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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Local Call/Volunteer Firefighters Graduate State Training Program
02:10PM / Monday, November 07, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Deputy Director Joseph Klucznik presented certificates of completion to members of the Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training Class 60 on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Department of Fire Services' Springfield campus.

The 28 graduates, 25 men and three women, represent the 18 fire departments. Berkshire County firefighters graduating and their departments are Andrew Heath and Quinn Whitney (Cheshire); Matthew McNulty and Joshua Thomas (Dalton); Jessica Dezieck, Mohamed Morell and Mike Powell (Great Barrington); Tyler Collins (Lee); Cody Funk and Kyle Hutson (Monterey); David Smith (New Marlborough); and Michael Renton


Biz Briefs: Massachusetts Maple Producer Wins Top Honors
01:28PM / Monday, November 07, 2016

How sweet it is: Melissa Leab of Hancock took a top honor for her product and another was recognized for his decades of dedication to the industry at the North American Maple Syrup Council’s annual competition in Burlington, Vt.

Leab won first place in the Maple Cream category, and further beat out all other entries to claim Best of Show among all Maple Products. Sugarmakers from the United States and Canada submitted 170 entries into the contest, making for very tough competition in each category. Leab and her husband Rob own and run Ioka Valley Farm, and she is also president of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.

There are more than 250 maple sugaring operations in


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

Berkshires Beat: Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Holds Fall Neighborlies
12:54PM / Monday, November 07, 2016

Neighborly feeling: The Northern Berkshire Neighbors program of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition held its Fall Neighborlies Community Recognition Award Ceremony at Congregation Beth Israel on Nov. 2. Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community. More photos can be found here.

Northern Berkshire Community Coalition staff and board members, and Mayor Richard Alcombright presented Neighborlies to the following recipients:

Community Health and Wellness: Amalio (AJ)


UNICO Baseball/Softball Hall of Fame Inductions Set for Nov. 18
12:25PM / Monday, November 07, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- UNICO will induct five athletes in its Baseball/Softball Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m.   The 21st induction dinner and ceremony will be held at Berkshire Hills Country Club. Past recipients are encouraged to attend. The five 2016 recipients will join 112 other Berkshire County coaches and players (amateur and professional) who have been inducted over the past 20 years.   These five individuals not only exhibited exceptional athletic skills that were developed through various Berkshire County youth programs, but also have given back to their communities.   The 2016 UNICO Hall of Fame recipients are:   MIKE GLADU Gladu played four years at


BHS Opens Specialty Practices Center at North Adams Campus of BMC
12:15PM / Monday, November 07, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams campus of Berkshire Medical Center is now home to a convenient, single site for multiple physician specialties and associated programs, providing North Berkshire and Southern Vermont patients with greater access to care.

Northern Berkshire Specialty Practices of BMC opened Nov. 1 on the first floor of the North Adams Campus, with access through the main lobby at 71 Hospital Ave.

Northern Berkshire Specialty Practices of BMC will consolidate in one location the offices of several BMC physician practices, including: Cardiology Professional Services of BMC; Endocrinology & Metabolism of BMC and BHS Diabetes Education; Hematology Oncology


New Financial Forecasting Program Eyed To Help Pittsfield's Long-term Policies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:00AM / Monday, November 07, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are a lot of moving parts to a $151 municipal budget and policy decisions made today could impact the city's finances five years from now.   With the help from the state, the city is now building a tool to assess the impacts of all the pieces of the city's finances - from aspects of contracts, to assessed property values, to the levy ceiling, to revenues - now and in the future. It may not be a flashy part of government, but one the administration feels will pay great dividends when it comes to policy decisions.   "One of the things I am always on a mission to do is modernize government. We are too stuck in old ways. We have a tendency

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Pittsfield's Patti Helps College Team Win League Title Sports,
04:45PM / Sunday, November 06, 2016

It is championship time for college athletes in fall sports, and Berkshire County products are contributing for their teams throughout New England and beyond.


On Saturday, the Wentworth College women’s soccer team won the Commonwealth Coast Conference title with a 4-0 win over Gordon, and sophomore Taylor Patti again helped contribute to the shutout in the back.


Patti has appeared in 14 games this fall for the Leopards (15-3-3). The team has allowed just 13 goals for a .60 goals against average.   Sophomore Amanda Wright (Pittsfield) assisted on the goal in Springfield College’s regular season finale, a 1-0 win over Wellesley, and she appeared in both


Congressman Neal Wants Infrastructure, Tax Reform As Post-election Priorities
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:00PM / Sunday, November 06, 2016

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal are both on the ballot for re-election. The two Democrats held signs at Park Square Friday to rally support. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal hopes that after election day, legislators will focus on infrastructure and tax reform.   The Springfield Democrat is predicting Democrats to come out on top this election, starting with Hillary Clinton winning the presidency, Democrats taking back the Senate and picking up more than a dozen seats in the House of Representatives.   He, who faces two challengers this year, expects to be one of those Democrats returning to the office.   "I think there


BArT Blows Its Own Horn at Breakfast
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:13AM / Sunday, November 06, 2016

ADAMS, Mass. — Four days before Massachusetts voters decide whether to raise the commonwealth's cap on charter schools, the director of Berkshire County's lone charter school Friday made the case for continued support of the junior-senior high school.

Julia Bowen told a crowd at the school's annual Fall Breakfast that the politicking around Question 2 on Tuesday's ballot has included repetition of misconceptions about charter schools that do not apply to the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School.   One thing that particularly stuck in her craw: the charge from Question 2 opponents that charter schools, unlike traditional public schools, enjoy the

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Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 3
Staff Reports,
02:11PM / Friday, November 04, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Nov. 3.   Jose Navarrete, 41, of Pittsfield was sentenced to four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on a single count of trafficking in cocaine.   He was given one-year probation on a single count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was sentenced to concurrent time on single counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.   Navarrete pleaded guilty to the charges on Oct. 11. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his Wellington Avenue home on November 12, 2015.

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Berkshire Bank Names EVP Chief Risk Officer
02:02PM / Friday, November 04, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gregory Lindenmuth has joined Berkshire Bank as the EVP chief risk officer, reporting to the bank's president, Richard Marotta.
Lindenmuth joins Berkshire Bank from the FDIC, where he worked for 24 years, most recently as a senior risk examiner for the Division of Risk Management Supervision. Through this position, he has gained expert understanding of capital markets, including investments, derivatives, securitizations, market risk, liquidity/funds management and mortgage banking. He also excels in modeling profit plans, establishing budgets and setting strategic objectives.

In his new role as EVP Chief Risk Officer, Lindenmuth will lead the Loan


'Denial': Adding Insult to Injury
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:26PM / Friday, November 04, 2016


Point of disclosure: That was the number on the inside of my mother's arm ... my personal proof that there was a Holocaust. The A denoted Auschwitz. The numbers added up to 13. She said it was her lucky number. I don't think she'd mind me telling you. While there were times when Dorothy Goldberger (R.I.P.) absolutely drove me out of my mind, I can't remember her ever lying to me.

She didn't talk about it at first, nor did any of the other survivors who visited our home shortly after WWII. Or at least I didn't hear it ... only snippets, the name Hitler used interchangeably with the still not popularized term, Holocaust. All were firsthand witnesses. Later,


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