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North Adams Fire Sends One To Hospital
By Tammy Daniels On: 06:36PM / Monday June 18, 2012
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A kitten was discovered inside the apartment and given to a neighbor to care for. At left, a washing machine was removed from the unit; authorities believe the fire started near the appliance.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A local woman was taken to the hospital after neighbors helped her escape a fire in her apartment at 4 Isbell St. on Monday evening.

The cause of the smoky blaze is still under investigation but authorities believe it was started by a lamp falling on flammable materials in the bedroom, near a washing machine. The appliance and some material was taken out of the building.

Neighbors said they pounded on the doors and window to alert the occupant, who they identified as Patricia Heller, to the smoke they saw coming from the one-story unit on the end of Isbell Street in the Greylock Valley Apartments. Tabatha Rogers said her sister, Heather Rohane, noticed the commotion and told her there was a fire.

When she looked out, she could see someone yelling at the bathroom window in the house behind hers but at first thought it was a child playing games. Then she saw the smoke.

"She didn't know how to put the locks down. ... She thought I was talking about the regular locks," said Rogers, referring to the child safety locks that prevent the windows from opening all the way. "She was yelling 'help,' somebody please help me out this window."

Rogers said it took three tries, with the apartment's occupant becoming increasingly panicked, of closing the window before she was able to manage the locks and be helped out. "It was filling up with a lot of smoke," Rogers said.

The incident was reported at 5:09 p.m. as a structure fire with persons trapped inside. Fire Director Stephen Meranti said police were first on the scene and found Heller already outside.

The first truck on the scene saw smoke and lights. "They stretched the hand line in and found fire in the bedroom," said Meranti. "Just the contents of the room were burning, it didn't get into the structure at all."

Smoke could still be seen coming from the building about a half-hour later. Three trucks were at the scene along with Fire & Alarm and the North Adams Ambulance Service, which broke out water bottles for the firefighters. A neighbors in the residential development crowded along the sidewalk to watch.

The victim was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital by the North Adams Ambulance Service for smoke inhalation. A dog was already outside and a small gray kitten was found by firefighters inside but didn't seem injured.

Meranti said the apartment was not livable and the health inspector was expected to condemn the apartment. The resident, whom neighbors said was planning to move, had somewhere else to go for the night and the Red Cross was being alerted.

"The Housing authority is here and they're going to get right in there and clean it up," said Meranti.


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Pittsfield Boy Attacked By Dogs
Pittsfield Police On: 07:00PM / Wednesday June 13, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three dogs have been place under quarantine after reportedly attacking a child on Monday night.

Monday, June 11, at 9:28 p.m., the Pittsfield emergency dispatch center received a report of a child being attacked by a dog at 75 Edward Ave.

Pittsfield Fire Department and Pittsfield Police officers responded to  the scene. According to the investigation report by Officer John Murphy, the 9-year-old boy was bleeding from wounds to his head, arms, and face area.

The boy was transported to Berkshire Medical Center by Action  Ambulance.

Witness stated that three dogs were involved in the attack. The three pitbull terriers, owned by Lori Rohde and Adam Pollack of 75 Edward Ave., were placed in quarantine at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter. The quarantine is a rabies protocol. The  three dogs do have current vaccinations. One pit buil is an adult male, the  second a six-month-old male, and the third a pregnant female.

The case is under investigation by Animal Control Officers Joseph Chague and Terry Moran.

In accordance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 140 section 157,  Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn deemed the three dogs vicious animals, and ordered the dogs be restrained, removed, or disposed of as necessary. The owners may appeal this decision to a hearing at Central Berkshire District Court. There is  no criminal offense involved in this case


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State Police Investigating Fatality In Train Incident
Staff Reports On: 08:00PM / Saturday June 09, 2012
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Update on Thursday, June 14, 3:08 p.m.: The name of the deceased is still being held pending confirmation by the medical examiner's office.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown Police are reporting that an individual was struck and killed by a Boston & Maine train on Saturday morning near the Moody Bridge.

