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Early Morning Fire Damages Merriam Street Residence

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A second floor porch of a Merriam Street home sustained extensive damage in an early morning fire on Monday.

The Pittsfield Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 75 Merriam St. at 3 a.m. Monday. Upon arrival, firefighters reported fire showing on the front porch of the second floor apartment but were quickly able to knock it down.

Minor damage was found on the inside of the second floor apartment and the building sustained minor water and smoke damage.

There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

 

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Adams Police Arrest Suspect in Bus Shooting

Staff Reports

There is a heavy police presence on Lime Street between North Summer and PrintWorks Drive.

Update at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, March 5:

According to a statement from the Adams Police Department, Bailey Hisert, 20, of Adams was arrested Friday for shooting out windows on two buses.

He was charged with single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property over $250 and disorderly conduct. He is further facing three counts of assault with the dangerous weapon.

Further charges may be pending. The investigation is still continuing at this time. Hisert is currently being held on $25,000 dollars bail.

Police say reports that two buses were possibly shot out were received at 2:22 p.m. on Friday. The reports indicated that a window on each bus had been shattered and a "popping noise" was heard upon impact.

Officers were deployed to the area, which was contained and isolated. During the investigation it was quickly determined that a firearm was not involved and that the damage sustained was caused by a BB or pellet gun.

According to the report, "there were no involved parties injured. The incident was isolated to one specific location. Because of the fact that the area in question was quickly isolated with all traffic being rerouted, it did not present any danger to the other buses, vehicle traffic or neighborhood residents. The quick containment of the area allowed the proper busing of students to continue. At no time were any other buses in harm's way and as stated this was an isolated incident which was quickly contained."

The Adams Police Department was assisted by the North Adams Police Department and its director, state police and Crime Scene Services, members assigned to the Berkshire County Special Response Team, the Adams Ambulance Service, the North Adams Ambulance Service and representatives from DuFour Bus Co.


Update at 5:27 p.m.: Police Chief Richard Tarsa said the weapon used was a BB gun and that the suspect, whom he did not identify, had turned himself in.

"Two school buses that were on their routes were struck by an object that was found to be a projectile from a BB gun," he said. "We have one [person] in custody and the suspect admitted to it so we're very confident we know what happened."

The police chief said the incident is still under investigation even though a suspect is in custody.

"It's still a fluid scene," he said, adding that further information will be available on Saturday.

"The most important thing is no one got hurt."

Responders included the special reaction team, or SRT, which brought heavy equipment and includes representatives from local police departments. Also at the scene was North Adams Police Director Michael Cozzaglio and state police, as well as North Adams Ambulance.

Update at 5:11 p.m.: Adams Police have confirmed that an individual has been arrested in relation to the bus incident.

There were two buses involved but no one was injured.

(Update later Friday evening) One bus was from St. Stanislaus Kostka School on Summer Street. Principal Linda Reardon said in an email that parents were contacted and there were no children on the bus at the time. Children who live in the Lime Street area were picked up by parents; other children who would have taken that bus were either picked up by parents or taken home on a different bus.

The other bus had completed dropping off Hoosac Valley High students, according Adams-Cheshire Superintendent Kristen Gordon. The only occupants were the bus driver and the driver's child at the time of the incident.


ADAMS, Mass. — The area around Lime Street and North Summer is being limited to traffic after the report of a suspected shooting, possibly a BB gun, at a school bus.

It does not appear there were any injuries.

The incident reportedly happened shortly after 3 p.m., according to a parent whose child was on the bus. The bus is believed to have immediately returned the school.

Police have not confirmed that report but have stationed law enforcement, including Pittsfield Police and members of the Berkshire County sheriff's department, and emergency responders in the area.

A source at the scene said the incident was weapons related but there is no currently active shooter.

Heavily armed police are searching the neighborhood.

A resident of North Summer Street posted on Facebook that police and a K9 unit have that street blocked and told a neighbor to back into the house because the area is not safe.

A command post has been set up at the east end of Lime Street near Print Works Drive.

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2nd Man Charged With Murder in 2014 Big Y Parking Lot Shooting

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man has man is facing murder charges related to the shooting of a Goshen man in 2014.
 
Laquan Johnson, 20, was arraigned on single counts of murder, armed assault with intent to rob, and illegal possession of a firearm. He had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf and was ordered by Judge Paul Smyth to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
 
Johnson is accused of shooting Anthony Gamache, 29, of Goshen on Nov. 18, 2014. Gamache died the following day at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. 
 
Dr. Henry Nields, the chief medical examiner for the state, said Gamache died because of a blood clot caused by a gunshot wound to the leg. 
 
According to reports at the time, Gamache was with friends in the Big Y parking lot waiting for an alleged drug deal when he was shot. He was driven to Cooley Dickinson and the transferred to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. After returning home, Gamache felt pain in his leg and was transported back to Cooley Dickinson, where he died.
 
Peter Campbell, who was then 18, was arrested shortly after the shooting and charged with second-degree murder, two counts of armed assault with intent to rob, and single counts of possession of a handgun during the commission of a felony and illegal possession of a firearm. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the charges that December.
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Williamstown, Vermont Police Searching for Robbery Suspect

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Staff

Vermont law enforcement were at the Stewarts Shop in Pownal after a robbery there on Saturday night.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Multiple police agencies from two states Saturday night were investigating back-to-back armed robberies in Williamstown and Pownal, Vt.

At 8:22 p.m., a masked man entered the Spirit Shop at 280 Cole Ave., brandishing a handgun and demanding the clerk open the cash register, Williamstown Police reported in a news release.

After a brief argument, the armed man fled the store without acquiring any merchandise or money.

About two hours later, a similar incident occurred at the Stewarts Shop convenience store in Pownal, Vt., about a quarter mile north of the state line.

In that case, at about the 10:20 p.m., the suspected entered with a black handgun and demanded money from the store employees. Vermont State Police say he "fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of money."

No store personnel were injured in either incident.

Williamstown Police worked with Massachusetts State Police, North Adams Police and K-9 units from North Adams and Dalton in the Cole Avenue incident. At the Stewarts Shop, Vermont State Police and the Bennington County Sheriff were assisted by police from Williamstown and North Adams.

Police described the suspect as a thin white male, 5-foot-11 to 6-foot, in his mid 30s and wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt, black gloves, dark cargo pants and a camouflage hat and with a camouflage mask covering the majority of his face.

Police are asking anyone with information about either incident to call Sgt. Scot McGowan of the Williamstown Police Department at 413-458-5733 or the Vermont State Police barracks in Shaftsbury at 802-442-5421.

Updated with information from Vermont State Police.

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North Adams Police Arrest Two Local Men on Drug Charges

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — On Wednesday Feb. 24, detectives and officers of the North Adams Police Department conducted a probable cause motor vehicle stop on a white 2012 Honda Ridgeline bearing Massachusetts registration #154VW5.

The vehicle was stopped based on a several month investigation conducted by Detectives into the distribution of illegal narcotics in the North Adams area. The motor vehicle stop resulted in the seizure of heroin, crack cocaine, and prescription medication all pre-packaged for sale and distribution.

The operator, Matthew Schilling, and the passenger, Scott Kastner, were both arrested by the North Adams Police Department. Schilling was charged with Possession of a Class A substance (heroin) with intent to distribute, Possession of a Class B substance (crack cocaine) with intent to distribute, and Possession of a Class C substance (Diazepam and Lorazepam) with intent to distribute.

Kastner was charged with Possession of a Class B substance (cocaine).

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News Headlines
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