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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

SVMC Presents 'Taking the Scare Out of an Abnormal Mammogram'
01:41PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BENNINGTON, Vt. — If you're a woman over the age of 40, you may have been there: You get a call that your mammogram is abnormal, and you get scared. It's completely natural. The fear sometimes stops women from getting a mammogram in the first place or from coming back for the recommended diagnostic breast imaging.

What you need to know is that there is a long way between an abnormal mammogram and a breast cancer diagnosis. Information about the process of breast cancer screening, including what is happening behind the scenes, can help you cope with this unsettling news and move forward with confidence.

That's why clinicians from Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's

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Stay Away from Frightful Investment Moves
11:43AM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween is almost here. When you're passing out candy, you'll see many "scary" costumes that will probably just make you smile. But in real life, you can easily find some things that truly are frightening – such as bad investment moves.

Here are a few that you will want to avoid:

* Chasing after "hot" stocks: Many so-called "experts" – not to mention your friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers – are more than willing to provide you with "tips" on "hot" stocks. But by the time you hear about these stocks, they may already be cooling off – and, in any case, they may not have been appropriate for your

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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

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by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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PEDA Claiming $10K Loss in Nuclea Bankruptcy Filing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:54AM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — PEDA is looking to recoup some $10,000 in losses from Nuclea Biotechnologies Inc., which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy six week ago.   Nuclea had rented office space from the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority on Kellogg Street for a number of years. That lease agreement was until the end of October this year but, the company has vacated the space by the end of April.    PEDA Executive Director Corydon Thurston said on Wednesday that the company left without paying back rent or its share or utilities and contracted services such as janitorial work.    "The total indebtedness is a tad over $10,000," Thurston said.

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Pittsfield Buildings Need Significant Repair
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Director of Building Maintenance Dennis Guyer says the list of work needed in city-owned buildings seems endless.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The municipal buildings are in deplorable condition.   Director of Building Maintenance Dennis Guyer presented an overview of the current conditions of schools, fire stations, the senior center, City Hall, and the library, most of which have long lists of work needed but few funds to do it. He is calling for a comprehensive review of all city-owned buildings to determine a future for each.   "For the past 30 years, the city of Pittsfield has made the decision to deprioritize and underfunded its building maintenance

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DA, Doctor Advocate Against Legal Marijuana at United Way Forum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:23AM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016

District Attorney David Capeless opposes the question of legalization. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Jennifer Michaels says every patient she sees struggling with serious addiction began by smoking marijuana at a young age.   Michaels, the medical director at the Brien Center, joined District Attorney David Capeless on Tuesday in a forum at Berkshire Community College urging a no vote on the referendum to legalize marijuana, which will be on the ballot in November.   Michaels outlined her belief that the legalization will lead to more issues with addictions while Capeless said public safety would be put at risk with little authorities could do to mitigate

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Massachusetts Voters Can Vote Early; Registration Deadline Wednesday
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Tuesday, October 18, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — You won't have to wait until Nov. 8 to cast a ballot for president.

More than 1.2 million votes have already been cast in this election season across the country. Now, for the first time, Massachusetts voters will also be able to avoid the lines and vote early.

"We don't know what to expect," said City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau. "We're prepared as much as we can be."

Gov. Deval Patrick signed the 2014 law that expanded voting times to between 11 and two business days prior to Election Day, always the first Tuesday in November.

This year, towns and cities across Massachusetts are preparing for early voting to begin on Monday, Oct.

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Pittsfield Retailers Mistakenly Still Violating Polystyrene Ban
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:33AM / Tuesday, October 18, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Board of Health is discovering that many vendors may be inadvertently still using the banned polystyrene food containers.   The Green Commission was updated on the Styrofoam ban Monday night in which member Jim McGrath reported that many businesses have swapped out the white clamshell Styrofoam containers in the favor of clear plastic containers. However, those clear plastic containers are still polystyrene, which is banned.   "They all are made of essentially the same material," McGrath told the Green Committee. "Retailers made the switch to what they thought was a responsible, acceptable product."    The Green

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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Eyed For Pittsfield's Callahan Drive
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Tuesday, October 18, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Manna Wellness has received the site plan approval to move forward with permitting for a medical marijuana facility on Callahan Drive.   The company has been trying to open a dispensary in Pittsfield since voters passed the ballot question allowing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since 2013, the company has been trying to secure a permit to operate a facility and had eyed a site off of West Street in Pittsfield.   Now, the company has chosen a vacant lot to build the retail-only facility for medical marijuana patients on Callahan Drive, off of West Housatonic Street and next to the Dollar General and Ice River Springs.   "We have provisional

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BCC To Pilot Humanities Center Focused On Stories Of Immigration
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:59PM / Monday, October 17, 2016

David Tebaldi said Mass Humanities will be seeking an implementation from to implement the humanities centers at three community colleges in the state.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Juan Jose Carrion-Almeida immigrated to Berkshire County from Ecuador in 2009.

Five years later, he was Berkshire Community College's first Latino valedictorian.

Carrion-Almeida said while his story isn't nearly as difficult as others who immigrated to the United States, he has faced significant challenges. After a few years of being encouraged to go to college and educate himself, he put himself in a better position than he imagined.    "We have a different perspective of the world.

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Biz Briefs: Carr Hardware Opens New Store in Connecticut
01:57PM / Monday, October 17, 2016

Expanding again: Pittsfield-based Carr Hardware has opened a new 11,000-square-foot hardware store at 481 Enfield Street, Route 5, in Enfield, Conn. The Enfield location of Carr Hardware emerged from a partnership between Brightwood Hardware formally in Longmeadow, Mass., and Carr Hardware & Supply Co.

Partner Ken Cohn, formerly of Brightwood Hardware, said, "I'm excited to bring a complete hardware store to Enfield, Longmeadow, and the surrounding communities. We were able to keep our staff primarily intact and supplement them with some exceptional talent from our partners at Carr Hardware."
 
This new store was designed based on the Destination True Value model

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Berkshires Beat: Williams Seeks Home for Winter Blitz Weatherization
12:54PM / Monday, October 17, 2016

Ready for winter: Williams College's Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives is seeking homeowners in Northern Berkshire County, as well as Pownal, Vt., who would like their homes weatherized for the upcoming winter. The weatherization efforts will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12, during the college's ninth annual Winter Blitz day. Homeowners who are seeking to lower their energy costs and who cannot weatherize themselves are encouraged to participate.

During Winter Blitz, teams of students go out and prepare homes for winter weather by installing storm windows, door sweeps and energy-efficient light bulbs. Trained student leaders lead teams and all materials are paid for by

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McCandless: Test Scores Show Cultural Proficiency Taking Hold
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:20AM / Monday, October 17, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On the surface, standardized testing scores for the Pittsfield School District distinguishes the system as Level 3 in the state's rankings.   But Superintendent Jason McCandless says looking deeper into the numbers, the scores show progress in the areas the district has focused on. The district revamped its English curriculum in the elementary school to a unified one and this year expanded it to the middle school level, is piloting math curriculum this year to do the same.   But maybe even more importantly for McCandless, the district's recent focus on cultural proficiency is paying dividends with those "subgroups" of

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