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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Rise Together' Walks Raise Funds for Freeman Center
10:54AM / Saturday, September 10, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Elizabeth Freeman Center's fall fundraiser Rise Together for Safety and Justice will include six small walks across the county between Sept. 14 and Sept. 22.

For the third consecutive year, it is taking a different form from the organization's former fundraiser "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," which featured men walking a mile in perceivably feminine footwear down North Street at the year's last Third Thursday event.

Members of the LGBTQ-plus community collaborated with the EFC to create an event that is representative of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

This year's fundraising goal is $125,000 and the organization has


New Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine Available
04:08PM / Friday, September 09, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems will begin providing the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine in September and October.    The latest vaccine to combat COVID-19 is designed to provide protection from the BA.4 and BA.5 variants that currently make up the vast majority of novel coronavirus cases in the United States.   The bivalent vaccine will be offered at the BHS Testing & Vaccine Centers in Pittsfield and North Adams, and at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, as follows:   • Pittsfield Testing & Vaccine Center, 505 East St., St. Luke's Square: starting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and continuing each week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays



Pittsfield Run Remembers Murdered Tennessee Jogger Eliza Fletcher
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
09:43AM / Friday, September 09, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Backlit by the first glow of sunlight over the hills east of the city and sporting a T-shirt with the slogan “Women run the world,” Shiobbean Lemme calls the predawn hours “the best time of the day.”   “To get this view, you have to go to bed before Jeopardy is over,” Lemme jokes. “I don’t ever get to see Final Jeopardy. But, you know, the tradeoff is worth it for me.”   On Friday, Lemme was joined by more joggers than usual as the Berkshire County running community joined runners throughout the nation in honoring Memphis, Tenn.’s, Eliza Fletcher, who was kidnapped and murdered during her early


Pittsfield School Committee OKs Unions' Higher Pay
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:13AM / Friday, September 09, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee has passed memoranda of agreements for four bargaining units that include "substantial increases."

During a special meeting on Thursday, MOAs for the 2021-2022 school year and the 2022-2025 school years were unanimously approved for bus drivers and attendants, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals, and educational secretaries.

The unions are represented by the Pittsfield Federation of School Employees, a local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

On behalf of the negotiating team and the whole committee, Chair William Cameron expressed that they are "extremely gratified" with the agreements and hope to settle


Three Families Celebrated on County Reunification Day
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:13PM / Thursday, September 08, 2022

18 Degrees President Sarah Cook says some families need help and guidance on the path to reunification. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Varying circumstances led the Ernest, Hernandez, and Hendrickson families to be separated by the child welfare system but they are now whole again.

The three families celebrated Berkshire County Reunification Day at 18 Degrees on Wednesday. They were reunited within the last couple of years after a great deal of hard work and perseverance.

"We know that the families we work with have strengths and talents, capacities and capabilities, and sometimes it's hard to access these when life and circumstances get in the way. Social, health,


The Retired Investor: Where Have All the Workers Gone?
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Thursday, September 08, 2022
Help wanted posters continue to populate storefront windows in a multitude of service-related businesses across the nation. The U.S. has 3 million more job openings than it did before the pandemic. This labor imbalance is entering its third year. Why has it been so difficult to remedy?   First, I would like to dismiss any assumption you may have that American workers are lazy and simply don't want to work. That attitude is neither true, nor particularly helpful, in understanding the major forces that are at play in this nation.  Instead, I see four main areas that largely explain America's labor dilemma.   Let me start with older workers like myself, who left

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Weekend Outlook: Concerts, Fairs, Festivals, and More
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
11:50AM / Thursday, September 08, 2022
Berkshire County is hosting a variety of events this warm, sunny weekend featuring concerts, fairs, festivals, and more.    Hawk Henries Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield   Start your weekend off early this Thursday by listening to original flute music by Hawk Henries, a member of Nipmuc's Chaubunagungamaug band, in Zion Lutheran Church's Common Room starting at 7 p.m.   His music has been described as being able to carry listeners across musical and cultural boundaries. His artist statement says he is committed to music "as a traditional art form and as a vehicle for building bridges of communication and mutual respect."    Tickets


Pittsfield COVID Cases Plateau, Cold Weather Spike Expected
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
11:43AM / Thursday, September 08, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's health director had good news on Wednesday, telling the Board of Health that COVID-19 cases have been plateauing for the last month after a small increase in July.

The average case rate has remained rather consistent for the past couple of months, said Andy Cambi, sitting at 28.3 cases per 100,000 on Monday, but the positivity rate has been less steady.

On Monday, the positivity rate was 11.3 percent, up from 8.3 percent at the end of August.

The city remains in the red incidence rate for COVID-19 transmission, meaning that there is an average of 10 or more cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate above 5 percent.

There are roughly 76 estimated


Lanesborough Library, Town Hall Upgrades Coming
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
05:10AM / Thursday, September 08, 2022

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Planned upgrades to the library and Town Hall are still in progress despite supply-chain related delays. 

The town voted at a special town meeting in January to approve $100,000 of free cash to renovate several aspects of town hall and the library. Proposed improvements include new carpet, new windows, washing and painting of both the interior and exterior of the building.

Library Director Sheila Parks said she has spoken to the contractors, who recently took measurements for the building. There have been delays in the process, she said, because of supply-chain issues. 

"Things take longer," she said at Tuesday's library board of


BOO! Pittsfield Halloween Parade is Back
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:51PM / Wednesday, September 07, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tyler Street will be a haunted ground of ghosts and ghouls once more this year.

The city's annual Halloween parade returns on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last parade was in 2019.

Recreation and Special Events Coordinator Becky Manship said it is a longstanding tradition that the community loves and the city is excited to bring it back.  Schools, community, and civic groups are invited to participate in the all-ages event.

"We look forward to seeing all the ghouls, goblins, superheroes, floats, marchers, and more in this year's parade," Manship said in a press release.

This will be


Healey, Diehl to Face Off for Governor in November
Staff Reports,
12:36AM / Wednesday, September 07, 2022
BOSTON — Maura Healey and Geoffrey Diehl will face off this November after winning their respective primaries for governor.    Both candidates had been the expected victors on Tuesday night: Healey was the only Democrat left in the primary after Sonia Chang-Diaz dropped out last month and Republican Diehl handily beat businessman Chris Doughty.    But the difference in votes they toted up was dramatic, with the incumbent attorney general earning more than 450,000 votes hows the Trump-backed Diehl 106,000, with between 70 and 75 percent of the vote in.    Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll won in a three-way race for the lieutenant governor nomination for the


Shugrue Cruises to Victory in District Attorney Primary
By Brittany Polito & Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:37PM / Tuesday, September 06, 2022

District Attorney Andrea Harrington thanks her supporters after conceding to Timothy Shugrue on Tuesday.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Andrea Harrington twice beat her opponent four years ago to become the first woman district attorney.    But an unhappy electorate voted against giving her another term on Tuesday, boosting defense attorney Timothy Shugrue as the county's top prosecutor.    With no Republican running in the general election, Tuesday's winner is the next DA.    The tone at the candidates' election night parties portended the results — Harrington's gathering of several dozen was quiet but close to 200


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