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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Administrators Push for Taconic's Transition to All Vocational
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:07PM / Monday, August 01, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — District leaders continue to push for Taconic to become a vocational school, reporting that the four-year-old facility is quickly outgrowing the secondary model.

The School Committee at its last meeting continued this conversation that started about two years ago.  In March, it was recommended that the school move toward the all-vocational model beginning next year.

The transition would start with Taconic only accepting Career Technical Education (CTE) students in the fall of 2023. Non-CTE students in Grades 10 through 12 would remain at the school and by the fall of 2026, the whole student body would be vocational.

"Taconic High School is growing out

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Pittsfield Walmart Reopens After Coolant Leak
02:00PM / Monday, August 01, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Walmart store at Berkshire Crossing was closed for hours Monday morning for a coolant leak.    According to a Fire Department report, an employee accidentally damaged a freon line to one of the large commercial refrigeration units. Firefighters initiated a Tier 1 hazardous materials action and notified the hazmat team. Tier 1 means the materials involved can be contained or extinguished by first-responders. It assumes minimal risk to the public and the environment.    The regional hazmat team coordinated the cleanup with the Fire Department. The refrigeration system was shut down and isolated and the building ventilated until the air was at

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Bird Scooters Popular Transit Alternative for Pittsfield Downtown
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
08:50AM / Monday, August 01, 2022

People have been shifting their Bird use from joyriding to work and errands over the past three months.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When the Bird electric scooters swooped into Pittsfield back in April there were some that cheered the effort but more than few quickly took to Facebook to prophesy disaster — thefts, accidents and littering of the vehicles.    And who would use them?   But a call to the police earlier this month turned up no recorded complaints. Instead, the Birds have been averaging a total of 145 rides a day.    Bird tapped Pittsfield in April to initiate this new method of eco-friendly, affordable transportation for

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Two-Alarm Fire Damages Pittsfield Duplex
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:32PM / Sunday, July 31, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Saturday night two-alarm fire caused significant damage to half of a Morningside duplex. There were no injuries reported.

The Fire Department responded at about 6 p.m. to a report of smoke coming from the windows of 42-44 Myrtle St. at the corner of Hull Street. Firefighters found the kitchen of the righthand apartment, 42 Myrtle, fully involved and fire extending into the rest of the unit.

Five engines, one ladder, and neighboring town departments responded to the blaze.

Engine 3 attacked the main fire, Engine 5 provided backup, Engine 1 secured a water supply and did a primary search of the engulfed apartment, and Engine 2 searched the other

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Wellesley Edges Pittsfield Americans to End State Tourney Run
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
03:39PM / Sunday, July 31, 2022
BRAINTREE, Mass. -- The Pittsfied Little League American Division All-Stars battled to the final out but came up just short in an 8-7, elimination round loss to Wellesley at the state tournament on Sunday.   Wellesley answered grand slam by Pittsfield's Sebastian Herrera with an eight-run rally, but the Americans scored two in the fourth, one in the ffth and loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth before Wellesley reliever Quentin Donoghue was able to close the door.   Wellesley improved to 2-1 in the four-team state tournament and advanced to Sunday afternoon's championship game against Middleboro for a berth in the New England Regional Championship in Bristol,

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Habitat For Humanity Dedicates Pittsfield Duplex to Longtime Friends
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:56AM / Sunday, July 31, 2022

The new home owners and Habitat volunteers celebrate on Saturday. The project had been delayed because of the pandemic and related supply chain issues.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two longtime friends were given the keys to new homes from the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity on Saturday.

Carolyn Parris and Geneva Samuel now reside in a freshly built duplex at 125 and 127 Madison Ave. with their children after working alongside volunteers over the past few years to build it.  

Originally from New York City, they have known each other for about 30 years and came to Berkshire County for a more peaceful life. They previously lived in insufficient housing in Pittsfield and now own

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Family Forest Carbon Program Expands to Berkshire County
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:31PM / Saturday, July 30, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Small forest owners in Berkshire County — and beyond — can now receive annual payments to implement climate-friendly practices on their land.  

