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Pittsfield Man Hospitalized After Being Shot By Police

Staff Reports
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A Pittsfield man was shot by police Wednesday afternoon and is in stable condition at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

According to the district attorney's office, Keith Carnute, 46, of Summit Street in Pittsfield was shot by Lanesborough Officer Timothy Sorrell on Silver Street after Carnute allegedly went after him with a knife.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., police and fire responded to Silver Street, near Ore Bed Road, after two women walking their dogs reported a body in the road. Upon arrival, Sorrell and firefighters found Carnute on the edge of an elevated shoulder in a heavily wooded area. Carnute was allegedly armed with a knife and began advancing on Sorrell, who then shot Carnute once in the chest, according to the officials.

Two volunteer firefighters administered first aid and Carnute was transported to Berkshire Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery.

The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation by state police detectives, ballistics and the Crime Scene Services Unit.
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Rash of Break-ins Strikes Lanesborough

Andy McKeever

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police are advising residents to lock their car doors after about 10 vehicles were broken into in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

According to Police, the vehicles were mostly unlocked and electronics were stolen sometime after midnight Thursday morning. Police have called residents informing them of the rash that spans across town from Sunrise Street to Ore Bed Road.

Police do not have any suspects and the case is still under investigation. The items stolen ranged from stereo receivers to binoculars to a cell phone.

Residents are encouraged to take "preventative maintenance" by locking doors and report any suspicious activity to the police.

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Lanesborough Man Charged With Child Pornography

Andy McKeever

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Lanesborough man was charged with his second child pornography offense.

Jermaine L. Lane, 35, of Balance Rock Road had not guilty pleas entered in Berkshire Superior Court Wednesday on four counts of possession of visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct - his second offense.

Lane is being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $50,000 bail as a result of allegedly having images of child pornography on his cell phone on Jan. 31. The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office.

Lane had previously pleaded guilty to 39 counts of possession of child pornography in 2008 and he was given suspended sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correct and placed on three-years probation. He was also told to attend sex-offender counseling and wear a GPS monitor.

Those charges stemmed from having illicit images on his computer between 2004 and 2006 while he lived in Pittsfield.

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Thousands Without Power in Neighboring Counties

Staff Reports

Our neighbors east of the Berkshires were hard hit by last night's severe thunderstorms. Thousands were left without power and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. says that 31,000 customers were still out at 10:30 this morning. It may take several days until all customers are fully restored.

Officials say they have engaged the help of contractor and neighboring utility crews to assist with damage assessment, clean up and restoration efforts, after overnight winds, heavy rain and lightning caused extensive damage in WMECo's service territory.

Hardest hit towns include: Amherst, Bernardston, Buckland, Deerfield, Easthampton, Gill, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Montague, Shelburne and Springfield. Currently there are more than 440 trouble spots. 

In Berkshire County, about a 100 customers are still affected in Becket, Lanesborough, Otis, Sandisfield and Tyringham. The storm blew through North Berkshire around 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

National Grid was also reporting a large number of outages in Central Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick was visiting Turners Falls this afternoon to view the damage.

Because of the large number of road closures, WMECo plans to use a helicopter patrol over Franklin and Hampshire counties to better assess the amount of damage to its distribution system. WMECo said it continues to evaluate the extent of damage; at this time restoration times are not available.

In terms of numbers of customers affected, WMECo said early indications show that this storm's impact is comparable to the December 2008 ice storm.

The utility is reminding people not to go anywhere near downed wires and report them immediately by calling 911 or WMECo at 1-800-286-2000. Don't operate generators indoors and make sure they are installed by a licensed electrician.

For more information, go to the Storm Center. You can also follow their Twitter feed.

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Mall Cleared for Fryer Fire

Staff Reports

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A fire in a fryolator forced a brief evacuation of the Berkshire Mall on Friday morning and delayed its opening by 10 minutes.

The fire was contained to the McDonald's in the Food Court and is believed to have started in the fryolator's hood. The fire is under investigation and the fast-food purveyor is expected to be closed for at least a day or two during that time.

The fire occurred around 9 or 9:30 a.m.; the Food Court is open prior to many of the stores in the mall's interior. The mall itself opens at 10 a.m.

An hour or so after the fire was called in, two fire trucks were still parked at the entrance and the McDonald's and court area directly in front of it were cordoned off with yellow tape.

Heather Salerno, the mall's marketing director, said staff evacuated the building immediately and procedures set in place for emergencies "worked very well."

"Obviously there was a limited a staff at this time of the morning but they were able to get everyone cleared [from the building] very quickly," she said. "The Lanesborough Police and Lanesborough Fire Department did a fantastic job."

Store clerks, staff and customers were allowed back in at 10 minutes after 10, she said.

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