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Aggressive Pittsfield Fox Tests Positive For Rabies
On: 10:26AM / Wednesday May 09, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The aggressive fox put down over the weekend tested positive for rabies.
 
The attacks happened in the vicinity of upper Williams Street, Pine Grove Drive and Harryel Street on May 4 and 5.
 
"This positive diagnosis does not mean that there is going to be an outbreak of rabies within the city," said Merridith O'Leary, the public health director. She does advise, however, to make sure pets are properly vaccinated.
 
The Pittsfield Health Department also suggests for people to not keep wild animals as pets, to avoid feeding your pets outside, and to securely cover your garbage.

There is no evidence that rabies is increasing in Pittsfield, in Western Massachusetts, or anywhere else, according to O'Leary. The state Department of Public Health issues quarterly reports on numbers of rabid animals and in the first quarter (Jan. 1 – March 30) of 2012, out of the 14 specimens that were sent to the lab for testing from Berkshire County, all specimens tested negative for the rabies virus. 

"In Massachusetts, raccoons are the animal most likely to carry rabies. Rabid raccoons are most likely to infect another raccoon; however, because the virus causes animals to behave abnormally, they may sometimes attack another species and spread the virus," she said. "This is termed a 'spill over' event and it is extremely rare to see a 'spill over' event result in more rabies cases."

Rabies is a very serious disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of fur bearing mammals, including humans.  Though rabies is usually a disease of wild animals, it can spread from an infected animal to a person. Transmission of the rabies virus occurs only when the saliva from a rabid animal is infectious and if a person or animal is exposed to that saliva from a bite, in a scratch, or in their eyes, nose or mouth. 

Anyone who may have had direct contact with saliva from a fox or any other wild animal, should first wash out the wound with soap and water for ten minutes, then immediately contact their health-care provider, the Health Department, or state Department of Public Health at 617-983-6800.
 
 
Anyone who may have witnessed aggressive behavior by a fox in this area, or who may have been exposed to this animal, should contact the animal control officers at 413-448-9700, Ext 335.


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Two-Car North Adams Collision Injures Two
Staff Reports On: 04:18PM / Tuesday May 08, 2012
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Firefighters inspect the crushed front end of the car. At left, the damage to the SUV.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A two-car collision at the corner of Eagle and River streets sent two people to the hospital on Tuesday.

A red sedan headed north on Eagle Street apparently collided with the back end of a black sport utility vehicle headed across the intersection from River to Canal Street at about 3:30 p.m. The front-end of the red car was totaled; the SUV was dented and scratched on the rear passenger door.

Both the driver and occupant in the red car were transported to North Adams Regional Hospital. The road was closed while the occupants and cars were removed from the scene.

No further information was immediately available.



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Pittsfield Police Put Down Aggressive Fox
Pittsfield Police On: 06:32PM / Monday May 07, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An aggressive fox was put down over the weekend after several attacks.

The Pittsfield Police Department's Patrol and Animal Control Units responded to multiple calls involving an aggressive fox in the outer Williams Street area on Friday night, May 4, and Saturday morning, May 5. 

The department responded to or investigated three separate incidents involving one dog and two people who were bitten.

During the Saturday morning incident, the fox was put down by patrol officers and the remains have been transported to the state lab for testing.

Anyone who may have witnessed aggressive behavior by a fox in this area, or who may have been exposed to this animal, should contact the Department's Animal Control Officers at 413-448-9700, Ext 335.


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Police Swarm North Adams Apartment After Reported Gun Shots
By Andy McKeever On: 12:25AM / Monday May 07, 2012
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The Berkshire County Special Response Team is overseen by the Pittsfield Police Department.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police swarmed the Chase Avenue neighborhood Sunday night after reports of gun shots being fired.

According to North Adams Police Director Michael Cozzaglio, the shots were reported at about 9:30 p.m. on Chase Avenue and the alleged gunman was still in an apartment.

The Berkshire County Special Response Team was called in to assist because of the "dangerousness of the situation" and one arrest was made.

"We were able to talk to him via cell phone and he came out on his own," Cozzaglio said. "Thankfully, no one was hurt and it was resolved peacefully."

The suspect is currently being charged with violating a restraining order but more charges could be pending after an investigation is completed, he said. The alleged gunman was reported to have been in a verbal argument before the shots were fired.

Police believe gun shots were fired but nobody was hit.

Police did not identify the suspect as of late Sunday night because the situation is still under investigation. The scene was cleared at about 11:30 p.m.


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Superior Court Briefs: April 30 - May 3
Staff Reports On: 06:15PM / Friday May 04, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, April 30.

