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New York Police Charge 13-year-old Pittsfield Girl With Burglary
Staff Reports On: 04:02PM / Tuesday August 07, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An investigation into a vandalized New York church has led to a 13-year-old Pittsfield girl being charged with with burglary and criminal mischief for allegedly breaking and vandalizing a vacant home in New Lebanon.

According to the Times Union, the girl along with two 14-year-old boys and a 15-year old girl from New Lebanon and a 15-year-old boy from Stephentown allegedly broke into a vacant house and threw beer bottles through windows, punched holes in the walls, poured oil on the floors and broke light fixtures.

The arrests stemmed from an investigation of a July 23 vandalism of Roman Catholic church in New Lebanon. The two 14-year-old boys allegedly broke into the shire of the church and ruined more than 80 candles, stole change from a reflecting pool and damaged an offering box.

The boys are all being charged with third-degree burglary and the two 14-year-old boys have additional fourth-degree criminal mischief and petit larceny charges. The girls are charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

For the church incident, the two 14-year-old boys are facing additional charges of petit larceny, attempted petit larceny and two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief.

The youth's names have not been released because of their age, according to the Times Union.


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Pittsfield Warns Of New Scam Focused On Veterans
Staff Reports On: 03:19PM / Monday August 06, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's Veterans Services Officer Rosanne Frieri is warning of a new scam focused on veterans.

According to a news release, Frieri said veterans who have signed up for retraining assistance programs are being asked to call a phone number, provide their bank account information and pay a $205 service fee and in return they'd receive an increase in the program's stipends. These calls are scams, she said.

The Veterans Retraining Assistance program provides $1,473 in monthly stipends to veterans attending an approved community college of technical school.

"My colleagues around the state are hearing from veterans who say they have received phone calls from someone who promises a matching amount of money," Frieri said in a statement.

Local veterans have not been targeted yet, Frieri said, but veterans should be on the lookout for it.

"Most people know not to give out personal information to anyone, but because this involves a veterans program, it may sound more legitimate...  I’m not aware of anyone in this area who has received one of these calls, but I would like veterans to be aware. They all worked too hard for their benefits to fall victims to a scam," she said.


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Superior Court Briefs: July 23 - Aug. 2
Staff Reports On: 04:37PM / Friday August 03, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 23.

Nichole Belanger, 24, of Clarksburg pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

The case was continued without a a change of plea for one year on the condition that Belanger undergo substance abuse counseling, refrain from using illegal drugs and undergo random drug testing.

The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lee on November 9, 2011. An additional count of drug violation within a school zone was dismissed by the state.

Eugene Jones
, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of cocaine.

He was released on $500 bail. Jones allegedly conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield between March 9 and April 20.

Amber Margraf, 25, of Chester pleaded guilty to four counts of larceny in a building, four counts of breaking and entering in the daytime and single counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, malicious destruction of personal property, larceny of a controlled substance, larceny of a credit card, possession of burglarious tools, attempt to commit a crime, to wit: breaking and entering in the day time, receiving stolen property, possession of pepper spray without a firearm identification card, possession of a class E substance, and common and notorious thief.

She was sentenced to concurrent two to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham on all charges expected the single counts of possession of a class E substance, possession of pepper spray and common and notorious thief. She was given concurrent sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the drug and pepper spray charges and three years probation on the common and notorious thief charge.

The charges stem from a series of house breaks in Dalton, Hinsdale, Lee and Pittsfield between January 22, 2011 and June 17, 2011 as well as a motor vehicle stop in Lee on March 12, 2012.

Four counts of larceny over $250 were dismissed by the state.

Lamar Powell, 34, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: possession of cocaine.

Powell was released on personal recognizance. He allegedly conspired with others to possess cocaine in Pittsfield on April 11.

Jacob Sweener, 22, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of cocaine. He was released on personal recognizance. Sweener allegedly conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on March 4.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 24.

Marcus Scott,
36, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drugs laws.

He was sentenced to seven months at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incident occurred in Pittsfield on February 28, 2008. Additional counts of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws were dismissed by the state.

Dennis O'Neil, 45, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of distribution of methadone.

He was given a six month suspended sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and one year probation. The incident occurred in North Adams on November 6, 2010. An additional count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.

Timothy Lewis, 35, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of drug violation in a school zone, two counts of distribution of cocaine - his second offense - and single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense.

