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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Time to Gather Your Investment Tax Forms
Submitted by Edward Jones,
01:46PM / Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The holidays are now a month behind us, which means it's about time for another season: tax season.

While you may not find it particularly festive, you can get through this season with a minimum of stress – if you're organized. That means, among other things, you'll need to gather the correct forms in one place. And right about now, you should be receiving many of the forms you’ll need – specifically, those tax forms related to your investments.

Here are some of the key forms to watch for:

* 1099-B: This form reports capital gains. A capital gain is an increase in the value of an investment over the initial purchase price. Short-term capital gains, on


Advisers Lay Out Pittsfield's Financial Picture
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Auditor Thomas Scanlon said the city needs to raise property values significantly in order to raise the levy ceiling.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's reserves are dwindling and the ability to tax is eroding away.   But buried under the financial struggles, a couple gems of optimism poked its head through Tuesday night when financial advisers presented a mostly dreary picture of the city's financials.   The bad news is what has been repeated over and over again since last year when this presentation was given — the city is inching ever closer to the levy ceiling, limiting its ability to tax. The good news is a high percentage of residents


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

Pittsfield Airport Study Group Looking to Balance Fee Changes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:36PM / Tuesday, January 31, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Airport Study group is trying to find a balance between raising revenues to pay for operations while still remaining priced competitively.   The study group was formed by the request of three city councilors to take a deeper look at the airport's finances. The city has routinely budgeted about $100,000 each year to help the operations. Councilors Christopher Connell, Melissa Mazzeo, and Donna Todd Rivers called for the study to find ways to make it self-funding.   Former City Councilor Jonathan Lothrop sat on the study group and performed a financial analysis showing that even with long-term debt, the airport is only in the hole $84,800. That


Pittsfield Police Seeking Information on Appleton Ave Shooting
06:55PM / Monday, January 30, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigating another shooting incident in the city that injured a teenager.

According to a press release by Lt. Gary Traversa, police responded to reports of shots fired in the area of Appelton Avenue and East Street shortly after midnight on Sunday morning.

Patrol units canvassed the area for witnesses, victims or suspects. About 55 minutes later, police were notified that a 17-year-old boy was being treated at Berkshire Medical Center's Emergency Department for gunshot wounds to his leg. The victim was treated and released.  

The incident is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at


Methuselah Ordered By Licensing Board To Donate Five-Days of Profits
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:51PM / Monday, January 30, 2017

On Monday Police released the video of the incident in which Shugrue says it is clear that the doorman asked the shooting victim for identification. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Instead of having her liquor license suspended for five days, Methuselah owner Yuki Cohen is donating the profits from those days to a local non-profit.   Methuselah was called before the Licensing Board to answer to an incident on Nov. 25, 2016, when a 17-year-old was drinking at the bar and then was shot moments after right outside the door.   The Licensing Board agreed on Monday to stay a license suspension for a year, meaning if there are any violations in the next year the suspension is


Case Forced to Resign as DCR Regional Director
Staff Reports,
02:59PM / Monday, January 30, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Michael F. Case is out at the state Department of Conservation and Recreation less than a year after his appointment as western region director.

According to The Boston Globe, Case was forced to resign Thursday after being confronted by DCR Commissioner Leo Roy after pornography was reportedly found on his Pittsfield office computer.

The Republican State Committee member and Washington selectman was appointed to the post by Gov. Charlie Baker last February.

The request he resign apparently followed two previous warnings earlier in the month about language and conduct.

The Globe on Friday quoted DCR spokesman Troy Wall as saying, "After becoming aware of a


NAMI Berkshire County To Hold Cupcake Wars
02:22PM / Monday, January 30, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Berkshire County, is holding its third annual Cupcake Wars Fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Bakeries from throughout Berkshire County – including Linda's Pastries, Cakewalk Bakery & Cafe, and Gimme Some Sugar– will compete for the best cupcake in the following categories: Best Tasting, Best Presentation, Most Creative Use of Theme and People's Choice.

NAMI Berkshire County's third annual Cupcake Wars will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the ITAM Lodge on 93 Waubeek Road in Pittsfield. The cost to attend is $30 in advance and $35 at the door and includes an Italian dinner prepared by UNICO and


Biz Briefs: Williamstown Commons, Kimball Farms Named Best Nursing Homes by Magazine
02:13PM / Monday, January 30, 2017

Best of the best: Four of Berkshire Healthcare's skilled nursing facilities in Massachusetts have been named among the best in the commonwealth by US News & World Report. In the Berkshires, Williamstown Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox were among 80 in Massachusetts selected by the national magazine. Other Berkshire facilities including Hunt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Danvers and Pilgrim Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing in Peabody earned spots on the list.

US News evaluated more than 15,000 skilled nursing facilities nationwide, across each state and in 100 major metropolitan areas. Just over 2,000 nursing homes


Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Towns Receive Complete Streets Community Funding Awards
01:11PM / Monday, January 30, 2017

Mission complete: A ceremony was held at the Massachusetts State House on Jan. 27 to distribute a total of $5.5 million to 15 communities, including three Berkshire County towns, in funding for the Complete Streets Funding Program. A "complete street" is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes and for all people, taking into account the ages and abilities of individuals. In September 2016, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the first round of awards from the Complete Streets Program to 11 communities which totaled over $4.4 million.

The Complete Streets funding awards will be used to fund local, multi-modal infrastructure improvement projects,


Miller, Whittum Take Golds at Bay State Figure Skating Sports,
08:39AM / Monday, January 30, 2017
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Christmas Brook Figure Skating Club competitors Grace Miller and Samantha Whittum each earned a gold medal on Sunday at the Bay State Winter Games at Williams College’s Lansing Chapman Rink.   Miller of Williamstown placed first out of four girls in the Pre-Preliminary Girls Test Track Flight 4 division, where she earned four out five first-place votes from the judges.   Pittsfield’s Briana Palmieri of the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club placed third in the flight.   Williamstown’s Whittum won the Pre-Juvenile Girls Test Track Flight 1, which saw seven entrants. Whittum picked up a first place vote and two seconds among the panel of


State Asks For Redesign of Pittsfield's Rail Trail Extension
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, January 30, 2017

Unistress has been growing its operations west alongside the Berkshire Mall Connector Road. To avoid the business, the trail is being redesigned to move east. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The extension of the Ashuwilticook Rail Trail to Crane Avenue needs to be redesigned to alleviate safety concerns while cutting through Unistress property.   The city has already spent a quarter of a million dollars designing the extension in preparation to receive $2.5 million in federal highway funds for the construction. Now, after a 25 percent design hearing, the state is asking for a redesign to circumvent the Unistress property.    "It was going through the middle of their


Attorney Offers Overview of Marijuana Law for Municipalities
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:04AM / Sunday, January 29, 2017

The implementation of the new law is drawn out over a number of years. LENOX, Mass. — Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level so income raised from sales of pot cannot legally be placed in federally regulated banks.   So, what are towns supposed to do with the money raised from a local option tax now that marijuana sales will be legal on the state level?   That's one of the questions yet to be answered after Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize the use, sale, and taxation of marijuana.    Attorney Raymond Miyares of Miyares & Harrington LLP of Wellesley provided a presentation on the law, aimed particularly for local


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