The SchoolBuilding Committee will have to wait until next week to open the general contractor bids. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
The Conte School project in North Adams is on hold for a week after complaints were filed over a subcontractor's bid. IBerkshires.com reports that a bid complaint was filed against Champlain Masonry, the low bidder on the project, for failing to fill out one of the lines in its submission. Kenneth Guyette of Strategic Building Solutions said they had to reject the bid because the bidder had to fill in the line, designating entity for a sub-subcontract, by state statute. Champlain filed its own complaint and a hearing has been set at the Attorney General's office on Thursday. Guyette said he expected a decision to be rendered that day or the next. That would clear the way for the general contractor bids to be opened on March 17th.
Three Arrested After High Speed Chase
A New York City Man and a woman from North Adams were arraigned yesterday in Berkshire Superior Court on several drug related charges, after leading police on high speed chase in North Adams. According to Police, 27 year old Ariel Camacho of Manhattan, 25 year old Grace Stanley of Cliff Street, and Charles Crisp III , of Beaver Street were taken into custody after the chase that began on Curran Highway and ended on Cliff Street. Camacho failed to pull over for police, blew through an intersection, and then proceeded to lead police on a chase that saw speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. According to police, there were 125 small bags and one large bag of crack cocaine in the vehicle, along with two bags of heroin, and oxycodone. Camacho and Stanley pleaded not guilty to multiple drug charges. Crisp will be arraigned on March 25th.
Lanesborough Examining High School Options
The Selectmen set a March 27 meeting to discuss the future of MountGreylockRegionalHigh School. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
As the feasibility study to renovate or build a new high school is set to be voted on at town meeting, Lanesborough, officials want to know Hancock, New Ashford and Richmond's intentions.
The Board of Selectmen will hold a meeting later this month to discuss the various parts of a new or renovation project.
One of those parts would be if Hancock, New Ashford and Richmond wants to join the Mount Greylock Regional School District, offset some of the cost, or continue with the tuition agreement.
Lanesborough also wants to look at other options that could lower cost, including whether both Grades 7 and 8 should continue going to Mount Greylock's middle school.
Keeping the seventh-graders at Lanesborough Elementary School, for example, could lower the high school's enrollment, thus allowing the new school to be built smaller.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 27, at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.
Pittsfield Man Arraigned For North Adams Vehicle Theft
A Pittsfield man is being charged with motor vehicle theft for the seventh time in 26 years. According to police, 43 year old Kevin Marshall allegedly stole an unlocked Mazda SUV at the Cumberland Farms on Ashland Street in North Adams on Saturday afternoon. Marshall was apprehended in Williamstown about an hour after the owner of the vehicle, who was inside the store at the time, reported the vehicle stolen. Marshall pleaded not guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court yesterday on charges of motor vehicle larceny, subsequent offense and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. Separate charges including receiving a stolen vehicle, and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle were filed by Williamstown Police. Marshall was held on $5,000 cash bail for each set of charges.
Further Study Advised For Police/Fire Facility
John MacMillan of Reinhardt Associates discusses a conceptual drawing of a possible police/fire facility on the Lehovic property. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Stephen Dravis)
Williamstown's Public Safety Building Study Committee on has decided to recommend the town explore further the possibility of a joint police-fire facility at the so-called Lehovic Property on Main Street. Iberkshires.com reports the committee met for more than an hour with the president of Agawam design firm Reinhardt Associates. The takeaway message was that of the two sites the firm studied as potential homes for a joint facility, only the Lehovic site would work. The Fire District's attempts to acquire the property in the fall for a fire station were twice narrowly rejected, in part, on the argument that the town should consider a joint public safety facility to save money.
Annual Catholic Appeal Kicks Off Today
Bishop Timothy McDonnell is scheduled to formally kick-off the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal this morning at Lorraine's Soup Kitchen in Chicopee. McDonnell will also address the urgent need to provide emergency assistance to families struggling this winter. He is being joined by a number of emergency service agencies and will announce a new initiative honoring the 1st Anniversary of Pope Francis' election. The event takes place at 10 a.m. The Diocese of Springfield includes all of the Catholic parishes in Berkshire County.
New Ashford Crash Closed Down Route 7
Lanesborough Police closed the road at the intersection of Brodie Mountain Road. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Staff)
Route 7 in New Ashford had to be closed down for about two hours early yesterday morning, after a two-car motor vehicle accident. The accident occurred around 7 A.M., roughly four miles south of the Five Corners. According to state police, both drivers – a 22 year old man from Agawam and a 59 year old Williamstown driver were transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield with "non-life-threatening injuries." Both drivers were entrapped in their vehicles and had to be removed using the Jaws of Life. Neither vehicle was carrying any passengers.
