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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back': Doesn't Quite Grab You
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:35PM / Friday, October 28, 2016

It is what it is.

I contemplated saving approximately 805 words by simply having the above overworked phrase stand as my review of director Edward Zwick's "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back." However, despite its relatively appropriate description of this action-thriller starring Tom Cruise as the title maverick, fear of a random audit by the American Film Critics Oversight Committee induced me to proceed with the usual study in tortured prose that follows.

In this second film based on the character developed by novelist Lee Child, the ex-military police major-turned-vigilante once again fights for truth, justice and the American way — in his very own way. Expect the usual


Republic Services Donates $1,000, Food to South Congregational Pantry
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:56AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

Dan Higgins of Republic Service, pantry organizers Mary Wheat, the Rev. Joel Huntington, Mayor Linda Tyer, and Deb Bolesky of Republic Services on Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Republic Services donated $1,000 and boxes and boxes of food to the South Congregational Food Pantry on Thursday.   The money will go toward buying more food, particularly meat and vegetables, and the company restocked the starches, with dozens of boxes of pasta, macaroni and cheese and the like.   The church served a total of 588 families last month, the highest it has seen, and the organizers expect even more with the onset of winter.   The pantry is open to all residents in Berkshire


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

Hickson Rejoins Berkshire Bank as SVP Commercial Regional President
11:22AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jim Hickson has rejoined Berkshire Bank as senior vice president/commercial regional president for the Pioneer Valley and Connecticut markets.

In his new role, Hickson will focus on growing the Commercial Lending Business, as well as, expanding relationships with products and services offered through the bank's other business lines, including wealth management, private banking, insurance and retail banking.
Hickson brings to the bank more than 26 years of financial experience. His previous roles include Commercial Banking Team Leader for People's United, SVP ABL Relationship Manager Berkshire Bank, and also held positions within TD Bank, KPMG


Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 24 - Oct. 27
Staff Reports,
11:15AM / Friday, October 28, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, October 24.   Ronald Palazoo, 77, of Sandisfield, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape of a child with force, three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and intimidation of a witness or other person.   He was ordered to serve concurrent three to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Palazzo sexually assaulted a boy, not age 6, in Sandisfield between September 3, 2012, and July 11, 2015.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 25.   Brian Signor, 27, a homeless man, entered a not guilty plea of manslaughter in connection with the


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 28-Nov. 3
11:03AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       October 28 - November 3,


Acupuncture Society Honors Rep. Pignatelli
10:59AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

BOSTON — State Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli (D-Lenox) and the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts co-hosted a briefing in the State House on Thursday to help elected officials, staff and the public understand more about acupuncture and its ability to help patients deal with chronic pain, substance abuse issues, PTSD and a number of other conditions.

Legislation filed by Representative Pignatelli currently pending in the State House would increase patients' access to safe, effective, quality treatment by requiring that insurance coverage in Massachusetts include acupuncture treatment of pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance


Berkshire Bank Promotes Staffer to SVP Commercial Regional President
10:46AM / Friday, October 28, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank has promoted Mike Ferry to senior vice president, commercial regional president, Berkshire County and Vermont.
Ferry brings more than 37 years of industry experience, 30 years of which has been spent with Berkshire Bank. Leading the Berkshire and Vermont regions for the bank since 2012, his primary focus in his position is commercial lending and ancillary products and services.

Ferry also serves in the role as president of the Berkshire Bank Foundation.
"This regional president designation reflects the important leadership role Mike will play, not only for the commercial team, but for all of our businesses - including wealth,


E-ZPass Website Overloaded With Applications Ahead of All-electronic Tolling
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Friday, October 28, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Department of Transportation is overloaded with applications for E-ZPass transponders.   The all-electronic tolling goes into effect on Friday. But the state's website had become so overloaded with requests at times that it crashes. MassDOT is now setting up in-person locations to get people signed up and launched a grace period to refund any additional fees incurred during the rollout.   At the Lee Service Plaza, eastbound between Exits 1 and 2, this weekend MassDOT will be on hand to process transponder applications. State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier is using her office to collect the paper applications, which MassDOT is collecting


Pittsfield May Consider Dropping Speed Limits Throughout City
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Thursday, October 27, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council may be looking to drop speed limits throughout a majority of the city now that it has the authority to do so.   Previously roads in thickly settled or business districts were 30 mph and the only way to lower that would be to petition the state. The state required a speed study done, paid for by the city, and the study would determine a speed limit based on actual speeds traveled by vehicles on the road.   When the state's municipal modernization bill goes into effect on Nov. 7, the requirement for a speed study and state approval will be removed, giving the council the authority to lower speed limits in those zones to 25. The bill


Permit Granted For Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Thursday, October 27, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Manna Wellness was granted a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday to operate a medical marijuana facility, despite protest from a resident who lives nearby.   Julia Germaine of Manna Wellness said the company is looking to build a 3,200 square-foot facility on undeveloped land in the Cloverdale Business Park. The site is located next to Dollar General on outer West Housatonic Street and Ice River Springs.    "The retail space will look similar to a pharmacy," Germaine said.   The site expects to serve 30 to 40 patients a day and be open seven-days a week from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Manna is planning to employ a dozen


Allegrone Finishes Redevelopment of Historic Onota Building
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:41PM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The downtown building is finding new use through the renovation project. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Allegrone Construction has completed a $9 million renovation of the historic Onota Building on North Street.   The company held an open house on Wednesday to show off the 25 rental units, rooftop deck, and six retail spaces.   Already more than half of the housing units have been leased with move-in day just a few weeks away on Nov. 15.   "There is 15 out of the 25 leased and we are hoping to see the rest leased in the next couple weeks," said Louis Allegrone.   The six-story building was originally constructed in 1928 and the reconstruction was part of a


MCLA to Host Open House for Prospective Students
12:19PM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host the second of three fall open house events for high school and transfer students interested in applying for admission to attend MCLA for the spring of 2017 or the fall 2017 on Saturday, Oct. 29. Check-in will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Amsler Campus Center.

In addition to touring the campus, prospective students and families can learn more about the admissions and financial aid process; student life; attend an academic program overview; and explore the many opportunities MCLA has to offer, such as internships, study abroad, our honors program and undergraduate research.

Those who wish to find out more about


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