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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Dalton Plans for Technology Changes
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
01:15PM / Wednesday, March 20, 2024
DALTON, Mass. — The town is preparing for technological changes that are expected to occur within the next few years.   The Finance Committee approved an information technology services line of $66,000, a 7.4 percent decrease, during its meeting last Wednesday.   The hardware purchases line is decreasing by half to $5,000 as town meeting will be asked to approve the use of $20,040 in free cash toward the purchase of 15 new computers.   The town is updating to Windows 11 as MicroSoft will not be supporting Windows 10 in the future.    This will be phased in over the next two years with a second money article in fiscal 2026 for the second batch of 15 computers.

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Authorities Search in Williamstown for Missing Eastern Mass Resident
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
10:05AM / Wednesday, March 20, 2024
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police are asking anyone with information about a missing eastern Massachusetts resident to contact the dispatch center at 413-458-5733.   On Tuesday morning, Williamstown Police received a report of a suspicious vehicle parked near the end of Berlin Road, a hiking area near the New York State Line, according to a news release from the WPD on Wednesday.   Police determined the vehicle was registered to Fae Morgana Barbone, a missing person from the Abington/Hanson area on the South Shore, the release said.    "This person had been reported as missing several days earlier with unconfirmed sightings in North Adams and the Carolinas and a

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Pittsfield Grappling With Possible Zebra Mussell Infection at Onota Lake
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:23AM / Wednesday, March 20, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After an alarming detection of zebra mussel DNA in Onota Lake, the city continues to grapple with a possible infection.

Last week, the Conservation Commission saw a notice of intent application for the application of EarthTec QZ pesticide within a specified treatment area of the lake.  

After a detection of DNA in the fall, the water has tested negative in two subsequent samples but the city is preparing for a possible confirmation of the invasive species with a treatment plan.

"In the fall of 2023, the state alerted the city that a recent water sample taken to the public boat launch at Onota Lake contained a positive detection for the presence

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Brien Center CEO Honored as Irish Person of the Year
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Christine Macbeth, president and CEO of the Brien Center, is this year's Irish Person of the Year. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds gathered in green for the 20th annual Robert "Bees" Prendergast St. Patrick's Celebration last week, honoring people doing good in the community and supporting Hillcrest Educational Centers.

The event embodies the spirit of Hillcrest's founding board member and continues his legacy.

Christine Macbeth, president and CEO of the Brien Center, was honored as the Irish Person of the Year, and Margaret Keller, executive director of Community Access to the Arts, was given the Judge John A. Barry Community Service Award.

Macbeth

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Healthgrades Names Fairview Hospital an Outstanding Patient Experience Award
04:00PM / Tuesday, March 19, 2024
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Fairview Hospital announced that for the 12th consecutive year it has been recognized as a 2024 Outstanding Patient Experience Award recipient by Healthgrades, the leading resource consumers use to find a hospital or doctor.    This achievement reflects Fairview Hospital's commitment to providing an exceptional care experience for patients and their loved ones.   "For 12 years running, the south Berkshire community has given Fairview Hospital the highest marks for patient care, and this is a testament to the dedication the Fairview team has for only providing the best care possible," said Darlene Rodowicz, President and CEO of

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Man Found Guilty of Illegal Possession of a Firearm in Pittsfield
04:00PM / Tuesday, March 19, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Friday, March 15, William Hennessey, 31 of West Springfield, was found guilty by a jury of his peers of illegal possession of a firearm.    The jury found the Defendant not guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon. The trial took place in Berkshire Superior Court.   According to a report, On May 7, 2020, an incident of road rage took place between a truck and minivan in Pittsfield. The Defendant was a passenger in the minivan which included four adults and two children. The truck driver allegedly forced the van to the side of the road. The truck driver then exited his vehicle and began screaming at the minivan driver. After screaming at the van,

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Letter to State Historical: Wahconah Grandstand Can't Be Saved
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:25PM / Tuesday, March 19, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The revitalization of Wahconah Park is inching closer but planners must first gain the approval of the state Historical Commission.

The ballpark's restoration committee heard a project update from architects S3 Design on Thursday and discussed outreach with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, which would like to see best efforts made to preserve the failing grandstand.

Epsilon Associates, hired to guide this communication, drafted a letter that rationalizes the razed and rebuilt design the committee voted in favor of.  

"I think we're in a better position now that we have Epsilon working on our behalf," Park, Open Space, and

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Software Upgrades Impacting Pittsfield Online Permitting System
10:43AM / Tuesday, March 19, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Due to software upgrades, the City of Pittsfield's Building Inspector's Office permitting system, PermitEyes, will be temporarily unavailable beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 31.   Beginning on Monday, April 1, the new version of PermitEyes will be live for the Building Inspector's Department.   The new PermitEyes 20/20 program will be an upgrade to the current permitting program with an entirely new look and feel aimed at making the process more user friendly. Applicants will be able to view and track the progress of their application from the PermitEyes homepage as it goes through the approval process.   To

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Central Berkshire School Officials OK $35M Budget
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:25AM / Tuesday, March 19, 2024
DALTON, Mass. — The Central Berkshire Regional School Committee approved a $35 million budget for fiscal 2025 during its meeting on Thursday.   Much of the proposed spending plan is similar to what was predicted in the initial and tentative budget presentations, however, the district did work with the Finance subcommittee to further offset the assessments to the towns, Superintendent Leslie Blake-Davis said.    "What you're going see in this budget is a lower average assessment to the towns than what you saw in the other in the tentative budget that was approved," she said.    The fiscal 2025 budget is $35,428,892, a 5.56 percent or

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Scoil Rince Bréifne Ó Ruairc Participated in North American Open Championships
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:14PM / Monday, March 18, 2024

Scoil Rince Bréifne Ó Ruairc offers dance from preschool age to adult and performs through Berkshire County. It also hosts a traditional fiddling group.    PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Irish dance students at Scoil Rince Bréifne Ó Ruairc have found support in their peers.    The Irish American Club of Berkshire County opened the school in 2021, offering "high-quality traditional Irish dance" classes to children and adults in Pittsfield. In addition to dance instruction, the school also offers an Irish music class. (An explanation of the school's name can be found here.)   The students have also been able to build

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Pittsfield Police Participating in US 20 Speed Enforcement Project
03:53PM / Monday, March 18, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Wednesday, March 20, 2024 the Pittsfield Police Dept will partner with other state, county, and local law enforcement agencies over 12 states for the "Highway 20 Speed Enforcement Project."   This project was started by the Iowa State Police in an attempt to promote traffic safety and reduce crashes across the 12 states that US 20 runs through.   US 20 is the longest highway in the country spanning approximately 3300 miles from Oregon to Massachusetts. 153 of those miles are in Massachusetts and 8 are in Pittsfield via West Housatonic St and South St.   Pittsfield Police will be participating in this project and will have additional

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MassDOT Project Will Affect Traffic Near BMC
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:56PM / Monday, March 18, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Prepare for traffic impacts around Berkshire Medical Center through May for a state Department of Transportation project to improve situations and intersections on North Street and First Street.

Because of this, traffic will be reduced to one lane of travel on First Street (U.S. Route 7) and North Street between Burbank Street and Abbott Street from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday through at least May 6.

BMC and Medical Arts Complex parking areas remain open and detours may be in place at certain times. The city will provide additional updates on changes to traffic patterns in the area as construction progresses.

The project has been a few years in

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