Authorities Searching For Bank Robbery Suspect
A widening police search continued last night for two suspects that robbed the Lee Bank office in Stockbridge yesterday afternoon. Several eyewitnesses apparently said a bald man of medium height entered the bank on Elm Street around 3:30 p.m. which is a half hour before the banks closing time – and that a second man waited for him parked in a blue pickup truck. According to police no one was hurt and it was not clear if a weapon of any kind was used or how much money the suspects got away with. Police county-wide are on the lookout for a late model blue Chevy pickup with orange New York plates, according to a bolo broadcast by the Berkshire County Sheriff’s emergency dispatch. The vehicle was also described as having a green truck cap and a missing rear window.
South CountyMan Arraigned On Child Rape Charges
A New Marlborough man was arraigned yesterday in Berkshire Superior Court on sexual assault charges. 55-year-old Eric Cohen had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of rape of a child: with force, and one count of assault with intent to commit rape upon a child. Judge John Agostini ordered that Cohen be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 cash bail on the condition he have no contact with the alleged victim. Cohen allegedly assaulted a woman, who is now 33 years of age at least 20 years ago, between 1992 and 1994.
Man Gets Up To 11 Years For Assault And Attempted Robbery
A Pittsfield man pleaded guilty yesterday to charges related to an attempted armed robbery in October 2012. 24 year old Ansel Sparrow assaulted and attempted to rob a 26 year old man and 22 year old woman in Pittsfield. According to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Sparrow pleaded guilty to one count of armed assault with intent to rob, two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery while masked. He pistol whipped the man while an accomplice, 19 year old Steven Lesley, held a knife to the woman, and then hit her with the butt of the knife in the face. Sparrow was ordered to serve an 8 to 11 year state prison sentence on the charge of armed assault with intent to rob. He was given concurrent 8 to 10 year prison sentences on the other charges. Lesley was sentenced to 6 to 9 years in state prison in January.
Candidates Sought In Lenox
The Lenox Democratic Town Committee will be holding its annual caucus to nominate candidates seeking election to town positions or boards on Tuesday, March 18th from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Lenox Town Hall. Today however at 4pm is the deadline for candidates seeking any of the available positions. Nomination papers are available from the town clerk’s office. Nominees will be selected for moderator, Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Planning Board and Housing Authority. Registered Democratic candidates who receive the most votes for each position will have their name placed on the ballot as the town’s Democratic Party nominee for the annual town election which will be held on Monday, May 5th.
Residents Unsure About New Pipeline
While attention has been widely focused on a proposed natural gas line across northern Massachusetts, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is also seeking to install a 3.8-mile segment of line in Sandisfield. The Berkshire Eagle reports that a number of townspeople have expressed concerns about the project and say they are organizing a group to oppose the line. The 36-inch diameter pipe would loop out of an existing gas line through the town, follow a close parallel path and then reconnect with it after 3.8 miles. The Connecticut Expansion project, as it is known, is a $77 million proposal that would also include loop segments in New York state and Connecticut, for a total of 13 miles of pipe.
More Than 3,500 Police Planned For BostonMarathon
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) — Spectators attending this year's Boston Marathon with backpacks, coolers and other large items will have them subject to search.
Officials on Monday strongly discouraged attendees from bringing such bags and instead urged them to carry belongings in clear plastic bags like those being given to runners to stow their gear.
At least 3,500 police officers will be spread across the eight cities and towns that make up the marathon route. That's more than double the number from last year.
Authorities have been meeting for months to come up with a plan to beef up security following last year's deadly attack. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the race.
This year's race is scheduled for April 21.
Gun Group: Mass. Lawmakers Should OK Fake Gun Bill
BOSTON (AP) — Gun rights advocates are calling on Massachusetts lawmakers to approve a bill that would treat anyone who brandishes a fake gun during a violent crime the same as someone with an actual weapon.
The head of the Gun Owners' Action League said the state needs the law given what the group called a recent rise in police-involved shootings of suspects with fake weapons.
On Sunday prosecutors said a Hingham police officer shot a man who pointed what looked like a handgun at him. The weapon was a pellet gun.
GOAL Executive Director Jim Wallace said anyone who uses a fake gun in a crime should be treated as if they had a real gun.
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz says state police are investigating the shooting. The man who was shot faces assault charges.
