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Bomb Squad Detonates Device in Clarksburg
By: Staff Reports On: 05:46PM / Thursday April 21, 2011

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The state police hazardous unit exploded a suspicious device discovered at a Clarksburg home on Tuesday.

"They detonated a device that appeared to be a homemade IED," said Chief Michael Williams. The device was taken to the sandbanks behind the Senior Center on Cross Road and blown up shortly before noon. The blast reportedly shook the center.

Williams said the residents of the home on Middle Road discovered the device on the property. The bomb squad was contacted to investigate and "they determined that they were just going to do a detonation because they didn't want to transport it for safety reasons."

He described as looking like "something somebody made." Nothing further of a suspicious nature was found or removed, said Williams.

The state fire marshal's office confirmed the bomb squad was called for report of an explosive device at the Middle Road home at about 9 a.m. and arrived to assist Clarksburg police.

"They found a device that they felt needed to be removed from the home and rendered it safe," said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state fire marshal's office. Mieth said the term IED, or improvised explosive device, means it was not a military-made device.

This is the third time in three years a hazardous unit has been called to North Berkshire. The first was in May 2008 after a bank robber dropped what appeared to be an explosive device on the sidewalk in front of Hoosac Bank in North Adams. The device was detonated at the gravel bank off Curran Highway. Investigators believed the device was military-grade C4 based on images taken by the squad's robot.

The second time was this past December when a large black gym bag was spotted under Veterans Memorial Bridge. The squad took X-rays of the bag and cleared it as safe. It was full of dirty clothes and had been stolen from a local laundromat.

Tags: bomb      
Stolen Property Being Returned to Owners
By: Staff Reports On: 09:23AM / Thursday January 27, 2011

LENOX, Mass. — The items held as evidence in the case against burglary kingpin Stefan Veremko are being released to their owners.

The Lenox Police Department has been holding hundreds of items seized in November 2009 from Veremko's home, vehicle and areas where he had discarded the property. Veremko's monthslong spree across three states ended when an off-duty officer spotted him fleeing a building - with a pillowcase. 

Multiple police agencies were investigating the break-ins, which stretched from Southern Vermont to South County. As a result, Veremko and accomplice Tara Malloy were arrested. The recent conclusion of the case convicting Veremko and giving him five- to seven-year state prison sentence allows police the opportunity to return the seized evidence to the many victims involved with this case, said Chief Stephen E. O'Brien.

Many people came to the Lenox Town Hall on Nov. 19, 2009, to view the vast array of items. Some were able to identify items that indeed belonged to them. While conducting this process, during the exit interview, these victims were asked to provide a phone number at which they could be reached at the conclusion of the case.

Within the next several days, the victims who identified property will be receiving a call from the Lenox Police to arrange for the release of their property. All of the property that was identified will be returned to its rightful owner. For victims from the states of Vermont and New York, their property will be released to the police agency having jurisdiction over the crime. The out-of-state agency will make a determination if that property may be released or if it will remain held pending future criminal action against Veremko and Malloy in their states.

"We are asking for everyone's patience as we attempt to relinquish property in an orderly fashion to be certain that each and every victim recoups their loss," said O'Brien. "We also thank everyone involved for their patience as this case made its way through the criminal court system."

Tags: Veremko, burglary, break-ins      
Man Killed by Bull in Clarksburg
By: Staff Reports On: 07:04PM / Sunday November 28, 2010

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A man was killed Wednesday afternoon while trying to move a bull into a pen at a Daniels Road dairy farm and another seriously injured.

Paul F. Marshall, 78, was leading the bull across a field when it attacked Marshall and Everett Sherman, a neighbor trying to help, said police. Marshall was pronounced dead at the scene. Sherman was reportedly gored on his side by the bull and taken to North Adams Regional Hospital and later transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

The bull, described as black with a white mark, was to be put down last Thursday. It was one of a number of Holsteins kept at the farm.

The bull was in a back garden area with eight cows, said Police Chief Michael Williams on Monday. It wasn't clear if the cattle were loose and Marshall was trying to pen them up or if he was just moving them.

Marshall's wife, Carolyn, saw much of what happened and at 1:22 p.m. called the dispatcher in North Adams saying her husband was being attacked by a bull.

Firefighters were first on the scene, followed by police and two North Adams Ambulance Service vehicles. Williams said state police detectives attached to the district attorney's office also responded, as did Medical Examiner Dr. Benjamin Glick. The DA's office did not have any further information.

Emergency responders remained on the scene for several hours.

The Marshalls purchased the farm, which runs along the south side of Daniels Road between East Road and Walker Street, in 1983 from the Massachusetts State College Builiding Authority.

The land had been used by what was then North Adams State College for a sustainable agricultural program. More recently, it became the home of Square Roots Farm, which is leasing land to grow produce and some livestock.

Original post Saturday, Nov. 25, 2010. Updated Nov. 29, 2010 with more information.

Tags: attack, animal, fatal      
Basement Fire Damages Clarksburg Home
By: Staff Reports On: 11:34PM / Monday July 26, 2010

Photo by Seth Shepard
Emergency vehicles blocked Middle Road for about an hour on Monday afternoon as firefighters doused a basement fire at 96 Middle Road.

 CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A smoky basement fire on Monday damaged a home on Middle Road not far from the town border with North Adams.

Firefighters from Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt., responded to an apparent electrical fire at 96 Middle Road at about 4:30. Witnesses said smoke could be seen pouring from the back of the building.

Emergency vehicles blocked the road for about an hour as they contained the blaze. Pumper trucks used the small pond across the street from the gray house to send water shooting into the back yard.

Firefighters had to cut through the back wall near the rear entrance to get to the blaze, which was doused within a half-hour. North Adams Ambulance also responded but no one was reported injured. No further information was immediately available.


Tags: fire, house, electrical      
Crime Watch Page Created for North Adams
By: Staff Reports On: 08:54PM / Friday February 12, 2010

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There's a new crime watch page on Facebook for city residents.

The page was created by Jennifer Breen Kirsch, a local attorney who's become active in crime prevention after her parents' home was broken into days after Christmas. Kirsch, working with the city and local organizations, has spearheaded the community watch group.

The community effort has been prompted by a wave of break-ins that came to public attention last fall after a number of break-ins in Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt. A suspect believed to be the culprit in the majority of them — and dozens of others through Berkshire and Bennington (Vt.) County — was arrested and charged. However, several of those burglaries have not be resolved and numerous others have occurred in Williamstown, North Adams, Adams and Cheshire over recent months.

North Adams held a community meeting on Thursday night at City Hall to discuss crime and neighborhood action to prevent it.

The new Facebook page states:

Please join the new Neighborhood Crime Watch Group sponsored by Mayor Dick Alcombright, the NAPD through Officer Mark Bailey and Commissioner E. John Morocco, community representative Jenn Kirsch, and the NBCC, through Ashley Benson and Al Bashevkin. To find out more, please post questions and we will quickly reply. Our goal is to reduce the crime rate, as a community, in conjunction with City Hall and the NAPD. We need volunteers and neighborhood captains to run meetings. If you are interested, Officer Bailey, along with members of the team, will conduct a meeting for you and your neighbors, at your home. Let's unite under this common goal to reduce crime in our city!


Tags: break-ins, buglaries, Veremko, crime watch      
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