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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Councilor Switches Vote To Approve Bus Purchases
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:05PM / Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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The 11-member committee previously fell one vote shy of approval.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ward 1 City Councilor Lisa Tully changed her vote from two weeks ago to allow bonding on a $2.7 million school bus purchase.

Tully had voted against the five-year bond for 43 new school buses, saying she preferred the city replace buses on a revolving schedule instead. She cited the city's current $1.5 million owed on the last bus purchase as a reason to not purchase an entire fleet.

On Tuesday night, she changed that vote to one in favor, providing the two-thirds majority needed.

"I was never against buying new school buses. I felt very comfortable two weeks ago making that

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Green-Rainbow Statewide Candidates Launch 'Listening' Tour
Staff Reports,
10:37PM / Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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Local Green-Party activist L. Scott Laugenour, center, accompanied candidates Danny Factor, left, and Ian Jackson to submit their nomination sheets at Pittsfield City Hall.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A trio of Green-Rainbow Party state candidates toured the Berkshires on Tuesday, meeting with citizens and filing their papers at Pittsfield City Hall.

The group kicked off the day in front of the closed North Adams Regional Hospital to press a focal point of the party's platform: Universal health care.

"Health care is a human right," said Danny Factor of Acton, who is running for secretary of the commonwealth. If the government can bail out a corporation, it can find funds

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Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Look the city's Christmas Tree is bigger than a bus!
by Soapbox 10:10AM / Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Adams Community Bank Supports Medical Shuttle Service
11:53AM / Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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ADAMS, Mass. — Adams Community Bank is partnering with several organizations to ensure that individuals from the Northern Berkshire County do not go without health care because of a lack of transportation.

With the bank's financial support, partners including the Adams, North Adams and Williamstown Councils on Aging, Berkshire Community Action Council, Elder Services of Berkshire County and BerkshireRides, will work together to augment the services offered by Berkshire Regional Transit Authority to provide transportation to and from non-emergency medical services that have moved to Pittsfield as a result of the closing of North Adams Regional Hospital.

BCAC will shuttle

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'Food Truck Rodeo' On Tap For Pittsfield Downtown
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:28AM / Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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Kathy Lloyd of How We Roll is organizing the city of Pittsfield's first Food Truck Rodeo.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Food. Beer. Music. Children's games. Giving to charity.

What more do you need for a good ole' fashioned Food Truck Rodeo?

Next month, the city will host its first Food Truck Rodeo, an event showcasing area food trucks, local breweries, a local band and children's games. The event on Sunday, May 4, will give the proceeds to Moments House.

"It's the first one in Pittsfield. We went to a few food truck rodeos in other places and they are a huge blast," said organizer Kathy Lloyd, who operates the local How We Roll food truck.

Starting at 11

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Lawmakers File Report On Lowering Student Debt
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:38AM / Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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State Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, has chaired a subcommittee looking into student loans.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It used to be that going to college was a surefire way to get ahead economically.

High school students across the state  get those acceptance letters in the mail, celebrate, fill out all of the loan paperwork and then head off to college to make a future.

But after the degrees are passed out, the first loan payment comes due. The new graduates find that for years to come, a significant amount of the salary they worked so hard to earn goes right to the creditors.

"People assume that the student loans will be worth it. But that's not necessarily the case,"

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Berkshire Runners Compete at Boston Marathon
By Stephen Dravis,
10:30PM / Monday, April 21, 2014
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BOSTON — Pittsfield's Stephen Foley was the fastest Berkshire County finisher in Monday's 118th Boston Marathon.   Foley, 42, covered the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds, which was good for 404th place in his division at the event, which drew 35,671 entrants.   Of the 31,805 finishers, Foley finished 2,663rd, according the website of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race.   He was the 2,509th man across the finish line and one of 10 runners from Berkshire County to finish in fewer than four hours.   The event was won by American Meb Keflezighi, a native of Eritrea, who finished in 2:08:37. Kenya's Rita Jeptoo was

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Lanesborough Finance Panel Queries Health Insurance; Legion
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:50PM / Monday, April 21, 2014
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The Finance Committee was supposed to meet with the Lanesborough School Committee on Wednesday for a public hearing on the budget but school officials canceled because the budget wasn't available to the public prior to the meeting.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — With an increased focus on cutting budgets, resident Rich Cohen wants the town to look at health benefits — particularly among schoolteachers.

Cohen, a former School Committee member, outlined to the Finance Committee last week research showing the town pays a significantly higher amount in health insurance than other schools in the state.

Additionally, 60 percent of Lanesborough Elementary School's staff is over the

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Pittsfield City Council Agenda: April 22, 2014.
Staff Reports,
02:26PM / Monday, April 21, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Just two weeks after the City Council rejected a proposal to buy 43 new school buses, the petition returns on Tuesday.

The City Council will again discuss the $2.7 million purchase at their regular meeting. The City Council will also be asked to appoint Julia Sabourin to replace Mary McGinnis as director of administrative services.

The full agenda is available below.

 

Pittsfiled City Council Agenda April 22, 2014.

 

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 18-24, 2014
11:27AM / Monday, April 21, 2014
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Friday+: Baby Animals at Hancock Shaker Village!

It's one of the most exciting times of the year at the Village, when scores of baby lambs, piglets, calves, goats, ducklings and chicks arrive at the historic Round Stone Barn. Visitors get to meet and greet the baby animals, and participate in fun, Shaker-themed craft activities in the Discovery Room. Plus this Saturday musician David Grover will be playing at 11am & 12:30pm!  

Daily through May 4 | 10am-4pm | Hancock Shaker Village | 1843 West Housatonic Street | 413-443-0188 | $18 adults, $8 children, children 12 and under and members are

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Pittsfield Cub Scouts First in State to Earn Healthy Award
By Rebecca Dravis, iberkshires Staff
09:37PM / Sunday, April 20, 2014
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The boys of Cub Scout Pack 8 in Pittsfield are the first Scouts in Massachusetts to earn the ScoutStrong Healthy Unit patch. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pam Burton, the roundtable commissioner of Cub Scout Pack 8 in Pittsfield, has a job that revolves around food.

As cook manager for Egremont Elementary School, she is already tuned in to good nutrition for kids. So when asked to lead her Cub Scouts on a healthy journey, she jumped right in.

Burton trained on the ScoutStrong Healthy Unit patch, given by Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University.

She then guided her 30 Cub Scouts ranging from kindergartners to fifth-graders through the steps to

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