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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield's Streetscape Project Begins Final Phase Monday
04:36PM / Wednesday, March 09, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Phase 4 of the streetscape construction on North Street is set to begin between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Monday, March 14.

The work will begin at Columbus Avenue and continue north on the west side to Madison Avenue. It will first start with the removal of small, isolated sections of sidewalk to prepare the area for the installation of the 46 light pole bases, which are 6-foot tall and span a width of 3-foot by 3-foot at the base.  

J.H. Maxymillian Inc. is the contractor for Phase 4, and previously constructed Streetscape Phases 2 and 3.

Phase 4 will include the installation of new streetlight bases, new sidewalks, and new landscaping. The project, which is


Lanesborough Police Awarded Grant For New Defibrillators
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25PM / Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Spirit of Blue Foundation Executive Director Ryan Smith said 17 departments were awarded grants because of Dunkin' Donut's $100,000 donation.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police Sgt. Brad Lepicier has responded to calls to find someone in dire need of medical attention.

He's rushed out to his cruiser to grab an automated external defibrillator and saved a life while he waited for paramedics.

"The Police Department are on the scene first. With us getting there first, it is a plus to have those AEDs," Lepicier, also an emergency medical technician, said on Wednesday when the nonprofit Spirit of Blue Foundation donated two brand-new AEDs systems.   Spirit of


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

Women May Need Extra Steps on the Road to Financial Security
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07AM / Wednesday, March 09, 2016

International Women’s Day is observed on March 8. Around the world, thousands of events will honor women’s achievements. Yet, women still face challenges in many areas of life – such as their financial situations. So if you’re a woman, you may want to use this occasion to consider steps you can take to help move toward your important financial goals, such as a comfortable retirement.

First of all, be aware of the potential obstacles facing women: lower earnings than men, longer lifespans than men and more time out of the workforce than men. This last element is particularly important, because when women leave the workforce for extended periods, typically to care


Pittsfield OKs Borrowing $2M for Woodlawn Intersection Projects
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:22AM / Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The City Council unanimously approves the borrowing, which is contingent
on a million-dollar grant. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer is "confident" the city will win a grant to improve the intersections on each side of Woodlawn Avenue.   The City Council approved an authorization to borrow just more than $2 million to renovate the avenue's intersections at East and and Tyler streets.   The project is contingent on the city winning a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Agency for half of the cost.   "The total project cost is $2 million," Tyer said.   "Our cost share in the end will be approximately $1


Harrington Kicks Off State Senate Campaign
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:50PM / Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Harrington says her experience as small-business owner and attorney can help her advocate for the district.

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Andrea Harrington says she goes to work every day fighting for those struggling with substance abuse or mental health.

She runs a small business and knows what it takes for a local family to make a living.

And now, she's looking to take those experiences to Beacon Hill as the Berkshire's state senator.

"It is something I've thought about for a long time. I was really focused on my practice but when Sen. [Benjamin] Downing announced that he would not be seeking another term, immediately I knew I wanted to pursue this


Program Aims to Make Berkshires 'Age-Friendly'
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:06AM / Tuesday, March 08, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Between 40 percent and 50 percent of the population in most towns in Berkshire County is older than the age of 50.

And if 50 is the new 30, and middle age is now considered 60, then half of the population has a lot of living left to do.

That's why the Berkshires have joined an effort to be an "Age-Friendly Community," defined as "a way to help older adults remain healthy, active and engaged in their community as long as possible." Internationally, the World Health Organization defines and supports age-friendly communities, while in the United States the AARP fills that role.

Locally, the Berkshires have Celeste Harp, an energetic and


Miss Hall’s School Announces Head’s List, Honor Roll
02:26PM / Monday, March 07, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall’s School has announced 38 local students among the 114 girls schoolwide named to the Head’s List and Honor Roll for the first semester, which ended Jan. 27.

For Head’s List recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 92, with no single grade below B-plus.

For Honor Roll recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 86, with no single grade below B-minus.


Grade 12: Amelia Biancolo, of Richmond; Rachel Campoli, Dalton; Emily Pulver, Canaan, N.Y., and Sarah Willson,


Early Morning Fire Damages Merriam Street Residence
12:16PM / Monday, March 07, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A second floor porch of a Merriam Street home sustained extensive damage in an early morning fire on Monday.

The Pittsfield Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 75 Merriam St. at 3 a.m. Monday. Upon arrival, firefighters reported fire showing on the front porch of the second floor apartment but were quickly able to knock it down.

Minor damage was found on the inside of the second floor apartment and the building sustained minor water and smoke damage.

There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is undetermined.



Clear Vision Sought for Pittsfield Conservation Lands
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Correspondent
01:39AM / Monday, March 07, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local conservation officials may have to make some tough choices in the future to preserve some of the most pristine wetlands and critical ecologies on public lands, according to emerging findings from a study being conducted of four city conservation properties.   Striking a balance between the conservation priorities that distinguishes these from city parks, and the park-like forms of recreation that often take place at them, was a key recurring theme as student consultants from the Conway School of Landscape and Design presented some initial conclusions from their three-month planning study.     "What we're really trying to do is develop

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Drury Grad Trumpeter & 'SNL' Saxophonist Return to Berkshires
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
11:47AM / Sunday, March 06, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Berkshires trumpeter Richard Boulger and "Saturday Night Live" saxophonist Alex Foster will return to the Berkshires to provide free instrumental band clinics in Pittsfield schools.

This week Foster, musical director of the Mingus Big Band, and saxophonist in the "SNL" house band will join Boulger, a North Adams native, recording artist, and protegé of the late Freddie Hubbard and Donald Byrd, will make their way from New York City to run another series of free clinics.

Stearns Elementary, Reid and Herberg middle schools, and Pittsfield and Taconic high schools band students, as well as those from Wahconah Regional in Dalton, will be


@theMarket: Markets Need a Break
By Bill Schmick,
09:20AM / Saturday, March 05, 2016

The stock market has climbed 10 percent in the last three weeks from its February lows. That is a substantial gain, over a year's worth of historical performance for the S&P 500 index. And as such, it's time for a break.

That doesn't mean a sell-off will happen, but it never hurts to prepare one's mind set for a bout of profit-taking. The worst that can happen is that I'm wrong. If it doesn't occur, you can remain relieved (and possibly pleasantly surprised) that your portfolio is recovering the losses it incurred over the first two months of the year.

About the only investors that would be disgruntled by this turn of events, would be those who disregarded my


Chamber Sees Increased Number of Employers at Annual Career Fair
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:47PM / Friday, March 04, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is hoping to connect those seeking jobs with employers seeking workers.   One tool is the annual career fair, which on Thursday saw an increased number of employers than in recent years.   "It's larger than we've had in the last three years," June Roy-Martin, vice president of member services for the chamber, said. "We are hoping with some of the layoffs and closures we can match the employees with employers."   The chamber has been holding the job fair for a number of years at the Berkshire Hills Country Club. This year, Roy-Martin said there are 52 employers looking for workers with an

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