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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Approves Change in Legal Representation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:21AM / Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mayor Linda Tyer said the contract is short term and will give time for her office take a closer look at the city's legal representation. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Kathleen Degnan is out.

Donovan & O'Connor is in.

The City Council approved Tuesday outsourcing its legal services to Donovan & O'Connor, which ends City Solicitor Kathleen Degnan's appointment.   Mayor Linda Tyer, in her first major move since taking office last week, proposed the switch as a temporary contract to buy time for the administration to review the city's needs and structure of legal representation.   "I wanted to make a change but at the same time I want an

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Gib Kittredge Tournament Returns to Boys & Girls Club
08:05AM / Tuesday, January 12, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, Inc. will host the 45th annual Gib Kittredge Hockey Tournament Friday through Monday, Jan. 15-18, at the club’s rink on 16 Melville St.   The first puck drops Friday night at 5 p.m. when the host Berkshire Bruins take on Bethlehem, N.Y., in the Squirt Division. Games continue Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The finals begin Monday at 9 a.m. The tournament also utilizes Williams College's Lansing Chapman Rink in Williamstown during the weekend. Admission is free.   “We are proud to again host the Kittredge Tournament," Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Chris Jacoby said.

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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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Nuclea To Close Pittsfield Lab
Staff Reports,
09:05PM / Monday, January 11, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nuclea is closing its Pittsfield lab.   The company announced "a major internal reorganization" on Monday that transfers its primary focus from research and development of products to commercialization. With that, the CLIA laboratory in Pittsfield will close.   "Nuclea's senior management is in the process of developing a new strategy aimed at rapidly expanding sales of its existing products, and introducing new products and services in 2016. The company’s commercial focus will remain on diagnostic and prognostic products for the management of cancer and metabolic disease, especially diabetes," reads a statement from the

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Pittsfield Police: Eight Robberies In Six Weeks
Staff Reports,
11:37AM / Saturday, January 09, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is averaging more than one armed robbery per week for the last month and a half.   Police say there have been eight armed robberies since November 23, 2015, seven of which are still unsolved.   The stores robbed include Angelina's on West Housatonic Street,  an Empire Pizza delivery driver on Parker Street, the Gulf Station on Wahconah Street, Zuke's Variety on West Street, the Getty on Elm Street, Greylock Federal Credit Union on Upper North Street, the Salvation Army on Dalton Avenue, and Dawes Avenue Variety.   "With the exception of one case (robbery of Zuke's store on 12/10/15, in which 30-year-old Ivy Rogers of

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Pittsfield Police Restructures Command Staff
Staff Reports,
05:38PM / Friday, January 08, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is restructuring its command staff following the retirement of Capt. Patrick Barry.   Barry is a 27-year veteran of the force and announced his retirement from the department effective Jan. 3. He was the commander of the detective bureau for 15 years. He was briefly appointed acting chief at one point. Despite his retirement, he will remain in the profession as the chief of police in another community.   With his position open, the department is making a number of changes to top positions, which be be in place in the next few days.   "Captain Barry's departure led to an opportunity for internal discussion and some

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Police: Thursday's Bomb Threats May Be Linked To Armed Robbery
Staff Reports,
02:51PM / Friday, January 08, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are considering the possibility that the bomb threat scares Thursday may be linked to a robbery of Dawes Avenue Variety.   Police Chief Michael Wynn says threats were made to 15 different targets spanning five communities Thursday. The call was made to the Pittsfield Police Department Communications Center around 1 :30 and originated from Walmart at 555 Hubbard Avenue, according to a statement by Wynn. He said the "call was barely understandable and possibly electronically altered."   Communications staff deciphered the call to be a threat against 15 targets in five towns that included schools, government facilities, and other

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 8-14
01:55PM / Friday, January 08, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: WeeMuse Adventures at Berkshire

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Superior Court Briefs: Dec. 22 - Jan. 4
Staff Reports,
09:39AM / Friday, January 08, 2016
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, Dec. 22.   Peter Campbell, 19, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of intimidation of a witness or other person.   He was released on $100 bail as he is currently being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on other charges. Campbell is accused of intimidating a witness in a pending matter between October 16, 2015 and November 2, 2015.    Charles Moore, 31, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed assault with intent to murder, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, and discharging a firearm within

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Pittsfield Board of Health Seeking Amendments to Tobacco Law
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:34AM / Friday, January 08, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In the year and a half since implementing a cap on tobacco permits, the Board of Health has faced difficulties enforcing it.   In July 2014, the Board of Health capped the number of permits to sell tobacco permits at 25, less than the city currently has issued. The goal was to reduce the number of stores selling the products over time. However, there has yet to be a reduction in permits and the board has found areas in the language that need buttoning up.   "Since we implemented this new tobacco control policy regarding capping the number of tobacco permits, we had some scenarios which fell into a gray area so we have trouble implementing it,"

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Pittsfield City Council Committee Assignments Released
Staff Reports,
08:32PM / Thursday, January 07, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City Council President Peter Marchetti submitted the subcommittee assignments as part of the City Council agenda released Thursday.   The committee assignments are as followed:   Ordinances and Rules Melissa Mazzeo, chair Peter White, vice chair Nicholas Caccamo John Krol Donna Todd Rivers   Community and Economic Development Kathleen Amuso, chair John Krol, vice chair Nicholas Caccamo Melissa Mazzeo Peter White   Buildings and Maintenance Nicholas Caccamo, chair Christopher Connell, vice chair Kathleen Amuso Donna Todd Rivers Anthony Simonelli   Finance Peter Marchetti, Chair Christopher Connell, Vice Chair Kathleen Amuso Kevin

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'The Hateful Eight': Guiltily Affable
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:21PM / Thursday, January 07, 2016

You laugh in conflicted appreciation of Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight," a throwback Western contemporized with the director's signature nihilism. Yep, it's plenty violent, pardner ... permeated with it, you might even say. You can't watch this latest example of the filmmaker's brutality beyond the pale without contemplating the curious niche he has carved for himself, a strange world of ironic justice and topsy-turvy morality full of guilty thrills.

But while iterating similar sensibilities in most of his films, the auteur has honed his style to the point where he can surprise and abash us nonetheless. Any sentimentality exhibited is to the notion of

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The Independent Investor: A Tale of Two Chinas
By Bill Schmick,
05:40PM / Thursday, January 07, 2016

For years, investors bought into the China story. Growth rates twice as fast as the rest of the world, fueled by sky-rocketing exports made competitive by billions of hard-working, low-wage employees grateful to have a job. What happened?

Times have changed. Back in the late 1970s when China first opened its fledgling economy to foreign investment, manufacturing became the chief driver of economic growth, which led to increased exports, more foreign investment and double digit growth rates. The powerful Communist government controlled the process through its sponsorship of state-owned enterprises. These mammoth companies became the symbols of a new "Chinese Authoritarian

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