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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Data Shows Serious Traffic Collisions On The Decline In The Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:17AM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's rate of serious traffic accidents in the Berkshires is declining faster than the state average.   Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Transportation Planner Eammon Coughlin reported Tuesday projections that show a continual decline in the number of vehicle fatalities and serious injuries. Based on five-year rolling averages calculated each year, there has been a 17.27 percent decline in fatalities and a 15.57 percent decline in serious injuries since 2011.   "Total fatalities and the fatality rate is declining and we are declining faster than the state," Coughlin said.   The number of fatalities had peaked between

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Harvest Run Raises $15,000 for BCC nursing program
02:10PM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017

More than 170 runners took part in the annual Berkshire Healthcare Harvest Run to benefit the Berkshire Community College nursing program.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Healthcare Harvest Run raised more than $15,000 for the Berkshire Community College nursing program scholarship on Oct. 21 during the annual trail run and cook-off. More than 170 runners, including adults, students and children, participated in the trail run, relay and kids race.

"This was our most successful Harvest Run. We are very grateful to all the participants and the Berkshire Healthcare affiliates for their energy and enthusiasm," said Ellen Kennedy, president of Berkshire Community College.

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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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Consider These Year-End Tax-Smart Financial Moves
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:31PM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, you may be getting pretty busy. But once the holidays are over, you will enter into a new season – tax season. The filing deadline for the 2017 tax year is April 17, 2018, but until that date – and especially before the end of the calendar year – you may want to explore some tax-smart financial moves.

Here are a few to consider:

Boost your 401(k) contributions. If you're like most people, you probably don't usually contribute the maximum amount to your 401(k), which, in 2017, is $18,000, or $24,000 if you're 50 or older. Unless you have a Roth 401(k), your contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, so the more you put in,

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Pittsfield Used Car Dealer Complies With Fire Department Citation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:32AM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Newell Street Transmission has complied with the Fire Department's request to improve the parking situation on the used car lot.   Fire inspectors cited the company during the summer saying the way the vehicles were being stored on the property posed a fire hazard. Fire Inspector Randy Stein was particularly concern with the rear of the building, which he felt didn't provide access to the building in case of an emergency, and the distance between vehicles so that fires don't quickly spread from vehicle to vehicle.   Owner Robert Gaylord has since crafted a new parking plan, specifically outlining where various vehicles will go, from customer

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Pittsfield Sets FY2018 Tax Rates
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:03AM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The average homeowner can expect to see a 5.1 percent increase in the tax bills.   The City Council approved a tax rate Tuesday night of $20.01 per $1,000 worth of value for residential properties.Last year's residential tax rate was $19.63 per $1,000 of value.   The average single-family home is valued at $181,582, which results in a tax bill of $3,633.46 - for an increase of $176.24 from last year. The tax rate for residential properties is increasing by 38 cents per $1,000 of value.    The tax rate for commercial properties is set at $39.98 per $1,000 of value, up from $39.78 last year.   The median commercial property owner can

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Pittsfield Program Eyed To Provide Relief To Electric Customers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:20PM / Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cappadona said Eversource's basic supply rates will jump for the winter and NextEra's prices are lower. He doesn't expect the supply prices to drop in the coming years. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has signed an agreement to have NextEra Energy Services become the default electric supplier.   The move is part of the municipal aggregation program in which consultants Colonial Power essentially bundled all residential, commercial, and municipal usage into a single group purchasing bid for electric supply.   NextEra offered a contract of a rate of .09976 per kilowatt-hour for a period of three years, which is less than what Eversource has currently planned for

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SteepleCats Reveal New Look, New Logo
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:20AM / Tuesday, November 28, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The SteepleCats are relaunching with a new look, a new attitude and new leadership.   "We're changing the brand, and we're changing the look, and we're changing the feel," says new President Allen Hall. "A lot of things are going to change this year to be more North Adams-centered and focused in terms of its approach, its affordability, and our marketing and corporate packages."    The New England Collegiate Baseball League team is switching out its friendly fuzzy black and yellow cat for a leaner, meaner blue panther. The Drury blue logo and uniforms, with black, white and gray, is meant to evoke a more assertive,

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Republican Attorney General Candidate Visits Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:09PM / Monday, November 27, 2017

McMahon's three main priorities are on protecting the second amendment, increasing public safety, and tackling the opioid addiction problem facing the state.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jay McMahon wouldn't want a "bump stock" on his rifle.    "You can shoot faster without it and more accurate," the Bourne attorney said. "Your bullets are scattering and they aren't going on target. Anybody who cares about their shots is not going to want a bump stock."   But McMahon vehemently opposes Massachusetts' decision to ban the device. He says it is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment and he wants to defend that

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TEDx North Adams Features 11 Speakers at Mohawk Theater
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:37AM / Monday, November 27, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The environment will be spare but the organizers of the first-ever TEDx North Adams are sure that the ideas shared will be illuminating.    Eleven speakers will be featured at the Mohawk Theater in January for a full afternoon of talks and videos around the basic TED theme of "Ideas Worth Sharing."    Organizers announced on Sunday that the empty Mohawk on Main Street would be the venue for the event.   "We knew it would be bare bones and continue to be bare bones," said Benjamin Lamb, one of the organizers and president of the City Council. "We thought it was a good way to activate the space in a different

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@theMarket: Sweet Spot for the Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:31PM / Friday, November 24, 2017
Thanksgiving weekend usually marks the beginning of a great seasonal run in the equity markets that continues through January of next year. There are some additional reasons why this year may prove to be a good one.   No one disputes the fact that we have had an unusual year for equities; all three U.S. indexes have gains in excess of 15 percent. That is more than twice the average gains of the S&P 500 Index on a historical basis. In addition, those spectacular gains have been accomplished without any declines of more than 3 percent all year. If that is not a record, it is pretty close to one.   The economy, unemployment and inflation have all been moving in the right

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Two Recruits Complete Pittsfield Firefighter Training
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:42PM / Friday, November 24, 2017

Matthew Bainbridge is given his probationary firefighter shield from Capt. Neil Myers. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Tuesday, Matthew Bainbridge and Abigail Lemanski attended the state's 28th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony.   There were hundreds of firefighters from throughout the state honored for heroic efforts. And the medal of honor was given to posthumously to Watertown Firefighter Joseph A. Toscano.   They saw the heroism and they saw the risks.   The two were just Pittsfield Fire Department recruits on that day. The next afternoon though, their families pinned their new badges to their uniform and they became probationary firefighters in

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Cheryl Mirer Hired as New Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Executive Director
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Friday, November 24, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Cheryl Mirer remembers driving from Otis to the city to go on art walks, volunteer with Berkshire Creative, or sell crafts at the Handmade Holiday Festival.   And those memories seemed to come back a lot in the last year or so, when she was searching for a way to get back here from Potsdam, N.Y.  Mirer had moved there in 2013 and was working in the development office at Clarkson University while her husband managed a co-operative food market.   "For over a year, we've been like 'this isn't really where we belong. What are we going to do?' I had to go home. I wanted to go back to the Berkshires. My husband loves the Berkshires so

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