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Pittsfield Police Arrest Two Men on Firearms Charges

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two local men were arrested late Thursday night on firearms charges after police investigated reports of gunfire in the city's West Side. 
 
Tajaye Davis, 24, and Zyir Rasheed, 19, both of Pittsfield, were both arraigned on Friday morning in Central Berkshire District Court on charges possession of a firearm without having firearms identification card or license to carry, possession of ammunition without an FID, and receiving stolen property less than $1,200 in value. Police say additional charges are pending.
 
A ShotSpotter activation reported gunfire first in the area of John Street at about 9:43 p.m. on Thursday. Responding officers and the Detective and Crime Scene units located evidence of gunfire.  No victims or property damage were discovered.
 
Two hours later, at 11:43 p.m., a second ShotSpotter activation reported gunfire in the area of Francis Avenue. A State Police trooper was in close proximity, heard the shots, and observed a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed.
 
A motor vehicle stop was initiated by the trooper on Danforth Avenue, where he was joined by multiple Pittsfield Police units.
 
The two occupants of the vehicle were detained, and a firearm was discovered inside the vehicle. Subsequent investigation revealed no victims or property damage on Francis Avenue.
 
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Pittsfield Police units and the State Police Ballistics Unit. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Information can also be sent via by texting PITTIP and your message to 847411 (TIP411) or provided anonymously via the Detective Bureau Tip Line at 413-448-9706.
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Adams Head-on Collision Sends Three to Hospital

ADAMS, Mass. — Police are investigating a head-on collision that sent three people to the hospital with what authorities say are non-life-threatening injuries.
 
Collision occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on the north end of East Road between a Subaru and pickup truck that was pulling a trailer with an all-terrain vehicle. 
 
Police on scene were hesitant to divulge much information because the accident is under investigation but confirmed the collision was head on. It is believed one of the vehicles veered into the other lane.
 
Adams Ambulance personnel transported three victims to Berkshire Medical Center with injuries that did not appear to be life threatening. 
 
The Fire Department posted that firefighters secured the vehicles and scene, and used Spedi Dri to soak up an remove fluids. Both vehicles were towed away.
 
East Road was closed for a little over an hour from Wheel Estates in North Adams to Lime Street in Adams.
 
 
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River Street's East End Closed for Pole Replacement in North Adams

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — River Street was closed between Freeman Avenue and Eagle Street for a few hours on Monday afternoon to replace a utility pole. 
 
Police reported that the pole was struck in a motor vehicle accident on Monday morning. The pole is located by Dave's Package Store at the corner of Eagle and River. 
 
"Crews are working diligently to resolve this issue and the roadway will be reopened as soon as possible,"  stated Lt. Anthony Beverly in a posting on the Police Department's Facebook page. 
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Woman Killed in Two-Car Crash in Richmond

RICHMOND, Mass. — A two-car crash on Route 41 at Dublin Road at about 5:30 on Wednesday evening resulted in the death of a 72-year-old woman.
 
On Thursday, Police identified the victim as Barbara Detlefsen of Slippery Rock, Pa. The crash is still under investigation.
 
Preliminary investigation by troopers assigned to state police barracks in Lee show that a 2012 Toyota Camry and a 2016 Honda Accord were operating on Route 41 when, for reasons still under investigation, they collided resulting in injuries to three people. 
 
Two occupants in the Toyota and one occupant in the Honda were all transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield for treatment. The 73-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital.
 
The cause of this crash remains under investigation with assistance from the state police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, Crime Scene Services Section, and troopers assigned to the Berkshire County district attorney's office. State police were assisted on scene by Richmond Fire and EMS and West Stockbridge Police Department.
 
No further information is available at this time, an update will be provided as more information becomes available.
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Former Great Barrington Assistant Tax Collector Charged With Embezzlement

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Great Barrington assistant tax collected is being charged with embezzlement after allegedly stealing more than $100,000 in excise and property taxes.
 
Deborah Ball, 63, of Great Barrington was arraigned in Superior Court on Wednesday for what officials are calling a "Ponzi scheme." Ball is accused of taking real estate and excise taxes residents and business owners paid in cash and attempted to cover it up by applying portions of check payments made by others. The scheme was allegedly uncovered in 2018 through an audit by Scanlon and Associates.
 
"The Town of Great Barrington will continue to work closely with our auditors and state and local authorities until this matter is resolved. The town has implemented proper controls to prevent this type of incident from happening again in the future.  Regarding the current incident, the Town is bonded and insured for losses such as this," reads a statement from Town Manager Mark Pruhenski.
 
Ball was indicted on July 31 on charges of embezzlement by a municipal officer and larceny. Officials suspect the embezzlement had been ongoing for at least three years. 
 
"As public officials, we have a responsibility to represent our communities and keep their best interests in mind, but Ms. Ball failed in that critical duty," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a prepared statement. "In bringing these charges, we are holding Ms. Ball accountable for betraying the trust that the community
placed in her."
 
The district attorney's office said that in 2018 Scanlon and Associates first noticed discrepancies and the State Police assigned to the district attorney's office and Great Barrington police began investigating. 
 
Ball had worked with the town for close to 35 years and was played on administrative leave on Feb. 21 and separated from employment on March 15.
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