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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Police Investigating Attempted Robbery On Francis Ave
Staff Reports,
05:27PM / Friday, March 18, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are seeking information on an attempted robbery of a Francis Avenue store.   Police say on Thursday at 4:38 p.m. dispatched received a call reporting the attempted unarmed robbery from Thing or 2 Variety at 228 Francis Avenue. The clerk said a white male in his mid to late 20s, standing about 5-feet 9-inches tall, with brown hair, scruffy face, and wearing a green hooded sweatshirt attempted to grab cash from the open register. The clerk was completing a sale and the man allegedly pushed the clerk in an attempt to take money.   No cash was taken and the clerk was not injured. Police are now investigating the crime and are asking for anyone with


Berkshire Planners Object to Transportation, Development Cuts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:23PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is taking aim at Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed fiscal 2017 budget.

The commission on Thursday approved sending a letter to state lawmakers outlining its opposition to cuts that will affect transportation and development issues in the region. Executive Director Nathaniel Karns took aim at four areas of the budget: public transportation, environmental protection, brownfields funding, and money for economic development organizations.

The governor has proposed cuts to public transportation outside of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority to the tune of $2 million, Karns said, which could even further hinder the


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

'The Brothers Grimsby': Fraternally Filthy
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:02PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

I don't quite know yet if I've been scarred for life by Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Brothers Grimsby," an audacious exercise in bad taste that goes over the top and, like a playground swing gone wild, loops around a few times. It'd be easy to simply say it's tasteless, vulgar garbage that would push the envelope of even the most broadminded viewers and end the review right here.

But then that would only be 68 words and they pay me the big bucks to deliver 830, give or take a bon mot. Besides, I laughed here and there and it may be therapeutic to analyze why.

Telling the tale of Nobby Butcher (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Sebastian Graves (Mark Strong), brothers


The Independent Investor: Why Free Trade Has a Bad Rep
By Bill Schmick,
03:40PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

The Establishment — Economists, politicians of both parties, Wall Street and Corporate America — are horrified. One of the linchpins of capitalism has suddenly come under attack. The growing anger over free trade is threatening more than 30 years of trade deals with the rest of the world. It was a disaster waiting to happen and we have only ourselves to blame.

Theoretically, free trade benefits everyone. These benefits include comparative advantage, which allows companies that can produce certain goods and services cheaply and efficiently. This will provide consumers with lower priced goods, increase exports globally, allow economies of scale among industries and nations and


Pittsfield Softball Holds Sign-ups, Tryouts
03:12PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD – Pittsfield Girls Softball has some important dates coming up.

Thursday, March 17 – Online registration will end for the Rookie (10U, DOB 2005-2007) and Minor (12U, DOB 2003-2004) divisions.


Online registration will be open for the instructional division (date of birth 2008-11) and the Major Division (DOB 1997-2002) lasts until April 15. You can register online at

On Saturday, March 19, the league will hold house league evaluation at Miss Hall’s School. This is for Rookie and Minor divisions. Only players that are new to the league, or those players moving up to a new division need to attend. Registrations will


PHS Orchestra Performs in New York City
02:20PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield High School Chamber Orchestra made Pittsfield proud on Friday, March 4,  performing at Lincoln Center in New York City.

The orchestra participated in the The National Orchestra Cup, finishing as first runner up and winning a trophy for Most Original Song Choice for Frank Bridge’s "Three Idylls" arrangement for string orchestra by Lukas Drew.
The experience also included a dinner cruise on the Hudson as well as a Broadway show ("Fiddler on the Roof").



Maple Grove Civic Club Holding State Senator Candidate Forum
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:18PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

ADAMS, Mass. — The Maple Grove Civic Club will host a "meet the candidates" forum this weekend at the PNA on Victory Street.

State Senate candidates Andrea Harrington of Richmond and Adams Hinds of Pittsfield are expected to attend the civic club on Sunday, March 20, at 3 p.m.

Both candidates are campaigning for the Democratic nomination to replace current state Sen. Benjamin Downing, who will be leaving his seat at the end of his term. They are the only candidate for the seat so far and will face off in a primary in September.

The Senate seat represents the First District of 52 communities in Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin counties.

Harrington, a Pittsfield native,


Register now for Y’s American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Pre-Course Swim Test
02:16PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Family YMCA announces open registrations for its American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Class.

A free required Pre-Course Swim Test will be held on March 30 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Pittsfield Branch and April 11 from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Northern Berkshire Branch.

Participants will learn lifeguarding skills with the waterfront module, how to perform CPR on an adult, child and infant, how to use an AED, and necessary first-aid skills. Upon successful course completion, participants will be certified in American Red Cross Lifeguarding and Waterfront Module, American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Lifeguard, and American Red Cross Basic First


Superior Court Briefs: March 15 - March 17
Staff Reports,
01:50PM / Friday, March 18, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 15.   Carlton Harley Jr., 44, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.   He was ordered to serve 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction. He will begin the sentence on March 25.    The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on April 25, 2015. Single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a family member, and illegal possession of a firearm were dismissed by the state.   Jeffrey Hall, 27, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of


Family Support Highlighted at 16th Berkshire Legislative Breakfast
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:41PM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In front of a room filled with people who understood only too well, Jean Simmons shared the very personal story of raising her son, now 27, who was born with a condition that causes excess fluid to build up in the brain.

"He requires 24-7 care and supervision, and he lives at home with myself and his dad," Simmons said. "When Matthew was born, we were told he would never walk or talk or have any quality of life.

"Boy, were they wrong."

Today, Matthew talks morning, noon and night — and sometimes beyond, Simmons said to a chuckling audience at the 16th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast, a presentation of Berkshire County Arc


Cultural Pittsfield This Week: March 18-24
01:34PM / Friday, March 18, 2016
Office of Cultural Development | City of Pittsfield    

Friday: "Tulips" at The Dirty


BRPC Supports Efforts to Designate 'Bicycle Route 7' Through Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:46AM / Friday, March 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Long-distance cyclists may soon be directed to bike through the Berkshires.

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials are developing a massive highway system designation throughout the country for long-distance bicyclists to map out routes. What is eyed as US Bicycle Route 7 would connect Connecticut with Vermont through the Berkshires.

"It's connecting regions and states much like the highway system," said Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Planner Emily Lindsey.

BRPC is supportive of the agreement but the effort to get the designation will need the backing of the eight Berkshire communities whose local roads


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