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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

UPDATE: Pittsfield Police Investigating Berkshire Bank Robbery
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
10:37AM / Wednesday, November 30, 2022

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, at approximately 09:21 a.m., Pittsfield Police Officers were dispatched to Berkshire Bank at 66 West Street for a hold up alarm.

Information from dispatch was that a robbery was in progress. According to witnesses at the scene, the suspect was described as a white man wearing a brown hat, black jacket, jeans, mask and sunglasses.    According to police, the suspect had passed a handwritten note demanding money. The suspect fled the scene and headed toward the McKay Street parking deck.    No cash was taken, no injuries were reported and no weapon was displayed.    Video surveillance in the area is being reviewed and aiding in the

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BHS, CHP Urge Parents to Protect Children from RSV Virus
08:00AM / Wednesday, November 30, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) and Community Health Programs (CHP) released a press release urging parents to take preventive measures to protect their children against seasonal respiratory illnesses, particularly the surging respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).     With flu season emerging and COVID-19 persisting, the risk of triple-virus exposure – especially for very young children – is straining hospitals and pediatric healthcare providers across the U.S., Massachusetts and the Berkshires.      In Massachusetts, the five-week average of RSV cases detected by PCR test was 4.4 on March 19, 2022. By Nov. 12, however, that

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Pittsfield Police 'Back on Track' for Body Camera Pilot
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:11AM / Wednesday, November 30, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following a union delay and a grant from the state, the Pittsfield Police Department is prepared to initiate a body camera pilot in the next week or so.

"I can say that all of the unanticipated issues that led to the delay at the end of October have been resolved and we're back on track," Chief Michael Wynn reported to the City Council on Tuesday.

This has been long anticipated, as body cameras have been requested by the council and community members since the police killing of Miguel Estrella in March.

Wynn walked the councilors through the events of the last month.

On Oct. 13, the initial pilot participants were supposed to be selected along

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Wreath Art Auction
04:21PM / Tuesday, November 29, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Wreath Art Auction is back in-person at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts on Friday, Dec. 2.   Dozens of local artists and members of the Springside Greenhouse Group have created original holiday wreaths, centerpieces and more. The preview party and sale begins at 5pm and the live auction will take place after the Park Square Holiday Tree Lighting at 6:30 pm.    Tickets will be available at the door for a suggested donation of $10. Light food and beverages will be available.  100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of these original works of art will be donated to the South Congregational Church Food Pantry. The Wreath Art Auction has

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Letter: Lenox Planners Should Consider Residents in Cell-Tower Siting Bylaw
Letter to the Editor,
04:00PM / Tuesday, November 29, 2022

To the Editor:

I have been attending meetings in regard to the new wireless zoning bylaw for the last 18 months. As a Lenox resident, the biggest concern is that the new bylaw is not protective of its residents. The new bylaw is industry-friendly and makes it difficult, if not impossible to push back on an application if you find one being proposed for next to, or on your home. The only recourse that was shared with us, if an application is approved, is private litigation. 

Private litigation would be against the town and against the telecom company. Hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in fighting inappropriately sited wireless installations is cost prohibited for

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Five Berkshire Communities Get Police Body-Camera Grants
03:09PM / Tuesday, November 29, 2022
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city is one of five Berkshire communities receiving a total of $436,000 in funding for body-worn cameras through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.    The grant program awarded $2,494,752.40 in fiscal 2023 to a total of 32 municipal departments across Massachusetts to implement or expand body-worn camera programs.     Every department that applied for this year's grant program received either full or partial funding through a competitive application process administered by the Office of Grants and Research.   Both Berkshire cities received funding, with North Adams being granted $94,492 and Pittsfield,

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Taconic CTE Students Decorate Downtown Pittsfield
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
06:00PM / Monday, November 28, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Taconic High School Career Technical Education (CTE) program has partnered with the City of Pittsfield and a variety of nonprofits to help students engage in the community and build their skills.   "It's important that they know they can make a difference, and they are active participants in making our community better through their actions and their participation," Assistant Superintendent Tammy Gage said. "So letting them know they have a voice and their contributions are just as meaningful as the adults allows our students to feel more accepted."   The most recent initiative that the electrical students undertook was

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PHS Proteus Theatre Annual Talent Showcase
04:01PM / Monday, November 28, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. Pittsfield High School's Proteus Theatre presents its annual Talent Showcase directed by Summer Lawton and Dea Wood.    Performances include singing, dancing, musical performances, and more.    The Showcase will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:30pm in the Pittsfield High School Theatre located at 300 East Street. Tickets are $5 upon arrival. (Note that only cash or checks will be accepted at the door). Enter through the Appleton entrance of the high school.  

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Pittsfield Residential Drop-Off for Yard Waste Ends Dec. 1
04:00PM / Monday, November 28, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As a reminder, the temporary drop-off period for residential yard waste at the Casella transfer station ends Thursday, Dec. 1.    The transfer station is located at 500 Hubbard Ave.   The remaining hours of operation are as follows: • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday; and • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursday.   Customers must provide proof of residency in Pittsfield with a valid ID, or an ID combined with matching name on utility bill, or another similar document. This service is not meant for contractors or businesses to drop off yard waste. Commercial vehicles will not be allowed to drop off yard waste.   Residents will be required

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Healey-Driscoll Transition Announces Full Policy Committees
02:12PM / Monday, November 28, 2022
BOSTON — Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor-elect Kim Driscoll announced the full membership of their six transition policy committees.    Each committee is composed of a diverse group of community members, advocates, subject matter experts, and business and nonprofit leaders.    "We're excited to welcome this experienced, innovative and hardworking group of leaders to our transition policy committees," said Lieutenant Governor-elect and Transition Chair Kim Driscoll. "They will play a critical role in the important work we are doing to ensure that our administration is ready to begin moving Massachusetts forward on

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BCC Now Offers Associate Degree in Mechatronics
08:08AM / Monday, November 28, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the New England Commission of Higher Education to offer an associate of science degree in mechatronics, a field that combines industrial machinery operation and maintenance skills with 21st-century automation electronics and robotics.    The new degree will be available in fall 2023.   Students enrolled in BCC's newly created Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) certificate program may "stack" credits towards a degree. Essentially, students can complete the AMT certificate in one year, followed by a second year in mechatronics,

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Pittsfield City Council to Revisit Cell Tower Conversation Next Week
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:00AM / Monday, November 28, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The cell tower conversation will pick up again next week with City Council agenda items from Ward 4 Councilor James Conant and Ward 1 Councilor Kenneth Warren.

They have requested that the state and federal delegation is notified of the council's position on the negative health effects of cell tower radiation and that the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Mayor Linda Tyer, and Lisa Blackmer are contacted for assistance, solutions, and legislation to deal with the negative effects of cell tower radiation.

This comes about five months after the Board of Health voted to rescind its cease and desist order on the Verizon cell tower at 877 South St. Litigation

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