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10 Arrested for Blocking Roads Near Sandisfield Gas Pipeline Project

SANDISFIELD, Mass. — Ten protestors were arrested Wednesday morning for blocking roads to the natural gas pipeline extension project. 
 
State police said two groups — one at Cold Spring Road and South Beech Plain Road, the other at an access road —were peacefully blocking workers' access to the work area. Private security officers notified state police of the blockade at about 6:47 a.m. on Wednesday. 
 
Protestors were asked to disperse but informed "security they were refusing to leave and understood that would face arrest," according to state police. Troopers also asked them to disperse repeatedly and when they refused, they were arrested for trespassing. 
 
The controversial Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. expansion of an existing line cuts through Otis State Forest and has been opposed by area residents as well as advocates against fracked gas and new pipeline infrastructure. A protest group has been in place in Sandisfield since clearing began for the nearly 4-mile loop. 
 
Arrested were: 
  • Irvine Sobleman, 67, of Northampton;
  • Ellen M. Graves, 76, of West Springfield;
  • Patricia P. Wieland, 73, of Northampton;
  • Harriet A. Nestel, 78, of Athol;
  • Amanda L. Nash, 58, of Gloucester;
  • Erik W. Burcroff, 57, of Plainfield;
  • Priscilla Lynch, 65, of Conway;
  • Mary E. Kehler, 70, of Colrain;
  • Bonner J. McAllister, 68, of Monterey; and
  • Sherrill Hogen, 78, of Charlemont.
The arrestees were transported to the Berkshire County sheriff's department to be booked. They were expected to be released, most likely on personal recognizance, and ordered to appear in court for arraignment in the near future.
 
The roadways were reopened by 9:10 a.m.
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