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Vermont Man Charged After Vehicle Hits Laundromat

Staff Reports

A Vermont man is facing several charges after his vehicle crashed into the Thrifty Bundle Laundromat in North Adams.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Vermont driver whose vehicle ran into the Thrifty Bundle Laundromat has been charged with an OUI.

North Adams Fire, Ambulance, and Police responded to the Thrifty Bundle Laundromat on Ashland Street around 9 p.m. Thursday night after a Ford Escape struck the building.

The police log states that the car struck the building and the driver attempted to leave the scene. There were no injuries but the building was flooded and the building department was contacted.

A wrecker took the vehicle away.

James Beckwith, 28, of Stamford, Vt., was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and destruction of property over $250.

Thrifty Bundle remains closed until repairs can be made.

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Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 26 - Oct. 29

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Oct. 26.
 
Michael Abdalla Jr., 53, of Lee had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of misleading a police officer or other person.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Abdalla is accused of failing into provide video tape evidence from Michaels Restaurant to the police in a motor vehicle homicide investigation. The incident allegedly occurred in Stockbridge on April 4, 2015.
 
Anthony Mejias, 34, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on September 3, 2015.
 
Anthony Newton, 27, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at 50 Dalton Avenue in Pittsfield on September 23, 2015.
 
Ernest Harvin, 39, of Williamstown had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of threat to commit a crime to wit: assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, two counts of threat to commit a crime to wit: murder, two counts of intimidation of a witness or other person,  and a single count of escape from a penal institution. 
 
He was ordered to be held on $100 bail. He is currently serving a state prison sentence on other charges. 
 
Harvin is accused of attempting to escape from the Berkshire County House of Correction and made threats to police investigators and jail personnel. The incidents allegedly occurred on November 10, 2014 and November 14, 2014.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
 
Lawrence Desmond, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y. pleaded guilty to a single count of being present where heroin is kept. 
 
He was ordered to serve 14 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incident occurred in North Adams between January 1, 2013 and November 26, 2013.
 
Single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws were dismissed by the state.
 
Geraldo Martel, 26, of New Bedford pleaded guilty to single counts of armed robbery, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
 
He was ordered to serve three and a half to five and a half years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Cedar Junction on the armed robbery charge and given concurrent time on the other charge.
 
The charges stem from a robbery of the Cumberland Farm on Route 2 in North Adams on September 10, 2014.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
 
Michael Dion, 31, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine.
 
He was released on $3,000 bail. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on September 8, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Oct. 29.
 
Angelique Alcombright, 28, 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 to wit: possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
She was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 66 Angeli Street in North Adams on August 6, 2015.
 
Jason Burgos-Ledford, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine.
 
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on September 8, 2015.
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Adams Family Credits Dog With Fire Warning

Staff Reports

ADAMS, Mass. — The Adams Fire Department extinguished a fire on Apremont Street after, according to the owner, the family dog warned the family of the blaze.

Fire Chief Paul Goyette said Monday afternoon firefighters responded to a structure fire on 15 Apremont St.

Goyette said nearly 50 percent of the attic was damaged, however, smoke alarms were activated and everyone got out safely.

"We knocked down the fire within 15 minutes then we cleaned it out and salvaged a lot of their belongings for them," Goyette said. "It was a very good stop, and all parties involved work together for a good outcome."

He added that salvage blankets were used to save much of the furniture in the home.

According to a post on Pooches Dog Grooming's Facebook, Levi the dog warned owner Karen Frietag of the fire and the family was able to escape the blaze.

Pooches Dog Grooming, located on Eagle Street, is accepting donations to help the family.

Goyette could not confirm if the dog did actually alert the family, but said in most cases the smoke alarms go off and alert dogs.

Goyette added that a North Adams engine helped extinguish the fire and the Cheshire Fire Department covered the Adams station.

He said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 20

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
 
George Chapman, 30, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his  behalf on single counts of possession of heroin 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 $10,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 66 Angeli Street in North Adams on August 6, 2015.
 
Mark Daniels, 33, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. One of the possession charges and the conspiracy charge both stem from the execution of a search warrant at 50 Dalton Avenue in Pittsfield on September 23, 2015. The other possession charge is the result of a motor vehicle stop five days later.
 
Michael Purry, 41, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, two counts of drug violation in a park zone, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, armed career felon, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and improper storage of a firearm.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 cash or $250,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on September 16, 2015.
 
Cathleen Crawford, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, drug violation in a park zone, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and improper storage of a firearm.
 
The charges are in connection to the execution of a search warrant at her home on September 16, 2015. She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Women's Facility on $1,000 bail.
 
Sam Wassilie, 37, of Hudson, N.Y. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 17 counts of videotaping persons nude or partially nude, and five counts of videotaping sexual parts of children under the age of 18.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. Wassilie is accused of installing a video recording device in a public restroom at Pinegrove Park in Dalton between September 14, 2014 and October 26, 2014.
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Cooking Fire Causes Smoke, Water Damage at North Adams Housing Authority

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
North Adams Ambulance Service responded to a small fire at Ashland Park Apartments on Friday afternoon.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters evacuated some residents from the high rise on Friday afternoon after a small cooking fire broke out on the 7th floor.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire was quickly put out by the sprinkler system.

"Right now we are evacuating because of smoke and water. We do have water all the way from the seventh floor all the way down," Meranti said. "We are checking apartments as we go down through, but the sprinkler system did its job."

Meranti said no one was injured.

The Fire Department was alerted to the situation at about 12:30 p.m., when an alarm was activated in a unit at the Ashland Park Apartments. Scanner reports indicated water was "pouring down the hallways" in the Housing Authority building.

Residents clustered in the community room on the ground floor until being allowed back into their homes.

Executive Director Jennifer Hohn said a few units below the seventh-floor apartment were affected.

"A significant amount of water from the sprinklers has entered the units directly below on all floors," she said. "As a result of water seeping into electrical panels, power to these affected units has been shut off."

Hohn said the Holiday Inn was gracious to offer accommodations and a meal for those residents affected by the fire and its containment.

"There is a chance the power will not be restored by the evening so I have reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn for anybody needing accommodations," she said. "I will update the board when a further assessment of the damage is concluded.

"The important thing is nobody was injured."

Police and North Adams Ambulance Service also responded; Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Police assisted with traffic control as Ashland Street was restricted to one lane.

The incident is under investigation. 

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