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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Finalizes Plans For Clapp Park Renovations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Architects Rachel Loeffler, of Berkshire Design Group, and John Barry of Barry Architects presented the plans to the Parks Commission on Monday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A final design for more than a half-million dollars worth of improvements to Clapp Park was finalized Monday.   The Parks Commission gave its stamp of approval on the design crafted by Berkshire Design Group. The design, however, isn't entirely what parks officials had been hoping for when first crafted. The full vision is now expected to be done in phases.   The city had worked with the designers on a fully re-envisioned park after receiving a $400,000 state grant but all of the elements wanted proved

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Man Arrested After Berkshire Bank Robbery Monday Morning
Staff Reports,
03:56PM / Monday, September 17, 2018

A sign on the door alerted customers that the branch is closed for the day. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police were able to apprehend the suspected robber of a Berkshire Bank branch within hours of the crime Monday morning.   At about 10:50 in the morning, officers responded to a reported robbery of Berkshire Bank branch on Elm Street.   Two hours later, police arrested 37-year-old Christopher Rock in connection with the crime.   Police say the suspect showed a note to a teller demanding money "in certain denominations" and then fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash.    The suspect was identified on surveillance video and witness

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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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Biz Briefs: Three Local Businesses To Be Celebrated For Growth
02:30PM / Monday, September 17, 2018
Rural Small Business Initiative

Berkshire County comprises 931 square miles, making it the second-largest county in Massachusetts. Census estimates a total population of 126,313, with approximately 135 residents per square mile within this large land mass - creating many economic challenges in a mostly rural county.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center will celebrate three local small businesses that have received free counseling from the MSBDC and successfully acquired SBA financing to grow their business. The three local businesses to be highlighted are: Klara's Gourmet Cookies, 195 Water

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Grown Sets 20th Annual Harvest Supper for Sept. 24
12:54PM / Monday, September 17, 2018
Good meal

Berkshire Grown’s 20th annual Harvest Supper puts local food at the center of the celebration on Monday, Sept. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington. More than two dozen Berkshire Grown member chefs and local beverage producers will be on-hand. The chefs will be serving a wide selection of tastings - all featuring fresh ingredients from local farms. The evening also includes a silent auction with favorites like dinner and an overnight stay at Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, dinner at Blue Hill New York City, a sheepskin from Mayflower Farm in South Egremont, and fruit trees from Windy Hill Farm.

This year's event is Barbara Zheutlin's

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Community Health Programs Names New Chief Communications Officer
11:50AM / Monday, September 17, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has named Elizabeth "Betsy" Strickler as chief communications officer for the CHP countywide health and medical network. In this role, she will lead strategic marketing, communication and fundraising initiatives for the organization.

"Betsy is a great addition to the Community Health Programs' organization as we expand our marketing, outreach and fundraising initiatives throughout the Berkshires," said CHP CEO Lia Spiliotes. "As we continue to strengthen our brand of health care throughout the Berkshires, Betsy brings the tools to make it happen."

Strickler has worked for Berkshire region

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Gentrification Pops Up As North Berkshire Coalition Forum Topic
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, September 17, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new buzzword appeared repeatedly throughout the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forum on Friday.

That gathering, the first of the season, was the annual "needs assessment" forum, at which people can come throw out ideas for what future coalition meetings should focus on. In an effort to organize those thoughts, this year, the Coalition asked people to categorize their ideas into "topics," "needs" or "assets."

The one topic that was repeated several times throughout the meeting, which was attended by nearly 100 people, was "gentrification."

"Gentrification," according to Merriam Webster,

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Pittsfield Couple Expanding Gravesite Business
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Monday, September 17, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In her final days, Matthew Kudlate's grandmother mentioned that she regretted not getting to the cemetery to clean up the family plot.    She was dying of cancer, one of five losses for Kudlate in recent years, and he and his cousin went the very next day to do it. And that is when a new business idea set in.   "It was kind of a heartbreaking thing to hear your grandmother say. We went up there to clean it the next day and started joking that it would be a good business idea," Kudlate said.   Somebody visiting the grave of a loved one had asked the two if they did it professionally and Kudlate thought it might be a way to make some

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Lemme, Mumford Top Individuals at Josh Billings Triathlon
08:34PM / Sunday, September 16, 2018
LENOX, Mass. -- Kent Lemme and Heather Mumford were the ironman and ironwoman champions Sunday at the 42nd Josh Billings Triathlon.   Lemme completed the run, boating, biking event in a time of 2 hours, 34 minutes, 38 seconds and placed fifth overall in the triathlon, which sees teams and indviduals competing together.   Mumford finished in 4:04:12.   The team from Allen Heights Veterinary (biker Josh Lipka, canoists Tom Keefe/Ben Pigott and runner Steve Monsulick) defended its overall title, finishing in 2:17:08 to edge runner-up Josh Itch (Brian Rabuse, Sue Purdy/Kurt Kuehnel and Stephen Foley). Josh Itch came across the line in 2:29:18.   The top all-female team once

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Pittsfield Continues Police Oversight Conversation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:36AM / Saturday, September 15, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement lists eight essentials for a civilian police oversight board: independence, funding, access to critical information, rapport, authority, the ability to review police policies, community support, and transparency.   Igor Greenwald says the mayor's plan for such a board doesn't do that.   "The problem with the mayor's proposal is essentially it is as if somebody in the administration looked at this list of all of the things that make a successful board and decided to check none of the boxes," Greenwald told the Ordinance and Rules Committee.   Greenwald was an

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Superior Court Briefs: Sept. 10 - Sept. 13
Staff Reports,
03:17PM / Friday, September 14, 2018
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, September 10.   Stephanie Carsno, 34, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.   She was ordered to serve 63 days, time served, at the Hampden County House of Correction.    A single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute was dismissed by the state. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at her home on March 4, 2016.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, September 11.   Russell Allison, 45, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with

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NEPR Hires New Berkshire County Reporter
01:20PM / Friday, September 14, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Nancy Eve Cohen will cover Berkshire County for New England Public Radio.

Cohen has been a freelance reporter with NEPR since 2012 and has produced an impressive body of reporting for the station including recent pieces on the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts, local farming and school safety from the perspective of students and teachers.

"Nancy is an experienced and accomplished reporter," said NEPR news director Sam Hudzik. "She has a particular interest and expertise in environment and agriculture stories - and has produced some brilliant ones for us."

Cohen has worked in public radio for more than two decades. She served as the

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New Executive Director Joins Berkshire Grown
01:04PM / Friday, September 14, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Grown's Board of Trustees has announced that Margaret Moulton has assumed the role of executive director of the organization.

Moulton's work with the Trustees of Reservations as an engagement site manager, and her long-time interest in sustainable agriculture as a volunteer educator at Stone Barns Center for Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., have uniquely prepared her to shepherd Berkshire Grown into its next stage of development, according to Allison Rachele Bayles, president of the Board of Trustees
 
"We are thrilled to have Margaret at the helm of the organization. She is uniquely suited to engage growers and eaters alike

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