Groundbreaking Planned For 1st Mass. Slots Parlor
PLAINVILLE, Mass. (AP) — The company that was awarded a license for the state's first and only slots parlor says it is ready to start construction on the facility.
Penn National Gaming announced on Monday it planned to hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday at the Plainridge harness race track in Plainville.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission last month awarded Penn National the state's first expanded gambling license.
The company says the slots parlor — to be called the Plainridge Park Casino — will create about 500 permanent jobs and 1,000 temporary construction jobs.
When finished, the facility is slated to have 1,250 slot machines along with harness racing and simulcasting. It will also include the first Doug Flutie sports bar.
The state's 2011 gambling law also allows up to three resort casinos in Massachusetts.
Mass. Gov. Patrick: I Share Concerns About Pilgrim
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has pledged to write a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission expressing concerns about the safety of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth.
Patrick made the promise Monday after meeting briefly with the head of a group of Cape Cod residents seeking to shut down the plant.
Patrick said he shares the safety concerns and has expressed those concerns both publicly and to the federal agency overseeing nuclear power in the past.
Activists tied their visit to the Statehouse to the eve of the third anniversary of the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan.
The Plymouth plant's operators say the facility is safe and secure, adding that it produces 10 percent of Massachusetts' electrical needs.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted in 2012 to re-license Pilgrim through 2032.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Two Bids For Williamstown Affordable Housing
WilliamstownTown Manager Peter Fohlin opens the packages containing proposals to develop affordable housing on a pair of town-owned sites. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Stephen Dravis)
Williamstown has two bids so far on their affordable housing project. The bids come from Pittsfield-based Berkshire Housing Development Corp. and Boston-basedArch Street development. Williamstown is looking to develop a pair of brown field sites for their affordable housing and is eyeing the former town garage site on Water Street and the former PhoTech mill on Cole Avenue as potential sites. Town manager Peter Fohlin says selectmen will start evaluating the proposals later today.
State Transportation Bill directs $15 million to the Berkshires
The crumbling BrownStreetBridge in North Adams is set to get $1.5 million should the transportation bond make it through the House and governor intact. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/Staff Reports)
The state Senate passed a transportation bill Thursday which sends $15 million to the Berkshires to improve roads, bridges and a parking garage. iBerkshires.com is reporting that funds will go to repairing the parking garage between Columbus avenue and Summer St, the Hubbard Avenue railroad overpass, Thiel Road in Adams, the Brown Street Bridge in North Adams, and for the bridge over the Housatonic River along Rt. 7 in Great Barrington. State Senator Ben Downing co-sponsored an amendment in the bill that loosens up about 50 million dollars to contracted snow plow workers for their services this winter.
Sandra Thomas Stepping Down As Director Of Images Cinema
After serving the Berkshires at Images Cinema for 12 years, Sandra Thomas will be stepping down from her position of executive director as soon as a replacement is found. Images Cinema plans to hire a new executive director before the end of June and is accepting applications.
Clarksburg Interviews Former Selectman For Administrator Post
Selectmen Jeffrey Levanos and Chairwoman Lily Kuzia interview former board member Carl McKinney on Thursday. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
The fourth candidate for Clarksburg town administrator put the Selectmen in the odd position Thursday of interviewing a former colleague.
Carl McKinney served on the Selectmen for 11 years, leaving as chairman in January to apply for the town administrator post.
McKinney is the fourth, and expected to be the final, candidate. Three candidates were interviewed two weeks before; a fifth candidate had been scheduled but withdrew her application. A new administrator could be named as soon as Tuesday.
School District Budget
The Berkshire Hills Regional School District has approved a total of $200,000 in cuts to the fiscal 2015 budget. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the committee learned Friday that they will have to reconvene on Tuesday this week for a brief meeting to move the budget using the correct terminology. The amounts will not change, but the wording of the motion was incorrect. Next year’s budget will be $23,361,000 million, minus the $200,000 in cuts.
Hoosac Hurricanes Nab Second Title
It’s a proud day for Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire, their girls basketball team unseated Sabis for a second straight W. Massachusetts championships. The Hurricanes ran away with a 72 – 41 victory. The team remains undefeated this year against their Western Massachusetts opponents, entering the tournament 19-1 with its only loss coming in a Florida tournament to Austintown Fitch of Youngstown, Ohio.
WilliamCollege Women Win Hockey Title
The Williams College women's hockey team has done what no other team before it could. There have been teams that have hosted playoff games and gone to the conference final. This year’s team did both of those and one-upped all other teams by claiming the NESCAC championship with a 4-1 win over Bowdoin at Lansing Chapman Rink on Sunday afternoon. The Berkshire Eagle reports the team did everything it could to savor the moment, remaining on the ice to celebrate with friends and family.
