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Retired North Adams Worker Gives Signs of Esteem
By Tammy Daniels On: 06:58PM / Wednesday January 02, 2013
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Retired Wire & Alarm worker Robert J. Upton presents a sign dedicated to firefighters past and present to city firefighters and Fire Director Stephen Meranti, left. Also attending was Mayor Richard Alcombright, standing next to Upton.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Robert J. Upton was struck by inspiration driving home one day from his retirement job at Stamford Valley (Vt.) Golf Course — how to show his regard for his former city colleagues.

"People complain about our public safety all the time," said the former Wire & Alarm Division worker. "I thought it was time to do something good for them."

Upton is probably best known as the man who for years strung the Christmas lights along Main Street and on the city's two large trees — and the one who took them down afterward. He retired more than a year ago.

A couple weeks ago, he presented the Fire Department with a sign "Dedicated to all past & Departed Fire Fighters"; on Wednesday, he presented a similar sign to the Police Department.

Upton wanted a gesture that would be public and lasting and that would express his feelings about the nearly 30 years he'd worked along side the public safety departments.

"They could dispay them at the Police Department and the fire station and people would see it," he said of his decision to create signage similar to a plaque.

"Bob has always been thought of as member of our firefighting family," said Fire Director Stephen Meranti, who also oversees Wire & Alarm. "He has always been there when we needed him. We will display this plaque with honor in the station."

Upton said the design was created with the computer graphics help of Jessica Tietgens, who also works at the golf course. "She came up with the designs for me," he said. "She's a good person."

The first sign was created and donated by Michael Sacco and Peace Train Tees at the Berkshire Mall; Beck's Printing made the one for the police station.

"They are always right there when you need them," said Upton of the city's public safety personnel. "I just figured that somebody should show they're appreciated.

"Eventually, down the road, I'd like to give one to the ambulance service as well."



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North Adams Closes Eagle St. Over Gun Report
By Andy McKeever On: 07:53PM / Wednesday November 28, 2012
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police partially blocked off the intersection of Eagle Street and Main Street for nearly an hour Wednesday night after a woman reported that a man wearing a black mask and carrying a gun had jumped on the hood of her car.

According to the police log, the call was placed at 6:43 p.m. and four cruisers responded.

The caller said the weapon did not look real but a man "wearing a black mask and sweat shirt with glasses jumped on the hood of her car."

The caller also said there was a man and a women with the alleged attacker standing in front of Jack's Hot Dog Stand on Eagle Street.

When the officers arrived, one cruiser parked partially across Eagle Street. Three other cruisers were in the immediate vicinity.

In an apartment above Jack's, officers were seen bringing two young men and a young woman downstairs in handcuffs. Shortly after questioning the three, they were uncuffed and police continued their investigation inside the apartment.

No arrests were made and police left the scene at about 7:45 p.m.



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Driver Injured When Truck Hits North Adams Building
Staff Reports On: 10:14PM / Monday November 19, 2012
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The driver of a pickup truck was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital on Monday night after the truck he was driving smashed into a building.

The driver was able to exit the damaged late-model red Toyota Tacoma with the aid of firefighters and North Adams Ambulance personnel. There were no passengers. The name of the driver was not immediately available.

The accident was called in at about 9:30 p.m. as a "car into a building." The truck was coming down steep Liberty Street toward Houghton when it apparently failed to negotiate a righthand turn and hit the corner of the building across the street and slightly to the north.

Eyewitnesses who were in their living room at the time told police they heard the crash and looked out to see the truck going backwards. They attempted to encourage the driver to get out of the vehicle but said he seemed disoriented and asked for a push and tried to start the truck. They moved back when they saw what they believed to be gasoline leaking.

The commercial building exhibited little damage to its siding and concrete foundation. Pieces of the front end of the truck, however, were scattered around the scene. The vehicle went backwards, where it came to rest partly on the north sidewalk of Liberty and a foot or so away from a utility pole and another building on the passenger's side.

The street was closed to traffic below North Street and the accident was being investigated.

The front end of the Tacoma was severely damaged by the crash and the truck was towed away by Dean's Quality Auto.


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North Adams Accident Detours Route 2 Traffic
Staff Reports On: 05:09PM / Thursday November 01, 2012
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A two-car accident that was still under investigation caused a traffic back up on Route 2. It was unknown at posting time whether anyone was injured.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A two-vehicle accident closed a section of West Main Street for nearly an hour on Thursday afternoon.

A white Dodge conversion van and a green Chevrolet Tracker collided near the west end of Hillside Cemetery in the westbound lane at about 3:40 p.m. The Tracker's front passenger side fender and the hood were damaged; the van was hit on the driver's side door and appeared to have a broken the axle on the side.

The names and the number of occupants in the two vehicles were not immediately available. Two ambulances from North Adams Ambulance Service transported the occupants to the scene.

Police were still investigating the accident and could provide no further information at the scence.

Two firetrucks were at the scene. Mohawk Auto Wrecking and Dean's Quality Auto towed the vehicles.

Westbound traffic on Route 2 (West Main Street) was detoured over Brown Street to River Street, causing a back up of traffic along the highway; eastbound traffic was detoured over Roberts Drive to Massachusetts Avenue.


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Former Headmaster Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges
Staff Reports On: 10:37AM / Friday September 28, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former headmaster of a local school pleaded guilty Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court to multiple child pornography charges

David B. Harris, 68, of North Adams was arrested two years ago at his Marion Avenue home. At the time of his arrest, he was the headmaster of Cambridge Montessori School, a private school for children from preschool to ninth grade. He had been head of school at Pine Cobble School in Williamstown for 10 years before leaving in 1999.

Harris pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, and 18 counts of knowlingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in a sexual conduct.

He disseminated child pornography on Jan. 24, 2010, and was in possession of child pornography when he was arrested on July 18, 2010.

Judge John Agostini ordered that he serve six months of a 2 1/2-year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the single possession charge and was placed on two years probation for the dissemination of child pornography charge, on the condition he undergo counseling, turn in all computers and/or media storage devices, not possess any computer or cell phone that can access the Internet, not possess any pornography, and allow a probation officer to search any computer or media device during the probationary period. 

He was given concurrent six-month House of Correction sentences on the 18 counts of possession of visual material of a child depicted in a sexual conduct.



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News Headlines
Pittsfield Granted $4.5 Million To Finish North Street Reconstruction
Clarksburg Awarded $920K MassWorks Grant for Road
PEDA: Springfield Rail Car Contract Benefits Berkshires
Williams Chapin Library Seeking Volunteers
Berkshire Health Systems Investing $6M in North County
Colegrove Park School Project Toured
Pittsfield School, City Officials Prepping For Big Decisions
BArT Students Get Lesson in Chocolate, Child Labor
MBTA Rail Cars to Be Built in Springfield
Trick-or-Treat Hours for Halloween 2014
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