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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

$1K Reward Offered for Stolen Pittsfield Paintings
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:12PM / Wednesday, January 18, 2023

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the safe return of two paintings that were stolen from a gallery within Methuselah Bar and Lounge earlier this month. 

The oil paintings by Pittsfield-based artist Edward Pelkey were taken from the Tartell Gallery in the rear of the restaurant on Jan. 8 around 4:30 p.m., according to video surveillance.    The footage shows a man entering through an abutting, vacant storefront that shares a bathroom with the bar and gallery, turning on the lights, taking the artwork, and turning off the lights before exiting.    Due to the image quality, details of the man's features cannot be

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1Berkshire Accepting Applications for New "Insert Here" Vacant Window Art Installation Pilot
08:20AM / Wednesday, January 18, 2023
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 1Berkshire, thanks to a one-time grant award, announced the launch of applications for a new pilot program to support the installation of printed vinyl artwork in vacant downtown buildings in Berkshire communities.    This program aims to provide up to three municipalities/organizations with sub-award grants of up to $5,000 in order to support them in the selection, commissioning, and installation of printed works of art in vacant downtown storefronts for the summer of 2023. This effort is meant to both contribute to the aesthetic beauty of downtown business districts, while also drawing attention to the opportunities that these vacant spaces offer to

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Next Generation to Lead Guido's Fresh Marketplace
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:09AM / Wednesday, January 18, 2023
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The future of Guido's Fresh Marketplace has been assured with a new generation preparing to take on the family business.   Chris and Matt Masiero started with a roadside produce stand in 1979 on Route 7 in Pittsfield with a $2,500 loan from their father — after whom the store is named — and shuttled fresh produce from Chelsea Market in Boston.    Forward 44 years and two grocery stores later, the brothers are looking at retirement and to handing off the enterprise they've built to their children Luke and Nick (Matt's sons) and Anna (Chris' daughter).   "I would say I'm excited to see what our minds

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Central Berkshire Regional Paraprofessionals Push for Better Pay
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:23PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2023
DALTON, Mass. — Paraprofessionals in the Central Berkshire Regional School District are asking for better wages.   The school budget has given deserved pay increases to other staff members and although those increases represent their values paraprofessionals are not getting what they deserve, Central Berkshire Education Association Vice President Liz Jackson told the School Committee on Thursday.   "You may be asking yourself, why do I do this, make myself feel uncomfortable to stand in front of you all. But I do this because I truly believe in the group of paraprofessionals we have. I truly believe they need to be valued," she said.   This is not the first

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Fenn Street Homeless Shelter Expected to Open in Spring
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:49PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2023

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After several years of anticipation, the First United Methodist Church's homeless shelter is set to open in the spring.

Director of Community Development Justine Dodds last Wednesday reported that demolition has been completed and construction is underway. From the road, not much can be seen as the changes are occurring inside.

"The construction work will be completed by March 31. Then there will be painting, flooring, and furniture to be set up," she wrote in an email.

"ServiceNet anticipates to be in the site by the end of April."

The Fenn Street Emergency Shelter located in the church has been in the planning process since 2020

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Jewish Federation of the Berkshires to Show 'True Colors'
04:33PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2023
PITTSFIELD, Mass. On Monday, Jan. 23 at 6:45 p.m., The Braid, a theater company offering a diverse array of stories about Jewish identity, will present “True Colors: Stories from Jews of Color Exploring Identity and Community.”   A moderated Q&A by DEI consultant and actor/writer, Joshua Silverstein, will follow.   This free Jewish Federation of the Berkshires program will be presented via Zoom. Visit the calendar of events at jewishberkshires.org for links to our programs.   According to a press release:   "True Colors," is a salon theatre show in which Jews of Color share true stories about their yearning for belonging and the rich and

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EforAll Celebrates Accelerator Program Grads
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:44AM / Tuesday, January 17, 2023
PITTSFIELD, Mass. Entrepreneurship for All celebrated the 2022 Fall Accelerator Program graduates with its first in-person gala and $13,000 in awards.    Around 100 people gathered at the Berkshire Innovation Center on Thursday to recognize the 19 individuals representing 13 businesses that completed the intensive program.    EforAll's free, year-long business accelerator helps a business or non-profit make its vision a reality.  The first quarter of the year is intensive, and the participants check in quarterly for the remainder of the year.    "We have a lot to give.  We came to EforAll to receive mentorship, professional guidance,

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BCC Hosts Martin Luther King National Day of Service
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
08:15PM / Monday, January 16, 2023

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield community united Monday at Berkshire Community College (BCC) to reflect on the life and message of Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Monday marked the first in-person Martin Luther King National Day of Service BCC has had since the pandemic, marking a return of an event that allowed residents to give back and feel connected to the community.

 

Although a day of service is great, NAACP President Dennis Powell said the best way to make an impact is to volunteer all year long.

 

"I encourage all of us present to commit to a year of service. That's what community is all about. We shouldn't just come together for one day," Powell

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Veteran Spotlight: John Harding Jr.
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
05:06PM / Sunday, January 15, 2023
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — John Harding Jr. served his country with bravery and distinction as a corporal in the Marine Corps from 1963 to 1966 and in the Vietnam War.    Harding said he enjoyed his basic training at Camp Geiger, Marine Corps Base Lejeune.    "Boot camp was probably one of the best times for me ... had no idea what it was like to be a Marine and most people in my platoon were out of shape, I was in good shape," he said. "My commander was tough but a good guy. I excelled and made PFC [private first class]. I was proud as hell."    Harding's first assignment was with the grunts at Camp Pendleton in California. "I was

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National Grid Approved for Phase III Electric Vehicle Proposal
04:25PM / Sunday, January 15, 2023
WALTHAM, Mass. —The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities recently approved National Grid's Phase III Electric Vehicle (EV) proposal, the largest and most comprehensive EV program ever filed by the company, supporting the Commonwealth's goals of achieving net zero emissions, accelerating transportation electrification throughout Massachusetts, and providing customers with more charging options.    This approval is among the first of its kind in the Northeast and will provide extensive EV infrastructure (Make Ready) through incentives and programs for residential, fleet, public, and workplace customers.   "With this approval, we aim to enable up to

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Governor Appoints Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development
10:40AM / Sunday, January 15, 2023
BOSTON — Governor Maura T. Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll announced that they will appoint Lauren Jones to be Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.    Jones is currently the Executive Vice President of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, and previously held roles with the City of Boston under Mayor Marty Walsh and in the Labor and Workforce Development Office under Governor Deval Patrick.    "Massachusetts is facing a serious workforce shortage, and it's negatively impacting our workers, employers and economic competitiveness," said Governor Healey. "Lauren Jones has a proven track record of

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FEMA Awards $4M to MassDOT for Winter Storm Costs
08:03AM / Sunday, January 15, 2023
BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $4 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reimburse the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for some of the costs of plowing and sanding roads after Winter Storm Kenan in January 2022.   MassDOT will receive a total of $4,041,370 in federal funding through FEMA's Public Assistance grant program to reimburse it for the costs of snow plowing and sanding roads after the January 28-29 "bomb cyclone" produced blizzard conditions in some parts of New England.   Kenan caused record or near record snowfall in four counties in Massachusetts. This created an immediate threat to the

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