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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

New Gallery Drawn by North Adams' Air of Contemporary Art
by John Seven, iBerkshires Contributor
05:58AM / Saturday, April 22, 2017

The gallery is located at 44 Eagle, in the Flatiron Block.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new art gallery in downtown North Adams is the result of the city's unique relationship with contemporary art as a lure to artists from other places.

Gravity Gallery co-owners Lynn Richardson and Paul McMullan first became acquainted with the city in 2012 when both artists displayed work in Downstreet Art.

  Richardson's installation, "Arctic Garden," addressed climate change in context of Richardson's hometown, Winnipeg. McMullen's work was also featured in a pop-up gallery from Gallery 107, ceramic work that functioned as the "guardians of the


MCLA Makes It Official With Inauguration of President Birge
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
08:33PM / Friday, April 21, 2017

Birge takes the oath of his office from Susan Gold, chairman of the board of trustees. See more photos here. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — James F. "Jamie" Birge hadn't intended to become a college president.    After interviewing dozens of presidents of colleges large and small, private and public, for his dissertation in leadership studies, he came away with the impression it was too difficult, too demanding and fraught with financial pressures.   "Why would anyone want to do that job?" he joked on Friday afternoon as he gave his inaugural address as the 12th president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. "After finishing my dissertation


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

Husband's Ex-Girlfriend Charged in Case of Missing Clarksburg Woman
By Tammy Daniels,
12:44PM / Friday, April 21, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The husband of missing Clarksburg woman Joanne Ringer is the "sole suspect" in her disappearance, say authorities.    Ringer went missing on March 2; her husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy, was found dead on April 7 in the couple's garage.    "From the beginning, we have suspected foul play and have approached this as a homicide investigation and we have considered Joanne's husband, Chad Reidy, as the sole suspect," Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said a press conference in Northern Berkshire District Court on Thursday. "Reidy's apparent suicide on April 7 has not changed that


Superior Court Briefs: April 18 - April 20
Staff Reports,
11:24AM / Friday, April 21, 2017
Cases heard before Judge Daniel ford on Tuesday, April 18.   Sandra Ramirez, 60, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine in connection to the execution of a search warrant on her Francis Avenue home and a single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws for allegedly conspiring to sell cocaine between September 1, 2016 and January 6, 2017.   She was released on personal recognizance.   Francis Taikowski Jr., 25, of Warrensburg, N.Y. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed robbery while masked and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.   He was ordered to be


Lanesborough to Walmart: Come Build Here
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Friday, April 21, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — If Pittsfield doesn't want Walmart, Lanesborough will take it.   The Board of Selectmen have asked Town Manager Paul Sieloff to reach out to Walmart officials and ask if they'd consider building the proposed supercenter on the Berkshire Mall property instead of in Pittsfield.    "Our tax rate is much cheaper than Pittsfield's, we'd be glad to have you, and there is plenty of parking," said Chairman John Goerlach.   Waterstone Realty is looking to build a Walmart Supercenter at the William Stanley Business Park in Pittsfield and closing the existing one at Berkshire Crossings. But, as of Thursday, the company has still


The Independent Investor: Should College Be Free?
By Bill Schmick,
07:15PM / Thursday, April 20, 2017
Recently, New York became the first state to offer a tuition-free college education to middle-class students at two- and four-year public colleges. Tennessee, Oregon and the city of San Francisco have also given similar benefits to students attending community colleges in their states. It's about time.   The headline of this column was taken from a series of articles I first published six years ago. At the time, I argued that the benefits of a college education today were about equivalent to the worth of a high school degree back in the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, graduating from high school opened the door to a good job, while creating a population of largely, law-abiding citizens


United Way Program to Provide Kindergarteners With Supplies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:24PM / Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gary Levante is co-chairing the day of caring this year.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Every child entering kindergarten next year will have a backpack full of supplies.   Berkshire Bank employees will be filling 1,200 backpacks with books, supplies, reading lists, and informational fliers as part of the Berkshire United Way's day of caring. The literacy kits will be given out at locations throughout Berkshire County on June 21 at a series of "pop-up parties."   "Each kindergarten party will have a variety of family friend activities. There is going to be food and fun and all types of good stuff," said Berkshire United Way CEO Kristine Hazzard


Safety Officials Keeping Eye On Potential Pipeline Protests
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:24AM / Thursday, April 20, 2017

The approval of a natural gas pipeline in Otis State Forest has prompted protests, like this one Wednesday during an announcement by Energy and Environmental Affair Secretary Matthew Beaton in Shelburne Falls. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Public safety officials are preparing for the worst-case scenario when it comes to protests surrounding the Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently granted Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. approval to move ahead with a natural gas pipeline expansion through Otis State Forest. The ruling was issued last week approving the Connecticut expansion, which includes tree cutting and installation of the pipeline


'Gifted': The Long and Short of It
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:03PM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
"Saw 'Gifted.' Little girl genius. Enjoyed it. Intellectual and emotional ... homage to brainpower. Good acting. Won't play the hinterlands."   Thus read my text to Hesh, my longtime movie sidekick who, absent from my viewing of director Marc Webb's touching but predictable tale about the trials and tribulations of a 7-year-old math genius, asked what I had seen. Succinct if not eloquent, I suggest it illustrates I'm able to pen a discourse on films considerably short of my usual 835 words. It should also prove a boon to those enduring, charitable readers who, while wishing to be apprised of the film in question, would just as soon not slog through my


Lanesborough Selectmen Approve 1.5 Percent Raises to Employees
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:55AM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen approved giving non-union employees a 1.5 percent raise, which is a compromise with the town manager.   The Selectmen had previously asked Town Manager Paul Sieloff to remove 2 percent raises for those Town Hall employees from the upcoming budget. Sieloff agreed but said he'd be asking the Selectmen once again to put them back later in the process. Later in the process came Monday night and the Selectmen ultimately agreed on 1.5 percent.    Sieloff said giving some level of raises is good management. It motivates employees and rewards them for the good work they've done. Sieloff said most of the employees in town hall

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Pittsfield Police Arrest Man After Chase On Pomeroy Avenue
Staff Reports,
09:52AM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Another gun was seized after a police pursuit on Wednesday.   Police say at about 5:37 a.m. officers attempted to stop a vehicle on Pomeroy Avenue. The driver, Adam Masefield, 30, of Pittsfield allegedly fled from officers.   Later he pulled over near Herberg Middle school and fled on foot. While being chased Masefield allegedly tossed a loaded handgun to the ground.   He was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, operating a motor vehicle after a suspension, and numerous motor vehicle offenses.   This is the second police chase this week. On Monday four individuals were arrested on firearm charges after


Be An 'Environmentally Friendly' Investor
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:05AM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On April 22, we observe Earth Day, a worldwide event focusing on protecting the environment. As a citizen of this planet, you may want to take part in Earth Day activities. And as an investor, you can learn some valuable lessons from the environmental movement.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

* "Recycle" proven strategies. Over the past few decades, we have discovered ways of bringing new life to objects we would have previously thrown away. When you invest, you also don't need to discard things you've used before – such as proven investment strategies. For example, one tried-and-true technique is to simply purchase investments appropriate for your needs and


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