The annual Berkshire Home Show took place at the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough over the weekend. Danielle Thomas, coordinator of Events and Programs for the Chamber said that the Home Show featured a total of 47 vendors of virtually every home-improvement business one could imagine. Thomas says that the Home Show was held at the Berkshire Mall because it has enough space to accommodate all the vendors’ booths, and because it is a central point in the county. The warmer weather on both Saturday and Sunday helped to drive attendance at the annual show, which brought in people from all parts of the Berkshires and beyond. Pre-K Returns To Lanesborough
Director of Pupil Services Kim Grady said she didn't have enough interest in town to fill the minimum needs for a full year, agency-based program. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
The Lanesboro School Committee has opted to reinstate a school based preschool program a year after opting to close it down due to funding deficits. The program is slated to return next fall. Superintendent Rose Ellis explained to iBerkshires.com that a school-based option was the best, as an agency run program would have been too costly and not enough parents were interested in it. A school based model hires its own teachers and will operate in tandem with the traditional school year. The committee is looking at a price tag of about $30,000 and plans to make their pre-k program tuition based to meet costs.
Two Car Accident In Pittsfield
Two men suffered non life-threatening injuries after a head-on collision near Mazcots Sports Bar & Grill on Friday afternoon. The crash occurred on Pittsfield Road at around 4:30 p.m. According to the Lenox Police Department, 22 year old Anthony Urella of Oxford, was driving southbound in a 2003 Ford Ranger when he veered and struck a 2006 Saturn, operated by 58 year old John Plant of Lenox. Lenox Ambulance and County Ambulance tranported both men from the scene to Berkshire Medical Center.
Pittsfield Police Have New Tool
The Pittsfield Police Department has partnered with BAIR Analytics to provide a new way for the public to stay informed about public disorder and crime in Pittsfield. The Pittsfield Police Department now has an online crime map called RAIDS Online that maps and analyzes crime data, alerts Pittsfield citizens about crimes in their area, and allows the Pittsfield Police Department to quickly alert the public about crimes as they occur. Pittsfield citizens can view a map and grid with all of the crimes in their area, sign up for neighborhood watch reports that automatically email a breakdown of recent crime activity, and submit an anonymous tip about a crime directly to their law enforcement agency. According to Police Chief Michael Wynn, RAIDS Online is a natural extension of our ongoing Neighborhood Watch initiatives.
Sheffield Residents Mourn Historic Barn
A barn that stood in Sheffield since 1837 will be sorely missed by the community after the building perished in a fire last week. An electrical short started the blaze and once the hay became involved, the barn could not be saved. The owner of the barn, Terry Licata, says she wishes it was her house that got destroyed. The barn held several family heirlooms, like working tractors from the early 40’s. Residents were also vocal about their grief, saying the barn was a cultural icon and historical landmark of Sheffield.
Friday, March 07, 2014
North Adams Woman Killed in Single-Car Accident
(Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
North Adams Police are investigating a fatal accident that occurred at 7 a.m. on Friday morning on West Main Street.
A local woman was killed when she apparently lost control of her Chrysler minivan and crashed into the guard rail, then sheared off a utility pole. The van hit a second pole and came to rest facing north not far from the entrance of Hillside Cemetery.
The victim was identified as Deborah Pierce, 56, of Cleveland Avenue. "She was heading west at a high rate of speed when she lost control," said Police Director Michael Cozzaglio. "Speed was a factor, absolutely, a high rate of speed." The van's engine was resting next to the second utility; the driver was ejected and found about 10 feet away. The highway was closed since the accident and traffic has been rerouted over Protection Avenue and Roberts Drive on the west side and Brown Street on the east. The state police accident reconstruction unit was at the scene along with North Adams Police and Fire, and North Adams Ambulance Service.
A Name Change For ConteSchool ?
(Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)
The North Adams School Committee as formed a subcommittee that will be looking to recommend a new name for the renovated Silvio O. Conte Middle School building. Superintendent James Montepare said the new subcommittee will meet in the coming weeks and should have a recommendation by April. The School Committee has deliberated over the process for naming the school, set to reopen as an elementary school in the fall of 2015. Committee members agreed during their recent meeting to form a subcommittee that would review possible names.
