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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Walto Embarking On Fourth Campaign For Pittsfield Mayor
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:39AM / Monday, August 24, 2015
Donna Walto says the economy is heading in the wrong direction. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Donna Walto says the city is heading toward bankruptcy as the middle class moves out.   The founder of Berkshire Sightseeing is now running her fourth campaign for mayor to change things.   After three failed bids for the office, Walto says the city has just gotten worse as her passion to clean it up has grown.   "My passion is deeper than it has ever been. I've been watching this for 10 years and if something positive had happened, I'd be living happily on the hill on Sadler Avenue. But I don't see that," Walto said.    Walto says the city is losing


Adams, Mount Greylock District Taxpayers Invited to Three School Forums
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:26AM / Monday, August 24, 2015
The decision of Adams and Cheshire officials to reach out to Lanesborough has resulted in two other meetings on local school funding and Mount Greylock Regional's offerings. ADAMS, Mass. — It is back to school week ... for North County taxpayers.   While most of the kids may have another week to enjoy the waning days of summer vacation, their parents and other voters are invited to three public forums focused on the present and possible future state of education in North Berkshire.   The first forum is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School in Adams.   BArT, which frequently draws fire as an alleged drain on resources

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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

Sagas of the Shire: The Morewood Lake Disaster
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
12:27AM / Monday, August 24, 2015
The Morewood Lake disaster killed 17 and injured 20.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was set to be an exceptional year in the ice business.

Early the year before, George Shand and Everett Lesure had purchased the Morewood Lake Ice Co., and were anxious to increase profitability in their second season. The company, which in the peak of winter employed up to 150 men, had been seeing steady yields of 20,000 tons of ice harvested annually from the Morewood Lake site, but Shand and Lasure announced this year they expected to raise the output to 25,000 tons.

Advertisements for laborers had been put out, and everything was in place to begin when workers arrived on the morning of Thursday, Dec.


BBA Edges Great Barrington Twice to Take BABL Series
04:47PM / Sunday, August 23, 2015
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- BBA withstood a pair of seventh-inning rallies to earn two one-run victories and a 2-1 series victory in the Berkshire Adult Baseball League on Sunday afternoon at Bill Laston Memorial Park.   BBA came from behind in both its games to win 10-9 and 8-7 over the Great Barrington Millers and will meet Cornerstone next weekend for the championship of the league's 20-and-over division.   Cornerstone on Sunday defeated Housatonic, 5-0, to earn a two-game sweep in their best-of-three series.   At Adams' Renfrew Field, the host Aces trumped the Thunder to sweep their series and set up a date with the Bandits in the 35-and-over division


46 Honored For Completing Youth Works Summer Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:58PM / Friday, August 21, 2015
The participants were given certifications from the mayor for completing the program. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — This summer nearly 50 teenagers got their first taste of employment as part of the 11th annual youth works summer program.   On Friday, 46 students were honored at City Hall for completing the program that matches youth with employers.   Through Berkshire Works and the Berkshire Regional Employment Board, the state allocated $117,000 to create jobs for youth eligible for the program.   Each of the 54 who started the program were given work readiness training and then part-time positions with nearly 20 local employers.   "All of these employers have


@theMarket: Markets Are Supposed to Pullback
By Bill Schmick,
04:57PM / Friday, August 21, 2015

It was a sea of red for stocks this week. Global markets broke a seven-month trading range and the rest is history. Consider this week's decline a positive development. Here's why.

Over the last seven months, the S&P 500 Index has traded in a narrow range between a gain of 3.5 percent and a loss of minus-3.2 percent. That hasn't happened in almost 50 years. As markets go, this was a highly abnormal development. Something had to give and I have been writing for months that at some point we could expect a larger, more "normal" sell-off in the market. Well, now we are returning to normalcy. It isn't pleasant, because losses make us feel worse than gains make us


Berkshire Arts & Technology Bus Route 2015
01:07PM / Friday, August 21, 2015

ADAMS, Mass. — The first day of school for Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School is Monday, Aug. 24. The doors open to students at 7:45 a.m. and dismissal is at 3:40 p.m. the first day.

Students should be waiting at their bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled time in a location visible to the driver (not sitting in a car); all times are advisory. No food or drink allowed on the buses and students may only ride on assigned buses. Bus routes are subject to change and the most current versions can always be found on the "For Parents" page of school's website,

Morning bus service will not be available for Savoy, Florida or


Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival Celebrates Achievement of Youth
11:51AM / Friday, August 21, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival celebrated the achievements of Berkshire County youth who completed the Festival’s inaugural program, Project eLEVate, this summer with a closing ceremony on Aug. 8

Project eLEVate featured workshops, lectures, films, tours, and other thought-provoking activities, designed to provide the youth, “Project eLEVate scholars,” with an opportunity to learn more about themselves, as well as the Berkshires’ rich African American history, culture and heritage. At the ceremony, the scholars received a certificate for successfully completing the 11-day program and also had an opportunity to share their experiences


Berkshire Osteopathic Health Joins Berkshire Health Systems
11:35AM / Friday, August 21, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In a move that will help to ensure continued and expanded access to primary care and osteopathic health services in the Berkshires, Berkshire Osteopathic Health has joined the Berkshire Health Systems Physician Practice Group.

Berkshire Osteopathic Health includes Stephen Kisiel, DO, and Mary Yee, DO, and provides Family Practice medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative services.

Effective Aug. 17, the practice has become Berkshire Osteopathic Health of BMC, and will remain at its existing location in Pittsfield, with few if any noticeable changes for patients.

This partnership helps to stabilize the physician practice and ensure continued and expanded access to


Pittsfield Offers Public Services Job To Former Newton Commissioner
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:34AM / Friday, August 21, 2015
David Turocy from Newton accepted the position. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city may finally appoint a director of public services.   David Turocy will fill the job created in 2011 but never filled. The city changed the structure of the department to include a commissioner to oversee utilities and another to oversee public services. Bruce Collingwood has been overseeing both and will now be the commissioner of public utilities.   Turocy's appointment will go to the City Council on Sept. 8 and he is expected to start on Sept. 14. He'll oversee all highway operations and personnel.   "He comes with a wealth of experience," Mayor Daniel Bianchi

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Fifth Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Seeks Participants
11:24AM / Friday, August 21, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The fifth annual Berkshire County “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence” will take place during Third Thursday, Sept. 17, rain or shine, in downtown Pittsfield.

Event organizers are seeking organizations and businesses sign up to walk during the event. Registrations are now being accepted online. Registration is free, but walkers are encouraged to raise money through sponsorships. Walkers who raise $55 or more will receive a commemorative Walk a Mile t-shirt. Supporters may also sponsor walkers through the Elizabeth Freeman Center website.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. on the corner of North

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Sen. Benjamin Downing Selected as CSG Toll Fellow
11:20AM / Friday, August 21, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. — State Sen. Benjamin Downing is one of 48 state policymakers from across the country selected as a Council of State Governments' Henry Toll Fellow for the Class of 2015.
The Class of 2015 Toll Fellows represents 33 states and Puerto Rico, with 35 serving in the legislative branch, four serving in the judiciary and nine hailing from the executive. A nine-member committee of state leaders, many who are Toll Fellows themselves, reviewed a record number of applications to select the class.
Named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, the Toll Fellowship program is one of the nation's premier leadership development programs for state government

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