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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Two Area Residents Being Charged in Alleged Fraud Ring
By Tammy Daniels,
06:13PM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

District Attorney Andrea Harrington announces the arrest of two people in a multistate fraud ring.

Law enforcement in Albany, N.Y., arrested Parth "Peter" Chaudhari, 23, of Adams on Wednesday afternoon without incident. Albany officials are holding Chaudhari without the right to bail on a charge of fugitive from justice, based on a warrant issued in Massachusetts for charges associated with a fraud investigation.

The State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District attorney's office and the Adams Police Department filed for an arrest warrant for Chaudhari on Wednesday.   He is alleged to be involved in a fraud ring with Ajaykumar Chaudhari and

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COVID-19 Testing Available for Anyone Who Was at Large Gathering
04:38PM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
BOSTON — Anyone who's been at a large gathering in recent weeks can be tested free for COVID-19.   The governor's office made the announcement on Monday that 50 pop-up sites would be offering the confidential tests on Wednesday and Thursday, July 17 and 18.    "Obviously, there's been a significant increase in the number of people participating in demonstrations across Massachusetts and around the country," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "Thousands of people have been congregating in large groups over the past several weeks to exercise their First Amendment rights in the wake of the George Floyd murder.   "These gatherings are coinciding

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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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Pittsfield Council Trims Police Budget, Puts Money Toward Mental Health
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:52PM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Monday night cut $100,000 out of the Police Department budget and earmarked $85,000 for additional mental health clinicians.    The action comes after a stalled vote on the school budget last week and council and community concerns over putting more money into police spending while anticipating significant cuts to education that could cost 140 positions.    This fourth in a series of budget hearings saw the council preliminary approve the emergency services budget and, after 4 1/2 hours of discussion, narrowly approve a reduced Police Department budget of $11,324,229 with a 6-5 vote.   Councilors Helen Moon, Patrick

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Berkshires Beat: First Day School Students Donate Funds to SVHC
10:38AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
SVHC donation

In mid-May, the Southwestern Vermont Health Care Foundation received a letter and donation from the First Day School of the Bennington Friends Meeting, a local group of the Religious Society of Friends, known more commonly as Quakers. The letter was written by 11-year-old Thea Newbold of North Bennington. She wrote on behalf of the other children of The First Day School, the Quaker equivalent of Sunday school, according to Amy Newbold, Thea’s mother.

In the letter, Thea explained that the adults had provided the children with funds to give to the charity or charities of their choice and that the children had chosen to send a third of the funds to the hospital. "We

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Big Y Appoints New CFO
09:58AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The board of directors of Big Y Foods has appointed Theresa A. Jasmin as CFO following the recent retirement of William T. Mahoney. 

Jasmin is responsible for the company's strategic planning, finance, accounting, treasury and tax functions. As a senior member of the executive team, she reports to Charles L. D'Amour, president and CEO, along with Big Y's board of directors. And, she represents the first woman to be appointed to the c-suite for the company.

Jasmin has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry. She began her career at Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, where she held senior management positions in both Treasury and

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Can You Invest for Retirement and Education?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:42AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Typically, this time of year is filled with graduation ceremonies and celebrations. But with the coronavirus pandemic, not much has been typical lately. Eventually, though, things will return to normal and schools will reopen for in-person learning. 

And if you have young children, you may want to save for their higher education, whether that be college or trade school. At the same time, though, you're moving ever closer to retirement. Can you save for your kids' education and a comfortable retirement for yourself at the same time?

It is indeed possible, although you may need to prioritize somewhat. Specifically, you may not want to put off saving for retirement in favor of

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Summer Jazz Camp & Music Academy Open for Enrollment
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, June 16, 2020
ADAMS, Mass. — The annual Berkshires Summer Jazz Camp plans to open this August with the inaugural semester a new music academy following in September.   Applications for the jazz camp are now being accepted and Richard Boulger, executive director and co-founder of the Berkshires Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, or BAAMS, said he and his colleagues are excited to be able to offer the free camp for the third year.   "My musical philosophy is that your musical instrument is an amplifier of what you are hearing, thinking, and feeling," Boulger said. "As one develops this approach to playing and composing music, one's own life experiences are

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North Adams, Pittsfield Educators Rally for School Funding
By Tammy Daniels & Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
08:48PM / Monday, June 15, 2020

North Adams is preparing for budget cuts of 10 to 15 percent, with the worst-case scenario closing a school.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Educators and supporters in the county's two cities rallied on Monday for more educational funding even as school officials prepare for budget scenarios that could cost dozens of teaching positions and school closures.    "We want our students and our families to know that we are supporting them. And we're doing this for them," said Lisa Tanner, a math and science teacher at Colegrove Park Elementary School. "We want our state and federal legislators to know that we can't do our job if they don't do their

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Mount Greylock Forum Opens Conversation on Racial Equity
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:33AM / Monday, June 15, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Difficult conversations about race across racial lines are important.   But so are conversations that are not about race.   Pittsfield author and motivational speaker Ty Allan Jackson made that point last week during a virtual community conversation hosted by the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   "I think there has to continuously be consistency of having people of color coming in [to the schools] to talk -- and not just solely about diverse issues," Jackson said. "I think a big problem we have in a lot of our communities is that there isn't a lot of representation of people of color in the first place. I think we need

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North Berkshire Towns to See Hike in Solid Waste Rates
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Staff
04:06AM / Monday, June 15, 2020

The solid waste district board held its meeting last week outside the Adams Visitors Center to comply with needed social distancing.  ADAMS, Mass. — Members of the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District are expected to see increases in their waste removal rates as the district negotiates a five-year contract with Casella Waste Management that includes prevailing wage.    The previous contract was for 10 years with Republic and was viewed by waste district Coordinator Linda Cernik as very town friendly.   "The contract was set with Republic but then Casella purchased [them]. That contract had been set for 10 years. I say it was like a gift,

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Pittsfield Chief, Citizens Make Commitment to Social Change
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:24PM / Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Rev. Sloan Letman IV describes the efforts for systemic change as part marathon, part marriage: both require years of commitment and mutual support. See more photos here. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When asked if Pittsfield Police were committed to the process of engaging in the hard work of building an equitable society, the simple answer of Police Chief Michael Wynn is "yes."   His response capped a rally and procession on Sunday afternoon, "Together We Breathe," organized by Berkshire Interfaith Organizing to honor Black Lives Matter, from City Hall to Durant Park where the procession also answered in the affirmative to be a partner with police in

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Lenox Memorial Graduates Emerging Into a New World
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:44PM / Sunday, June 14, 2020

Valedictorian Nora Mathews says the class of 2020 will have the opportunity to better the world. See more photos here. LENOX, Mass. — Lenox Memorial High's graduation on a sunny Sunday was more like an evening at the drive-in.    The class of 2020 and their families gathered one final time in the school's parking lot for a graduation ceremony that was certainly memorable.    "Boy, after looking at his empty parking lot for three months I think it is outstanding to see parents, grandparents, family, friends, and the Lenox community sharing this beautiful day," Principal Michael Knybel said. "We are very lucky."   The ceremony

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