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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Big Y Plans to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Bags in 2020
Staff Reports,
05:32PM / Tuesday, January 08, 2019
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Both Berkshire County cities last year spent months, if not years, talking about banning single-use plastic bags but they might find business is moving ahead of them.    Big Y Foods Inc., one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, will eliminate its use of the bags from all 70 of its markets, specialty stores and Big Y Express Gas and Convenience locations in 2020.   That decision was prompted, in part, by local towns that have already prohibited the use of the bags. The 83-year-old company says it has been complying with bag bans in Adams (which launched a free bag initiative), Amherst, Great Barrington, Lee,

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Tyer Delivers State of the City Address
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:04AM / Tuesday, January 08, 2019

All city department heads were on hand for the address. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer believes her administration is "designing our home" for the future.   The mayor delivered a 45-minute state of the city address at Taconic High School on Monday night, emphasizing some of the successes seen in 2018 and introducing a couple new initiatives for the coming year.   It was the mayor's third address and Taconic High School was chosen to host it because "the very existence of this new school is a reflection of perseverance, resilience, and determination."   "It is the flagship of our future. Some of you have already experienced

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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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Berkshires Beat: Winners of the Pittsfield Photo Challenge Announced
02:51PM / Monday, January 07, 2019
The winners are ...

This past fall, Downtown Pittsfield Inc. held a photo challenge to find the photo that best captures why downtown Pittsfield is the "Heart of the Berkshires." Entrants were encouraged to capture photos that showcased the beauty and personality of downtown Pittsfield, keeping in mind the theme "Heart of the Berkshires."

The first-place winner, as determined by a panel of local judges, is Zach Morris of Pittsfield. His photo, titled "Tropical Pittsfield," has won him a prize package donated by local downtown businesses, and his photo will be featured in Pittsfield's 2019 Downtown Guide and a Downtown Pittsfield Inc. social marketing

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Messy Winter Weather on the Menu This Week
01:48PM / Monday, January 07, 2019
 

Did someone order snow?

The National Weather Service originally issued a "Hazardous Weather Outlook" for the Berkshires and southern Vermont for basically the entire first half of this week, then upgraded it to a "Winter Weather Advisory" for 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday for the first leg of the multi-day storm.

Monday's cold temperatures will push in some snow overnight tonight, with an inch or 2 possible to the south and up to 3 inches in the northern part of the county. Then, as temperatures rise a bit Tuesday morning, there could be a mix of snow and sleet before the precipitation changes to freezing rain and then plain rain throughout the afternoon.

When

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Watercooler: Company Donates Quilts to Hospital
12:10PM / Monday, January 07, 2019
Quilt donation

Staff of Oceanair Marine, Ltd., of Manchester, Vt., visited the Women's and Children's Department of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, a division of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, on Friday, Dec. 21, to deliver 19 hand-stitched, soft and colorful quilts and blankets for families being treated on the unit during the holidays.

The quilts were made with around 60 yards of donated fabric coming from donors from as far away as Minneapolis. Some of the quilts were made by employees who had never quilted before, while others — richly detailed — were made by more experienced quilters. Each one took between five and 10 hours of labor. The effort is a part of

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Berkshire Blaze Travel Softball Tryouts Friday and Saturday
Community submission,
10:45AM / Monday, January 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Berkshire Blaze travel softball program will hold tryouts this week for the 14-and-under and 16-and-underage groups.   Two days of tryouts will be hosted by The Infield at 10 Lyman St.   On Friday Jan. 11, pitchers and cathchers will try out from 7 to 7:30 p.m., and fielding and hitting tryouts will be from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.   On Saturday, pitchers and catchers will try out from 1 to 1:30 p.m., and fielding and hitting will be from 1:30 to 3:30.   Sign up on the team's Facebook page check in when you arrive.    Tryouts are being held in January to establish the teams in order to build schedules and purchase uniforms and equipment

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BRPC Looks to Kick Start Mountain Biking Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Monday, January 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC is hoping to kick off an effort to bolster mountain biking in the area.   Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is joining with two others Western Massachusetts planning organizations in a grant application to map, analyze, identify trail conditions, and lay the framework for a marketing effort to make Western Massachusetts known as a mountain biking hub.   The hope is that the Mass Trails grant will kick off the project and a previously secured $800,000 in an environmental bond bill by state Sen. Adam Hinds can follow. Those funds have not been released by the administration.   "The senator is a strong advocate for mountain

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Pittsfield Police Hosting Expo on Law Enforcement Careers
Staff Reports,
04:23PM / Sunday, January 06, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Want to fight crime? Because the Pittsfield Police Department is looking for candidates to join the force.   The department is holding a recruitment expo on Tuesday at Taconic High School to answer questions and demonstrate equipment for those who may be thinking of entering the profession. The expo is being held in anticipation of the next Civil Service test for police officers.   The department has been hiring over the last few years as it looks to expand its ranks. The last test was done in 2017 and to get more candidates the department has suspended its residency requirement.    The written examination to become an officer is administered by

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Berkshire Registers of Deeds to Standardize Procedures
07:07PM / Saturday, January 05, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's three registers of deeds say they will be working together to ensure consistency in procedures in the three offices.    Maria T. Ziemba, Northern Berkshire District Register of Deeds; Patricia M. Harris, Berkshire Middle District Register of Deeds; and Michelle Laramee-Jenny, Southern Berkshire District Register of Deeds, were all sworn into office in the Middle Berkshire District Registry of Deeds on Wednesday, Jan. 2.   All three registers have agreed to identify and standardize any differences in recording requirements and procedures between the registries in an effort to become more accommodating to law firms, financial

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Pittsfield Awards Wastewater Project Contract
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:09AM / Saturday, January 05, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant will cost $13 million less than expected.   The city awarded Methuen Construction a contract of $51,423,287 to make the upgrades required to comply with a U.S. EPA mandate to lower the levels of phosphorous and aluminum being discharged into the Housatonic River. It also includes adding a nitrogen optimization process. The City Council had previously authorized $74 million to complete the work.   "I think it shows our engineers and third-party review team did an amazing job at designing a system that could be constructed for a price below what we estimated. This is obviously good news for the city of

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Gov. Baker Highlights Success of Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:10PM / Friday, January 04, 2019

Following the tour of the facility, Baker has lunch with company officials, interns, and local elected officials. The governor was sworn into his second term of office on Thursday and was leaving to attend events in Holyoke, Springfield and Worcester.   LEE, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker blitzed the commonwealth this week as he kicks off his second term in the corner office.   On Friday, Baker visited Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing where the state had played a role in helping the company both expand and bring on interns.   Baker toured the facility, met with the interns, heard from company officials about future plans, and highlighted it as an example of the

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 4-10
11:06AM / Friday, January 04, 2019
SAT Body, Mind & Soul Health Expo at The Plaza Hotel presents the Body, Mind & Soul Health Expo from 2-5 p.m. at the Berkshire Plaza Hotel (1 West Street). There you'll find information and demonstrations to improve your heath and well-being. Meet professional fitness trainers, health experts, and health and sports club representatives. Plus: blood pressure and testing, workshops, food and drink samples, and more!   MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE NEXT

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