Trial Set For Third Defendant In Murder Case
The trial of Caius Veiovis, the third and final defendant in the kidnapping and brutal murder of three Pittsfield men in August of 2011, has been set for September 2nd. The trial will likely be held in Hamden Superior Court where the first defendant in the case, Adam Lee Hall was convicted on three counts of murder and given three consecutive life sentences. The second defendant in the case, David Chalue will go on trial on April 22nd in the same court. Chalue's attorney was denied a request to have his clients trial moved to another location because he was concerned the jury pool would be tainted due to pretrial publicity. It would seem likely that if the attorney for Veiovis makes the same request, it would be denied, but that remains to be seen. It's alleged that Veiovis helped Adam Lee Hall and David Chalue kidnap and kill David Glasser, Edward Frampton, and Robert Chadwell.
Clarksburg Looks Into Financial Errors
Highway Foreman Kyle Hurlbut confers with town officials about the need for a new truck and the leaking roof in the town garage. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
Officials in the town of Clarksburg are expected to meet with its finance personnel tonight in another effort to clarify a $113,000 variance in town accounts. IBerkshires.com reports that a journal entry wiping out the $113,000 has to be done before the town can submit its Schedule A for free cash, which should have been done in October. Finance Committee members have been reluctant to ignore the variance but need free cash from fiscal 2013 settled before determining a budget for fiscal 2015.
LansboroughSchool District Looking At Options
The School Committee voted 2-1 in favor of exploring alternatives for sharing administrative costs. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
The Lanesborough school district may not be withdrawing from Superintendency Union 71 right-now, but it will investigate other options. IBerkhsires.com reports the School Committee voted 2-1 on Wednesday in favor of exploring alternative affiliations and stated that it will start by working with Union 71 to see if it can work better. Chairman Robert Barton had proposed withdrawing from the union, and then scaled it back to stating the districts "intent to withdraw" – and finally deciding to open up an investigation into alternatives.
Annual Soup Fest Tonight!
The Civitan Club of Pittsfield is holding its annual “Soup Fest” this evening at the Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield. The event, now in its eighth year, will have soup tastings from about twenty area restaurants and organizations along with appetizers and desserts. There will also be music throughout the night, a cash bar, silent auction, and raffles. Civitan member Dawn Giftos says the proceeds will go to area soup kitchens and food pantries. Soup Fest runs from 5:30pm to 8pm. Tickets are still available for a donation of $25 ahead of time or at the door tonight.
RamblewildAerialAdventurePark Eyes May Opening
The "hub" where every course starts.(Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)
The new Lanesborough, aerial adventure park is set to open this spring.
Tree-Mendous has had workers building the 150 elements over the winter and management has set a Memorial Day weekend grand opening for their newest company, Ramblewild. The park, on Brodie Mountain Road, features eight courses of varying difficulty. The courses are nearly completed — a suspension bridge has yet to be built — and the company is awaiting the completion of a lodge for ticketing and souvenirs.
The park will be open through the summer daily from 9 a.m. until dusk. It will open at night by reservation for customers to use the course wearing head lamps. The hours will be reduce to weekends in the fall and will be open in the winter only be reservation.
Another aspect eyed for the property is already beginning. The company has built a sugar shack for maple syrup production and has already made one batch.
Bailecki Pushes For MoreState Funding For Job Training
Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki was in Pittsfield yesterday. During a roundtable discussion at Taconic High School with area business leaders, educators, and city officials, Bialecki called for more state funding to boost job training from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. The ultimate goal being the filling of the anticipated tens of thousands of manufacturing job vacancies in Massachusetts over the next decade. The high school and Berkshire Community College are collaborating on an Advanced Manufacturing Program.
Berkshire Creative Joins New Network
The state has designated Berkshire Creative a partner in a new network that is using a regional approach to accelerate the economic growth of creative industries across the state. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the local organization is now part of the Massachusetts Creative Economy Network, an initiative that the Patrick Administration established in 2012. Berkshire Creative will have the ability to implement or sustain regional programs and services in five key areas: business development, access to capital, talent, visibility and space. The Massachusetts Creative Economy Network grew out of a listening tour that state Creative Economy Industry Director Helena Fruscio held in 2012. Fruscio is the former director of Berkshire Creative, and a Berkshire County native.
State Gains 55,000 Jobs In 2013
Governor Deval Patrick says the state has created the most jobs in a single year since 2000. The Governor released the final 2013 employment numbers yesterday, saying the state added 55,200 jobs. Previously, Massachusetts grew 49,000 jobs in 2012 and 43,000 in 2011. Overall, the state has grown more jobs than were lost during the recession.
