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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Bank Foreclosing on Crowne Plaza, Heading to Auction
Staff Reports,
05:28PM / Friday, January 27, 2017
    PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Crowne Plaza is heading to the auction block.   Santander Bank is foreclosing on the 179-room hotel on Park Square. Sullivan Auctioneers have scheduled the real estate auction for Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza.    The hotel is a brand through the InterContinental Hotel Group. It not only features 179 rooms but also 12,000 square feet of meeting and function space.   The multi-story building sits on 3.19 acres of land.    Land records show that Berkshire Common Corporation and Shireberk Corporation and Santander, former Sovereign Bank, entered a $16.5 million mortgage agreement on April 4,

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'The Founder': The Original Hamburglar
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:53PM / Friday, January 27, 2017

'I think my father would have enjoyed John Lee Hancock's "The Founder," an enthusiastic account of how Ray Kroc, a previously failed salesman, turned the McDonald brothers' pioneering, fast-food restaurant into a worldwide phenomenon. But while he would applaud the title character's passion and persistence, he'd have something to say about his arguable ruthlessness. While dad, like Roy Hobbs in "The Natural" (1982), liked a buck as well as the next guy, he didn't believe that business and integrity were mutually exclusive items.

Daniel Goldberger, generally a man of few but well-chosen words, turned loquacious when we had company in the form 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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Jacoby to Retire as Boys & Girls Club CEO
01:28PM / Friday, January 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Chris Jacoby, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, has announced his retirement effective July 1.

Jacoby has served as CEO since March 2015. A search will begin shortly for a new long-term CEO to take the club into the future.

"It has been an honor to serve as CEO for our Boys and Girls Club. Working closely with staff and volunteers, it has become apparent to me, more than ever, how important this organization is to our youth, their futures, and the future of our community," said Jacoby. "When I took over as CEO, my goal was to re-establish the community's confidence in our organization and put us back on track for serving the

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Berkshire Bank Appoints Key Corporate Finance Officers
11:59AM / Friday, January 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank has announced several key appointments within its Corporate Finance Department to accelerate the company's progress and to empower the next level of leadership.
 
Kevin Nihill has been named senior vice president/treasurer, and Allison O'Rourke has been named executive vice president/Finance.

Nihill has been serving as the lead of Berkshire's Strategic Analytics group. Nihill has nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services industry in a number of treasury, financial modeling and finance-related roles and joined the company in 2010.

Nihill is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder, earned his bachelor's degree

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Jan. 27-Feb. 2
11:37AM / Friday, January 27, 2017

  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       January 27 - February 2,

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'Chefs In Schools' Brings Healthy Eating to Pittsfield Children
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Thursday, January 26, 2017

The students get a taste test from chef Guy Koppe to help determine if the meal should be on the lunch menu in the future. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Eat well, sleep well, and exercise are the keys to a healthy life. Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield, the first of which is being instilled in young children throughout the city schools through Project Bread's "Chefs in Schools" program.   One of the Boston-based Project Bread's initiatives, it brings chefs into schools to help train cafeteria staff, test out new recipes, and teach children about healthy eating — even getting the picky eaters to try new things.   The overall goal is to teach the importance

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Bay State Winter Games Return this Weekend
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Sports
01:05PM / Thursday, January 26, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Ice and snow and sweat and cheers are all on the agenda over the next five weeks as the 32nd annual Bay State Winter Games return to Berkshire County.

For 37 days at six different venues, athletes from throughout Massachusetts and around New England will compete in sports ranging from ice hockey to snowshoeing.

It all begins Saturday at Williams College's Lansing Chapman Rink with two days of figure skating competition and the BSG's signature event, the Bay State Skate.

The annual Saturday night show features winners from Saturday's competition, special invited guests and the production team from the weekend's hosts, Christmas Brook Figure

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Pittsfield Schools Preparing For Layoffs In Next Budget Cycle
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Thursday, January 26, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School officials are preparing for layoffs as the budget process begins.   Superintendent Jason McCandless said the budget development has just begun and with the city's tax levy situation, there may be very little room to maneuver. That could mean coming in with a level-funded budget, which would likely mean reductions in personnel to offset contractual and other obligations.    He said he's asked all of the school principals to find 3 to 5 percent to cut out of their school budgets should that be needed.   "It is a very real scenario where we have level-funded, which means we actually need to come up with $2.5 million cuts. This

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Young People Set to Lift the Spirits of Berkshire Seniors With Valentine's Cards
02:10PM / Wednesday, January 25, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 15.5 million seniors in America live alone and face isolation due to declining mobility and geographic location. To help combat the negative effects of isolation, DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, has teamed up with Meals on Wheels America, the oldest and largest national organization supporting community-based senior nutrition programs, for the fourth annual Love Letters campaign.

Berkshire seniors served by Elder Services of Berkshire County are set to receive handmade Valentine's Day cards created by youth volunteers from across the country this Valentine's Day.

"Social connection and

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Social Justice Discussion Set for Jan. 26 at Simon's Rock
01:11PM / Wednesday, January 25, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Magazine, Multicultural BRIDGE and Bard College at Simon’s Rock will host a talk on "Social Justice: Ethics, Writing and Reporting for Social Change" on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The workshop "Just Journalism: A Workshop on Public Writing" with speakeasy@simons-rock.edu will be held at 5 p.m.; students are first priority.

The summit begins at 7 p.m. featuring Anastasia Stanmeyer, Berkshire Magazine editor, as moderator and panelist.  Eugenie Sills, founder of Womens Times and principal of TWT Media, and Jenn Smith of the Berkshire Eagle, also will participate on the panel.

Journalists, students, and the general public are

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When Do You Need a Financial Adviser?
11:23AM / Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Are you a "do-it-yourselfer"? If you can take care of home repairs, lawn work and other types of maintenance by yourself, you'll save money and probably gain satisfaction. But you will almost certainly need some help in other areas of your life – one of which may be investing.

In fact, you could benefit from the services of a professional financial advisor at several points in your life:

* When you're starting out in your career: When you land your first "career-type" job, you will have some financial decisions to make: Should I participate in my employer's 401(k) or other retirement plan? (Hint: Yes!) If so, how much should I contribute? How can I

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UPDATED: Pittsfield Pursuit Ends With Officer Firing on Vehicle
By Andy McKeever,
11:00AM / Wednesday, January 25, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The district attorney's office says 55-year-old Mark Marauszwski, of Pittsfield, is in stable condition after being shot by a Pittsfield Police officer Wednesday morning at Rotary Park.    Marauszwski allegedly led police on a chase throughout the city's center Wednesday morning, ending at Rotary Park on Springside Avenue. There he was shot by Officer Martin Streit, according to the district attorney's office.   Marauszwski was transferred to Berkshire Medical Center and is now in stable condition.   Authorities said Office David Hallas had pulled over the sports utility vehicle Marauszwski was driving on Bartlett Avenue around

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