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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

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have filed litigation against the city after its cease and desist order for the Verizon cell tower at 877 South St. was rescinded.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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@theMarket: Fed-fueled Gains Support Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Friday, July 29, 2022
The markets embraced another 75-basis point interest rate hike by the Fed, even as the U.S. economy contracted for the second quarter in a row. Bad news became good news in today's markets.   It was not so much the hike in the Fed funds rate announced as part of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) meeting on July 27, 2022, as it was the words of Chairperson Jerome Powell in the Q&A session afterward. Although he really did not say anything new, the markets and the media interpreted his stance as more dovish, if not pivotal.   The bulls' argument is that the economy is slowing, inflation is peaking, and therefore the Fed is likely to slow, if not stop, its

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Aquarium Reimagined as Berkshire Museum's 'Heart'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:44AM / Friday, July 29, 2022

Tomomi Itakura and Yugon Kim, founding partners IKD architects, explain their vision to a gathering at the Berkshire Museum. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum plans to bring its aquarium from the basement to its main floor and create a unified space for art and natural history displays.

On Tuesday, the museum gave a presentation on the third phase, or "block," of its approximately $10 million capital improvement plan. The nearly 120-year-old building has so far received renovations to its sewer lines, foundation, freight elevator and second floor.

Project architects Tomomi Itakura and Yugon Kim, founding partners of IKD of Boston and San Francisco,

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Lt. Governor Candidate Lesser: Government Needs to Work for People
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:08PM / Thursday, July 28, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Eric Lesser says the next gubernatorial administration needs to focus on the cost of living, affordable child care, affordable housing for people, and transportation because they are all tied together.   "They all go together, you can't really have good, high-quality housing without good transportation, right to get people connected to where they work and where they live," the state senator said recently during a visit to Pittsfield.   He's running in the Democratic primary on Sept. 6 for the lieutenant governor nomination.   One of the most important roles of the lieutenant governor is helping carry out the governor's vision,

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The Retired Investor: No End in Sight for Airline Agony
By Bill Schmick,
03:56PM / Thursday, July 28, 2022
Missing bags, canceled flights, stranded passengers, and interminable check-in times have made this summers' travel a nightmare. What's worse, the cost of travelling has exploded.   Consumers are paying an average 34 percent higher air fares this year versus last. The reasons why range from higher jet fuel costs, increased labor costs and sky rocketing demand among others. As the summer season progresses, it seems that the worse the experience gets, the more consumers are willing to pay.    If you watch the horror shows on the news, chaos abounds not only here in the U.S. but in the international airline system overall. Short comings in one location, whether it be

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Truck Crashes Into Former Johnny's Beach Club
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:18PM / Thursday, July 28, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A pickup truck crashed into the former Johnny’s Beach Club on Wednesday night, taking down the front of the building.

The crash into the empty building at 87 Wahconah St. occurred at about 9:50 p.m. 

Two people who were in the vehicle were taken to Berkshire Medical Center for minor injuries and the city's building inspectors were notified.

A photo posted to Facebook by a resident showed a white pickup with its front end in the building and its back end on the sidewalk.

The brick addition on the front of the building where the accident occurred was destroyed and surrounded with caution tape. It had previously been in

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Dalton, Hinsdale Start Study for Merged Police Force
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:06AM / Thursday, July 28, 2022

Sean Kelly of Municipal Resources Inc., a consulting firm, explains the feasibility study of the police departments in Dalton and Hinsdale in this screenshot from Dalton Community Television. See the full video here.  DALTON, Mass. — Residents seemed open to a merged police force with Hinsdale, but officials are concerned at the low numbers that attended the informational meeting Tuesday at Wahconah Regional High School.    Select Board members said they will look into sending a questionnaire to residents to gather more input based on the recommendations of one citizen who raised the concern of lack of attendance and responses from the audience. Only about a dozen

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Cannabis Facility Proposed for Berkshire Mall
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:52AM / Thursday, July 28, 2022

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The shuttered Berkshire Mall may have a revival of business activity -- in cannabis.  

The Selectmen on Tuesday authorized negotiations for a Host Community Agreement with JMJ Holdings Corp. for a project that includes making former anchor stores into manufacturing and cultivation facilities.

"What we seek to do is basically revive that property to a state of business. We are focused on the supply chain side. I'm aware that Lanesborough does not have any retail cannabis establishments so that's certainly not on the table for us," applicant Blake Mensing said.

"The rough outline of the proposal would be to benefit from the mall

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Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13-Year-Olds Win New England Championship
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
04:24PM / Wednesday, July 27, 2022
TRUMBULL, Conn. — After scoring 57 runs in its first four games at the Babe Ruth New England Regional Championship, Pittsfield's 13-year-olds figured to have a whole other challenge in Tuesday morning's title game.   Facing a Waterford, Conn., team that allowed four runs total in its first four games, Pittsfield was going to need strong pitching to win the crown and claim a berth in next month's Babe Ruth World Series.   Cam Hillard and Connor Paronto were up to the task.   The pair combined to strike out eight and allowed four hits in seven innings to pitch Pittsfield to a 6-0 win at Trumbull High School.   "I usually come in with a lot of

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