He was sentenced to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail. The incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield between November 17, 2011 and June 15, 2012.

James Kerr, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of intimidation of a witness.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. Kerr allegedly intimidated two witnesses in a pending criminal matter in Pittsfield between May 18 and May 25.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 25.

Gerald Field, 44, of Monterey had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of intimidation of a witness. He was released on personal recognizance because he is currently serving time on other charges.

Field allegedly intimidated two witnesses in a pending criminal matter in Great Barrington between August 15, 2011 and January 10, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 30.


Jeremy Stanton, 26, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to three counts of illegal possession of a firearm, three counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, three counts of improper storage of firearms, three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and single counts of trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in oxycodone, trafficking in methamphetamine/ecstasy, conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: trafficking in oxycodone, conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: trafficking in methamphetamine/ecstasy

Stanton was sentenced to concurrent five to eight years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the trafficking, conspiracy and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony charges. He was given concurrent time at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other charges.

The charges stem from the execution of six search warrants in Pittsfield on February 23, 2011.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Aug. 2.

Cheyenne Allessio, 19, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on two counts of drug violation in a school zone and single counts of distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

She was released on personal recognizance. The incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield between November 17, 2011 and June 15, 2012.


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Clarksburg Crash Takes Fatal Turn
Staff Reports On: 05:51PM / Thursday August 02, 2012
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A local woman airlifted to Albany, N.Y., Medical Center after a two-vehicle accident Thursday morning died of her injuries that night.

Nancy Carpenter, 61, of North Adams was a longtime educator in the North Adams Public School System.

Police said Carpenter appeared to be making right from North Eagle into the eastbound lane of West Cross Road at 11:40 a.m. on Thursday when she collided with a westbound pickup truck operated by Jennifer Lefevre of Stamford, Vt.

Both Clarksburg and North Adams fire departments responded to the scene and North Adams firefighters used the Jaws of Life to remove Carpenter from her vehicle.

Carpenter was Life-Flighted to Albany and Lefevre was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital where she was treated and released. A number of ambulances responded to the scene, including North Adams Ambulance.

Police Chief Michael Williams said the state police accident reconstruction was called to the scene. "Because of the extent of the accident, we determined to cover all the bases," he said.

Police say it appeared that Carpenter did not stop at the stop sign at the top of North Eagle but it was unclear how her car swung into the truck's path. According to the passenger in Carpenter's car, they were on their way to Stamford. The passenger was also treated and released from NARH.

Reports of a third car involved were incorrect. Williams said a car was stopped at the stop sign at the bottom of West Road, across from North Eagle Street. Both Carpenter's car and the pickup ended up in front of it, which may have been why the initial report was for three vehicles.

The accident remains under investigation.

Updated on Aug. 5, 2012, rewrite of lede, headline to reflect fatality.



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Two Pittsfield Men Found Not Guilty For 2010 Brawl Involvement
Staff Reports On: 02:29PM / Monday July 30, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men were found not guilty by a jury Monday for multiple charges stemming for a massive July 4, 2010 brawl on Cloverdale Street.

John Tart,35, and Stephen Abriel, 27, faced a two day trial in Berkshire Superior Court and after seven hours of deliberation, both were found not guilty.

Abriel was facing four counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault and battery and single counts of intimidation of a witness and possession of a stun gun. Tart faced a single count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

Tart's brother, Jesse Tart, pleaded guilty last week to two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon and single counts discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, intimidation of a witness or other person, unlawful possession of fireworks, improper storage a non-large capacity rifle, shotgun or firearm, ownership, possession or transfer of a firearm without a firearm identification card, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana. The pleas were a plea deal that dismissed or reduced other charges.

John Tart was accused of using a sledgehammer to assault others during the brawl and Abriel accused of using a stun gun. However, there was lack of evidence and eyewitnesses linking the two to the weapons.


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Williamstown Town Meeting OKs Parking, Signage
iBerkshire Tag Sales: May 22-24
Sullivan Students Celebrate Memorial Day
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Memorial Day Events 2015
Pittsfield Community Connection Introduces Team Fighting Youth Violence
Adams Library Rededication To Take Place Saturday
Lanesborough FinCom Will Support Mount Greylock Budget Request
Dr. Merselis Awarded Honorary Business Doctorate From Antioch
McCann Tech Grad Interns on Fenway Grounds Crew

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