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Adams Head-On Collision Results in Fatality

Staff Reports

ADAMS, Mass. — A 17-year-old North Adams man was killed in a head-on collision early Saturday evening on North Summer Street. Three other people were injured.

The crash was reported at 5:14 p.m., near the intersection with Staple Street.

According to police, Gregory Bartlett of Lime Street was southbound on North Summer in his 2014 Mazda when James Morandi of Hall Street, North Adams, veered into his path in a 1999 Toyota Corolla.

One of the occupants of the Toyota was ejected from the vehicle on impact and incurred severe neck and head injuries. His condition was not immediately available on Saturday night but officials late Sunday confirmed his death occurred not long after the crash.

Two others were taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and the fourth was taken by a relative.

The state police accident reconstruction team and Crime Scene Services were requested. The accident is under investigation by Adams Police and state police detectives.

Officer Michael Wandrei said charges are expected to be filed once the investigation is completed. "We have a lot to go through first," he said.

Adams Ambulance Service, North Adams Ambulance Service and the Adams Fire Department responded to the scene. That section of road was closed until the vehicles were removed at about 8:30 p.m.

     

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.

     

Adams Family Credits Dog With Fire Warning

Staff Reports

ADAMS, Mass. — The Adams Fire Department extinguished a fire on Apremont Street after, according to the owner, the family dog warned the family of the blaze.

Fire Chief Paul Goyette said Monday afternoon firefighters responded to a structure fire on 15 Apremont St.

Goyette said nearly 50 percent of the attic was damaged, however, smoke alarms were activated and everyone got out safely.

"We knocked down the fire within 15 minutes then we cleaned it out and salvaged a lot of their belongings for them," Goyette said. "It was a very good stop, and all parties involved work together for a good outcome."

He added that salvage blankets were used to save much of the furniture in the home.

According to a post on Pooches Dog Grooming's Facebook, Levi the dog warned owner Karen Frietag of the fire and the family was able to escape the blaze.

Pooches Dog Grooming, located on Eagle Street, is accepting donations to help the family.

Goyette could not confirm if the dog did actually alert the family, but said in most cases the smoke alarms go off and alert dogs.

Goyette added that a North Adams engine helped extinguish the fire and the Cheshire Fire Department covered the Adams station.

He said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

     

Adams Fire Department Douses Grease Blaze

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
Firefighters at the scene of a fire at a single-family off Grove Street.

ADAMS, Mass. — The Adams Fire Department quickly knocked down a grease fire on Grove Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

Assistant Fire Chief John Pansecchi said the fire started out on the first-floor kitchen when the resident was cooking french fries and hurt his hand.

He said the homeowner was able to contain the fire with a garden hose until Adams Fire rolled in.

"They took a hose to the window and sprayed it down quickly before we got here," Pansecchi said. "It was still burning when we got in there but they were able knock it down and keep it in check."

The fire, reported about 1:40 p.m., initially was reported over the scanner as a two-alarm blaze. North Adams was asked to send a ladder truck to the scene, and Savoy and Cheshire fire departments were called in. North Adams Ambulance Service was requested to send the rehab vehicle.

"It was just in case," Pansecchi said. "We didn't know if it was going up the walls and into the attic and we didn't know if we would need a ladder."

Adams Police and Adams Ambulance were also at the scene. There were no injuries except for a firefighter who needed aid after working the scene in the 90-degree temperatures.

North Adams Ambulance handed out water and provided aid to the firefighters.

     

Day Six: U.S. Attorney's Office Still Unable to Comment on Adams Search

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Staff
The cause of the FBI raid on Murray Street on Saturday night is still undisclosed. The U.S. Attorney's Office has confirmed it occurred but will not answer any other questions about it.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nearly a week after the FBI conducted an investigation at a multi-family residence on Murray Street in Adams, federal officials continue to decline comment.
 
iBerkshires.com has communicated daily with spokespeople at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, who have been responsive but unable to give any details about the incident.
 
We have specifically asked whether the Adams search was related to FBI Director James Comey's Thursday testimony on Capitol Hill, when he reported the agency had arrested more than 10 people who were planning to commit violence connected to the July 4 holiday.
 
And we have asked whether any individuals are in custody in connection with the Murray Street search.
 
The U.S. Attorney's Office said it could not comment on either question.
 
On the evening of July 4, about eight federal agents could be seen going in and out of 10 Murray St.
 
The agents, some of whom wore sidearms, went in and out of a side door off the driveway of the house, bringing out boxes marked "evidence."
 
Adams Police Chief Richard Tarsa, who observed the activity along with the fire chief, referred all questions to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield after a conversation with one of the federal agents.
 
A representative of the Springfield office responded to an initial email on Sunday afternoon. Subsequent questions have been directed to the Boston office, where officials have promised to release information as soon as it is available.
 
The issue was not discussed at Wednesday's meeting of the Adams Board of Selectmen.
     
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