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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Letter: Support Pollinator Resolution
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Monday, April 17, 2017

To the Edtor:

I'm greatly encouraged by the citizens in Williamstown who want to make the community more pollinator friendly. Stephen Dravis' article, "Williamstown Resolution Looks to Change Bee-havior" (iBerkshires April 9) reports how bees are a vital natural resource for food production and biodiversity protection.

Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate, as emphasized by Williams College Biology Department Chair Joan Edwards, who spoke at the town's recent Agricultural Commission meeting. Sharing this concern, a number of other communities launched Western MA Pollinator Networks six months ago to expand pollinator safe habitat through education, tours, and

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Berkshire Bank Donates $10K to Soldier On
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:13PM / Monday, April 17, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Soldier On scored a goal with an assist from the Berkshire Bank Foundation.    Berkshire Bank passed over a $10,000 donation to the non-profit on Monday, a donation part of the foundation's "eXciting" assist program. For every assist tallied by the Boston Bruins between Oct. 13 and Dec. 7, 2016, $100 was donated to Soldier On.    "It's a fun kind of initiative where every time the Boston Bruins achieve an assist this year, we put $100 into the pool. This year there are three organizations that are benefiting from the funds we collect and Soldier On was one of those organizations that received funds from one portion 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

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Berkshires Beat: Humane Society Holding Baby Shower for Kittens
10:57AM / Monday, April 17, 2017

A purr-fect idea: Throughout the month of April, the Berkshire Humane Society is hosting its third annual Baby Shower in honor of kitten season, a supply drive collecting donations of needed items for kitten and mother cat care. Kitten season typically begins in May and winds down in October. 

In addition to the drive, BHS trains foster volunteers to care for litters from their own homes, greatly expanding the number of animals the shelter can accommodate. BSH also works with other organizations – like Animal DREAMS – to reduce unwanted cat populations in Berkshire County. Collected supplies will be shared with Animal DREAMS to assist in their work with feral


World War 2 Veteran Shares His Story With Reid Students
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:47AM / Monday, April 17, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was like pins and needles.   That's what Bill Weigle, a World War II pilot, told the Reid Middle School eighth-grade class of his flights during the war. He never knew when or if a German fighter would appear near him and shoot him down.   "I did not come here to tell you I'm a hero because I'm not. But we were on pins and needles the whole time," Weigle said.   Weigle was alive on Thursday to share his story with the class and credited that to the education and training he received. He stressed the importance of education to the students, multiple times telling them that if he didn't have the training he had, he would

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Bishop Mitchell Rozanski: Easter Homily
By Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, Guest Column
11:05AM / Sunday, April 16, 2017
Acts: 34a, 37-43 Psalm 118 Colossians 3: 1-4 John 20: 1-9 We greet this Easter Day with the bright promise of new life.   Where just a few weeks ago a snow storm reminded us that winter does not give up easily, we now can behold buds on the trees, daffodils and forsythia blooming and enjoy the warmth that permeates the air. Spring does beckon us to new life! And indeed, we can have faith in this new life because of what we celebrate in our lives: Our Savior's promise to us has been fulfilled. When all seemed lost, disciples scattered, hopes were dashed and mourning dominated the scene, that first Easter morning changed everything.   Last month, with a group of pilgrims,


Pittsfield School Committee Incumbents Take Out Nomination Papers
Staff Reports,
02:17PM / Friday, April 14, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — All members of the current School Committee have taken out nomination papers.   Joshua Cutler, Daniel Elias, Pamela Farron, Anthony Riello, Cynthia Taylor, and Katherine Yon have all taken out papers. Only one challenger has taken out papers, Craig Gaetani.   Gaetani has also taken out nomination papers for two seats on the City Council, Ward 6 and at-large. However, a provision in the charter states, " An individual may appear on the ballot for only one office at any preliminary, regular or special city election." If he qualifies for more than one seat, he'll have to choose one.   So far a total of 19 individuals took out papers for


Police Investigating Shooting in Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
12:46PM / Friday, April 14, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 17-year-old boy was shot Thursday evening.   Police say the new gunshot detection system, ShotSpotter, alerted officers to shots fired at the intersection of Wahconah and Canal Street at about 7:45 p.m. Patrols found the 17-year-old juvenile with a gunshot wound. The juvenile was transported to Berkshire Medical Center and treated for non-life threatening injuries.   Police are still investigating the shooting and are asking for anyone with information to contact them at 413-448-9705 or submit tips through the drug hotline, 413-448-9705.    Authorities say there is no indication that the safety of the general public is at risk.


Pittsfield Airport Study Group Presents Findings To Council
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Friday, April 14, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When all is said and done, the Airport Study Group determined that airport operations don't cost the city money. It brings in money.   The study group was formed to perform a cost-benefit analysis of the Pittsfield Municipal Airport. Each year, the city allocates additional funding to the operational budget of the airport when it should be self-sustaining. A group of councilors called for a study to find out if it would be better off for the city to privatize the operations.    "Until recently it seems the airport cost money and that was one of the reasons why the group was formed," said Chairman Tom Sakshaug.    An

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'Going in Style': Bank Heist Steals Your Heart
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
11:59PM / Thursday, April 13, 2017
  My first inclination when hearing that Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman would star in director Zach Braff's remake of 1979's "Going in Style," which featured George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, was to scream "Sacrilege!" But I was at a funeral and, fearing the outburst might be inappropriate, contained myself.    Later, my calmed head prevailing, I got philosophical about it. While the older set of oldsters was terrific in this seriocomic bank heist film, one good turn should deserve another, especially if it showcases such national treasures.   Besides, pity is, the economic situation that stirred the original gang to


Berkshire County Arc CEO Receives Prestigious Leadership Award
10:56PM / Thursday, April 13, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Arc  President & CEO Kenneth W. Singer received the prestigious Joseph Andrade Award for Leadership from the Arc of Massachusetts on Thursday, April 6, at its annual meeting.

The Sheraton Hotel Framingham was full of many supporters as Singer accepted the award. Twelve of BCArc’s staff, BCArc self-advocate Margaret, and Singer’s wife Christine, along with family members, were present as Kenneth stepped up to the podium.  

He thanked the Arc with humility and emotion as he accepted his award.

“I’m as excited to go to work today as I was 37 years ago, and that’s the truth. Who else can be lucky enough to


BHS Doctor Honored As 2017 Community Clinician of the Year
10:49PM / Thursday, April 13, 2017

WALTHAM, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems physician Dr. Linda F. Smothers has been honored by her physician peers of the Berkshire District Medical Society as the district’s 2017 Community Clinician of the Year, an award recognizing her professionalism and contributions as a physician. She received the award at the district’s annual meeting last month at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield.

Board-certified in adult psychiatry, Dr. Smothers is the medical director of Acute Care Services of Berkshire Health Systems and The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, a community-based, non-profit agency providing care for children, adolescents, adults and


BCC Phi Theta Kappa Scholars Honored at State House Ceremony
09:55PM / Thursday, April 13, 2017

BOSTON, Mass. ─ Two Berkshire Community College students were honored by the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office at a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House on March  30.

Cheryl Bassett and Mary Mick were among a small group of scholars honored as the highest academic achievers of the community colleges system and were presented with medallions and certificates for being named to Phi Theta Kappa’s All-Massachusetts Academic Team.

Every year, MCCEO hosts this event at the State House in Boston to showcase the best and brightest of the 15 college system. The event is co-sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, the

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