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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Unpaid Bills Are Starting to Pile Up For Berkshire Mall
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:06AM / Saturday, July 22, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Berkshire Mall bills are piling up.   The mall owner, Kohan Retail Investment Group, under Berkshire Mail Realty Holdings, owes close to a half million in taxes to the town and to the Baker Hill Road District — $230,000 for the road district and $209,000 to the town.    "The Baker Hill Road District is moving aggressively to communicate with the mall about the failure to pay taxes," Town Manager Paul Sieloff recently told the Finance Committee. "They have not paid the road district in many months."   Also in recent months, the court awarded another quarter-million dollars to companies that filed lawsuits against

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Leominster Ends Pittsfield Nationals' Run in Little League Tourney
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
08:12PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Twenty-four hours after falling victim to a dramatic sixth-inning comeback, the Pittsfield National Little League All-Stars Friday found themselves needing to do the same thing.   But after putting two men on base with two out and a four-run lead, Leominster was able to get the final out on a swinging strike and secure a 6-2 win that ended the Nats’ run in the Major League sectional tournament.   “I said to them, ‘We have the recipe for coming back because we just had it done to us,’ “ Pittsfield NL coach Darren Lee said. “But we weren’t able to execute.”   Cal Lewis and Johnny Crawford each singled around a

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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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'The Big Sick': Has a Healthy Outlook
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:23PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
Director Michael Showalter's "The Big Sick," based on Pakistani-born comedian/actor Kumail Nanjiani's real-life story, is often hilarious proof that in jest there is truth. While gleefully verifying that in dedicated hands the classical romantic comedy remains a viable entertainment, this convivial foray into whether or not love conquers all also asserts a humanistic message that is of late egregiously absent from our national consciousness. Nanjiani's tale sagely solicits art to fill this vacuum.   On the surface it plays rather simply. Kumail, who Ubers for a living when he's not trying to "kill" the audience at a Chicago comedy club, one night

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MassDOT Secretary Praises Massive Road Reconstruction in Dalton
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01PM / Friday, July 21, 2017

Pollack praised the adoption of a Complete Streets design in the project. The secretary says she wants road projects to include bicycle lanes and renovated sidewalks to accommodate all modes of transportation.  DALTON, Mass. — MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack says the massive $10.5 million reconstruction of East Housatonic Street is a perfect example of what the state wants to see.   The project has been in the works for years and finally began construction in March 2016. It is on pace to be completed in October, with punch list items being completed in the spring.   It entails everything the state Department of Transportation would like to see in a road

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Pittsfield Cooperative Bank Names Chief Information Officer
01:58PM / Friday, July 21, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank has announced Adrienne DeBlieux Speed as senior vice president and chief information officer of the bank.

DeBlieux Speed has 25 years of experience most recently serving as VP Information Technology.

"Technology has never been a more integral element of success in the financial industry than it is today and it will only become more so over time," said J. Jay Anderson, president and CEO of the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. "Whether utilizing technology to enhance the customer experience or to defend our customers privacy in an age of cyber-criminality.  With Adrienne's experience and expertise she will help

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Berkshire Money Management CEO Earns CEPA Designation
01:46PM / Friday, July 21, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Money Management's CEO and chief investment officer Allen Harris has recently earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) certification.

Harris participated in the intensive, four-day, MBA-style program — offered by the Exit Planning Institute — in Chicago. The CEPA program is the most widely accepted in the world and was specifically designed for business advisors who work closely with private companies.

"Not only is new business creation important to the vitality of the community, but so is recognizing and maximizing the value of existing companies," Harris said. "We can accomplish this by helping businesses with

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Superior Court Briefs: July 17 - July 20
Staff Reports,
01:42PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 17.   Stephanie Bullett, 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.   She was ordered to serve one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Pittsfield on October 9, 2015.    A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.   Michael Taylor, 57, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, possession of heroin, and resisting arrest in connection with an

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Berkshire Community College Hires New Reference Librarian
01:39PM / Friday, July 21, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has brought a new reference librarian on staff.

Andrea Robare has been hired as Jonathan Edwards Library's full-time reference librarian and will work closely with the college's coordinator of Library Services, Karen Carreras-Hubbard, to expand information literacy and other library services across the campus.

Robare, who lives in North Adams, previously worked for 10 years as the reference and instructional librarian at Southern Vermont College. She holds a master of science in information systems degree in library services from SUNY-Albany, a bachelor of arts degree in English from MCLA and an associate of arts degree in

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Pittsfield Man Fined For Illegal Asbestos Removal
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — DEP has fined a city man for illegally removing asbestos from a home on Circular Avenue.   The Department of Environmental Protection fined Robert Clum $27,100 for removing the material from 65 Circular Avenue in August of last year. The work, removing and disposing of asbestos pipe insulation, potentially exposed the residents to asbestos fibers, DEP says. Clum does not have a contractor's license to the work nor did he notified the state regarding it.   DEP says Clum was hired by the homeowner to remove the insulation from the basement of the two-family home. He did the work without techniques to prevent the air-borne release of asbestos, DEP said.

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Hillcrest Commons Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Receives National Award
01:09PM / Friday, July 21, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living recently announced the selection of Hillcrest Commons Nursing & Rehabilitation Center as a recipient of the 2017 Silver-Achievement in Quality award for its outstanding performance in the health care profession.

Hillcrest Commons is one of only nine facilities in Massachusetts, and one of 191 facilities in the nation, selected to receive the silver award in 2017. The competitive award program highlights select centers across the nation that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality long term care.

"We are proud to have received the Silver Award and we’re

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 21-27
11:57AM / Friday, July 21, 2017
TONIGHT is 3rd Thursday with a FOOD Theme! July's 3rd Thursday is FOOD-themed! Taste the offerings of dozens of food vendors and downtown restaurants. Plus, enjoy a dance party with DJ BFG, live music by 8 Ft. River, Moth Patrol and the Amy Ryan Band, performances by the cast of Berkshire Theatre Group's , Barrington Stage Company'sand dancer Eiko Otake, presented by Jacob's Pillow Dance.   As always, there will

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State Budget Includes $50K to Keep Preschool at Conte, Morningside
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Friday, July 21, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department was close to closing all of its preschool classes at Morningside and Conte Community schools, two schools that need it the most.   But, between the efforts of state legislators and the teachers union, there will at least be a couple classes left. The state budget includes $50,000 to help fund those programs.    "This money will go to restore two paraprofessional positions, which in addition to two teaching positions restored by the [United Educators of Pittsfield] giving up half of their step increase (these are just two of several positions which that allowed to stay) means we go from having zero regular-education pre-k

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