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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Three Berkshires Women Named 'Unsung Heroines'
04:13PM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Liz Mitchell of the Freeman Center, seen with North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard announcing Domestic Violence Month last year, was nominated by state Rep. John Barrett III.

BOSTON — Three Berkshires women were named Unsung Heroines for 2019 during a State House ceremony on Tuesday.

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds nominated Donna Cesan for this recognition because of her dedication to community, having served as Community Development Director and interim Town Administrator for the town of Adams for 19 years.

Elizabeth "Liz" Mitchell, a North Adams resident and advocate for domestic violance victims with the Elizabeth Freeman Center, was nominated by state Rep. John Barrett III

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'Aladdin' Goes Dark, Political and Not As Much Fun
By Rebecca Dravis,
12:18PM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019



Well, I liked this one more than "Dumbo." Which isn't saying much, because I didn't like "Dumbo" all that much. In fact, I haven't much liked any of the Disney live-action remakes of the classics. (Spoiler alert: I will not be seeing "The Lion King." I hate talking animals that aren't cartoons.)

But OK. "Aladdin" wasn't ALL awful.

We saw it at Hathaway's Drive-In Theatre under the stars, which is always fun - if you don't mind the bugs and the less-than-stellar sound quality. Yes, I know, both of those would be improved if we sat INSIDE the car, but I still don't know how that would work with four people. So

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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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Pittsfield Hoop Club Awards Five Scholarships
Community submission,
07:10AM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield Hoop Club continues its long-standing tradition of supporting local student-athletes and celebrating the city’s rich sports tradition with the announcement of the Class of 2019 Scholarship Award Recipients.   Since 1998, The Pittsfield Hoop Club has contributed more than $85,000 to local student-athletes through their scholarship program. In addition to investing in the future of local student-athletes, the organization is also devoted to recognizing former players, coaches, and contributors to the game. Five senior basketball players, who are set to graduate this month from Pittsfield High School and Taconic High School, are being recognized

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Two Pittsfield Firefighters Resign After Residency Challenged
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019

All five new hires came from the group that took the 2016 exam. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two newly hired firefighters resigned after Civil Service ruled they were incorrectly given a residency preference on the Civil Service exam.   The Civil Service Commission called for an investigation into the matter after a bypass appeal was filed late last fall. Justin Brady had taken the exam but did not get a position with the Pittsfield Fire Department.   He filed a bypass appeal claiming three candidates above him — Lucas Perry, Jonathan LaCasse, and Nicholas Amuso — did not qualify for the residency preference they were given.   Brady's bypass appeal was

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Farley-Bouvier, Hinds Chat Environmental Issues At Pittsfield Forum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:22AM / Tuesday, June 18, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state hopes to see more renewable energy from solar so it's incentivizing development.   However, the way the programs are currently established, solar often comes at the expense of cutting trees.   "We have perverse incentives for solar. It is cheaper for a  developer to come in and cut down a whole bunch of trees to do something for the environment," state Rep. Farley-Bouvier said.   The Pittsfield Democrat would like to see a shift in the way the projects are located. She said there are acres of rooftops available without solar but yet large scale projects go into wooded areas. Even in her neighborhood, there is a large

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Third Man Charged In January Murder In Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
08:45PM / Monday, June 17, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A third man has been charged in the killing of 18-year-old Jaden Salois in January.   Dasean Smith, 21, is now charged with murder, carrying a firearm without a license, and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. Judge Mark Mason ordered him to be held without bail.    Smith was arrested in Pittsfield on Friday on a warrant following an indictment by a grand jury and becomes the third person charged in the Jan. 20 shooting. PReviously Carlos Pascual-Polanco, 19, and Chiry Omar Pascual-Polanco, 22, were charged with murder and ordered to be held without bail.    Salois, of Dalton, was founded shot on Edward Avenue, near Elm

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Herberg Set to Take on Ambitious Improvement Plan Thanks to State Grant
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:00PM / Monday, June 17, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Thanks to a $900,000 state grant, Herberg Middle School is poised to vastly improve the academics in the building.   Herberg has had low scores on state assessments leading it into "turnaround status" and Principal Martin McEvoy and Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning Lisa Lesser crafted an ambitious plan to change those results. Earlier this month, the state not only approved the plan but also awarded $900,000 over the next three years to implement it.   "One of the main things we are focusing on is investing in teachers and building capacity to be able to reach all learners that come to our school," McEvoy, who just

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Berkshires Beat: BNRC Upgrades Popular Trails for 2019 Summer Season
12:25PM / Monday, June 17, 2019
Trail facelifts

On Monday, June 10, state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli joined members of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) board of directors, volunteers, staff and nature trail enthusiasts to unveil a redesigned trailhead kiosk and enhanced on-trail signage at BNRC's flagship conservation reserve, Yokun Ridge South at Olivia's Overlook. Similar upgrades have also been completed at 16 other BNRC trail sites across Berkshire County. All 54 BNRC reserves are open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk, free of charge.

Each updated kiosk features a large map of the reserve and its trail system; notes on the natural, cultural, and ownership history of the protected lands;

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Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp Enrollment Open
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Sunday, June 16, 2019
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Berkshires' Summer Jazz Camp returns this August and sign-ups are open now.    In mid-August, high school and middle school students throughout the county will get a chance to sit in with a group of master jazz musicians at Hoosac Valley High School.     "The students will be able to hear and play with some of the top musicians in the world today," professional trumpeter and North Adams native Richard Boulger said. "It is a real pleasure to see how the students are inspired by hearing our faculty. Not to mention, hearing how much the students progress in just a matter of days."   This is the second Jazz Camp

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Lenox Woman Struck Crossing Route 7 on Friday
04:52PM / Saturday, June 15, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An 85-year-old Lenox woman was struck by a car on South Street, Route 7, on Friday night.

The victim, whose name has not be released, was taken to Berkshire Medical Center by Action Ambulance with what police are describing as "serous injuries." The woman was initially treated at the scene by firefighters.

According to police, officers were dispatched at about 9:36 on Friday night to the area of 1035 South St. for a reported pedestrian accident. There are a number of businesses in that area, including hotels and several eateries.

The preliminary investigation has shown that just prior to the collision, a 2011 Toyota Sienna van operated by Linda

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'The Spy Behind Home Plate': Glove, Mask, Cloak-and-Dagger
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:05PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
"Get your scorecards. Get your scorecards. Can't tell the spies from the conspirators without a scorecard."   Such was just one of my thoughts after seeing filmmaker Aviva Kempner's fascinating, incredible and rather mind-blowing documentary about Morris "Moe" Berg, Major League catcher, Princeton (B.A.) and Columbia (LL.D.) graduate, speaker of 12 languages who studied Sanskrit at the Sorbonne and, oh, almost forgot, spy for the OSS.    Psst ... He was assigned to help undermine the Nazi atomic bomb program during WWII.    But what drives you crazy as you partake of Kempner's scholarly and entertaining treasure trough of the superbly

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@theMarket: Markets Expect Fed to Cut Rates
By Bill Schmick,
04:08PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
Investors can credit the Fed once again for the market's revival thus far in June. The buying is fueled by expectations of three rate cuts by no later than December. Is that wishful thinking?   While only 23 percent of investors expect a rate cut next week when the Fed meets, 83 percent do expect a cut in July. The odds of another cut in September are now at 63.8 percent, with a third cut in December, which is expected by over half of market participants.   Given that the Fed's job description is to keep inflation under control, while supporting robust employment, one or the other of those variables will need to change in order for the Fed to cut rates. The inflation rate

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