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Jury Finds Former School Counselor Not Guilty of Rape
Staff Reports On: 03:33PM / Tuesday January 28, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A jury has acquitted a former school counselor of rape and indecent assault charges.

Scott M. Muir, 38, of Stockbridge was found not guilty after 2 1/2 hours of deliberation in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday of five counts of rape of a child with force and 14 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

The charges date back to when he was a school counselor at the Stockbridge Plain School between 2003 and 2006. Five girls, between the ages of 8 and 10, claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Muir.

Muir was charged with the crimes in April of 2012. At the time of the charges, he held municipal jobs including Stockbridge's emergency management director and facilities manager, and was a member of the Board of Health and an emergency medical technician with the Lee Volunteer Ambulance Service.

Muir pleaded not guilty to all counts. In the trial that began last week, several of the alleged victims, now in their late teens, testified that Muir had fondled them. However, an internal investigation could substantiate the complaints made at the time.

The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office.



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Superior Court Briefs: January 21
Staff Reports On: 11:12AM / Friday January 24, 2014
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, January 21.

John Poole, 52, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to five counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct.

He was ordered to serve concurrent four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on four counts and give two to three years on the other - serving a total of six to eight years.

Poole possessed child pornography in Pittsfield on December 19, 2012.

Katie Lynn Denise Powers, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

She was placed on one-year probation. Powers conspired with others to sell cocaine between December 22, 2009 and March 3, 2010.

Single counts of trafficking in cocaine and possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute were dismissed by the state.



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Pittsfield Firefighters Snuff Duplex Blaze
By Andy McKeever On: 04:30PM / Thursday January 23, 2014
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Firefighters quickly snuffed out the fire in the outside of the building.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters snuffed out a two-alarm fire on Thursday afternoon as temperature hovered in the low teens.

The blaze began at about 3:15 p.m. in the basement of 38-40 McArthur St., off Onota Street, when the owner of the duplex attempted to fix water pipes using a blowtorch, according to Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski.

The wall caught fire and traveled up to the back of the exterior of the building on the 38 side.

"On arrival, our crews found heavy fire and smoke at the back of the building," said Czerwinski. "It really stayed on the outside and not on the inside. ... The fire really progressed on the outside to to the eaves."  

The owner, who lives on the 40 side, and a woman, who lives on the 38 side, both fled the blaze. Czerwinski said he was not sure how many people lived in the duplex but only those two were home.

Czerwinski added that the smoke damage would likely displace one of the families for a time, while the owner's side did not suffer damage. Two pets were also unharmed in the blaze.

No one was injured although a firefighter who took a took a tumble on the icy surface refused treatment.

"The guys make quick work of it," said Czerwinski.

All the equipment and about 18 firefighters responded, in part because of the frigid temperatures. Mayor Daniel Bianchi was also at the scene.
 



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Multiple Fire Departments Respond to Windsor Blaze
Staff Reports On: 04:45PM / Wednesday January 22, 2014
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Flames could be seen coming from the roof of a home on Cheshire Road.

WINDSOR, Mass. — Five local fire departments were braving frigid temperatures  on Wednesday to battle a structure fire at 1061 Cheshire Road.

The blaze was reported at about 3:23 p.m. at the single-family home along the rural road near the town line with Cheshire.

Dalton, Savoy, Worthington and Plainfield volunteer fire departments responded to the scene along with Windsor firefighters.

The home is owned by a James Lewis, according to documents on file at the Registry of Deeds.

Adams Fire Department and Forest Wardens are standing by for Windsor, with a firetruck and a tanker from the Forest Wardens.

Cheshire and Lanesborough departments were also asked to respond at about 5:40 p.m. Peru and Hinsdale, which sent a bus with portable heaters, also responded.

The Red Cross was also going to the scene to provide assistance to the family, two adults and a child.

Red Cross officials say the Lewises are being provided with emergency shelter at a hotel and emergency funds for clothing, food, shoes and winter coats. They were also provided with "comfort kits," which contain toiletries like tooth brushes and razors.
 



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North Adams Regional Reopens After Bomb Scare
Staff Reports On: 03:01PM / Monday January 20, 2014
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The North Adams Regional Hospital campus was closed for nearly two hours after a bomb scare on Monday.

Update: Police have charged James Lafleur, 55, of Langlois Avenue, Williamstown, with calling in the threat. Lafleur pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was ordered to seek help at the Brien Center. Williamstown Police arrested him at his home on Monday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams Regional Hospital was forced to divert patients for nearly 90 minutes on Monday afternoon after a bomb threat was called in.

Police say they have a suspect and that charges will be filed.

Police Sgt. James Burdick said the hospital received the threat at 1:01 p.m.

"It was taken very seriously by the hospital staff here and taken seriously by the police department, the fire department, and ambulance," said Burdick minutes after the campus reopened at 2:40 p.m. "We set up a command center as we should."

Hospital spokesman Paul Hopkins said earlier that the building and grounds were being checked by emergency personnel.

"The investigation is under way and we don't at this time believe the threat to be credible," Hopkins stated in a press release as the hospital reopened. "We do, however, believe all threats to be very serious."

The hospital instituted its own protocols, including notifying police and staff, and restricting access to the building by patients and visitors. An individual who had an appointment with the imaging department said he was turned away after a police officer told him no was being allowed onto the grounds.

The hospital itself was not evacuated and no one was allowed to immediately leave. Cars began to leave the campus shortly before the restrictions were lifted

"The hospital went by their protocols, we all worked together on it and it was resolved in less than two hours," said Fire Director Stephen Meranti. The director said a similar threat had occurred several years ago.

"Obviously, it tied up considerable manpower and resources," Burdick, who added that police have "developed a possible suspect."

An individual in Williamstown who was interviewed by Williamstown Police, according to scanner reports, admitted to calling the hospital in the morning but denied making a call in the afternoon or making any threats to the hospital. Police did not identify the suspect nor is it clear if it is the person police interviewed.

"There's numerous charges that could possibly be brought forward," said Burdick. "We'll have to wait for the investigation and consult with the district attorney's office on possible charges."



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Page 7 of 122... 2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 ... 122  
News Headlines
Committee Finds Leaking at Hoosac Valley High
Three Resign From Williamstown Affordable Housing Committee
Williamstown Fire Committee OKs Budget Request to Voters
"Draft Day": It's a Coin Toss
"Muppets Most Wanted": More or Less
PERC Shares Stories of Business Success
Adams Selectmen Ask For Pole Relocation on Roundabout
Area Responders Tested on Emergency Preparedness
MCLA Christens New Veterans Resource Center
Historic Cheshire House To Be Leveled for Dollar General
Crimewatch Links

North Adams CrimeWatch

Stamford/Clarksburg CrimeWatch

Pittsfield CrimeWatch

Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
Clarksburg 413-663-7795
Cheshire 413-743-1501
Dalton 413-684-0300
Great Barrington 413-528-0306
Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
Lenox 413-637-2346
North Adams 413-664-4944
Pittsfield 413-448-9700
Richmond 413-698-3315
Stockbridge 413-298-4179
West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
413-743-4700
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263

 



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