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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Girl Scout Cookies On Sale Through March 6
02:59PM / Friday, January 29, 2016

It's time for Do-si-dos, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas and your other favorites: Girl Scout Cookie season has begun and will run through Sunday, March 6.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country. From its earliest beginnings to its current popularity, the sale of cookies has helped Girl Scouts set goals, develop people skills and learn business skills such as money management and decision-making.

In the Berkshires, there are the six varieties of cookies sold at $4 a box: Samoas, Trefoils, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos and Savannah Smiles. And, Toffee-tastic, the limited edition gluten-free cookie, is available for $5 a box.

The public has the

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America Legion Riders to Law Enforcement: Thank You!
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01PM / Friday, January 29, 2016
DALTON, Mass. — The American Legion Riders hold two motorcycle runs every year to raise money to support veterans and have never had an accident.   Part of the reason is because law enforcement in a number of towns are there to perform traffic control, allowing the bikers to get through an intersection safety in under a minute. On Friday morning, the riders had a simple message to those officers: Thank you.   "During both rides we always receive the support of law enforcement for traffic control. It has greatly contributed to safe and successful rides. We have not had an accident on any of our rides in the history of our organization as a direct result," President

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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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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 29-Feb. 4
11:49AM / Friday, January 29, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: WeeMuse Adventures at Berkshire Museum   Little ones can explore the aquarium and three galleries. Each week features songs, stories, scavenger hunts, play time, and more. This program is

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Pittsfield Police Seeking Another Man Linked To Armed Robberies
Staff Reports,
09:31AM / Friday, January 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are searching for another Pittsfield man suspected in six armed robberies.   Damian Ivas, 40, of Pittsfield is wanted in connection with robberies of the Getty on Elm Street, Dawes Avenue Variety, Peaslee's on Wahconah, Subway on Tyler Street, Angelina's on Elm Street, and Cumberland Farms on Dalton Avenue.   Police say he worked with George Bliss, who was arrested for the same robberies on Jan. 26. Ivas is currently on the loose and considered armed and dangerous.   Police received an arrest warrant for Ivas in Central Berkshire District court and is charging his with six counts of armed robbery while masked.    Police say

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Tyer Voices Support For Homegrown Businesses at Chamber Event
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Friday, January 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Anyone who has seen Petricca Industries transport massive concrete structures from its Cheshire Road location, through Park Square, and off to the Massachusetts Turnpike can see the challenge.   "They've now became one of the largest employers in the city of Pittsfield and it is a privilege that that homegrown business has had the success that it's had," Mayor Linda Tyer said Thursday night. "Yet, it is still challenged in the way it is able to transport its product through our community."   Petricca stays and grows in the city of Pittsfield despite the transportation woes because the owners are committed to the community, Tyer

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BHS Dealing With Malware Threat
Staff Reports,
04:48PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems is trying to heal some sick computers after they were infected with malware during the past week.

"No patient health or payment information was compromised during this event and that information is protected by a sophisticated and secure system," said BHS spokesman Michael Leary in response to an inquiry by iBerkshires.

Leary said the FBI's Boston office contacted BHS on Tuesday to share information on the malware threat, which has apparently caused problems at other businesses around the world recently.

Berkshire Health Systems personnel began seeing evidence of the event last weekend and brought in computer security

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'The Boy': Best Seen by Mistake
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:22PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016

There is only one reason or excuse to see director William Brent Bell's mediocre horror film, "The Boy." Luckily, such circumstances and the manner in which your humble auditor viewed the movie in question serendipitously ameliorated what would have otherwise proved a night at the Bijou, ruined. To follow my prescription, first you and a good friend must be closed out of the movie you originally intended to see because of a projector snafu. Then, with the clock ticking and après-theater dinner plans hinging, you pick a film, any film, with start and end times that fit.

Call it the "Sometimes you Get Shot out of a Cannon Method of Movie Selection." While not

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The Independent Investor: The High Price of Cash
By Bill Schmick,
02:36PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016

Since the beginning of January, many investors have sold their holdings in the stock market and are sitting on the sidelines in cash. Is it too late to sell, or would selling out be a wise move?

Well over $7 billion was sold from U.S. stock funds thus far in January. In December, $48 billion exited stock funds. In hindsight, anyone who sold at the end of last year would presumably be sitting pretty, but that's not the case at all.

There's an old saying "I'd rather be out of the market wishing I were in, than in the market wishing I were out." Those are words that surely resonate with most investors right now. And as the financial markets worldwide continue to

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Farley-Bouvier Will Not Seek State Senate Seat
Staff Reports,
01:20PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier will not run for state Senate.   The Pittsfield Democrat said she had briefly considered running for the seat being vacated by state Sen. Benjamin Downing, who opted not to run for re-election, but instead will seek re-election to the House of Representatives.    "I took this decision very seriously and consulted with many stakeholders to discern what is best for my family, for Pittsfield and the larger Senate district. What has become very clear to me is that I am exactly where I need to be," Farley-Bouvier wrote.   State Reps. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, also say they are

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McCandless Rebuts Critics To Start Budget Process
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:27AM / Thursday, January 28, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Superintendent Jason McCandless is kicking off the budget season by addressing three of the most criticized items: school choice, per-pupil expenditures, and teacher salaries.   In comparing those items to other districts in the county, McCandless says Pittsfield is right in line, if not better, than the city's peers. The districts ranks 10th out of 16 local districts in teacher salaries, sends a lower percentage of students to other districts through school choice than many others, and spends less per pupil than the county average.   In Pittsfield, the district spent some $31.2 million on teachers in 2013 and 2014. According to the Department of

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Pittsfield Councilors Seeking Review of Airport Management
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:43AM / Thursday, January 28, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. —— Three city councilors are asking for a review of airport management.   Councilors Donna Todd Rivers, Christopher Connell, and Melissa Mazzeo filed a petition asking Mayor Linda Tyer to form a study group review options for airport management and perform a cost analysis.   "It has become very apparent that the revenue is, in my opinion, insufficient and we have escalating expenses there because it is a city-run operation," Connell said.    Connell says it isn't money in the budget, which is mostly offset by revenues generated from the airport, but also capital expenses. Last year, the city replaced a warning beacon and while

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Berkshire Tidbits: Cupcake and Chili Wars
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
08:38PM / Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Manger! Boire! Eat! Drink! at Chez Nous Bistro Resumes   At Manger! Boire! Eat! Drink! this Thursday, Chez Nous baker/co-owner Rachel Portnoy says she and her husband, chef and co-owner Franck Tessier will be, "diving into an exciting new cookbook by one of our favorite local cookbook writers, Darra Goldstein: Fire & Ice, Classic Nordic Cooking. All of the menu and recipes will be inspired by this gorgeous new book."   She said, "The menu will be inspired by the sea." Franck will be making and demonstrating how to make "brined ice cellar salmon, followed by crispy fried fish with a Nordic winter salad,"   And for dessert, Portnoy will bake a

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