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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Man Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Two Children
04:18PM / Monday, December 06, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man who fled from prosecution a decade ago will serve eight to 10 years in state prison for sexually assaulting two children.   Juan Harry, 54, on Friday was convicted on three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child and one count of rape of a child. Judge John Agostini sentenced Harry to serve eight to 10 years in State Prison, aligning with state sentencing recommendations.   The North Adams Police Department arrested Harry for sexually assaulting two 11-year-old girls in 2003. Harry fled the area on the first day the Court expected to begin the trial in 2010. In August of this year, Nassau County, N.Y. Police arrested Harry on the default

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Former North Adams Man Convicted of Sexual Assault
03:25PM / Monday, December 06, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man who fled from prosecution a decade ago will serve eight to 10 years in state prison for sexually assaulting two children.   The Berkshire District Attorney's Office secured the conviction of Juan Harry, 54, on Friday on three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child and one count of rape of a child. Judge John Agostini sentenced Harry to serve eight to 10 years in state prison, aligning with state sentencing recommendations.   The North Adams Police Department arrested Harry for sexually assaulting two 11-year-old girls in 2003. Harry fled the area on the first day the court expected to begin the trial in 2010. In August of this year,

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No New Drunk Driving Victims Added to 2021 MADD Vigil
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:00PM / Monday, December 06, 2021

The annual vigil is held in cooperation with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — No county residents fell victim to the deadly consequences of drunk driving this year but that doesn't discount all who have been lost in the past.

On Sunday, the Berkshire District Attorney's Office held its annual candlelit vigil at First United Methodist Church to remember victims of impaired driving in cooperation with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD.)

The event honored 53 county residents while raising awareness in hopes of preventing further tragedies.

District Attorney Andrea Harrington

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BHS Welcomes Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
08:51AM / Monday, December 06, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems welcomes Fadi Halabi, MD, a specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Berkshire Medical Center.   At a time when there is a severe nationwide deficit of mental health providers specializing in the care of children and adolescents, Dr. Halabi's expertise will be of great value to patients and families in our Berkshire community.   Dr. Halabi received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He completed his residency in General Psychiatry and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Washington University/Barnes Jewish Hospital

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Pittsfield Announces Holiday Parking Schedule
08:04AM / Monday, December 06, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In celebration of the holiday season, the City of Pittsfield announced this year's free parking schedule.   Free parking this season will include "Free Parking Fridays" on Dec. 10 and on Dec. 17. There will also be a week of free parking starting Monday, Dec. 20 through Friday, Dec. 24.   As always, parking in the city is free in the evenings and weekends.   For more information, please visit cityofpittsfield.org.

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Lanesborough to Redesign Police Station Plans After Community Feedback
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Monday, December 06, 2021

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — After significant community feedback on what the town proposed initially, the Board of Selectmen plans to reduce the scope of the proposed new police station.

 

"Chief [Robert] Derksen and I met and went over a few things to try and scale back the building," said Chairman John Goerlach at the board's meeting last week. After some discussion, the board voted to have Brian Humes of Jacunski Humes Architects to redesign the project to help resolve community concerns.

 

The board and Jacunski Humes Architects, of Berlin, Conn., showcased plans for the proposed 4,700 square foot police station, which would cost an estimated $4.35

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Man Found in Pittsfield State Forest Shot to Death
04:48PM / Sunday, December 05, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A  city man whose body was found in Pittsfield State Forest on Saturday morning is the victim of a homicide.    Reymon Delacruz-Batista, 32, died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.   Delacruz-Batista's body was discovered by a hunter at the forest about 5 a.m. on Saturday. Emergency responders were called and paramedics with Action Ambulance pronounced him dead at the scene.   His identity and circumstances surrounding his death were not released until an autopsy was completed on Sunday.   "I send my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Delacruz-Batista, who

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Vaccine Collaborative Schedules Booster Clinic Dec. 18
02:28PM / Sunday, December 05, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative has scheduled a community COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Berkshire Community College Paterson Field House.    The booster clinic is open to anyone 18 and older who wants to receive their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which helps to prevent contracting COVID-19 or prevents serious illness in those with breakthrough cases of the virus.   Both Pfizer and Moderna third doses will be provided at the community clinic, as well as first and second doses for those 15 and older who have not yet received their initial doses.   Registration

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Pittsfield Health Board to Make Action Plan for Cell Tower
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
08:48AM / Sunday, December 05, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some Board of Health members are eager to create an action plan for the 877 South St. cell tower.

Since the 115-foot, Verizon tower was erected in August 2020, neighbor Courtney Gilardi has reported negative health effects and says she is living in alternate temporary housing because of it. She and her daughter, Amelia Gilardi, have regularly spoken during the open microphone segment of city meetings since.

"It's been a long time since all of this has started and there's a lot of information out there to get our hands and heads around," Chair Bobbie Orsi said.

"I don't have a really clear idea about what our next step is, although it

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State Police Investigating Death of Individual Found in Pittsfield State Forest
07:05PM / Saturday, December 04, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A body was discovered Saturday morning in Pittsfield State Forest.    The identity of the individual will not be released until the conclusion of an autopsy scheduled for Sunday, according Berkshire District Attorney spokesman Andrew McKeever.    Confirmation of the death was not released until 7 p.m. on Saturday. Pittsfield Police referred inquiries earlier in the day to the DA's office, saying the case was a State Police investigation.    Hunters reported to Pittsfield Police that they discovered the body at approximately 5:10 a.m., according ot McKeever. Pittsfield Police, Pittsfield Fire, and Action Ambulance responded, and

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@theMarket: Markets Get Smacked
By Bill Schmick,
11:53AM / Saturday, December 04, 2021
Most investors blame the discovery of a new, possibly more virulent mutation of the coronavirus for the decline in stocks this week. No doubt there is some truth to that, but equally as important was the change in monetary policy enunciated by Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, this week.   Readers have seen the S&P 500 Index decline by about 4 percent since the Thanksgiving week. The announcement that a new COVID 19 variant, dubbed Omicron, had been discovered in Africa, surprised the investment world. Friday, Nov. 26, we saw a substantial 2 percent downdraft in the financial markets. The move was exaggerated by the absence of a sizable number of traders who

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Open House Set Dec. 10 at New Wahconah High
11:26AM / Saturday, December 04, 2021
DALTON, Mass. — The community will have a chance to tour the brand-new Wahconah Regional High School on Friday, Dec. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.   Public tours of the $73 million school had been expected prior to its opening but completion delays pushed the transfer from the old school to the new into mid-October.    Central Berkshire Regional Superintendent Leslie Blake-Davis said in a letter to the school community that the tour's "goal is to ensure that all community members have an opportunity to view our new state-of-the-art learning facility. Visitors will have the opportunity to take part in a self-guided tour. While our visitors are touring, Wahconah staff and

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