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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Grazie, Mingo's Take Top Honors in Chowder Cook-off
12:39PM / Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The winners are

Hundreds of hungry WinterFest fans swarmed downtown to try samples of the nine fierce competitors at this year's annual Chowder Cook-off (find more photos here). Hundreds of ballots were cast for "People's Choice" favorites and write-ins for the "Only in North Adams" most unique chowder award. Voters were asked to rank their top three favorite, though many just picked one. Competitors were awarded three points for every first-place mark, two points for each second-place mark, and one point for every third-place mark.

In first place with 467 points was Grazie; a close second, Boston Seafood Restaurant snapped up second place with 460 points; and


North Adams First-Graders Send Textbooks to Kenya
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Brayton Elementary School first-graders pose with the books they sent to students in Kenya.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It takes a village to get a load of books from North Adams to an African village.

Brayton Elementary School first-grade teachers Elizabeth Patenaude and Jacqueline Thomas recently spearheaded an effort to send 60 reading textbooks to Chesegem Primary School in Eldoret South, Kenya. They were assisted by Leon Aalberts, a retired teach and minister from Williamstown, as well as Williams College student and Kenyan native Felix Biwott, and two classes of eager first-grade students who not only got to learn about geography but also about the joy of giving back.

The project


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

PCTV Submits Proposal To Manage WTBR, The Brave FM
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Tuesday, February 20, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television wants to turn WTBR into a community radio station.   For nearly four years, school officials have been looking for partners to keep the The Brave FM alive after the demolition of the current Taconic High School building.   In the last few months, those talks led to the local public access television station. PCTV Executive Director Shawn Serre said the discussions are "in the initial phase" right now. But the organization sees great benefit in not only saving the radio station but enhancing its programming.   "If we end up managing the operations, we will look to increase community involvement,"


Pittsfield Police Seeking Information on Gas Station Robbery
11:17AM / Monday, February 19, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are seeking information on an armed robbery that occurred at a Wahconah Street gas station on Saturday night.    The incident happened at about 10:30 p.m. at the Gulf Gas Station at 186 Wahconah St. When officers arrived at the location they learned that a masked man had entered the store, brandished a knife, and demanded money.    The clerk, who suffered a small cut to one of his fingers during the robbery, reported that the suspect took cash from the register and then fled the store. The robbery suspect was described as being a white or Hispanic male.    Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to contact the Pittsfield


New 'Boutique Bridal Show' Offers Couples Quieter, Personal Meetings With Vendors
10:55AM / Monday, February 19, 2018

With Valentine's Day having passed and the "engagement season" now officially over, future newlyweds are wondering what's next: "Where will our venue be? Who will cater? Is this vendor reliable?" In a time that should be filled with excitement, the wedding planning process can quickly become a hodgepodge of questions and stress.

Sure, you can ask married friends for advice, but what if you both have different definitions of "good"? Yes, you can read Internet reviews for hours, but who is to say they are completely legitimate? Ultimately, nothing beats meeting with a vendor face-to-face, but it can be tricky to find the time to meet with 10 different


Pittsfield Eyes Repairs To Taconic Track, Baseball Field
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:32AM / Monday, February 19, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With a brand-new school, the Pittsfield Parks Department is plotting a way to make upgrades to the Taconic High School track, football, and baseball fields.   Parks Commissioner Anthony DeMartino said the first goals would be to repair and re-stripe the track, replace fencing around both the track area and the baseball and soccer fields, and install a new backstop and dugouts at the baseball field. That would total $206,350, in which the Parks Department is looking to use Community Preservation Funding. The hope is to start with that and then continue with more projects over time.   "If you were going to go with the pie in the sky goal, it would be


Pittsfield Health Director Concerned With Plastic Bag-Ban Enforcement
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:22PM / Sunday, February 18, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Board of Health has a few questions about its enforcement role in the proposed single-use plastic bag ban.   The petition, filed by the Green Commission and local attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo, is before the City Council now. It would place a ban on certain single-use plastic bags — mostly the plastic bags used for groceries at the supermarket. But the enforcement of that falls on the Board of Health, which says it wouldn't be able to do regular inspections.   "There are a lot of other retail establishments in the city. That would place a significant burden on the Health Department if we are to enforce all businesses with this ban,"


Winter Carnival Draws Families to Springside Park
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:52PM / Saturday, February 17, 2018

The volunteers adjusted some of the events. The snow painting event went on but on large rolls of paper. More photos from the event can be found here. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Winter Carnival had a snow problem on Saturday.   The problem was there wasn't any.   But that didn't stop the Springside Conservancy from hosting a winter celebration to bring families out to the park.   A few dozen families found their way to Springside Park on Saturday afternoon for a series of games and competition.   "We started this because we wanted kids to come out with families in the park," President Lisa Tully said. "We weren't making money off of

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Lanesborough Selectmen Discuss Safety of Youth Football
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:14AM / Saturday, February 17, 2018
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — As more information is learned about brain injuries related to football, Selectman Robert Ericson is questioning whether the town should change the sport for the town's youth.   "The CTE, degenerative brain disease, is happening more and more. It is a direct result of a game where kids, especially young children, get banged around a lot. Is there a way we can make football a little safer for our children?" Ericson questioned. "Is it time that we, as adults, start to look at the safety and long-term aspect?"   Ericson isn't alone in asking the question. Throughout the nation, football programs have been dramatically changed to


@theMarket: Markets Have Best Week in Five Years
By Bill Schmick,
05:12PM / Friday, February 16, 2018
Stocks have had what is called a "V" shaped recovery this week. The indexes climbed every day at least one percent or more. Will it continue or ...   It wouldn't surprise me if stocks took a breather about now. A bout of profit-taking after the stupendous come-back we have had would be entirely reasonable. If the S&P 500 Index, for example, fell back 2-3 percent over the next week or so that would be healthy.   Remember, we are still in that period of the markets where investors are driven by the fear of missing out. As interest rates continue to climb and bond investors experience losses, the natural thing would be to sell bonds and buy equities.    In


Berkshire Bank Hires New Wealth Adviser
01:36PM / Friday, February 16, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank has appointed Tanya Haas as vice president/wealth adviser.

Beginning her banking career in the Berkshires 26 years ago, 16 of those spent previously at Berkshire Bank, Haas has returned to the Wealth Management Team.
Haas will be responsible for client relationship management, trust administration and new business development, working to increase the Berkshire Bank Wealth Management portfolio. Before returning, Haas held a leadership role as an assistant vice president/client relationship manager for Alexandra Dest Capital Management. During her previous time at Berkshire Bank, she served as a Trust Officer, administering and retaining trust


Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 9 - Feb. 14
Staff Reports,
01:17PM / Friday, February 16, 2018
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, February 9.   Deidra Walker, 30, of Port Jervis, N.Y. pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.   She was ordered to serve two and a half to three years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham.    Walker was in possession of the drug when she was arrested in Pittsfield on March 26, 2017.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, February 13.   Jeremy Levernoch, 35, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime with intent to commit a felony, three counts of larceny


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