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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Berkshire Pride Festival Emits Love, Urges Creation of Better World
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
02:14PM / Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Erika Allison speaks to the crowd at the Berkshire Pride Festival on Saturday. See more photos here.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The sun rose high on Saturday afternoon giving the LGBTQIA-plus community a chance to be prideful of who they are and to celebrate differences.   Queer interfaith minister, author, and spiritual counselor Erika Allison spoke of the "somber" state of the world that has hindered the rights of individuals.    "I don't need to tell you that we are living in sobering times. Ongoing attacks on trans rights from every angle, shocking initiatives to place archaic controls on women and their bodies, puzzling bans on acknowledging

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BHS Wellness Hosting Men's Health Workshop
12:08PM / Wednesday, June 08, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — June is Men's Health Month, and Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) is presenting a special workshop with Dr. Mark Pettus promoting men's health, to be held both in-person or by Zoom.    The Men's Health Workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 21 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Zion Church, 74 First Street in Pittsfield.   Dr. Pettus, formerly the Director of Wellness and Population Health at Berkshire Health Systems, will touch on topics not covered by the average health workshop – including fat is good, love is essential and going barefoot in the morning sun helps your brain function. While the focus is on Men's Health, all are welcome

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Dalton Select Board Approves Continuity of Operations Plan
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
10:30AM / Wednesday, June 08, 2022
DALTON, Mass. — The Select Board voted to accept the Continuity of Operations Plan on Monday that would establish a framework to reduce the consequences of a disaster.    "Massachusetts is vulnerable to many hazards, just in Berkshire County we have seen the effects of wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, wind storms and localized flooding," the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan states.   "In addition the state has had to deal with major coastal flooding, dam failure, radiation contamination, hazardous materials spills or releases."   Emergency Management Director Daniel Filiault has been working with department heads to establish

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Berkshire District Attorney's Office Honors Outgoing Youth Advisory Board
08:12AM / Wednesday, June 08, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire District Attorney's Office honored the accomplishments of this year's Youth Advisory Board in an evening of celebration on Thursday, June 2.   Overseen by the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, the board consists of 16 high school juniors and seniors from 9 different Berkshire County schools to bring youth issues to the forefront, build positive social environments among their school-aged peers, and volunteer to serve the community.   "I congratulate the outgoing members of this year's Youth Advisory Board. While I am sad that they will no longer be a presence in my office, I am excited to see what they accomplish.

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Taxicab Commission Approves Rate Increase for Rainbow Taxi
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:30PM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Taxicab Commission has approved a long-awaited rate increase for County Rainbow Taxi.

Last Wednesday, the panel voted to change 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.

The increase required an amendment of the City Code Chapter 21, Sections 21 to 23.

Manager Rick Knights explained that the rate was changed in March because the company was concerned about keeping drivers.

"That was the main goal," he said. "That money went directly to them."

Knights also said Rainbow Taxi is really a service that the owners, the Renzi family, provides and that

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Council Subcommittee Votes 'No' on Nip Ban in Pittsfield
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:45PM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022

 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nips are safe in the city for now.

Local liquor store owners persuaded the Ordinances and Rules subcommittee to reject a citywide nip bottle ban on Monday.

The panel unanimously voted against a petition from attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo III requesting to ban the sale of the miniature booze bottles in Pittsfield.

Owners of Harte's Package and Variety, Hashim's Package Store, Liquor's Inc., Chico's Wine and Spirits, and George's Liquor Store and Berkshire Wine and Liquors attended the meeting to speak against to ordinance. They acknowledged that nip-bottle littering — and littering in general — is a problem but said that a

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Pittsfield COVID-19 Cases Wane But Still Not 'Out of The Woods'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:18PM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — COVID-19 cases are declining in the city but it remains in the "red zone."

"While we're going down on the numbers, we're still not where we want to be,” Director of Public Health Andy Cambi said to the Board of Health on Wednesday.

A week ago, the percent positivity rate was 11.5, down from 14.7 in mid-May. The average case rate was 73.1 per 100,000 people, which is significantly less than the rate of 133.3 in mid-May.

Pittsfield entered the red incidence rate for transmission in April when the positivity rate rose to 5.3 percent. This risk category is defined by having equal to or more than 10 average cases per 100,000 and having a

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Berkshire County Arc Awards Scholarships to High School Students
02:19PM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Arc, along with BCArc's Down Syndrome Family Group, has awarded $7,000 in scholarship funding to five recent Berkshire County high school graduates who will be pursing undergraduate education in the field of human services.    This year's recipients include:   Quinn Walton (Wahconah Regional High School) is receiving the "Carol Craighead Memorial Scholarship Award" with a BCArc Down Syndrome Family Group Scholarship.  She is majoring in Engineering and will be attending Tufts University in Medford.   Lily Robb (Wahconah Regional High School) is majoring in Elementary Education and attending Merrimack

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Miss Hall's School Graduates 48
12:00PM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's graduated 48 students, including fifteen students from Berkshire County and nearby communities, Sunday, June 5, during Miss Hall's School's (MHS) 124th Commencement.   This year's in-person ceremony, the first in three years, took place under a large tent behind the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center on the School's campus and was shared worldwide via Facebook Live.   Hosted by Miss Hall's Head of School Julia Heaton, the ceremony included remarks from Senior Class President Keely O'Gorman, of Lee; School President Cailyn Tetteh, of Rosenberg, Texas; School Vice President Truc Hoang, of Hanoi Vietnam, and Board of

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'Striking Out Cancer' Fundraiser Adds Softball Game
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:20AM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For its second year, a local cancer fund-raiser is offering twice the opportunities to participate.   "It was all men last year, and we had a couple of people come up and say, 'How about women's softball,'" Joe DiCicco said recently. "I said, 'Yeah, I'm all for it. We'll try it.'"   So put softball on the schedule for this year's edition of Striking out Cancer in the Berkshires, the daylong fundraiser for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute that DiCicco inaugurated last summer.   This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, at 9:30, again on Buddy Pellerin Field at Clapp

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Vein Specialist Joins Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC
10:59AM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) announced the appointment of David E. Cohen, MD, a board certified and fellowship trained specialist in Vascular Medicine to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) and the provider staff of Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC.    He is accepting new patients in need of vein care.   Dr. Cohen comes to the Berkshires from New Jersey, where he had served as a provider and vein specialist with Advanced Vascular Associates in Morristown. He was previously the Medical Director of Circulatory Care of New Jersey in Paramus.   He received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and

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Pittsfield Fire, Sheriff's Office Train for Underwater Rescue
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:45AM / Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Divers suit up to enter the waters of Pontoosuc after a call of a 'baby overboard' came in.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer took the role of eyewitness on Monday morning, alerting the first-responders to a "baby overboard."   The scenario at Pontoosuc Lake was an underwater rescue training drill with the Fire Department's dive team and the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office.     The victim — a weighted baby doll — was rescued from about 12-foot-deep water within the "golden hour" at Blue Anchor Beach. Tyer played her part in frantically alerting the team of a baby overboard after the doll was

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