A North Adams man is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of his wife. IBerkshires.com reports that 47 year old Mark Steele-Knudslien has been arrested and charged with a single count of Murder. He allegedly killed his wife, 42-year-old Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, whose body was found inside their Veazie Street home Friday evening. According to an autopsy conducted Sunday, she was stabbed and bludgeoned. Preliminary results show she died of loss of blood because of a stab wound to the torso. A contributing factor was multiple blunt-force trauma to the head. Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was active in the trans community and had produced the Miss Trans New England pageant. The investigation is being conducted by State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, members of the North Adams and Adams Police Departments and State Police Crime Scene Services Section.

UPDATE: According to a press release from the Berkshire District Attorney’s office, Steele-Knudslien entered a not guilty plea on one count of murder this morning (Monday).  Judge Paul Vrabel ordered that he be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without the right to bail. He will be back in Court for a pre-trial hearing on February 7, 2018.

 

Navy Locates Crashed Plane, Dalton Native Among those killed

The U.S. Navy has located a transport aircraft deep on the Pacific Ocean floor where it crashed in November, killing three sailors on board. Among them was 28 year old Lt. Steven Combs Jr., who grew up in Dalton and was a graduate of St. Joseph Central High School. The Berkshire Eagle reports the C-2A Greyhound aircraft, which was traveling to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed the day before Thanksgiving in the Philippine Sea, rests at a depth of about 18,500 feet. Elizabeth Combs has said that her brother was piloting the aircraft and managed to settle it in the sea, allowing for the rescue of the eight people. The Navy called Combs' actions "heroic." In the weeks ahead, a Navy team will return to the site with a side-scan sonar and remote-operated vehicle to map the debris field and attach heavy lines for lifting the aircraft to the surface.

 

Pittsfield Nurses Renew Call For Staffing Improvements

Registered nurses at Berkshire medical Center in Pittsfield will again ask trustees of Berkshire Health Systems to back their demands for staffing improvements in a new contract. The Berkshire Eagle reports members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association were delivering a petition Monday to one of those board members, a day before the fourth scheduled bargaining session since a one-day strike and four-day lockout in October. The petition was reportedly signed by 85 percent of the local union's members.