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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Kindergarten Registration Dates Scheduled Around County
11:29AM / Friday, February 17, 2017

Schools across Berkshire County are holding registration days for next year's kindergartners. Schools can submit their information to be added to this list to

* Adams: C.T. Plunkett Elementary School will hold kindergartden registration on Friday, March 10, from 8:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the office at C.T. Plunkett Elementary School, 14 Commercial St. Adams.  

Incoming children must be5 years old by Aug. 31.  Parents registering their children must bring their child’s birth certificate, immunization records and proof of residence. Call the office at 413-743-0876 with any questions.

* Williamstown: Williamstown Elementary School will hold


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb. 17-23
10:46AM / Friday, February 17, 2017

  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       February 17 - February 23,


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

Berkshire Delegation Gets Committee Assignments
Staff Reports, iBerkshires Staff
01:22AM / Friday, February 17, 2017
BOSTON — State House leaders have released committee assignments for this session, with the Berkshire delegation picking up two chairmanships in the House and one in the Senate.   Newly elected State Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, was named Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, as well as Senate vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.    He is also a member of the Joint Committees on Higher Education; Housing; Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery; Municipalities and Regional Government; and Intergovernmental Affairs. Hinds is also the Senate co-chair of the Rural Caucus


Polito Announces South County Bridge Funding, Tours Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
08:11PM / Thursday, February 16, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito toured the downtown Thursday afternoon before announcing grant funding for two southwestern Massachusetts bridges.   Polito had spent the morning signing a Community Compact agreement with Lanesborough and Windsor. She later joined Mayor Linda Tyer for a brief private meeting at City Hall. She left the offices and proceeded to the Onota Building with the mayor, City Council President Peter Marchetti 1Berkshire CEO Jonathan Butler, Downtown Pittsfield Inc. President Jesse Cook-Dubin, and Alfred "A.J" Enchill Jr. from state Sen. Adam Hinds' office.   At the Onota building, she met with Louis Allegrone, of Allegrone


Downtown Pittsfield Gives Council Annual Report
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:25PM / Thursday, February 16, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dropping the speed limit on North Street to 25 mph may not seem like a big deal on its own. But, that is just one of many initiatives Downtown Pittsfield Inc. has taken on to improve the downtown.   The speed reduction was approved by the City Council on Tuesday night in an effort to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety. But Tuesday was also the same night Downtown Pittsfield Inc. provided an annual report, outlining its initiatives.   "The biggest priority in that plan was to do everything we could for public safety," said DPI President Jesse Cook-Dubin of a strategic planning process the non-profit undertook a few years


Pittsfield Police Officer Cleared in Shooting
02:58PM / Thursday, February 16, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield Police officer who discharged his weapon in the course of his duties, injuring the suspect in a motor vehicle pursuit, has been cleared of any charges.

An investigation led by state police Sgt. Edward Culver, a member of the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office, concluded that no criminal charges are warranted against Officer Martin Streit.

Streit fired three shots from his service weapon after Mark A. Marauszwski, 55, drove his vehicle at the officer, according to police.

A release from Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless' office state that on the morning of Jan. 25, Streit and other


Polito Signs Community Compacts With Lanesborough, Windsor
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:38PM / Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito shakes Windsor Selectman Doug McNally's hand. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — It is difficult for small towns to bring in special expertise so the state is stepping in to help.    Lanesborough wants to focus more on economic development and that long-range planning is significantly helped along by a professional economic development planner.   In Windsor, town officials want to secure long-term financial stability but don't have the professional expertise and time to craft a careful strategy.   Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Thursday joined officials both towns to sign Community Compact agreements that will bring in consultants to help those


Pittsfield's Paintbox Public Art Program Returns
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Thursday, February 16, 2017

Before and after photos of the box at Union and North.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Last year, the seemingly ordinary utility boxes throughout the downtown were transformed into colorful and vibrant pieces of art.

Now, it is time to do some more.

The Artscape Committee announced the return of the paintbox program, which is an art competition with eight winners decorating the utility boxes on North Street. The project takes the boring, gray utility boxes and turns them into public art.   "We were so overwhelmed by the support of the community from last year's paintbox project. We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions we had and the quality of those submissions.


Pittsfield Adds Eight Firefighters
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:03PM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The day was cause for celebration and the families of the new firefighters gathered around to take photos in the hallway of City Hall following the appointments. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Fire Department is now fully staffed with the help of a $1.1 million federal grant.   The City Council on Tuesday confirmed the appointments of nine new firefighters — eight of them additions thanks to the grant and one replacement for a retiring captain.    The hiring gives the department the full complement of about 96 firefighters and was only possible because of a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant to the tune of $1,112,864.    "It is a

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Pittsfield Schools Decreasing Number of Suspensions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:09PM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department is taking a fresh look at discipline and so far that has led to 155 fewer days of out-of-school suspension.   Superintendent Jason McCandless presented the numbers to the School Committee last Wednesday. With a bolstering of the number of school adjustment councilors and registered behavior technicians, the district has been implementing new practices to improve behavior — that includes the creation of a restorative justice program but also rethinking the way principals handle discipline.   "As we continue to make attendance a real focus on what we do, knowing that nothing good that we are doing can work if a student


Drive-Through Doughnut Shop Eyed For Pittsfield's Dalton Avenue
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:33AM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017

City Planner CJ Hoss said he was concerned with traffic flow on Harvard Street and Dalton Avenue.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A presumed Dunkin' Donuts is now eyeing the Royal Cleaners property on Dalton Avenue for a drive-through eatery.

But, the City Council has ordered the company to pay for a third party to review the proposal for stormwater and traffic issues.

JFJ Holding LLC. filed a proposal for the fast-food drive-through at 68 Dalton Ave. and 19 and 23 Harvard St. to make way for a "donut shop."   The plan would be to tear down the existing Royal Cleaners and two single-family homes on Harvard Street to construct the 2,100 square-foot takeout with a


Pittsfield Refugee Resettlement Uncertain After Federal Changes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A large crowd attended the meeting Monday night at Herberg Middle School. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — President Donald Trump's push to halt refugee resettlement leaves a question mark about the future of such a program in Pittsfield.   Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts is still planning to bring 50 refugees, likely from Syria, to the city this year.   But there is no timeline on when that will happen and a severe reduction in the number of refugees being taken in by the United States could mean none move to the city.    "I'm very optimistic that Pittsfield will become a refugee resettlement community. When they will be here, we don't


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