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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Farley-Bouvier Celebrates Six Years as Pittsfield's Representative
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Friday, December 01, 2017

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier hugs supporters at Framework on Thursday night. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — About a decade ago, the city of Pittsfield became well aware of the impact that teenage pregnancy has on a community.   The city had reached a high in the number of births among teenage women and it brought on an array of challenges, from poverty to social issues to that child having trouble learning in school.   "We know in Pittsfield that we have had a very high rate of teenage pregnancies and we know what impact that has on the young person, on that child growing up, on the neighborhood, on the school system, and on the whole community," said state Rep.

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Taconic Construction: Progress Aided by Mild Fall
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:13AM / Friday, December 01, 2017

The gym ceiling is being painted. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A mild autumn has helped move along outside work at the new Taconic High School.   As December sets in, concrete is still being poured. The mild weather has allowed workers to put sidewalks all around the school.   A parking lot in the north and roads in and out have all received the first layer of blacktopping. If the weather hadn't been as mild, that outside work would have waited until the spring.   Inside, the building is already prepared for the winter. Construction managers had a schedule calling for the building to be buttoned up in November, and heating pumped in to keep the building warm for

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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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Wahconah Regional Earns MIAA Sportsmanship Award
05:42PM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — Wahconah Regional High School's student-athletes have been presented with the Sportsmanship Award for District G from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.   The award was made at the MIAA's annual Sportsmanship Summit, held this year on Nov. 17, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. It was presented in conjunction with Friendly's Restaurants, which partnered with the student sports association as its official "family restaurant."   Awards are presented to one school chosen by member school athletic directors in each of MIAA's eight athletic districts. Wahconah was also named to the Sportsmanship Honor Roll for 2016-17

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'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri': Signs of the Times
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:12PM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
Director Martin McDonagh's compelling "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" features, among other things, misogyny, police brutality, racism, rape, child molestation, white supremacy, unrestricted gun possession, and anti-gay sentiments.    But no, it's not about Roy Moore's quest to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Rather, equally provocative and similarly chilling, the superbly acted film details a mother's rage over her daughter's unsolved murder to the backdrop of a small town rendered dysfunctional by the above-listed disgraces.   Frances McDormand, playing Mildred Hayes, the infuriated mom, is the beleaguered face of survival in

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Data Shows Serious Traffic Collisions On The Decline In The Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:17AM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's rate of serious traffic accidents in the Berkshires is declining faster than the state average.   Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Transportation Planner Eammon Coughlin reported Tuesday projections that show a continual decline in the number of vehicle fatalities and serious injuries. Based on five-year rolling averages calculated each year, there has been a 17.27 percent decline in fatalities and a 15.57 percent decline in serious injuries since 2011.   "Total fatalities and the fatality rate is declining and we are declining faster than the state," Coughlin said.   The number of fatalities had peaked between

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Harvest Run Raises $15,000 for BCC nursing program
02:10PM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017

More than 170 runners took part in the annual Berkshire Healthcare Harvest Run to benefit the Berkshire Community College nursing program.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Healthcare Harvest Run raised more than $15,000 for the Berkshire Community College nursing program scholarship on Oct. 21 during the annual trail run and cook-off. More than 170 runners, including adults, students and children, participated in the trail run, relay and kids race.

"This was our most successful Harvest Run. We are very grateful to all the participants and the Berkshire Healthcare affiliates for their energy and enthusiasm," said Ellen Kennedy, president of Berkshire Community College.

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Consider These Year-End Tax-Smart Financial Moves
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:31PM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, you may be getting pretty busy. But once the holidays are over, you will enter into a new season – tax season. The filing deadline for the 2017 tax year is April 17, 2018, but until that date – and especially before the end of the calendar year – you may want to explore some tax-smart financial moves.

Here are a few to consider:

Boost your 401(k) contributions. If you're like most people, you probably don't usually contribute the maximum amount to your 401(k), which, in 2017, is $18,000, or $24,000 if you're 50 or older. Unless you have a Roth 401(k), your contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, so the more you put in,

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Pittsfield Used Car Dealer Complies With Fire Department Citation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:32AM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Newell Street Transmission has complied with the Fire Department's request to improve the parking situation on the used car lot.   Fire inspectors cited the company during the summer saying the way the vehicles were being stored on the property posed a fire hazard. Fire Inspector Randy Stein was particularly concern with the rear of the building, which he felt didn't provide access to the building in case of an emergency, and the distance between vehicles so that fires don't quickly spread from vehicle to vehicle.   Owner Robert Gaylord has since crafted a new parking plan, specifically outlining where various vehicles will go, from customer

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Pittsfield Sets FY2018 Tax Rates
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:03AM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The average homeowner can expect to see a 5.1 percent increase in the tax bills.   The City Council approved a tax rate Tuesday night of $20.01 per $1,000 worth of value for residential properties.Last year's residential tax rate was $19.63 per $1,000 of value.   The average single-family home is valued at $181,582, which results in a tax bill of $3,633.46 - for an increase of $176.24 from last year. The tax rate for residential properties is increasing by 38 cents per $1,000 of value.    The tax rate for commercial properties is set at $39.98 per $1,000 of value, up from $39.78 last year.   The median commercial property owner can

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Pittsfield Program Eyed To Provide Relief To Electric Customers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:20PM / Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cappadona said Eversource's basic supply rates will jump for the winter and NextEra's prices are lower. He doesn't expect the supply prices to drop in the coming years. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has signed an agreement to have NextEra Energy Services become the default electric supplier.   The move is part of the municipal aggregation program in which consultants Colonial Power essentially bundled all residential, commercial, and municipal usage into a single group purchasing bid for electric supply.   NextEra offered a contract of a rate of .09976 per kilowatt-hour for a period of three years, which is less than what Eversource has currently planned for

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SteepleCats Reveal New Look, New Logo
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:20AM / Tuesday, November 28, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The SteepleCats are relaunching with a new look, a new attitude and new leadership.   "We're changing the brand, and we're changing the look, and we're changing the feel," says new President Allen Hall. "A lot of things are going to change this year to be more North Adams-centered and focused in terms of its approach, its affordability, and our marketing and corporate packages."    The New England Collegiate Baseball League team is switching out its friendly fuzzy black and yellow cat for a leaner, meaner blue panther. The Drury blue logo and uniforms, with black, white and gray, is meant to evoke a more assertive,

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Republican Attorney General Candidate Visits Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:09PM / Monday, November 27, 2017

McMahon's three main priorities are on protecting the second amendment, increasing public safety, and tackling the opioid addiction problem facing the state.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jay McMahon wouldn't want a "bump stock" on his rifle.    "You can shoot faster without it and more accurate," the Bourne attorney said. "Your bullets are scattering and they aren't going on target. Anybody who cares about their shots is not going to want a bump stock."   But McMahon vehemently opposes Massachusetts' decision to ban the device. He says it is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment and he wants to defend that

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