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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Will the Lights Go Out?
By Bill Schmick,
09:53PM / Thursday, December 07, 2017
The deadline looms. There is no deal in sight. Various political factions are jockeying to get their demands met. It is all part of an annual compromise to fund the government for another year.   So what else is new?   If the government does shut down on Saturday morning, it will be the 18th such occurrence in U.S. history. In every case, the nation has survived, although at times the cost has been great. There was, for example, a 16-day shutdown back in 2013 that resulted in a $24 billion hit to economic output and caused 850,000 workers to be laid off.   We all know it costs the American people more to shut down the government than it does to keep it open. In this age of

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Pittsfield Remembers Pearl Harbor
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01PM / Thursday, December 07, 2017

Veterans Services Office Jim Clark provides thoughts on the attack. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One hundred and 10 minutes.    That was how long the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, lasted.   "In the time it would take to watch an average full-length movie at our local movie theater, over 350 Japanese aircraft traveling nearly 400 miles thundered over Hawaii dropping bombs in an unprovoked act of war against the United States. That attack claimed the lives of nearly 2,400 Americans, including two of Pittsfield's own. It nearly destroyed our Pacific fleet but it would not shake our resolve,"  said Veterans Services Office Jim Clark on Thursday

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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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Carr Hardware In Quarterfinals For Small Business Of Year Award
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:51AM / Thursday, December 07, 2017

Vote for the Independent Small Business of the Year Award here.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Carr Hardware is the only business in Massachusetts to make it to the quarterfinals of the "Independent We Stand Small Business of the Year Award."   And, if it wins, the local company plans on donating that money right back into the community.   Carr Hardware says the small business organization Independent We Stand is giving out $5,000 to this year's winner. If Carr gets it, it will be donated toward building a new splash pad at Clapp Park.   "It is perfect for the kids. It gives them a safe and healthy place to go to," said Director of

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Crane Currency Being Acquired by Global Manufacturing Company
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:07PM / Wednesday, December 06, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — Crane Currency's acquisition by a Connecticut-based firm with a strikingly similar name is good news for the region, say Crane officials.    Crane Co. of Stamford, Conn., announced late Tuesday it would purchase the nearly 200-year-old banknotes operation for $800 million.   Stephen DeFalco, chief executive officer of Crane Currency, said nothing in the short-term will change for the Dalton production facilities, where U.S. currency paper is produced. The currency department, part of Crane & Co., employs about 600 people in Dalton.     "The Dalton facility plays a very important role in the U.S. currency program and none of

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Can You Afford to Retire Early?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
01:24PM / Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Some people dream of retiring early. Are you one of them? If so, you'll need to plan ahead – because a successful early retirement can't be achieved through last-minute moves.

So, if you're determined to retire early, consider taking the following steps:

Pick a date. Early retirement means different things to different people. But it's important to pick an exact age, whether it is 60, 62, 64, or whatever, so you can build an appropriate retirement income strategy.

Think about your retirement lifestyle. You may know that you want to retire early – but have you thought about what you want to do with your newfound time? Will you simply stay close to home and

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MCLA Recognizes Adams Scholarship Recipients
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Tessa Langsdale, class of 2021, tells the students how she had been in their seats just last year.  See more photos from the event here.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 50 Berkshire students were recognized at the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship reception at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.   "I am really quite pleased to be able to welcome you and to be able to congratulate you on earning this scholarship," MCLA President James Birge told the recipients Tuesday at the Church Street Center. "It is a rigorous award to win and you have demonstrated your abilities to do that through your grades, standardized test performances ... and all

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Driver Smashes Through PetCo Store in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever,
12:21PM / Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The vehicle came to a halt about 100 feet into the store.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An elderly driver smashed through the glass-front windows at Pet Co. and traveled at least 100 feet into the building on Tuesday morning. 

Officials said Alice Canning, 83, of Lenox was taken to Berkshire Medical Center for minor injuries after her car accelerated through the parking lot, and into the store.   Public safety officials said no customers, employees, or animals were hurt.   "It appears there's no or minor injuries at this time, just the driver herself is being treated by medical staff," said Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski at the scene."No store

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McCann Tech Inducts Honor Society Students for 2017
02:52PM / Monday, December 04, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School inducted 28 juniors into the National Honor Society on Nov. 14.    These students were selected for membership based on scholarship, service,  leadership, and character.    The students are Raffaele Bedini II, Hannah Blake, Hope Blake, Andrea Brucato, John Daub, Nichole Demastrie, Cortney Devito, Elissa Fink, Krista Furlon, Nicholas Glidden, Megan Goyette, James Guiden, Madison Harrington, Holden Hopkins, Elisha Lesure, Emma Marino, Matthew McGrory, Jacob Newton, Matthew Norton, Samuel Parks, Ayrian Quinones, Caleb Rondeau, Aubrey Tetlow, Rutger Thurston, Brandon Vallone, Joseph Vigiard, Abigail Wojcik, and Kirsten

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Biz Briefs: BCC Offers Micro-Grants to Help Students Get Out of Debt
02:38PM / Monday, December 04, 2017
Helping hand

Berkshire Community College, with sponsorship from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, is offering select students micro-grants to help them pay their past-due debts and stay on track to graduate. The program is called the "Guardian Value Scholarship," which identifies students who are in good academic standing but unable to re-enroll due to college debt.

The scholarship can help reduce or remove a student's debt to the college which in turn allows them to register for upcoming spring 2018 classes at BCC. The maximum value of the scholarship is $1,500. If a student owes more than $1,500, they are expected to pay down the remaining balance of their debt

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Pittsfield Police Department Implements 'Park and Walk' Initiative
Submitted Content,
02:29PM / Monday, December 04, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It's been a month since on-duty Pittsfield police officers have incorporated a change in their daily routine: for 15 minutes each shift, officers leave their vehicles and walk a selected portion of their beat.   Known as the "park and walk" initiative, officers on the day, evening, and midnight shifts are all expected to attempt one 15-minute walk, said Police Chief Michael Wynn. As of Nov. 26, officers registered a total of 293 park and walk details throughout the city.   "The officers can call in anywhere in their sector. If they're off sector, they can stop anywhere downtown," he said. "The expectation is that it should

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Total Access Computers Serves Adams' Tech Needs
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:35AM / Saturday, December 02, 2017

ADAMS, Mass. — Dan and Andrew Maynard, owners of Total Access Computers, on 16 Hoosac St., want to be your friendly neighborhood tech experts.

The Maynards have one mission: to help people navigate the often-confusing waters of an ever-changing tech world.

"We like to help people, and we don't just fix your computer and send you on your way," Dan Maynard said. "We show you how to keep it clean and running properly because it is the right thing to do."

He started the business in the early 2000s in North Adams and it has been growing ever since.

"I put together a business plan, went in a with a few other people, started a little company and was doing sales

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Pittsfield Lights Christmas Tree
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:09PM / Friday, December 01, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It's the holiday season.

On Friday, the city of Pittsfield kicked off the Christmas festivities by lighting up the 35-foot tree that stands in Park Square.   And then, riding on the back of a fire engine, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived to sit down and listen to what the good little boys and girls of the city want for Christmas.   "It is really a special occasion. This is really what hometown is all about, the coming together to celebrate kindness, giving, and generosity in the holiday season," Mayor Linda Tyer said.   The festivities started with the Taconic High School chorus singing carols. Patrick's Pub provided hot chocolate and

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