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Former Headmaster Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former headmaster of a local school pleaded guilty Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court to multiple child pornography charges

David B. Harris, 68, of North Adams was arrested two years ago at his Marion Avenue home. At the time of his arrest, he was the headmaster of Cambridge Montessori School, a private school for children from preschool to ninth grade. He had been head of school at Pine Cobble School in Williamstown for 10 years before leaving in 1999.

Harris pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, and 18 counts of knowlingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in a sexual conduct.

He disseminated child pornography on Jan. 24, 2010, and was in possession of child pornography when he was arrested on July 18, 2010.

Judge John Agostini ordered that he serve six months of a 2 1/2-year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the single possession charge and was placed on two years probation for the dissemination of child pornography charge, on the condition he undergo counseling, turn in all computers and/or media storage devices, not possess any computer or cell phone that can access the Internet, not possess any pornography, and allow a probation officer to search any computer or media device during the probationary period. 

He was given concurrent six-month House of Correction sentences on the 18 counts of possession of visual material of a child depicted in a sexual conduct.

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Williamstown Crash Sends 7 To Hospital

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
Photo courtesy of the Williamstown Police Department.
The crash led to one woman being extricated with the Jaws of Life and a truck to rollover.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A two-vehicle accident on Route 7 in front of the 1896 House on Wednesday sent seven people to the hospital.

According to police, a Ford Taurus driven by Ann Palmer, 51, of North Adams and a Toyota pickup truck driven by Peter Milesi, 30, also of North Adams collided shortly after 5 p.m.

Palmer's vehicle carried four juveniles and Milesi had his sister as a passenger. All seven involved were taken by ambulance to either Berkshire Medical Center  in Pittsfield or North Adams Regional Hospital.

Police said Palmer had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Fire Department with the Jaws of Life and the truck had rolled over. None of the injuries were major but there were minor injuries and some of the occupants were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

A total of six ambulances were on the scene. Both vehicles were totaled.

The northbound lane was closed by state police for about 30 minutes until the vehicles were towed.

Police said it was a "T-bone" accident but did not reveal further details of the crash because it is still under investigation.


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State Police Investigating Fatality In Train Incident

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
Update on Thursday, June 14, 3:08 p.m.: The name of the deceased is still being held pending confirmation by the medical examiner's office.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown Police are reporting that an individual was struck and killed by a Boston & Maine train on Saturday morning near the Moody Bridge.

Police have not released the identification of the victim; the investigation has been turned over to the state police with the district attorney's office (Crime Prevention and Control) and the Boston & Maine Railroad Police Department.

According to police, they were alerted at about 9:12 a.m. by Boston & Maine that a person had been struck in the vicinity of the Route 7 bridge.

A report by police Sgt. Scott McGowan states "there doesn't appear to be any suspicious circumstances that would have led to this unfortunate incident. Additionally, law enforcement does not suspect any fault with the train or crew which was operating at the time of the accident."

No further information was immediately available.

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Rollover Halts Traffic On Route 7 In Williamstown

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

It appeared that the car was headed northbound when it hit the bank and rolled into the southbound lane.
Update, Jan. 27, 2012, 12:16 p.m.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Bennington, Vt., man was arrested on multiple motor vehicle charges Thursday afternoon after he crashed near the Chef's Hat diner on Route 7 (Simonds Road).

Police said Jeffrey L. Dartt, 50, of Benmont Ave., was attempting to flee police near the Vermont border when he flipped his white Chrysler sedan.

Dartt was charged with single counts of operating under the influence of alcohol, third offense, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, operating without a license, marked lanes violation, following a vehicle too closely, and speeding.

According to police, a motorist called 911 to report a northbound motor vehicle operating erratically on New Ashford Road. Officers John McConnell and Preston Kelly found the Chrysler on Simonds Road and saw it tailgating and swerving in its lane.

They lit up the cruiser near the North Hoosac Road intersection to warn the driver to pull over but Dartt allegedly accelerated and failed to negotiate the corner near the Chef's Hat. The sedan struck the embankment, flipped over and came to rest on its roof. The Jaws of Life was needed to extricate Dartt.

He was arrested at the scene and taken to North Adams Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was being held at the town lockup on $10,000 bail. His car was totaled and there were no other injuries. The road was closed for about on hour.

Editor: Yes, there were spelling errors in recording the list of charges. They have been fixed.

Original post: Jan. 26, 2012, 4:55 p.m.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A one-car rollover on Route 7 near the Vermont border halted traffic and sent at least one person to the hospital at about 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Police did not provide information at this time but said they will release information later Thursday night.

It appeared as though a white Chrysler was traveling northbound and went into the sloped bank across from the Chef's Hat restaurant and then rolled over into the southbound lane.

At least one person was seen being transported to the hospital as a result. It was unclear if there were any other cars involved or the extent of the any injuries.

Traffic on Route 7 in both directs and the northbound land of Sand Springs Road was at a standstill while emergency workers attended to the crash.

iBerkshires will update this story after the police release a statement.
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Fire Forces Family From Williamstown Home

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A smoky fire forced a local family to flee their 40 Oblong Road home on Monday.

The fire was reported at about 4 p.m. by homeowner Heather Williams. Fire Chief Craig Pedercini said it took about half hour to 45 minutes to contain the blaze, which started near a woodstove in the living room.

"We had to take some ceiling down on the second floor because the fire got up through the walls and into the ceiling and spread across," said Pedercini, who added that firefighters did what they could to minimize the damage. "We covered up as much as we could [with tarps] ... when you've got a little bit of time on your side you can do that and save as much property as you can."


Firefighters inspect the woodstove, suspected in causing the smoky fire at 40 Oblong Road on Monday.
Pedercini said the house also suffered water damage and holes had to be chopped into the roof to get at hotspots; the wall above the woodstove was "busted through."  While he left any damage estimates up to the homeowners' insurance company, he thought the house was repairable.

Williams, a member of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee, said she saw smoke was coming out of the light fixtures and the smoke alarms went off. She called 911 then left the two-story home with her two children and the family dog. Her husband, Pat Dunlavey, was not home at the time.

Pedercini said the fire is under investigation and that he couldn't rule out electrical causes, but the woodstove likely "was involved."

There were no injuries. The tanker was parked at Oblong and Torrey Woods Road — "We got a good water supply fairly quickly," said Pedercini. Clarksburg Fire Department sent an airtruck and covered the station; Pownal, Vt., firefighters were on scene with a truck. Village Ambulance also responded.

Williams said the family would stay with friends and that preparations were being made to tarp the house.
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