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Police Seek Information on Possible Williamstown Hit-and-Run

Staff Reports

Update at 4:28 p.m., Feb. 10: Police have identified the victim of a possible hit-and-run as Cheryl J. Leclaire, 54, of White Oaks Road. She remains in critical condition at Berkshire Medical Center.

"At this point in the investigation, a motor vehicle contacting or brushing Ms. Leclaire appears to be the likely circumstance. However, due to almost no physical evidence at the scene such as distinguishable vehicle parts, and no witnesses at this time, we are unable to confirm the exact series of events at this time."

Leclaire was walking her dog on North Hoosac Road near White Oaks at about 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. She was found in the road by a motorist. The dog was not injured in the incident and was transported by Williamstown Police to the town's animal shelter until he could be returned to family.

Police are continuing the investigation and asking for information from anyone who might have been in the area or seen anything.


WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police are seeking information on a possible hit-and-run accident that has left a woman with serious injuries.

Shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Williamstown Police and Village Ambulance responded to the area of North Hoosac and White Oaks roads for a report of an unresponsive female laying in the roadway. 

The injured woman was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield with serious injuries and is currently in the Intensive Care Unit.
 
Police said the woman appeared to have been walking her dog on a section of North Hoosac Road commonly referred to as "short North Hoosac." She was discovered by a passing motorist in the 1000 block, which is east of White Oaks Road.
 
The investigation is being conducted by the Williamstown Police and state police. Anyone who may have been in the area prior to 6:28 p.m. and has any information on this incident is asked to contact Sgt. Scott McGowan at 413-458-5733 or Trooper Ryan Dickinson at 413-499-1112.
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Death of 11-Year-Old Hannah Nazareth Still a Mystery

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The cause of 11-year-old Hannah Nazareth's death may never be known.
 
District Attorney David Capeless' office said on Monday that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was unable to determine a cause of death because of the condition of her body.
 
The bodies of Hannah and her father, Anthony Nazareth, 52, were found inside their third-floor apartment at 72 Plunkett St. on Aug. 3. 
 
The autopsy showed that Anthony Nazareth died of a heroin overdose just days before his body was discovered. The results showed Hannah died "as much as a month before her father." 
 
"Followup conversations with the Chief Medical Examiner's Office indicated that the lack of definitive results was due in great part to the decomposition of Hannah's body. Additionally, in the case of Hannah, no significant external trauma was noted and the results of toxicology testing was unremarkable," reads a report for Capeless' office. 
 
Anthony Nazareth is also said to have provided false and misleading information about his daughter's whereabouts to different agencies during the month of July. However, none of those agencies followed up to determine if the 11-year-old was safe and healthy.
 
"Hannah Nazareth was failed by a number of people. While there is no indication that different action may have saved her, her dignity in death was not honored and questions will always remain about how, and why, she died," Capeless said in a statement.
 
The investigation did lead to the arrest of 52-year-old Michael Blowe for allegedly stealing from the apartment the day before police discovered the body. 
 
Blowe was arrested over the weekend and had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf in Central Berkshire District Court on single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, and larceny from a building. Judge Thomas Estes ordered that he be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. 
 
Blowe is accused of stealing a television, DVD player, clothing, food and a ballet belonging to Anthony Nazareth on Aug. 2, 2015.
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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 2 - Feb. 4

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
 
Tonia O'Brien, 18, of Hinsdale had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of assault and battery upon a child with substantial bodily injury, reckless endangerment of a child, misleading police, and assault and battery.
 
She was ordered to be held on $25,000 bail. O'Brien is accused of assaulting a 3-month-old baby on December 31, 2015 and a 57-year-old woman between December 14, 2015 and December 15, 2015. The incidents allegedly occurred in Hinsdale. 
 
Debora Goyette, 46, of Pittsfield was found guilty of three counts of larceny and ongoing and continuing offense, and a single count of making false entries into corporate books on Jan. 29.
 
She was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on a single count of larceny and given two years on another larceny count. She was given concurrent two year sentences on the other charges. She will serve a total of four years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
 
Goyette took more than $150,000 while working at Hillcrest Commons between January 1, 2009 and October 5, 2012. 
 
Bryce Ciepiela, 18, of Hinsdale had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on a single count of reckless endangerment of a child.
 
