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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

BCC Grads Showed 'Grit' To Earn Degrees, Certificates
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:30PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago says the graduating class had grit to persevere and get their degrees. See more photos here. LENOX, Mass. — Jeremy Patterson admires the traditional college graduate, the ones who had the foresight and commitment to delve right into higher education.   Patterson is not a traditional graduate. At age 26, neither he nor his wife had even graduated high school. He was out of work and trying to care for their three children. One day in 2007, they packed everything they owned into a 1992 Oldsmobile and left their rural home in Florida, driving to a new home in the Berkshires.   "We were petrified. While staying with a

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@theMarket: Markets Still on a Roll
By Bill Schmick,
05:55PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

Additional gains propelled stocks higher this week with all three averages closing at record highs once again. Despite the fact that more and more experts are warning of a possible fall in the averages, investors continue to pile into stocks. Should you?

The short answer is no, wait for that decline, unless you have no exposure to the stock market. That would be hard for me to believe if you have been reading my column regularly. My readers also know that the threat of a pullback hangs over the market all the time since we can expect as many as 2-3 declines in the stock market every year.

The economy, however, is still growing enough, and interest rates are still low enough, to justify

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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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Berkshire Children and Families Hires Development Director
01:57PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Bethany Kirchmann has been hired as the director of development for Berkshire Children and Families.

Kirchmann brings with her a decade of experience in fundraising and organizational advancement as well as a passion for her community. Prior to joining BCF, she gained extensive experience in fundraising for the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center and Barrington Stage Company.

She holds a B.S. in Arts Management from Franklin Pierce University. She is currently on Pittsfield’s Artscape committee, and has served on the boards for Berkshire Young Professionals and the Berkshire Initiative for Growth.

Berkshire Children & Families is one of the oldest

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Local Author Receives New England Public Radio's Arts and Humanities Award
01:31PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Children's book author and literacy advocate Ty Allan Jackson of Pittsfield, Mass., was honored last week by New England Public Radio in a ceremony at The Log Cabin in Holyoke.

Jackson, along with two other recipients — illustrator Barry Moser and the Northampton Jazz Workshop -- was presented with an Arts and Humanities award for his tireless work to promote literacy and to empower young people to be "reading superheroes."

"This is a great honor, to be presented with this award, especially when you consider the kind of work and the kind of talent that we have here in New England," Jackson said. "It's hard to believe that

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Berkshire Natural Resources Council President to Depart
01:09PM / Friday, June 02, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Natural Resources Council president Tad Ames will depart the organization on December 31, 2017, after more than 27 years of service, the last 16 as president.

Ames said that he has made the decision to resign from BNRC in order to make a change in his professional career and to seek new opportunities.

"I am now in my mid-50s and I've reached an age and a stage in my professional life where I have the opportunity to create one more chapter," he said. "It is not easy to leave a place and people whom I love so much, but I want to seize the opportunity to be part of another story. It's time to pass leadership to a new leader to bring

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: June 2-8
11:21AM / Friday, June 02, 2017
  VIEW DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR       June 2 - June 8,

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Pittsfield Suns Return Saturday Night For Sixth Season
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:12AM / Friday, June 02, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Suns General Manager Kristen Huss says the ballclub has found the formula for success and is continuing to improve it.   The Futures Collegiate Baseball League team will call Wahconah Park home for the sixth consecutive summer. The home opener is Saturday night and Huss said each year the organization's attendance numbers have been climbing. This year, she hopes to build on that and has an array of special events and activities scheduled.   "We're going into our sixth season. We have four firework nights. We have a jersey giveaway which is modeled after A League of Their Own jerseys because it is their 25th anniversary. We are

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'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales': Many Asleep in the Deep
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:01PM / Thursday, June 01, 2017
I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to over-analyze "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." I do that whenever I can't fathom for the love of me why someone would want to see the second-rate movie in question. After all, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's rambling, rambunctious and dysfunctionally repetitious absurdity should spell an easy day for the critic. The temptation is to write, "It's lousy and that's that. Trust me. I've been writing film criticism for years. This is strictly for those possessing the bad movie gene."   But of course I can't. Besides the fact that such short shrift would put my

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The Independent Investor: Elder Care in an Age of Confusion
By Bill Schmick,
05:54PM / Thursday, June 01, 2017
Many Americans confess that they are confused when faced with the myriad Medicare choices available to them. Others are simply not planning, nor saving enough to meet the challenge of health care costs in old age. In response, a whole new industry has sprung up nationwide.   It's called "life care planning," an off-shoot and a natural progression for those practicing elder law. What, you may ask, is elder law and why has it become so important? Attorneys that practice elder law are essentially advocates for the elderly and their loved ones. They routinely handle a range of legal issues that usually accompany an older or disabled person.   Many of these topics have

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State Police Seek Information on Credit Card Fraud Suspects
12:00PM / Thursday, June 01, 2017

The State Police Detective Unit assigned to Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni's office is seeking the public's help in identifying three individuals authorities believe to be involved in numerous credit card fraud cases in Western and central Massachusetts, Connecticut, and possibly Rhode Island.

The credit card fraud took place in March 2017. The suspects traveled to numerous Walmart stores and used stolen credit card information to make fraudulent purchases worth thousands of dollars. The suspects traveled together in a white Ford expedition EL (extended length) SUV at the time, which may have been a rental car with possible Rhode Island or other out-of-state

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BMC Nurses Reject Hospital's 'Best and Final' Offer
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:20PM / Wednesday, May 31, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The registered nurses at Berkshire Medical Center have rejected the hospital's "best and final offer."   The union put the hospital's offer to a member vote on Wednesday and the nurses rejected the offer by an overwhelming margin. Massachusetts Nursing Association spokesman  David Schildmeier said 82 percent of the Berkshire Medical Center chapter voted against the offer.   "Tonight an overwhelming majority of MNA members at Berkshire Medical Center voted to reject management's 'best and final' offer by a margin of 82 percent and also with an absolute majority of all eligible union members casting votes to

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Guest Column: Time to Reassess growth Across the Commonwealth
By state Sen. Adam Hinds & Dan Hodge, Guest Column
05:38PM / Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Massachusetts budget process demonstrates economic progress does not always create revenue for the commonwealth. Total employment is eclipsing previous highs, unemployment rates are below 4 percent, and per capita state GDP is strong. Yet the state's budget is difficult to balance and news stories about revenue shortfalls feel like waking up in Groundhog Day.
 
Balancing the budget in an imbalanced economy with limited income growth, regional disparities and outdated tax codes will always be difficult. Health care costs and other non-discretionary budget items pose central expenditure challenges that we must address. But underperforming revenue – statewide and regionally

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