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Blaze Destroys North Adams Mobile Home
Staff Reports On: 12:03AM / Monday February 25, 2013
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The entryway to the mobile home in Willow Park was charred and burnt by Friday night's fire.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A city man escaped a blaze Friday night that severely damaged his Mohawk Trail mobile home.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said a motorist driving by Willow Park on the Mohawk Trail shortly before 11 p.m. and saw smoke coming out of trailer No. 9. He was able to alert the occupant, Michael Dargie, and help him out the structure.

"He got him out and then he stayed on the phone talking to dispatch," said Meranti. "He was really helpful."

The fire apparently started in the living room sofa, possibly from smoking materials.

"We knocked it down pretty quick, the guys did a great job," said Meranti. But, he said, the heat and smoke from the fire severely damaged the structure.

On Saturday, the windows and doors on the building were being boarded up. The front entrance was charred and the ceiling of the carport was blackened with soot. The siding was warped at several spots.

Dargie was reportedly staying with family. The Berkshire County Chapter of the Red Cross said it assisted him with clothing, food and personal items and would follow up with further disaster assistance.



     
North Adams Accident Sends One to Hospital
Staff Reports On: 11:08AM / Friday February 22, 2013
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A two-car accident at the corner of Marshall and Main streets.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A collision that happened shortly before 11 a.m. Friday morning sent one man to the hospital.

The driver of a black Kia Spectra sedan apparently rear-ended a black Jeep Liberty at the intersection of Marshall and Main streets. The Jeep was reportedly stopped in the southbound lane at the red light on Marshall Street when the Kia hit it.

The driver of the Kia was taken by North Adams Ambulance to North Adams Regional Hospital. The Kia's hood was crumpled in and the front end damaged. The Jeep appeared to suffer minor scratches and its driver was unhurt. There were no passengers in the vehicles.

Traffic was diverted around the accident and the Fire Department also responded. The scene was expected to be cleared shortly.



     
Curran Highway Accident Injures Three
Staff Reports On: 02:25PM / Thursday February 21, 2013
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Firefighters had to remove the door on the minivan to get the driver out.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Three people were injured on Thursday afternoon after a two-car crash at the entrance of the Northern Berkshire Industrial Park on Curran Highway.

Witnesses at the scene said a silver-gray sedan 2008 Toyota Corolla northbound on the highway failed to stop at the red light at the intersection and collided with a dark green 1997 Chrysler Town and Country minivan.

"I stopped at the red light and this lady coming out of the indusrial park, she had a green light," said a motorist who did not wish to be identified. "I stopped. The other car never stopped."

The Jaws of Life was used to remove the van's driver side door to extricate the the driver. The driver, a passenger, a young girl, and the driver of the Toyota, were all taken by North Adams Ambulance to the hospital. Their names were not immediately available.

According to the police log, the driver of the Toyota was Jerrod Collins-Andrews, 22, of North Adams; the van was driven by David Lesure, 40, of Adams.

The Toyota appeared to have heavy front-end damage; the minivan was struck on the front driver's side.

The accident occurred at about 1:15 p.m.; the road was closed for about a half-hour and traffic detoured while the scene was cleared. Cariddi and Mohawk towing were called to remove the vehicles.

The accident is under investigation by North Adams Police.



     
North Adams Police Warn of Phone Scammers
On: 01:32PM / Monday February 11, 2013
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams Police Department is warning area residents of a phone scam that's making the rounds.

The scam involves being contacted by phone by someone from a foreign country. The caller claims that a family member is being held in a foreign jail and needs help being bailed out. The caller then requests that cash be sent to an address in that country. The caller also tries to intimidate the person by telling them not to report what is going on because it could jeopardize the safety of the family member.

Detectives who have spoken to the victims say the scammer have used the called the family member by name adding to the validity of the call. The public should be aware that any information that they put out on social media sites is subject to being viewed by these scammers.

While the current scam is being perpetrated by foriegn sources, iBerkshires is also aware of attempts at a similar scam in which victims are informed that a family member has been arrested within the country, such as New York City. The scammer identifies himself as an attorney or friend seeking bail money.

If you are contacted by someone using this scam or any other, seek advice before sending any money or providing any account information. The following steps should be used:

1.  Write down any information they give you.

2.  Do not send money or give account information over the phone, by mail or over the Internet.

3.  Contact other family members to see if, in fact the named family member is really out of town.  

4.  Contact your local police department and make them aware of the scam.

Use common sense and be aware that these type of scams are out there.



     
Retired North Adams Worker Gives Signs of Esteem
By Tammy Daniels On: 06:58PM / Wednesday January 02, 2013
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Retired Wire & Alarm worker Robert J. Upton presents a sign dedicated to firefighters past and present to city firefighters and Fire Director Stephen Meranti, left. Also attending was Mayor Richard Alcombright, standing next to Upton.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Robert J. Upton was struck by inspiration driving home one day from his retirement job at Stamford Valley (Vt.) Golf Course — how to show his regard for his former city colleagues.

"People complain about our public safety all the time," said the former Wire & Alarm Division worker. "I thought it was time to do something good for them."

Upton is probably best known as the man who for years strung the Christmas lights along Main Street and on the city's two large trees — and the one who took them down afterward. He retired more than a year ago.

A couple weeks ago, he presented the Fire Department with a sign "Dedicated to all past & Departed Fire Fighters"; on Wednesday, he presented a similar sign to the Police Department.

Upton wanted a gesture that would be public and lasting and that would express his feelings about the nearly 30 years he'd worked along side the public safety departments.

"They could dispay them at the Police Department and the fire station and people would see it," he said of his decision to create signage similar to a plaque.

"Bob has always been thought of as member of our firefighting family," said Fire Director Stephen Meranti, who also oversees Wire & Alarm. "He has always been there when we needed him. We will display this plaque with honor in the station."

Upton said the design was created with the computer graphics help of Jessica Tietgens, who also works at the golf course. "She came up with the designs for me," he said. "She's a good person."

The first sign was created and donated by Michael Sacco and Peace Train Tees at the Berkshire Mall; Beck's Printing made the one for the police station.

"They are always right there when you need them," said Upton of the city's public safety personnel. "I just figured that somebody should show they're appreciated.

"Eventually, down the road, I'd like to give one to the ambulance service as well."



     
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