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Thermostat Causes Small Fire In Pittsfield Apartment Building

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters snuffed out a fire at 99 Second Street Monday afternoon.
 
According to Deputy Chief Daniel Garner, firefighters responded to the address at 12:45 p.m. and found "moderate smoke condition" in apartment 104. A thermostat unit had failed, causing it to set on fire.
 
The plastic melted and then dripped and set carpeting, trim, and a portion of the wall to ignite. Firefighters evacuated the north wing of the first floor and extinguished the blaze with portable extinguishers. 
 
There were no injuries reported and the fire was estimated to cause less than $1,000 worth of damage.
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Lanesborough Police Seeking Info on Vape Shop Break-in

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police are asking looking for help in identifying a group of individuals who broke into Uniq Vape on South Main Street and stole upward of $9,000 worth of products.
 
Police were notified of a burglar alarm at about 3:10 a.m. on Wednesday. Upon arrival, police found a side door kicked in with two muddy footprints on it. The store was in disarray and a glass display was destroyed. 
 
According to police, video footage shows two parties checking the doors at about 2:49 a.m. and then returning 25 minutes later and kicking in the door. Those two were then joined by four others who ran through the store taking items. Those involved got into a vehicle and left and a K9 search was unable to track them.
 
"We reviewed the security camera footage and observed at 2:39 a.m. what appears to be two males, one wearing black and/or grey Adidas brand striped pants and sweatshirt, and the other wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt with a red Under Armour logo approached the building and attempt to gain entry through the front windows. After failing to gain entry from the front, the two parties walked around the building trying other windows before appearing to leave the area," reads the police report filed by Officer Ben Garner.
 
"A short time later at 3:04 a.m. the same previously described parties return to the building and one kicked in the south-facing side door. Immediately after the two males enter the building, four more parties ran from behind the BP gas station directly to the south and entered the building also. All six parties took various items from  the store before exiting through the same door and running back behind the BP gas station."
 
Store owner Syed Quaseem provided police with surveillance footage of the incident and authorities are asking anyone with information to contact them at 413-443-4107.

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State Police Investigating Burglary at Stamford School

STAMFORD, Vt. — State police say someone broke into Stamford School over the past weekend. 
 
Trooper Nicholas Grimes' reported that the burglary occurred sometime between 10 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. The press release does not state what if anything may have been taken from the school. 
 
Anyone with information regarding the break-in is asked to contact Grimes at 802-442-5421 or nicholas.grimes@vermont.gov.
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Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 6 - Nov. 15

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
 
Anthony Deordio, 43, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of rape and abuse of a child.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in North Adams on Nov. 1, 2017, and involved an 8-year-old girl.
 
Richard Dixon, 34, of Pittsfield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of child pornography, and dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. He is accused of being in possession of child pornography in Pittsfield between Aug. 23, 2018, and Sept. 14, 2018. He is also accused of distributing pornography on August 26, 2018.
 
Davon Kelly, 39, of Pittsfield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, and armed career felon in connection with an incident in Pittsfield on Aug. 19, 2018, and involved a 27-year-old man.
 
He also had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded handgun, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, possession of heroin, and armed career felon.
 
Those charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on Aug. 30, 2018. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
 
Kurt Vosburgh, 54, of Stamford, Vt., had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of distribution of heroin and possession of heroin, second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on Oct. 5, 2018. 
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
 
Shane Smith, 34, of Pittsfield, had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of providing misleading information to a police officer.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $3,000 bail. Smith is accused of misleading officers during the investigation into the death of 34-year-old William Catalano.
 
Peter Campbell, 22, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of armed assault with intent to rob and a single count of manslaughter.
 
He was ordered to serve 4 1/2 to six years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Campbell was part of a joint venture to rob 29-year-old Anthony Gamache and during the robbery, Gamache was shot by Campbell's accomplice and later died.
 
Campbell also pleaded guilty to a single count of intimidation of a witness. He was ordered to serve two to 2 1/2 years in state prison on that charge. Campbell admitted to intimidating a witness in a criminal matter between Oct. 16, 2015, and Nov. 2, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
 
Marchenne Hanson, 40, of Pittsfield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed assault with intent to rob, assault and battery by discharging a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
 
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident on Elm Street in Pittsfield on June 8, 2018.
 
Joseph Pini, 41, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge relates to a search warrant at his home on August 9, 2017.
 
Jason Sefton, 20, of Pittsfield entered a not-guilty plea on a single count of murder.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Sefton is accused of stabbing and beating 34-year-old William Catalano in Pittsfield on Oct. 15, 2018.
 
Anthony Boone, 22, of Pittsfield entered a not-guilty plea on a single count of murder.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Sefton is accused of stabbing and beating 34-year-old William Catalano in Pittsfield on Oct. 15, 2018.
 
Bruce Romano, 28, of Pittsfield entered a not-guilty plea on a single count of murder. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Romano is accused of stabbing and beating 34-year-old William Catalano in Pittsfield on Oct. 15, 2018.
 
Joseph Stone, 40, of Pittsfield was found not guilty of a single count of assault with intent to commit rape. 
 
The jury found him not guilty after two hours of deliberation regarding an incident allegedly involving a woman who is now 43 in Pittsfield on Oct. 23, 2016.
 
Alexis Gkoles, 36, of Great Barrington had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of rape.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 36-year-old woman in Great Barrington on Dec. 3, 2017.
 
Frederick Murnane, 29, of Sheffield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of cruelty to animals and a single count of burning a dwelling house.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Murnane is accused of setting fire to a home he owned in Becket on Aug. 28, 2018, and two cats inside died as a result.
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North Adams Man Killed in MassPike Work-Site Accident

Staff Reports
BECKET, Mass. — A North Adams man was killed Thursday afternoon while working on the Massachusetts Turnpike near mile-marker 17.2.
 
Authorities say Brian M. Simard, 26, was killed in a "work site accident" at 1:45 p.m. Simard, a construction worker, was pronounced dead at the scene. His obituary can be found here.
 
"No further details will be released at this time as the accident remains under investigation," states a press release from the Berkshire district attorney's office. 
 
The westbound lane of the MassPike was blocked for nearly three hours. State police from the Westfield barracks are leading the investigation.
 
The bridge over Route 20 at that mile marker has been undergoing repairs this fall although it was not on the list for lane restrictions on Thursday.
 
The state police Collision Reconstruction, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Crime Scene and Berkshire detective units also responded to the scene and Occupational Safety and Health Administration was advised of the incident, according to authorities.
 
Complete write-thru at 1 p.m., Nov. 16; victim's identity added. Original post at 9:54 a.m., Nov. 16.
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