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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Herberg Middle Schoolers Thank Firefighters With Gift Baskets

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters were all smiles on Wednesday as they received tokens of appreciation from four Herberg Middle schoolers.

Emirhan Ozdemir, Aidan Underdown, Markus Carpenter and Stevie Kazimierczak gifted each of the city's five stations with a basket of coffee, hot cocoa, tea, and snacks after raising $425 as part of a civics project.

Crews gathered at the department headquarters on Columbus Avenue for the exchange.

"That was a great thing you guys did.  You came up with this idea, you got the whole school revved up and that's awesome.  Everybody got together and that's great," Chief Thomas Sammons told the students, adding that it was a great civics lesson and shows how far an idea can go with dedication.

"We are very thankful that you guys thought of us," he said.

The boys, who are all sports fans, were inspired to raise money because of the outpouring of support to a charity started by Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin after he went into cardiac arrest on the field early this year. The football player's heartbeat was restored on the scene and due to the nation's generous response to his community toy drive, Chasing M's Foundation, which has currently garnered more than $9 million, his family suggested that efforts be directed toward local first responders.

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