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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Nuclea's Intellectual Property Heading To Auction In January
Staff Reports,
01:03PM / Thursday, December 22, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nuclea Biotechnologies' intellectual property will be sold at auction in January.   Heritage Global Partners will auction the material online globally on Jan. 18. The sale includes the licensing, patents, and materials for the various diagnostic tests the company developed. The auction is part of the bankruptcy proceedings, which the company filed for earlier this year.   According to court documents, the company has as much $10 million in liability as it proceeds with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The liquidation of the assets is eyed to pay back creditors as much as possible in order of priority.   The company was founded in 2005 by Patrick Muraca and

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Pittsfield Airport Study Group Nearly Done; Final Report Expected in Spring
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:30AM / Thursday, December 22, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Airport Study Group will wrap up its work next month.   The group was convened by the mayor at the request of City Councilors Christopher Connell, Melissa Mazzeo, and Donna Todd Rivers. The group met throughout the year to review airport management, including a consideration of whether or not to privatized it.   Chairman Tom Sakshaug crafted a list of the recommendations expected to be voted in January. The group is not planning to recommend the privatization option but instead ask for other ways to raise revenues. The airport has not been bringing in enough revenue to cover expenses and the city pays some $100,000 annually to keep it

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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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'Manchester by the Sea': Set your Movie GPS
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:41PM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016

For those filmgoers who long for a movie with a beginning, middle and end, bereft of razzle-dazzle special effects and philosophy class mind benders, writer-director Kenneth Lonergan's soulfully touching "Manchester by the Sea" is just the ticket. But beware oh ye to whom such traditional fair initially appeals, as the astutely filmed story about an uncle made the guardian of a teenage boy after the kid's father dies ultimately asks just how much reality are you willing to take?

While to a degree you may escape into the fine artistry of the saga, its authenticity poignantly and regularly, to coin a phrase, harks back to the human drama in which we are all cast members.

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Year-End Tax-smart Investing Ideas
11:27AM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016

As 2016 draws to a close and we move into the holiday season, you probably have a lot going on in your life. But it may be worth your while to take some time to explore a few year-end investment and financial moves that can potentially pay off for you when you file your taxes in April.

Here are a few such moves to consider:

* Boost your 401(k) contributions. Unless you have a Roth 401(k), your contributions are made with pretax dollars – so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. Ask your employer if you can increase your 401(k) contributions for the remainder of the year. (For 2016, you can contribute up to $18,000 to your 401(k), or $24,000 if you're 50 or older.)

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Licensing Board Approves Liquor License for Hangar of Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:04AM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016
PITTSFIELD,Mass. — Hangar of Pittsfield is looking to open by July after receiving the liquor license formerly held by Chameleons.   Harold Tramazzo owns three other Hangar Bar and Grills and is looking to purchase the former Chameleons and open his fourth restaurant there. He told the Licensing Board on Monday that he hopes to close on the purchase of the property in February, renovate the space, and then open mid-summer.   "There is a lot of work that needs to be done in that building. No one has been in there for years," Tramazzo said.   Chameleons closed in 2014 and has since been vacant. The property owner, Pamela Rice, has been looking to either sell it

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Salvation Army Helps 300 Families Celebrate Christmas
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:40PM / Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Berkshire Bank volunteers joined the effort in helping those in the program get what they need on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three hundred families will spend Christmas warm and fed, and their children will have presents to open thanks to the Salvation Army and Christian Center.   On Tuesday, the two organizations, joined by volunteers from Berkshire Bank, began distributing Christmas needs to those who signed up for the program. The Salvation Army's gymnasium was filled with toys, warm clothing, and food to pass out to eligible families.   In total, the Angel Tree program will reach 620 children through 300 families.   "The Salvation Army has always

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Vigiard Sentenced To 10-12 Years In State Prison On New Child Pornography Charges
Staff Reports,
04:29PM / Tuesday, December 20, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Adams police officer will spend the next decade behind bars.   Alan Vigiard pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to two counts of possession of child pornography and a single count of dissemination of child pornography. Judge Daniel Ford ordered him to serve 10 to 12 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the dissemination charge. He was given concurrent nine to 10 years on the other charges.   Vigiard committed the crimes in Adams between May 26, 2016, and November 2, 2016.   The sentence is his second sentence for such crimes. In 2009 he was an officer in Adams and had sent child pornography to the

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Greylock Boys Youth Basketball Goes 1-3 in Pittsfield
iBerkshires.com Sports,
11:42AM / Tuesday, December 20, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Greylock seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball travel team went 1-3 with two close losses in a busy day of basketball at the Boys & Girls Club on Sunday.   Greylock started the day with a 56-25 loss to the B&G Club Black team, which got 10 points from Shaun Harrigan in the win. Derek Paris led Greylock with 13.   Dalton topped Greylock, 41-40, in the next game. Donovan Keegan led Dalton with 12 points. Paris scored 17, and Oscar Low added nine for Greylock.   Greylock beat Adams, 51-45, in its third game behind 17 points from Paris and 11 from Pablo Santos. Colin Doyle and Malcolm Waynick added six apiece. Adams got 19 points from Carson

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Berkshire Health Systems Expands Primary-Care Access Across County
07:53PM / Monday, December 19, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has appointed five primary-care physicians, all accepting new patients throughout the Berkshires, from south to north. 

Drs. Judith Aldrich and Brynn Hancock have joined Berkshire Osteopathic Health of Berkshire Medical Center, which has offices in Adams and Pittsfield. Dr. Maxim Bitunov is now providing care at Hillcrest Family Health Center of BMC in Pittsfield, and Dr. Terra Lampiasi is at Lenox Family Health Center of BMC. Dr. John Paul Hickey is with Barrington Family Medicine in Great Barrington. 

The addition of these five physicians is a significant expansion of primary-care services in the Berkshires and Southern

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Methuselah Likely to Face Punishment From Licensing Board After Shooting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:20PM / Monday, December 19, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was around 11 p.m. on Nov. 25 when an expensive Mercedes or Jeep pulled up to Methuselah Bar & Lounge at 391 North St.   A man hopped out covered in tattoos, with a beard and long hair, and wearing expensive jewelry, according to Shane Tatro, who was working the door that night. Tatro said he asked the man for identification and was given an out-of-state license listing his birthday as 1981. The man entered and got a drink from owner Yuki Cohen.   "He immediately brought out his license. I had no reason to question it," Tatro said.   About a half hour later, the man left and was shot right by the doorstep of the bar. Police

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Educational Task Force 2/3 Way Through Presentations To Local Governments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Monday, December 19, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County Educational Task Force has had a busy month presenting at 30 or so public meetings with still more than a dozen to go.

The task force is rolling out its plans for Phase 2 of a study looking at the future of Berkshire County's school systems. The next phase will dive deep into various options — from leaving things as they are to creating super-regional school districts — and is funded with $150,000 from the state.

The efforts are to explore ways to counter declining enrollment mixed with the rising costs of education and offer school districts recommendations on how they might address those vexing issues.

"The

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Cross, Carpenter Honored by Conferences
iBerkshires.com Sports,
12:29AM / Monday, December 19, 2016
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts junior Keiland Cross was named the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week and Player of the Week on Monday, Dec. 12.   Cross averaged 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and six assists in a 2-1 week for the Trailblazers. He was named MVP of the Tri-State Shootout after collecting 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the 82-79 win over Fisher College, notched 27 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the 71-67 win over RPI and added 19 points, six assists and five rebounds in setback to WPI.   For the year, Cross is averaging a team-high 16.9 ppg in 32 minutes per night for the 2-8 Trailblazers.   The rookie

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