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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Superior Court Briefs: March 20 - March 28
Staff Reports,
09:50AM / Friday, March 31, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, March 20.   Riley Nolan, 23, of Clarksburg pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of cocaine, and possession of diazepam.   He was ordered to serve concurrent one-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of heroin and conspiracy charges. He was placed on one-year probation on the others.   The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on October 5, 2016.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 21.   Eric Hunt, 51, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of

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Pittsfield Creates Separate Account For Parking Meter Revenue
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:04PM / Thursday, March 30, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council adopted a provision to create a specific account for parking meter money.   The state law was part of the Modernization Act which allows the creation of such a special revenue fund. By adopting the statute, the city can funnel all of the money collected at the meters into one account and draw from it to support parking-related expenses. Previously, the money had just gone into the city's general fund.   Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood said the primary use of the funds will be to pay for credit card processing fees, which city officials opted to cover instead of adding the few cents to each credit card purchase, and for the

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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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Living together is not what it used to be
By Bill Schmick,
05:33PM / Thursday, March 30, 2017
Times are changing. Over 12 million Americans now "live in sin," as my parents would say, and their numbers are increasing every year. As long as they remain together, everything is copacetic, but what happens when they break up?   Thanks to the economy, demographics, and life-style choices, young couples today are living together and having children despite their unmarried status. In my own family, my niece is pregnant, unmarried, and has no intentions of tying the knot. Although her partner is the love of her life, they have decided (for now) to keep it that way.   And in today's economy, there may be a lot of good reasons not to get married. Number one among them

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'Life': No Bowl of Cherries
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:22PM / Thursday, March 30, 2017

I'm tempted to give away the ending of director Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an extremely tense but run-of-the-mill outer space adventure that was heading for an only so-so rating even before its curiously misanthropic finish. I'd be doing you a favor.

Sure to be shocked, the viewer is left wondering why Espinosa, working from a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, would paint such a depressing conclusion. You mean that's it? That's where we're headed? Well then, let me kill myself now. Even Schopenhauer, the granddaddy of pessimism, would be depressed.

Unable to recall another film that imploded so devastatingly in the last two minutes, canceling out

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Improvements To East, Woodlawn Intersection Added to Walmart Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:58AM / Thursday, March 30, 2017

The lights at the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and East Street were turned on with the reopening of the Woodlawn Avenue bridge. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was only Tuesday evening when Director of Public Service David Turocy once again made a pitch to secure funding to fix up East Street from Lyman Street to Merrill Road.    He was the sole vote on the Metropolitan Planning Organization to schedule that construction for 2022, the only available funding through the transportation improvement program.   It didn't get funded.   On Wednesday morning the developers of a proposed Walmart told the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority that they would like to

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1Berkshire Sees More Employers At Career Fair With Move To BCC
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:02AM / Thursday, March 30, 2017

A total of 80 employers had tables in the Paterson Field House. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With a new location, 1Berkshire grew its annual career fair this year.   The fair was traditionally held at the Berkshire Hills Country Club, which limited the number of employers to around 50.   Berkshire Community College has since offered up the Paterson Field House for it and on Wednesday some 80 employers were able to set up tables for the event.   "BCC approached us and asked if it was something we'd be open to doing. This is a perfect thing for us to work on together," said 1Berkshire Program and Event Specialist Danielle Thomas.    Even with the

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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

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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.

Nothing.

You try one more time:

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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

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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

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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

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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

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