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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield Firefighters Douse Structure, Kitchen Fires Thursday
12:50PM / Friday, February 07, 2020

Firefighters extinguish a structure fire on McArthurStreet. The cause was not known late Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters responded to two different blazes on Thursday. No one was injured in either fire but the homes in which they occurred suffered some damage.    The first was at 6:30 a.m. at 73 McArthur St. According to Deputy Chief Daniel Garner, the Fire Department found fire in the attic and roof on arrival. E-5 crew stretched a 1 3/4-inch hand line and attacked main body of fire. E-1 crew stretched a 2-inch backup hose line. E-3 crew provided water supply and searched the building for occupants. Truck-2 ventilated the roof and salvage/overhaul. Fire was

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'Gretel & Hansel': Grimm Doings
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:18PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
The only novel thing about director Oz Perkins' indulgent reimagining of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale is the reverse order of the title characters, which at best could be a token nod to the women's movement. More interesting as a study in how Perkins fails to breathe a new slant into the fable than it is entertaining, the few crumbs of variation are barely worth following.   Only film critics and moviegoers in whom hope springs eternal won't consider cutting their losses by exiting the theater as soon as it becomes obvious that "Gretel & Hansel" is a lost cause. However, it occurred while sticking it out to the closing credits that, despite possessing

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Williamstown's Art Chairing Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:48AM / Friday, February 07, 2020

Tom Matuszko, left, of BRPC and Hank Art appear before the Select Board to discuss the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership last year. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership took a half-dozen years to come to fruition, but its member towns are wasting no time taking advantage of the opportunities it provides.   "We were only authorized in the fall, and there's been a round of small grants," Williamstown representative Henry Art said last week. "Ten towns have applied for $25,000 $20,000 in grants from the state for trails and access improvement or carbon sequestration projects. … The towns will manage woodlands not just for saw

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Berkshires Beat: Schools Sought for Humane Society PAWS Read-A-Thon
12:39PM / Thursday, February 06, 2020
PAWS Read-A-Thon

For the first time in the program's five-year history, Berkshire Humane Society will open its annual PAWS Read-A-Thon to all pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students in Berkshire County.  Materials to participate are available online and the deadline to apply is Feb. 10.

In the PAWS Read-A-Thon, children find sponsors to pledge an amount to donate to Berkshire Humane Society for each minute the child reads during March, National Reading Month. Prizes are awarded to top readers and schools in various categories. Each child enrolled in the read-a-thon will receive a Berkshire Humane Society goody bag.

In the past, Berkshire Humane Society worked with a

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb. 7-13
12:36PM / Thursday, February 06, 2020
February 7 is First Friday Artswalk and More! Enjoy a dozen different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen accomplished regional and student artists in Pittsfield's bustling Upstreet Cultural District during the First Friday Artswalk and all month long!   In most venues, artists will be present from 5-8 p.m. A free guided tour begins at 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Center @ BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.

As part of Pittsfield's 9th Annual 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will host a preview reception for its  from 5-8 p.m. A

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Pittsfield Officials See Budget Overview
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:42AM / Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Finance Director Matthew Kerwood provides a snapshot of the city's finances on Tuesday.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council and School Committee were given a snapshot of the status of this year's budget on Tuesday and a glimpse at the fiscal 2021 budget.   "I am going to give a quick snapshot overview of where we are in fiscal year 2020 then move into a conversation about the financial forecast on the revenue side for fiscal year 2021," Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood said.   Kerwoood outlined the budget process that will kick off in May and went over some metrics that will inform the fiscal 2021 budget. He said the governor has put forth a

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BArT Pulls Away in Second Half
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
11:06PM / Tuesday, February 04, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Brandon Bamba scored 33 points in limited minutes Tuesday to lead the BArT Wolfpack to a 70-60 win over the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School at the North Adams Armory.   Bamba had to sit down during the first half after getting a bloody nose after drawing contact from a member of the Dragons.   That allowed PVCICS to whittle away at a nine-point BArT lead and briefly take a 28-24 lead before Bamba returned with 1 minute, 40 seconds left in the half.   Reggie Delphia put back an offensive rebound to cut the deficit in half and got to the line. He missed his free throw, but Bamba put back the offensive rebound to tie it, 28-28, and

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Be Aware of Social Security Myths
Submitted by Edward Jones,
02:34PM / Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Social Security can be one source of retirement income for you and your spouse. To maximize your benefits, you will need to make some key decisions and be aware of some common myths.

• Myth 1: Always take Social Security early. You can file for Social Security benefits as early as 62, but you could get 25 percent to 30 percent more if you wait until your "full" retirement age (likely between 66 and 67). You can receive even more if you wait until 70, at which point your benefits will "max out." However, there's no right time to file for everyone – it depends on your situation, including factors such as your life expectancy, employment, financial need and

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Pittsfield Council to Consider Tyler St. Zoning, Puppy Mill Ban
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Tuesday, February 04, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council's Ordinance & Rules Subcommittee is recommending the city ban so-called puppy mills, with one committee member calling it a "slam dunk."   The subcommittee on Monday also recommended the adoption of the new Tyler Street zoning overlay that would modernize zoning in the area that stretches from First Street to Woodlawn Avenue.   The puppy mill ordinance would ban the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits from animal breeding mills in the city "that do not come from animal shelters."   This would eliminate the sale of animals raised in cruel conditions and encourage people to adopt from shelters and

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Pittsfield Finance Committee OKs Elevator Repair
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:38AM / Tuesday, February 04, 2020

The Finance Committee also hears an update on expenditures and revenue for fiscal 2020. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Finance Committee approved the use of $168,382 to make repairs to the McKay Street Parking Garage.   The subcommittee heard from Building Maintenance Office Manager Michael Dean on Thursday who said the plan is to essentially replace the elevator that is over three decades old.   "It is going to be brand new," Dean said. "New cab, new doors, new ADA equipment, new fire service, and we are adding cameras."   The City Council had referred the allocation proposal to the subcommittee earlier in January and, in a communication from the

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Big Regular Season Finale Tuesday for BArT Basketball
10:41PM / Monday, February 03, 2020
ADAMS, Mass. -- The BArT Charter basketball team recently picked up a couple of wins by big margins heading into Tuesday’s home showdown against RVAL rival Pioneer Valley Independent Chinese Immersion Charter.   BArT (8-1) is in first place going into the regular season finale. If it wins on Tuesday, it likely will be seeded first in the eight-team RVAL tournament that gets underway on Monday, which means the Wolfpack will be home as long as it stays alive in the tourney.   Tuesday’s game is at 4 p.m. at the North Adams Armory.

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'No Visible Bruises': Presentation on Domestic Abuse Slated Thursday
03:46AM / Monday, February 03, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nine people have died from domestic violence in Bekshire County in the last three years.     Requests for restraining orders is 33 percent higher in Berkshire County than in the rest of the state.   "Those are indicators that we have a problem," says District Attorney Andrea Harrington, describing it as a public health issue as much as a crime issue.   Harrington's office, through the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, is bringing award-winning journalist Rachel Louise Snyder to Pittsfield to speak about her latest book, "No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill

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