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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Legislature Looking at $200M in Chapter 90 Funds; $7.2M for Berkshires
01:23AM / Monday, April 16, 2018
BOSTON – Some $200 million in Chapter 90 road funds have been approved in both houses of the Legislature for fiscal 2019, with about $7.3 million headed for Berkshire County.    The funds are part of a three-year, $600 million Chapter 90 apportionment that passed the State Senate. The House the week before passed a single-year $200 million bill and both houses are now working to resolve differences in the two bills in order to get legislation to the governor's desk so that the funds can be released for this construction season.   "This legislation allows the current Chapter 90 program to continue and guarantees future funding in FY 2020 and FY2021," said

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Great Barrington Police Investigating Fatal Crash
07:36PM / Sunday, April 15, 2018
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A Housatonic woman was killed late Sunday morning in a head-on collision near 200 Maple Ave.    Annemarie E. Bushka, 64, was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries incurred in the crash.    Bushka's motor vehicle collided with one driven by Robert Bacigalupi, 68, who police say crossed the yellow line into Bushka's lane.    Bacigalupi, of New York City, was charged with motor vehicle homicide and marked lanes violation. He was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening and will be issued a summons to appear in court at a later date.   The


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

Williamstown's Art Runs Boston to Benefit Disabled Runners Group
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Sunday, April 15, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Qualified to run his 80th marathon at age 73, Hank Art shows no signs of slowing down.   Unless he wants to.   Art will toe the line in Hopkinton this Monday morning for his 16th Boston Marathon. But one of his most memorable experiences in a 26.2-mile event came a couple of hours to south, at the 2013 New York City Marathon.   "It was my personal record for my slowest marathon," Art recalled last week. "We started at 10 a.m. and ended up after 6 at night in Central Park."   That is because Art was running not for a time but as a guide with Achilles International, a New York-based nonprofit that helps mobility-impaired


Youth Conference Inspires Teens To Become 'Tools of Change'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:30AM / Saturday, April 14, 2018

The arts was one of the four tracks students could choose for the workshops. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Zoe Hypolite watched as Hurricane Maria devastated her home country of Dominica.   She knew something had to be done to help. She started fundraising.   "I decided that I am going to do something about it. This is why I am the head of Miss Hall's natural disaster relief group where we have raised thousands of dollars for schools of areas affected by natural disasters," Hypolite.   Hypolite is a student at Miss Hall's and comes from a background checkered in trauma. From nearly being blind as a child to bullied in high school to feeling suicidal,

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Pittsfield Council Debates Police Oversight, or Advisory, Committee
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:58PM / Friday, April 13, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council agrees with having a citizen's committee to peer into the Police Department. But, it is more a matter of on whose terms.   That's how City Council President Peter Marchetti phrased it to help move debate along in the final hours of Tuesday night, as the City Council spent a lengthy amount of time on a petition from resident Craig Gaetani to establish a police oversight committee.   The councilors hadn't really disagreed with the principles of such a committee, but rather, whether it should be a new committee created under the Tyer administration or just the filling of a committee started under the Bianchi

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Hinsdale Man Charged With Murdering Estranged Girlfriend
02:32PM / Friday, April 13, 2018
The preliminary results of an autopsy on 24-year-old Kassedi Clark indicate she died from multiple gunshot wounds.   Dr. Robert Welton, an associate medical examiner for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, conducted the autopsy on Clark on Sunday in Holyoke and has ruled the death a homicide.   Clark's estranged boyfriend, Michael S. Boulais, 32, is expected to be arraigned on a charge of murder on Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Hinsdale man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of his estranged girlfriend.

  Michael S. Boulais, 32, was arrested and charged Friday morning with one


YMCA Honors Its Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients
12:45PM / Friday, April 13, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Berkshire Family YMCA named Matthew J. Scarafoni as the recipient of the J. Edward Dery Volunteer of the Year award and Lenny Light as the recipient of the G. Fred Links Award at its annual meeting on Feb. 28.

The two awards are given annually to the YMCA volunteers that best exemplify the spirit of the late J. Edward Dery and G. Fred Lincks.

Ed, as his friends called him, took on the leadership role during the fundraising and construction of the 1981 addition that effectively transformed the current downtown building and its ability to serve the community.  After his death in 1989 this award was created to honor the legacy of modern facilities, effective


Rep. Farley-Bouvier named 2018 Provider's Council Legislator of the Year
12:30PM / Friday, April 13, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass.— State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier was named 2018 Provider's Council Legislator of the Year and awarded the Caring Bear presented by The Caring Force at their seventh annual State House Rally and Lobby Day on Tuesday, April 10. The award is annually given to legislative champions for their commitment to the human services sector.

"I was thrilled and honored to be recognized by these terrific community partners and receive the prestigious, and adorable, Caring Force Care Bear. It was that staff from Berkshire County ARC came to help celebrate that really made this award special," said Farley-Bouvier, who represents the 3rd Berkshire

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 13-29
12:12PM / Friday, April 13, 2018
Baby Animals at Hancock Shaker Village It's finally springtime, and that means visiting the newborn lambs, piglets, chicks, calves and kids at Hancock Shaker Village. Enjoys tours, talks and story time every day, with special events on the weekends including pony rides, face painting, balloon art and ice cream at the Scoop Shop. 


FRI David Sedaris at The Colonial Theatre Humorist, best-selling author and frequent  contributor David Sedaris returns to The Colonial Theatre. His latest book is a collection of his diary


The Independent Investor: The Facebook Fallacy
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Thursday, April 12, 2018
After a grueling two-day inquisition before both houses of Congress, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has left the building. The question is how much did anyone really learn about the privacy issues of this social media behemoth?   As most readers are aware, the present controversy erupted when it was revealed that a Trump-campaign related firm, Cambridge Analytica, harvested personal data from millions of Facebook users. It spawned a huge controversy over privacy, cybersecurity and Big Data companies in general.   I watched as much of the hearings as I could stomach. What was clear to me was most of our so-called legislators had no idea how Facebook works. While some


Pittsfield Schools Shift Bus Payment Back to City, Reduces Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:52AM / Thursday, April 12, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The final payment for the school bus fleet is moving to the city's side of the budget.   At the public hearing on the School Department's proposed budget Wednesday, Superintendent Jason McCandless said the $558,469 payment is being pulled from the budget request.   That drops the schools' requested allocation to $60,492,869 — a $426,531 increase from last year. The increase is .7 percent higher than this year's budget.   "This was a unique arrangement of paying for buses from our own operational budget that came about through a prior city council, prior administration, and prior school committee," McCandless


BRTA Consider Fare Increases, Service Reductions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:38AM / Thursday, April 12, 2018

The BRTA is considering a menu of options to save money. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The BRTA is prepping for increasing fares and reducing services.   Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Administrator Robert Malnati said the state's funding for the organization is flat in the governor's budget.   The organization says fixed costs such as salary increases, health insurance, fuel, and liability insurance is expected to increase. Thus, the authority is planning its budget trying to find $378,400 in savings elsewhere.   "If you have a level amount of funds, then something has to give," Malnati said.   Malnati is presenting options to the ridership


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