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No Serious Injuries in Hoosac Valley Bus, Tractor-Trailer Accident

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — No major injuries were reported after emergency services responded to an accident involving a school bus and a tractor-trailer truck on Route 116 on Wednesday morning 
 
"Essentially it was what it was but it could have been a lot worse," Police Chief Richard Tarsa said. "It had the potential to be much worse than it was."
 
Tarsa said a little after 7 a.m. a tractor-trailer truck, traveling north on Orchard Street toward Adams, lost control of the trailer section of the vehicle.
 
He said because of icy road conditions, the trailer jackknifed across the road.  The trailer was empty so it had less traction than it would have had if it was full. The left rear of the trailer hit the left front fender of a school bus that was heading to Hoosac Valley High School.
 
"The lack of weight in the back of it made it very light and when on the icy road, it caused it to kick out sideways," Tarsa said. "As it did, the bus driver saw it and tried to make an evasive move by pulling and extreme right going up onto the sidewalk."
 
Emergency services, Hoosac Valley administration, a school adjustment counselor, representatives from Dufour Bus and members of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Safety Team, were on the scene soon after the accident.
 
Tarsa said the bus was carrying 31 people, including the driver. One person complaining of pain was transported to the North Adams Campus of Berkshire Medical Center.
 
All students were checked for injuries and were transported to school on a second bus, according to interim Superintendent Robert Putnam. All parents were informed by the school and some students went home and school emergency personnel were available for students throughout the day.
 
He added that there was also a robocall informing all Hoosac Valley parents. 
 
Tarsa said the bus had to be towed away but the tractor trailer truck was operable.
 
Emergency personnel was also on staff at C.T. Plunkett Elementary to deal with possible shock. Some Plunkett students waiting for the bus Wednesday morning near the accident saw the damage.
 
Tarsa said the safety team was created to deal these kinds of incidents and is comprised of members from the Adams and Cheshire police and fire departments, Adams Ambulance Service, state troopers, Dufour Bus, and school administration who meet regularly to anticipate and train for emergency situations and to conduct student drills.
 
"It went very well and everything went to plan," he said. "We train for this through event training, crisis management, and school drills. Everything went accordingly and fell into place." 
 
He said after the safety team met to review their response to see what lessons could be learned for future responses.
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Multiple Towns Battle Blaze in Pittsfield Apartment Building

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Lenox, Adams, and Williamstown sent ladder trucks to the scene.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Multiple towns joined Pittsfield Fire early Sunday morning to combat a blaze in a multi-family building on Dalton Avenue.
 
Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said a family of five was taken to Berkshire Medical Center for smoke inhalation during the blaze which completely destroyed the apartment building.
 
The chief said the department received the call to respond to 8 Dalton Avenue at 3:30 in the morning as flames shot out of the building.
 
"On arrival fire was showing and people were evacuated from the building. We believe everyone is out of the building and safe. Some of the families were transported to Berkshire Medical Center for smoke inhalation," Czerwinski said. 
 
Czerwinski didn't know exactly how many people lived in the building but it features four apartments on the upper floors and office space on the ground level.
 
Three Berkshire County towns ended up being called in to bring ladder trucks because the city still remains without one. The city's primary truck has been in the shop for repairs and the reserve was taken out of service.
 
"We obviously didn't have our ladder truck. It wasn't a problem offhand but as the fire escalated we did call in multiple ladder trucks from Lenox, number one, Williamstown, number two, and Adams, number three, because of the ice on the street. We couldn't throw ground ladders up," Czerwinski said. 
 
"It was unsafe to operate off of ground ladders so we had multiple aerial ladders. The roof was collapsed. The third flood collapsed."
 
The chief expects his ladder truck to return to the department after repairs this upcoming week and the City Council has approved the purchase of a used, 2014, ladder truck as well. 
 
Fire investigators have not yet determined a cause. As of 8 a.m. firefighters were continuing to snuff out the last of the remaining fire.
 
Hinsdale was on scene to provide rehabilitation service as the temperatures were below freezing. Both Action Ambulance and County Ambulance were on scene throughout providing assistance. The Red Cross was on hand as well.
 
The cold weather was a particular factor in trying to get equipment stabilized to fight the fire. 
 
"The ice and cold. Obviously the streets are pretty well frozen up. City yard came out with a sander and tried to get the sand down as best as we can. The problem with that is until we can get down to the pavement, the ladder trucks will slide around on the ice. That's why it was important to get the sanders here early," Czerwinski said.
 
