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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshire County Head Start Registering Children for 2015-16 School Year
11:59AM / Wednesday, March 04, 2015
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Children who will be 3 or 4 years old by their local elementary school cutoff date may be eligible for a free preschool program at one of the seven sites throughout Berkshire County.

If parents cannot attend any of the registrations, applications are always accepted and can be obtained by calling 413-499-0137 or downloading an application from www.berkhs.org.

Income verification is needed with a completed application and eligible children are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Registrations will be held at the following locations:

March 4, 6-7 p.m.: Lee Elementary School, 1 Greylock St., Lee

March 11, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Muddy Brook School, 318 Monument Valley Road, Great

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Pittsfield To Hire Extra Help For Pothole Season
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:02PM / Tuesday, March 03, 2015
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Potholes have already formed in many city roads. And officials are expecting a whole lot more as the spring rolls in. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is looking to hire two additional crews to help patch potholes.   The city typically has about 10 people from the House of Correction and about eight in the Highway Department working on the holes. Those will be complemented by two additional crews the city will contract.   "We expect this year is going to be a particular challenge because of the cold," Mayor Daniel Bianchi said. "With two additional crews, we should do a bang up job."   The freezing temperatures of this last winter are expected to

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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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Taconic High School Project Estimated at $116M
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:13PM / Monday, March 02, 2015
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Carl Franceschi of DRA presented the changes to the plans for a new Taconic High School. A number of items were reduced or eliminated to bring the budget to $116 million. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Architects for the proposed new vocational high school are suggesting a total $116 million budget.   Carl Franceschi of Drumney Rosane & Anderson Architects Inc. gave the initial estimate for a new Taconic High School on Monday to the School Building Needs Commission.   The total project is estimated to cost $116 million, $93.7 million of that being construction costs.   According to consultant Dale Caldwell of Skanska USA, $4.4 million is built into the budget for

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@The Market: Full Steam Ahead
By Bill Schmick,
03:53AM / Saturday, February 28, 2015
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The major averages made all-time highs again this week, except the Nasdaq. It is just a matter of time before that tech-heavy index joins the party. But what happens after that?

The short answer is that we go higher, maybe not right away, but soon. January, you may recall, was a down month, which was similar to last year. This month saw a recovery followed by higher highs just like last year. If the trend versus last year continues, we should see further gains in March, possibly fueled by more demand from overseas investors.

Given that the United States is the only game in town for bond buyers, if off-shore investors want yield and safety, we should expect to see a continuation of demand

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Commission on Status of Women, Groups, Share Concerns With Lawmakers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Saturday, February 28, 2015
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State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier addresses the large crowd of mostly women at Friday's legislative breakfast.

LENOX, Mass. — Food assistance for young mothers can help a lot.

But it won't buy diapers.

And the cost of those very necessary items have become a burden on low-income mothers.   Marcy Gaul helps provide them through the newly formed Berkshire County Diaper Project, which collects donations and redistributes them.   "Our diapers disappear in days," Gaul told the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women and state legislators Friday morning.   The commission is a volunteer group of local women designated as special state

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'Still Alice': A Sadness to Remember
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:31PM / Friday, February 27, 2015
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Sony Pictures Classics Julianne Moore loses herself in an Oscar-winning portrayal of a woman facing Alzheimer's disease.

Exiting from a screening of "Still Alice," the heart-wrenching tale of a renowned linguistics professor's valiant struggle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, a fellow viewer bemoaning the fragility of life adamantly apprised her pal, "which is exactly why I'm going to Costa Rica!" I analogously thought "Ferrari" ... as if some consolation prize could possibly assuage any fears of the life-stealing horrors just witnessed. . Oh,

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The Independent Investor: New Fiduciary Rule Would Benefit All of Us
By Bill Schmick,
03:48PM / Friday, February 27, 2015
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The Department of Labor is trying again. This week, a proposed new rule, backed by the president, would force all financial advisers to adopt a "fiduciary responsibility" toward their clients when overseeing retirement plans. If passed, it could substantially reduce the fees and expenses we pay for that advice.

So exactly what is this fiduciary responsibility that President Obama is championing? The rule would require all advisers to put their client's interests above all other considerations when making investment recommendations on accounts covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. That means the bulk of middle class savings represented by all types of

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Berkshire Reps Rise In Legislative Ranks
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:08PM / Friday, February 27, 2015
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The speaker of the house assigned committees on Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire's House of Representatives delegation is moving up in rank.   On Thursday, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo assigned committees, which placed local officials in leadership roles.    "I believe the Berkshires fared extremely well with this reorganization of the house," the dean of the delegation, state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, said Friday morning.   Pignatelli was promoted to vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development (on which he's served for some time), Rep. Paul Mark to vice chairman of both

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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 23 - Feb. 26
Staff Reports,
02:04PM / Friday, February 27, 2015
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, February 23.   Tyree McKinnon, 35, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - conspiracy to violate drug laws and using a motor vehicle without authority.   He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on November 13, 2014.   Anthony Shepard, 25, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.   He was ordered to

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Berkshire Battalion Hosting 'Hometown Heroes'
12:29PM / Friday, February 27, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Battalion hockey team is presenting a Hometown Heroes Night on Friday, Feb. 27.

The event starts at 7:35 p.m. at Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink with the Battalion taking on the Watertown Wolves.  

To show its appreciaton of community efforts, the Battalion will honor veterans and current members of our military, law enforcement, fire department and emergency medical technicians. All of our "Hometown Heroes" will receive free admission to the game.  

The night will feature an honor guard and special seating for Hometown Heroes to thank them for all that they do.

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