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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Foster Parent Bill of Rights is Law
10:35AM / Saturday, January 21, 2023
BOSTON — Long time priority of State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, the Foster Parents' bill of rights, is now law.   According to a press release from Farley-Bouvier, the Foster Parent Bill of Rights (FPBoR) was sent to the governor's desk for signature in the final hours of the 192nd legislative session and was signed into law on Wednesday Jan. 4, 2023.    This comes after years of collaboration between House sponsors Rep. Farley-Bouvier and Representative Paul Donato (D-Medford), Senate sponsor Senator Jo Comerford (D-North Hampton), and countless foster parent advocates across the state.   The FPBoR offers a range of protections for foster

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State Receives COVID-19 Homeless Care Funds From FEMA
08:12AM / Saturday, January 21, 2023
BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be sending more than $7.3 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reimburse the Executive Office of Health and Human Services for the costs of providing outpatient care sites to homeless populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The $7,339,766 Public Assistance grant will reimburse the commonwealth for setting up and operating isolation and recovery sites in Everett, Lexington, Northampton, Pittsfield, and Taunton for homeless individuals who contracted COVID-19 between April 2020 and May 2021.   By contracting temporary nursing staff to monitor the health, safety, and welfare of homeless individuals at

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Tenpin Alley Coming to Former Imperial Bowl
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
06:00AM / Saturday, January 21, 2023

Robert Ireland, in this image from Imperial Bowl, retired and closed the candlepin alley in November after running the lanes for 45 years.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When one door closes another one opens as the saying goes, and this is the case for Pittsfield's last candlepin bowling alley, Imperial Bowl.   Robert Ireland took over what was Imperial Lanes on Lyman Street around 1970 after returning home from Vietnam.    Ireland and his business partner, Zigmund Wojtkowski, were always serious about candlepin bowling — a New England version using smaller balls and narrow pins — and wanted to further the sport by getting involved in associations.

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Pittsfield Sees COVID Spike in Sewage Testing, Another Death
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
07:04PM / Friday, January 20, 2023

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sewage testing is showing a post-holiday COVID-19 spike.

On Tuesday, the city's virus concentration in sewage rose to 3 million copies per liter, compared to 1.3 million copies per liter on Christmas. 

Director of Public Health Andy Cambi has indicated that the sewage concentration is the most accurate indicator of the virus' presence in the community because the other metrics don't include at-home tests.

There was also another death that occurred in late December, bringing the city's total to 92.

Hospitalizations have remained low, as there were fewer than 10 COVID patients at Berkshire Medical Center earlier in the week.

Pittsfield saw

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2nd Street Secures Additional Office Space in North Adams
06:03PM / Friday, January 20, 2023
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 2nd Street, an organization supporting formerly incarcerated men and women in Berkshire County, has partnered with Community Legal Aid (CLA) to open additional office space in North Adams.    Located at 33 Main Street, North Adams, the office suite will be shared with CLA, which currently uses the space as a satellite office.   Beginning Feb. 1, 2023, 2nd Street will meet with clients by appointment only. Clients wishing to schedule an appointment may call (413) 443-7220, ext. 1275.   The intent behind offering space beyond the Pittsfield office is to bring services closer to where clients live, explained Jason Cuyler, 2nd Street Executive

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Pittsfield Decides Taconic Vocational Status Next Week
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:47PM / Friday, January 20, 2023

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Is Taconic a traditional high school or a vocational one? The School Committee will decide next week.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the committee will determine a proposal to start the school's transition to a solely vocational institution.    If approved, Taconic will only accept Career Technical Education (CTE) students in the fall of 2023 and, by the fall of 2027, will be all vocational.    All non-CTE students would attend Pittsfield High School regardless of the middle school they went to.    This conversation started around two years and an official recommendation was made last year. It is fueled by a growing demand for

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Pittsfield Concom Ratifies Enforcement Order to New England Fence
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:08PM / Friday, January 20, 2023

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Conservation Commission has cited a South Street fence company for violating buffer zone regulations on over 8,000 square feet.

Last week, the panel ratified an enforcement order to New England Fence Inc. for the construction of a parking and storage area within 100 feet of intermittent water and bordering vegetated wetlands.    "Pictures were provided, it’s an obvious violation," Chair James Conant said.    According to the order from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection from December, work involved the ongoing construction of employee parking and material equipment storage areas located east of the 965

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Lee Bank Foundation Distributes Final Grant Funding Round of 2022
10:41AM / Friday, January 20, 2023
LEE, Mass. — Lee Bank Foundation has awarded $45,670 to ten Berkshire area organizations for their fourth-round of 2022 community funding.   Recipients were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to support their local programming. Included in the awards are a series of Arts Access Grants for arts and culture organizations to expand access to programming for underserved audiences.   The following organizations received funding from Lee Bank Foundation: 18 Degrees Berkshire Community Action Council Berkshire County Head Start Berkshire Grown Berkshire Immigrant Center Berkshire Pulse Business Professionals of America, Massachusetts Association Extra

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Pittsfield Community Television Relaunches Website
08:03AM / Friday, January 20, 2023
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television announced the relaunch of its website at www.pittsfieldtv.org.    According to a press release, the new site has been completely revamped with a fresh modern look and many design improvements and delivers easy access to all of the local video content provided by PCTV.    "These improvements to our main website were long overdue," according to Shawn Serre, executive director of PCTV.  "We know that our audience needs quick online access to the local programming we provide, and the old design was really no longer up to that task."     Serre went on to say that the redesign was

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Lanesborough Planners, BRPC Review Stormwater Bylaw
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
05:17AM / Friday, January 20, 2023

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town is reviewing its stormwater bylaw and looking for ways to divide its authority among town boards. 

 

The board heard from Courtney Moorehouse from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission about the town's stormwater management bylaw. Board Chair Gwen Miller said they hope to determine what aspects of the bylaw should stay under Planning Board authority and what should not. 

 

Moorehouse said it makes sense to keep aspects of the bylaw under control the Planning Board, such as stormwater permitting for larger projects. Other parts, she said, would be better served under the perview of other town boards.

 

"There's

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Former GE Site Garners Over $6M for Redevelopment
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:17AM / Friday, January 20, 2023

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The William Stanley Business Park is closer to fulfilling the $10 million needed to redevelop its biggest parcel, Site 9. 

"It took a while to get up to $10.8 million but I think we are very close," Business Development Manager Michael Coakley told the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority on Thursday.

 

"We have currently solidified $6.3 million." 

 

This includes $3 million from the MassWorks infrastructure program, $880,000 in Site Readiness Program funding from the state's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, $264,000 from the state Brownfields Program and, most recently, a $500,000

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Search Warrants Lead Seizure of Drugs, a Gun and Ammunition
07:46PM / Thursday, January 19, 2023
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three New Yorkers and a city woman are facing drug charges after authorities seized $14,000 worth of cocaine.   Gregory Mills, 37, of New York City, Osha McGlow, 36, of the Bronx, N.Y., Kiaan Boyette, 46, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jaclyn Cimini, 39, of Pittsfield have been arrested and held on bail.    A fifth suspect a 45-year-old Pittsfield man, was charged with possession but released on his own recognizance and referred to Drug Court to address his substance abuse problem in compliance with District Attorney Timothy Shugrue's diversion of low-level addicts for treatment.   Search warrants were executed Wednesday at the Holiday Inn, at a

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