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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Financial Gifts and Tips for New Graduates
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:09AM / Wednesday, June 07, 2017

It's Graduation Season again. If your child is graduating from high school or college, you have reason to celebrate. But what should you give to your newly minted diploma holder? You might want to consider offering a combination of financial gifts and tips, which, taken together, could set your graduate on a path toward a successful, independent life.

What sort of gifts and tips should you consider? Here are a few ideas:

* Give a few shares of stock. Everyone should understand the financial markets and how they work. One great way to encourage this interest is to give your child a few shares of stock. Young people enjoy owning a piece of a company that makes the products and services

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Pittsfield Questions Streetlight Conversion Plan In Capital Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:11AM / Wednesday, June 07, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council gave its preliminary authorization Tuesday night for the city to borrow $8.1 million for capital projects and another $14.3 million for capital projects with the water and sewer system.   A plan on the city side of the ledger to convert all of the street lights to LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, at a cost of $3 million raised many eyebrows.   Councilor at Large Melissa Mazzeo called the plan a "slap in the face" to all of the residents who have had to live with broken streetlights, in some cases for years. There are numerous lights throughout the city that aren't working but the Department of Public Services hasn't found

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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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Superior Court Briefs: May 31 - June 1
Staff Reports,
05:44PM / Monday, June 05, 2017
Cases heard before Judge Edward McDonough on Wednesday, May 31.   Antoine Crichlow, 39, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of strangulation or suffocation, assault and battery on a family or household member, intimidation of a witness, and threat to commit a crime, to wit: assault and battery upon a public employee.   He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the strangulation, assault and battery, and intimidation of a witness charges. He was given a concurrent six-month sentence for the threat to commit a crime charge.   Crichlow assaulted a 32-year-old woman in Pittsfield on January 13 and

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Bank Closing at Noon on June 7 for Day of Volunteering
03:21PM / Monday, June 05, 2017

Giving back: Berkshire Bank will close all locations at noon on Wednesday, June 7, for its company-wide Xtraordinary Day, The Power of Giving Back. Xtraordinary Day provides all Berkshire Bank employees the opportunity to volunteer in communities the Bank and its affiliates serve.

This second annual Xtraordinary Day is set to focus on more than 60 community projects with approximately 90 percent of employee participation across the country. The previous year's Xtraordinary Day marked the first year the bank as a whole closed its doors to dedicate an entire afternoon to give back to the communities in which it serves. Last year, employees were able to help 54 different nonprofit

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BHS Expands Gastroenterology Care, Adds Doctor
03:08PM / Monday, June 05, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced the appointment of Dr. Jacques J. Reichling, a board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Gastroenterology Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Reichling, an experienced practitioner with advanced clinical and procedural skills, is accepting new patients in need of gastroenterology care. He is partnered with Drs. Jeffrey St. John, Rangan Murali and Jason Bratcher at Gastroenterology Professional Services of BMC.

Reichling is highly skilled in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures, including ERCP, polypectomy, EMR, stenting

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Berkshires Beat: Eighth-Graders Sew Patriotic Pillowcases
01:27PM / Monday, June 05, 2017

God bless America: Hoosac Valley eighth-grade students in Terry Vivori's Family & Consumer Sciences class made patriotic pillowcases for Women of Soldier On in Northampton, Mass. The student learned how to use patterns and sewing machines in class.

Vivori set the class up like a manufacturing company with students picking different areas of production. Some students chose laying out patterns and pinning, others cut out the patterns, and the rest sewed or ironed the pillowcases. The students included a letter of thanks to each veteran for their service.   The pillowcases were presented to the Dr. George L. Curran Auxiliary to Post #996 on Sunday, May 28, by Vivori, who is a

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New Doctor Joins Expanded Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC
11:47AM / Monday, June 05, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems appointmented Dr. Christopher Touloukian, a board-certified and fellowship-trained general surgeon, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC.

Dr. Touloukian is expanding outpatient general surgery services in Northern and Central Berkshire. He and Dr. Robert Lincer provide minimally invasive outpatient general surgery utilizing the state-of-the-art operating rooms at the North Adams Campus of BMC and also provide surgical services at BMC in Pittsfield.

Dr. Touloukian is accepting new patients in need of general surgery services and is partnered at Berkshire Surgical

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St. Joe Alumni Putting On Final Dance, Tours Through School
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:13AM / Monday, June 05, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It won't be long before St. Joseph Central High School becomes just another empty building. The artifacts will be shipped off elsewhere and the halls and classrooms will be vacant.   But before that happens, a group of alumni has organized a night to bring everybody back to the high school on Maplewood Avenue for one last send off. On Saturday, June 10, the school will be opened for one last high school dance.   "A few of us thought it would be a good idea to have everybody every affiliated to go through the school one more time," said Mike Messer.   The school will be open from 7 to 11 p.m. with hall monitors showing people around. The

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Senate President Gets Feel For Berkshires' Economic Future
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Monday, June 05, 2017

Christopher Kapiloff of Laminate Technologies showed off a piece of bulletproof glass his company is selling in large numbers, but said it will be made elsewhere if the state can't lower the cost of doing business. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Unemployment, wages, and innovation are high points for the state's economy, all of which the commonwealth is doing the best in the nation.    But the state has stalled on education, transportation, and revenue. If those don't change, then Senate President Stanley Rosenberg believes the state will lose growth.   "Overall, in general, the commonwealth as a whole, we are a high-quality state for life, work, building

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St. Joe's Final High School Class 'Crusaders Forever'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:35PM / Sunday, June 04, 2017

Valedictorian Olivia Bullock had the right side covered as she created the Mother Teresa's image. See more photos here.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sunday's graduation ceremonies for St. Joseph Central High School were both celebratory and sad.

The class of 2017 would be the 115th class to graduate from the Berkshire County's only Catholic high school; it would also be the last.

"We have had enormous challenges this year to remain strong and faithful knowing that our school is closing," Principal Amy Gelinas said during the ceremony in the adjacent St. Joseph's Church. "It is a testament to the community at St. Joseph's High School that we remained

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Wahconah Graduation Dedicated To School's First Principal
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:39PM / Sunday, June 04, 2017

Principal Aaron Robb dedicated Sunday's graduation exercises to Wahconah's first principal, Jack Franklin, who died a week ago at 98. See more photos here. DALTON, Mass. — Wahconah Regional High School graduated 134 seniors during exercises dedicated to the school's first principal: Jacob "Jack" Franklin.   Principal Aaron Robb asked the packed gymnasium on Sunday afternoon to take a moment to think of Franklin, who passed away May 28 at the age of 98.    "He was revered and, by all accounts, had lived a long and happy life. It just so happened that he left us as we were preparing to say goodbye to our own graduates, something that he

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BArT Charter School Sends Class of 2017 Off to College
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:19PM / Saturday, June 03, 2017

Emily DePietro says she has grown during her time at BArT. See more photos here. ADAMS, Mass. — The 16 college-bound Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School graduates were charged Saturday with taking control of their own narrative.   After reading the state's profile of the school's 10th graduating class, teacher Sean Johnson explained that in his opinion, this class was a group of survivors.   "That is the state of Massachusetts' story that is told by a spreadsheet but that is not your story. Let me tell you another story about the class of 2017," he told the graduates and their families during graduation exercises in the

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