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Accused Great Barrington Arsonist Committed To Mental Health Facility
Staff Reports On: 03:54PM / Friday January 04, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man who had set eight buildings and three motor vehicles in downtown Great Barrington was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

David Pixley Sr., 63, of Great Barrington was found not guilty by reason of criminal responsibility in Franklin Superior Court Friday on eight counts of attempting to burn a building, motor vehicle, structure or personal property and single counts of burning a dwelling house and burning a building.

Judge John Agostini allowed the state a motion to commit Pixley to a mental health facility.

Pixley was charged in connection of a June, 2011 arson spree when he allegedly set fire to Barrington Outfitters on Main Street and Lee Bank. He allegedly targeted the Shopper's Guide, Foster's Hardware, Toole Insurance Agency, Berkshire Block, Gypsy Joynt and the Tune Street building on Railroad Street with combustibles and flammable liquids but those were not lit on fire. Three vehicles in the Foster's parking lot had flammable liquid applied to them but were not burned.

The spree led police in search of a man wearing a dark-colored poncho and black North Face winter gloves. The next morning, Pixley was arrested after finding him in the T.D. Bank parking lot, allegedly trying to set yet another fire. He then fled the scene and was arrested at his home.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Great Barrington Police Department, the Office of the state Fire Marshal, Station Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.



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Superior Court Briefs: January 3
Staff Reports On: 03:36PM / Friday January 04, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, January 3.

Timothy Lewis, 36, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to three counts of drug violation in a school zone, two counts of distribution of cocaine and single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

He was sentenced to serve concurrent two to three year sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the drug and conspiracy charges. He was given two and a half to three year state prison sentences to be served on and after the first sentence on the school zone charges.

The incidents occurred in Pittsfield between November 17, 2011 and June 15, 2012.

Lemarr Talley, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The charge was in connection with a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on August 22, 2011. He was sentenced to two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.



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Son of Former Berkshire Anodizing Owner Sentenced For Larceny
Staff Reports On: 01:29PM / Friday January 04, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The son of the former owner of Berkshire Anodizing was sentenced to a year in jail for taking about $160,000 from the company.

Kenneth Sigsbury, 52, of Pownal, Vt. pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court to single counts of making false entries into corporate records and larceny over $250, an ongoing and continuing offense. He was sentenced by Judge Daniel Ford to one year in Berkshire County House of Correction and given one year probation.

The incidents occurred between February 1, 2011 and December 14, 2011.

Sigsbury stayed with the company after his father, Frank Sigsbury, sold the business to Arthur Grodd of Northampton to avoid bankruptcy. Kenneth Sigsbury stayed on because he was well versed in the technical and quality side of the business and that he had sales relationships with many of the company's customers.

The former Modern Aluminum Anodizing in North Adams was rescued from bankruptcy in 2010 with the sale and the jobs of some 40 workers were saved. The sale was heralded by government officials as a second chance for a failing local business.



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Patrick Names Former Pittsfield Solicitor For Judgeship
Staff Reports On: 10:45AM / Friday January 04, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former City Solicitor Michael McCarthy was nominated by the governor Friday as an associate justice of Southern Berkshire District Court.

McCarthy is an associate with the city firm of George, DeGregorio, Massimiano & McCarthy since 1989. Prior to that, he was the city's solicitor for two years, assistant district attorney for five years and an assistant district attorney in Portland, Maine, for one year. He is a graduate of Assumption College and the University of Maine Law School.

McCarthy will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James B. McElroy. He was previously nominated for the post in August 2012.

Secretary of Public Safety Mary Heffernan was also nominated as Circuit Justice.

"I also am pleased to re-nominate Michael J. McCarthy to serve on the bench in Berkshire County. I thank both of these nominees for their commitment to the fair administration of justice and their willingness to serve the Commonwealth in these challenging new roles," Gov. Deval Patrick said in a prepared statement Friday.

Additionally, the governor resubmitted four pending judicial nominations to the Governor's Council in Geraldine S. Hines as an associate justice of the Appeals Court; and Angel Kelly Brown, Brian A. Davis and Robert B. Gordon as associate justices of the Superior Court. The nominees are being resubmitted because the Governor Council’s term ended before they were considered.



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Early Morning Fire Destroys Adams Home
By Andy McKeever On: 08:54AM / Friday January 04, 2013
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No one was home when the fire broke out.

ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters knocked down an early morning structure fire Friday that destroyed a home; no one was injured.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Fire Chief Paul Goyette said later Friday afternoon that the cause was believed to be a faulty light switch.

"The point of origin was at the top of the stairs in the center of the building," said Goyette. "It was a malfunction of a light circut due to, mostly likely, the grounding of the circuit."

The electrical fire had been smoldering for some time before the department was alerted to the by-then fully involved structure fire at 18 Brown St. at 5:30 a.m.

The single-family home is owned by Robert Wadsworth, who was at work at the time.

The house to the east on the residential street had some buckling of its siding because of the heat but other than that no other structures were damaged. "Really, we were fortunate there was not a large wind," said Goyette. "We did get a break in the weather.

The Brown Street house in a total loss and will have to be torn down, he said. The owner has a place to stay for now.

According to Fire Chief Paul Goyette, the department received a call of a well-involved structure fire on Brown Street at about 5:30 a.m.

The homeowner was not home at the time, Goyette said, and no firefighters were injured during the following two hours of fighting the blaze in the frigid temperatures.

Goyette said the department found heavy smoke upon arriving on the scene and prepared to mount an interior attack but just before entering the front door, the roof ignited and firefighters switched to the defensive.

"We were at the front door ready to go but the roof self-ventilated and I'm not going to risk anybody's life for a house," Goyette said, and later added that "it had a good start on us. It was smoldering in the attic until it had enough oxygen to break out."

Police had already identified and contacted the owner, who appears to be the sole occupant and was at work. North Adams Fire Department assisted in laying a hose across Howland Avenue and police closed the main throughway for a brief period of time.

"We have limited water supply down here," Goyette said.

Goyette said there was a hydrant, which worked fine, and the cold weather had "no effect whatsoever" on the department's ability to effectively fight it.

By 8 a.m., firefighters were packing up supplies but some will remain on scene to look for hot spots. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Adams and North Adams ambulance services provided rehab service on the scene and the Cheshire Fire Department covered Adams' station.

Updated 4:50 p.m. with cause an further information from fire chief.



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Letters: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
Adams Board of Health Raises Permitting Fees
Dunkin' Donuts Withdraws Pittsfield Church Demolition Plan
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