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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Higher Ed Commissioner Santiago to Speak at BCC Commencement
Staff Reports,
02:47PM / Tuesday, April 04, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 57th commencement.   Santiago was appointed to his position by Gov. Charlie Baker in July 2015. Working with the Board of Higher Education, he is responsible for providing overall direction to public higher education in Massachusetts and helping shape state-level policies that maximize the benefits of higher education to the commonwealth and its citizens. Santiago joined the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in April 2013 as the senior deputy commissioner for academic affairs.   "On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and

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Pittsfield Fire Graduates Nine From Training Academy
Staff Reports,
11:34AM / Tuesday, April 04, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nine new firefighters joined the department after graduating from the department's six-week academy.   On Friday, the new firefighters were joined by friends, family, and city officials for a graduation ceremony at Reid Middle School.   The ceremony featured an invocation from the Rev. Peter Gregory, introductory remarks from retired Deputy Chief Michael Polidoro, commentary from Training Capt. Neil Myers, the awarding of certificates from Deputy Chief Mark Cancilla, and closing remarks from Deputy Chief Daniel Garner.   The 2017 recruitment class are Brandon Bailey, Kyle Bailey, Craig Eggleston, Mike Herman, Shawn Leary, Steve Papa, Timothy

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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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Billy Keane To Seek Pittsfield's Ward 5 Council Seat
Staff Reports,
12:34AM / Tuesday, April 04, 2017
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Musician and real estate broker William "Billy" Keane is mounting a bid for a seat on the City Council.   Keane took out papers on Monday to challenge incumbent Donna Todd Rivers. Keane is the managing broker for his family's business, Jan Perry Realty & Associates, and a local musician.   "I believe Pittsfield is on the cusp of achieving a level of economic and cultural success that we deserve and should reach for as the 'Capitol of the Berkshires,'" Keane wrote in an announcement on Monday.   "But in order to get there we need a spirit of positive motivation, enthusiasm, and a willingness to work

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Flurry of Potential Pittsfield Candidates Take Out Papers on Day 1
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:18PM / Monday, April 03, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Monday wasn't just opening day for the Red Sox season, it was also opening day for election season.   This fall, voters will be choosing a new City Council and School Committee. Nomination papers became available on Monday and there was a flurry of activity in the city clerk's office. A total of 14 potential candidates took out nomination papers for the City Council and two incumbent School Committee members took out papers.   For the four at-large seats, Edward Carmel, Craig Gaetani and Ty Allan Jackson, and incumbents Melissa Mazzeo and Peter White took out papers. Council President Peter Marchetti posted on his Facebook page that he would be

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Taconic Students Fix Historic Eagle Flag-Topper From Veterans Park
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:23PM / Monday, April 03, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The copper eagle that was perched on the top of the flag pole in Veterans Memorial Park on South Street lost a wing. But, thanks to Taconic High School students, it is ready to soar again.   It was at a Veterans Day ceremony two years ago when City Councilor Melissa Mazzeo looked up and saw something was off. Veterans Service Officer James Clark took out some binoculars and sure enough, the copper eagle only had one wing.    "I imagine what happened at that time was the way the flag whips, it got caught on one of the wings and overtime tore it off. It was completely missing. It wasn't even around," Clark said.    In the fall,

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Medford Woman Killed in MassPike Accident
03:32PM / Monday, April 03, 2017
LEE, Mass. — A Medford woman died after a one-car crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike on Monday morning.   The accident, which occurred in the westbound lane near the 13.6 mile marker in Lee, was reported at 7:48 a.m.    Bernadette D. Murch, 53, the operator and only occupant of the vehicle, was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. She was pronounced dead a short time after arrival.   Preliminary investigation by Trooper Eric Bauman indicates that Murch's 2015 Fiat 500 was westbound in Lee when, for reasons still under investigation, the vehicle went off the right side of the road and rolled over.

