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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Massachusetts Named Best State by U.S. News & World Report
02:25PM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BOSTON — The commonwealth of Massachusetts has been named the best overall state in U.S. News & World Report's inaugural report. 

This best state ranking evaluates all 50 states in various categories, with Massachusetts ranked the No. 1 overall state, No. 1 in health care, No. 2 in education and among the top 10 for economy and crime and corrections.

Massachusetts was recognized for having the most accessible health care and is ranked third for pre-K through 12th-grade education.

"Massachusetts is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of the strength and character of all those who call the Commonwealth home," said Gov. Charlie Baker.

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BHS Urgent Care Expands Access with Online Appointment System
01:29PM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Patients in need of urgent care treatment can now reserve their spot in line at Berkshire Health Systems Urgent Care, using a new online system that is accessible from home computers, laptops or any mobile device.
Partnering with Clockwise.MD, BHS Urgent Care allows a patient to self-schedule an appointment online, from the comfort of their home or elsewhere. The online appointment system went live on March 1.

The new online appointment system can be accessed by visiting the BHS Urgent Care website. The system can be used through any web-ready device, including computers, smart phones and tablets.

"At BHS Urgent Care, we are continually looking to enhance

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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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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Athenaeum teams up with Boston Bruins for PJ Drive
01:32PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

Pajama jam: The Berkshire Athenaeum is teaming up with the Boston Bruins to participate in their annual pajama drive to benefit DCF Kids (Department of Children and Families) and Cradles to Crayons. The PJ Drive's goal is to collect 10,000 pairs of new pajamas for children and teens in need across the stat, including Pittsfield.

The Boston Bruins PJ Drive runs through March 15. The library will be collecting new pairs of pajamas for babies, children and teens. Please bring new pajamas to the library's Children's Department.

Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson and his wife, Siw, started the PJ drive during the Boston Bruins 2007-08 season as a way to give to give back to their

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Berkshire Medical Center Sits Atop National Quality Ranking
12:52PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is ranked as the best performer in Patient Safety Indicators in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

BMC is ranked number one in the nation when compared to over 3,200 hospitals for its composite measure of Patient Safety Indicators, or PSI-90. The PSI-90 Patient Safety Indicators were developed by the Agency for Research and Quality, and provides an overview of hospital-level quality as it relates to a set of potentially preventable hospital-related events associated with harmful outcomes for patients. The lower a hospital’s composite score, the better, and Berkshire Medical

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Biz Briefs: Lowe's, Central Berkshire Habitat Team Up for Women Build Month
12:18PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

Building a future: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and Lowe's invite women to build alongside future homeowners during the 10th annual National Women Build Month. Central Berkshire is one of 300 Habitat organizations nationwide hosting Women Build projects during the month of May with support from Lowe’s, a longtime partner in the event.

On April 30, local volunteers will start Women Build Month by attending a half day construction training that will give them the necessary tools to build the new construction home. Groups and individuals can register to participate in the Women Build dates in May. National Women Build Week brings together women to devote at least one day

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McCann School Budget Reflects Hikes in Fixed Costs, Health Insurance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, February 27, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann Technical School budget for fiscal 2018 is up 2.7 percent over this year, largely reflecting increasing fixed costs and level state funding.    The school's budget is up about $250,000, from $9.09 million to $9,340,159, and includes $88,000 in cuts. Some $3.7 million of the spending plan will be covered by assessments to its nine districts for operations, transportation and capital projects. The total assessments are up less than one percent.    "The problem we run into when you look at the budget itself, the state Chapter 70 money is pretty much level, the numbers that are municipal assessments ... are fairly level for all

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Boys & Girls Club Girls Win Tourney
08:19PM / Sunday, February 26, 2017
The Boys and Girls Club third- and fourth-grade travel girls basketball team won its home tournament, Feb. 24 to 26.   The team is coached by Kristy Conyers and Bryant Mauer and includes: Kyana Summers, Alivia Mauer, Cheyenne Goddard, Caroline Sherman, Maddy Stetz, Jaelynn Walker, Maddy Chaffee, Jasmine Small, Mia McCluskey and A.J. Pelkey.

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Allessio Has Big Weekend on Junior Ski Circuit
iBerkshires.com Sports,
06:42PM / Sunday, February 26, 2017
PLANTSVILLE, Conn. -- Pittsfield's Michael Mansfield-Allessio finished first in giant slalom and slalom racing this weekend at the Tri-State Under 14 Championships.   On Saturday, Mansfield won a GS at Ski Sundown in New Hartford. Then on Sunday, he followed it up with a slalom victory at Mount Southington.   At Ski Sundown, he posted runs of 36.38 seconds and 36.03 for a combined time of 1:12.41, more than two seconds ahead of runner up Dax Roy (1:14.60) of Catamount.   On Sunday, his slalom runs, 35.05 and 34.13, were the fast times in each run to give him a combined time of 1:09.18, more than two seconds ahead of Wachusett's Kota Tsukada.   Mansfield, who skis

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Lenox's Carpenter Wins Big East Mile
iBerkshires.com Sports,
07:06PM / Saturday, February 25, 2017
Lenox Memorial graduate and Georgetown University senior Scott Carpenter ran a personal record time of 4 minutes, 3.57 seconds Saturday to win the Big East indoor mile championship at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex on Staten Island.   Carpenter helped the Hoyas score big points in the event, where Georgetown finished first, second and eighth.   In the team competition, Georgetown finished fifth of seven schools.   Taconic graduate and UMass-Boston junior Dominic Nda finished fourth in the 60-meter dash on Saturday at the New England Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Field Center in Boston. Nda posted a time of 6.97 seconds, a quarter second behind

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Hundreds Rally In Pittsfield To Support ObamaCare
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:50PM / Saturday, February 25, 2017

State Reps. Paul Mark and Tricia Farley-Bouvier were speakers for the event.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Congress will soon take up bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

But hundreds of local residents took to Park Square on Saturday to oppose those efforts, joining thousands across the nation who have held rallies and packed congressional town halls.

The act passed under former President Barack Obama expanded health care coverage across the country. New President Donald Trump, however, has called it too costly and vowed to repeal and replace it. The debate over the repeal is expected to unfold shortly in Washington, D.C.    But here in heavily Democratic Massachusetts,

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Pittsfield Welcomes Serviceman Back From 5th Deployment
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:45AM / Saturday, February 25, 2017

During a short ceremony, Here At Home Committee Chairwoman Kathy Mickle presented Tech. Sgt. Shane Willis with a plaque honoring his service. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As soon as they saw the sirens coming down Wendell Avenue, the large crowd erupted in cheers: Tech. Sgt. Shane Willis is home safe.   Willis returned to his hometown Friday night, with an escort from state, local, and auxiliary police, after his fifth deployment overseas. He was most recently stationed for seven months in Kuwait with the Air Force.   He had been previously deployed to Iraq three times and Afghanistan once. The 37-year-old Taconic High School graduate has been in the Air Force Reserve for 15

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@theMarket: Market Stalls at Record Highs
By Bill Schmick,
07:02PM / Friday, February 24, 2017

Stock market averages made another batch of new highs this week only to fall back in what may be buyer exhaustion. If the trend continues, investors may be looking at a 4-5 percent decline from here.

It is too early to tell, because one day does not make a trend. We could easily experience a rebound next week, but I would still consider the present levels of most indexes ripe for a fall. My column last week pointed out that we are now in a "danger zone." Sure, the markets could continue to grind higher but every additional point just sets us up for an overdue correction.

Since all eyes and ears are on Washington, progress on President Trump's agenda is dictating where the

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