Clarksburg Crash Takes Fatal Turn
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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School Union Ex-Workers Charged With Embezzlement
Carol Fryc, 71, of North Adams and Donna Burdick, 57, of Florida, were both arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court after a state police investigation revealed $29,631 worth of unauthorized purchases. They are being charged with single counts of larceny over $250.
The two worked in the small school union office in North Adams; the school union includes Clarksburg, Florida and Savoy schools.
According to court documents, Fryc, the school union's business manager, used the credit cards for an array of purchases — from veterinarian bills to digital cameras to candy for the office — at both Staples and WalMart. Some of the purchases were work-related but "unauthorized" while others were for personal use. Burdick allegedly used the credit cards for purchases from Staples.
The charges date back to 2004 — and some $8,000 is still questioned — but wasn't discovered until last fall when then Clarksburg Selectwoman Debra LeFave suspected that invoices were being forged. The School Union Superintendent Jonathan Lev filed a police response and both women were fired.
The largest unauthorized expenditures came from gift cards. More than $12,000 of the purchases were for Staples gift cards, which were later used for various purchases.
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'Bottle Bomb' Found Along Clarksburg Road
"It's something kids usually mess around with," Police Chief Michael Williams said. "They put household chemicals in a bottle, it expands until it breaks but [this one] probably vented before it broke."
Williams said the plastic bottle was discovered by a homeowner off the side of the road on her property. "She thought it was trash but somebody told her to call the police ... there was something inside it that looked funny."
It appeared that a household chemical had been mixed into the bottle with an element to cause a reaction. He said they're not uncommon and he had run across one in the past that had burst.
The bomb squad was contacted and a technician came up to make sure it was safe. "He packaged it up and removed it," said Williams. "We didn't want anyone to get hurt."
The so-called "works bombs" or bottle bombs are easy to make and cause a bang when they blow up. The device is dangerous to the individuals mixing the chemicals but could cause serious injuries if someone was holding it or near it when it burst.
The bottle was apparently tossed or dropped by the road sometime during the night or early morning. There was no indication anyone was being targeted.
However, a works bomb would classify it as an "infernal device," said Williams, and that could mean up to 15 years in prison for possession.
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Chimney Fire Displaces Five Clarksburg Residents
The fire started n the chimney and expanded into roof.
Firefighters responded to the home owned by Britni Maxwell at 540 River Rd. for a report of a chimney fire at about 12:30 a.m.
The 911 call was placed by Maxwell's cousin after the two women and three children escaped the home. There were no injuries.
The cell phone call had to be initially redirected and by the time they arrived, the blaze had expanded into a structure fire in the roof.
However, firefighters were able to get the flames under control within 15 minutes, according to Fire Chief Carlyle "Chip" Chesbro. Firefighters remained on scene until about 4 a.m.
"The fire was burning alongside the chimney at the roof line," Chesbro said Tuesday afternoon. "Once the trucks got there, we were able to knock it down quickly."
The Fire Department attacked the flames from the inside while mutual aid from Stamford, Vt., assisted from the outside and supplied water. The North Adams Fire Department was on standby.
"The chimney caused the fire. It was in disrepair. But luckily it was external," Chesbro said and added that it is important for residents to keep a close eye on the condition of their chimneys.
The roof to that section of the house was severely damaged and by Tuesday afternoon family friends had already put a tarp over it to protect it. A larger section of the home was undamaged.
The house is insured but it is unclear when the family will be able to move back in. They are currently staying with family.
Chesbro said that once the damaged section is boarded up and utilities are secured, they "should be able to live in it."
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Bomb Squad Detonates Device in Clarksburg
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The state police hazardous unit exploded a suspicious device discovered at a Clarksburg home on Tuesday.
"They detonated a device that appeared to be a homemade IED," said Chief Michael Williams. The device was taken to the sandbanks behind the Senior Center on Cross Road and blown up shortly before noon. The blast reportedly shook the center.
Williams said the residents of the home on Middle Road discovered the device on the property. The bomb squad was contacted to investigate and "they determined that they were just going to do a detonation because they didn't want to transport it for safety reasons."
He described as looking like "something somebody made." Nothing further of a suspicious nature was found or removed, said Williams.
The state fire marshal's office confirmed the bomb squad was called for report of an explosive device at the Middle Road home at about 9 a.m. and arrived to assist Clarksburg police.
"They found a device that they felt needed to be removed from the home and rendered it safe," said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state fire marshal's office. Mieth said the term IED, or improvised explosive device, means it was not a military-made device.
This is the third time in three years a hazardous unit has been called to North Berkshire. The first was in May 2008 after a bank robber dropped what appeared to be an explosive device on the sidewalk in front of Hoosac Bank in North Adams. The device was detonated at the gravel bank off Curran Highway. Investigators believed the device was military-grade C4 based on images taken by the squad's robot.
The second time was this past December when a large black gym bag was spotted under Veterans Memorial Bridge. The squad took X-rays of the bag and cleared it as safe. It was full of dirty clothes and had been stolen from a local laundromat.
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