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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Police Testing Gunfire Detection System Wednesday Night
Staff Reports,
04:12PM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department will be testing out the new ShotSpotter technology Wednesday night.   The department sent out a notification and calls to residents to inform them about the live gunfire test. The city is contracting with ShotSpotter to install gunshot detection systems, which will send notifications to police cruisers the moment the microphones pick up the sound of gunfire.    "ShotSpotter uses a wide-area network of acoustic sensors to detect when a gun is fired and then precisely and quickly pinpoints the location of the gunfire. In less than a minute, officers and 911 dispatchers are notified of the fully qualified and validated gunfire


Get Your Lawn Mower Ready For Spring
Sponsored Content,
11:47AM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Every lawn tractor has a maintenance schedule on it with recommendations to keep it running well.

Spring has sprung, and with it comes grass - and lots of it.

So your yard is getting pretty thick and you decide it's time to finally drag the mower out of the shed to do some much-needed mowing. You get everything out of the way and have clear room to back your John Deere X350 lawn tractor out of your clutter and into the fresh spring air. You push your foot on the break and go to turn the engine over, and then: ver-ver-ver-ver. The starter tries to crank the engine into motion while your hand has the key pined to the right and the other on the choke.


You try one more time:


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

Thurston To Leave PEDA; Reorganization Talks Begin
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:30AM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A reorganization of economic development efforts is in the works.   The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation and the city of Pittsfield itself are in talks of creating a new structure. Each has its own role in economic development, but with each agency losing key people, it is time for them to reconsider all of the operations.   "We have limited resources and limited people to do economic development. This is the opportunity to talk with other people doing the same thing, including PERC and the leads that go to City Hall and the leads that show up at 1Berkshire. There are only so many resources and


Teach Your Children Well About Finances and Investing
11:04AM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017

High debt levels … lack of savings … the inability to budget – these problems all have several causes, but one of them is almost certainly financial illiteracy. Too many of us just never developed the money management skills necessary to cope with our complicated – and expensive – world. But if you have young children, you can teach them some money-smart lessons – and who knows? You could use the opportunity to give yourself a few valuable reminders, too.

Here are some suggestions for a financial "curriculum":

* Save for a goal. In our highly commercialized culture, it's almost inevitable that your children will eventually become


Berkshire United High School Rugby Seeks Players
09:22AM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Berkshire United High School Rugby Club is seeking new players for the 2017 season.   No experience is necessary. Berkshire United practices Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Osceola Park in Pittsfield.   Berkshire United has both high school girls and boys teams and needs 15 new players for the each team this spring.   Players must be in high school grades 9-12. Berkshire United High School Rugby Club has been comprised of players from Monument Mountain, Taconic, Pittsfield High, Mount Everett, Wahconah, Mount Greylock, Drury and Hoosac Valley.   Players from all Berkshire County schools are welcome.   Berkshire United


Pittsfield Approves Permit For Dalton Avenue Dunkin' Donuts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Joann Driscoll can almost hear the coffee orders in her sleep.   She lives on Harvard Street directly behind the current Dunkin' Donuts on Dalton Avenue. She can hear the speakers with employees asking for customers' orders and hear them order. At 4:30 in the morning, the trash collectors come to empty the Dumpster. The trash employees toss out doesn't always make it into the Dumpster, which has attracted rats and skunks.    "This is my home and they don't care. They go in and work a shift and are done. This is where I live," Driscoll said.   Soon she may be literally able to hear the coffee orders in her sleep. Cafua


Fake News Not New But Can Be Combatted: Panel
By Rebecca Dravis, iberkshires Staff
07:17PM / Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — This article is not fake news.

How do you know? Well, for one, it's appearing in a reputable publication. Two, there's a byline at the top of the story. Three, there are actual real people quoted within the story.

Those are just three ways media consumers can judge the veracity of something they see online, according to a panel of media and education professors. The panel participated in a forum on Monday evening called "Fact or Fabrication in Today's News," jointly sponsored by the North Adams Public Library and the Milne Public Library in Williamstown. 

State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi moderated the panel, which included Tammy Daniels,


Everett Murder Suspect Arrested In Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
05:17PM / Tuesday, March 28, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested on Tuesday the suspect in an Everett murder case.   Pittsfield Police say David Grossack, 47, was arrested in the city this afternoon. Grossack was listed as one of Massachusetts State Police's "most wanted" for allegedly killing and Everett artist.    Grossack will be arranged in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday. According to MassLive, Grossack was named the prime suspect in February for the murder of Francis Brescia, who was found dead in his apartment in February.   According to MassLive, Brescia was found after a landlord went to check on him. Authorities found the body severely


Dina Guiel To Seek Pittsfield's Ward 2 City Council Seat
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:19PM / Tuesday, March 28, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dina Guiel plans to run for City Council.   Guiel announced on Tuesday that she intends to seek the Ward 2 council seat currently held by Kevin Morandi, who has been in office since 2011. Morandi has not yet said whether or not he intends to seek re-election.   "I’m running because I love this city and I love Ward 2. I recognize that today’s decisions matter tomorrow and I know my skills can help make Pittsfield a better city," Guiel said in a statement released Tuesday.   Guiel has a bachelor's degree in sociology from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She moved to Pittsfield in 2008 and worked at Brix Wine Bar,


Pittsfield Looking to Restore Capitol Marquee
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The historic marquee that hangs out over North Street's south sidewalk will need to be completely rebuilt. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is looking at spending some $150,000 to restore the historic Capitol marquee outside of the senior center.    Barry Architects did an assessment of the structure and determined there are significant repairs needed. President John Barry submitted a cost estimate for the City Council's Building and Maintenance Subcommittee to review on Monday that calls for basically demolishing it and then rebuilding.    "It is in sad shape and needs extensive restoration," Barry wrote. "I would estimate the cost to

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Berkshire Money Management Pays For BCC Nursing Exams, Licensing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:16PM / Monday, March 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The times when Bill Schmick of Berkshire Money Management was in the hospital, it was BCC graduates who helped him.   For that he is grateful. So grateful that he's helping Berkshire Community College nursing students with their licensing and exam fees. Berkshire Money Management on Monday donated $7,740 to the 18 students currently enrolled in the college's nursing program. The money will pay for the exam and licensing costs for when the students graduate and enter the field.   "We're just happy to give back after all you've given me," said Schmick, who also write money columns that appear on iBerkshires.   One of those


Former Pittsfield Officer Sentenced for Stealing From Police Union
04:00PM / Monday, March 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Pittsfield Police officer sentenced on Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to stealing more than $200,000 the Pittsfield Patrol Police Union.

Jeffrey D. Coco, 44, former union president, will serve up to 20 months in the House of Correction.

Coco was fired in November 2015 after some two months on administrative leave after an internal affairs investigation uncovered numerous improprieties with the union's accounts and fundraisers.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny, ongoing and continuing offense, and a single count of identity theft in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday.

Judge John Agostini sentenced him to concurrent 20-month


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