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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Superior Court Briefs: April 24
Staff Reports,
02:23PM / Friday, April 27, 2018
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 24.   Quamel Batchelor, 21, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, and improper storage of a firearm.   He was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on January 31, 2018.   Anthony Deordio, 43, of North Adams had not guilty

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BFAIR Celebrates Successes, Advocates at Annual Breakfast
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:24PM / Friday, April 27, 2018

Mayor Richard Alcombright was given the community partner award. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Chris May has a resume that is tough to rival.   He's a professional photographer. He's won the sportsmanship award on his high school track team. He's traveled the world. He's met David Ortiz. He's testified in front of senators and congressmen advocating for funding on behalf of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.    And, he has Down syndrome.   The Newton-born 28-year-old is a "self-advocate" for those like him. His hope is that others can follow a path like he had, which started with inclusion programs at the elementary school

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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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MLB Pitch, Hit and Run Competition in Pittsfield May 12
10:00AM / Friday, April 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Baseball in the Berkshires will host a free Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition for area youth on Saturday, May 12, at 11 a.m. at Belanger Field.   Pitch, Hit and Run is the official skills competition of MLB. This grassroots program, sponsored by Scotts, is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete, free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball and softball skills.   Boys and girls are divided into four age divisions: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, and 13/14. They will have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including a team championship at Fenway Park and the national

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 20-2627-May 4
09:50AM / Friday, April 27, 2018
COMING SOON  to Film in Mass. Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and their team are returning to Massachusetts! They plan to film episodes of the hit History Channel show  throughout the Northeast. The documentary series explores the fascinating world of antique "picking" and they're always excited to find sizable, unique collections and learn the stories behind them. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America's past along the way, and they'd love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques

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Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Delivers Annual Report to City Council
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Friday, April 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — From playable pianos to bolstering member to tweaking the parking system, Downtown Pittsfield Inc. has a lot of ahead of it for this summer.   The organization delivered its annual report to the City Council on Tuesday. It has gone through some changes in the last year or so. It hired a new director, Cheryl Mirer, and the city had changed its director of community development, which serves as the point of contact with the city.   "Every relationship we start takes some time to sort of understand each other," said Downtown Pittsfield President Jesse Cook-Dubin.    In the last few months, the organization has met with Director of

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Mount Greylock War Memorial Nationally Designated
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:27AM / Friday, April 27, 2018

Park Supervisor Travis Clairmont told the council at its quarterly meeting that the hope is have Mount Greylock State Reservation open by May 17, weather permitting.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Mount Greylock War Memorial has been designated as a National World War I Monument.

Becky Barnes, trails coordinator for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation told the Mount Greylock Advisory Council on Thursday that she applied for designation through the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

"They selected 100 ... and they selected Mount Greylock as one of those, so we are designated as a National War Memorial, which is

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'I Feel Pretty': And So Will You
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:40PM / Thursday, April 26, 2018
It has long been said by altruistic philosophers, and famously iterated in 1966 by no less authority than David Ruffin and The Temptations, that "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep."    But alas, anyone who has spent any time on this planet chock full of monuments to physical splendor, and who has perhaps had the lesson harshly impressed in middle school, knows that all that well-meaning claptrap goes out the window when one is confronted with a comely face or a well-turned ankle.  There is no expression, "The great personality that launched a thousand ships."    Thus, even we really good looking people must commiserate with Amy Schumer's Renee Bennett

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The Independent Investor: The Opioid Effect
By Bill Schmick,
06:29PM / Thursday, April 26, 2018
Opioids are killing us. Both literally, as well as from an economic point of view. The economy has already suffered over $1 trillion in lost potential and those losses appear to be growing by the hour.   Last year, 62,000 Americans fatally overdosed on some form of opioid. It is getting to the point that almost every one of us knows someone who is either addicted or died from these drugs. However, while death is a tragedy, we tend to ignore how much this problem is costing our society.   "You can't put a price tag on the death of a loved one," we say, but actually we can. It's called the "value of a Statistical Life," or VSL. Federal agencies routinely

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Polito Signs Community Compact With Peru
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:46PM / Thursday, April 26, 2018

Town officials, representatives from Rep. Paul Mark and Sen. Adam Hinds' office, and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito gathered at town hall on Thursday to sign the agreement. PERU, Mass. — For the second time this week, small-town officials have stressed the need for relief from a mandate requiring two EMTs on every ambulance call to Lt. Gov. Polito.   After hearing it from Peru Selectman Ed Munch, she immediately turned to her staff to find out where in the process a bill to allow first responders to be the driver on a run and vowed to work with the legislature on the matter.   "You should have the flexibility. If there are communities that want to have two, that's

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Pittsfield's Capitol Marquee Bids Come In High, Council Still Supportive
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:34AM / Thursday, April 26, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The bids to repair the Capitol Theatre marquee are higher than anticipated. But, the City Council feels it is worth it.   "In my opinion, the marquee is a jewel," said Ward 7 City Councilor Anthony Simonelli.   The City Council had approved borrowing $150,000 to repair the aging structure. But, after a closer examination of the condition, the bids ultimately led to the project increasing to $273,400. The City Council approved on Tuesday increasing its borrowing authority to $223,500, and $50,000 of the cost will be paid from federal Community Development Block Grant funds.   "The real shortfall was in the costs that exceeded estimates

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Take Steps to Control Your Investment Taxes
03:17PM / Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tax season is finally over. Of course, how much you pay in taxes depends on a variety of factors, many of which you can't control. But you might give some thought to how you can manage your investment-related taxes.

Here are some suggestions to consider:

* Contribute to your employer's retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b) or 457(b), contribute as much as you can afford. The more pre-tax dollars you put in to your retirement plan, the lower your taxable income. Your employer also may offer a Roth 401(k) option, under which you invest after-tax dollars, so your annual income won’t be lowered and your withdrawals will be

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Taconic Construction Hits Home Stretch, Plans Laid For Move
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:42AM / Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dave DeForest led the School Building Needs Commission on a tour on Monday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gilbane Construction is scheduled to finish the new Taconic High School on June 29.   From there, a moving company will be contracted to bring all of the equipment being kept at the current school over to the new one. Teachers will be asked to box up their classrooms and whichever moving company wins the bid will make the transition.   John Benzinger of Skanska USA, the project consultant, said the moving contract is out to bid and that he expects the work to start in early June. The plan is to have the new building fully moved into by Aug. 1.   A group of staff and

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