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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Accepts Gift To Deploy Gunshot Detection System
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:36AM / Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Police Chief Michael Wynn explained the system to the City Council on Tuesday night. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Monday night, Sgt. Nicholas DeSantis heard gunshots and headed in that direction. He noticed a suspicious car speeding away and chased it down. It led to the arrest of four individuals on gun-related charges.   Police Chief Michael Wynn and his command staff then went and looked at the 911 calls reporting the shots. All four of the calls the department received were from the opposite side of the incident from where DeSantis was at the time.   That means if he hadn't seen the car, he would have driven right by the scene only to turn back around after talking

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Civil Service Denies Waiver For Pittsfield Police Chief
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:10PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state has denied a waiver to allow Michael Wynn to be appointed as the permanent chief of police.   Wynn has been serving as chief in an acting capacity since 2009 when he was appointed to the position by former Mayor James Ruberto. Earlier this year, Mayor Linda Tyer sought a waiver from the Civil Service requirements to make Wynn the chief on a more permanent basis.   "Clearly the issue is settled in terms of our ability to appeal administratively," Tyer said on Tuesday night.   Tyer said the appeal did find out exactly what the chief's "professional standing" is among Civil Service and the state's view of 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

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

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Boys & Girls Club Teams Take Two from Greylock
03:54PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Bo Bramer scored 10 points to lead the Boys & Girls Club Blue team to a 41-38 win over Greylock in seventh- and eighth-grade boys travel basketball league play over the weekend.   "We started off slow, getting outscored, 8-1, at the end of the first quarter, but our kids really worked hard and battled the entire game," Greylock coach Rick Paris said. "Again, we had an opportunity to tie the game in the last seconds with an open look from behind the [3-point] line, but it hit off the rim. We were very proud of how the kids battled on both sides of the court."   Derek Paris scored 13, and Malcolm Waynick added eight for Greylock.   Greylock finished a

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Guest Column: Getting Smart About Art
Guest Column,
02:50PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The North Adams Public School district boasts one of the finest art programs in the commonwealth.

Students of all grade levels participate in classes and field trips that nurture their creativity in a fun and hands-on way. Our elementary schools offer choral and instrumental programs during the school day and perform concerts throughout the academic year. They make frequent field trips to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Through a partnership with Berkshire Children and Families and Brayton Elementary School, students are introduced to classical music through the innovative Kids 4 Harmony program.

Arts programming at Drury High School has grown so much that the school has created

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Guest Column: Education Task Force Misconceptions Clarified
Guest Column,
02:00PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016

To the Editor:

The Berkshire Education Task Force and the University of Massachusetts' Donahue Institute recently have completed Phase One of a comprehensive look at the past, current and projected education landscape of the nineteen school districts in Berkshire County and 15,900 students (as of last count). The full Phase One report is online at www.berkshireeducation.org. The focus is on the challenges faced because of significant declining student enrollments, near stagnant financial resources and increasingly limited academic offerings.

Phase Two will explore ways to address these challenges through options of expanded shared services, partnering of neighboring school districts,

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Four Arrested After Pittsfield Shooting
Staff Reports,
01:33PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Four individuals were detained at gunpoint by police on Monday after reports of shots fired. Above is one of two weapons found inside their vehicle. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four individuals were arrested Monday night after a shooting in the Lincoln Street area.   Police say Devin Newman, 27, of Pittsfield, Derrick Saunders, 21, of Pittsfield, Terry Martizna, 26, of Lanesborough, and Justin Luis Lopez, 22, of Bronx, N.Y., were arrested on gun-related charges.   Police Sgt. Nicholas DeSantis heard numerous gun shots at about 9:45 p.m. from where his cruiser was parked near Silver Lake Boulevard. He then alerted other officers who quickly went to the area.   DeSantis saw

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Hangar Bar and Grill Eyed For Former Chameleons Site
Staff Reports,
05:21PM / Monday, December 12, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Chameleons is poised to become Hangar Pub and Grill.   Hangar of Pittsfield will be before the Licensing Board next week asking to receive the liquor license from the property owners. The company is headed by Harold Tramazzo, out of Westfield, who owns Hangar Bar and Grill in Amherst.   Tramazzo runs a Wings Over Amherst delivery business and manages operations at the Amherst Brewing Co. as well. Earlier this year he opened a new restaurant in Greenfield — Hangar of Greenfield — with the accompanying Wings Over Greenfield delivery service.   Attorney Anthony Doyle, who represents the property owner Pamela Rice, said last

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Biz Briefs: Williamstown Natives Start Organic Beauty Company
03:18PM / Monday, December 12, 2016

Beauty is: Klo Organic Beauty is a 100 percent natural skin care company developed and hand crafted in small batches in Berkshire County,  co-owned by sisters, Nicole Anagnos and Megan Berube, who both attended The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC prior to the inception of their business. Their products are organic, non-toxic, vegan, and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. The Williamstown natives feature an anti-aging line using the highest quality oils. More information can be found on their website.

Launched in February of 2016 to rave reviews, Klo Organic Beauty has since been featured at the Indie Beauty Expo in New York City, on the popular website AHAlife, and

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Norman Rockwell Museum Offers Berkshire County Student Passport Program
02:51PM / Monday, December 12, 2016

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Norman Rockwell Museum has begun the Berkshire County Student Passport Program, part of a comprehensive effort to reach out and engage many more young people in the region with the museum, and to introduce them to Norman Rockwell, who lived the last 25 years of his life in Berkshire County.

The museum uses Rockwell's narrative images to support learning in the classroom in relation to history, language arts and art, and educators have also found meaningful connections with regard to social/emotional learning and ESL themes.

Supported by the contributions of friends of Norman Rockwell Museum, the Passport Program was created for students and families in

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Berkshires Beat: Williamstown Author Feted at State House Ceremony
01:52PM / Monday, December 12, 2016

Good job: The 16th annual Massachusetts Book Awards Ceremony took place at the State House on Tuesday, Dec. 6.  Among the honored authors was Ali Benjamin of Williamstown, who received the top award in the Young Adult/Middle Reader division for the New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist "The Thing About Jellyfish."

The award states: "In a remarkable debut novel, Ali Benjamin seamlessly infuses realistic fiction with well-researched factual information to produce a masterful and honest look at how one young person deals with the feelings of grief and guilt that follow a tragedy." Rep. Gailanne Cariddi presented the award to Benjamin, who spoke

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Eversource Receives Special Permit For Pittsfield Solar Array
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Monday, December 12, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Eversource was granted the special permit to construct a 2.2 megawatt solar array on 10 acres of land on Partridge Road.   The project is just one of two in the utility company is seeking to build in the Berkshires this coming year - the other being in Lanesborough — and one of more than a dozen throughout the state. The state is allowing utility companies to own and operate 35 megawatts of solar energy and between Eversource's two companies, it can own up to 70 megawatts   The company owns 36 acres of land on Partridge Road and is looking to use 10 of that for the some 6,000 panels and two or three equipment pads. The closest panel will be

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Making the Loop
by Soapbox
04:44PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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We had some free time this week to walk the 2-mile loop through the downtown. Here's a few of things that caught our eye. (In between taking photos, we were heel-toeing and arm-pumping as prescribed.)

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