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North Adams Fire responds to a suspected coolant leak at Cumberland Farms on Curran Highway on Wednesday morning.

North Adams Emergency Services Respond to Package, Coolant Leak

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Emergency responders had a busy morning on Wednesday, first responding to a "suspicious" package at Walmart and then a coolant leak at Cumberland Farms across the street. 

Fire and emergency services responded to the Curran Highway convenience store around 8:30 a.m. to deal with the issue, after reports from workers of difficulty breathing and irritated eyes.

Authorities were already in the area, investigating a suspicious package left at the bus depot at Walmart. The package, according to Police Chief Jason Wood, turned out to just be a cooler filled with ice packs.

The package had apparently been left overnight — it was seen on a security tape from Tuesday night and discovered about 7 a.m. on Wednesday. State Police were called to scene and the area around the bus stop on the north side of the department store blocked off. The store, however, remained open.

Then the hazardous materials team was called to deal with a refrigerant leak at the Cumberland Farms.

"We had two patients earlier complaining of tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing, burning in the eyes," said Fire Chief Brent Lefebvre. "So at that point, we shut down the store, shut down the premises and called for the state hazmat team ... While we were over at the other incident, the manager from here had come over and spoke with us."

Lefebvre said the small detachment from the hazmat team would be better equipped to handle the issue.

"They have more specialized meters then what we carry, so they'll be able to kind of pinpoint what it is, where it is, how to stop it," he said, as they were waiting for the District 5 hazmat team to arrive from Pittsfield.

This story will be updated.

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North Adams Restaurant Has to Reapply for Alcohol License

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Desperados restaurant won't be able to serve alcohol until it gets a new license under its new ownership. 
Former owner Peter Oleskiewicz and new manager Chris Bonnivier had been scheduled to discuss the transition situation with the License Commission on Tuesday but Commissioner Rosemari Dickinson informed her colleagues that the restaurant's license had been turned in. 
"Mr. Oleskiewicz hand-walked his license to surrender to us yesterday," Dickinson said at Tuesday's meeting. "So the license is no longer. He voluntarily surrendered it."
Since the property no longer has a valid license, the alcohol cannot even be stored at 23 Eagle St., she said, because the pouring license is no longer in effect. The alcohol can be sold to other license holders, with permission of the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, or back to the distributor. 
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