Earlier this month it was announced that the Family Forest Carbon Program is available to small woodland owners with as little as 30 acres in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties.

The program, developed by the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, allows family forest owners to access carbon markets so that they can address climate change while getting paid. This kind of market trades carbon emission allowances in an effort to lower them.

Because trees and

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Middleboro Edges Pittsfield Americans at State Tourney
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
05:01PM / Saturday, July 30, 2022
BRAINTREE, Mass. -- On Friday night, Ben Sykes started a sixth-inning rally that gave the Pittsfield Little League American Division All-Stars a win in their opener at the state tournament.   On Saturday afternoon, Sykes started a sixth-inning rally that did not change the outcome of the game but could give the Americans a lift going into Sunday morning's elimination game.   Gavin Gillpatrick struck out 11 and allowed just four hits in leading Middleboro to a 3-1 win over Pittsfield American.   With the win, Middleboro gets to sleep in on Sunday and await the winner of the 11:15 game between Pittsfield American and Wellesley, a winner over Reading earlier on

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Shacktown Residents File Suit Against Pittsfield Over Cell Tower
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:19AM / Saturday, July 30, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents of the Shacktown neighborhood have filed litigation against the city after its cease and desist order for the Verizon cell tower at 877 South St. was rescinded.

On Thursday, a civil action suit was filed in Berkshire Superior Court against Mayor Linda Tyer, City Solicitor Stephen Pagnotta, Pittsfield Cellular Telephone Co. (Verizon Wireless) and the Board of Health.

It is an appeal of the board's June decision to rescind the order after the telecommunications company filed a case against the city of Pittsfield in federal court and is a request for declaratory relief.

The document alleges that the decision to rescind the order was in excess of, or

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Herrera One-Hitter, Merwin Walkoff Hit Propel Pittsfield at State Tourney
05:45PM / Friday, July 29, 2022
BRAINTREE, Mass. – Sebastian Herrera struck out 15, and Brendan Merwin hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the sixth as the Pittsfield Little League American Division 12-year-olds started the state tournament with a 1-0 win over Reading on Friday.   Ben Sykes started the leadoff rally by working a one-out walk, and he came home on Merwin’s second hit of the game to give Pittsfield the victory and a berth in Saturday afternoon’s winners bracket game against the winner of Friday’s game between Middleboro and Wellesley.   Pittsfield had just three hits in the pitchers duel. Aiden Arseneau had the other.   Herrera allowed just one hit and walked just

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Wahconah Park Restoration Committee Begins Work
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:40PM / Friday, July 29, 2022

The Wahconah Park Restoration Committee meets for the first time this week. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Wahconah Park Restoration Committee met for the first time on Thursday, beginning the process of renovating and redesign of the historic facility.

The panel, which was created by the City Council last month, contains nine members who will assess the current condition of the park, solicit public input, recommend the specifics of the repairs, and make recommendations to the city on the hiring of project agents.

It is expected to issue a preliminary report to Mayor Linda Tyer within 180 days of its appointment and a final report within 270 days.

"This is a moment in time

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Berkshire Grand Jury Returns Indictments in Delacruz-Batista, Tatro Murders
05:29PM / Friday, July 29, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A grand jury has returned indictments against five defendants on charges related to the murder of Reymon Delacruz-Batista and against one defendant for the homicide of Jillian Tatro.   In the Delacruz-Batista homicide, the grand jury returned indictments of Jamel Nicholson, Timothy McFadden, Naquan Miller and Anthony Robertson for murder and other charges. The grand jury also returned an indictment of Melissa Perrea for obstruction of justice and destruction of documents and objects.   Berkshire Superior Court will arraign all of the defendants in the coming weeks.   Hunters discovered Delacruz-Batista's body in the Pittsfield State Forest early

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