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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Trump's War on Drug (Prices)
By Bill Schmick,
04:19PM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump called on Congress to do something about the escalating drug prices in America. The president is doggedly pursuing this campaign promise in the face of an army of special interest groups and big drug companies. Hurrah for you, Mr. President.   In his State of the Union address he said:   He wants our legislators to "deliver fairness and price transparency for American patients. We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring down costs."   Given that drug pricing is a complicated area and there have been various proposals and

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Bomb Threat Forces Evacuation Of Spectrum Health In Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever,
11:08AM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A bomb threat forced the evacuation of Spectrum Health on Merrill Road Thursday morning.   Police say an individual called the facility at 10:10 a.m. saying there was a bomb in the building was would explode 10 minutes later.   Police, fire, and paramedics responded and performed a search of the building.   "We received a call for a bomb threat at this establishment today. Upon arrival staff already had everybody evacuated from the building. At that time, staff, Pittsfield Police Department, and the Pittsfield Fire Department did a thorough search of the premise and did not locate any device," Lt. Thomas Dawley

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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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Activists Press Neal to Support Green New Deal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:25AM / Thursday, February 14, 2019

Mount Greylock students, from left, Maddy Art, Catherine McPartland and Karen Magnusdottir McComish spoke with a member of Rep. Richard Neal's staff. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two dozen protesters Wednesday demonstrated outside the Pittsfield office of U.S. Rep. Richard Neal to encourage him to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal.   Three of the activists — all students at Mount Greylock Regional School in Williamstown — went inside to make their case to a member of Neal's staff.   "A 2013 report predicts that by 2100, the climate here will be like that in South Carolina," junior Maddy Art said. "And also, my grandpa works in

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Pittsfield Schools to End 'Welcoming Day' For Grades 6 & 9
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:03AM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The long-standing tradition of "welcome days" is coming to an end in the schools after the state cited the district for not providing enough class time for students.   The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education performed a coordinated program review last year and found that the practice of bringing incoming sixth-graders and ninth-graders in a day earlier to get acclimated to their new schools meant that the other students were falling short of the required 180 days of learning.    "This is indeed a violation of our student's civil rights," Superintendent Jason McCandless said of the citation.   The

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Berkshire Athenaeum Unveils Mural Inspired by Ty Allan Jackson Book
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:06PM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Library Director Alex Reczkowski approached Ty Allan Jackson with the idea about a year ago. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Athenaeum Director Alex Reczkowski has found a fitting way to make the library more fun and welcoming to children.    The library unveiled on Monday a massive mural inspired by local author Ty Allan Jackson's book "When I Close My Eyes." Jackson is a nationally recognized author and founder of Big Head Books.    "This space in particular for our children is in need of refresh, excitement, and enthusiasm and who better to deliver that than our friend Ty Allan Jackson, who is a legendary Pittsfielder, the biggest

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SVMC Offers New Heart Health Screening
12:55PM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BENNINGTON, Vt. — A new heart health screening will soon be available to local patients at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center that will allow people to see their risk of a heart-related health event before symptoms arise.

Cardiac Calcium Scoring uses a computed tomography (CT) scan and specialized software to allow doctors to detect calcium in the coronary artery. A score of zero on the test indicates low risk, and increasing levels indicate increasing risk of a heart attack and stroke.

In the past, doctors would use a patient's risk factors — like family history, if they have high blood pressure or diabetes, and whether they smoke, for instance — to determine

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Your Financial Advisor Can Do Some 'Life Coaching'
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:55AM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Life coaches – not surprisingly – strive to improve the quality of life of their clients. And financial professionals essentially embrace the same mission. So, if you decide to hire a financial advisor, you should expect to receive some "coaching" as you work toward all your important objectives, such as sending your kids to college, enjoying a comfortable retirement and leaving a legacy that can benefit the next generation.

What tips from life coaches might you also get from your financial advisor? Here are a few:

* Create a plan. A life coach can help you create a plan for your future, taking into account your career aspirations, relationships, hobbies, charitable

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New Committee Looks to Assist Victims of House Fires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Stacy Parsons is looking for volunteers to help victims rebuild their lives. The committee rolled out the details of the group at a public meeting on Tuesday but the snowy weather limited attendance. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In April 2012, Rabbi David Weiner of Knesset Israel watched in horror as his home burned, as firefighters broke window after window, and as a neighbor wrapped him in a coat.   It was a kitchen fire in his Wendell Street home. He remembers having to borrow socks from a friend the next day because he had lost everything.    "My house was inside out. Whatever was left of our belongings was smoldering in the back yard or being washed in the drive.

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Berkshire Occupational Health Merging with BHS Urgent Care
07:59PM / Tuesday, February 12, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced that Berkshire Occupational Health will merge with BHS Urgent Care and will relocate to the Urgent Care location at 505 East Street, St. Luke’s Square, Pittsfield. The relocation will take place on Monday, Feb. 25.

"This move will allow Berkshire Occupational Health to provide local businesses and their employees with enhanced services and added convenience," said Dr. Brian Quinn, medical director of both Berkshire Occupational Health and BHS Urgent Care. "By combining Berkshire Occupational Health with Berkshire Health Urgent Care, our clinical offerings will be more expansive, and in the event employees

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Former Pittsfield Cub to Appear at Baseball Museum
Community submission,
07:00AM / Tuesday, February 12, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- Former Pittsfield Cub star Bryan House will be “Talkin’ Baseball” at the Baseball in the Berkshires museum at the Berkshire Mall on Saturday, Feb. 16.   The former pro will meet and greet attendees and sign autographs free of charge as part of the museum’s Talkin’ Baseball program.   Attendees also will be able to have their picture taken with House, who will appear from 3 to 4 p.m.   The museum is located in the Berkshire Mall.

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Lanesborough Looks to Temporarily Close Police Station
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, February 12, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The condition of the police station is forcing the town to find temporary accommodations for its police force.    The town's insurance company issued a report recommending the current station be vacated by employees because of the condition of the building. Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association inspected the building in October and cited a number of concerns and ruled that the building is unsafe.   "Renovation cease-and-desist until proof of all licenses and permits are produced and the project, the plans and the building are inspected by a third-party building inspector, DLS inspector and health inspector," the report

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Three Students Receive VFW Scholarships
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:26AM / Tuesday, February 12, 2019

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier with VFW Commander Arnold Perras and scholarship winners Hannah Berkel, left, Kailey Sultaire and Kathrine Wilson. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 448 recognized three Berkshire County high school students who composed essays on the importance of voting.   Dozens attended the award ceremony Monday held at the American Legion building banquet hall where a combined $2,950 in scholarships were given out to Hannah Berkel, Kailey Sultaire, and Kathrine Wilson.   "We are very proud of you and we placed high-qualifying standards on the recipients of these awards because we believe the winners will have high visibility in

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