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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Tyer Calls For $1M Police Department Boost in Wake of Shootings
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:52PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

Mayor Linda Tyer called the press conference to address the growing gun violence issue in the city. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer is calling for an increase of nearly $1 million to boost staffing in the Police Department.   The mayor was joined by an array of elected officials, community leaders, and law enforcement Monday in a press conference addressing increased gun violence in the city.   Tyer said the fiscal 2017 budget calls for a $936,000 increase for the Police Department to bring on a half dozen new officers and new equipment.   "For far too long the plea of our police chief to increase personnel has been ignored. A city of our size should


Berkshires Beat: Honoring Downing On His Way Out
02:31PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

More praise: State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) received awards from advocates for the Massachusetts tourism industry and advocates for clean energy in two ceremonies at the State House earlier this month.

Downing, a former chair and current vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, was presented with a Champion of Tourism award at Massachusetts Tourism Day. The annual event is sponsored by the Regional Tourism Councils and the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism. Tourism is the third-largest industry in Massachusetts, supporting over 132,000 jobs and generating $19.5 billion annually in visitor spending.

Downing also was honored by the


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

Biz Briefs: Lee Outlets Give Veterans Reserved Parking
01:34PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

Park place: In honor of National Military Appreciation Month in May, Lee Premium Outlets unveiled two reserved Veteran/Military parking spaces with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 20.

U.S. Army Recruitment Officers Staff Sgt. Aaron Pierce and Sgt. First Class Kenneth Rosado were in attendance along with representatives from various local veterans’ organizations, including American Legion Post 68 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 65, both of Pittsfield.

Other business and civic leaders in attendance included State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Lee Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Colleen Henry and Lee Chamber of Commerce Board President Franck Tessier.

Find a


Pittsfield Airport: Increased Military Traffic Caused By Training Demands
Staff Reports,
03:49AM / Monday, May 23, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — "It's the sound of freedom" is how the assistant airport manager describes the increased activity of military helicopters at the airport.   Residents may have recently noticed many military helicopters flying overhead recently. But don't be alarmed: it's just practice.   "The Army helicopters have a new navigation system and they are doing training that has to be accomplished by a certain date," Airport Manager Robert Snuck said.   "With us having an instrument approach here, some of that training is required to be conducted in designated mountain terrain. We happened to be a designated mountain


Berkshire Scenic Begins Summer Season Memorial Weekend
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Monday, May 23, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With several blasts of the train whistle, the Hoosac Valley Service's Budd Car 6126 moved along the backways of the city at a dignified 10 mph.

The ride from North Adams to Adams on Friday night was a precursor of the scenic rail line's first full summer season in North County — and a sneak peak for North Adams Chamber of Commerce members.

Jay Green, the nonprofit organization's rail director, acknowledged that some were dubious about the "scenic" part of the railroad in this very industrial area. But he promised the ride would be eye-opening.

"I challenge you to tell me after the ride that you didn't learn something or see


Parks Commissions Approves Improvements To Pellerin Field
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:15PM / Sunday, May 22, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first round of improvements to the newly named Buddy Pellerin Field at Clapp Park is set for this summer.   The Parks Commission gave the group heading the effort the OK to order a scoreboard and to continue planning for a number of other additions and changes to the field. The group has already raised $20,000 and has set a goal of a quarter of a million to make four phases worth of improvements to the ballfield.   "The support and feedback from the public has been unbelievably positive," said Ken Ferris, who is heading the effort.   Ferris was joined by Peter LaFayette in presenting the first-phase plans. The organization is paying for


United Way Ends 'Day of Caring' With Dance Party
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:14PM / Saturday, May 21, 2016

A total of 50 book houses have been installed throughout Berkshire County. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of people shook it up on the dance floor at Hancock Shaker Village on Friday night.   The dance party Friday night capped of the Berkshire United Way's Day of Caring during which dozens go businesses found ways to donated to the organization's childhood literacy efforts. Further, 50 book houses were installed all over the county as a mini-lending library, part of the Little Free Library movement.   "The Day of Caring was a way for folks who couldn't participate in the book houses — restaurants and stores for example — who wanted to be


PHS Baseball Team Throws Cookout For Soldier On Veterans
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:58AM / Saturday, May 21, 2016

The veterans were served hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Many young men have found themselves in the midst of battle at the age of 18.   They returned from overseas with limited support, post-traumatic stress and chronic illness, and often ended up living on the streets. But some found their way to Soldier On, which cares and helps pick homeless veterans back up and onto their feet.   Many of the 17- or 18-year-old young men on the Pittsfield High School baseball team aren't eyeing battlefields but rather college dorm rooms. But on Friday, they spent their practice time off the field and up at Soldier On, meeting, talking, and serving


Letter: Get BART Smart Thanks
Letters to the Editor,
07:00PM / Friday, May 20, 2016

To the Editor:

On Saturday, April 9, Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School (BArT) hosted our ninth annual "Get BArT Smart" fundraiser – and raised $20,291 (net) for the school's college preparatory programs! Over 150 people attended – and re-lived their high school years through our team trivia game. A huge "thank you” to all who played and made it a great evening!

The night couldn't have happened without the support of over a hundred local organizations and businesses.

Our High Honor Roll sponsors, Adams Community Bank, Adams Plumbing & Heating, Berkshire Bank, Cord Master Engineering, Scarafoni Associates, Shine Wire


Bay State Games Girls Basketball Tryouts Set
02:31PM / Friday, May 20, 2016
WESTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Tryouts for the Bay State Games Western Massachusetts girls basketball team will begin on Thursday, May 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hampshire Regional High School.   The tryouts will be held over four dates, which include one at North Adams’ McCann Tech on Wednesday, June 22, from 6 to 8 p.m.   Interested players must participate in at least one tryout to be considered for the team, which will compete at the Bay State Games July 15-17 at the Reggie Lewis Center in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury Crossing.   The team is open to all girls in ninth through 12th grades (2016 graduates welcome) who either live in Massachusetts or attend a Massachusetts


Steel Rail Half Marathon Returns on Sunday
02:28PM / Friday, May 20, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Berkshire Running Center has teamed up with lead sponsor Berkshire Bank for the fourth annual Steel Rail Half Marathon on Sunday.   The USTAF-certified half marathon course begins in the Berkshire Mall parking lot in Lanesboro and descends onto the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail continuing until the finish line, 13.1 miles way at the Adams Visitor Center. The trail is open to the public, although it is strongly encouraged to make way for the runners between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.    Race directors Kent and Shiobbean Lemme, owners of Berkshire Running Center, confirmed the sold out registration for the event for the third straight


Pittsfield Community Tennis Association Offers Summer Classes
02:24PM / Friday, May 20, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield Community Tennis Association this summer will again offer group tennis lessons for ages 5 through adults.   The classes are held at Herberg Middle School twice a week for five weeks.   Also offered are U14 and U18 USTA Junior Teams. Classes begin the week of June 27.   The cost is $65, $60 for seniors. Sign up prior to June 20 and get a $5 early bird discount.   For information, contact Robyn at 413-684-3451 or visit us at


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