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North Adams Police Warn Not to Chase Bears

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Hungry black bears have been on the prowl in the area lately searching for food after their long winter's nap.

There's been a lot of news about the creatures and plenty of reports of them lingering in residential areas. But one impaired resident decided to chase one into the woods on Monday night prompting North Adams Police to post a humorous warning on the department's Facebook page:


**Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised**

The North Adams Police Department is urging everyone to NOT chase bears through the woods with a dull hatchet, drunk. Yes that really did happen tonight. We understand there are bears in the area. If you see a bear, LEAVE IT ALONE and call us. We certainly don't need anyone going all Davy Crockett chasing it through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet. It is just a bad idea and not going to end well. It will however, certainly end you up in jail ... which it did. The hatchet man was taken into protective custody due to his incapacitation from the consumption of alcoholic beverage. We are still trying to figure out what his end game was. Any thoughts on what he was going to do if he did locate it? We would certainly like to hear because we have no idea.


Really, leave the bears alone. It seems like we go through this every year:

Take down bird feeders, secure trash and don't leave pet food outside. No food available and the bears will leave. Failing that, some loud noises, like banging pans, may also deter them.

And whatever you do, don't chase them into the woods — with or without a dull hatchet. #goingDaveyCrockett

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State Police Searching Greylock Glen for Lewis Lent Leads

Police have blocked the road to the Greylock Glen during a search of the area related to cases connected to convicted serial killer Lewis Lent.

ADAMS, Mass. — Investigators from a number of different law enforcement agencies will spend the next several days on Mount Greylock following up on leads on unsolved cases.

Officers will concentrate their efforts in the Greylock Glen area of the Mount Greylock State Reservation in Adams.  

They are following up on leads from Lewis Lent cases and concentrating their efforts on areas not searched previously.

Lent, who had lived in North Adams, has confessed to three murders. The serial killer is currently serving consecutive life sentences with no parole for the murders of 12-year-old Jimmy Bernardo, of Pittsfield, and Sara Anne Wood, also 12, of Frankfort, N.Y. In 2013, he confessed to the 1992 murder of 16-year-old James Lusher of Westfield.

Neither Lusher nor Wood's remains have been found. In 2013, police spent three days searching Becket Pond for Lusher's body. Authorities believe Lent is connected to several other killings.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed past suspicious activity or who may have information pertaining to the Lent investigation to contact state police detectives at 413-499-1112.  

Those involved in the search of the Glen include state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, state police tactical operations, the Berkshire County sheriff's office, the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force, including the Adams, Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Williamstown and Dalton police departments, Environmental Police and members of the New York State Police.

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Fire Destroys Pittsfield Storage Shed

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A storage shed was destroyed Sunday after a refuse fire was left unattended.
 
According to Deputy Fire Chief Steven Peaslee, a 25-foot by 12-foot storage shed is a total loss at 275 Highland Ave. The shed stored a lawn mower, bicycle, outboard motor, construction materials and other household items and will cost an estimated $50,000 to replace, according to fire officials.

A smaller storage shed at 275 Highland and a garage next door at 279 Highland Ave. were damaged somewhat from exposure to the intense heat from the fire.

The cause is undetermined and the investigation is ongoing, according to Peaslee, however, the "probable cause is an unattended, unauthorized, nearby refuse fire within 15 to 20 feet of the outbuilding."
 
The owners of the property said they were burning construction-type wood debris the night before. The shed caught fire around 1 in the afternoon when nobody was home. The call was placed by a neighbor, who saw smoke, and no injuries were reported.
 
"Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire under high-heat conditions from both the fire and warm weather," Peaslee said in a release.
 
Highland Avenue was closed briefly while the firefighters battled the blaze. Firefighters used "several hand lines" to extinguish the fire.
 
"The storage shed was fully involved on our arrival. Heavy, black smoke plume could be seen for miles atop the hill on Highland," the release reads.
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Accident Closes North Adams' State Street For Hours

Staff Reports
A pole sheared off in an accident on Thursday morning caused a section of State Street to be closed down.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Southbound traffic over the Hadley Overpass and Street Street was disrupted for most of the day after a one-car accident sheared off a pole early Thursday morning.

According to the police log, a 1998 Toyota Corolla driven by an  Adams woman collided with the utility pole at the corner of State Street and Christopher Columbus Avenue.

The crash occurred at about 7:30 a.m. and police, fire and North Adams Ambulance Service responded to the scene.

At least one person was taken to the hospital and the road was closed until National Grid could replace the pole. Northbound traffic was detoured up Walnut Street and over Furnace Street; southbound traffic was still being sent over Ashland or Church streets at 3:30 p.m.

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Lanesborough Police Investigating Crash That Killed New Ashford Woman

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police are investigating a one-car accident that killed a 51-year-old New Ashford woman on Thursday night.

Sheryl A. Surprenant of State Road in New Ashford was driving northbound on Route 7 when her car crossed lanes and went off the road, crashing through the sign for the former Lamp Post Motel, on the southbound side, said police.

Officers responded at  9:22 p.m. to the report of a vehicle off the road near the motel on Route 7. The Chrysler had flipped and was lodged in trees and brush.

"The vehicle was on its roof and in the trees. She was pronounced dead on the scene," said Sgt. Gary Kirby on Wednesday. "It was a very difficult extrication by Lanesborough Fire and EMS."

A passerby, who works in the tree removal business, reported the accident and began clearing brush until emergency responders arrived. Speed was a factor based on evidence at the scene and a witness account, according to police, but the rest of the circumstances are still under investigation.

The accident caused some backed up traffic but the road remained open.

Kirby was not on the scene that night but Officers Brad Lepicier and Robert Moore, and Investigator Timothy Sorrell responded along with Lanesborough firefighters, emergency medical services, and County Ambulance. The Massachusetts State Police accident reconstruction team is assisting with the investigation.

Suprenant, a Pittsfield native, resided for many years in Southwick before returning to the area.

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