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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Music & Art Come Together This Summer With Painted Pianos
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:08AM / Monday, May 21, 2018

Keith Bona checks out his piano at Memorial School.  ADAMS, Mass. — More than a dozen pianos are being transformed into singular artworks to evoke the county's musical and artistic heritage.    Dirty, dusty and out of tune, these castoffs found new partners as local artists tramped through the empty Memorial School last Tuesday to select the perfect piano for their endeavors.    Sue MacVeety of Sheffield had come prepared with primer, covering her selection with its first base coat of white. Keith Bona of North Adams picked a large upright and was planning out a celestial concept and figuring how he might use the frame-like back.   "This

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Local Collegians Making their Marks in Spring Post-Season
iBerkshires.com Sports,
09:30PM / Sunday, May 20, 2018
Taconic graduate Dom Nda is headed to the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships next weekend in Wisconsin.   The UMass Boston senior qualified as an individual in the 100-meter dash and will run a leg on the Beacon’s 4-by-100 relay quartet. Earlier this month, the 4-by-100 relay squad broke the school’s record in the event by clocking a time of 41.15 seconds at the MIT Last Chance Qualifying Meet.   Nda is just one of several area alumni who are competing or have competed in national championships this spring.   At the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Championships over the weekend in Minnesota, Hoosac Valley graduate Kali

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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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Six Qualify to Regional from Pittsfield Pitch, Hit and Run Competition
Community submission,
10:23AM / Saturday, May 19, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Baseball in the Berkshires held the Pitch, Hit and Run Competition at Belanger field on May 12.   Although the weather was un-baseball like - cold and rainy - the competition was held, and six boys and girls qualified to move onto the sectionals which will be held in Hadley on June 2.   Qualifiers at the sectional competition will move to the regional competition to be held at Fenway Park and the finals at the All-Star Game Weekend in Washington, D.C.   Qualifiers from the Pittsfield event included: Aiden Arsenau, Aiden Underdown, Jason Fields Jr., Lily Smith, Gavin O'Donnell and James Smith.

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Mildred Elley Graduates Ready To Achieve
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:55AM / Saturday, May 19, 2018

Jennifer Linscott has presented the presidential achievement award. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 100 students became Mildred Elley alumni after crossing the Barrington Stage during Thursday's graduation ceremony.   First to address the graduates was Pittsfield Campus President Annette Jeffes, who asked the graduates to reflect on their time at Mildred Elley.   "Graduation is one of the greatest times in our lives, and it gives you the opportunity to stop and celebrate the culmination of all of your efforts and to truly absorb your new status and start with a new chapter in your life," Jeffes said.   Students graduated with certificates in massage

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Pittsfield Honors Police Officers Killed In The Line of Duty
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:06PM / Friday, May 18, 2018

Police Chief Michael Wynn provided remarks to honor the day. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Friday morning, Hartford, Conn. Officer Jill Kidik regained consciousness, surrounded by friends and family.    She will not become the 56th officer killed in the line of duty in the United States this year.    "Officer Kidik was repeatedly stabbed by her assailant after responding to a landlord-tenet dispute. Although we in law enforcement dislike the word routine for any call for service, in this case, there was no indication that this would be a violent encounter," Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn said.    "While Officer Kidik attempted to

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Mayors' Fitness Challenge 2018 Kicks Off on Saturdays
Staff Reports,
11:54AM / Friday, May 18, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Mayors' Fitness Challenge kicks off on Saturday with demonstrations and activities.

Mayor Thomas Bernard will lead off North Adams' kick off at Terra Nova Church's The Green, 87 Main St., from 11 to 1. For Pittsfield, the kick off runs from 9 to 1 at the Common, with Mayor Linda Tyer leading off the challenge 10:55 a.m.   The 8-week fitness challenge pits the county's two mayors in a competition to see which one can get the higher percentage of his or her residents engaged in wellness activities.   People can sign up as individuals or teams on the website and track their water and healthy food intake and physical activities to rack

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Hoosac Valley Elementary Students Give Police A Boost
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:34AM / Friday, May 18, 2018

The effort was part of National Police  Week. ADAMS, Mass. — Hoosac Valley Elementary School preschool students gifted "energy bags" to local police officers.   A convoy of preschoolers made their way to the Adams Police Department to help give the officers a little boost Tuesday.     "We made energy bags and we asked our families for donations like trail mix, granola bars, Gatorade and things like that," teacher Kelly Rickert said.   "We wheeled half down this morning and the other half now."   Rickert said they were inspired to put this together after a segment on the Ellen DeGeneres Show promoting acts of

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Berkshire Blaze Seek A Field Of Their Own
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:16AM / Friday, May 18, 2018

Cory and Jessica Bazinet received approval from the Parks Commission on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Blaze girl's softball league are planning to turn one of the fields at Wahconah Park into their new home.   The Parks Commission on Tuesday approved letting the league fix up the little league field along Park Street by eliminating the baseball pitching mound, creating a dirt infield, repositioning the benches, cleaning and painting the backstops, and flattening out the foul territory.   Then, they'll use that at their home turf for tournaments and league play.   "We're thankful to have the opportunity to have a space to clean up and

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Girls Inc. Awards Scholarship to 10 Young Women
08:45PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Girls Inc. of the Berkshires awarded scholarship to 10 young women at its annual Ruth P. Boraksi Celebration Evening on May 3. The event recognizes the achievements of young women throughout Berkshire County and awarded scholarships through the Ruth P. Boraski Funds for Girls and on behalf of area community partners.

Receiving Ruth P. Boraski Funds for Girls Inc. Scholarships were Sarah Beckwith and Marya Makuc from Mt. Everett Regional High School; Janayah Burgess and Molly Clement from Taconic High School; Danielle LaBlanc from Pittsfield High School; and Sophie Shron from Monument Mountain High School.

On behalf of area partners, scholarships were awarded to

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MCLA Announces Recipients of Berkshire County Educator Recognition Awards
08:38PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of the eighth annual Berkshire County Educator Recognition Award. This award, presented by MCLA in collaboration with Berkshire County K-12 superintendents and Berkshire Community College, was created to honor the region’s exceptional teachers.

The recipients, all of whom recently were recognized at an MCLA ceremony, are Deborah Hartwig (Early Childhood – Community Setting), a Head Start teacher at Berkshire Head Start in Adams; April Mazzeo (Pre-K-Grade 2), a first-grade teacher at Hoosac Valley Elementary School in the Adams-Cheshire School District; Kimberly Comier (Grades 3-6), a

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BCC Hires new Community Outreach Counselor for Enrollment Services
08:02PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Karen Ruiz León has joined Berkshire Community College as the community outreach counselor for enrollment services.

Ruiz León, who lives in North Adams, previously worked at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she was the advancement communications and engagement associate. Along with her duties in that role, she was also a key part of many of MCLA’s diversity initiatives.  

Ruiz León’s strong and dedicated diversity background and her multilingual abilities will be a major asset as she engages with the many populations across the Berkshires and tries to help them find their pathway to BCC and beyond.

The community

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The Independent Investor: Are Americans Saving Enough for Retirement?
By Bill Schmick,
05:00PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018
If you simply read the headlines, you would assume that over half of Americans aged 55 and over, have no savings as they approach retirement. That's a dramatic statement, but is it true?   Most statisticians derive that data by adding up those who have an IRA or similar tax-deferred savings account such as a 401(k). The latest data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank's Survey of Consumer Finance indicated that 53 percent of households, age 55 to 64, had some savings in those tax-deferred accounts. So, yes, by that standard, almost half of all Americans fail the savings test.   But what about all the people who work for the government? There are 22 million workers toiling

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