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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Two Large Scale Drug Traffickers Arrested and Arraigned
10:56AM / Tuesday, May 28, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On May 23 and May 24, the Berkshire District Attorney's Office arraigned two individuals, Michael Caropreso and George Stewart, on drug trafficking charges.    Both Defendants were arrested on warrants following prior investigations into drug trafficking. The investigations were conducted by the Pittsfield Police Department and the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force.   Michael Caropreso, age 50 of Becket, was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on May 23. When the Defendant was arrested, he possessed approximately 56 grams of cocaine. Caropreso is charged with Trafficking in Cocaine, 36 grams or more, less than 100 grams. He is

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Pittsfield Public Schools Hold Unified Game Day
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:42AM / Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Kids get a kick out of the Pittsfield Fire Department's Sparky.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Public School children united on Friday morning to take part in the district's third annual Unified Game Day.    The event brought together not just the district's special needs children and mainstreaming students but also their families, administrators, and staff, all participating in a daylong Special Olympics event at Clapp Park.    "That inclusivity is something that's so important. It's such an important part of the Pittsfield Public Schools. It's a chance to celebrate the diversity of our students and that each student and

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BRTA Approves $11.7M Budget for FY25
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:34AM / Tuesday, May 28, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority's budget has increased by $1.7 million for fiscal year 2025, totaling $11.7 million.

On Thursday, the BRTA Advisory Board approved an $11,739,227 spending plan that includes nearly $223,000 in direct expenses for grant requirements. Fixed route fares increased by 13.5 percent, totaling around $682,500, and paratransit fares saw a more modest increase of 5.4 percent, totaling about $80.500.

The budget includes state reimbursements for two fare-free events in July and December.

Reimbursement for maintenance costs was increased by $5,000 to $20,000 "because it costs more to repair things," Administrator

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Berkshire Art Association Announces Call for Art
10:48AM / Monday, May 27, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The BAA (Berkshire Art Association) invites artists from the New England states and New York to showcase their original art in all media for a biennial juried exhibition, VISIBLE.   All artwork must have been made within the past 2 years.    According to a press release:   Art is created to be shared.  Images are made to be seen. Artists make moments in time Visible, drawing the viewer into time and space, making the unseen a Visible experience. Join us as we explore and define the value of being Visible.   Artists can submit up to 3 works created between 2022 and 2024 for an entry fee of  $25 in total.   The deadline for

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Rotary Club Announces Service Above Self Awardees
08:00AM / Monday, May 27, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Rotary Club of Pittsfield President John Hudnall announced the 2024 Service Above Self Award winners.     The presentations were made on May 9 at Mazzeo's Restaurant.  Eric Ungewitter, Service Above Self Committee Chair spoke about the extensive accomplishments of each student and their commitment to volunteerism in the community.   According to a press release, this award exemplifies their volunteer efforts and their selfless contributions to the service of others.  The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise which is something we live our lives by.  These young

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Pittsfield Firefighters Snuff Cellar Blaze
04:30PM / Sunday, May 26, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters extinguished a fire in a West Housatonic Street in about 20 minutes.    The blaze started near a dryer but the cause was being investigated.   The department responded to the call of smoke in a building at about 12:23 p.m. on Sunday. Upon arrival, firefighters found a light smoke showing from the front and back of the building.    The found an active fire in the basement of the 2 1/2-story, wood-frame structure at 92 West Housatonic, which is being rented as a single-family occupancy.   Engine 1 crew advanced a 1 3/4-inch hose to the rear of the building, entered the bulkhead access to the cellar, and conducted suppression

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Mass Residents Will Need REAL ID in 2025
04:07PM / Sunday, May 26, 2024
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is reminding residents that beginning May 7, 2025, anyone traveling by plane domestically or entering certain federal building areas will need a Registry-issued REAL ID-compliant driver's license or ID, or a valid passport.    To help ensure compliance, a countdown clock is now live at Mass.Gov/RMV.     The Registry is encouraging everyone seeking a REAL ID compliant license or identification card to go online at Mass.Gov/ID to learn what documents are needed for a required in-person appointment.    The RMV has posted helpful information on REAL ID requirements that customers can use to

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RJ's Taking Over Hotel on North Restaurant
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:29PM / Sunday, May 26, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The owners of a well-received city eatery are taking over a shuttered North Street spot.  

The Licensing Board approved a change of manager and transfer of liquor license from Berkshire Palate to J&D Reyes Restaurant Entertainment, the owners of RJ's Restaurant on First Street.

The space is located at 297 North St. within Hotel on North and formerly housed Berkshire Palate's second location. Jose and David Reyes say they will manage the two restaurants simultaneously, as they are nearby.

"I know that Jose has had a real presence at RJ's," Chairman Thomas Campoli said.

The proprietors' lawyer pointed out that in three

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Pittsfield Man Killed in West Housatonic Crash
11:54AM / Sunday, May 26, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man was killed Saturday evening when the dirt bike he was operating was struck by a pickup truck.    According to police, John Tyska, 34, was westbound on West Housatonic Street when he was struck by a 2022 Honda Ridgeline operated by Peter Schettini, 53, also of Pittsfield, who was traveling south on Plymouth Street.    Tyska was pronounced dead at the scene.    The crash occurred near 664 West Housatonic at about 6:50 p.m. Police, Fire and County Ambulance responded to the scene.    West Housatonic was closed to traffic from Osceola Street to Cadwell Road for approximately four hours while the investigation took

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BCC Faculty Member Wins Fulbright Scholarship
11:47AM / Sunday, May 26, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) Writing Across the Curriculum Coordinator Liesl Schwabe recently received a Fulbright-Nehru Award for Professional and Academic Excellence, part of the U.S. Department of State Fulbright Scholar program.   Schwabe will spend the 2024-25 academic year in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, along with her husband and their 13-year-old daughter.   Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and

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Mass Data Privacy Act Approved by Legislative Committee
04:04PM / Saturday, May 25, 2024
BOSTON — Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity chairs Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Senator Michael Moore announced that a wide-ranging bill which grants consumers new rights over their personal data has been reported favorably out of Committee.    The Massachusetts Data Privacy Act (MDPA) establishes baseline data minimization standards by restricting data holders to only collect and process what is reasonably necessary and proportional to their lawful purpose. The MDPA will ensure greater accountability of companies and grant user data privacy protections to those present in Massachusetts and residents of the state.

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PCTV Pizza Fundraiser Successful in Second Year
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:40PM / Saturday, May 25, 2024

KJ Nosh won Judge's Choice for best overall pizza. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 170 people gathered for the love of pizza and community television on Thursday.

Pittsfield Community Television's second Eatza Pizza fundraiser was held at Berkshire Hills Country Club, featuring pies from seven local eateries. Hungry attendees sampled pizzas ranging from classic cheese to veggie, meat, and even hot honey topped.

The event raised about $4,300 — topping last year's total of about $3,500.

"PCTV and WTBR are nonprofit organizations. A lot of people don't realize that because they think of other types of organizations as nonprofits. We're

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