New Marlborough Woman Was Stabbed to Death

Staff reportsiBerkshires
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PITTSFIELD - A New Marlborough man has been charged in the murder of 55-year-old mother, Donna Agar.

Agar was stabbed to death, according to an autopsy conducted Tuesday in Holyoke by Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Sexton.

Rodney M. Ball, 35, of Clark Way, New Marlborough, was arraigned Monday morning in Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington on one count of murder.

A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf and Judge James McElroy ordered he be held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction. A pretrial hearing has been set for April 24.

According to Berkshire County District Attorney David F. Capeless, at about 1:30 Sunday afternoon, state troopers from the Lee barracks received a call to conduct a well-being check at Agar's home at 1660 Clayton Mill River Road, Southfield. When troopers arrived, they discovered her body in a pool of blood. 

Agar "died from multiple sharp force trauma resulting in loss of blood," according to preliminary autopsy results released by the Capeless' office.

According to court documents, Ball told state police that Agar committed suicide by stabbing herself in the neck with a knife.




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The investigation is being conducted by members of the New Marlborough and Sheffield police departments, state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, troopers assigned to the Lee barracks and state police Crime Scene Services.

Another New Marlborough resident, William S. Demagall, 24, is serving 25 years to life for the 2006 murder of George Mancini of Hillsdale, N.Y. New Marlborough has less than 1,500 residents.

Updated on March 17, 2008, at 1:55 p.m.;  March 18, 2008,  at 5:15 p.m.
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Pittsfield Seeing Decrease in Average Rate of COVID-19 Cases

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After a month of sharp COVID-19 increase, the city is seeing a decreasing average case rate.

"With regards to the number of cases we have been seeing, we continue to get high and low case days," Director of Public Health Andy Cambi wrote in an email on Friday. "It is a similar trend we have seen with past spikes. The cases would slowly decrease, usually taking periodic significant drops and then leveling off for a time."

There were 94 new cases on Thursday, 75 on Wednesday, 124 on Tuesday, and 46 on Monday.

The average case rate per 100,000 people is 223.6 after peaking at an all-time high of 283.1 on Jan. 16.  

The positivity rate is now 16.8 percent, down from 18.1 on Jan. 17. That metric was close to the pandemic's highest positivity rate of 19.2 that occurred in early April 2020.


Similarly, the number of estimated actively contagious cases has dropped to 445, whereas there were 790 on Jan. 15.  

There are currently 21 COVID-positive patients on precautions in Berkshire Medical Center. Pittsfield's 14-day hospitalization rate is 1 to 1.94 for vaccinated to unvaccinated patients.

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