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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Looking to Restore Capitol Marquee
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The historic marquee that hangs out over North Street's south sidewalk will need to be completely rebuilt. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is looking at spending some $150,000 to restore the historic Capitol marquee outside of the senior center.    Barry Architects did an assessment of the structure and determined there are significant repairs needed. President John Barry submitted a cost estimate for the City Council's Building and Maintenance Subcommittee to review on Monday that calls for basically demolishing it and then rebuilding.    "It is in sad shape and needs extensive restoration," Barry wrote. "I would estimate the cost to

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Berkshire Money Management Pays For BCC Nursing Exams, Licensing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:16PM / Monday, March 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The times when Bill Schmick of Berkshire Money Management was in the hospital, it was BCC graduates who helped him.   For that he is grateful. So grateful that he's helping Berkshire Community College nursing students with their licensing and exam fees. Berkshire Money Management on Monday donated $7,740 to the 18 students currently enrolled in the college's nursing program. The money will pay for the exam and licensing costs for when the students graduate and enter the field.   "We're just happy to give back after all you've given me," said Schmick, who also write money columns that appear on iBerkshires.   One of those

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Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

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

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Former Pittsfield Officer Sentenced for Stealing From Police Union
04:00PM / Monday, March 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Pittsfield Police officer sentenced on Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to stealing more than $200,000 the Pittsfield Patrol Police Union.

Jeffrey D. Coco, 44, former union president, will serve up to 20 months in the House of Correction.

Coco was fired in November 2015 after some two months on administrative leave after an internal affairs investigation uncovered numerous improprieties with the union's accounts and fundraisers.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny, ongoing and continuing offense, and a single count of identity theft in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday.

Judge John Agostini sentenced him to concurrent 20-month

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Non-Partisan Advocacy Workshops Offered
02:21PM / Monday, March 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Wondering how to make a difference on local, state and national issues? Looking to learn the basics of door to door canvassing, calling your legislators, or running for office? The Four Freedoms Coalition in partnership with Berkshire Community College, is offering a day of free non-partisan advocacy workshops called "Act Now: Civic Participation Workshops for Everyone" on Saturday, April 1.

Participants are welcome to stay for an hour or the whole day. All workshops will be held on the Berkshire Community College campus at 1350 West St. in Pittsfield, which is fully accessible.

The non-partisan Berkshire-based Four Freedoms Coalition was founded in

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Berkshires Beat: Volunteers Needed to Monitor Water Quality As 'River Smart' Month Nears
01:25PM / Monday, March 27, 2017

Help wanted: The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, with two watershed partners - the Hoosic River Watershed Association and the Housatonic Valley Association - invite interested individuals to a training on Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bill Laston Memorial Park on Route 7 in Lanesborough.

Once a month, trained volunteers will collect water samples at designated locations on the Green River in the Hoosic Watershed and Wahconah Falls Brook and the Southwest Branch of the Housatonic River in the Housatonic Watershed. The samples will be tested to determine bacteria levels. Currently, all three tributaries are partly or wholly listed as "impaired" by the

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Women's Commission Breakfast Focuses on Civic Engagement
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:58AM / Monday, March 27, 2017

Mary Berle provided list of collaboration points used in her school, Muddy Brook Elementary.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tahirah Amatul-Wadud admitted she was "preaching to the choir" on Monday morning as she stressed the importance of community engagement in the politic process.

Her audience at Berkshire Community College of nearly 100 was mostly women and legislators who had shown up on a cold and rainy morning in the Susan B. Anthony Lounge for the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women's annual legislative breakfast.

Their presence spoke to the fact that they were already engaged, or interested in becoming so. But in light of the breakfast's theme of

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North Adams Team Wins 18th Annual Robotics Challenge
11:39AM / Monday, March 27, 2017

North Adams 4-H Students Winning at Technology (SWAT) won the Berkshire Robotics Challenge. Back row: Aidan Roberts, Brian Czarnecki, Thayne Carlo. Middle row: Sean Mullen, J.T. Mullen, Nicholas Lescarbeau, Owen Vareschi. Front row: Coach Nathan Samson.

LENOX, Mass. — North Adams 4-H Students Winning at Technology (SWAT) defeated Herberg High Brain Power (HBP) from Herberg Middle School in Pittsfield, 79-65, in the finals to win the championship of "Animal Allies," the 18th annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge, conducted Saturday, March 25, at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School.

The competition involved 26 Berkshire County teams comprising more than 180 students ages 8

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Spring Vacation Baseball Clinic Scheduled
iBerkshires.com Sports,
04:36PM / Sunday, March 26, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Berkshire Baseball Academy at The Infield invites players ages 6 to 12 to a Spring Training Baseball Clinic over April vacation.   The clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 17 through 20 at Deming Park, 80 Meadow Lane.   The emphasis will be on position-specific training, team defense and game play under a competitive atmosphere. Campers are asked to bring lunch, water, sunscreen and baseball gear.   The cost is $120 per child.   For information, contact Shari Butler at butlershari@gmail.com.

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Berkshire Blizzard Host Inaugural Tournament
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
03:33PM / Sunday, March 26, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Two days of girls hockey action concluded Sunday afternoon with a victory for the home team.   But the Berkshire Blizzard was a winner in more ways than one.   “This is huge,” Blizzard coach Bill Rech said after the team wrapped up the inaugural Blizzard Bash at the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rink. “This is so important because it's a chance for more and more families who couldn't travel with us to come and see them play.   “The different youth hockey programs had some people here and had a chance to see this is what this girls hockey thing is all about. They had a blast watching.”   And the girls

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Vietnam Veterans Honored In Pittsfield Ceremony
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:19PM / Saturday, March 25, 2017

Scott Gagnon urged veterans to help each other out, especially when it comes to accessing benefits. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The war may be long over but Vietnam War veterans are still tasked with a duty of making sure no other veterans return home to face the same fight for benefits they endured.   Scott Gagnon served as both the commander of the Dalton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and as the Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars assistance service officer for Western Massachusetts. He knows well the fight Vietnam veterans have endured in just trying to secure proper medical care.    "From November 1954 until April 30, 1975, over 3 million veterans served in

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Lanesborough Elementary Weighs New Tuition Policy
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:30AM / Saturday, March 25, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Lanesborough Elementary School Committee on Friday formally began the process of raising the tuition it charges New Ashford.   In response to longtime criticism from town officials about the difference between the negotiated salary tuition rate and the actual per-pupil cost of a Lanesborough education, the district has developed a policy that will peg that tuition to that average cost.   "Any tuition agreement entered into by the Committee to accept non-resident students will be set at the rate of the most recent [Department of Elementary and Secondary Education] published per-pupil rate for Lanesborough Public Schools," the policy

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Legislators Pledge Support to Disabled Community During Uncertain Times
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:19PM / Friday, March 24, 2017

Pittsfield High School student Dwayne Revells talks about his experience with Goodwill Industries at Friday's breakfast.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On the shore of Pontoosuc Lake on Friday morning, thoughts were on happenings on the shores of the Potomac River.

The 17th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast to support services for people with disabilities saw a crowd of more than 300 at the ITAM Lodge to hear families and care providers share their concerns with members of the county's legislative delegation. That's the county's delegation in Boston, but events in Washington, D.C., very much on the minds of the speakers and the audience alike.

"The current political

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