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Tractor-Trailers Stuck Under North Adams Trestle Twice in One Month

Staff Reports
A stuck truck closed off traffic on Church Street on Monday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A section of Church Street was blocked off for nearly three hours on Monday afternoon after yet another tractor-trailer got stuck under the railroad trestle.

A trailer hauling 25,000 pounds of machined metal, reportedly for a Disney ride, became wedged under the trestle at about 4:15 p.m. after leaving Morrison Berkshire on Church Street. The delivery was on its way to Minneapolis.

Traffic was blocked between Davenport Street and Ashland Street. The truck was pulled out from under the trestle shortly before 7 but it was going to take some time to stabilize it before Joseph Dean of Dean's Quality Auto & Truck Repair could remove it from the scene.

The top of the trailer was peeled back nearly halfway and Dean said it had broken in half. Air was let out of the tires and the cargo removed by Morrison Berkshire before an attempt was made to pull it out.

Pan Am Railways also had a representative at the scene and all train traffic was halted until the trestle could be inspected.

The trestle dates back at least a century and its clearance is posted at 12-foot-6 on the south end and 12-foot on the north. Signs warn drivers of the approach but several trucks seem to get stuck under it every year, and occasionally under the Ashland Street trestle. One of the most recent incidents occurred on July 30.

A neighbor said he frequently sees trucks trying to back up on the south side. Drivers don't seem to realize they are not going to fit under until too late — or that the slope on the north side of the bridge may be a factor.

The semi left the scene shortly after 7 p.m. and was slowly escorted to Dean's on Curran Highway.


Motorist Crashes Fence at North Adams Ambulance

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Williamstown woman is being charged with negligent driving after crashing into the fence outside the North Adams Ambulance Service on River Street.

According to the police log, Gail Massari, 50, was eastbound in a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am when it crossed the middle line and slammed into the decorative fence and flagpole at the edge of the service's parking lot at the corner of River and Harris streets shortly after noon on Saturday.

The pole was bent over and at least two sections of the fence are crumpled. Police and fire responded to the incident but no one was injured. Another vehicle, a 2009 Toyota Camry, was also damaged.

Amalio Jusino, assistant manager of the ambulance service, said the woman was driving down Massachusetts Avenue when she crossed lanes and crashed into the fencing, causing damage.

"She stated she was petting her dog and was not able to navigate the corner and struck our flag pole and fence and damaged one vehicle," Jusino said.

The Pontiac was towed by Cariddi Auto. Massari was summonsed with charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation.


North Adams Woman Found Guilty Of Social Security Fraud

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams woman was ordered to pay $72,635 back to the federal Social Security Agency after being convicted of fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits.
Nancy Killackey, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni on Monday to 18 months of probation and to pay the more than $70,000 in restitution. 
Killackey received the money from the agency by intentionally concealing the wages her husband earned. She collected the money from Jan. 1, 2002 through Oct. 1, 2013.  
On July 21, 2011, she told federal agents that the man was not her husband. When asked why he had claimed they were married, she described him as "a big, fat liar" and "an idiot off his medication," federal authorities said. She then claimed that the date her husband listed as their wedding date was actually a date he had a heart attack.
Killackey was found to have received the benefits that she was ineligible for when prosecuted in U.S. Federal Court in Springfield.
Edited at 12:37p.m., Aug. 13, to clarify the benefits were for disability.

Drury High Graduate Killed in Phoenix

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Drury High graduate was shot to death in her Phoenix, Ariz., home on Friday.

According Arizona media reports, the body of Shayley Estes, 22, was discovered by her roommate. Police have arrested her former boyfriend, Russian national Igor Zubko at Sky Harbor International Airport on Friday evening.

Estes had reportedly been dating Zubko and had allowed him to move into home for a time. Her mother, Shannon Estes, told news channel KPHO (CBS5AZ), that in living together, her daughter had seen "another side" of Zubko and broke up with him and took out a restraining order. He allegedly sent her threatening texts.

According to reports, a handgun and shell casings were found at the scene. Zubko apparently still had a key to her apartment and was waiting for her when she came home; she was shot when she tried to flee, according to police. KPHO reported that he told police he had purchased the gun off the Internet.

Zubko had a one-way ticket to San Francisco when he was apprehended, according to police. He was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, as well as burglary, kidnapping and several other related charges.

Estes was an honors student at Drury, graduating in 2011. She had recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in chemistry.

A gofundme account has been set up to help Estes' mother defray the cost of bringing her daughter back to the Berkshires for burial.


Four North Adams Residents Arrested in Two-State Drug Raid

Staff Reports

Update: On Tuesday, July 28, the Bennington Banner reported that Brooklynne Schneider had provided the Vermont Drug Task Force with information that resulted in the arrest of Kacey E. Caprari, 35, of North Adams on drug dealing charges.

Caprari was identified as a case worker with the Vermont Department of Children and Families. She allegedly was using her position to sell heroin out of the State Office Complex in Bennington.

Caprari was arraigned Tuesday in Vermont District Court in Bennington on felony charges of conspiracy to sell drugs and distribution of heroin. She was released on $5,000 bail, according to the Banner.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police arrested four people on drug charges on Friday and recovered thousands of bags heroin and cocaine and cash.

The arrests were the result of multiple warrants simultaneously executed in North Adams, Holyoke and Stephentown, N.Y., on Friday "after a lengthy investigation into the distribution of narcotics."

Arrested in North Adams were Brooklynne R. Schneider, 21; Rosemaria H. Thorton, 67; Tre A. Amos, 22; and Johnathan J. Loring, 21.

Schneider, Thorton and Loring are each facing counts of possession to distribute a Class A drug (heroin) and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act.

Amos is charged with the same violations and also faces charges of possession of Class B drug (cocaine).

Seized were more than 7,500 bags of heroin, 36 grams of cocaine and more than $5,000 in cash.

North Adams Police Department made the local arrests with the assistance and cooperation of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force, Holyoke Police Department, Rensselaer County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Schneider was arrested in February 2014 in relation to an investigation into a drug ring from Holyoke. Schnieder was a passenger in the car of Joshua S. Bressette, murdered a month later in the Bronx, that was stopped by police on Mohawk Forest Blvd. Police say she had dozens of bags of heroin and cocaine on her person; she was later arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on drug charges.

Bressette was also charged and three others in a second car were also arrested on drug charges: Jordan Moon, 26, and Kassidy LeMire, 19, both of North Adams, and Kamil Kujawa, 23, a Polish national living in North Adams.

Kujawa, Moon and LeMire all pleaded guilty; Kujawa is serving a two to three-year sentence, Moon and LeMire were given probation.

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