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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

State Senate Accepts Amendment To Study Passenger Rail to New York
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Senate adopted a budget amendment Thursday to develop a blueprint for more consistent passenger rail service to New York City.    State Sen. Adam Hinds filed the amendment which would task the state Department of Transportation to create a working group to study what it will take to establish the service.    "When we are trying to improvement out economy and address population loss, getting our infrastructure right is a key part of that," the Pittsfield Democrat said on Thursday. "This was identified as an important first step."   Some four years ago, former Gov. Deval Patrick had pushed a plan to purchase and

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Pittsfield Police Asking For Info About Car Crash On Friday Night
Staff Reports,
04:25PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are asking for any information regarding a crash on Friday which left one man with life-threatening injuries.   Police say at just before midnight Friday night Matthew King, 35 of Wilson Street, was traveling in a Hyundai south on Wahconah Street when he veered into the northbound lane and collided with Ford van operated by Mitchell Messana, 25, of Richmond.   Both parties were taken to Berkshire Medical Center, with King being treated for life-threatening injuries and Messana for minor injuries.    Police are investigating the circumstances around the crash and are asking anyone who may have witnessed it or have information relating to

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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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The Independent Investor: Ready For a 20 Percent Correction?
By Bill Schmick,
03:11PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017

As the stock market makes new highs, investors tend to get greedy. They also begin to believe that what has happened in the recent past will continue to happen in the future. Actually, history shows the exact opposite. It is time to give the potential downside some thought.

Hope burns brightly in the equity markets right now. Many on Wall Street believe that the Republican-dominated Congress, led by Donald Trump, "The working man's president," will usher in a golden era of strong economic growth and robust financial markets. The problem is that politics and investments make for strange bedfellows.

At some point, I expect that the two will part ways and when they do, look

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Pittsfield Will Pay Dated Electric Bill For Softball Complex
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:41AM / Thursday, May 25, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city solicitor has ruled that the city is going to have to pay a dated electric bill for the softball complex on East Street.   The City Council was looking to contest responsibility of a $1,701.28 Eversource electric bill dating back to 2012. The bill is attributed to the final months of Berkshire County Softball Complex Inc.'s operations there, and city officials said Jim Bridges, who headed it, should have been responsible.   Two weeks ago, the council rejected paying the bill and referred it to City Solicitor Richard Dohoney. This Tuesday, however, Dohoney said the city is liable because of an outdated practice of putting the bill in both the

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Pittsfield Schools to Lease Space on Eagle For Off-Campus Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:25AM / Thursday, May 25, 2017

The School Department will rent space in the Eagle Building. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department is leaving St. Luke's Square for smaller rental space on Eagle Street.   The district ran the Student Resource Center out of leased space on Whipple Street. That lease expires at the end of June and the School Committee had previously voted to completely revamp the programs housed there, bringing nearly all of them into the schools themselves.   On Wednesday, the School Committee approved a lease with Scarafoni Associates to lease much smaller space at 53 Eagle St. for the one program at the center remaining off-site. The school will lease 2,045 square feet

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Berkshire High School Athletes, Coaches Honored at Sports Caravan
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:29AM / Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jay Anderson of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank noted the closing of St. Joe PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the 55th annual Sports Caravan Awards were given to outstanding athletes and coaches of area high schools, a moment was taken to note it would be the last year that one of those schools would be represented.    Jay Anderson, president and CEO of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, introduced the winners of the Robert "Boog" Powell Awards, and opened by noting the closing of St. Joseph's Central High School and acknowledging girls swimmer Jessie Tobin, who will be the last St. Joe athlete to be presented with a Caravan award.     "What I

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Pittsfield City Clerk Election: Phillips Out, Cetti In
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:37PM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mayor Linda Tyer hired Cetti back in 2010 and was one of the first to sign her nomination papers after Cetti announced her intentions to run for city clerk. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City Clerk Jody Phillips will not seek re-election but Assistant Clerk of Elections Michele Cetti will seek the job.   Cetti announced her candidacy for city clerk at Dottie's Coffee Lounge on Wednesday. Flanked by supporters, Cetti said her seven years in the clerk's office has prepared her for the job.   "This was something I thought was a possibility in the future. I just realized the future is now," Cetti said.    She was hired by former City Clerk and now Mayor

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HospiceCare Offers Support Group For Loss Due to Substance Abuse
03:31PM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — HospiceCare in the Berkshires and the BMC Pastoral Care Department will host a monthly support group for those who have lost a loved one to substance abuse or addiction.

The group will meet the second Monday of each month, beginning June 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Medical Center Chapel.

When our loved ones die as a result of addiction, the stigma of this disease may leave us feeling alone, angry, guilty or hurt. Finding support can be very difficult when others don’t understand your loss.

To register or for information, call the BMC Pastoral Care Department at 413-447-2251 or HospiceCare in The Berkshires at 413-443-2994.

 

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Berkshire Health Systems, Soldier On Team Up for Wellness Workshop
03:17PM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Soldier On and Berkshire Health Systems are partnering up to offer another wellness workshop to Soldier On residents and members within the Berkshire County community.

As Berkshire County's largest health system and not-for-profit, BHS has comprehensive wellness programs that promote health and wellbeing in the community.

The next workshop, Thrive, will be offered on Thursday, June 8, at 5 p.m. in the dining room on the Soldier On campus at 360 West Housatonic St. in Pittsfield. The workshop will be led by Maureen Daniels, director of Wellness and Community Health for BHS. She will talk about times and tricks to build your resiliency and to shift focus to

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Five Reid Students Honored For Building Positive School Community
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:43PM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Caitlyn Mayhew was one of five students to be honored for their involvement. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Five Reid Middle School students were honored for their community involvement on Wednesday.   The Say It Proud Awards, presented by the Berkshire United Way's Pittsfield Prevention Partnership, are given out to youth who make positive impacts. Three of the winning Reid students sit on the school council and two others on Students Against Destructive Decisions.   The partnership gives the awards to commend teens who make positive decisions and good choices as the organization strives toward creating a more positive and healthy environment for the city's youth. The

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McGovern Tapped as Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club
11:53AM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires have selected Joseph W. McGovern as its chief executive officer effective July 1.

McGovern will replace the current CEO, Chris Jacoby, who will retire June 30. Jacoby is expected to resume his position as a member of the board of directors.

"We wish Chris well in his retirement and thank him for his years of dedicated service to the club as a board member and CEO. We are delighted to have someone with Joe McGovern's background to fill the CEO position," said Cynthia A. Spinola, board president of the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires. "In addition to his impressive experience as an executive

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On '529 Day,' Think About College Savings Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:39AM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You probably won't see it on your calendar, but May 29 (5/29) is 529 College Savings Day, or "529 Day" for short. This day, named after the 529 plan, a popular college-savings vehicle, is designed to promote people’s awareness of the need to save and invest for the high costs of higher education.

And that need has never been greater. Consider the following:
 
* College prices keep moving up. College costs just keep rising. For the 2016–2017 school year, the average cost (tuition, fees, room and board) was about $20,000 for in-state students at public universities and more than $45,000 for private schools, according to the College Board. These costs are

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