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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Miss Hall's Girls Top Westover
04:08PM / Thursday, December 10, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass, -- Junior Grace Guachione scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Miss Hall's girls basketball team to a 51-28 win over Westover on Wednesday.   Sarah Willson scored six points with 12 boards as all 15 Miss Hall's players contributed to the win.   Miss Hall's travels to Ethel Walker on Saturday for a 2 p.m. game.

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Berkshire Chamber Calls To 'Change Narrative' of Berkshire Economy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Thursday, December 10, 2015
LENOX, Mass. — It is easy to point to the headlines proclaiming the loss of 300 jobs impacting the Berkshire economy as examples of the county's decline.   But if the county wants to grow its economy, it needs to "change the narrative" and recognize and build on its strengths.   That's the message Berkshire Chamber of Commerce President Jonathan Butler delivered to nearly 100 people gathered at the annual meeting at Cranwell on Wednesday night.   In October, Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp. announced it would depart Pittsfield, taking 300 jobs and leaving two empty facilities.    "This news that broke in October is certainly

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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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PHS Leaders Call For Locking Skate Park After Stabbing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:32AM / Thursday, December 10, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School officials want to close the skate park during school hours after a stabbing there on Friday.   The School Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to ask the Parks Commission to put up a gate and a lock. Superintendent Jason McCandless offered to have custodial staff be responsible for locking and unlocking the gate. The move follows a stabbing on Friday involving two Pittsfield High School students that led to a "shelter in place" at the high school for approximately 35 minutes.    That stabbing, however, is just the tipping point for a location that is problematic, according to PHS Principal Matthew Bishop.   "I feel the

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Pittsfield Councilors Calling For Special Meeting To Handle Vice Presidency
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:00PM / Wednesday, December 09, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three city councilors have filed a letter with the city clerk's office calling on President Melissa Mazzeo to call a special meeting to sort out the process of choosing a council vice president.   The City Council debated for an hour Tuesday night the procedures for appointing or electing a vice president.   The City Council's rules state that the president is elected by the council and then he or she appoints a vice president. However, with the change in the city charter, some councilors believe the charter calls for the vice president to be elected as well.   On Tuesday, outgoing Ward 5 Councilor Jonathan Lothrop petitioned the council

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PEDA Planning For BIC Construction Next Year
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:36PM / Wednesday, December 09, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A funding gap for the Berkshire Innovation Center hasn't stopped PEDA from continuing to plan for construction early next year.   At the end of September, the lowest bid for the project was $7.1 million, which was $600,000 more than anticipated. The low bids leave the Berkshire Innovation Center with trying to find additional state funds to fill the gap or reduce the project even further. City officials are hoping the Massachusetts Life Science Center, which awarded the funding in the first place, will allocate additional resources but it is still unclear if that will happen.   The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, which oversees

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Check Out These End-of-Year Investment Tips
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:49AM / Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Who knows where the time goes? Although 2015 is almost in the books, you can still make some year-end investment and financial moves that may help you get off to a good start in 2016. Here are a few suggestions.

* Boost your 401(k) contributions. Ask your employer if you still have time to add more to your 401(k) before the year ends. If not, at least increase your contributions in 2016, especially if your salary goes up.

* Consider “tax-loss” selling. We experienced considerable turbulence in the financial markets this past year, so you may own some investments that have lost value. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to hold these investments if they still meet your

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Pittsfield Debates Process To Choose Council Vice President
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:55PM / Tuesday, December 08, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After what could have been the last meeting before inauguration, the City Council has no idea how to pick a council vice president.   Debate over the language directing how the council's leadership is chosen was halted Tuesday night by a charter objection invoked by President Melissa Mazzeo. Outgoing Ward 5 Councilor Jonathan Lothrop had petitioned the council the amend its rules to conform with what he believes is the intent of the city charter which is to have the council vice president elected by the body.    "It didn't occur to me until after the election when I thought about how this will all work," Lothrop said of why his

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High School Student-Athletes Attend Leadership Summit
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:53AM / Tuesday, December 08, 2015
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Before they could learn to stand up as leaders, 10 dozen local high school students had to lie down on the floor of the Boys and Girls Club gymnasium.   Tuesday's fourth annual Berkshire County Leadership Summit began with a brief yoga session led by Kripalu instructor Iona Smith, who reminded boys and girls from throughout the county of the importance of breathing, focus and listening.   "A lot of yoga is about listening," Smith said.   And after leading the group through a series of breathing and stretching exercises, Smith had them pair up and practice active listening with a boy or girl whom they had never met.   "We want

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Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 23 - Dec. 3
Staff Reports,
10:44AM / Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Nov. 23.   George Shurtleff, 54, of Adams was found guilty to three counts of indecent assault and battery under a child under the age of 14, two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained age 14, and a single count of rape and abuse of a child aggravated by an age difference.   He was ordered to be held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail pending sentencing. The incidents occurred in Adams between February 6, 2011 and November 17, 2013 and involved a girl who is now age 17.   On Monday, Nov. 30, Shurtleff was sentenced to 20 to 12 years at the Massachusetts

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Baker Administration Introduces 'Modernization' Bill for Municipalities
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
10:51PM / Monday, December 07, 2015

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled a raft of legislative amendments on Monday designed to remove outdated obstacles to efficient local government.

Baker and Lt. Gov. Karen Politio introduced "An Act to Modernize Municipal Finance and Government" after months of meetings with municipal officials across the state. The measure is supported by, among others, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Massachusetts Mayors Association.

"As two former local officials, the lieutenant governor and I promised to make partnership with cities and towns a focus and priority of our administration," said Baker. "We were proud to establish a Community

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MCLA Offers New Option for Transfer Students From New York State
01:14PM / Monday, December 07, 2015

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has a new opportunity for New York state residents who wish to transfer to the campus.

The New York Transfer Program provides guaranteed admission, as well as a reduced cost of attendance for students looking to enroll at MCLA.  

“We’re excited to streamline the transfer process for New York students,” said Gina Puc, director of admission at MCLA. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for those with an associate’s degree to seamlessly transfer to MCLA and enjoy our New York Tuition Reduction Program rate while they earn their bachelor’s degree. It’s a great

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Carr Hardware Named Quarterfinalist for Indie Award
11:53AM / Monday, December 07, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Carr Hardware has been voted into the quarterfinals for the 2015 Independent We Stand Independent Small Business of the Year Award.

“We are honored to have not only been nominated but to make it to the quarterfinals for such a prestigious national award. This is truly a tribute to our 85 career professionals who believe in our Berkshire community and take pride in serving our customers every day,”  Vice President and owner Bart Raser said.

With locations in Pittsfield, North Adams, Lee and Great Barrington, Carr Hardware serves not only homeowners, but contractors, institutions and government customers as well.

“This year’s

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