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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Return of Youth Baseball Seen as 'Good First Step'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:02AM / Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dalton-Hinsdale held tryouts this past weekend; Pittsfield's leagues are holding them Saturday. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After waiting more than two months to get back on the diamond, area youth baseball players may finally get to hear their favorite words: Play ball.   Little Leagues in Pittsfield and Dalton and the Williamstown Cal Ripken baseball and softball league are making plans to get kids outside and enjoying the American pastime in the weeks ahead with the Little Leagues aiming to play house league games as soon as June 29.   That is the earliest the commonwealth might move into Phase 3 of the governor's phased recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. And

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Pittsfield Police Advisory Board Reviewing Force Policies
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:13AM / Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Police Advisory Board is looking into policies regarding use of force by officers. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Advisory and Review Board held an emergency meeting Tuesday to go over the the current law enforcement landscape, current policies in the city, and possible changes for the future     "I felt that it was important for this board to at least meet during this time," Chairwoman Ellen Maxon said during the remotely held meeting.   Questions about policing have been on the minds of many residents following weeks of worldwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police. On Sunday, Police Chief Michael Wynn

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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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Lanesborough Elects Murphy as New Selectman
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
09:17PM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Election workers sit behind plastic partitions inside Lanesborough Town Hall to abide by social distancing guidelines for COVID-19. Plenty of gloves and sanitizer was available and only four voters were allowed inside the polls at one time.   LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — There was only one contested race in Tuesday's annual town election and it delivered a change in the makeup of the Board of Selectmen   Former Finance Committee member Michael P. Murphy easily ousted incumbent Hank Sayers, 295-156. Sayers has served on the board since winning a special election in 2013 to fill a vacant seat.    Murphy declined to speak to iBerkshires at the polls

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Two Area Residents Being Charged in Alleged Fraud Ring
By Tammy Daniels,
06:13PM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

District Attorney Andrea Harrington announces the arrest of two people in a multistate fraud ring.

Law enforcement in Albany, N.Y., arrested Parth "Peter" Chaudhari, 23, of Adams on Wednesday afternoon without incident. Albany officials are holding Chaudhari without the right to bail on a charge of fugitive from justice, based on a warrant issued in Massachusetts for charges associated with a fraud investigation.

The State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District attorney's office and the Adams Police Department filed for an arrest warrant for Chaudhari on Wednesday.   He is alleged to be involved in a fraud ring with Ajaykumar Chaudhari and

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COVID-19 Testing Available for Anyone Who Was at Large Gathering
04:38PM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
BOSTON — Anyone who's been at a large gathering in recent weeks can be tested free for COVID-19.   The governor's office made the announcement on Monday that 50 pop-up sites would be offering the confidential tests on Wednesday and Thursday, July 17 and 18.    "Obviously, there's been a significant increase in the number of people participating in demonstrations across Massachusetts and around the country," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "Thousands of people have been congregating in large groups over the past several weeks to exercise their First Amendment rights in the wake of the George Floyd murder.   "These gatherings are coinciding

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Pittsfield Council Trims Police Budget, Puts Money Toward Mental Health
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:52PM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Monday night cut $100,000 out of the Police Department budget and earmarked $85,000 for additional mental health clinicians.    The action comes after a stalled vote on the school budget last week and council and community concerns over putting more money into police spending while anticipating significant cuts to education that could cost 140 positions.    This fourth in a series of budget hearings saw the council preliminary approve the emergency services budget and, after 4 1/2 hours of discussion, narrowly approve a reduced Police Department budget of $11,324,229 with a 6-5 vote.   Councilors Helen Moon, Patrick

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Berkshires Beat: First Day School Students Donate Funds to SVHC
10:38AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
SVHC donation

In mid-May, the Southwestern Vermont Health Care Foundation received a letter and donation from the First Day School of the Bennington Friends Meeting, a local group of the Religious Society of Friends, known more commonly as Quakers. The letter was written by 11-year-old Thea Newbold of North Bennington. She wrote on behalf of the other children of The First Day School, the Quaker equivalent of Sunday school, according to Amy Newbold, Thea’s mother.

In the letter, Thea explained that the adults had provided the children with funds to give to the charity or charities of their choice and that the children had chosen to send a third of the funds to the hospital. "We

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Big Y Appoints New CFO
09:58AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Big Y Foods has appointed Theresa A. Jasmin as CFO following the recent retirement of William T. Mahoney. 

Jasmin is responsible for the company's strategic planning, finance, accounting, treasury and tax functions. As a senior member of the executive team, she reports to Charles L. D'Amour, president and CEO, along with Big Y's board of directors. And, she represents the first woman to be appointed to the c-suite for the company.

Jasmin has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry. She began her career at Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, where she held senior management positions in both Treasury and

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Can You Invest for Retirement and Education?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:42AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Typically, this time of year is filled with graduation ceremonies and celebrations. But with the coronavirus pandemic, not much has been typical lately. Eventually, though, things will return to normal and schools will reopen for in-person learning. 

And if you have young children, you may want to save for their higher education, whether that be college or trade school. At the same time, though, you're moving ever closer to retirement. Can you save for your kids' education and a comfortable retirement for yourself at the same time?

It is indeed possible, although you may need to prioritize somewhat. Specifically, you may not want to put off saving for retirement in favor of

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Summer Jazz Camp & Music Academy Open for Enrollment
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
ADAMS, Mass. — The annual Berkshires Summer Jazz Camp plans to open this August with the inaugural semester a new music academy following in September.   Applications for the jazz camp are now being accepted and Richard Boulger, executive director and co-founder of the Berkshires Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, or BAAMS, said he and his colleagues are excited to be able to offer the free camp for the third year.   "My musical philosophy is that your musical instrument is an amplifier of what you are hearing, thinking, and feeling," Boulger said. "As one develops this approach to playing and composing music, one's own life experiences are

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North Adams, Pittsfield Educators Rally for School Funding
By Tammy Daniels & Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
08:48PM / Monday, June 15, 2020

North Adams is preparing for budget cuts of 10 to 15 percent, with the worst-case scenario closing a school.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Educators and supporters in the county's two cities rallied on Monday for more educational funding even as school officials prepare for budget scenarios that could cost dozens of teaching positions and school closures.    "We want our students and our families to know that we are supporting them. And we're doing this for them," said Lisa Tanner, a math and science teacher at Colegrove Park Elementary School. "We want our state and federal legislators to know that we can't do our job if they don't do their

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Mount Greylock Forum Opens Conversation on Racial Equity
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:33AM / Monday, June 15, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Difficult conversations about race across racial lines are important.   But so are conversations that are not about race.   Pittsfield author and motivational speaker Ty Allan Jackson made that point last week during a virtual community conversation hosted by the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   "I think there has to continuously be consistency of having people of color coming in [to the schools] to talk -- and not just solely about diverse issues," Jackson said. "I think a big problem we have in a lot of our communities is that there isn't a lot of representation of people of color in the first place. I think we need

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