Staples Closing Stores
Earlier in the week Radio Shack announced it was closing stores because of financial difficulties. Now, another retailer is doing the same thing. As part of a cost-cutting measure, Staples announced yesterday that it plans to close 225 stores in the United States and Canada by the end of next year. The chain, based in Framingham, has Berkshire county stores in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, and also operates a store in Bennington, Vermont. No information has been made available as to which stores would be closing as if yet. The country’s largest office supplies chain is hoping to trim as much as $ 500 million in costs. Staples Chairman and CEO Ron Sargent said his company’s stores have fallen short of expectations over the past three years.
Pittsfield Man Sentenced After Break-Ins
A Pittsfield man was sentenced yesterday to 2 1/2 years in jail on 22 charges. 23-year-old James Mullen of Brown Street was involved in a series of break-ins and thefts in North Adams and Pittsfield from August 2012 to April 2013. According to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Mullin stole jewelry from his grandmother and a former teacher. He pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to multiple counts of breaking and entering, larceny over $250 from a person over 60 years of age, receiving stolen property over $250 – and forgery, among other crimes.
House, Senate Swiftly Pass 'Upskirting' Bill
The House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday night passed legislation making it illegal for a photo or video to be taken under a person's clothing without their knowledge, state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D- Pittsfield, announced.
H. 3934, An Act relative to unlawful sexual surveillance is now on Gov. Deval Patrick's desk.This legislative action was prompted by Wednesday's Supreme Judicial Court ruling that found current state laws do not prohibit the secret taking of "upskirt" photos or video of women who are clothed and in public places.
"The House took action today to bring Massachusetts laws up-to-date with technology and the predatory practice of 'upskirting.' We must make sure that the law protects women from these kind of frightening and degrading acts," House Speaker Robet DeLeo said in a statement. "I thank Chair Linsky as well as Representatives Brodeur and Mannal for their work on this legislation, commend Senate President Murray for her strong statements, and look forward to prompt action in the Senate."
Drug Bust Yields Drugs And Cash
Three Pittsfield residents are being held on drug charges after the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 219 Wahconah Street earlier in the week - allegedly uncovering 42 bags of crack cocaine. 26-year-old Maurice Lee, 23-year-old Samantha Perkins, and 27-year-old Kaitlyn Cleveland were all arrested on drug conspiracy charges. Lee and Perkins were charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. The cocaine had an estimated value of $2,100. Police also allegedly uncovered a digital scale and more than $2,200 in cash. Cleveland was charged with possession of heroin and cocaine.
Friday Night Fun In Great Barrington
If you’re looking for something fun to do tonight, the Monument Mountain Regional High School Band and Jazz Ensemble, both under the direction of Jeffrey Stevens, along with guest artist Livingston Taylor, will be performing tonight at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. The 31st annual Pops Concert is part of the music department’s celebration of March as national “Music in Our Schools Month.” Taylor will sing classic American music by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen and others, as well as singing some of his own compositions. The Jazz Ensemble will be playing the music of Blood Sweat and Tears, Tower of Power, Marvin Gaye, Gordon Goodwin, and Carlos Santana. The Concert Band will be performing works by Gershwin, Bernstein and will feature the music from the band Chicago. The show starts at 8pm.
Mass. Senate Approves Transportation Bond Bill
BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill authorizing $13 billion in capital spending over the next five years to pay for upgrades to the state's transportation system.
The bill includes $1.5 billion in spending over the next five years to fund local road and bridge projects.
The bill also hikes the penalties for MBTA fare evasion by raising fines to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $600 for a third or subsequent offense.
The bill lets the state transportation department spend an additional $50 million in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 on snow and ice removal and dedicates $2.3 billion for South Coast rail improvements.
The legislation also includes $325 million for improvements to South Station and renames it the Gov. Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station.
Sen. Markey To Discuss Drug Abuse Crisis In Mass.
HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is planning to join Congressman Richard Neal and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse to discuss heroin and prescription drug abuse in western Massachusetts.
Markey is planning to speak on what he's calling the drug abuse crisis at a noon press conference Friday at the Holyoke Health Center.
Markey is calling for expanding the use of drug treatments to prevent opiate overdose deaths and for mobilizing federal funding to expand detox treatment.
On Thursday, Markey introduced legislation in the Senate designed to protect individuals who administer lifesaving opioid overdose prevention drugs from lawsuits.
Markey said the willingness of medical and non-medical personnel to administer the overdose drugs naloxone — more commonly known by the brand name Narcan — can be deterred by the fear of potential civil liability.
San Antonio 111, Miami 87
Phoenix 128, Oklahoma City 122
L.A. Clippers 142, L.A. Lakers 94
Memphis at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Sacramento at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Cleveland at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Brooklyn at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Utah at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Detroit at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Milwaukee at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Portland at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at Denver, 9 p.m.
