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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Pet Trusts Are the Way to Go
By Bill Schmick,
05:09PM / Friday, March 03, 2017

If you have been avoiding a visit to an estate planning lawyer, despite the pleading of your spouse, your kids or grandkids, consider this: your pet's future well-being could be in jeopardy without a legal safeguard.

As I wrote in my last column, new legislation is surfacing in a number of states that recognizes our concern for our pets. Even though we consider our pets part of the household, legally, your pet is not considered a human. Instead, they are considered tangible property and, generally speaking, tangible property cannot be named as a beneficiary of a trust.

Many states, however, are allowing legally enforceable documents that can guarantee a pet's continuing care.

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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 28 - March 3.
Staff Reports,
02:45PM / Friday, March 03, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Feb. 27.   Albert Dumont, 46, of Great Barrington had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of rape of a child with force, and single counts of dissemination harmful matter to a minor, and intimidation of a witness.   He was released on personal recognizance. Dumont is accused of sexually assaulting a girl who is now age 11 in Lee between September 12, 2012 and April 1, 2016.    Brandon Green, 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed career felon, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended

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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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Annual Thunderfest Features Chowder & Music
02:02PM / Friday, March 03, 2017

ADAMS, Mass. — Once again, Mother Nature has forced the cancellation of the Thunderbolt Ski Race. But the festivities will go on with the annual Thunderfest at noon on Saturday at the Adams Visitors Center.

The festival features live music by Jim Witherell and the headliner Misty Blues Band. Hot food, local beer and wine, a chowder contest, outdoor recreation and craft vendors are featured. A campfire and activities for kids will also be provided and admission to the Thunderbolt museum is free.

"With the addition of the new events this year, Adams is offering more than ever for lovers of outdoor winter recreation," said Ray Gargan, co-chair of ProAdams. "Even if

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'Fresh Fest' Runs This Weekend at Images
12:26PM / Friday, March 03, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Images Cinema will present "Fresh Fest: A Farm and Food Film Festival" from Friday, March 3, through Sunday, March 5.

Fresh Fest is a collaborative effort to educate the public about farming, food production and sustainability. The opening night movie is locally produced documentary "Forgotten Farms" by David Simonds and Sarah Gardner. "Forgotten Farms" will be shown at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception at The Log with cheese provided by Cabot and crackers provided by Wild Oats.

The festival will also present "A Small Good Thing" (set in the Berkshires) with producer Paula Kirk, to be screened Saturday, March 4,

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Berkshire Athenaeum Launching Story Time For Autistic Children
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:49AM / Friday, March 03, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Many parents of children with autism are worried about taking their children to public areas. They're not sure how others will react to their child's behavior.    But the Berkshire Athenaeum wants those parents and children to know: you're welcome here.   The library is launching a new story time for children with autism and have purchased sensory toys specifically designed for children on the autism spectrum. The program is part of a two-year grant to improve the library's work with people with various disabilities.   "It's a challenge to get families with these children to get to come and do new things," said

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Family Nurse Practitioner Joins CHP Health Center
11:48AM / Friday, March 03, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Family nurse practitioner Rebecca Gamache has joined the primary care team at Community Health Centers Neighborhood Health Center in Pittsfield.

Gamache earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from UMass-Amherst and a master’s degree in nursing from Sage Graduate School in Troy, N.Y.

A Berkshire County native, she previously worked as a registered nurse at Berkshire Medical Center and for Berkshire County ARC. Her primary focus is health promotion and disease prevention, and she has a strong interest in incorporating holistic treatment options into her practice, which includes patients of all ages.

 

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Berkshire Bank Foundation Welcomes New Member of Board of Trustees
11:29AM / Friday, March 03, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Berkshire Bank, has announced the appointment of Thomas W. Barney to its Board of Trustees.

Barney, a certified financial planner, is a senior vice president/wealth advisor with Berkshire Bank Wealth Management based in Lenox.

Barney has spent over 19 years with Berkshire Bank, rejoining the wealth group out of retirement to work on all aspects of client relationships, including financial planning and strategy implementation. He previously served as an officer of the Foundation and expressed his delight with returning to the board.

"While Berkshire Bank has grown as a successful company, serving the

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Pignatelli Honored as a Mentor of Mass Mentoring Partnership
11:04AM / Friday, March 03, 2017

BOSTON — Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli. was one of 25 individuals and organizations honored by Mass Mentoring Partnership at their 25th anniversary gala, which took place at the Moakley Courthouse on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Mass Mentoring Partnership serves more than 250 mentoring and youth development program statewide supporting more than 33,000 youth in mentoring relationships.

The 25 individuals and groups who were honored were chosen based on their impact on MMP over the past quarter-century. It's through their commitment to the mission that MMP has been able to continue their work in strengthening communities through empowering positive youth-adult relationships.

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: March 3-9
10:29AM / Friday, March 03, 2017
VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       March 3 - March 9, 2017 MARCH 3RD Is First Friday Artswalk & More! Enjoy a dozen different art shows featuring work by over 20 accomplished regional artists in Pittsfield's bustling Upstreet Cultural District during theFirst Friday Artswalk and all month long! In most venues, artists will be present from 5-8 p.m. A free guided tour begins at 5 p.m. at  the Intermodal Center @ BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.

The Berkshire Art Association

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Girls Lacrosse Players Sought
09:20AM / Friday, March 03, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- There will be sign-ups for youth girls lacross from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 4, at Dick's Sporting Goods.   Girls in grades 3 through 8 are encouraged to sign up.

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BRPC Crafting Succession Plan For Executive Director
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:11AM / Friday, March 03, 2017

Executive Director Nathaniel Karns, seen in this file photo, hasn't decided when he will retire, but he setting up a succession plan for when he does.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC Executive Director Nathaniel Karns knows a thing or two about planning.

He's been in the business for 40 years, spending the last 23 years as the executive director of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.   Now he's planning his retirement. He's just not sure when that will be.   "I would probably choose to retire this coming fall or the first of the year. I'm not certain if that is the best time to try to attract a full slate of candidates," he said on

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Former Pittsfield American Defender to Play in World Baseball Clasic
iBerkshires.com Sports,
03:38PM / Thursday, March 02, 2017

A former Pittsfield American Defender will be among the Major League Baseball prospects participating in the fourth World Baseball Classic next week.

John Andreoli, a prospect in the Chicago Cubs organization, will play for Italy, which opens Pool D play on March 9 in Jalisco, Mexico, against Mexico.   In 2009, Andreoli played for the now-defunct Defenders of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.   The former University of Connecticut Husky is one of 10 NECBL alumni who are scheduled to play in the WBC, which runs through March 22.   In 2009, he hit .261 with nine RBIs and seven runs scored for the Defenders.   At UConn, he was an all-Big East Second Team

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