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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Parks Commission Review Phase Three Events
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:32AM / Friday, June 26, 2020
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Parks Commission has preliminary approved a group of events and started the conversation about what events will look like in Phases 3 and 4 of the state's reopening.     Last week, the commission went through a long list of canceled and postponed events but also approved a few new events contingent on the further reopening of the state and social distancing guidelines.     "We will continue to track these events with the state's phased reopening guidance so we will have assurances," Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath said. "We will review them as soon as the new phasing comes out and have the

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Doctors Back Up State's Guidance for School Reopening
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:30PM / Thursday, June 25, 2020

Dr. Lloyd Fisher, a pediatrician, discusses the reasoning behind some of the health measures recommended for reopening schools this fall. BOSTON, Mass. — All over the world, temporal thermometers are part of the strategy for reopening economies from the COVID-19 pandemic.   But they will not do much good when it comes to reopening schoolhouse doors, Gov. Charlie Baker said on Thursday.   The commonwealth came very close to requiring daily temperature checks for students returning to school in the fall, but ultimately decided against the move because those checks would not yield any useful information, he said.   "With kids, there are way too many false

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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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State Issues Guidance for Return of School in the Fall
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:12PM / Thursday, June 25, 2020
BOSTON — The state is recommending schools maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and require masks for staff and children in Grade 2 and above.   And districts are required to create plans to start the school year in three different scenarios: in-person learning, remote learning and a hybrid model that could see students alternating in-person instruction on a daily or weekly basis.   The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Thursday released its first round of reopening guidance for the commonwealth's primary and secondary schools.   "Continued isolation poses very real risks to our kids mental and physical health, and to their

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Chesterwood Grounds to Open on July 2
11:40AM / Thursday, June 25, 2020

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Chesterwood will open its 51st season on July 2, through online, pre-paid, timed parking passes, Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Two-hour passes can be reserved online for 10 a.m., noon or 2 p.m. The entry fee is $20 per car and visitors can download maps and self-guided tours of the formal gardens, landscape, hiking trails and woodland walk, which currently features the contemporary sculpture of Rick and Laura Brown. All current Friends of Chesterwood can reserve their free parking passes through the online booking system as well.

Picnics on the grounds are encouraged with a carry in, carry out policy. Chesterwood will follow all the safety

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Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Southern Section to Reopen; Northern Section to Close
09:48AM / Thursday, June 25, 2020

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The southern section of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail will be re-opened to the public beginning on Saturday, June 27, which includes access to the Berkshire Mall Connector Road parking lots.  

Meanwhile, on Monday, June 29, the northern section of the trail will temporary close to the public in order to facilitate Phase II of the resurfacing project that is upgrading an 11-mile section of the trail. The closure of the northern section is anticipated to be in place through October 2020. During the closure, there will be no public access to the northern section or travel allowed from Church Street in Cheshire north to the Visitors Center in Adams.

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Child Care Leader Recognized by State Women's Commission
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Thursday, June 25, 2020

Jane Winn, seen in this file photo, was also nominated as a Commonwealth Heroine for her environmental efforts.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The COVID-19 pandemic presented unheard of challenges for non-profit service agencies.   North Adams-based Child Care of the Berkshires faced more issues than many. But it had a leader who was more than up to the task.   "It is one thing to handle an $1.8 million construction project but to do it during a pandemic with a staff working remotely … it's been remarkable the way she has been able to keep up the morale, keep up the energy and keep the contact with some of the most vulnerable people in the county,"

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Pittsfield Schools Leadership Hopeful For Budget Approval
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Thursday, June 25, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Public Schools is urging the City Council to pass the level-funded budget it submitted to avoid a 1/12th budget scenario.   Superintendent Jason Mccandless told the School Committee on Wednesday that he is hoping the contentious $64.4 million school budget clears the City Council's final vote but a 1/12th budget is being prepared.   "It certainly will put a kink in the hose of long-range planning beyond getting through the summer and preparing for the fall," he said. "We will work around this because that is what we do but I hope that the folks voting on this keep in mind that this will create difficulties on the school

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Pittsfield High School Scholarships & Awards for 2020
06:02PM / Wednesday, June 24, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The following scholarships and awards were presented to the Pittsfield High School class of 2020.   Randy Sacco Memorial Scholarship: Lucien Lamoureaux   PHS Class of 1967 Lou Massery Memorial Leadership Scholarship: Hannah Roloson   McNeil Memorial Scholarship: Brian Lavinio   James T. Powers Memorial Scholarship: David Kankam, Corey Scarfone, Sophia Contini, Aviva Skoblow   Robert E. Powers Memorial Scholarship: Madison Tobin, Megan Francoeur, Adam Quinto, Emily Mazzeo   PHS Class of 1965 F. Baxter Lane Memorial Scholarship: Mason Alfonso, Fancis McKeon   James Marlowe Memorial Scholarship: Abigail Kittler   Buddy

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State Guidance on Start of School Year Expected Thursday
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:38PM / Wednesday, June 24, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — School officials across the commonwealth are anticipating a Thursday announcement of state directives regarding the 2020-21 school year.   But they have been disappointed before.   "We were hopeful we would have the [education] commissioner's guidance," Mount Greylock Superintendent Kimberley Grady told the School Committee's Education Subcommittee on Tuesday. "We were supposed to have it the week of the 15th, now we're in the week of the 22nd. We were hoping it would be released this morning. We received notice five minutes before the governor went on [Tuesday morning] that we weren't going to be receiving an update until

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Report Finds 'Utterly Shameful' Conditions at Holyoke Soldiers' Home
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:08PM / Wednesday, June 24, 2020
BOSTON — An independent report on the outbreak COVID-19 at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke that cost the lives of 76 veterans is "gut wrenching" to read and "utterly shameful," said Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday.    "Today the loss of life is difficult to even think or speak about. The events that took place at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in March, are truly horrific, and tragic," Baker said at a press conference on Wednesday. "COVID-19, as we all know, has claimed the lives of thousands of people in Massachusetts, and has been particularly devastating for long-term care facilities. ...   "But as this report reveals errors

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Pittsfield Councilors Reject Eliminating Their Health Insurance
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, June 24, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council rejected a petition from President Peter Marchetti that would eliminate health insurance for elected officials.   The council voted 8-3 Tuesday to file a petition that would ask the city solicitor to draft language that would eliminate that benefit.   "This would add a barrier for people who may not be able to run, so if we can make that available to people I think that is what we should do," Councilor at Large Earl Persip said.   Only Councilors at Large Peter White and Marchetti, and Ward 6 Councilor Dina Guiel Lampiasi opposed filing the petition.    Marchetti said he had planned to bring forth the

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Silver Lake Fatality Identified as Pittsfield Man
05:53PM / Tuesday, June 23, 2020
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the deceased man emergency personnel recovered from Silver Lake as Stephen Dus, 55, of Pittsfield.   The Pittsfield Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death and anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call 413-448-9700.                ****************************************************************************************** PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The body of a swimmer was recovered late Monday night from Silver Lake after a nearly six-hour search that involved numerous local and state agencies.   Police and

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