Indiana at Houston, 9:30 p.m.
Atlanta at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
Boston 3, Washington 0
Los Angeles 3, Winnipeg 1
Buffalo 3, Tampa Bay 1
Colorado 3, Detroit 2, OT
Chicago 6, Columbus 1
St. Louis 2, Nashville 1
Dallas 6, Vancouver 1
Phoenix 5, Montreal 2
Edmonton 3, N.Y. Islanders 2, OT
San Jose 5, Pittsburgh 3
N.Y. Rangers at Carolina, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
Miami 0, Boston 0, tie, 8 innings
St. Louis vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., ccd., Rain
N.Y. Mets vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., ccd., Rain
Toronto vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., ccd., Rain
N.Y. Yankees 4, Philadelphia (ss) 3
Philadelphia (ss) vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., ccd., Rain
Tampa Bay vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., ccd., Rain
L.A. Angels 4, L.A. Dodgers 4, tie, 10 innings
Texas 8, San Diego 4
San Francisco 3, Cincinnati 2
Cleveland 1, Chicago Cubs 0
Kansas City 6, Chicago White Sox (ss) 6, tie
Seattle 7, Chicago White Sox (ss) 4
Milwaukee 5, Colorado 3
Arizona 8, Oakland 8, tie, 10 innings
Atlanta 3, Washington 2
Atlanta vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Houston vs. Washington at Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay vs. Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Miami vs. St. Louis (ss) at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
St. Louis (ss) vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.
Cleveland vs. Chicago Cubs (ss) at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Texas vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati (ss) at Goodyear, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
San Diego vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.
Arizona vs. Oakland at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.
Chicago Cubs (ss) vs. L.A. Angels (ss) at Tempe, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
San Francisco vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Cincinnati (ss) vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
L.A. Angels (ss) vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.
Detroit vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 7:05 p.m.
New England Sports News
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins beat the Washington Capitals 3-0 last night. Tuukka Rask got the first win of his career against Washington and Gregory Campbell and Loui Eriksson scored second-period goals. Rask's sixth shutout of the season and 22nd of his career came just five days after the Capitals beat him 4-2, also in Boston.
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Nathan Eovaldi escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and struck out four in two innings yesterday, but the Miami Marlins managed only two hits against the Boston Red Sox in a 0-0 tie. The game was called in the eighth inning because of rain.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill is starting spring training with a heavy heart. The pitcher reported to Boston's camp yesterday following the death of his son, Brooks, who was less than 2 months old when he died on February 24th. Hill says his son was born on December 26th and had multiple medical problems.
NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Garnett will sit out a fourth straight game because of back spasms today when the Brooklyn Nets visit Boston, missing his last trip this season back to his old home. Garnett last played a week ago in Denver. He has since been sidelined for victories over Milwaukee, Chicago and Memphis.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — In men's college basketball, Desi Washington's trey at the buzzer in overtime lifted Saint Peter's over Fairfield 65-62 last night for a first-round Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament win. The seventh-seeded Peacocks will face second-seeded Manhattan College on Saturday.
DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts sheriff is seeking a criminal complaint against former NFL star Aaron Hernandez after a recent jail scuffle with another inmate. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson tells WHDH-TV in Boston that the paperwork has been filed in district court. A clerk magistrate will review it.
TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — The governing body for high school sports in Massachusetts is warning students to stay away from offers to participate in paid wrestling matches. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association says a man has been reaching out to male student-athletes on Facebook, offering cash to compete in unsanctioned wrestling matches at hotels.
TODAY'S NEW ENGLAND SPORTS SCHEDULE:
Brooklyn at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
Dartmouth at Brown, 7 p.m.
Harvard at Yale, 7:30 p.m.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
Brown at Dartmouth, 7 p.m.
Yale at Harvard, 7 p.m.
New Hampshire vs. Vermont at Albany, N.Y., 2:30 p.m.
Maine vs. Hartford, at Albany, N.Y., 8:30 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. UCF, at Uncasville, Conn., 6 p.m.
Memphis vs. Houston, at Uncasville, Conn., 8:30 p.m.
Iona vs. Monmouth (N.J.), at Springfield, Mass., Noon
Quinnipiac vs. Canisius, at Springfield, Mass., 2:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Siena, at Springfield, Mass., 7 p.m.
Fairfield vs. Rider, at Springfield, Mass., 9:30 p.m.