Police have not released the identification of the victim; the investigation has been turned over to the state police with the district attorney's office (Crime Prevention and Control) and the Boston & Maine Railroad Police Department.

According to police, they were alerted at about 9:12 a.m. by Boston & Maine that a person had been struck in the vicinity of the Route 7 bridge.

A report by police Sgt. Scott McGowan states "there doesn't appear to be any suspicious circumstances that would have led to this unfortunate incident. Additionally, law enforcement does not suspect any fault with the train or crew which was operating at the time of the accident."

No further information was immediately available.



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Superior Court Briefs: June 4 - June 5
Staff Reports On: 04:33PM / Friday June 08, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge Mary Lou Rup on Monday, June 4

Walter Gadson, 17, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and single counts of armed robbery and assault and battery.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail. Gadson is accused of assaulting and robbing a 17-year-old man in Pittsfield on May 7.

Solomon Jones III
, 19, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and single counts of armed robbery and assault and battery.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail. Jones is accused of assaulting and robbing a 17-year-old man in Pittsfield on May 7.

Devin Newman, 22, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of distribution of cocaine.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail. Newman is accused of selling cocaine in Pittsfield between December 27, 2011 and January 2, 2010.

Joseph Pini,
35, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 12 counts of breaking and entering in the night time, 10 counts of larceny over $250, two counts of larceny from a building, two counts of malicious destruction of personal property, two counts of trespassing and single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, possession of burglarious tools, receiving stolen property over $250 and common and notorious thief.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $40,000 cash or $400,000 surety bail. The charges stem from a series of break-ins in Williamstown and North Adams between Feb. 24 and March 9.

Cases heard before Judge Mary Lou Rup on Tuesday, June 5.


Tyrrelle Banks, 27, formerly of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on eight counts of larceny under $250, six counts of improper use of a credit card, two counts of larceny of a credit card and single counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, attempt to commit a crime to wit; misuse of credit card, attempt to commit a crime to wit; larceny under $250, and common and notorious thief.

He was ordered to held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $500 bail. Banks allegedly broke in a motor vehicle, taking credit cards and using them to make purchases. The incident allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on August 11, 2010.


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Nilan Receives Slap On Wrist For Pedestrian Accident
Staff Reports On: 03:38PM / Wednesday June 06, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Meredith Nilan must apologize to the man she nearly killed ... and that's basically it.

According to The Berkshire Eagle, Nilan, 24, pled guilty to negligent operation of a motor vehicle on Wednesday — admitting that she hit Peter Moore while driving her father's car on Dec. 8, 2011, on Winesap Road.

Moore suffered multiple injuries including a broken neck and a brain injury and Nilan was accused of fleeing from the scene.

The case finally reached Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday, when Nilan reached a plea bargain. In exchange for pleading guilty, Nilan's case was continued without a finding for six months, and she was ordered not operate a vehicle between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. for 30 days and write a letter of apology admitting her negligence to Moore. A charge of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident was dismissed.

The case against the daughter of the chief probation officer at Berkshire Superior Court nearly never saw a courtroom when Westfield Clerk Magistrate Nathan Byrnes found no probable cause of her guilt. However, the Police Department appealed the decision and Springfield District Court Judge William Hadley overturned Byrnes' ruling.


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News Headlines
Battalion Drops One-Goal Decision in Western Pa.
Pittsfield Weighs Construction Manager Model For New Taconic
Backstop Repairs Drain Last of Pittsfield's Bossidy Funds
Berkshire Battalion Loses Second Straight
McCann Students Lauded for Leadership & Skill Building
BU Looking For More Use of Tanglewood Campus
Battalion Falls at Danville
Berkshire County Arc Receives Workplace Wellness Grant
Cultural Pittsfield This Week:Dec. 19-Jan. 4
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held at New Williamstown Senior Housing

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