Gerard Jones, 25, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Ford sentences him to two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the distribution charge and then an additional two and half years on the conspiracy charge.

Additional counts of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws were dismissed by the state. Jones sold cocaine and conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on October 6, 2010.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, May 1.

Daniel Mensah, 47, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of assault and batter, two counts of violation of a prevention order and single counts of rape, aggravated assault and batter and intimidation of a witness.

Mensah was released on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail on the condition that he wear and electronic monitor and have no contact with the victims.
 
The charges are alleged to have occurred in Pittsfield and involved an 27-year-old woman and a seven-year-old girl between October 1, 2011 and December 22, 2011.

Felisa Kazimierczak, 43, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of kidnapping, embezzlement from a bank, misleading a police officer and filing a false crime report.

She was released on personal recognizance. Kazimierczak allegedly took about $60,000 from Greylock Federal Credit Union while working there on March 1.

Patrick Coyne, 30, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of trafficking in cocaine.

He was released on $7,500 bail. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 15.

Timothy Kasuba, 29, of Lanesborough pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of oxycodone and a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

He was sentenced to one year of a two year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the distribution of oxycodone charges and placed on one year probation on the conspiracy to violate drug laws.

The incidents occurred in Lanesborough between November 1, 2010 and November 25, 2010.

Glen Chadwell, 39, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to register as a sex offender.

He was sentenced to two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on five years probation.

Chadwell failed to register as a sex offender in Pittsfield between August 1, 2010 and January 25, 2011.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, May 2.

Stuart Zebrowski, 54, of Chicopee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 15 counts of burning wood or other property, five counts of larceny under $250, four counts of breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony, four counts of burning a building and two counts of larceny from a building.

Zebrowski was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.

Zebrowski is accused of setting fire to structures in New Marlborough on June 16, 2011 and October 17, 2011, in Sandisfield on Jan. 26 and in Great Barrington on March 8. He is also accused of breaking into a home in Great Barrington on March 5, a home in Sheffield on March 12, a home in Otis on March 29 and a building in Stockbridge on April 4. He allegedly set numerous brush fires between April 30, 2009 and April 5.

Brenda Santos, 22, of Whitman had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on a single count of unarmed robbery in connection with the robbery of the Greylock Federal Credit Union branch on March 30.

She was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $250,000 cash or $2.5 million surety bail.

Derek Adams, 32, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on April 19.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, May 3.


Timothy Smithies, 50, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of receiving stolen property over $250 and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

Joseph Racicot, 35, of Windsor pleaded guilty to 23 counts of larceny under $250, 16 counts of larceny over $250, three counts of willful and malicious distribution of property, three counts of identity fraud, three counts of attempt to commit larceny over $250, two counts of uttering, two counts of forgery and single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, larceny of a controlled substance, breaking and entering in the nighttime, possession of cocaine, operating a motor vehicle without a license and misuse of a credit card.

He was ordered to serve concurrent three to five year sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the breaking and entering, larceny, willful and malicious destruction, identity fraud, misuse of a credit card, uttering and forgery charges. He was given concurrent sentences to the Berkshire County House of Correction on the operating a motor vehicle without a license.

The incidents occurred in Windsor, Dalton, Pittsfield and Stockbridge between October 1, 2007 and May 6, 2008.

Isaac Pizarro, 35, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of distribution of cocaine - his second offense - and single counts of
trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $50,000 cash or $500,000 surety bail. Pizarro allegedly sold cocaine in Pittsfield on August 25, 2011 and September 26, 2011. The trafficking and conspiracy charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lenox on April 3, 2012. The possession of cocaine with intent to distribute stems from execution of a search warrant in Pittsfield on April 3, 2012.

Tracey King, 50, of Adams pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, three counts of uttering a false prescription, three counts of possession of oxycodone and a single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

She was sentenced to one year of a two year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession and conspiracy charges and placed on two years probation on the remaining charges. The incidents occurred between December 22, 2009 and August 15, 2011.

Michael King, 54, of Adams pleaded guilty to four counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, four counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, two counts of distribution of cocaine and single counts of uttering a false prescription and possession of oxycodone.

He was ordered to serve one year of a two year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession and conspiracy charges and placed on two years probation on the others.The incidents occurred between December 22, 2009 and August 15, 2011.


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Mount Greylock Debates Lanesborough School Union Vote
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Atlas Private Wealth Management Moving to North Adams
Lanesborough Officials Debate School Spending
Adams Seeks Fix to Visitors Center's Ineffective Geothermal System
Mount Greylock Committee Taking Up Delayed Superintendent Search
North Adams to Williamstown Bike Path Public Meeting Set
Pittsfield Schools Review Teacher Evaluation Process
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