He was ordered to be held on $10,000 bail. Ciepiela is accused of knowing about injuries to a 3-month-old baby and failed to summons help. The incident occurred in Hinsdale on December 31, 2015. 
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
 
Alexandra D'Aloia, 20, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws. 
 
She was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at her home on December 15, 2015.
 
Brian Ducksworth, 25, of Hartford, Conn. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on $2,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 4 Jackson Street in North Adams on December 15, 2015.
 
Eric Hunt, 50, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, resisting arrest, and failure to wear a seatbelt.
 
He was released on $500 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on December 7, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Feb. 4.
 
Kirk Sumner, 37, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of breaking and entering, six counts of larceny from a building, two counts of larceny over $250, and a single count of wanton destruction of property. 
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a series of breaks at a home in Washington between March 8, 2015 and August 9, 2015.
 
Ryan Sullivan, 27, of Hinsdale had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of breaking and entering, six counts of larceny from a building, two counts of larceny over $250, and a single count of wanton destruction of property. 
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a series of breaks at a home in Washington between March 8, 2015 and August 9, 2015.
 
Carl Litchfield, 55, of Hinsdale had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, three counts of larceny from a building, two counts of larceny over $250, and a single count of larceny under $250. 
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a series of breaks at a home in Washington between July 25, 2015 and August 9, 2015.
 
Matthew Daignault, 22, of Hinsdale had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, three counts of larceny from a building, two counts of larceny over $250, and a single count of larceny under $250. 
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a series of breaks at a home in Washington between July 25, 2015 and August 9, 2015.
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Fire Displaces Five Pittsfield Residents

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Thursday night fire caused nearly $10,000 worth of damage to a Worthington Street home.
 
Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Garner said the department received a report at 7:43 p.m. of a basement fire at 10-12 Worthington Street, located near the intersection of West Housatonic Street and Center Street. The fire displaced five residents from the two-family home but nobody was injured.
 
Garner estimates some $8,000 to $10,000 worth of damage. 
 
On arrival, firefighters found fire encompassing a small room in the laundry area in the rear portion of the cellar.
 
"Engine 3 mounted an aggressive attack with a 1-3/4 inch handline, knocking down the main body of the fire within minutes," Garner wrote in a statement.
 
Firefighters from Engine 1 secured a water supply and assisted with a secondary attack line. Engine-5 searched the whole building to see if the blaze extended elsewhere — finding it had breached into a bedroom. The extending fire was extinguished. Tower 1 ventilated the structure and Engine 6 stood by on alert. 
 
"The fire was under control within 45 minutes. City building, wiring, and health inspectors arrived. Eversource and Berkshire Gas shut down service to the building until repairs can be made," Garner wrote. "A total of five occupants were displaced by this blaze."
 
Garner says fire damage was confided to 25 percent of the basement and there was "moderate" smoke damage to the first and second floors. The cause of the fire is being investigated by Pittsfield Fire Department and the state fire marshal's office. 
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State Fire Marshal Seeking Info On Lanesborough Garage Fire

Staff Reports
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The state fire marshal is looking for the public's help in determining how a garage fire was started on North Main Street just after midnight Thursday.

Lanesborough Fire Chief Charles Durfee said firefighters responded at 12:16 a.m. to the structure fire at 558 North Main St. The fire was fully involved when they arrived and the chief called for tankers from Hancock, Cheshire and New Ashford fire departments.

It took nearly four hours to extinguish the blaze in the secluded area.

The fire marshal's office, under State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, is investigating the cause of the blaze and is asking for anyone who heard or saw people or vehicles in the area to call Lanesborough Police at 413-443-4107.

"There was a fire last night in a garage in a remote location off of North Main Street. The building was fully engulfed by the time the fire was noticed shortly after midnight and the Lanesborough Fire Department called. The investigative team is looking for the public's help in determining the cause of the fire. If anyone saw or heard people or vehicles in the  area, or saw the fire in its earliest stages, they are asked to contact the Lanesborough Police," reads a statement from the fire marshal's office.

Any information can help determine exactly where, when, and how the fire started and all calls are confidential. The fire is being investigated by Lanesborough Fire and Police, and state fire police assigned to the office of the state fire marshal.
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Recent Entries:
Police Seek Information on Possible Williamstown Hit-and-Run
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