A portion of Dalton Avenue and Tyler Street was closed for hours and Czerwinski expected that to remain until the afternoon. 
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Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 9 - Jan. 12

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Jan. 9.
 
John Smith, 52, of Hinsdale pleaded guilty to three counts of larceny of a firearm, and single counts of unarmed burglary, breaking and entering in the nighttime, larceny over $250, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
 
He was ordered to serve 18 months of a two and a half year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on all charges except for unarmed burglary. He was placed on three years probation on that charge.
 
The charges stem from a housebreak in Pittsfield on May 28, 2012.
 
Richard Martel, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
 
He was ordered to serve four to six years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.
 
The incident occurred in Pittsfield on February 29, 2016 and involved a 37-year-old woman. Single counts of armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a pregnant victim were dismissed by the state.
 
Jennifer Martin, 26, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking a person for sexual servitude and conspiracy to traffick a person for sexual servitude.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from an incident in Berkshire County involving a 19-year-old woman on October 20, 2016.
 
Thomas Nelson, 31, of Williamstown had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of enticing a child under the age of 16, and disseminating harmful matter to a minor.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The incidents allegedly occurred in Williamstown between April 1, 2016 and August 11, 2016 and involved a 13-year-old girl.
 
Manuel Pryjma, 27, of Great Barrington had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of rape.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Pryjma is accused of assaulting a 21-year-old woman in Great Barrington on July 23, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
 
Lauriano Maysonet, 34, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of kidnapping, armed robbery while masked, larceny over $250, intimidation of a witness or other person, and fraudulent use of a credit card.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on December 12, 2016 and involved a 52-year-old woman.
 
Joseph Loftus, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of kidnapping, armed robbery while masked, larceny over $250, intimidation of a witness or other person, and fraudulent use of a credit card.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on December 12, 2016 and involved a 52-year-old woman.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Jan. 12.
 
Shaun Morton, 46, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, drug violation in a park zone, and possession of Suboxone.
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half to three years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute charge. He was given two and a half years to be served on and after the first on the park zone charge. He was given a concurrent one-day sentence on the other charge. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on June 11, 2015.
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Superior Court Briefs: Dec. 28

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
 
Sharareh Cordero, 27, of Pittsfield had a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws continued without a finding for one year.
 
The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at her West Street home on March 22, 2016. Single counts of possession of phencyclidine and reckless endangerment of a child were dismissed by the state.
 
Charles Robinson, 43, of Peekskill, N.Y. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three count of trafficking a person for sexual servitude, and single counts of deriving support from prostitution, and conspiracy to traffick a person for sexual servitude.
 
He was ordered to be held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem form incidents in Berkshire County involving women, ages 18 and 23, between October 20, 2016 and October 28, 2016. 
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Former Pittsfield Officer Coco Now Facing Larceny, Identity Theft Charges

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Pittsfield Patrol Police Union President Jeffrey Coco pleaded not guilty to two counts of larceny and a single count of identity theft.
 
Coco entered those pleas in Berkshire Superior Court on Wednesday. Judge Daniel Ford released him on personal recognizance.
 
Coco is accused of taking more than $200,000 between January 2008 and July 2015 from the union when he served in various roles including treasurer. The district attorney's office now says he created a false document to get access to the funds.
 
He had already been charged with embezzlement after allegedly making cash withdrawals and writing checks from the union account into his or his wife's name. An internal investigation later led to his firing from the Police Department for misconduct. 
 
The issue dates back to July 2015 when the International Brotherhood of Police Officers in Springfield notified Police Chief Michael Wynn and former Mayor Daniel Bianchi about the accounts. Coco was then put on administrative leave and the internal investigation began. A few months later, he was fired. 
 
The district attorney's office concurrently launched its own investigation and in March Coco was arrested and charged with embezzlement. 
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Page 11 of 220... 6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16 ... 220  
News Headlines
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Williamstown Planning Board Candidates Participate in Forum
Adams-Cheshire Weighs Emergency Amendment for Cheshire School
Mount Greylock School Looking For Regionalization Vote This Fall
North Adams Eyes Tax Title Sales For Tax Relief, Engineering
Compass Rose to Be Painted at North Adams Airport In May
Muraca Buys Nuclea Assets, Starts New Company
BCC Students to be Inducted Into National Honor Society
Local Schools Receive Olmsted Awards from Williams College

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