NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A city woman was killed Friday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash on Route 2 in Orange. Her identification has not been released pending notification of family.
Update: Police identified the woman as 59-year-old Anne Hill at 7:24 on Saturday morning.
Three others were injured in the crash, which occurred at about 3:15. State police from the Athol barracks responded to the scene.
Preliminary investigation by Trooper Frank Parillo indicates that a 2003 Toyota Matrix operated by a 59-year-old North Adams woman was eastbound on Route 2 when it veered into the westbound lanes, striking a 2008 Hyundai Elantra operated by Catherine Runge, 25, of Quincy. The Toyota then struck a 2010 Ford F-150 pickup truck head-on that was operated by John F. Maquire III, 45, of Stow.
The North Adams woman was transported to Athol Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Runge and Maquire were both transported to Athol Memorial with minor injuries.
Three passengers in the pickup were also taken to Athol Memorial: Susan Dearborn,47, was then transferred to University of Massachusetts Medical in Worcester with serious injuries. An 11-year-old boy suffered minor injuries and a 7-year-old girl was transported as a precaution. All three reside in Stow. State police do not release the names of juvenile victims.
The crash remains under investigation by Troop C with the assistance of the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the Crime Scene Services Section. Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Orange Fire Department and the state Department of Transportation Highway Division.
During the crash investigation, the roadway was closed for approximately three hours for emergency response, vehicle removal and crash investigation.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — David B. Harris of North Adams was arraigned on Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court on single counts of possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography.
He had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf before Judge Daniel Ford. He was released on $2,500 bail.
The 66-year-old former headmaster was arrested July 18, 2010, after police executed a search warrant at his Marion Avenue home. Police say they found USB drives with pornographic materials and a laptop with links to pornographic sites involving young boys. He is alleged to have disseminated child pornography on Jan. 24, 2010, and to be in possession of the materials on July 18.
State police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office had been conducting a two months-long investigation, with assistance from both the Massachusetts and New York Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, as well as state police with the Middlesex district attorney's office and with the New York attorney general's office.
The Middlesex and New York police were involved because Harris was head of school for the Cambridge Montessori School, a private school for children from preschool to ninth grade, in Cambridge until his arrest and a trustee of one New York private school and former headmaster of another. He spent a decade as headmaster at Pine Cobble School in Williamstown until leaving in 2000.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams Police Department is warning North Berkshire residents that a couple of home-improvement scammers are on the loose.
Police say two people posing as roofing contractors are telling homeowners that they've done work on their homes before. They gain access purportedly to check the house for any visible water leaks in the ceiling. One gets into the house with the owner, makes sure no one else is home, then asks the homeowner to walk around the exterior to survey for any roof damage
While the owner is occupied, the second scammer searches the house for cash and valuables.
Police report one victim to this scam in the North Adams area. The suspect who approached the victim used the name of Billy Wood. When he left the house, he got into the passenger side of a silver pickup truck with tinted windows driven by a second suspect.
Anyone with information about the scammers or who may have been approached by individuals offering a simiar story, is urged to contact their local police agency. Business numbers for county police departments can be found on the righthand side of the Blotter.
Officers Kerry Columbus, Brad Vivori, Trevor Manning and Nicholas Kaiser pose outside the City Council Chambers after being sworn in.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Kerry Columbus, Nicholas Kaiser, Trevor Manning and Brad Vivori were sworn in as permanent reserve officers at Tuesday's City Council meeting. A fifth officer, Jacquelyn Mason, was not able to attend.
The four officers were sworn in by City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau and pinned by Mayor Richard Alcombright. The mayor said the new reserves will help beef up the force which is down by six officers: two are serving overseas, two are out on injuries (suffered during bicycle training for a community policing program) and two are attending the academy.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A city man and former headmaster of Pine Cobble School in Williamstown was arraigned Monday morning in Northern Berkshire District Court on child pornography charges.
David B. Harris, 66, of Marion Avenue, pleaded not guilty to possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. Bail was set at $2,500 and Harris was released. The case was continued to Aug. 25 for a bindover hearing. More charges are expected to be filed.
Harris left Pine Cobble in 2000 and was hired as head of school for the Cambridge Montessori School, a private school for children from preschool to ninth grade
According to the district attorney's office, the charges resulted from a two-month investigation that culminated in the execution of a search warrant on Sunday at his home.
The North Adams Transcript reported Monday that state police said they found a laptop with links to pornographic sites featuring young boys, and 10 USB drives, at least one of which contained more than 40 videos that appear to be pornographic.
In a letter posted on the Cambridge school's website, Webster O'Brien, president of the board of trustees, said Harris has been immediately suspended without pay and that the school will commence a search for an interim head of school for the coming year. (The letter can be found here, too.)
While we can honestly state that we have had no reason to suspect this behavior, and we respect individuals' privacy, these charges leave us no option but to immediately suspend David without pay until the Board of Trustees has enough information to make a final decision.
O'Brien said trustees are "fully confident that these issues reside in David's home in North Adams" and have not affected the Cambridge school.
Harris spent his weekends in North Adams and weekdays living in Cambridge.
He has more than 40 years of experience in education and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He was headmaster of Pine Cobble from 1989 to 2000; Nicholas M. Edgerton, who replaced him, left earlier this spring. Harris has been headmaster at two other private schools, Upland Country Day School in Kennett Square, Pa., and Eagle Hill School in Lloyd Harbor, N.Y., according to his biography listed on the Cambridge school site. He has sat on numerous educational boards and is a trustee of the Kildonan School in Amenia, N.Y.
Harris founded a consulting firm in 2004 to aid in the placement of gifted or underachieving students to schools that fit their needs but the site, www.schoolsolve.net, does not appear to have fully launched and the domain is for sale. A bio for the site lists Harris at that time as a corporator for Northern Berkshire Health Systems and a member of the North Adams Regional Hospital Ethics Committee; he is no longer listed as a corporator at NBH.
(Update, July 21: Northern Berkshire Healthcare tells us that Harris was a lay member of the Ethics Committee from 1997 to 2002. He is not a corporator and has no current links to the hospital.)
The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office, with assistance from the Massachusetts and New York Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces, state police detectives assigned to the Middlesex district attorney's office and investigators assigned to the New York State attorney general's office.
From the Editor: Because of the sensitive nature of these allegations, we'll be scrutinizing any comments posted here. Any attempts at incitement to violence, smutty remarks and distasteful comments will be removed immediately. Keep it clean, people.