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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

1Berkshire Executive, Tourism Expert Lauri Klefos Dies
Staff Reports,
04:58PM / Thursday, November 29, 2018

Klefos with 1Berkshire President Jonathan Butler in 2016. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The death of Lauri Klefos, executive vice president of 1Berkshire, has shocked a tourism and business community that had already been reluctantly preparing for her retirement this spring.    During her tenure at Berkshire Visitors Bureau, she oversaw the growth of national and social media marketing of the Berkshires, as well as the integration of business, tourism and creative economy strategies, and was instrumental in the consolidation of the county's four economic organizations into the 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance.    "1Berkshire and the Berkshires lost a great one

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Berkshire Bank, Nonprofit Build Beds for Berkshire Children
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:25AM / Thursday, November 29, 2018

The staff members assembled the beds and later painted them. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are a lot of challenges for a family just moving into stabilized housing.   Perhaps one of the most overlooked challenges is the cost of providing beds for the children. That's why in 2012 the Massachusetts Coalition for Homeless started a "Build a Bed" program aimed to have corporate sponsors build free beds for children across the state.   "When you think of helping a child succeed, sometimes the last thing you think of is what are they sleeping in. We were so happy to identify a need such as this," said Program Director Tina Giarla.   "The expense

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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 Hones in On Curbing School Violence
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:20AM / Thursday, November 29, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A line in the proverbial sand has been drawn when it comes to school violence.   Superintendent Jason McCandless released a video message a little over a week ago saying violence in the city's school system will not be tolerated.   The message came on the heels of increased violence in schools not only in Pittsfield but throughout the nation. On Wednesday, the School Committee joined in, backing McCandless' message that the city is not willing to accept it.   "Fighting and putting hands on one another is never ever going to be an acceptable answer in this school," McCandless said on Wednesday when discussing his message with the

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New Doctor Joins Oncology Team at BMC Cancer Center
02:53PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced the appointment of Dr. Thomas Fynan, a board-certified and fellowship-trained medical oncologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Hematology Oncology Services of BMC, located at the BMC Cancer Center.

Dr. Fynan is accepting new patients in need of medical oncology services and joins doctors Michael DeLeo, Trevor Bayliss, Sean Mullally and Nasir Ahmad in providing comprehensive care at the Cancer Center.

Dr. Fynan is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and was fellowship-trained in medical oncology at Yale University School of Medicine. He received his medical

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Take Advantage of Tax Diversification
12:38PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

As an investor, you will have access to accounts that are taxed differently from one another. And it's possible you could benefit from tax diversification by owning accounts in these three categories:

Tax-deferred: Tax-deferred accounts include the traditional IRA and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. When you invest in tax-deferred vehicles, your money can grow faster than if it were placed in an account on which you paid taxes every year. You also may get a tax deduction for contributions you make today. When you start taking withdrawals from these tax-deferred accounts, typically during retirement, the money is usually taxed at your ordinary income tax

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Choosing a Nurse Practitioner As Your Primary Care Provider
By Brenda Strysko, DNP, CNM, FNP-BC,
12:07PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are becoming a more common health partner for many Vermonters.  According to a 2018 report by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Americans make more than 870 million visits to NPs every year.

Still, many patients are not aware that NPs can capably serve as a primary care provider. As clinicians that blend clinical skill in diagnosing and treating health conditions with consideration for disease prevention and health management, NPs provide comprehensive care to patients every day.

Vermont leads the way

Compared to other primary care providers, NPs are the most likely to practice in rural communities like Vermont. According to a 2011 survey from

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Pittsfield Council Forgives $2.5M in Beacon Cinema Debt
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Cory Jacobson boasts of running a number of successful cinemas and believes the Beacon can be a success under his management. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It wasn't really a difficult decision. But it was a wildly unpopular one late Tuesday night when the City Council approved by an 8-2 margin to forgive some $2.5 million in debt to the Beacon Cinema in order to help facilitate a sale of the historic downtown building.   The former Kinnell and Kresge building was renovated in 2008 through a public-private partnership to the tune of $22.1 million. The financial package was specifically designed to take advantage of federal New Market Tax Credits, which brought in $7.7

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College Notes: September - December 2018
06:07PM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lasell students during a service-learning trip in Ecuador this summer. Hannah King was one of 13 students selected to participate in an environmental service-learning trip to Ecuador with Lasell College this past summer.   King, of Pittsfield, worked with faculty and peers to support sustainable agricultural practices in the country. The group spent their time in Ecuador living with local communities and immersing in their culture. Students helped to build brick ovens, create tiles and shingles, and clear mountainside debris.   In preparation for the two-week trip, King and their classmates participated in a semester-long course this spring. Students learned

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Berkshire Museum Trustees Vote to End Art Sales, Begin Building Repairs
04:06PM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Museum officials have voted to suspend further sales of the museum's art collection and to begin repairs on the century-old building.    A total of 22 works were sold in two tranchments, raising $53.25 million through public bidding and private sales.    "We are moving forward having secured the future of this museum for generations to come," said Elizabeth McGraw, president of the Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees. "Our work ahead is focused on making this museum ever more interesting, inspiring and engaging to the broad community in the region it serves and consistent with our unchanged mission."   The

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Daly Resigns as Berkshire Bank CEO
Staff Reports,
09:30AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Michael Daly has resigned as CEO of Berkshire Bank.   Berkshire Hills Bancorp announced on Monday that Daly has stepped down effective immediately and President Richard Marotta will take over as chief executive officer. Marotta was also appointed as a member of the board of directors. Sean Gary will take over as bank president.    "Mike's commitment to the Bank, our customers and our communities has been instrumental in Berkshire's success.  We thank him for his focus on creating the strong franchise we have today," said William J. Ryan, chairman the board of directors, in a statement released on Monday that did not give a

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Tuesday Weather Report: Drive Safely Out There!
07:20AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It started as rain for most of us Monday night, and now it's snow for all of us Tuesday morning. And it's not going to stop anytime soon.

Who's dreaming of a white December?

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday in Northern Berkshire County; the snow already falling caused the immediate closure of schools in Savoy and Florida - and the last-minute switch from a two-hour delay to a full snow day for BART, Clarksburg, North Adams, Central Berkshire and Adams-Cheshire and Stamford, Vt. You can find the running list here.

When all is said and done, most of us should see snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches in most places, with of course more falling in the

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Eight Graduate From McCann Practical Nursing Program
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Susan Watson is retiring after six years leading the program. See more photos from Monday's ceremony here.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Monday night was bittersweet for the McCann Technical School community with the celebration of the latest class of nursing graduates also saying goodbye to the woman who has led the program for six years.

The eight students from the Licensed Practical Nursing Program bid goodbye to the school and to retiring Program Coordinator Susan Watson during the pinning ceremony.

"Throughout the year, all of you have reaffirmed why I love teaching, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching your enthusiasm and have many memorable moments," Watson said.

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