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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Old Country Buffet Expected To Be Razed To Make Way For New Restaurant
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:04AM / Saturday, January 13, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Old Country Buffet at Berkshire Crossing is expected to be razed.   The plaza owners Brixmor Property Group received the OK from the Conservation Commission to take down the restaurant. The plan is to construct a new, 5,500 square-foot restaurant in its place.   "The footprint of the proposed restaurant is significantly smaller. The existing restaurant is a square, rectangular shape. The concept is we've located the restaurant in that same building footprint but completely out of the riverfront area," James Scalise of SK Design said.   Scalise said there is a tight schedule for the owners to finalize the lease. Which

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'Darkest Hour': Saving The World 101
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
07:14PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
It is said that if you're hungry and motoring in a hurry, unable to stop due to time constraints, ubiquitous eateries will line the road. Likewise, an analogous case exists in times of sociopolitical crisis. Looking at our current situation in America, I see metaphors everywhere.   But in viewing Gary Oldman's tour de force portrayal of Winston Churchill in director Joe Wright's "Darkest Hour," it takes no great stretch of the imagination to draw comparisons. A threat to civilization is a threat to civilization.   The difference is that while the United Kingdom and eventually most of its allies, including the United States, faced an external menace back in

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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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Letter: Looking For Fairness & Equality in Youth Sports
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Friday, January 12, 2018

To the Editor:

It is the bottom of the 7th inning with runners on second and third. The score is tied. The pitcher looks for the sign, gets ready to pitch while the crowd grows silent with anticipation.

If you are like most, when you read this description, you think of baseball, whether it be Little League or Major League. This pastime has become so ingrained in our national identity that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who couldn't remember a time either playing or watching someone play. However, for me, I think of something different.

I am the proud parent of a 12-year-old girl who plays 12U travel fast-pitch softball for the Berkshire Blaze. I immediately picture the

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The Independent Investor: The Cost of MAGA
By Bill Schmick,
06:46PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
It is the guiding principle behind the Trump administration, but to "Make America Great Again" the U.S. may have to break some eggs. Are you ready for that?   "MAGA" is much more than a marketing gimmick. Almost every day, we uncover additional evidence of how the President and his supporters in Congress are dismantling regulations, taxes, and on the foreign front, trade deals.   For example, while the president professes to have "a great relationship" with China and admires its president, Xi Jinping, at the same time, he is working behind the scenes to apply more pressure to our sometime-friend, sometime-nemesis.   This week we will have surely

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Ice Jam Overflows Route 8 in Cheshire
Staff Reports,
03:24PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
CHESHIRE, Mass. — A section of Route 8 was closed for more than an hour early Friday afternoon after Kitchen Brook overflowed its banks and covered the highway with large chunks of ice.   Communities across the region have been dealing with flooding caused by the spike in temperatures and heavy rain breaking up more than a foot of snow and ice that had covered the Berkshires over the last couple weeks. The National Weather Service has posted flash flood warnings for both Northern and Southern Berkshire County through tomorrow morning — when, believe it or not, another blast of cold air will blow through the county.   The flooding over South Street came without warning

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Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 8 - Jan. 10
Staff Reports,
02:16PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, January 8.   Earl Howard, 24, of Springfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.   He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Cheshire on January 29, 2017.   Joseph Walker, 44, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: distribution of heroin.   He was given a one-year suspended sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on one-year probation. The charge stems from a motor

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Former Mayor Alcombright Rejoins MountainOne
01:28PM / Friday, January 12, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Former North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright has rejoined MountainOne Bank.

"We are very pleased to announce Dick’s return to MountainOne in the newly created position of Vice President – Local Business and Customer Relations Manager," said Bob Fraser, MountainOne president and chief executive officer. "While his elected role as mayor of North Adams has concluded, his new position will keep him very much in the public eye, representing MountainOne and advocating on behalf of customers and the community. Dick brings a wealth of local knowledge and strong community connections to us, and we are excited about the contribution and impact

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 12-18
12:48PM / Friday, January 12, 2018

SUN-MON Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Sunday, the Second Congregational Church will host Delivering the Dream: A Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. from 3-5 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Dr. David L. Smith, the John W. Chandler Professor of English at Williams College. The theme for this year's celebration, "Delivering the Dream," is focused on moving from poetic peaceful platitudes toward bringing about justice and righteousness through community advocacy, agitation and action.   On Monday, at 7:30 p.m., the Berkshire Museum will host WordXWord Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Poets

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Pittsfield Bids Farewell to Veteran Police Officer
Staff Reports,
12:14PM / Friday, January 12, 2018

Officers marched in the pouring rain from the funeral home to the church. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — "All units, Lt. Winston is 10-7. Thank you lieutenant for 23 years of service to your community."   That was the broadcast over local police radios Friday morning. Pittsfield Policed Lt. Michael Winston died unexpectedly while on vacation in Fort Myers, Fla., last Friday and this Friday, officers from multiple departments marched in a downpour, escorting the Special Response Team vehicle carrying his casket to St. Charles' Church for his funeral.   Winston was 55 years old and had served in the Police Department since 1994. He became a sergeant in 2000 and

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Pittsfield Health: Flu Has Rapidly Increased In Last Two Weeks
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:13AM / Friday, January 12, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There has been a 44 percent increase in flu symptoms in just the last few weeks.   Public health nurse Kayla Donnelly-Winters said there have been 32 total cases of influenza confirmed in Pittsfield since Oct. 1. That is compared to just 15 in the same period of time last year. But the numbers had jumped in the last few weeks.   "Flu season has been especially ramping up in the last few weeks. It has been a lot worse," she said. "Two weeks ago, activity was still considered low. Now it is considered moderate but we are at the top of moderate, almost into severe."   Nationwide there have been 13 pediatric deaths in just the last

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Street Closures Set for Pittsfield Police Lt. Winston's Funeral
11:00AM / Thursday, January 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Family, friends, the community and fellow emergency responders will bid farewell to Pittsfield Police Lt. Michael Winston on Friday morning.    The 23-year veteran of the force died on Jan. 5 while vacationing in the state of Florida.    Calling hours will be held tonight, Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Dwyer Funeral Home at 776 North St. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted tomorrow, Friday, at 10 a.m. at St. Charles' Church.   A large contingent of law enforcement officers, fire personnel, and emergency medical personnel from throughout Berkshire County and beyond will be in attendance to pay their respects. A marching and

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Taconic Principal Plotting Use, Scheduling of New High School
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, January 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 100 tradesmen have been on and off the site of the new Taconic High School getting the building ready.   And inside the current building across the driveway, Principal John Vosburgh has been doing the same. Vosburgh has been meeting with faculty, staff, and parents to devise a plan on how to layout and schedule operations in the new Valentine Road school.   "I hope we can get it right the first time and if we don't, we'll fix it," Vosburgh told the School Committee on Wednesday night.   The biggest struggle relates to the cafeteria. The capacity is only 300, which means the school will have to have three lunch periods

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