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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Retired Investor: Public Sector Can't Compete in Tight Labor Market
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Thursday, July 14, 2022
State and local government employees are essential in delivering everyday services to the American public, but the government's labor force is understaffed and has yet to recover from its pandemic lows. The reasons range from lower pay and less advancement to little flexibility in areas such as remote working.   Private-sector jobs have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, while in the public sector, government employers are still looking for more than 664,000 workers with little success. This may sound like one of those "so what" kind of issues but consider this.   Public employees operate the nation's trains, subways and buses in addition to delivering


Dalton Considers Town Meeting for Road, Waste Updates
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
12:27PM / Thursday, July 14, 2022
DALTON, Mass. — The Select Board reviewed some daunting data from Streetscape regarding the state of the town’s road conditions on Monday, July 11.    Town Manager Tom Hutcheson said, during a Zoom meeting on July 7, that Streetscape presented a preliminary PowerPoint that confirmed half the roads in town are in either poor or serious conditions.    In April, Streetscape went over all of the paved roads in town separating them into 365 segments with a special car photographing them and analyzing them with a program that allows them to see three feet of every paved road in town.    A segment is an intersection of one road to an intersection with

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Lanesborough Board OKS New Site Exploration for Police Station
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
04:58AM / Thursday, July 14, 2022

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen has given the Police Station Building Committee the authority to look for other potential sites for the new police station. 


The committee will now be able to explore other properties and work with landowners on potentially selling or gifting land for the purpose. Committee Chair Kristen Tool had initially asked the board for permission to look at other sites last month after voicing concerns over the proposed site at 8 Prospect St. 


Board Chair John Goerlach was initially against the group looking at other sites but said the opportunity for additional grants changed his mind. The committee had discussed possibly


Pittsfield Child-Care Leader Deemed a 'Commonwealth Heroine'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:39AM / Thursday, July 14, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local child-care leader was recognized for her contributions to the community at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Berkshire County Head Start Executive Director Brett Westbrook was selected to be one of the 2022 Commonwealth Heroines by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.  

To mark the achievement, state Sen. Adam Hinds presented Westbrook with a proclamation from the House of Representatives and Senate. Council President Peter Marchetti also presented her with a proclamation from the city.  

"I just feel really blessed to give back to the city," she said. "The city gave a lot to me and my family when I came here,


Pittsfield Council Goes Through 13 Agenda Items in Swift Meeting
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:51PM / Wednesday, July 13, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday went through 13 agenda items in under an hour.

Alongside routine communications and appointments were two items pertaining to the city's infrastructure and one to its retired residents.

The panel voted to enter into a five-year Fiber Optic Cable Agreement with Dalton, approved a request to install a jointly owned pole on East Housatonic Street from Verizon New England and NSTAR Electric, and approved a recalculation of the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retirees.

The purpose of the agreement with Dalton is to install fiber-optic cables on utility poles owned by the town for data communication between the city's existing


New Hampshire Man Killed by Tree Falling on Truck in Lenox
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:45PM / Wednesday, July 13, 2022

LENOX, Mass. — A New Hampshire man was killed during a severe thunderstorm on Tuesday when a tree fell on his truck.

Police Sgt. Michael Smith and Officer Tyler Bosworth were dispatched at a about 5:20 p.m. to a report of a tree on a vehicle in the area of Fox Hollow Road, south of Old Stockbridge Road on Route 7.

Police reported that a 2020 Ford F-150 pickup truck has been traveling in the southbound lane when a "very large" tree fell into the travel lane and landed on the vehicle.

The operator, 56-year-old Darrin Cawthron of Derry, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant in the truck.

There were no reported witnesses to the accident and no other


Pittsfield Subcommittee Supports Three Ordinance Changes
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:52PM / Tuesday, July 12, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Ordinances and Rules subcommittee unanimously put the stamp of approval on three ordinance changes in just 40 minutes on Monday.

