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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Superior Court Briefs: May 3 - May 11
Staff Reports,
02:31PM / Friday, May 13, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, May 3.   Joseph Wiggins Jr., 39, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and armed career felon.   He was ordered to serve four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the armed career felony change and given concurrent two-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other charge. His sentence will begin on June 2, 2016.   The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on his home in Pittsfield on May 8, 2015.   James Swift, 55, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: May 13-19
12:37PM / Friday, May 13, 2016

  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       May 13 - May 19,

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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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Downing Honored During Brien Center's UNICO Dinner
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:33AM / Friday, May 13, 2016

Maria Congelosi shared her story of how the Brien Center saved her life. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Maria Congelosi was feeling so low that she tried to kill herself.   Congelosi is a Romanian native who came to the Berkshires because she was adopted. By the age of 9 or 10, she started getting into physical altercations with her adoptive mother. Throughout school she felt self-conscious, had depression and anxiety. She was teased by her peers.   "Growing up wasn't easy. I had image issues. I didn't like myself. I was excluded a lot. I didn't have friends," Congelosi said.   Her mother put her in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and Congelosi

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The Independent Investor: Estate Planning — The Final Chapter
By Bill Schmick,
12:49AM / Friday, May 13, 2016

The weekend is over. During the last two days your family came together and had that "talk," but before everyone goes their separate ways; some followup is required. Here are some of the things you should make sure are accomplished.

As readers may recall, in this series we have covered a wide variety of subjects from leaving your legacy to collecting and reviewing all of your assets. Trusts, insurance policies, tax deferred savings plans, wills, living wills and durable powers of attorney are just some of the items we have discussed.

We have talked about the family meeting and who should attend. Be sure that someone is responsible for taking notes during this event because you

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'Captain America: Civil War': This Isn't Your Father's Superhero
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:09PM / Thursday, May 12, 2016

It wasn't just because "Captain America: Civil War" was unnecessarily convoluted that I grew despondent as I sat through its 147 minutes of confusion. Later I would also be miffed by the lack of clues leading to the surprise conclusion. But I am beside the point. With nary a Smartphone a-texting, the kids around me seemed to love it, totally welcoming the cacophony and esoteric story details. Such is what Father Time wreaks.

A new generation's ascendancy first begins with the confiscation of popular culture. Anyway, who's to argue with someone who's pinned a small ball bearing to the tip of their tongue?

But hey, wait a minute now. Most of the superheroes who

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Gala Planned to Raise Funds For Springside Park Improvements
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:04PM / Thursday, May 12, 2016

There won't be dancing on the porch like in this 1940s photo, but the group hopes there'll be dancing on the lawn under the lights at the first gala held on the property in years. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are big, bold plans for the future of Springside Park and the nonprofit Springside Park Conservancy is looking to raise funds to start work.   On July 1, the conservancy is hold a gala featuring music, food, and cash bar as the first fundraiser for improvements to the park. The Friday night event is $30 with all of the funds going toward improvements eyed in the newly adopted master plan.   "It's featuring local restaurants serving food. We let them

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Pittsfield School Committee Finalizes FY17 Budget Request
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:36AM / Thursday, May 12, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee finalized Wednesday a $60.94 million budget for fiscal 2017.    The School Committee adopted the proposal late last month, asking for some minor changes. The increase is some $1.7 million more than last year, or 2.91 percent, cutting about a half of a million from the previous version.   The city's appropriation is slightly less, at $60.3 million, $1,813,585 more than last year, which is 3.1 percent higher than this year.    Superintendent Jason McCandless had called for a 3.7 percent increase but Mayor Linda Tyer urged the staff to find a middle ground between that and a 2.5 percent increase. McCandless returned to

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Buddy Pellerin Ballfield Project Raising $250,000 for Field Improvements
04:05PM / Wednesday, May 11, 2016

George 'Buddy' Pellerin.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The committee behind the naming of Buddy Pellerin Baseball Field at Clapp Park has set a goal of raising $250,000 in the next three years to improve the ballfield.

The Parks Commission in April unanimously approved renaming the Clapp Park ballfield after longtime baseball coach George "Buddy" Pellerin. The committee for the Clapp Park Project had applied for the naming and presented the commission more than 150 letters of support.

The committee is comprised of former players and friends of Pellerin who are committed to recognize the large impact he has made in the city during his more than 40 years of coaching. With

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Busy, Successful Weekend for Soccer Domain Academy Teams
Community submission,
01:41PM / Wednesday, May 11, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The U11 Soccer Domain Academy boys hosted GPS Stateline at Berkshire Community College in an unusual Friday evening game scheduled to make up for a game canceled by snow earlier this year.   An action packed game saw the home team run out a convincing 5-0 winner.    It was a miserable Friday night in the Berkshires, with the rain pouring down and the gusty wind making it a bitter experience for spectators. Despite the conditions, SDA got off to a fantastic start and played some positive and creative soccer. The home team controlled the midfield third and distributed fantastically well to the wide players and strikers.   The hosts also dominated the

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Grilling Safety Tips Offered by Great Barrington Fire Department
11:36AM / Wednesday, May 11, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Chief Charles Burger and the Great Barrington Fire Department would like to remind the community to follow grilling safety tips to ensure a fire-free season as the warm weather begins to arrive.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), Massachusetts fire departments responded to 431 fires involving grills, hibachis and barbecues between 2011 and 2015. These fires caused 20 civilian injuries, three firefighter injuries and $3.5 million in property damage.

“Warm weather means that more residents will be barbecuing and we want to make sure they do so safely,” Chief Burger said. “Please follow the safety tips provided

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Here’s How to Keep Your Portfolio Healthy
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07AM / Wednesday, May 11, 2016

If you have a medical appointment this week, you might want to wish your nurse a happy National Nurses Week. This annual event is designed to celebrate the important role nurses play in health care.

Of course, while nurses and doctors can help you in many ways, you can do a lot of good for yourself by adopting healthy living habits, such as eating right, exercising frequently, and so on. But you can also do much to help your financial health.

Here are a few suggestions:

Stay invested. During times of market volatility, it can be temping to head to the investment “sidelines” until things “cool off.” Going to the sidelines can mean a few different things –

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Pittsfield Council Voices Opposition to Tobacco Regulations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:52AM / Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Many members of the City Council called for the regulations to be revisited. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Economic development and health went head to head Tuesday night as members of the City Council pushed back against unwavering health officials.   For more than two hours the City Council peppered local and state health officials about tobacco regulations that were implemented in 2014. The issue is coming to a head now after a business was denied a tobacco retailer permit because the regulations limit the number of establishments selling the products.    Naveed Asif and Zameer Alhaq purchased the former O'Connell's gas station on East Street in 2015 and spent

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