life to remove Carpenter from her vehicle.

Carpenter was Life-Flighted to Albany and Lefevre was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital where she was treated and released. A number of ambulances responded to the scene, including North Adams Ambulance.

Police Chief Michael Williams said the state police accident reconstruction was called to the scene. "Because of the extent of the accident, we determined to cover all the bases," he said.

Police say it appeared that Carpenter did not stop at the stop sign at the top of North Eagle but it was unclear how her car swung into the truck's path. According to the passenger in Carpenter's car, they were on their way to Stamford. The passenger was also treated and released from NARH.

Reports of a third car involved were incorrect. Williams said a car was stopped at the stop sign at the bottom of West Road, across from North Eagle Street. Both Carpenter's car and the pickup ended up in front of it, which may have been why the initial report was for three vehicles.

The accident remains under investigation.

Updated on Aug. 5, 2012, rewrite of lede, headline to reflect fatality.

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School Union Ex-Workers Charged With Embezzlement

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two former Northern Berkshire School Union employees were charged on Monday with making nearly $30,000 in unauthorized purchases with the union's credit cards.

Carol Fryc, 71, of North Adams and Donna Burdick, 57, of Florida, were both arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court after a state police investigation revealed $29,631 worth of unauthorized purchases. They are being charged with single counts of larceny over $250.

The two worked in the small school union office in North Adams; the school union includes Clarksburg, Florida and Savoy schools.

According to court documents, Fryc, the school union's business manager, used the credit cards for an array of purchases — from veterinarian bills to digital cameras to candy for the office — at both Staples and WalMart. Some of the purchases were work-related but "unauthorized" while others were for personal use. Burdick allegedly used the credit cards for purchases from Staples.

The charges date back to 2004 — and some $8,000 is still questioned — but wasn't discovered until last fall when then Clarksburg Selectwoman Debra LeFave suspected that invoices were being forged. The School Union Superintendent Jonathan Lev filed a police response and both women were fired.

The largest unauthorized expenditures came from gift cards. More than $12,000 of the purchases were for Staples gift cards, which were later used for various purchases.
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'Bottle Bomb' Found Along Clarksburg Road

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A bomb squad technician removed a suspicious bottle of chemicals Wednesday morning from Middle Road.

"It's something kids usually mess around with," Police Chief Michael Williams said. "They put household chemicals in a bottle, it expands until it breaks but [this one] probably vented before it broke."

Williams said the plastic bottle was discovered by a homeowner off the side of the road on her property. "She thought it was trash but somebody told her to call the police ... there was something inside it that looked funny."

It appeared that a household chemical had been mixed into the bottle with an element to cause a reaction. He said they're not uncommon and he had run across one in the past that had burst.

The bomb squad was contacted and a technician came up to make sure it was safe. "He packaged it up and removed it," said Williams. "We didn't want anyone to get hurt."

The so-called "works bombs" or bottle bombs are easy to make and cause a bang when they blow up. The device is dangerous to the individuals mixing the chemicals but could cause serious injuries if someone was holding it or near it when it burst.

The bottle was apparently tossed or dropped by the road sometime during the night or early morning. There was no indication anyone was being targeted.

However, a works bomb would classify it as an "infernal device," said Williams, and that could mean up to 15 years in prison for possession.

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Chimney Fire Displaces Five Clarksburg Residents

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

The fire started n the chimney and expanded into roof.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Five people are displaced after a fire significantly damaged a portion of their River Road home early Tuesday morning.

Firefighters responded to the home owned by Britni Maxwell at 540 River Rd. for a report of a chimney fire at about 12:30 a.m.

The 911 call was placed by Maxwell's cousin after the two women and three children escaped the home. There were no injuries.

The cell phone call had to be initially redirected and by the time they arrived, the blaze had expanded into a structure fire in the roof.

However, firefighters were able to get the flames under control within 15 minutes, according to Fire Chief Carlyle "Chip" Chesbro. Firefighters remained on scene until about 4 a.m.

"The fire was burning alongside the chimney at the roof line," Chesbro said Tuesday afternoon. "Once the trucks got there, we were able to knock it down quickly."

The Fire Department attacked the flames from the inside while mutual aid from Stamford, Vt., assisted from the outside and supplied water. The North Adams Fire Department was on standby.

"The chimney caused the fire. It was in disrepair. But luckily it was external," Chesbro said and added that it is important for residents to keep a close eye on the condition of their chimneys.

The roof to that section of the house was severely damaged and by Tuesday afternoon family friends had already put a tarp over it to protect it. A larger section of the home was undamaged.

The house is insured but it is unclear when the family will be able to move back in. They are currently staying with family.

Chesbro said that once the damaged section is boarded up and utilities are secured, they "should be able to live in it."
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