These include a change in taxicab rates, an amendment of the age for property tax exemption eligibility from 68 to 65, and a request to develop an ordinance establishing a process for commemorative and honorary street designations.

The request to increase taxicab rates raised them by $1 and 10 cents for each additional 1/8 mile. This changes the city's ordinance that caps the rate at $2.50 and 30 cents for each additional 1/8 of a mile thereafter to $3.50 and 40 cents.

A change in rates has not been made since 2005.

Late last


Valentine Walkoff Leads Adams-Cheshire 12s to Big Tourney Win
09:54PM / Monday, July 11, 2022
ADAMS, Mass. -- Julius Valentine drove a 1-1 pitch to left field to drive in two runs in the bottom of the sixth and give the Adams-Cheshire Little League 12-Year-Old All-Stars an 11-10 win over the Pittsfield Nationals on Monday night in the Don Gleason District 1 Tournament.   Valentine's walkoff hit completed a seven-run rally in Adams' final at-bat and gave the team its second win in the five-team round-robin tournament.   The winning rally included a single from Brayden Durant, a two-run double from Mikey Durant and an RBI from Zack Mazzeo.   "This team fights till the end," Adams-Cheshire manager Steve Albareda said. "It never gives


Activists Demand Climate Legislation 'In the 11th Hour'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
08:06PM / Monday, July 11, 2022

Their are four bills in the Legislature addressing air quality, energy facilities, jobs and clean energy. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local activists are pushing for the state Legislature to adopt a series of strong climate bills, saying we are in the "11th hour" for such initiatives.

These include an act to improve outdoor and indoor air quality for communities burdened by transportation pollution; an act relative to energy facilities siting reform to address environmental justice, climate, and public health; an act for building justice with jobs; and an act transiting the state to clean electricity, heating, and transportation.

Berkshire Environmental Action Team, in


Girls' Softball Team Gets $2,500 Donation From Pittsfield Kiwanis Club
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:20PM / Monday, July 11, 2022

The presentation was made at Friday's Pittsfield Suns game.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Force Lightning girls' softball team has received a boost from the Kiwanis Club of Pittsfield to aid its travel to the Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Jensen Beach, Fla.

The club presented the U12 team with a $1,300 check on Friday at the Pittsfield Suns game.  In addition, the Kiwanis purchased its $1,200 uniforms required for the competition, bringing the total donation to $2,500.

From July 19 to July 28, the girls will travel to the sunny state to compete against teams from all over the world.

Kiwanis Club of Pittsfield President Curtis Janey was excited to see the


Bicyclist Injured in Motor Vehicle Crash in Pittsfield
09:41AM / Monday, July 11, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  A bicyclist escaped critical injuries on Sunday afternoon after a colliding with a car in the area of the Onota Lake Boat Ramp Access Road.   The cyclist was traveling west about 4:16 p.m. toward the boat ramp negotiating the curves in the roadway when the bike collided with an eastbound 2021 Subaru Impreza. The operator of the bicycle was taken to Berkshire Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.   Police, fire and County Ambulance responded. Traffic was reduced to one lane for approximately 75 minutes as the result of this incident and subsequent investigation.   This incident remains under


Pittsfield Americans, Great Barrington Earn District Tourney Wins
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
06:16PM / Sunday, July 10, 2022
ADAMS, Mass. – The Pittsfield Little League American Division All-Stars secured a spot in the 12-year-old Don Gleason District 1 title game on Sunday afternoon.   Who they will meet in that final is anyone’s guess.   The Americans improved to 3-0 in the five-team round robin with a 13-3 win over the city rival Pittsfield Nationals at Willard “Beaver” Bard Field.   Two other teams also have a shot at three wins, but they play one another in Tuesday’s finale of the round-robin.   Great Barrington (2-1) earned its second win of the tournament on Sunday with a 15-3 victory over Dalton-Hinsdale (0-3).   Host Adams-Cheshire, which has played


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