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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

PHS' New School Resource Officer Forging Relationships With Students
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:17PM / Monday, June 08, 2015
Jessica Godfroy, the school resource officer at PHS, was introduced to the Police Advisory Commission on Monday.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police officer Jessica Godfroy remembers sitting in on a suicide prevention lecture at Pittsfield High School after she became the school resource officer there.

A student was using the her phone and the teacher told her to put it away. She refused.

The police officer didn't like that response and told the girl again to put her phone away. Again, the girl swore and refused.   Eventually, the teacher and Godfroy just let her continue to use it and gave her a flunking grade.   Sometimes students don't necessarily need another

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Family Resource Center Opens in Pittsfield
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:48PM / Monday, June 08, 2015
Berkshire Juvenile Court Judge Joan M. McMenemy sat on the task force to implement the Family Resource Center network. On Friday, she spoke at the new Berkshire County center in Pittsfield.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The new Family Resource Center was little more than white walls and a metal desk in the corner when Diane Robie arrived as director.

Over the past few months, the center on the second floor of the Red Cross/Berkshire Children & Families building has been painted, prepped and now opened for business to provide support for local families.

And everyone gathered at Friday's open house were all connected to that effort, Robie said.

"We are part of something much

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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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Congressmen Kennedy, Neal: Electric Rates Threaten Berkshire Economy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:51PM / Monday, June 08, 2015
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, state Sen. Benjamin Downing, and state Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli toured Onyx Specialty Paper on Monday.  LEE, Mass. — Rising electric rates could threaten the local economy and federal and state lawmakers are seeking a long-term strategy to reel those costs in.   That brought U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and the 4th District's U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III to Onyx Specialty Papers on Monday morning to see how those rates are impacting area businesses.     Neal said Onyx could hire for an additional 70 jobs if energy costs were lower.   "We have high-energy costs that are impeding

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Berkshire Fresh Air Fund Host Families Needed
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:47AM / Monday, June 08, 2015

Williamstown twins Elliot and Clarissa Louis flank Avelisse Hernandez, who visited their family in 2014 through the Fresh Air Fund.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Two summers ago, the Louis family of Williamstown was eagerly anticipating the arrival of a very special guest.

An 8-year-old boy whose family was originally from Nepal but now lived in New York City had signed the child up for the Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit that provides free summer experiences to New York City children by sending them to places like the Berkshires. The Louis family had corresponded with the boy and his family, and the two Louis children - twins Elliot and Clarissa, also 8 at the time - were

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St. Joseph High Scholarships & Awards 2015
09:04PM / Sunday, June 07, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The following scholarships and awards were presented to the graduating 2015 class of St. Joseph Central High School.

Al Bianchi Memorial Plaque and Scholarship: Nathaniel Stump

Jane Callahan Godfrey, 1951, Memorial Scholarship: Mary Kirsimagi

James M. Clark, 1967, Memorial Award: Kaitlyn Parrott & Brendan Faas

Jack Charette Memorial Hockey Plaque: Patrick Rice

Francis G. Nichols Jr. Memorial Plaque: Marquise Hamilton

Coach George "Red" Pleau Memorial Award: Charles Crall

Timothy M. Shepard, 1981, Memorial Scholarship & Plaque: Taylor Eddy

Lt. Michael J. Casey Memorial Award: Kaitlyn Parrott

Paul M. Procopio, 1963, Basketball Scholarship

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St. Joe Grads Hear Calls to Faith, Service, Excellence
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
08:31PM / Sunday, June 07, 2015
Left, St. Joseph's valedictorian Paul Bullock and salutatorian Mary Kirsimagi. The high school presented 30 diplomas on Sunday afternoon. See more photos here. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Thirty members of St. Joseph Central High School's Class of 2015 took a leap into adulthood on Sunday afternoon.   Valedictorian Paul Bullock provided the appropriate metaphor.   "Life is like a pogo stick," Bullock said. "When you are pushed down, you must fight against that force with everything you have."   Bullock used the pogo stick as a metaphor to talk about perseverance, a quality that the St. Joe seniors had studied in the novel "The

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Close-Knit Wahconah Class Challenged to Make a Difference
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:41PM / Sunday, June 07, 2015
Sarah Duquette, valedictorian, said the Wahconah class of 2015 should be driven to make a difference in the world. The school presented 149 diplomas on Sunday. See more photos here.

