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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

BMC Named Among Top 10 Hospitals in U.S. for Patient Safety
01:23PM / Tuesday, April 11, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is a recipient of the Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance in hospitals that have prevented the occurrence of serious, potentially avoidable complications for patients during hospital stays.

The distinction places BMC among the top 10 percent of all short-term acute care hospitals reporting patient safety data for its excellent performance as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

"Berkshire Medical Center has consistently been rated among the safest hospitals in the nation, and this

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Pittsfield To Consider Tax Agreement For Fire Cider Expansion
Staff Reports,
01:18PM / Tuesday, April 11, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Last May, Fire Cider owner Dana St. Pierre said the company needed to find a new commercial kitchen within a year and a half or its growth would come to a halt.   The company was searching locally for a spot to build out a commercial kitchen but struggled to find the right match. It seems the herbal tonic-maker has found it and this week the company will be asking the City Council for a tax increment financing package to help make the finances work.   Mayor Linda Tyer put forth a petition to give Shire City Herbals a 10-year tax forgiveness package of its purchase and renovation of 15 Commercial St. The company is agreeing to create 10 new jobs by 2021,

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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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Large Public Hearing Turnout Opposes Eversource Rate Increase
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:13AM / Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Attorney General Maura Healey has been testifying against the increase throughout the state. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There were a lot of numbers being thrown around Monday night at the public hearing for Eversource's proposed electrical rate increase.    Seventy-three is the number of teachers the city is already planning to lay off while $6.1 million is the salary of Eversource CEO James J. Judge.   The figure of $708,336 is how much the mayor says the proposed Eversource rate increase would add to the city budget.   The electric company shut off power to 10,903 homes in 2015. One dollar and 30 cents per credit would be added to tuition at Berkshire

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Education Task Force Seeks Community Input, Aspirations
02:39PM / Monday, April 10, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force is seeking input as it develops recommendations for county schools.    Five "community aspiration" meetings are scheduled this month for parents, educators and community members to share expectations, aspirations, and concerns for the future of preK-12 public education in Berkshire County.   The first session is this Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center.   Despite having high-quality educators, say task force officials, the educational opportunities available to children and young people in Berkshire County are threatened by the region's

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Biz Briefs: Otto's Breakfast and Deli Honored for Diverse Workforce
01:56PM / Monday, April 10, 2017

Proud honor: Otto's Breakfast and Deli on East Street in Pittsfield was recognized and honored for their excellence in their diversity practices for providing gainful employment to individuals with mental illness with the support of the Department of Mental Health-funded Clubhouse rehabilitation and recovery centers. Massachusetts Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier presented an award to Luke Marion, owner, on March 28.

The event, organized by the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition and held at the Statehouse in Boston, recognized 27 companies who have created a diverse and welcoming workforce while also striving to lessen the stigma of mental illness often experienced by those seeking

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Berkshires Beat: Freeman Center Snags State Award for 'Money School'
11:52AM / Monday, April 10, 2017

Money School award: Elizabeth Freeman Center's Money School was presented with MOVA's Innovation Award at a ceremony at the State House in Boston on April 4, in recognition of its ground-breaking work to advance financial independence for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. During Victim Rights Month in April, Attorney General Maura Healey and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance  recognize individuals and agencies that have made notable contributions to victim rights and services.

The Freeman Center's Money School puts survivors of abuse or sexual violence on a path toward economic security and well-being.  The program, developed by the American

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Wahconah Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Building Feasibility Study
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
08:33PM / Saturday, April 08, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — Nearly 75 percent of those voting in the Central Berkshire Regional School District on Saturday cast ballots to move the district forward in the process of renovating or replacing Wahconah Regional High School.   The question was whether the district should spend $850,000 on a feasibility study to look at options for the 56-year-old school.   The Massachusetts School Building Authority will reimburse the district for between 50 and 54 percent of the cost of the feasibility study, according to district officials. The same reimbursement rate from MSBA would apply if and when the district decides to move forward with any building project.   On Saturday,

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County's Students Inspired To 'Envision Their Future' At Youth Conference
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:31AM / Saturday, April 08, 2017
Some of the workshops got the students more in touch with their artistic side, while others taught students about job-searching resources available in the community. PITTSFIELD, Mass, — The morning started with a "when I was your age" type story from children's author Ty Allan Jackson.   Jackson was speaking over the sound of the rain beating on the top of a large party tent. His audience: just about 120 high school students from across the county. When he was their age, the ghettos of New York City had broken education systems, there were issues of poverty and crime. And nobody was listening to the what those in the neighborhood had to say.   It was those

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'Ghost in the Shell': Machine Politics
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
08:42PM / Friday, April 07, 2017

Viewing director Rupert Sanders' highly imaginative "Ghost in the Shell," based on Shirow Masamune's Japanese comic series, it occurred to me: How do I know I'm not a cyborg, installed by some great Machiavellian organization to surreptitiously spread their deceptions through my film criticisms? It can't be .. I'm just a nice liberal guy, trying to make sure folks spend their movie money wisely. Or is that simply what I've been programmed to think?

Although still not sure, as sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick asked, if androids dream of electric sheep, I now must move on to wondering if Ancestry.Com might help a disillusioned cyborg learn his identity. All of

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Berkshire Groups Going Blue For Autism This Month
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:46PM / Friday, April 07, 2017

There are a series of events scheduled to raise awareness of autism and celebrate the accomplishments of those who have it. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The local agencies that serve individuals with autism don't want to just raise awareness in April. They want to celebrate what those individuals bring to the community.    On Friday night at AdLib, the College Internship Program. Glee Club showed that off. The club took to the front of the room to sing songs and play guitar.   Next to them was a display and pieces of artwork created by local residents with autism — a tie in with the First Friday Art Walk program the city runs.   Later in the month,

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@theMarket: Uncertainty Descends Upon the Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Friday, April 07, 2017
Pick your poison — U.S.-Syrian strife, weak employment numbers, China-U.S. relations — those are just some of the issues investors had to contend with this week. Despite these potential roadblocks, the averages hung in there, losing little ground as the week closed.   There was even more bad news, if you include the latest minutes of the Federal Reserve Bank's FOMC meeting. There was much discussion among the members and a chorus of assent to begin the delicate task of reducing the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet later this year. Recall that the Fed bought mountains of U.S. Treasury bonds over the last eight years in an effort to keep interest rates low (and

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Girls Inc. of the Berkshires Announces Scholarship Winners
02:45PM / Friday, April 07, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, home of Girls Inc. of the Berkshires, has announced this year's scholarship winners.

The following scholarship recipients will be awarded at the annual Ruth P. Boraski Celebration Evening, to be held at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, May 4. This year, the Brigham Center is excited to be awarding $10,000 in scholarships.

These scholarships are based on financial need, academic success and demonstrated involvement in community service. Scholarships are generously underwritten by: the Ruth P. Boraski Fund for Girls Inc. of the Berkshires, Berkshire Community College Foundation, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

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