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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Fire Welcomes New Recruits And Honors Promotions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:36AM / Friday, September 15, 2017

Lt. Mitch Kellar was pinned by his children Lana and Mitchell Jr. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Everyone goes home.   That's the mantra for Pittsfield firefighters when they go out on a call. They look to their fellows and expect a high level of professionalism and skill to be right by their side.   Three new recruits are now joining that brotherhood of firefighters and three others are climbing up the ranks. On Thursday, the department held a graduation and pinning ceremony honoring them.    "As you are handed your badge you are continuing the greatest and most hazardous occupation in this country. To date in 2017, 67 firefighters have passed away in the line

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The Independent Investor: The Price Tag of Disaster
By Bill Schmick,
03:46PM / Thursday, September 14, 2017
Over the past four weeks, just two hurricanes have cost the country upwards of $300 billion. This has easily surpassed the 2005 hurricane cost of $200 billion, which included Katrina, Wilma and Rita combined. The cumulative cost of weather continues to escalate and with good reason.   Before you leap to the conclusion that global warming is the culprit, let me lay out some facts. Coastal storms are no more (or less) frequent an event now than they have been throughout our history. So what gives?   The answer lies in population growth and demographics within our own society. A few years ago, a study funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that although

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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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Pittsfield Police Investigate Reports of Man Trying to Grab Women Off Street
03:15PM / Thursday, September 14, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are seeking information in the wake of several reports of a man acting aggressively toward, or possibly assaulting, women.    The incidents may be related as a number of witnesses have provided similar descriptions of a man calling to them to get into his vehicle. Some have reported two men in the car.    The suspect is said to dark-skinned, standing about 6-feet-tall, with short hair and accent described as possibly Jamaican or African. The individual was seen operating, or as a passenger of, an older tan or silver Toyota Camry (or similar vehicle).   In one case, a victim reports that the individual described above tried to

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Pittsfield Opens Employee Wellness Center
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:40AM / Thursday, September 14, 2017

 
The center isn't just a gym, but also a place for such demonstrations as making healthy smoothies and sharing recipes.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's employee wellness center is now open.   The city has transformed the former Information Technologies Department space in the basement of City Hall into the hub of the city's employee wellness program.   The changes to office space were paid for by Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield to support the Personnel Department's growing program.   "Our employee wellness program is fast becoming a core component of our culture here, and having a

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Clark Art Hosting Second Annual Trail Run
10:43AM / Thursday, September 14, 2017
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -— The Clark Art Institute will host the second annual Stone Hill Trailblazer 5K Run on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 a.m.   Registration is $32 ($27 for Clark members). Register before Sept. 23 to save $5. Ages 12 and under are free.   To register, visit berkshirerunningcenter.com or call 413-344-4472. Day-of-race pick up and registration start at 7; day-of-race registration payment is cash or check only.   The 5K trail run is a great way to explore both the Clark's campus trails and the interconnected trails maintained by the town of Williamstown. The race features individual timed results and is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.

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Pittsfield Councilor Wants to Reduce Accidents on East Housatonic
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Thursday, September 14, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — So far this year there have been 23 accidents on East Housatonic Street and Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers wants the City Council to do something to reduce those numbers.   And then she found out the City Council already did. Twice.   A three-way stop sign was approved both times and never installed at the intersection of Pomeroy, where a disproportionate amount of the accidents occur. Nine of the 23 accidents this year occurred at that intersection.   "It has been before City Councils for short of two decades," Rivers said. "I still think, and I feel very strongly, this is a can we keep kicking down the road."   River

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Pittsfield Fire Snuffs Out Blaze On Lakeway Drive
By Andy McKeever,
07:14PM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two people have been displaced from their Lakeway Drive home after a fire caused heat and smoke damage Wednesday evening.   Deputy Fire Chief Raymond Tart said firefighters responded to 61 Lakeway Drive shortly before 6 p.m. There they found smoke coming from the first floor and quickly snuffed it out. There were two occupants, both of whom made it out of the home safely.   "It appears it was objects and not the room [that burned]. There is no structural damage at all. There is fire damage to the contents and heat and smoke damage on the first floor," Tart said.   One of the occupants is on oxygen and the tanks could have posed a hazard.

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Dog Takes Bite Out of Lanesborough Thief's Pants
By Andy McKeever,
01:43PM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Good boy.   A German shepherd thwarted a would-be robber in the Balance Rock and Potter Mountain Road neighborhood Monday night. Police say there has been somewhat of a rash of attempted break-ins in the neighborhood, with three reported in the last two days.    However, at one home, the cat burglar met his foe — the dog.    Police say the homeowner returned home to find his dog outside and a back door open. Later, he found remnants of what appears to be someone's ripped pants.   Despite the doggo scaring the burglar from one home, police say at another the perpetrator was able to steal a number of items — exactly

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BHS Forms Accountable Care Organization to Improve Health Outcomes for MassHealth Members
01:29PM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. —Berkshire Health Systems, through its Physician Hospital Organization called the Partnership for Health in the Berkshires, and Community Health Programs, in partnership with Fallon Health, will offer a new managed care option — Berkshire Fallon Health Collaborative — for MassHealth members.

The creation of BFHC is part of the state's reform of MassHealth to include Accountable Care Organizations, in which physicians, hospitals, insurers and other health care providers work together to provide integrated care with the goals of improving health outcomes and containing costs.

Effective March 1, 2018, MassHealth members identified by the Executive

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Protect Three Key Goals With Life Insurance
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:28AM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. And "awareness" is an appropriate designation, because many people remain unaware of the many ways in which life insurance can help families meet their key financial goals. Here are three of the biggest of these objectives, as seen through the eyes of a hypothetical couple, Jim and Joan:

* Pay off mortgage: Jim and Joan have a 30-year mortgage. If one of them dies well before that mortgage is paid off, could the other one afford to keep making payments to remain in the house with the children? It might be quite difficult – many families absolutely need two incomes to pay a mortgage, along with all the other costs of living. At

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Tyer Pitches Incentive Package For LTI Smart Glass Expansion
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Christopher Kapiloff, a principal with LTI Smart Glass, shows the company's new product at a meeting with economic development and state officials earlier this year. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer is asking to use $580,000 of Pittsfield Economic Development Funds to help LTI Smart Glass expand.   LTI Smart Glass is looking at a 16,692 square-foot expansion to its current Federico Drive facility to accommodate a large contract the company recently received for its newest bulletproof glass product. It requires a $2.25 million capital investment and will add 38 new jobs over the next three years.   "We've worked closely with them in putting together a

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White Terrace Apartment Fire Ruled Accidental
By Andy McKeever,
11:02PM / Tuesday, September 12, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Fire officials say the fire was caused by a battery charging on a bed and then catching the mattress on fire.

Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said the electronic device set the mattress on fire. Doors were left open, allowing the fire to quickly spread to other units. From there, tenants on the third floor evacuated, leaving doors open and the fire expanded from there.   Czerwinski asks residents to remember to close doors to help restrict fire expansion.   Czerwinski said the building is "heavily damaged" but is still be assessed.    In total four people were transported to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment from the fire. all of the

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