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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Education Task Force Keeps Focus on Creating Opportunities for Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force on Saturday pressed forward less than 48 hours after one school district voted to step back from its participation in the effort.   The committee had a full agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting at Nessacus Middle School, but Thursday's decision from the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee to withdraw from the task force colored the conversation.   Chairman John Hockridge opened the meeting by addressing the vote head on.   "I just wished they'd put off the discussion for one more meeting to give us the opportunity to tell them where we're coming from," Hockridge said of the

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Connell Calls For Commission to Oversee Water/Wastewater
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:32AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell wants a commission to oversee the water and wastewater operations.   Connell said there was one years ago but it was halted under former city Commissioner of Public Utilities William Forestell. Now the city is facing what could be up to $150 million worth of capital upgrades to the two treatment centers and Connell wants that commission back in place to make sure everything is done right.   "I think we need a commission to oversee this entire operation. We are looking at not only personnel challenges but we are looking at $150 million, $75 for water upgrades $75 for wastewater upgrades," Connell

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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

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by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Healey Told Resources Lacking to Combat Opioid Epidemic
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:20PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Paul Hickling of the Brien Center talks about his organization's initiatives, including a new recovery center for new mothers. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Northern Berkshire has been knitting together a wide array of agencies and organizations to combat an opioid epidemic that's devastated communities. Its leaders, including Mayor Richard Alcombright, have played a prominent role in working groups both regionally and statewide addressing addiction and recovery.    But while the partnerships are strong, a lack of resources has left this fragile safety net overwhelmed and with too many gaps for those seeking help to fall through.    "You need help and

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Biz Briefs: Wild Oats Introduces Co-op Cash for Class Program
02:21PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Cashing in: Wild Oats Market, a cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store, bakery and cafe in Williamstown, has unveiled Co-op Cash for Class, a new program aimed at raising money for local schools. To participate in the program, schools must register online. They can then download a customizable flyer to share with parents and students encouraging them to enroll.

It is even easier for parents to participate. Families simply register online and designate up to two schools. As soon as they sign up they will immediately begin to earn points each time they shop. There are no receipts to deal with and every purchase counts. The more families that participate and shop, the more money

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'Walk a Mile In Her Shoes' Main 3rd Thursday Attraction
01:32PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Upstreet Pittsfield's award-winning street festival, 3rd Thursdays, returns for the final event of the season on Thursday, Sept. 21, with the seventh annual Elizabeth Freeman Center Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

The largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, 3rd Thursdays are family friendly and open to all.  North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from West Street to Linden Street and will be filled with music, performance, food and community activities.
 
Walkers will once again sport women's footwear on Thursday in an effort to stamp out violence against women. The annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" will be the

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Berkshires Beat: CATA Artists on Display at Pittsfield Guido's
12:23PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Touring art: Community Access to the Arts will exhibit at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield as part of ​CATA's "Art on Tour" gallery series. The exhibit, featuring artwork created by Pittsfield-based CATA artists with disabilities, runs through Oct. 31, with a public reception on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The curated exhibit includes a variety of stylistic expression and techniques in water-based media, such as watercolor, tempera and ink, and feature both abstract and representational work. All works in the exhibit are professionally matted and framed, and all pieces are for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists. The

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SBA Honors Red Apple Butchers And Yummy Treasures
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Red Apple Butchers is a nose-to-tail shop that opens its expanded location this week. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was about 10 years ago when Beth Carpenter wanted to get rid of some excess jewelry making supplies.   She sold them online and turned a decent income. Sales grew and eventually took over her living room. It got so large of an operation she brought her husband, Greg, on to help run the business.   Yummy Treasures continued to grow from there.   Two years ago, she opened a storefront on Commercial Street.   Now, Yummy Treasures is the No. 1 shop on Etsy for jewelry and crafting supplies and the winner of the Massachusetts Small Business

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Course Record Set at Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon
07:55PM / Sunday, September 17, 2017
LENOX, Mass. -- The Allen Heights Veterinary team won Sunday's Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon in record time.   Biker Josh Lipka, kayakers Tom Keefe and Ben Pigott and runner Steve Monsulick combined to cover the course in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 28 seconds.   The old record, set by a team from High Lawn Farm, was 2:15:55.   On Sunday, Allen Heights finished 11 minutes ahead of runner-up You Doin' the Josh, which finished in 2:26:32 with Jonathan Molk biking, Tim Hudyncia paddling a canoe and Scott Carpenter running.   The event sends bikers over a 27-mile course, includes a 5-mile canoe, kayak or paddleboard leg and ends with a 6-mile run.   The top

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Church Seeks Help Making Kits to Aid Hurricane Victims
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:18PM / Saturday, September 16, 2017

Supplies wait to be assembled into 'flood buckets' for victims of West Virginia flooding in 2016.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Yes, there is something you can do to help the victims of the recent hurricanes.

The New Hope United Methodist Church is assembling "flood buckets," a 5-gallon bucket of items that people whose homes have been ravaged by flooding can use to aid their cleanup efforts. The national United Methodist Church's Committee on Relief has been assembling these kits for years now, according to local pastor Courtney Randall, and have determined the best way to package them and the most helpful contents.

Randall said New Hope contributions began a couple

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PHS Student Starts Charity For Children Fighting Cancer
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:27AM / Saturday, September 16, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — About two years ago, Madison Quinn was browsing through Instagram when she found photos of Abel.   Abel was a young boy in California fighting cancer. The photos she saw touched her and she reached out to his mother asking what he likes because she wanted to send him a get well present. It was Batman. Quinn went to the store and bought a Batman figurine and mailed it out to California. Abel took the wings off of Batman and took it with him for every single chemo treatment, and his mother sent photos of that back.   "I wanted to do something," the 15-year-old Pittsfield High School junior said. "Not enough people do it. There is a lot of bad

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Neal Talks Politics With Residents at Town Hall Meeting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:12PM / Friday, September 15, 2017

Congressman Richard Neal held a town hall meeting at Berkshire Community College. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal faced somewhat of a tough crowd at Berkshire Community College on Friday night as residents pressed him to move further left on his stances on climate change, health care, and the Israeli Anti-Boycott Act.   The Springfield Democrat held a town hall meeting at the college during which he quickly touched on his stance on a number of issues facing the nation.   He held a lengthy question-and-answer session, facing sharp criticism of many of his stances and engaged in a number of back-and-forths with citizens on several topics.   A Dalton woman

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@theMarket: NK Missile Dud on Wall Street
By Bill Schmick,
04:50PM / Friday, September 15, 2017
The North Korean boy who cried wolf is alive and well, but seems to have less and less impact on financial markets. Kim Jong Un's minions launched another missile over Japan on Thursday night and the markets simply yawned.   Geopolitics are always a risk for the financial markets. For one thing, they are by definition unpredictable. Rarely do the antagonists worry about the economic and financial ramifications of their moves. As such, markets react quickly, but usually the impact only lasts for a short period of time.   It seems that even our tweet-happy president is learning that, in this case, Kim Jong Un, the boy in the wolf's mask, has a bark that is far worse than his

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