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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Get Out': Guess Who's Coming to be Terrorized?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:03PM / Thursday, March 02, 2017

It is an eerie, unsettling experience when your every instinct smells dangerous deceit and yet numerous people claiming authority discount your fears as just so much paranoia and curious distrust. Worse even yet is when such shifty characters then try to convince you, despite their most egregious actions, that they have only your best interests at heart. You know they're lying. It's called the "Gaslight" effect, named after the 1944 film by that title starring Charles Boyer as the creepy husband plying said treachery on his wife, played by Ingrid Bergman.

While this ugly contemplation may be misinterpreted as a reference to current affairs, that would be just too

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Pittsfield Approves Needle Exchange Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:12AM / Thursday, March 02, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It took seven months to make the decision but on Wednesday, the Board of Health approved a needle exchange program.   The board approved the letter authorizing the state Department of Health to pursue a vendor for such a program. The state will now take over the process of funding, issuing a request for proposal, and ultimately working with that vendor in finding and opening a site.   The issue had been before the board since August, neared a vote in December, and then was pushed until March.    "As we move along in the application process, hopefully, we will be funded, and we will work on a site selection process," said Health

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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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Pittsfield Enters 2nd Year of Tyler Street Revitalization Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:00PM / Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Amequsika 'Sika' Sedzro has been appointed by MassDevelopment to head the efforts. She is paid by the agency for three years to help in Pittsfield's district. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Amewusika "Sika" Sedzro has been in the city for a year now with a primary focus on crafting a plan to revitalize Tyler Street.   Entering her second of three years, the first steps in rolling out that plan will be taking shape this year.   The Tyler Street and the Morningside neighborhood are the next targets for a complete redevelopment, following nearly the same plans as implemented on North Street over the last decade.    "We're not limiting what it

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Nurses Picket BMC As Staffing Issues Hold Up Collective Bargaining
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:47PM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The nurses paced back and forth along North and Wahconah Streets. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nurses and supporters paced back and forth along North and Wahconah streets on Tuesday afternoon, holding signs and chanting "if we're out here, something is wrong in there."   On the other side of the hospital walls, the administration is reviewing data showing Berkshire Medical Center ranking in the top when it comes to patient safety and preparing a forum to celebrate those numbers with employees.   Outside, the nurses chant that the staffing levels are unsafe. Inside, a staffing office is reviewing the personnel on hand to make sure everything is covered.   What

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Massachusetts Named Best State by U.S. News & World Report
02:25PM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BOSTON — The commonwealth of Massachusetts has been named the best overall state in U.S. News & World Report's inaugural report. 

This best state ranking evaluates all 50 states in various categories, with Massachusetts ranked the No. 1 overall state, No. 1 in health care, No. 2 in education and among the top 10 for economy and crime and corrections.

Massachusetts was recognized for having the most accessible health care and is ranked third for pre-K through 12th-grade education.

"Massachusetts is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of the strength and character of all those who call the Commonwealth home," said Gov. Charlie Baker.

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BHS Urgent Care Expands Access with Online Appointment System
01:29PM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Patients in need of urgent care treatment can now reserve their spot in line at Berkshire Health Systems Urgent Care, using a new online system that is accessible from home computers, laptops or any mobile device.
Partnering with Clockwise.MD, BHS Urgent Care allows a patient to self-schedule an appointment online, from the comfort of their home or elsewhere. The online appointment system went live on March 1.

The new online appointment system can be accessed by visiting the BHS Urgent Care website. The system can be used through any web-ready device, including computers, smart phones and tablets.

"At BHS Urgent Care, we are continually looking to enhance

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Athenaeum teams up with Boston Bruins for PJ Drive
01:32PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

Pajama jam: The Berkshire Athenaeum is teaming up with the Boston Bruins to participate in their annual pajama drive to benefit DCF Kids (Department of Children and Families) and Cradles to Crayons. The PJ Drive's goal is to collect 10,000 pairs of new pajamas for children and teens in need across the stat, including Pittsfield.

The Boston Bruins PJ Drive runs through March 15. The library will be collecting new pairs of pajamas for babies, children and teens. Please bring new pajamas to the library's Children's Department.

Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson and his wife, Siw, started the PJ drive during the Boston Bruins 2007-08 season as a way to give to give back to their

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Berkshire Medical Center Sits Atop National Quality Ranking
12:52PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is ranked as the best performer in Patient Safety Indicators in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

BMC is ranked number one in the nation when compared to over 3,200 hospitals for its composite measure of Patient Safety Indicators, or PSI-90. The PSI-90 Patient Safety Indicators were developed by the Agency for Research and Quality, and provides an overview of hospital-level quality as it relates to a set of potentially preventable hospital-related events associated with harmful outcomes for patients. The lower a hospital’s composite score, the better, and Berkshire Medical

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Biz Briefs: Lowe's, Central Berkshire Habitat Team Up for Women Build Month
12:18PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

Building a future: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and Lowe's invite women to build alongside future homeowners during the 10th annual National Women Build Month. Central Berkshire is one of 300 Habitat organizations nationwide hosting Women Build projects during the month of May with support from Lowe’s, a longtime partner in the event.

On April 30, local volunteers will start Women Build Month by attending a half day construction training that will give them the necessary tools to build the new construction home. Groups and individuals can register to participate in the Women Build dates in May. National Women Build Week brings together women to devote at least one day

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McCann School Budget Reflects Hikes in Fixed Costs, Health Insurance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, February 27, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann Technical School budget for fiscal 2018 is up 2.7 percent over this year, largely reflecting increasing fixed costs and level state funding.    The school's budget is up about $250,000, from $9.09 million to $9,340,159, and includes $88,000 in cuts. Some $3.7 million of the spending plan will be covered by assessments to its nine districts for operations, transportation and capital projects. The total assessments are up less than one percent.    "The problem we run into when you look at the budget itself, the state Chapter 70 money is pretty much level, the numbers that are municipal assessments ... are fairly level for all

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Boys & Girls Club Girls Win Tourney
08:19PM / Sunday, February 26, 2017
The Boys and Girls Club third- and fourth-grade travel girls basketball team won its home tournament, Feb. 24 to 26.   The team is coached by Kristy Conyers and Bryant Mauer and includes: Kyana Summers, Alivia Mauer, Cheyenne Goddard, Caroline Sherman, Maddy Stetz, Jaelynn Walker, Maddy Chaffee, Jasmine Small, Mia McCluskey and A.J. Pelkey.

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Allessio Has Big Weekend on Junior Ski Circuit
iBerkshires.com Sports,
06:42PM / Sunday, February 26, 2017
PLANTSVILLE, Conn. -- Pittsfield's Michael Mansfield-Allessio finished first in giant slalom and slalom racing this weekend at the Tri-State Under 14 Championships.   On Saturday, Mansfield won a GS at Ski Sundown in New Hartford. Then on Sunday, he followed it up with a slalom victory at Mount Southington.   At Ski Sundown, he posted runs of 36.38 seconds and 36.03 for a combined time of 1:12.41, more than two seconds ahead of runner up Dax Roy (1:14.60) of Catamount.   On Sunday, his slalom runs, 35.05 and 34.13, were the fast times in each run to give him a combined time of 1:09.18, more than two seconds ahead of Wachusett's Kota Tsukada.   Mansfield, who skis

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