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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Bianchi Still Hoping To End Pittsfield's Use Of Civil Service
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Mayor Daniel Bianchi said he is now looking to discuss the future of Civil Service with the unions.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some 15 months after a task force rendered a split decision on the future of continuing to use the Civil Service system, no decision has been finalized.   Mayor Daniel Bianchi said last week he is discussing with public safety unions the possibility of ending use of the state's system. The mayor hopes to put in a place a new system for hiring, particularly for hiring police and fire chiefs.   "We appreciate the work of that group. Now we are are looking at it for discussions with the patrol and supervisory unions," Bianchi

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Famed American Historian Enjoyed Berkshire Sightseeing
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
03:17PM / Sunday, September 06, 2015

Francis Parkman recorded his travels through the Berkshires as young man while researching what would become a seven-volume history of Colonial America. The youthful historian had an eye for the scenery, and for the ladies.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The swell of populace in these hills in the summer season has come to be regarded as the normal state of affairs for near to 2 1/2 centuries, since the first inns and lodging taverns went up along the early stagecoach roads in towns like Savoy and Sandisfield.  

In addition to the obvious economic benefits, the region has made even more significant intangible gains from this flow of pilgrimage; fine yields of literature,

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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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Pittsfield Police Quickly Spending Overtime Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:36AM / Sunday, September 06, 2015
Because of a hectic summer, the Police Department is already 1/3 through its overtime budget. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department has already spent a third of its overtime budget, which is double what it should have at this point.   The Police Department has spent 33.9 percent of the scheduled overtime budget as of the last pay period and 23.8 percent of the special investigation overtime budget.   The budget numbers should be at 15.4 percent so the early trend shows the department will run a deficit for its third consecutive year.   "The trend is that we're overspending. We know we are overspending because we are staffing for two additional

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Nascent Volleyball Club Making Strides
Community submission,
08:44PM / Saturday, September 05, 2015
This year's USA Juniors Volleyball club season was nothing but great success for the Berkshire Crush Volleyball Club.   With only two official years in the county, the club has doubled in size from having two teams with a total of 22 players in its first year to four teams and more than 50 players. Over the course the 2014-2015 season, the club brought home a total of five Gold and three Silver medals from all of its participated NERVA Tournaments.   In addition to the club' increased size and success at tournaments, three of its four seniors have been recruited to Division II and Division III schools to continue to play volleyball at a higher level.   Makayla White,

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Baseball Exhibit Aims to Unite Berkshire Community
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:09AM / Saturday, September 05, 2015
A love of baseball prompted a trio of educators to use their personal collections as the core of a growing 'Baseball and the Berkshires' exhibit. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new exhibit at Herman Melville's Arrowhead was created by baseball fans for everyone else.   You do not have to love America's pastime to enjoy "Baseball and the Berkshires: A County's Common Bond," currently on display in the barn at the Holmes Road museum.   "Just as we were finishing up doing the exhibit, a young woman came in and found a Pittsfield Mets cap," recalled Tom Daly, one of the three creators of the exhibit. "She said to the person she was with

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Superior Court Briefs: Sept. 1 - Sept. 4
Staff Reports,
06:19PM / Friday, September 04, 2015
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, Sept. 1.   Elwin Bruno, 47, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of assault and battery on a public employee, and single counts of resisting arrest, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense.   He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail. The charge stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on June 8, 2015.   Michael Rahilly, 28, of Hinsdale had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed robbery, carrying a dangerous weapon, and possession of heroin.   Rahilly is accused

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@theMarket: U.S. Jobs Data Sink Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:53PM / Friday, September 04, 2015

What's good for Main Street is not necessarily good for Wall Street, at least in the short-term. As traders fret over a new era of rising interest rates, American workers may finally be coming into their own.

The 5.1 percent unemployment rate, coupled with a 0.30 percent increase in wage growth has convinced stock traders that the Fed will raise rates this month. Over the past five years, investing in the financial markets was a one-way street. It didn't matter what the economy did, it was all about lower interest rates. The lower rates fell, the higher the market climbed. As the Fed prepares to reverse course and hike rates, investors are facing a brave new world and are nervous

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Berkshire Idol Seeking Singers for 10th Anniversary Competition
03:24PM / Friday, September 04, 2015

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire Idol singing competition and charitable fundraiser is celebrating its 10th year anniversary this year.

This year's beneficiaries are the Berkshire Humane Society and the Drury High School Performing Arts Department. The competition is being produced by Minerva Arts Center, a non-profit organization located in Williamstown whose mission is to promote the importance of an arts-based education.

This year's judges are Bernice Lewis, Larry Stevens, and Alex Lee Clark.

Open auditions are being held in September in North Adams and Pittsfield for singers competing in three age categories: 7-11, 12-16 and 17- Adult.  

Crooners will audition

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Temple Anshe Amunim to Celebrate High Holy Days
12:44PM / Friday, September 04, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Temple Anshe Amunim, located at 26 Broad St., will celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days with a full schedule of services in a newly renovated temple.

“This new year marks a unique milestone for our community,” said Rabbi Josh Breindel. “Our sanctuary has been completely remodeled to reflect a modern esthetic. Even more importantly, with our new elevator and redesigned bimah (raised ritual space), everyone can participate equally in our worship.

Also new this year, Cantorial Soloist Dara Rosenblatt will join Rabbi Breindel and the temple choir to help lead the musical portions of the service.

The High Holy Days season begins with Selichot

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Double Value Program at the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market Reinstated
11:37AM / Friday, September 04, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Over the past two months the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market has been flooded with shoppers doubling their SNAP, WIC and Senior farmers market nutrition benefits through the market’s new Double Value Program.

There has been such a demand for the program, in fact, that after seven short weeks, the program exceeded its funding. This weekend, with the generous sponsorship of Greylock Federal Credit Union and Health New England, the market will reinstate the program.

The Double Value Program is a money-matching program available to mothers, senior citizens and low-income residents who are using their SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Sept. 4-10
10:23AM / Friday, September 04, 2015
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday - Sunday: Labor Day Weekend Rug Sale at the Outlet at Pine Cone Hill
This super exclusive sale will feature discontinued and seconds of Dash & Albert area rugs, 2'x3' to 12'x16', at up to 90% off retail pricing! Rugs will be displayed in a small tent and in the Outlet store.
  Credit cards, cash, checks, and gift cards will be accepted. No

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Lucy Prashker Named 51st Annual Woman of Achievement
10:11AM / Friday, September 04, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Business and Professional Women organization has named Lucy Prashker, managing partner at Cain Hibbard & Myers, Counselors at Law, as this year's Woman of Achievement.

For 51 years, Berkshire BPW has been honoring a local woman for her achievements and commitment to the community with the "Woman of Achievement" award every fall. Past recipients include such outstanding community leaders as Dr. Ellen Kennedy of Berkshire Community College, Ruth Blodgett of Berkshire Health Systems, Laurie Norton-Moffat of Norman Rockwell Museum and Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Company.

Prashker will be recognized at a dinner event celebrating

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