MEN'S COLLEGE HOCKEY:
Sacred Heart at Canisius, 7:05 p.m.
RIT at Holy Cross, 7:05 p.m.
Dartmouth at Rensselaer, 7 p.m.
Brown at St. Lawrence, 7 p.m.
Harvard at Yale, 7 p.m.
Massachusetts at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Weed Cutting Gets Go Ahead
The Conservation Commission approved the first phase in the effort to eradicate invasive weeds at WindsorLake. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
The city of North Adams will begin cutting the invasive plants that have taken over a large portion of the Windsor Lake shore. Iberkshires.com reports the Conservation Commission has approved a plan to remove the “phragmites” at the ice line, determining that the Wetlands Protection Act did not apply. Administrative Officer Michael Canales says the plan is to get on the lake surface itself and cut it while it's frozen, which would avoid any disruption to the waterfront. The Windsor Lake Recreation Commission has been asking the city to take action on the invasive weed, saying it represents a danger to the local ecology and the recreational use of the lake.
Northern Berkshire Youth Hockey Advances
The Northern Berkshire Youth Hockey U-10 team has had an amazing season. They went undefeated in league play this season and have won the championship in their Tech Valley division. They have also qualified for the Massachusetts Hockey State Tournament which they will attend this upcoming weekend. Northern Berkshire has not sent a youth hockey team to this tournament in over 20 years. A pep rally is being held tonight at 6pm to introduce the kids to their fans and to congratulate them on their big win. Mayor Richard Alcombright will say a few word and State Rep. Gail Cariddi will also be present to speak.
Big Financial Boost For Mass MOCA
Mass MoCA is receiving a big boost from the state. A $25.4 million state grant will help add another 120,000 square feet of gallery space at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts and complete the major elements of the complex. The funding toward the $55 million Phase III construction was in the omnibus capital improvement act passed yesterday by the House of Representatives. It will now head to the Senate.
Hearing On Sustainable Berkshires Plan Tonight
The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will be holding a Public Hearing on a proposed sustainable Berkshires plan tonight at 5:30. The plan would be a new regional plan – something that the county has not had an updated version of since 2001. Tonight’s meeting will take place at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield and residents are being encouraged to attend. The plan sets out a vision of how to make the Berkshires more sustainable economically, socially, and environmentally for the next twenty or thirty years. The public input will be considered as the final plan is drafted before it goes to the full planning commission for a formal vote and adoption of the plan on March 20th. Staff will be available starting at 4:30 this afternoon to provide information and answer questions.
Lunch Delinquencies A Problem In North Adams
Superintendent James Montepare, center, explained a new federal school lunch program.
(Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Jack Guerino)
Delinquent school lunch bills may land some North Adams parents in small claims court. IBerkshires.com reports that the North Adams School Committee has been struggling with how to deal with unpaid lunch bills for two years. The school district was more than $20,000 in debt last year because of parents who refused to pay. The amount has been lowered to just over $5,000 however, 75 percent of the debt comes from 15 student cases. On Monday night, School Committee members suggested providing a one-time reduced price in the payment in attempt to get parents to pay. They also suggested hiring a collection agency but, in the end, decided on bringing the cases to small claims court.
Second Accused Murderer Will Face Trial In Same Court As Alleged Accomplice
The trial of accused murderer David Chalue will take place in the same courtroom where Adam Lee Hall, was convicted last month. The Berkshire eagle reports that a judge has denied three motions by Chalue's attorney, including a request to move the trial from Hampden County Superior Court to Hampshire, Worcester or any county east of there. Donald Frank said pretrial publicity in Hampden County would deprive his client of a fair trial. He cited live blogs from The Berkshire Eagle and Masslive.com, as well broadcast reports as having affected the potential jury pool. The 46 year old Chalue of North Adams, is charged with helping Adam Lee Hall and Caius Veiovis kidnap, torture and kill David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell in August 2011. A motion hearing is scheduled for April 11th. Adam Lee Hall is serving three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Traffic Violation Fines Structure Problematic
City Solicitor Kathleen Degnan explains to Councilors Christopher Connell and Melissa Mazzeo the various aspects of the city code.(Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
A group of city officials are finding that changing the fine structure for pedestrian, parking and moving violations isn't as simple as it would seem. A Police Advisory Committee's traffic subcommittee, two members of the city council, the city solicitor, and representatives from police, fire and the tax collector's office gathered on Tuesday to go through the legal steps needed to make that happen. They found the city's code is convoluted, referring to multiple state codes and only 19 of the state laws are covered by city ordinance. The group concluded that changing the fee structure will have to be done in steps,