The Great Barrington Police Department with the assistance of the New York State Police arrested a man Thursday believed to be responsible for an attempted sexual assault earlier this month. As a result of an aggressive investigation, 34 year old Andrew Gombar, of Chatham, N.Y., was arrested in Chatham on several charges including assault with intent to rape, threatening to commit a crime, and assault and battery. Gombar was arraigned at Ghent Town Court and is being held without bail at the Columbia County, New York Jail pending his return to Massachusetts. On Sunday, January 7th, Great Barrington Police responded to the Lipton Mart on Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington for a reported assault. Upon arrival, officers learned that a man had been loitering outside the store and approached a woman, attempting to sexually assault her. The woman escaped, and police began an investigation led by Great Barrington Police Officer Jonathan Finnerty. Officer Finnerty received information from New York State Police detectives in Livingston, New York that led to the identification of Gombar as the suspect.

 

Pittsfield City Council Will Weigh $74 Million Wastewater Plant Upgrades

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer is asking for the authority to borrow $74 million for a major upgrade of the city's wastewater treatment plant. IBerkshires.com reports that the expense has been a long time coming since the city sought to renew its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit in 2005. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees those permits in an effort to keep waterways clean and had issued a permit in 2008 requiring significantly higher standards of phosphorus, aluminum treatment, and nitrogen removal.

 

Ice Jam Prompts Emergency Declaration In Stockbridge

Stockbridge has declared a state of emergency as an ice jam on the Housatonic River continues to threaten local flooding near the South Street Bridge just south of the downtown business district. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the Select Board voted unanimously to adopt the declaration on Wednesday night after hearing an update on the dicey situation from the town's emergency management director and facilities manager, Chris Marsden. The crisis developed Saturday morning as huge chunks of ice cut off the river's flow, causing a rise in water levels that could have threatened homes along East Main Street and flood-prone Park Street, as well as the industrial park on Depot Street and the gas station in South Street.