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Man Dies Following Assault at Pittsfield YMCA Apartments
Staff Reports,
12:51PM / Monday, September 19, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 44-year-old man died Sunday after being assaulted in the apartments operated by the Pittsfield Family YMCA.

Joseph Wirtes, 44, was allegedly assaulted by Brian Signor at the apartments Sunday morning. Wirtes was transported to Berkshire Medical Center following the assault and was pronounced dead later that day.

Signor, 27, also of the YMCA's 292 North St. residence, was arraigned on Monday on a single count of aggravated assault and battery, according to the district attorney's office. He pleaded not guilty and is being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $50,000 cash or surety bail.

Further charges may be forthcoming,


FBI: MS-13 Member Arrested In Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
12:57PM / Friday, September 16, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An alleged member of a violent international street gang was arrested Thursday morning in Pittsfield by the FBI.   Efrain Vasquez-Yanez has been charged with conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and Pittsfield Police took Vasquez-Yanez into custody without incident Thursday.    He was indicted in U.S. District Court in Boston along with 55 others of the La Mara Salvatrucha — or MS-13 — gang in January. Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation


Pittsfield Police Officer Fired for Misconduct
01:28PM / Friday, September 09, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield police officer has been fired for "multiple misconduct charges."

Officer Dale Eason, a 20-year veteran of the force, had been on leave since May after a scuffle with an elderly woman in her home last year.

A terse press release from Chief Michael Wynn said Eason had been terminated on Wednesday after a "lengthy internal investigation and a local civil service hearing."

Eason had arrested Phyllis Stankiewicz, 88, after he and another officer entered her home after being sent to the wrong address for a disturbance. A confused Stankiewicz had allegedly threatened them with a small paring knife and, when disarmed, had


Pittsfield Warehouse Goes Up in Flames
By Andy McKeever & Tammy Daniels,
09:18PM / Monday, August 29, 2016

Firefighters quickly went on the defensive trying to contain the fire.    PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The large fire at the former J.B. Paper warehouse on Monday night may have been caused by squatters or intentionally lit.    Deputy Chief Daniel Garner said on Tuesday that there was no electrical running to the building and gas had been shut off. He said the cause was likely accidental arson or arson.   "We can rule out electrical. The electrical that serves this building has been shut off for years. Nobody has any right to be here other than the property owner and they were nowhere near this place. It is either


Pittsfield Firefighters Respond to Burning Fence
Staff Reports,
05:38PM / Monday, August 08, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters responded to burning fence on Monday that caused nearly a $1,000 in damage.

The call was initially reported at 10:23 a.m. as a structure fire at 31 Richardson St. Upon arrival, firefighters found a section of fence ablaze and extending to detached one-car garage. A neighbor was trying to put the fire out with a garden hose.

The fence was burned and the vinyl siding on the garage was damaged.

The report by Deputy Chief Daniel Garner stated no one was injured and the fire was not considered suspicious. The cause has not been determined.

He also said that while help such as that of the neighbor's is appreciated, residents should

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