DALTON, Mass. — Wahconah Regional High School graduating class of 2015 marked the end of their high school career — and their first steps into the future — with a swirling, colorful shower of canned string.

But before the class left behind their alma mater, the 149 graduates were reminded of how they came together from so many different schools to spend four years pushing each other to excel at Wahconah in music, arts, academics and sports.

"I can confidently say that everyone

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Wahconah Announces Top Students for 2015
03:40AM / Sunday, June 07, 2015

DALTON, Mass. — Sarah Marie Duquette and Jeffrey Alan Pullano have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the 2015 graduating class at Wahconah Regional High School.

Both students will speak at graduation ceremonies on Sunday, June 7, at 1 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

Duquette, daughter of Dale and Lynn Duquette of 145 Raymond Drive, is a member and treasurer of the National Honor Society, former class treasurer, and a founding member of the school's DISCOVER anti-bullying group. Within the community, she has volunteered with Buddy Baseball and the Learn to Skate and Basic Skating Skills programs at the Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club. She also is a member

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Wahconah Regional Scholarships & Awards 2015
12:18AM / Sunday, June 07, 2015

The following awards and scholarships were presented during Class night on Thursday, June 4.

American Legion Auxiliary Benjamin F. Sullivan Unit 155: Jamie Downer;William Litz;Cullen Fisher

Town of Becket Scholarships: Amber Fairchild & Amber Furtado

Berkshire Community College Foundation Scholarship: Cullen Fisher

Berkshire County Arc Scholarships: Jamie Downer & Nicholas Jamrog

Berkshire County Selectmens Association Scholarship: Sara Hopper

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Zenas Crane Fund Scholarships: Faith Pudlo, Jeffrey Pullano, Dorianna Reardon, Sheridan Robinson, Dakota Sprague, Maddie Sprague, Michael Wagner, Kaitlyn Dumas, Sara Hopper, Nicholas Jamrog,

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@theMarket: Too Hot or Too Cold
By Bill Schmick,
11:16PM / Saturday, June 06, 2015

The stock market is rarely satisfied with lukewarm. Investors insist on boiling down complex variables to simple either/or choices. It doesn't always work.

Take Friday's non-farm payroll number. The country gained 280,000 jobs in May, the largest number since December. In addition, 32,000 more jobs were revised upward in last month's data. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent, but that was probably due to college graduates seeking jobs.

Wage gains, something I have been focused on, jumped 8 cents to an annual rate of 2.3 percent.

That is an improvement, but still below the average wage gains of 3-4 percent one would like to see as the economy

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'Far From the Madding Crowd': Cinema Sanctuary
By Michael S. Goldberger,
05:09PM / Saturday, June 06, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Fox Searchlight Pictures Carey Mulligan's Bathsheba must make a heartfelt decision between three worthy beaus 'Far From the Madding Crowd' in the other theaters at the cineplex.

"The only reason we came to see it was because my wife read it in high school."

Thus spake, within earshot of my wife, a disgruntled viewer unimpressed with the dose of literary culture he had just been so eloquently dealt by director Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "Far From the Madding Crowd." Exiting the theater, he further disparaged the experience,

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BArT Graduates Find Their Voices
By Stephen Dravis,
03:14PM / Saturday, June 06, 2015
Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School graduated its largest class to date on Saturday morning in its new gymnasium. ADAMS, Mass. — Before the members of BArT's graduating class received their diplomas, they heard from their school's director, its principal, the director of the Northern Berkshires Community Coalition's Neighbors Program, and their fellow students.   And the graduates were reminded that sometimes the most important voice is their own.   "Most of my time at BArT, I spent making sure that I wasn't the one who stood out in a crowd," class speaker Ciera Jeanne Dowling told the crowd assembled in the new gymnasium at

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