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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Corpse Flower in Bloom at Darrow School
12:26PM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Corpse flowers bloom

It’s spring at The Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y. That means the sap is rising, the birds are singing, the sun is lingering, and something in the air stinks. This means that the rare corpse flower is in full bloom. Corpse flowers were first planted at Darrow in 2009 in the sheltered confines of the school’s Samson Environmental Center (SEC). Four bloomed in 2012, six in 2013, and now, according to Lily Corral, biology teacher, sustainability coordinator, and director of the SEC, as many as 10 flowers have sprouted, several of which are at the blooming stage.

"The corpse flower is a rare plant that is challenging to grow," Corral said. "It


Lanesborough to Request Needs Assessment For Police Station
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town Manager Kelli Robbins hopes the $13,000 that town meeting approved to renovate the police station will be enough to do a feasibility study for a bigger project.   Robbins told the Board of Selectmen on Monday night that she is putting together a request for qualifications to do a needs assessment on a headquarters for the Police  Department. The assessment would be the first step needed to not only get cost estimates for various options but also a requirement to get funding to do a project.   "The study is going to tell us nuts to bolts what needs to be fixed," Robbins said.   A feasibility study is what the Police Department


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

Pittsfield FinCom Will Pay Airport Project Overage, More May Come
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14AM / Tuesday, March 26, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Finance Committee is not happy with the process, but agreed to pay the overage for the airport runway process.   And there might be more to come.   A number of change orders caused the project to go $89,374 over budget. The Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Transportation are paying $80,249 of that total but the city still needs to up its contribution by $9,125.    The increase to the city is mostly driven by an increased role Stantec Consulting Services Inc. had to take during the transition of management at the airport. The consultants had to increase its management over the project "as a result of a complete


Animal Cruelty Case Continued Without Finding
Staff Reports,
05:29PM / Monday, March 25, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local man was given a continuance without a finding after killing a 10-month-old puppy.   Coty Dakin, 29, had entered to an admission to sufficient facts plea to a single county of animal cruelty on March 12. The case was continued without a finding for one year. Police had accused Dakin of crushing the skull of his girlfriend's 10-month old Chihuahua, Chichi, in Lanesborough in 2017.   Police said on Nov. 20, 2017 officers were dispatched to the girlfriend's home for a disturbance during which it was reported that Dakin had killed his girlfriend's dog. Police said Dakin was asked about the incident and he claimed he kicked a chair into the


Congressman Neal to Speak at MCLA 120th Commencement
04:02PM / Monday, March 25, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will celebrate its 120th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18, beginning at 11 a.m., in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium.   This year's commencement speaker will be U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, who represents the First Congressional District of Massachusetts in Congress and who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. Neal will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree.   In addition, Richard Alcombright, vice president of local business and the customer relations manager at MountainOne and who served as the mayor of North Adams for four terms, will receive an honorary doctor of public service


Former Royal Cleaners in Pittsfield Now Eyed For Marijuana Business
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:11PM / Monday, March 25, 2019

The building at 68 Dalton Ave. has been vacant for years and was slated to be demolished. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Royal Cleaners is now eyed to be repurposed for a marijuana retail, cultivation, and manufacturing company.   The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a special permit for EOS Farm LLC to operate there. The plan is to use the majority of the building for cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana products and then use 600 square feet of frontage for retail.   "There are plantings along the front and the side to hide the residential property," said architect John Barry.   The company will be leasing from Raymond Frenkel, who also own and

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Albany Berkshire Ballet Looks Ahead — And Back — in 50th Anniversary Year
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:34AM / Monday, March 25, 2019

Albany Berkshire Ballet has formed collaborations with organizations like Williams College, where ABB dancers join student dancers for performances.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The five dancers glided around the room, its purple-and-mirrored walls enclosing a faintly muggy space, either from powerful bodies working hard or a late-winter heating system still cranked up, or maybe a combination of both.

The three women and two men were rehearsing a dance for an upcoming showcase at Williams College, but on this day, their ballet slipper-clad feet pounded the dance floor in the second-floor studio of the Albany Berkshire Ballet headquarters on Fenn Street.

In the past, on a weekday


Berkshire Lightscape Turns Focus To Lighting Up Park Square
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:13PM / Sunday, March 24, 2019

The lights in Dunham Mall were added at the start of the winter. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Lightscapes is honing in on a plan to add lighting to Park Square.   The non-profit raised a little more than $100,000 for its plan to add lighting to City Hall, Dunham Mall, and Park Square. The Dunham Mall lights were added in the winter, decorating the walkway with rotating snowflakes, and Park Square is next.    Dan Frering from Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer (N.Y.) Polytechnic Institute designed multiple concepts to highlight key areas of Park Square with new lighting.   The key areas will be the Civil War monument, the elm tree, the fountain, the


New Incubator Space Opens On Tyler Street
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Saturday, March 23, 2019

Those in attendance at the welcoming party got to participate as the Otha Day Drum Circle kicked off the event. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new incubator space for the Morningside area is now open.   The Tyler Street Lab is now open at 730 Tyler St. The building houses offices for a number of community organizations and serves as a one-stop shop for people to access whatever they need, whether that be business assistance or community services.   The lab is funded by MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative and headed by the newly formed Tyler Street Collaborative.   "The Tyler Street Collaborative is people from the community who have ideas and


@theMarket: Does the Fed Know Something We Don't?
By Bill Schmick,
09:55AM / Saturday, March 23, 2019
Sometimes too much good news can be interpreted badly. Take the U.S. central bank's about face on monetary policy late last year. That was good news and investors responded by bidding the stock market up by 20 percent. But this week we may have received even better news, or did we?   The Fed did more than met investors' expectation this week at the central bank's monthly Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that there would be no more interest rate hikes for the remainder of the year (after saying back in December that two rate hikes were on the table for 2019). There was even some discussion that a rate cut might be possible, if


Reilly Pleads Guilty to Misleading Detectives In Ringer Murder Case
Staff Reports,
12:27PM / Friday, March 22, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An Easthampton woman pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to state police detectives in a murder investigation.   Laura Reilly, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts of misleading police and was sentenced by Judge John A. Agostini in Berkshire Superior Court to two to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Cedar Junction. The charges relate to the investigation into the alleged homicide of Joanne Ringer of Clarksburg in 2017.   "The judge agreed this was an egregious example of misleading police," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement on Friday. "We sought incarceration because Laura Reilly's lies not only

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Local Wealth Adviser Named to List of Best-in-State
11:35AM / Friday, March 22, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Stephen G. Sykes, managing director and senior vice president of wealth management with Raymond James & Associates, was among the Raymond James-affiliated advisers named to the Forbes list of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors.

The list, which recognizes advisors from national, regional and independent firms, was released online Feb. 20. The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews and quantitative data. Those advisers that are considered have a minimum of seven years' experience, and the algorithm


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