After snow covered the Berkshires over the Christmas holiday, arctic temperatures are about to hit the county. The Berkshire Eagle reports that while the high temperatures today and tomorrow will be around 20 degrees – tonight we will see the freeze starting to roll in with lows around 7 degrees below zero. The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y. says that with wind chill, temperatures could reach 10 below, and 20 to 25 degrees below zero on Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The highs on Thursday and Friday will only reach 5 degrees. And it’s not likely to get any warmer until next week at the earliest.

 

Trial For Adams Man Charged In Alleged Terror Plot Starts In June

A trial date has been set for an Adams man charged in an alleged terror plot. The Berkshire Eagle reports that when Alexander Ciccolo's trial on terrorism-related charges begins in June, he will have been in custody for nearly three years. The 25 year old Ciccolo was arrested on July 4th of 2015, after accepting a small cache of weapons from an FBI informant. He has been held at a detention facility in Rhode Island since his arrest. He also allegedly stabbed a nurse in the head with a pen during a medical screening. Ciccolo has pleaded not guilty to charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and illegal weapons possession. He also faces a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the attack on the nurse. Ciccolo faces up to life in prison if he is convicted. His trial is set to get underway on June 18th.

 

Federal Fuel Assistance Benefits Already Used Up By Some

The recent cold snap has already used up the federal fuel assistance benefits of some recipients, leaving them facing difficult choices as another Berkshire County winter tightens its grip. The Berkshire Eagle reports that according to said Tammy Biagini, fuel assistance director at Berkshire Community Action Council, some 300 families that have already exhausted their benefit. She says that while Congress has funded the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program at the same level — about $5.6 million locally — the need is expected to be greater than last winter. More than 45 percent of those served are elderly residents on fixed incomes.