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Two Pittsfield Men Found Not Guilty For 2010 Brawl Involvement

Staff Reports
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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Pittsfield Fire Destroys Home, Kills Two Pets

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A fire at 11 Swan St. has left a young family homeless and killed two pets.

No one was home at the time the fire broke out Friday afternoon. Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said the flames were shooting out of the front and back of the house when firefighters arrived at about 3 p.m. The property is at the end of a short lane off Ridge Avenue near Pontoosuc Lake.

Both the first and second floor of the single-family were destroyed and the famiy's belongings were considered a complete loss. Shane and Shannon Doolan and their infant daughter had moved into the 30-year-old rental property about three weeks ago.

Two dogs died in the fire but a third was able to flee the burning building and was taken in by a neighbor.

The cause of the fire has not been established but was believed to have started in the kitchen. The state fire marshal was on his way to the scene late Friday.

The owners of the home are listed as John and Susan Michalski of Easthampton.

Lenox, Lanesborough and Dalton fire departments assisted on standby and County Ambulance responded to the scene.
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North Adams Swears In New Officers, Firefighters

Staff Reports
New Police Officer Joshua Zustra gets a hug from his grandmother, City Councilor Marie Harpin; left, reserve firefighter Tyler Bolte after the ceremony. Below, Bolte, center, takes the oath with Casey Cooke, left, and Brad Sacco.
Clockwise from above left: Officer Brad Vivori is sworn in; Officer Trevor Manning is pinned by the mayor; Zustra; and reserve Police Officers Jonathan Beaudreau, left, and Nicholas Richards.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council chambers were packed on Tuesday night with family and friends eager to see the city's newest police officers and firefighters sworn in.

Officers Brad Vivori, Trevor Manning and Joshua Zustra were sworn in separately as permanent police officers after serving in a reserve capacity. They were officially sworn in by the mayor on July 11 but it has become the administration's policy to have new officers take the oath publicly from City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau on community television.

Zustra received not only a handshake from the mayor and a hug from Gomeau, a former neighbor, like his colleagues, but also hug from his proud grandmother, City Councilor Marie Harpin.

Also taking the oath were reserve Officers Jonathan Beaudreau and Nicholas Richards, and reserve firefighters Casey Cook, Brad Sacco and Tyler Bolte. Reserve firefighter Collin Boucher was not in attendance.

"I think this is a great community event and I'm glad we do this and I'm glad to see so many friends, family and supporters," said the mayor, quipping, "cops, people hate to see you coming, firefighters, people love to see you coming." But he, added, "we truly respect, we value what you do ... it's a lot of hard work, a lot of training, a lot of effort, a lot of risk.

 "My wish to you is to be happy at your job, but to be safe and stay so."
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Adams Accident Closes Route 8

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

One person was transported to the hospital and another was treated at the scene. None of the injuries appeared to be serious, Police said.
ADAMS, Mass. — A two vehicle accident on Commercial Street sent one person to the hospital and closed Route 8 for 30 to 45 minutes on Tuesday afternoon.

A southbound Chevy 1/2 ton pickup truck collided with a Toyota Solara attempting to exit Elm Street across from Aladco just after 3 p.m. The car spun into the Aladco parking lot and both vehicles were towed from the scene.

One person was transported by ambulance to the hospital and another was treated at the scene. Police said the injuries did not appear to be serious.

The roadway was opened a few minutes after 4 p.m. No further information was immediately available.
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Pittsfield Man Pleads Guilty To Charges From 2010 Brawl

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man involved in a massive brawl on July 4, 2010 pleaded guilty to numerous charges in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday.

Jesse Tart, 38, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty 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.

Judge John Agnostini ordered Tart to serve concurrent 18 month sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the assault by means of the dangerous weapon charges. He was given five years probation on the other charges.

The charges stem from a massive brawl on Cloverdale Street in Pittsfield on July 4, 2010. Ten counts of ownership, possession or transfer of a firearm, rifle or shotgun without a firearm identification card, six counts of improper storage of a non-large capacity rifle, shotgun or firearm and a single count of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card were dismissed by the state.
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