The investigation is being conducted by state

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Biz Briefs: Two Pittsfield Businesses Get Help to Grow
02:23PM / Monday, April 03, 2017

There they grow: The city of Pittsfield has fully supported two local businesses, Modern Mold and Tool and Shire City Herbals, which were recently awarded tax incentives through the state's Economic Development Incentive Program to facilitate expansion projects in the city. The businesses were among 13 companies across the commonwealth that received tax incentives through the program. EDIP is designed to foster job creation and stimulate business growth; companies receive state and local tax incentives in exchange for job creation, manufacturing job retention and private investment commitments.

Modern Mold received $145,000 in investment tax credits toward a $3 million investment to

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Berkshires Beat: St. Stan's Sendings Soccer Balls, Legos to Haiti
01:34PM / Monday, April 03, 2017

To Haiti with love: Students in St. Stanislaus Kostka School in Adams presented soccer balls and Lego sets to Holly Palardy for children living in rural Haiti. Palardy is the assistant director of the Haiti Plunge, a mission founded by Sister Eunice Tassone through the Cote Center 30 years ago. Money for this gift was raised by the students during Catholic Schools Week, where daily activities are dedicated to one of the elements of Catholic schools - faith, service and knowledge.  

This year, during Vocations Day, Sister Eunice Tassone, a native of North Adams, spoke to students about her vocation and the Haitian Plunge Mission. At a school-wide presentation, she gave an overview of

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Retired Pittsfield Firefighter Saves Two Dogs From Burning Home
By Andy McKeever,
12:17PM / Monday, April 03, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When retired firefighter Matthew Kudlate returned to his New Hampshire Avenue home Monday afternoon, he noticed black smoke billowing from his neighbor's house. That's when his instincts kicked in.   "I was just out for a drive, I pulled up to the house and there was heavy black smoke pouring out of the eaves. I called the Fire Department. I went into the back door, I know the neighbors and wanted to make sure they were out of there. I knew they had two dogs and I was able to get them out of the back door," Kudlate said.   Kudlate knew one of his neighbors was disabled and could struggle to get out in the case of a fire. He did a quick

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Mike Cirullo To Seek Pittsfield's Ward 1 Council Seat
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:18AM / Monday, April 03, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mike Cirullo plans to seek the Ward 1 City Council seat, setting up a race.   Cirullo announced his intentions on Thursday to seek the seat being vacated by Lisa Tully, who opted not to run for re-election. The 35-year-old business agent for the workers union at General Dynamics is the second person to announce intentions to seek that seat and the fourth person to announce intentions to run for election.   Cirullo is a North Adams native, graduating from McCann Technical High School in 2000. After a few years in college and working various jobs, he enlisted in the Massachusetts Army National Guard in 2006 as an Infantryman. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007

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Local Skiers Compete in Quebec
08:52PM / Sunday, April 02, 2017
MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec -- Two local junior skiers Sunday wrapped up a successful weekend at the Can-Am Under-14 event at Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort.   Tait Kline, who skis for Jiminy Peak, and Michael Mansfield-Allessio, who attends Pittsfield High and skis for Berkshire East, represented their respective clubs at the event, which drew more than 70 skiers from both sides of the border.   On Sunday, Mansfield placed 28th in the slalom competition with a two-run time of 1 minute, 41.33 seconds. Kline was 39th in 1?46.19.   Sunday's winner, Mathis Lafond of Quebec, finished his two runs in 1:35.81.   In Saturday's giant slalom competition, won by Stratton

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Identity of Body Found Saturday in Pittsfield Released
Staff Reports,
07:12PM / Sunday, April 02, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The body of a 22-year-old Pittsfield man was discovered in a trash roll-off behind a Tyler Street business late Saturday afternoon, according to the Berkshire district attorney's office. 

  Investigators believe that Louis E. Ely, of Briggs Avenue, climbed into the climbed into the container. Foul play is not suspected in his death.    The discovery a body had been rumored and there was a heavy police presence at a parking lot at 771 Tyler St. on Saturday. Police, at the time, declined to confirm or deny the discovery.   Police crime scene tape was stretched in front of the waste container at the end of a parking lot adjacent 771

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