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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Dalton Fifth-Grader Embraces School Project to Aid Children's Hospital
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:22AM / Sunday, November 24, 2019

DALTON, Mass. — When Kalen Spratt was just 18 months old, he had to have surgery at Boston Children's Hospital.

So now that he's a healthy 10-year-old at Craneville Elementary School, it's only natural that he chose Boston Children's as the recipient of a fundraising project sparked by a unique classroom assignment from his fifth-grade teacher, Teresa Bills.

"I was scared, but the doctors and nurses made me feel so much better," Kalen said in a letter his mother, Shana, helped him write and circulate seeking donations. "If you could find it in your heart to donate to me, I would be forever grateful."

For more than 15 years, Bills has been giving

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@theMarket: Markets Broken Record
By Bill Schmick,
11:45AM / Saturday, November 23, 2019
As the Dec. 15 deadline approaches, investors aren't sure whether the next tranche of tariffs on Chinese imports will be raised, lowered, or delayed. Given the importance of this event, markets are once again stuck betwixt and between.   If this sounds like a broken record on the China trade deal, you would be right. We have been here so many times before that just about everyone in the worldwide financial community is sick of it. Nonetheless, hope springs eternal, or so it would seem, because, many investors still have faith that there will be a breakthrough sometime in the next three weeks.   A senior executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Myron Brilliant, who is head of

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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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Pittsfield Planners OK Three-Story Marijuana Cultivation Facility
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:05AM / Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Community Development Board reviews conditions for a marijuana facility and a cell tower on Tuesday.   PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Roots was given the OK to go forward with the construction of a three-story grow facility but only after making some final design concessions.    Attorney Andrea Nuciforo Jr., representing KO Resources, came before the Community Development Board on Tuesday seeking permission to build the cultivation structure near the existing grow, production and retail operation at 501 Dalton Ave.    "What we are proposing now is a new structure ... the new structure would have only the cultivation functionality in

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New Cardiologist Joins Berkshire Health Systems
10:12PM / Friday, November 22, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has appointed Dr. Walter P. Paladino, a board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Cardiology Professional Services of BMC. 

Dr. Paladino is accepting new patients in need of cardiology services and joins doctors Jeffrey Leppo, Kyle Cooper, Kristen Currie, Tracy Hagerty, Henry Lyle, Teresa Menendez, Andrew Potash and Georgianne Valli-Harwood at Cardiology Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Paladino is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease and was fellowship-trained in cardiology at Rhode Island Hospital, cardiovascular

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The Independent Investor: Diamonds Should Be at Top of Christmas List
By Bill Schmick,
04:52PM / Friday, November 22, 2019
Diamonds for most Americans evoke visions of luxury and romance and are almost always the traditional go-to precious stone for engagement rings. The good news is that no matter how strapped for cash you are, you could probably afford one right now.   Chances are, I don't have to sell you on diamonds, since most Americans are in love with this precious gem and always have been. Diamonds make men into heroes, while nothing says to a woman ‘"I am deeply loved" than a sparkling stone that required millions of years to make.   Americans account for 50 percent of all diamond sales worldwide. Sales grew 4.5 percent (to $36 billion) last year. The good news for you

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Mazzeo Claims Irregularities as Reason for Mayoral Recount
Staff Reports,
04:40PM / Friday, November 22, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The mayoral election recount on Monday starts at 8:30 a.m. with more than a dozen election workers counting nearly 12,000 votes by hand.    The recount is being requested by Melissa Mazzeo, who lost the hard fought race against Linda Tyer by 529 votes on Nov. 5.    Mazzeo's petition for the hand count of ballots listed access to the ballots by unauthorized persons as a main reason. On Friday, she released a statement further detailing that allegation.    Her statement claims an "individual closely related to the Tyer Campaign" was the person with access to the ballots and that "numerous voters complained about this

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Mohawk Trail Woodlands, Forest Service Team Up on Conservation
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:33PM / Thursday, November 21, 2019

BRPC's Tom Matuszko asks advisory board members to raise their hands as FRCOG's Executive Director Linda Dunlavy waits to speak. CHARLEMONT, Mass. — A shared stewardship agreement signed Thursday will bring U.S. Forest Service expertise to the state while keeping hundreds of thousands of acres of forestland in state and private hands.    The Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership encompasses 361,941 acres of state and private land across 21 communities in the northwestern corner of the state. About 28 percent of that land is permanently protected. The partnership will enhance conservation and forest research and provide technical support for businesses that depend

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Mac-Haydn Theatre, Shakespeare Take Top Honors at Berkshire Theatre Awards
04:20PM / Thursday, November 21, 2019

Tara Franklin accepting the award for Outstanding Solo Performance for 'On the Exhale' at the Chester Theatre Company.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association presented the Berkshire Theatre Awards on Nov. 11, the fourth year the awards have been presented to honor and celebrate the excellence and diversity of theater in the greater Berkshire region.

The 2019 awards really display the commitment of regional theaters to presenting new and diverse work. Women and minorities were well-represented among the nominees and the winners in all categories. Nominees represented theaters in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Connecticut.

Critics J. Peter

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'Ford v Ferrari': Or, Goliath v David
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:39PM / Thursday, November 21, 2019
The red-blooded American portion of me, the part that in my youth soaked up John Wayne movies, was gratified by the spirit of director James Mangold's studiously executed "Ford v Ferrari." Rah, rah and all that good stuff.    Ferrari had been dominating world auto racing and its reign might have gone on for a bit longer had it not been for il Commendatore's dissing of the Deuce. That's car enthusiast colloquium for Enzo Ferrari and Henry Ford II. And the automobile industry version of "The Cask of Amontillado" to which I allude concerns Ferrari adding insult to industry when he not only rebuffed the Detroit magnate's attempt to buy his Prancing

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Red Cross Offers 10 Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips
02:56PM / Thursday, November 21, 2019

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to prepare the holiday feast and brush up on home fire safety and prevention with your household. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires in the United States, and the American Red Cross of Massachusetts urges everyone to never leave cooking food unattended — which is the most common cause of kitchen fires.

10 Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips

* Keep an eye on what you fry. Stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

* Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat.

* Move items that can burn away from the

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Humance Society Hosts 100 Cats for Christmas
02:38PM / Thursday, November 21, 2019
100 Cats for Christmas

For the seventh year, Berkshire Humane Society has received a grant from Massachusetts Animal Coalition's license plate program to support BHS’s 100 Cats for Christmas initiative during the month of December. The program is the shelter’s largest and most successful low-cost spay/neuter effort for kittens and cats in the Berkshires and surrounding areas. Without the support of the license plate program, this invaluable service would not be possible.

In the last six years, 100 Cats for Christmas has exceeded its goal of spaying and neutering 100 cats. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. To participate, residents of Berkshire County must

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Fall Festival Of Shakespeare Finale Performances Run Nov. 21-24
01:19PM / Thursday, November 21, 2019

LENOX, Mass. — The annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare is back, bringing hundreds of teenagers from 10 area high schools to the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company.

Beginning on Nov. 21, the four-day festival marks the culmination of the award-winning program that places Shakespeare & Company Education Artists in 10 high schools across Berkshire and Columbia counties for nine weeks. During the program, students explore creative thinking, teamwork and Shakespeare as they create a 90-minute fully produced performance to be shared with their neighboring communities.

The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is nationally recognized for its innovative teaching, emotional

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