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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Local Author Publishes Book On Northern Berkshire Trains
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:25AM / Monday, July 27, 2015
Kristen Demeo is releasing her latest book, 'The Rails of Northern Berkshire,' about how the trains changed the region.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Local writer Kristen Demeo is releasing her latest book, "The Rails of Northern Berkshire," about how the trains changed the region.

The St. Stanislaus Kostka School teacher said she hopes this book will both educate and reconnect people with the past.

"It's a book that celebrates trains and the kinds or the emotions people might associate with it and through that I share my own story and how the trains came into my life," Demeo said. "In doing that, I hope to have people recollect how trains fit into their

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Brewing Boomed In Pre-Prohibition Pittsfield
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
08:33PM / Sunday, July 26, 2015
The Berkshire Brewing Association of Pittsfield was producing up to 100,000 barrels annually and employed some 150 before being done in by Prohibition.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One can only wonder what John White and Jacob Gimlich would have thought as federal officers poured 15,000 gallons of locally crafted beer into the sewer on an early May morning in 1922.

Gimlich and his brother-in-law White had first purchased a small brewery on Columbus Street in 1868 from Michael Benson. First called simply "Jacob Gimlich & John White," the business began at an output of just six barrels a day, but would grow to be a major manufacturer in the West Side Pittsfield

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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

Local Lawmakers Push To Override Baker's Budget Vetoes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:30PM / Sunday, July 26, 2015
The Legislature is expected to take up some of the overrides next week. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local legislators are hoping to restore most of the governor's $162.8 million in vetoes from the state budget.   Gov. Charlie Baker signed the $38.1 billion budget into law July 17. But, he also cut $162.8 million out of the Legislature's budget, which local lawmakers feel will be detrimental to programs and initiatives.   "I thought the budget was a strong budget that we sent to the governor. And then I saw his vetoes and I was disappointed," state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, said on Thursday. "I hope we commit to do the right


Renovated Pittsfield Common In High Demand
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
03:08AM / Saturday, July 25, 2015
The Common is becoming such a popular venue for local events that users are being asked to apply two or three months ahead. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Given a high volume of recent usage and more activities in the works, the city's parks commissioners suggest those wishing to hold special events in the recently refurbished Pittsfield Common should start making reservations early.     "We've hardly gotten started with it, and it has been a huge success already," said Chairman John Herman at the commission's monthly meeting on Tuesday.   It has only been a few months since the final touches were completed on the multi-year overhaul of the Common, but


Westfield Ends Pittsfield NL All-Stars' Tourney Run
09:32PM / Friday, July 24, 2015
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield National League 12-year-old All-Stars saw their tournament run come to an end on Friday night in an 8-2 loss to Westfield in the state sectional tournament.   Joey Dekarski went the distance on the mound, striking out six and allowing just four hits to send his team to Saturday's Section 1 final against Holden.   "We had a great run," Pittsfield NL coach Bryan Sherman said. "It had to come to an end at some point -- win or lose. They have nothing to hang their heads about. They played hard the whole time.   "[Westfield] just outplayed us tonight."   The same Westfield team and the same Westfield pitcher who


Benoit Pitches Pittsfield 14s to Babe Ruth Regional Win
09:06PM / Friday, July 24, 2015
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Ian Benoit beat the the state of Rhode Island with his arm and his glove on Friday to send the Pittsfield Babe Ruth Baseball 14-year-old All-Stars forward in the winners bracket of the New England Regional tournament.   Benoit was a complete game winner in the 6-2 victory over Cranston, R.I., the champion of the Ocean State.   Pittsfield used an RBI double from Cedric Rose and two hits and an RBI from Joseph Cracolici to set up a date on Saturday night against Maine, a 14-1 winner over Vermont earlier Friday afternoon.   But the big story in Pittsfield's win was Benoit, who allowed just one earned run and four hits, walked no one and did not allow a


Authorities Investigating Fatal Fire In Hinsdale
By Andy McKeever,
03:20PM / Friday, July 24, 2015
HINSDALE, Mass. — A person died in an afternoon structure fire on Shore Drive on Thursday morning, shortly before 11.   Fire Chief Larry Turner said the district attorney's office is investigating the circumstances around the death. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze but one was taken to the hospital for treatment.   "We responded to 16 Shore Drive in Hinsdale and there was a fatality involved," Turner said on Friday. "We were able to put the fire out fairly quickly."   Turner said when he arrived, he saw smoke coming from the home's eaves, which automatically triggered a second alarm. Firefighters from Peru, Becket and Middlefield


Berkshire Youths Invited to Enter 4-H Fair in August
12:55PM / Friday, July 24, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County 4-H Fair Association, a group of teens who organizes the annual Berkshire County Youth Fair, has fair books available for anyone who would like to enter the fair.

To enter the fair, youths have to be between 5-18 years old, and whatever they enter has to be raised/created/grown by them. This fair is put on by 4-H youth for ALL youth.

This year's fair, set for Saturday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire County 4-H Fairgrounds in Pittsfield, is celebrating its 75th anniversary  This unique fair is free: There is no entry fee or parking fee. It is just an old-fashioned agricultural fair put on by Berkshire County


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 24-30
12:24PM / Friday, July 24, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: I Am a Part of Art Poetry Reading at the Lichtenstein


CATA will hold a poetry reading in conjunction with the I Am a Part of Art Show that includes selected works from CATA's Writers Workshop.  The exhibit runs through Saturday and features over 100 works of art created by artists with disabilities from Berkshire County.  The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts is open Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.




Superior Court Briefs: July 20 - July 22
Staff Reports,
12:16PM / Friday, July 24, 2015
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 20.   Sasha Santiago, 25, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in heroin, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine.   He was released on the same $15,000 bail which was set when she was previously arraigned. Santiago is accused of selling cocaine and heroin in Berkshire County between January 20, 2015 and March 6, 2015.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 21.   Brandon Phillips, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of cocaine, and conspiracy to


Final Phase of North Street Reconstruction Set For August
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:33AM / Friday, July 24, 2015
The contract for the final phase is expected to be awarded next week. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The final phase of North Street's reconstruction is expected to start in August.   The bid's for the fourth phase of the massive streetscape project were opened on Thursday with four companies that had bid, all within budget.   The city's purchasing department is expected to award the contract in the next week and a pre-construction meeting will be scheduled for Aug. 3.    "Construction will begin in August," said Laura Mick, a community development specialist with the city, said on Wednesday.    Thursday's bid opening was the second

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Senate Adopts Downing Amendment on Net-Metering
Staff Reports,
08:45PM / Thursday, July 23, 2015

BOSTON – An amendment by state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing increasing the state's solar net-metering cap was adopted by the Senate on Thursday.

The measure, designed to promote future solar development, aligns the net metering cap with the state's 1,600 MW goal of installed solar capacity and further directs the Department of Energy Resources to create a new solar incentive program when the 1,600 MW goal is reached.

Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to receive a credit for the unused electricity they feed back to the grid. The cap, which limits what utilities have to buy, was hit in March for National

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