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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.

Adams Boy Struck, Killed Crossing East Road

Traffic was being turned back at Lime Street on Tuesday because of a fatal pedestrian accident involving a child on East Road.

Update July 8: The driver of the motor vehicle that struck Noah Brown will not be charged, according to Police Chief Richard Tarsa. The investigation concluded that the driver, whose name has not been released, was operating the vehicle properly and that speed was not a factor.

ADAMS, Mass. — An Adams boy has died after being struck by a motor vehicle Tuesday afternoon.

According to the district attorney's office, 8-year-old Noah Brown of 174 East Road and another youth were attempting to cross East Road to go to Brown's home when he was struck by a motor vehicle.  

The other boy was not injured in the accident, which was called in to police about 3 p.m.  

Noah was a third-grader at C.T. Plunkett School.

Adams-Cheshire Superintendent Kristen Gordon described him as "just a fun, little energetic, sweet, kind, little baseball player, the light of his mom's life."

Brown was transported to the Northern Berkshire Campus of Berkshire Medical Center in North Adams by members of the Adams Ambulance Service. He was pronounced dead a short time later.  

Gordon said she and Principal Michelle Colvin and staff members were currently meeting to plan how the school would address the loss on Wednesday.

Third-grade parents were being called to inform of the tragedy so their children wouldn't have to find out at school. Extra adjustment counselors will be on hand and other schools were offering support staff as needed.

"We're really encouraging parents to all send their children back [to school Wednesday] because we're going to have extra support here and we want the kids to all go through this together," Gordon said, adding that research has shown children do best in these circumstances when they can get back to their routine.

Colvin will have a letter for all the children to take home to parents on Wednesday.

"Obviously this is just devastating, and heartbreaking," Gordon said. "He was a wonderful little boy."

She said Adams Police have been very good in keeping school officials informed and that Chief Richard Tarsa had been with Noah's family and with his best friend, who had not yet been informed of Noah's passing.

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to call the Adams Police Department at 413-743-1212.   

The investigation is being conducted by members of the Adams Police Department, state police assigned to the accident reconstruction unit and state police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office.

The section of road where the accident occurred was closed off for several hours for investigators with the accident reconstruction scene.


State Police Searching Greylock Glen for Lewis Lent Leads

Police have blocked the road to the Greylock Glen during a search of the area related to cases connected to convicted serial killer Lewis Lent.

ADAMS, Mass. — Investigators from a number of different law enforcement agencies will spend the next several days on Mount Greylock following up on leads on unsolved cases.

Officers will concentrate their efforts in the Greylock Glen area of the Mount Greylock State Reservation in Adams.  

They are following up on leads from Lewis Lent cases and concentrating their efforts on areas not searched previously.

Lent, who had lived in North Adams, has confessed to three murders. The serial killer is currently serving consecutive life sentences with no parole for the murders of 12-year-old Jimmy Bernardo, of Pittsfield, and Sara Anne Wood, also 12, of Frankfort, N.Y. In 2013, he confessed to the 1992 murder of 16-year-old James Lusher of Westfield.

Neither Lusher nor Wood's remains have been found. In 2013, police spent three days searching Becket Pond for Lusher's body. Authorities believe Lent is connected to several other killings.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed past suspicious activity or who may have information pertaining to the Lent investigation to contact state police detectives at 413-499-1112.  

Those involved in the search of the Glen include state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, state police tactical operations, the Berkshire County sheriff's office, the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force, including the Adams, Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Williamstown and Dalton police departments, Environmental Police and members of the New York State Police.


North Berkshire Man Arrested in Killing of Former County Resident

Staff Reports

WILIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A North Adams man was arrested Thursday night in relation to the homicide of a former Berkshire County resident in Tennessee.

Anthony Hardaway, 34, who also goes by "Toney" or "Tone," is wanted in connection to the shooting of Perry Folk of Johnson City, Tenn.

According to media reports, Folk and Hardaway were believed to know each other. Folk, 38, was found shot to death in the parking lot of the Roadrunner Market convenience store in Johnson City on the night of Feb. 18. He had no identification on him at the time but was identified through fingerprints.

Police were searching for someone in a dark-colored vehicle who could be seen on video surveillance leaving the scene. According to the Johnson City Press, police said there were "numerous witnesses" at the store but no one saw what immediately led to the shooting.

Hardaway was taken into custody without incident by the Berkshire County Special Response Team and state police at a residence in Williamstown. He was tracked by a multi-agency investigation involving the Massachusetts State Police, FBI, police from Williamstown, Pittsfield and the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and police in Johnson City.

The investigation that led to his arrest was additionally assisted by intelligence gathered by the Troop B Community Action Team for Berkshire County, a uniformed patrol unit.

Hardaway's arraignment as a fugitive from justice and his eventual rendition to Tennessee is being handled by the Berkshire County district attorney's office.

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