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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Superior Court Briefs: Aug. 24 - Aug. 27
Staff Reports,
02:18PM / Thursday, August 27, 2015
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, August 24.   William Soper, 33, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to four counts of rape of a child with force, and single counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, and intimidation of a witness.   He was ordered to serve 10 to 12 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the rape of a child charges. He was given concurrent nine and a half to 10 years on the other charges.   The incidents occurred in Pittsfield between December 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012 and involved a 12-year-old girl.   Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, August 26.   Daniel Chao, 39, of

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Mount Greylock Officials Make Case for School District
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:20AM / Thursday, August 27, 2015
Mount Greylock Principal Mary MacDonald emphasized the school's diverse academic program and the success of its students at Wednesday's forum. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Mount Greylock officials on Wednesday made their pitch to Lanesborough residents being courted by a neighboring school district.   In a nearly hourlong presentation in the Lanesborough Elementary School cafeteria, Mount Greylock's superintendent, principal, assistant principal and director of pupil services explained the things that they say make Mount Greylock a school worth preserving.   "What attracted me to Mount Greylock was, first, its reputation," said Doug Dias, who was hired

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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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Economist Urges Berkshires To Build Around Strong Non-Profit Economy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:05AM / Thursday, August 27, 2015
Steven Sheppard outlined the state of the Berkshires economy at Wednesday's Good New Business Salute.   LENOX, Mass. — Following a shock to the economic eco-system, economist Steven Sheppard says an area needs to mitigate the negative fallout, understand the changes, and then focus on rebuilding on the strengths.   The Williams College professor said the Berkshires had multiple "shocks" to its economy and still hasn't fully recovered.   Since the 1970s, population has been dropping and, in 2010, the county's gross domestic product "hit bottom" from

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BRTA Details Regional Transit Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:38PM / Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Administrator Robert Malnati outlined the regional plan at Wednesday's public hearing in Pittsfield.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority knows what it wants to do.

It just don't know if there will be the money to do it.

BRTA Administrator Robert Malnati presented the draft regional transit plan on Wednesday that calls for six additional vehicles and about $3 million.   The plan outlines specific plans for routes and will be combined with the plans of 15 other regional transit authorities for submission to the Legislature.    "All told, we'd need six additional vehicles and $3 million," Malnati said at a hearing

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Mercier Named Administrator of Mount Carmel Care Center in Lenox
01:58PM / Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LENOX, Mass. — George Mercier has been named administrator of Mount Carmel Care Center, which has earned four consecutive deficiency-free surveys by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Mercier is a seasoned senior care administrator with more than two decades of experience in the leadership role for skilled nursing facilities throughout Massachusetts.

Mercier replaces David Laplante, who was recently named vice president for the Carmelite System. The Carmelite System is a Catholic nonprofit health system sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, based in Germantown, N.Y. The Carmelite Sisters acquired Mount Carmel Care Center in 2013, and since then,

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The Classical Beat: Chamber Concerts Blossom Throughout Region
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:21PM / Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Kalichstein, Laredo, Robinson Piano Trio will perform as part of the South Mountain Concerts series on Sunday, Sept. 6.

Labor Day marks the conclusion of the summer music festival season, and so the local classical music scene coalesces, as presenters favor intimate spaces for chamber music.

This will become the dominant genre of music making to be found until next June, when the warm late spring weather invites us to share massed performances outdoors at Tanglewood and other venues, large and small.

Looking ahead, you’ll find a variety of concerts presented in churches, chapels, small auditoriums, halls and the like throughout the region. Even

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Austen Riggs Center Commends Berkshire Community Scholarship Recipient
01:14PM / Wednesday, August 26, 2015

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Austen Riggs Center has announced that Christopher Broast is the 2015 recipient of the Austen Riggs Center Scholarship.  

Given annually since 1977, the scholarship is awarded to a graduating Berkshire Community College student who has demonstrated academic excellence in the behavioral sciences.

Broast is graduating with an associate degree in Human Services and will be attending the College of St. Rose in September. An army veteran who served in Iraq, Broast interned at Berkshire United Way and the Barrington Stage Company while a student at BCC.  

BCC staff member Jennifer Larkin said Broast has “been a very big positive presence on

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Lanesborough Finishes Water Line Expansion Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:42AM / Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Town Administrator Paul Sieloff, on the left, updated the board about the water line project at their meeting on Monday. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The water line expansion up Ore Bed Road is complete.   Three homes are lined up to be connected to the system. The town allocated some $350,000 to expand the water system from Balance Rock to about a half-dozen homes on Ore Bed in response to contamination being found in a residential drinking water well.   "They have finished the main line. They have even finished pressurizing it and chlorinating it," said Town Administrator Paul Sieloff.   "The end is right there in front of us."   Sieloff said

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Pittsfield Denies Wrongdoing in Police Officer's Lawsuit
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:39PM / Tuesday, August 25, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City officials deny any wrongdoing in Police Department hiring practices and vow to "vigorously" defend themselves against a lawsuit filed in federal court.   Sgt. Mark Lenihan filed a lawsuit in April in federal court accusing the city — specifically Mayor Daniel Bianchi, Police Chief Michael Wynn, and Police Capt. David Granger — of bypassing him for promotions multiple times in an act of retaliation.   His story reached the public on the weekend and then on Tuesday the city publicly denied the accusations.   "The city denies the allegations made by Mr. Lenihan and the city will be vigorously defending this action,"

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New England Public Radio Opens Berkshire Bureau
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:05PM / Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Claudia Perles cuts the ribbon held by BCC President Ellen Kennedy and NEPR General Manager Martin Miller at NEPR's new bureau on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — New England Public Radio opened its first Berkshire County bureau on Tuesday.   The radio station opened offices in the Central Station Business Center, the same building that houses 1Berkshire, in a partnership with Berkshire Community College.   On Tuesday, station and BCC officials were joined with employees from the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce to cut the ribbon on the new office space.   "We are really proud and pleased to be doing this," said NEPR General Manager Martin Miller before

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Lanesborough Considering Fowl Bylaws To Solve Neighbor Complaints
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:37AM / Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Board of Selectmen are trying to solve a neighborhood dispute over backyard chickens. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Why did the chicken cross property lines? To use the neighbor's pool.   But, if it does it again, the owners are subject to a $10 fine.    Town officials are trying to solve a neighborly dispute involving a Narragansett Avenue woman, who is raising upward of 80 fowl, mostly chickens and ducks.   The animals have led neighbors to complain about the odor and noise. One neighbor even filed a trespass order with the police in hopes to keep the chickens and ducks off their property. Violations carry a $10 fine.   "The officers have been

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Volunteers Needed for Sept. 20 Josh Billings RunAground
01:45PM / Monday, August 24, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 39th annual Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon is calling on volunteers to help support its historic race which this year is taking place on Sept. 20. Routinely, the race requires some 350 volunteers to help the event run smoothly.

“The Josh” – as it is known to locals and participants – is the second oldest triathlon of its kind in the country and has taken place in Berkshire County since 1977.  Race proceeds have benefited Berkshire United Way since 2002 and total nearly $60,000 since that time.

“We’re always happy to support Berkshire United Way,” Patty Spector, Josh Billings race director, said.

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