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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Police Honors Officers Killed In Line Of Duty
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:01PM / Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mayor Linda Tyer read a proclamation honoring the week. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A total of 145 law enforcement officers across the country died in the line of duty last year, the highest total since 2011.   "One average one American law enforcement officer is killed every 53 hours somewhere in the United States. Last year, 145 law enforcement officers made the ultimate sacrifice. That is the highest total fatalities since 2011," Police Chief Michael Wynn said.   Those are added to the more than 20,000 who have been killed since 1791 and there have been another 50 so far in 2017.   As part of National Police Week, the Pittsfield Police Department honored all

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Culture, Recreation Dominate Downtown Pittsfield's Annual Meeting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:58PM / Thursday, May 18, 2017

Steven Valenti presented the Robert Quattrochi Downtown Person of the Year Award to Berkshire Theater Group CEO Kate Maguire. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshires has a niche when it comes to scenic beauty and cultural institutions that other places can't replicate.   The city's downtown has positioned those two aspects as cornerstones to economic development. At Downtown Pittsfield Inc.'s annual meeting Thursday morning, businesses who have helped expand in those areas were honored for their efforts.    "We're not going to compete with New York City and we're not going to compete with Boston. But guess what? They can't compete with us

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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

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by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Searchers Recover Body of Missing Pittsfield Man in State Forest
01:41PM / Thursday, May 18, 2017
LENOX, Mass. — Investigators do not suspect foul play in the death of a missing Pittsfield man whose body was discovered Wednesday afternoon in October Mountain State Forest.    The body of 33-year-old Matthew J. Gottung was found about 3 p.m. Wednesday approximately 50 yards off Switchback Trail. The location of the body was not far from where Gottung's vehicle was discovered Monday.    Those involved in the search included members of the Lee and Lenox Police and Fire departments, Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue, state environmental police, Berkshire County sheriff's office, state police from the Lee barracks and assigned to the Berkshire district

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Clothing Sale, Now a Decade Old, Set for Saturday, May 20
08:44AM / Thursday, May 18, 2017

Volunteers of all ages help make the clothing sale successful.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Fresh off being named the "Best Annual Consignment Sale" in the Berkshires, the annual Williamstown Elementary School PTO clothing sale will be held Saturday, May, 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

The sale has been an annual or bi-annual event for more than 10 years and is the largest fundraiser for the school's PTO, raising approximately enough to cover the money the PTO annually gives to each classroom at the school to help with academic materials.

The sale features gently used clothing and shoes sized from infant to teen styles, including pajamas, swimwear

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Backyard Bees Creating A Buzz Between Two Pittsfield Neighbors
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:22AM / Thursday, May 18, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Beekeeping is becoming a hobby for more and more people.   William Slater and his son Aaron recently took beekeeping classes and decided to keep two hives in their backyard. However, Jim Saldo owns and maintains the lot next door and he's got a serious allergy to them.   The Slaters are asking the city's permission to have two colonies of bees in the back of the Burke Street home and say Saldo has nothing to worry about. Saldo, however, is contesting the special permit needed saying it would create a danger.    "I try to get along with my neighbors. I've done work with them and have gotten along pretty well. I don't want

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Health Officials Talk Substance Abuse From Jail to Recovery
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:27PM / Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Alan Bianchi said the Berkshire County sheriff's office focuses on helping the 'whole' person to prepare inmates for life outside of the jail. The hope is the inmate won't end up back in the Berkshire County House of Correction in the future. DALTON, Mass. — Where does the system fail from the time an addict is arrested to well after leaving jail?   That's what Marisa Hebble, of the executive office of the trial court, wants to not only answer but fix. She is heading the Community Justice Project, which focuses on "sequential intercept," essentially every point through the process someone struggling with addiction faces in the criminal justice

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Is Your Portfolio 'Healthy'?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:20AM / Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you can exercise regularly, you'll help yourself feel better, control your weight and even reduce the chances of developing certain diseases. But why not extend the concept of "fitness" to other areas of your life – such as your investment portfolio?

And to help maintain a healthy portfolio, you can draw on some of the same principles that apply to keeping your body in good shape.

Consider, for example, one of the things that happen when you exercise – namely, your body uses more oxygen. As an investor, you may need your portfolio to get "oxygen" in the form of infusions of new investment dollars.

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Pittsfield Ironing Out Details of New Trash Pickup System
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:06AM / Wednesday, May 17, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's proposed budget does not include changes to the trash pickup system.   But Mayor Linda Tyer has identified it as a priority.   In February, the Resource and Recovery Commission endorsed a plan to give households a 35-gallon tote for trash and as much as a 95-gallon tote for recycling. Those totes will allow the Republic Services to switch to automated trash pickup. It would be the third time the City Council has attempted to make such a switch; twice it failed to gain votes enough votes to pass.   Tyer created an internal working group to iron out all of the details before sending it to the City Council. That group consists of the

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Baker, Polito Highlight Broadband Expansion in West Stockbridge
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:04PM / Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lt. Gov. Polito greets MBI Chairman Peter Larkin in West Stockbridge.

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Jim and Jennifer Hallock took ownership of the Shaker Mill Tavern Family Smoke House almost a year ago.

They envisioned more of a family restaurant than the bar operations of the previous owners and even built out a children's area.

But being snuggled in the rural town of West Stockbridge, they had limited access to the internet.    "My whole computer system works on the internet. DSL was so random," Jim Hallock said.    Workers would scan a credit card for payment and the system would lag, slowing the business down. And then seemingly randomly,

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Ty Allan Jackson Bows Out of City Council Race
Staff Reports,
09:01PM / Monday, May 15, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local businessman Ty Allan Jackson put an end to his campaign for City Council on Monday.   Jackson was the first to announce a campaign for City Council at large back in February. On Monday, through a Facebook post, the children's author bowed out.   "It is with deep regret that after serious consideration and careful thought, I am I dropping out of the race to run for city council. I came to the conclusion that it is not possible for me to serve on the city council while simultaneously perform my duties as a literacy advocate," Jackson wrote.   "My business has grown substantially since I signed on as a candidate and it's

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Biz Briefs: Greylock's Annual Shred Day Benefits Berkshire United Way
02:56PM / Monday, May 15, 2017

Paper trail: Greylock Federal Credit Union held its ninth annual Community Shred Day on Saturday, May 6, shredding more than 7 tons of paper. The effort also raised $1,184 in donations for the Berkshire United Way. The credit union suggested a $1 donation per box from people looking to dispose of personal documents.

ProShred supplied two mobile shredding trucks for the event to provide proper disposal of private documents. People were able to witness the shredding process via a closed circuit monitor mounted on the truck. Millions of Americans have their identities stolen each year. Identity theft occurs when someone uses personally identifying information, like name, social security

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Berkshires Beat: Brien Center Receives Donation from Williams Rugby Football Club
01:40PM / Monday, May 15, 2017

Tacking mental health: The Brien Center for Mental Health has received a donation from the Williams Rugby Football Club. The club has donated the earnings received from the John Donovan Memorial Tournament for the past three years, totaling nearly $4,000.

The team has been organizing the John Donovan Memorial Tournament in memory of their former teammate who lost his battle to mental illness. The tournament was designed to raise awareness about mental health and support organizations like the Brien Center working to help those suffering from mental illness in the Berkshire community. This year, six teams from four schools - Williams College, Keene State, Colby-Sawyer College, and

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