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Pittsfield Crash Backs Up Traffic On South Street

Staff Reports

A utility pole fell on a minivan Monday morning.

Updated from original story at 11:49 a.m.; complete rewrite throughout; update to relate the minivan was was the second vehicle.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The driver of a vehicle that caused a three-car pileup and sheared off a utility pole on South Street on Monday morning was allegedly high on heroin.

According to a Fire Department report, the driver told police, "he was under the influence of heroin, having 'shot up' while driving."

Police arrested the driver and took him away in handcuffs after the northbound vehicle apparently veered into the pole, which then fell on a minivan immediately behind it. A third car following was also involved.

Crofut Street to Gamell Street was closed while the pole was being replaced. Traffic was rerouted to Holmes Road for much of the morning.

According to a Fire Department report, two engines and a ladder truck were dispatched to 460 South St., near the Lipton Mart, at 8:55 a.m.

The driver of the second vehicle was removed by firefighters and taken to Berkshire Medical Center with minor injuries. The vehicle sustained significant damage. The report by Deputy Chief Steven Peaslee stated that a Western Massachusetts Electric Co. representative informed him that "a matter of inches kept the driver from being electrocuted." The main power lines carry 13,000 volts.

The third driver remained in that vehicle until rescued by firefighters.


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Pittsfield Police Seize 63 lbs. of Marijuana, Cash, Stolen Gun

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police patrolmen seized 63 lbs. of marijuana Tuesday.
The officers were following up on an investigation when they discovered the drugs, cash and a stolen gun. With assistance from the Detective and Narcotics Bureau, Police seized 63 lbs. of marijuana, a stolen handgun and about $40,000 in cash.
Police estimate the marijuana was worth $150,000.
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Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 17 - Nov. 19.

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, November 17.
Lois Aubin, 45, of Stamford, Vt. was found guilty of single counts of larceny over $250 and misleading a police officer or other person.
She was ordered to serve concurrent two to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Aubin took approximately $7,000 from Corner Market in North Adams on August 17, 2013 and was not truthful with investigations when telling them what happened.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, November 18.
Ernest Harvin, 38, of Williamstown pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and single counts of receiving stolen property over $250, illegal possession of a large capacity weapon or feeding device, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a sawed off shotgun, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, improper storage of a firearm, failure to stop for a police officer and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection sticker.
He was ordered to serve four to five years in state prison on the possession of heroin with intent to distribute charges. He was given 10 to 12 years to be served on and after the first on the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony charges. Charges of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, failure to stop for a police officer and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection sticker were placed on file. He was given concurrent time on the remaining charges.
In total, Harvin will serve 14 to 17 years. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Williamstown on September 5, 2013. A single count of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle was dismissed by the state.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, November 19.
Nathaniel Greene, 58, of Lee pleaded guilty to single counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, his fifth offense, and operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail pending sentencing on Wednesday, Nov. 26. The charges stem from an incident in Lee on June 20.
Christopher Harrington, 35, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
He was ordered to serve 2 1/2 years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of heroin charge. He was given three months at the House of Correction on the other charge.
The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 26, 2014.
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Man Involved in Shooting At Pittsfield Big Y Dies

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man shot in the Big Y parking lot earlier this week has died.
Anthony Gamache, 29, of Goshen died Wednesday, the district attorney's office confirmed on Thursday. Gamache had been shot Tuesday while in the Big Y parking lot on West Street. Police have charged an 18-year-old city man with firearm charges.
"We're waiting on the results of the autopsy," said Fred Lantz, of the district attorney's office, Thursday afternoon. 
The autopsy will be performed in Boston to determine the cause of death. 
Gamache was shot in the the leg and was driven by two others to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton to be treated for his injury. He reportedly needed surgery and was transferred to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
He was released and Wednesday evening reported feeling pain and he was rushed Cooley Dickinson, where he was pronounced dead.
The district attorney's office says 18-year-old Peter Campbell was charged Wednesday with a single count assault and battery, single count of possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card and a single count of discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a dwelling. He is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on Friday morning.
Pittsfield Police declined to comment on the incident.
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Firefighters' Quick Response Saves Readsboro Home

Staff Reports
iBerkshires Staff
Fire Chief Adam Codogni, left, coordinates the response a woodstove fire on Route 100.

READSBORO, Vt. — A quick — and overwhelming — response to woodstove fire on Tuesday afternoon saved a local family's home.

"It went up to the second floor, we didn't use hardly any water," said Fire Chief Adam Codogni. "Got it all with fire extinguishers and water cans.

"It was very clean and neat."

The call came around 3 p.m. from the home at 2045 Route 100, near the intersection at Old Country Lane, as Readsboro Volunteer Fire Department called for mutual aid backup from surrounding towns. Stamford, Wilmington and Whitingham, and Clarksburg, Mass., sent trucks and personnel. North Adams Ambulance Service also sent an ambulance and the rehab trailer.

"The second alarm brings a lot of manpower and you need it," Codogni said. "It's during the day and everybody's working. We all came from work."

The fire from the first-floor woodstove went up the wall and slightly into the second floor above it. Temperatures were frigid as firefighters contained the blaze within the structure and opened the windows to air it out.

The family will not be able to return to the building immediately, Codogni said. "They have to get an electrician in there. They have burnt wires and we've got the power off."

Family members acted promptly in calling the Fire Department and getting safely out of the building.

"They're very lucky the called it in as quick as they did," he said. "They all got out and stayed out. They did a good job."

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