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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

St. Joseph Students Receive Multiple Literary Honors
02:03PM / Monday, April 11, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — St. Joseph Central High School honors writer Taylor Jordao finished in the top 1 percent of nearly 3,000 writers in the Letters About Literature writing contest, sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. 

In recognition for her letter to author Shel Silverstein, Jordao and 14 other high school writers received commendations at the March 15 ceremony at the State House in the Great Hall. Jordao also met with Sen. Benjamin Downing, a St. Joseph alumnus (class of 1999).

Other St. Joseph students finishing as Letters About Literature semi-finalists, in the top 10 percent of entries, were: Elizabeth Bean, Ilyssa Creamer, Camila Gomez, Leanne Hamilton,

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MassParks Pass Available to Pittsfield Residents
01:46PM / Monday, April 11, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield Recreation Program has received a 2016 MassParks Pass from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. 

The pass creates a free parking opportunity for residents utilizing one vehicle (excluding buses or vans) to visit more than 50 facilities in the Massachusetts state parks system that charge a day-use parking fee.

The hangtag is available to be signed out at the Berkshire Athenaeum, located at 1 Wendell Ave.; library circulation policies and procedures apply.  Contact the library at 413-499-9480 for circulation questions.

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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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Flood Insurance: What Berkshire County Homebuyers & Homeowners Need to Know
Presented by Greylock Insurance, SPONSORED CONTENT
04:54AM / Monday, April 11, 2016

While we love our rivers, lakes and waterfalls here in the Berkshires, they do make us much more susceptible to flood from heavy rains, ice jams, snowmelt, and more. Whether you own or are planning to buy a home, it's equally imperative that you understand property flood risks, your coverage options, and how to protect yourself and your loved ones from a flood catastrophe.

Sharon MacEachern, AVP, operations manager for Greylock Insurance, a Berkshire County based neighborhood agency, reminds us that the unexpected can happen anytime, anywhere.

"In the past decade we've witnessed the devastating effects of two major storm systems, Hurricane Katrina and, closer to home,

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Pittsfield Board Seeks Greener Power From Aggregation Plan
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
12:43AM / Monday, April 11, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Green Commission wants an increase in more "local" renewable energy sources to be part of the the city's emerging power aggregation plan, though the primary focus of the new energy-buying compact will be to try to reduce costs for residential and commercial customers.

Under the new aggregation plan, Pittsfield ratepayers will be able to opt into a system by which their buying power is pooled in an attempt to secure lower supplier rates for end users. In most respects, the draft Municipal Aggregation Plan is comparable to those of other communities in the commonwealth, but has been slightly modified to incorporate a number of comments received

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Boys & Girls Club Recreational Therapy Program Announces New Initiatives
01:53PM / Friday, April 08, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires has announced new initiatives through its Recreational Therapy Program.

The Lighthouse Café initiative and the Transitional Program initiative will run in collaboration with local school districts and social agencies.

“These exciting new collaborative initiatives will help address specific needs, provide cost effective programming, and most importantly provide educational opportunities for students," Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires’ Recreational Therapy Director Rick Backer said. "The Boys & Girls Club, with its comprehensive facilities, is an ideal setting for these

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 8-14
12:38PM / Friday, April 08, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Vote for the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers

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Superior Court Briefs: April 4 - April 7
Staff Reports,
12:03PM / Friday, April 08, 2016
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, April 4.    Laquan Johnson, 20, of Pittsfield entered not guilty pleas on single counts of second degree murder, armed assault with intent to rob, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and illegal possession of a firearm.   He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Johnson is accused of shooting 29-year-old Anthony Gamache in the leg in the Big Y parking lot on November 14, 2014. Gamache died the next day.   Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 5.    Peter Campbell, 19, of Pittsfield entered not guilty pleas on two counts of armed

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Dunkin Denied Waiver From Pittsfield's Styrofoam Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:38AM / Friday, April 08, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dunkin' Donuts will not be granted a waiver from the city's ban on the use of Styrofoam.   Dunkin Brands has twice gone before the Board of Health asking for a waiver from the polystyrene ban because the company does not have a compliant cap for the extra-large containers. Representatives said the cups are conforming but the cap is still being developed and could be ready for implementation later this year. The waiver request was only for the cap on the 24-ounce cups.   On Wednesday, the Board of Health said it doesn't believe the company meets the requirements of getting a waiver.   "I don't know if I feel as though Dunkin has

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DA, Pittsfield Police Shed Light on Police Computer Failure
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:30PM / Thursday, April 07, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — District Attorney David Capeless and Police Chief Michael Wynn are refuting claims in a recent Bay State Examiner story that they hid information regarding the loss of potential evidence because of a police computer malfunction.   The Examiner's story has since been republished in DigBoston, claiming that the Police Department lost an unknown amount of evidence and that the district attorney's office did not inform defense attorneys.   Police Chief Michael Wynn sent a release out Thursday night saying the hard drive failure only affected booking videos and that only a small percentage was lost. The department video and audio records all subjects

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The Independent Investor: Long-Term Care Insurance Can Be Crucial to Your Future
By Bill Schmick,
05:08PM / Thursday, April 07, 2016

It is a subject that most Baby Boomers want to ignore. Many of us are gambling on the hope that we won't need long-term care, or if we do, our medical insurance, Medicare, or, at worst, Medicaid will cover the cost. Think again.

In last week's column I outlined what long-term care insurance is all about and why you might want to consider purchasing some insurance against the possibility of avoiding economic disaster at an advanced age. Assuming you might be interested in this prospect, let's examine some of the ways and questions you need to ask in your search.

First, realize that long-term care insurance is complex. The insurance covers "assisted daily living

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'Hello, My Name Is Doris': Puts the Sex in Sexagenarian
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:53PM / Thursday, April 07, 2016

In director Michael Showalter's "Hello, My Name Is Doris," Sally Field as the loveably quirky Doris Miller manages, in one fell swoop, to deliver a treatise on individualism, joie de vie, grace in aging and how to battle the challenge of unrequited love. It is a tour de force that entertainingly reminds what a national treasure this now older gal next door has become.

We meet the eccentric, 60-something lady on the sad occasion of her 91-year-old mother's funeral, and soon gather that the title character has spent the better part of her life devotedly caring for Mom. Commuting from Staten Island to her New York City accounting job in some non-descript new age company

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Mayors' Fitness Challenge Returns For Third Year
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:43PM / Thursday, April 07, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer has a Fitbit measuring her steps. While she hadn't registered many by 9 a.m. Thursday, Tyer knows the few she took matters.   "Every step, even the little ones, will have an impact in our physical fitness," the mayor said.   Those steps she did take before 9 brought her the City Council Chambers to announced another year of the Mayors' Fitness Challenge, a national program aimed to encourage residents to do the little things to become healthier. This year is the second time Pittsfield has run the program with a friendly rivalry with North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright.   "It's just a wonderful idea and a

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