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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield School Officials Approve Further Budget Cuts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Thursday, April 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The proposed school budget has been cut again, raising the number of layoffs to 75.6 full-time equivalent positions. However, the teachers' union is foregoing some $300,000 worth of raises to save some of those jobs.   On Wednesday, the School Committee adopted a proposed budget of $60,686,338, with the city's share of that being $60,066,338. That is $250,000 less than what was presented at the budget hearing two weeks ago.   "We understand we have to do this because we understand the situation we are in," Superintendent Jason McCandless said.    McCandless said two days after the public hearing on April 12, in a meeting with

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Berkshire County Rx Round Up Set for April 29
01:43PM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Community coalitions from across the county have joined forces to host a Rx Round Up at three locations on April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Anyone with unused, unwanted and expired prescription, over-the-counter and controlled medications may stop by to dispose of them safely. Personal needles will also be accepted in puncture-proof plastic containers. The process of dropping off medication is anonymous, takes only a minute, is better for the environment, and could end up saving lives.

The Rx Round Up will take place at the following locations: North Adams Police Station, 11 Summer St.; 510 North Street in Pittsfield,

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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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Can You Free Yourself of Some Investment-related Taxes?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:31AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tax Freedom Day generally falls around this time each year. This is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year, according to the calculations made by the Tax Foundation. So you may want to use Tax Freedom Day to think about ways you can liberate yourself from some of the investment-related taxes you may incur.

Of course, Tax Freedom Day is something of a fiction, in practical terms, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year via payroll deductions. Also, you may not mind paying your share of taxes, because your tax dollars are used in many ways – law enforcement, food safety, road maintenance, public education,

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Richardello, Gaspardi-Febles Honored With Quinn Award
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:47AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MountainOne's Vice President for Business Insurance Linda Gaspardi-Febles was given her award from Award Committee Chairman Mick Callahan. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When Esther Quinn died in 1998, the local business community lost someone who, after working a full day, would put in countless volunteer hours.    But others are following in her footsteps. This year 1Berkshire honored both Linda Gaspardi-Febles of MountainOne and Denise Richardello of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with the 18th annual Esther Quinn Award, recognizing those same type of efforts.   "Esther Quinn was a pioneer and as passionate advocate for causes that she believed in. She

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Pittsfield Council Asked To Push For State Education Funding Changes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:21AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — How the state calculates what it costs to run a school system is much different from what local officials say it actually costs.   That was the message delivered to the City Council on Tuesday night when the School Committee arranged a presentation from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. MASC Field Director Tracy Novick urged the council to advocate for changes to the state funding formulas to bring more state dollars into the city.    "The commonwealth of Massachusetts is not doing its fair share in making sure our children are having the best education," Council Vice President John Krol, an avid supporter of the

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Pittsfield Police Offer Safety Tips After Walkers, Joggers Accosted
12:51PM / Tuesday, April 25, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An unidentified man has been accosting walkers and joggers in in the city's southeast side since last Tuesday.    None of the victims were injured in any of the reported incidents, police say, but there have been several complaints reported over the past week. It is unknown if the same man is responsible for all of the violations.   The suspect, in all instances, is described being in his 20s, of Caucasian or Hispanic decent, with dark hair, facial hair, and a thin to medium build.   Pittsfield residents are being asked to report any suspicious activity relating to persons matching the above physical description by immediately calling

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Muraca Buys Nuclea Assets, Starts New Company
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:04PM / Monday, April 24, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Patrick Muraca is picking up where he left off with Nuclea Biotechnologies.   The former CEO has started a new company and purchased the assets of the bankrupt Nuclea. NanoMolecular DX is now based out of Lee and is entering the commercial field with products developed under Nuclea, with many of the same investors, and some of the same employees.   "Now we are moving forward with where Nuclea left off," Muraca said on Friday.   Muraca left Nuclea in 2015, though he was still a shareholder in the company, and attempted to start NanoDX but failed to get it off the ground. About a month later, Nuclea left Pittsfield as part of a reorganization

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BCC Students to be Inducted Into National Honor Society
01:42PM / Monday, April 24, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. mdash; Berkshire Community College will hold an induction ceremony for students joining the Xi Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on Thursday, April 27, at 12:30 p.m. in the Boland Theatre of the Koussevitzky Arts Center on the college's main campus in Pittsfield.

Phi Theta Kappa is the national honor society of junior and community colleges in the United States. The purpose of the society is to recognize and encourage scholarship among students.

To be eligible for membership, students with freshman standing (12 to 29 credits) must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or better. Students with a sophomore standing (30 or more credits) must have

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Berkshires Beat: Humane Race Kicks Off Spring
12:31PM / Monday, April 24, 2017

The humane thing: It is officially spring, and one of the hallmarks of spring in the Berkshires is the Berkshire Humane Society's Humane Race, a 1-mile fun walk or a 5K run with or without a dog. Dog are not mandatory, only dog lovers! Scheduled for Saturday, April 29, in Williamstown, this year's 15th Humane Race promises a fun morning for people and their dogs with one small but exciting change: The run will be a timed race with the help of Berkshire Running Center.

Register ahead of time online for $20 for children under 12 and $25 for adults. Registration the morning of is an additional $5 for adults, but the same for children under 12. The first 150 runners and walkers to

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Money Management Moving to Dalton
11:41AM / Monday, April 24, 2017

On the move: Berkshire Money Management, a locally based investment advisory firm, will relocate from its Pittsfield offices on Merrill Road to Dalton's Main Street. Recently, BMM purchased the historic 28.5-acre Model Farm and mansion built by Frederick G. Crane Sr. in 1898. The anticipated move-in date is July of this year.

Prior to the projected move-in date, Berkshire Money Management has already made inroads with the Dalton community, and is the lead sponsor for the Dalton Community Recreation Association's annual May Day Races (to be held on Sunday, May 7, at Nessacus Middle School). The firm has also reached out to other organizations, including the Dalton Benefit

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BMC Achieves Straight A's for Patient Safety
10:33AM / Monday, April 24, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Leapfrog Group, the nation's leading nonprofit watchdog on hospital quality and safety, has announced new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, and Berkshire Medical Center once again earned an "A."

BMC has achieved straight A's since the inception of the Safety Grade in 2012, and is one of only 63 hospitals nationwide to attain this honor.

"Berkshire Medical Center has been, and continues to be a national leader in providing the safest environment for our patients," said David Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems. "I congratulate our entire team of caregivers on this recognition, which again validates that BMC

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Substance Abuse Prevention Part 2: The Efforts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Monday, April 24, 2017
Part 1 reviewed the results of a countywide survey related to teen drug and alcohol use. The article and survey results can be found here.   LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Berkshire district attorney's office is now training educators on a specific curriculum to prevent drug use.   The office's grant-funded Community Outreach and Education Program is now teaching "Life Skills," a three-pronged approach to help students make better decisions when presented with drug use. The curriculum is eyed to be rolled out into all schools and help prevent students from going down the path of drug use.   "The Life Skills Program in itself has three components,

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