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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield's Crosby Elementary Eyed For Combined School Site
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:38AM / Tuesday, February 20, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Crosby Elementary School is staged for a statement of interest that could open a revamped campus in 2029 as part of larger plans to restructure the district, 

Superintendent Joseph Curtis on Wednesday presented the details of a potential SOI to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for the elementary school that would combine Conte Community School and Crosby onto one campus with two buildings and shared facilities.

"We are cautious and saying if everything moves along as we would hope that we have the potential opening of a new school facility on the Crosby site in 2029," he said.

Following approvals from the committee and the City

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ReMarks and Refreshments Forum to be Held in Blandford
12:58PM / Monday, February 19, 2024
BLANDFORD, Mass. — State Senator Paul W. Mark and state Rep. Nicholas Boldyga invite the public to a "ReMarks and Refreshments" forum on Friday, February 23.   The legislators welcome the public to ask questions or offer up comments about opportunities and/or challenges facing the Town of Blandford and Western Massachusetts. Senator Mark and Representative Boldyga will also share some legislative updates from the State House.   This event is open to the public and will be held at Blandford Town Hall, 1 Russell Stage Road, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.   Senator Mark's Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin, and Hampshire District consists of 57 municipalities in western

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2nd Street to Host CHP Mobile Health Unit
08:17AM / Monday, February 19, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass — 2nd Street will host the Community Health Programs (CHP) Mobile Health unit on Wednesday, February 28 from 1-3 pm.   CHP's Mobile Health teams offer the same services as a primary care provider or typical urgent care clinic, making it an excellent alternative for people with transportation challenges.   Participants do not have to be a CHP patient to use this service. In most cases, the visit will be covered by the individual's insurance. For those who are uninsured or can't afford to pay, services will be provided free of charge. A sliding fee scale is also available for eligible patients.   The CHP Mobile Health program

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Lanesborough FinCom Resigning Over Town Not Following Absentee Bylaw
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:49AM / Monday, February 19, 2024

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Finance Committee Chair Jodi-Lee Szczepaniak-Locke shared parting words with the Select Board last Monday after informing the board she would resign after the 2025 budget is resolved.

"I believe in truth and honesty and a lot of you know me and you've known me for years and that's what I think is the most important thing," she said. "So you all can have at this. I am done and I wish you all the best of luck but it's not worth it. It's not worth it to me to participate in this anymore."

Szczepaniak-Locke recently announced that she would be resigning to the committee. Her decision came from an attendance issue with

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Dottie's Coffee Lounge Expands into Mission
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:06AM / Monday, February 19, 2024

Server Victoria Mason with some of Dorothy's shareable platters. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dottie's Coffee Lounge has grown and evolved over the decade to become a staple of North Street.   Its newest "accessory" is an expansion into the former Mission restaurant that closed in October 2022.   The adjacent space, now named Dorothy's, was renovated to connect to the coffeehouse and expand on the "welcoming and interesting" vibe that patrons love about Dottie's but also combine it with a "louder," "swanky" "sparkly" nightlife, owner Jessica Rufo said.   "I think that Dorothy's will continue the

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Letter: Wahconah Park: Invest in Future, Celebrate Past.
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Sunday, February 18, 2024

To the Editor:

I've had many people ask for my opinion regarding the situation. Phone has been non-stop notifications, tags, and texts since the announcement. I have worked at Wahconah Park since I became an adult. I have been to nearly every game at the ballpark except for 3: senior prom, my wedding (still ended up there), and my son's godparents' wedding. I am the longest-tenured broadcaster in FCBL history and Wahconah Park's history. I'd wager I have seen the ballpark more than any other person since 2011. I know the ballpark. I also know it's flaws.

Considering where the press box is located, there is no person who has taken more risk than me. I called that

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2nd Street Elects New Executive Director
03:54PM / Sunday, February 18, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 2nd Street Board of Directors has elected Sergeant Lindsay Maynard as its new executive director following the departure of Jason Cuyler, who recently announced he has taken a position as Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Community Engagement at the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office. Maynard will take the reins at 2nd Street on April 1, 2024.   "Jason's leadership has been a key element in the extraordinary success of 2nd Street. His knowledge of our clients' needs and available services, as well as his vast network and credibility in the community, assured a level of trust and confidence from those we serve and those who support us. We

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MassDOT Aeronautics Applies For AID Grant
01:20PM / Sunday, February 18, 2024
BOSTON — The Aeronautics Division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has applied for $1 million in funding from the Federal Highway Administration's "Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration" Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and authorized to accelerate innovation in highway transportation.    The proposal represents the second stage of a three-phase project, using Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS," also known as drones,) to create a "digital software systems infrastructure." The system converts UAS remotely sensed data into actionable information designed to help optimize the

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Heart & Soil Collective Connects Farmers, Food and Families
By Kim McMann, iBerkshires correspondent
08:09AM / Sunday, February 18, 2024

Fresh produce is purchased from local farms.  LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The pandemic brought food security to the attention of many people across the globe — including in the Berkshires.    It was a surprise to many to realize how significant the need was despite the many farms, grocers and local restaurants in the region. Once that need became apparent, people like Kristen Tool and Chris Wheeler stepped in to remedy things.   Heart and Soil Collective is one of the Berkshire nonprofits formed during that time with the goal to connect people to the farmers and land and increase food security from every angle. The Community Supported Agriculture project also

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Governor Makes Four Nominations to District Court
08:05AM / Sunday, February 18, 2024
BOSTON — Governor Maura T. Healey nominated Leo Fama, Francis V. Kenneally, Courtney C. Linnehan and Marjorie P. Tynes to the Massachusetts District Court.    The nominees will now be considered by the Governor's Council for confirmation.     "I'm proud to nominate these four hard-working and passionate attorneys to the Court," said Governor Maura Healey. "They have decades of experience practicing law and serving the people of Massachusetts. We thank the Governor's Council for their consideration."    The District Court Department hears a range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of

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Pittsfield Council OKs Battery Energy Storage Regulations
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:38PM / Saturday, February 17, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city planner says battery energy storage guidelines will protect the land and residents and councilors agree.

The City Council approved Tuesday a proposal to add a battery energy storage system overlay, or BESS, district.

City Planner Jacinta Williams said the district "seeks to protect the health, safety, and well-being of Pittsfield while allowing for responsible growth and development. ...

"Essentially, battery energy storage systems are just that. Storage systems that use batteries to store and distribute energy in the form of electricity for later use."

This provides regulatory procedures for BESS and BESS facilities, outlines the

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Governor Executive Order Establishing Artificial Intelligence Strategic Task Force
11:06AM / Saturday, February 17, 2024
BOSTON — Governor Maura Healey signed an Executive Order establishing the Artificial Intelligence Strategic Task Force to study AI and Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) technology and its impact on the state, private businesses, higher education institutions, and constituents.   The Task Force will conduct outreach and collect input from stakeholders and experts, advise the Governor and executive branch on the state's role in AI implementation, and find ways to encourage leading industries to adopt this technology to ensure continued success.     The mission of the Task Force is to create specific recommendations for how the state can best support the

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