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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Police Arrest Second Man In Armed Robbery Investigations
Staff Reports,
08:32PM / Monday, February 01, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested Damian Ivas Monday night on charges related to a series of on-going armed robberies.   Ivas was arrested in Pittsfield on an arrest warrant for with six counts of armed robbery while masked. Officers also charged with him with assault by means of a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest for his actions against officers Monday. No officers were injured during the arrest.   Ivas is being held at the police station on $100,000 bail.    The 40-year-old is accused of working with George Bliss for six armed robberies. Those locations include the Getty on Elm Street, Dawes Avenue Variety, Peaslee's on Wahconah, Subway on Tyler

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Pittsfield Seeks Input on Public Conservation Properties
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
02:51AM / Monday, February 01, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four city conservation areas will be closely examined as part of a new three-month planning study looking at the nature of these properties and how they're utilized and impacted by residents.

This research, conducted by students of the Conway School of Landscape Design, is separate to an upcoming update to the city's overall Open Space & Recreation Plan but will supplement that process, according to Parks, Open Spaces & Natural Resources Manager James McGrath.   "We have multiple planning projects going on," McGrath told iBerkshires, "As we acknowledge these four properties [in the Open Spaces plan], this product will be an

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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 Councilors Weigh in on Snow and Ice Removal Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Saturday, January 30, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When the snowstorms hit, Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy has a plan in place to keep the roads safe.   "Public safety is really what is going to drive our decisions," Turocy said. "At the end of the day, public safety is No. 1 for us."   Last year, the City Council had expressed concerns after many roads were left in icy conditions following snowstorms. Those heading the efforts at the time said there was a shortage of salt and extraordinary weather with back-to-back snowstorms and frigid temperatures.    Those guys are now gone. The city had opted to go back to having both a commissioner of public services and

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Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 25 - Jan. 29.
Staff Reports,
03:09PM / Friday, January 29, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Jan. 25.   Steven Cote, 45, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of operating under the influence of alcohol - his fifth offense - negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a suspect license, and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.   He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on December 11, 2015.    Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Jan. 26.   Kelly Simonetta, 37, of North Adams was found

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Girl Scout Cookies On Sale Through March 6
02:59PM / Friday, January 29, 2016

It's time for Do-si-dos, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas and your other favorites: Girl Scout Cookie season has begun and will run through Sunday, March 6.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country. From its earliest beginnings to its current popularity, the sale of cookies has helped Girl Scouts set goals, develop people skills and learn business skills such as money management and decision-making.

In the Berkshires, there are the six varieties of cookies sold at $4 a box: Samoas, Trefoils, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos and Savannah Smiles. And, Toffee-tastic, the limited edition gluten-free cookie, is available for $5 a box.

The public has the

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America Legion Riders to Law Enforcement: Thank You!
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01PM / Friday, January 29, 2016
DALTON, Mass. — The American Legion Riders hold two motorcycle runs every year to raise money to support veterans and have never had an accident.   Part of the reason is because law enforcement in a number of towns are there to perform traffic control, allowing the bikers to get through an intersection safety in under a minute. On Friday morning, the riders had a simple message to those officers: Thank you.   "During both rides we always receive the support of law enforcement for traffic control. It has greatly contributed to safe and successful rides. We have not had an accident on any of our rides in the history of our organization as a direct result," President

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 29-Feb. 4
11:49AM / Friday, January 29, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: WeeMuse Adventures at Berkshire Museum   Little ones can explore the aquarium and three galleries. Each week features songs, stories, scavenger hunts, play time, and more. This program is

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Pittsfield Police Seeking Another Man Linked To Armed Robberies
Staff Reports,
09:31AM / Friday, January 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are searching for another Pittsfield man suspected in six armed robberies.   Damian Ivas, 40, of Pittsfield is wanted in connection with robberies of the Getty on Elm Street, Dawes Avenue Variety, Peaslee's on Wahconah, Subway on Tyler Street, Angelina's on Elm Street, and Cumberland Farms on Dalton Avenue.   Police say he worked with George Bliss, who was arrested for the same robberies on Jan. 26. Ivas is currently on the loose and considered armed and dangerous.   Police received an arrest warrant for Ivas in Central Berkshire District court and is charging his with six counts of armed robbery while masked.    Police say

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Tyer Voices Support For Homegrown Businesses at Chamber Event
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Friday, January 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Anyone who has seen Petricca Industries transport massive concrete structures from its Cheshire Road location, through Park Square, and off to the Massachusetts Turnpike can see the challenge.   "They've now became one of the largest employers in the city of Pittsfield and it is a privilege that that homegrown business has had the success that it's had," Mayor Linda Tyer said Thursday night. "Yet, it is still challenged in the way it is able to transport its product through our community."   Petricca stays and grows in the city of Pittsfield despite the transportation woes because the owners are committed to the community, Tyer

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BHS Dealing With Malware Threat
Staff Reports,
04:48PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems is trying to heal some sick computers after they were infected with malware during the past week.

"No patient health or payment information was compromised during this event and that information is protected by a sophisticated and secure system," said BHS spokesman Michael Leary in response to an inquiry by iBerkshires.

Leary said the FBI's Boston office contacted BHS on Tuesday to share information on the malware threat, which has apparently caused problems at other businesses around the world recently.

Berkshire Health Systems personnel began seeing evidence of the event last weekend and brought in computer security

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'The Boy': Best Seen by Mistake
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:22PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016

There is only one reason or excuse to see director William Brent Bell's mediocre horror film, "The Boy." Luckily, such circumstances and the manner in which your humble auditor viewed the movie in question serendipitously ameliorated what would have otherwise proved a night at the Bijou, ruined. To follow my prescription, first you and a good friend must be closed out of the movie you originally intended to see because of a projector snafu. Then, with the clock ticking and après-theater dinner plans hinging, you pick a film, any film, with start and end times that fit.

Call it the "Sometimes you Get Shot out of a Cannon Method of Movie Selection." While not

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The Independent Investor: The High Price of Cash
By Bill Schmick,
02:36PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016

Since the beginning of January, many investors have sold their holdings in the stock market and are sitting on the sidelines in cash. Is it too late to sell, or would selling out be a wise move?

Well over $7 billion was sold from U.S. stock funds thus far in January. In December, $48 billion exited stock funds. In hindsight, anyone who sold at the end of last year would presumably be sitting pretty, but that's not the case at all.

There's an old saying "I'd rather be out of the market wishing I were in, than in the market wishing I were out." Those are words that surely resonate with most investors right now. And as the financial markets worldwide continue to

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