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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Credit Freeze for Free
By Bill Schmick,
03:30PM / Thursday, September 27, 2018
It just got cheaper to freeze your credit files, thanks to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. But should you do it?   The law, signed by President Trump back in May, only took effect this month. It requires the three major credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Trans Union and Experian — to drop the fees to freeze your credit. Those fees ranged from $3 to $10 per person, times three credit bureaus, plus more charges to "thaw" your credit. Consumers can now also un-freeze their files, either temporarily or permanently, free of charge.   Thanks to a recent spate of credit breaches, Congress felt it needed to do something about the

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Pittsfield Fire Pins Nine Officers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:30PM / Thursday, September 27, 2018

 
Lt. Paul Zwingelstein has his son Brayden pin the new badge onto his uniform. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Last Saturday was a day of firsts that Mitch Kellar won't soon forget.   It was his first shift as a deputy fire chief, his first day serving as a captain, and the first time he'd had to deal with four fires all at the same time.   Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said Kellar handled it well though, with a cool and calm demeanor and a high level of professionalism.   Kellar isn't the only officer within the department with new roles.   Tom Sammons has been promoted to deputy chief; Ron Clement, Michael D'Avella, Matt Packard, and

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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

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Pittsfield Forms Homeless Prevention Committee
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:24PM / Wednesday, September 26, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Before attending Tuesday's City Council meeting Debbie Vall dropped someone off in a wooded area of the city with a tent.   It was all she could do for the homeless man. There weren't any shelters available, no temporary housing. And off he went, exposed to the rain that has been drenching the county for the last few days.    "What I am concerned about is immediate shelter," Vall, who is the assistant director at the Christian Center said.   In just the last two weeks, Vall said a family of five came into the center with no place to go. Four people reported that they were camping out at the Common. Two people were sleeping in

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Berkshires Beat: Children's Races Kick Off Fall Foliage Festival
12:41PM / Wednesday, September 26, 2018
The winners are ...

The annual Fall Foliage Children's Races and Family Fair, presented by Northern Berkshire United Way and the Adams Youth Center, kicked off the Fall Foliage Festival on Sept. 22, with local families coming to Houghton Street to enjoy a morning of fun with local nonprofits offering games, art projects, and giveaways.

Terry A La Berry & Friends delighted the crowd with popular children’s tunes before the 30 registered racers lined up for their races. The winners were presented with medals by Mayor Tom Bernard at the end of the event. All participants received participation ribbons. The 2018 annual Fall Foliage Children’s Race winners were:

3 &

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Mount Greylock Regional Teachers End Job Action
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:20PM / Wednesday, September 26, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Mount Greylock Regional School District and its teachers union have reached an accord to end the job action that has limited extracurricular activities at the district's three schools.

Mount Greylock Superintendent Kimberley Grady late Wednesday morning sent an email to the Mount Greylock community announcing that, while contract negotiations continue, the teachers have agreed to end the job action that has affected students at Mount Greylock, Lanesborough Elementary and Williamstown Elementary.

"We understand that the negotiation continues to reach a final contractual agreement, but we are thankful that the parties were able to find common ground to

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Understanding Risk Tolerance Is Essential for Investment Success
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:17AM / Wednesday, September 26, 2018

To succeed as an investor, you might think you need to know about the economy, interest rates and the fundamentals of companies in which you would like to invest. And all these things are indeed important. But it's most essential to know yourself. Specifically, you need to know how much risk you are willing to tolerate to achieve your goals.

Of course, you've lived with yourself your entire life, so you probably have a pretty good idea of your likes and dislikes and what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable. But investing can be a different story.

Initially, you may believe you have a high tolerance for risk, but if the financial markets drop sharply, and you see that

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Pittsfield Council Gets Into Weeds of False Alarm Ordinance
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:03AM / Wednesday, September 26, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council has opened up a can of worms when it comes to false alarms.    The Police Department had come to the council with a fairly straightforward request: require those with burglar alarms to register with the city annually. The department's records are out of date and officials wanted to find a way to keep up with those records.    Chief Information Officer Mike Steben had taken the project on and found that officers were responding to around 1,500 false-alarm calls per year — requiring two officers at a time. Often businesses had moved and taken alarm systems with them, and officers were responding to the wrong address.

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Ground Broken For Berkshire Innovation Center
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:30PM / Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Gov. Charlie Baker helped break ground on the $13.7 million project.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Shawna Axenroth and her daughter go hiking in the scenic Berkshire Hills and talk about the environment. They run science experiments in their kitchen.

And they are both looking to pursue scientific careers.

Axenroth is at Berkshire Community College and her daughter is just starting the first year of high school. They both want to live and work fruitful careers in the science field in their hometown.   But the way it has been going in the region, there hasn't been much reason to be optimistic about that prospect. The population has been declining, particularly with the younger

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Lanesborough Again Seeking Interest of Private Ambulance Service
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, September 25, 2018
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen are once again looking to privatize the ambulance service.   The town had sought to help the service by hiring an emergency medical technicians to work in the Highway Department, giving the town coverage during the day because the workers could leave to take ambulance calls. The town hired two and, for a while, it was working out well.   But, one of those — Nico Amuso — just took a job elsewhere and left the town's employment. There need to be two EMTs per call, so the one on staff hasn't been able to take any calls. The squad also lost another volunteer in recent months.   The Board of Selectmen have

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Methuselah's Liquor License Suspended Following Overcrowding
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:45PM / Monday, September 24, 2018

A team from the Hangar including the owner, the bartender on that night, the manager, and the restaurant's attorney gave their side of the story Monday afternoon. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Methuselah Bar and Lounge will be closed for the next five days after the Licensing Board issued a suspension Monday afternoon.   The board issued the suspension after the Police Department found about double the amount of people allowed by its occupancy permit inside the bar.    "This is the third overcrowding incident we've had with them on record, two with the Pittsfield Police Department and one with the ABCC," said Capt. Michael Grady.   The issue dates

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Berkshire YMCA Honoring Those 'Changing Lives After 55'
03:31PM / Monday, September 24, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Family YMCA's inaugural Changing Lives After 55 awards will celebrate and recognize community members over the age of 55 who have made significant contributions and achievements in Berkshire County.    The awards night, slated for Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Berkshire Hills in Pittsfield, will salute honorees in the areas of education, arts and culture, business, nonprofit, youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.   Tickets to the event are $35 and can be purchased at bfymca.org/changinglives55.   Those being honored are: C. Jeffrey Cook, a principal of the law firm Cohen Kinne Valicenti Cook

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Biz Briefs: Humane Society Opening Second Catwalk Boutique
02:24PM / Monday, September 24, 2018
Catwalk Times Two

Berkshire Humane Society will open a second location of Catwalk Boutique, its successful women's resale shop, in downtown Lenox this coming winter/spring. Dates are to be determined. The original Catwalk Boutique, located at 325 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington, opened in May 2014. The shop specializes in affordable women’s clothing with an emphasis on designer and upscale labels, current styles, and contemporary fashion. All clothing is like-new or very gently used. Shoppers can also purchase handbags, jewelry, shoes, and accessories such as scarves, hats, and gloves. All proceeds from the shop benefit Berkshire Humane Society.

"Our shop in Great

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