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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Bay State Winter Games Return to Berkshires This Weekend
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:16AM / Wednesday, February 10, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Kevin Cummings knows how quickly a good idea can snowball.   The executive director of the Bay State Games is excited to see games offer two new events when it returned to the Berkshires for its 31st season.   "I started with the organization in 1984, and I remember '85 was the first figure skating competition," Cummings said. "We had under 50 skaters."   This year, there will be hundreds of skaters descending on Williams College's Lansing Chapman Rink for three days of competition that run from 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12, through 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.   But the big news in the Bay State Winter Games is the addition of

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Pittsfield Looking at Repairs on Unaccepted Streets
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:40AM / Wednesday, February 10, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has some 25 miles of roadways that it cannot completely service.   Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy brought the issue of unaccepted streets to the City Council on Tuesday night. Turocy says one-eighth of the city's streets are unaccepted and therefore he is restricted in how he can maintain them.   "Our hands are really tied with the current restrictions of what we can do on unaccepted streets," he said.   A City Council subcommittee will look deeper at the issue to develop a management plan for those roads.   Overall, Turocy says a "curb to curb" pavement job is not allowed by the city code. He says

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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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USDA Conservation Stewardship Program Accepting Applications
02:10PM / Tuesday, February 09, 2016

AMHERST, Mass. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has $150 million in funding available for agricultural producers across the country through the Conservation Stewardship Program, a federal conservation program that helps farmers voluntarily improve the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands.

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to add an estimated 10 million acres to the rolls of CSP during fiscal 2016.

"The Conservation Stewardship Program helps farmers boost soil and air quality, conserve clean water and enhance wildlife habitat," said Christine Clarke, NRCS state conservationist. "With this investment, we'll enable

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Grant Opens Workforce Training Opportunities in North Adams, Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:15PM / Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Mayor Linda Tyer said the program will address the changes to the local labor market. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are currently 127 available manufacturing jobs in Berkshire County averaging annual salaries of more than $55,000, according to Interprint CEO Peter Stasiowski.   But there aren't enough workers in the area with the skills needed to fill those vacancies. The state has now allocated $138,000 to the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board to train workers to fill those jobs.   "We know the importance of growing our own," Stasiowski said.   See application and information below.   According to Stasiowski, manufacturing makes up 8

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BRPC Trying To Get Ahead On OPEB Liabilities
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:24PM / Monday, February 08, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC is trying to get ahead on its "other postemployment benefits."   In 2009, Massachusetts passed a law requiring government agencies to disclose the liability. OPEB consists mostly of health insurance for future retirees and the focus of most agencies is to start a trust fund, which will eventually be used to pay those benefits — pulling that annual expense from the operating budget.   Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is no different.   With some 20 employees, it is estimated that the agency will be liable for some $1.2 million in total. Executive Director Nathaniel Karns said the organization allocates money every year to

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Berkshire Tidbits: Chinese New Year Banquet, Food Events
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
07:51PM / Monday, February 08, 2016

It's midwinter and full of food delights! Events, holidays and special deals on delicious foods.


Yogurt-marinated wings at Bombay Grill in Lee.

For football fans, Sunday is Super Bowl in more ways than running through a stadium field with a pointy-ended ball. It's super bowls and bowls and platters and pans of gooey and rich, crunchy and spicy, salty, smoky, savory and sweet everything comfort foods. I'll go into local wings later.

Monday, Feb. 8, is the beginning of the 15-day Chinese Spring Festival or Chinese New Year when food offers symbolic help for health, prosperity and overall good fortune in the coming year. I arranged to have a banquet with friends at Panda House

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Death of 11-Year-Old Hannah Nazareth Still a Mystery
Staff Reports,
04:28PM / Monday, February 08, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The cause of 11-year-old Hannah Nazareth's death may never be known.   District Attorney David Capeless' office said on Monday that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was unable to determine a cause of death because of the condition of her body.   The bodies of Hannah and her father, Anthony Nazareth, 52, were found inside their third-floor apartment at 72 Plunkett St. on Aug. 3.    The autopsy showed that Anthony Nazareth died of a heroin overdose just days before his body was discovered. The results showed Hannah died "as much as a month before her father."    "Followup conversations with the Chief

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@theMarket: Stocks at Bottom of Trading Range
By Bill Schmick,
08:29AM / Saturday, February 06, 2016

This week was a little more promising. At least it was better than going down almost every day, as we did last month. Is this a pause or can we expect something more?

Something more is my bet, but whether it is up or down largely depends on the direction of oil. I did notice, however, that there were days this week that the oil price was not in lockstep with the markets. There was even talk that stocks and energy prices might decouple in the weeks ahead. Whether that is wishful thinking or a possibility will take more than a day or two of evidence.

I have insisted that no one knows where the bottom is in oil. Yet, a consensus seems to be forming that $30 a barrel, (give or take a few

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Fire Displaces Five Pittsfield Residents
Staff Reports,
05:10PM / Friday, February 05, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Thursday night fire caused nearly $10,000 worth of damage to a Worthington Street home.   Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Garner said the department received a report at 7:43 p.m. of a basement fire at 10-12 Worthington Street, located near the intersection of West Housatonic Street and Center Street. The fire displaced five residents from the two-family home but nobody was injured.   Garner estimates some $8,000 to $10,000 worth of damage.    On arrival, firefighters found fire encompassing a small room in the laundry area in the rear portion of the cellar.   "Engine 3 mounted an aggressive attack with a 1-3/4 inch handline, knocking down

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb. 5-11
11:31AM / Friday, February 05, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

The fireworks display during last year's 10x10 Festival.  Click here for information on this year's show. The 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival is Almost Here!

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Dunkin Donuts Asks For Extension On Pittsfield's Styrofoam Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:37AM / Friday, February 05, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dunkin' Donuts is asking for a year's extension to comply with the city's Styrofoam ban.   Attorney Pierce Haley, representing Dunkin Brands, asked the Board of Health on Thursday for the extension as the company waits on the development of a lid for 24-ounce containers. Haley said the company has been looking to transition away from the polystyrene containers but needs another year or else it won't be able to serve its larger beverage sizes.   "I don't think we are going to need anything more than one extension. They've been working hard to do this for a while," Haley said.   Those members attending took no action

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Election 2016: Presidential Primary Voting
06:45PM / Thursday, February 04, 2016

Wednesday, Feb. 10, is the last day to register or to change party status to vote in the Tuesday, March 1, presidential primary. Those unenrolled can chose a party to vote in for the primary.

There are four political parties in Massachusetts: Democratic (D), Republican (R), Green-Rainbow (J) and United Independent (CC). If you are enrolled in one of these parties, the corresponding initials will be next your name. If you are unenrolled, there will be a U in the party column.

You may change your party enrollment by completing a new voter registration form in person at your town or city clerk's office, by mail, or at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com.

You do not have to be enrolled in any

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