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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Schools Ending Student Resource Center Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:36PM / Friday, March 10, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school district is ending the partnership with the sheriff's office to provide alternative education.   Since 2006, the district has been contracting with the Berkshire County sheriff's office to run the Student Resource Center, formerly known as the Juvenile Resource Center. The program was for out-of-school suspensions and the district is now restructuring the way it handles discipline, reducing the number of those suspensions altogether.    "We think we need to use this as an opportunity to ramp up our in school suspension program," Superintendent Jason McCandless said at Wednesday's School Committee meeting. "We

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Barrington Stage Company Names New Managing Director
12:31PM / Friday, March 10, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Barrington Stage Company has announced that Michele Weathers will assume the role of managing director of Barrington Stage Company beginning March 13.

Current Managing Director Tristan Wilson departs the company in May after the completion of the renovation of the theatre's new home at the Wolfson Center, 122 North St.

Weathers comes to Barrington Stage Company from PlayMakers Repertory Company, having recently served as the theatre's interim managing director under the leadership of Joseph Haj and Vivienne Benesch. In New York, she was the assistant general manager for the Off-Broadway production of "In The Heights" and also served on the

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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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MountainOne Insurance Appoints Jake Rand to Sales Team
11:55AM / Friday, March 10, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jake Rand has been appointed account executive at MountainOne Insurance.

As account executive, Rand will be responsible for developing a portfolio of new commercial insurance clients, as well as maintaining an existing book of business.

Prior to joining MountainOne Insurance, Rand served as a personal insurance salesperson in the automotive industry. He is also experienced in banking, having served as a personal banker for several years.

Rand holds a bachelor of science degree in business management from Westfield State University. Additionally, he has earned the Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) designation.

Rand is very active in the local

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Change Your Clocks, Check Your Alarms This Weekend
11:46AM / Friday, March 10, 2017

BOSTON — State fire officials are reminding people that as they change their clocks this weekend to check their smoke detectors as well.

"Prevent that annoying chirp of a dying smoke alarm battery by replacing the alkaline batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now, unless you have newer alarms with 10-year sealed batteries,"  State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said. "Check the age of your alarms. Smoke alarms need to be replaced after 10 years usually, and carbon monoxide alarms after five to seven years."
 
Ostroskey said time is the enemy during a fire, and alarms offer precious seconds to evacuate before poisonous gases and heat make

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: March 10-16
11:35AM / Friday, March 10, 2017

  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       March 10 - March 16,

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Vascular Surgery Specialist Joins Berkshire Health Systems
11:30AM / Friday, March 10, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced the appointment of Dr. Elie S. Semaan, a vascular surgeon, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC.

Dr. Semaan is accepting new patients in need of vascular care, and joins Drs. Michael Cohn, Eugene Curletti, Michael DiSiena, Christian Galvez, Andrew Lederman, Robert Lincer, Clayton Peterson and George Veinoglou at Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC.

Semaan comes to the Berkshires from New Hampshire, where he operated a vascular surgery practice for the past year. Previously, he was director of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at NYC Surgical Associates

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Homeless Man Charged With Using Parking Kiosks For Threats
Staff Reports,
05:24PM / Thursday, March 09, 2017
      PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 27-year-old homeless man allegedly using the parking meter kiosks to leave a threat on a vehicle.   Police say Joshua Tagge was charged with threat to commit a crime and a civil rights violation for allegedly printing a ticket reading "KILL THE JEW" where the license plate number would be and placing it on the window of Virginia O'Leary's vehicle.   The kiosks ask for users to type in their license plate, which is then printed onto the receipt ticket.   O'Leary reported that the ticket was left on her windshield on Feb. 27. She said she had parked on North Street and found the ticket and

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The Independent Investor: America's Road Toward Universal Health Care
By Bill Schmick,
04:51PM / Thursday, March 09, 2017

The GOP's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was introduced this week.  As one might expect, the Republican Party's long-awaited plan was met with a firestorm of protests from just about every conceivable lobbying group. That's exactly what one should expect, given that there is so much at stake.

Headlines throughout the week warned that if the plan were passed in its present form, health-care premiums could rise by 30 percent or more. Seniors could pay far more for coverage under the new plan, while between 6 million and 10 million people would lose their health insurance coverage altogether. The poor would get short shrift, while the wealthy would

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'Logan': Makes Some Sharp Points
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:50PM / Thursday, March 09, 2017

Judged solely on its surface value, director James Mangold's "Logan," the third and reputedly final escapade of the Wolverine/Marvel Comics/superhero/X-Men series, rates a six on my excitement scale. However, bear in mind that loyal adherents of this franchise evaluate their cherished, alternate world of right, wrong and not so sure by their very own, entirely proprietary measure. They couldn't care less about what this fuddy-duddy thinks.

Well, good. There is much philosophical baloney and wisdom to be gleaned from the generation gap. Hence, knowing my place as the Brave New World thunders outside my slightly blemished ivory tower of pontification, kindly acknowledge

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Girls AAU Basketball Team Seeks Players
12:02PM / Thursday, March 09, 2017
The Berkshire Mountaineers girls basketball team is looking for any girls interested in playing Spring AAU basketball.   Girls currently in the fifth thru 11th grade are eligible to participate. This is an advanced basketball program that will include weekend travel throughout New York and New England. The schedule has not yet been put together but is typically seven weekends beginning with the last weekend of April through June.  In addition, girls will practice two days a week.   For more information please contact Bill Robinson at 413-652-1055 or email samakenz@yahoo.com.     The Berkshire Mountaineers Girls Basketball Organization was established in 2009 by

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Preliminary Pittsfield School Budget Calls For 57 Job Reductions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, March 09, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school district is considering reducing staff by 57 employees.   Superintendent Jason McCandless presented a preliminary budget to the School Committee on Wednesday night that calls for the sharp reduction in staff. Overall, the budget would still be up by about a half million dollars but the staff reductions counter increased cost for contractual obligations.    "This keeps the central focus on student instruction. This keeps the central focus on student learning and that is really, at the end of the day, what we are here for," McCandless said.   The proposal increases the school budget by less than 1 percent that is mostly driven

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Walk with Me in the Berkshires Returns for 15th Season
11:29AM / Wednesday, March 08, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The popular community walking program, Berkshire Health Systems' Walk with Me in the Berkshires, is returning for its 15th year in late March, where it is expected that more than 3,500 people from across the region will participate in a program aimed at improving health and well-being through walking.

Community registration for the Walk with Me program is Tuesday, March 28, beginning at 10 a.m. sharp on the iBerkshires website. Up to 2,400 people from the community, formed as teams of between two and 20 people each, will receive a free step counter and be able to log-in to a step-reporting site on iBerkshires in order to participate in the six week walking

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