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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Dalton Board Approves Appointments to Historical Commission
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
12:22PM / Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Historical Commission members pose with copies of 'Down Memory Lane,' a compilation of columns about Dalton that the commission republished. Thirty copies have been sold so far.  DALTON, Mass. — The Select Board approved the appointment of two new members of the historical commission during its meeting on Monday.    Bonnie Eastwood and Nancy Kain have regularly attended commission meetings and have been crucial for a number of projects including the reissuing of "Down Memory Lane" and staffing a table during Dalton Day. They also volunteer at the Fitch Hoose House.   Thus far the commission has sold 30 copies of "Down Memory Lane,"

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1Berkshire Selected Inaugural Economic Recovery Corps Fellowship Sites
11:10AM / Wednesday, February 07, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 1Berkshire, in partnership with the Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC), announced its selection as 1 of 65 inaugural host locations across the country for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)'s Economic Recovery Corps (ERC) Fellowship program.    This program, supported by the United States Economic Development Administration, assigns and funds fellows to host organizations for 2.5 years of intensive, project-focused work with the goal of making aneconomic impact on the service area. 1Berkshire was selected from over 500 organizations and communities that applied to be a host for this inaugural ERC class, and is 1 of only 4 hosts

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Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Free tax Assistance
08:00AM / Wednesday, February 07, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity (CBHFH) once again will provide free income tax prep to households earning $64K or less, persons with disabilities, and the elderly through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.    All VITA volunteers receive extensive training and are IRS-certified.   "Most of our volunteers return year after year to help with this essential program for our underserved communities in Berkshire County," said Carolyn Valli, CBHFH CEO. "Over 85 percent of our clients are return clients that have come to us for the past 3 to 8 years. And most of that remaining 15% was from new clients we were able to serve in

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Berkshire Housing Tells Tenants It Is Addressing Silk Mill Mold
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:39AM / Wednesday, February 07, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The property manager for the Rice Silk Mill told tenants there that it's taking the reports of a mold infestation seriously.

Ten days after an article was published on iBerkshires.com last month, Berkshire Housing Services sent a communication to the occupants saying actions were being taken to address the mold and urging residents to come forward with concerns.

"We want to assure you that the health and safety of our residents is of the (utmost) importance to us," it reads. "All concerns and issues are taken seriously, investigated, and addressed in a timely manner."

The missive was shared with iBerkshires by a tenant.

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Lanesborough Finance Chair to Resign After Budget Season
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:17AM / Wednesday, February 07, 2024

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The chair of the Finance Committee is resigning as its leader and is considering leaving the panel entirely.

Jodi-Lee Szczepaniak-Locke announced on Monday that she will be stepping down once the fiscal 2025 budget is complete.  She told iBerkshires that her decision "most certainly" came from an attendance issue with a member of the committee not being resolved.

"I am a strong believer in following the rules as written and the bylaw was written, approved by town council, and voted on by the townspeople at some point in the past," she wrote in an email on Tuesday.

"The fact that we are now advised differently is unacceptable

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New Finance Subcommittee Sees Pittsfield Q2 Financial Review
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:27PM / Tuesday, February 06, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city had collected just under half of its estimated local receipts and taxes at the fiscal year's midpoint.   The Finance subcommittee last week was presented with a second-quarter review of fiscal 2024, which ended on Dec. 31.   About 46 percent of anticipated revenues had been collected — $43.7 million in property tax committments of an anticipated $94.7 million and $6.6 million of the $14.5 personal property commitments.   Third-quarter payments were due on Feb. 1.   Local receipts ranged from about 16 percent collection to more than 114 percent, totaling about $6 million, or about 44 percent, of the $13.7 million estimate for

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Dalton Select Board Disagrees With Renegotiation For Ladder Truck
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:35PM / Tuesday, February 06, 2024
DALTON, Mass.—The Select Board expressed concerns Monday regarding the Board of Water Commission's decision to renegotiate a contract for a fire truck with Northern Fire Equipment.   The board voted to send a letter to the Water Commission indicating that it does not support the decision because of the significant delivery delay of the apparatus and since the intended use of the funds does not appear to be possible.    The intended use was to get a "good" ladder truck for the price offered. Based on the mechanical malfunctions and delays this does not appear to be possible, the Select Board said.    The board unanimously agreed that it would be

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Man Arrested After Allegedly Stealing Safe from Pittsfield Auto Dealership
03:32PM / Tuesday, February 06, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested Joseph Demary, age 48-year-old of St. Petersburg, Fla., who allegedly broke into the Nissan of Pittsfield Auto Dealership and stole a safe.   According to a report, on Feb. 4, 2024 at approximately 7:05pm, the Nissan of Pittsfield Auto Dealership on West Housatonic Street was broken into and a safe was stolen.    The suspect fled the area on foot. The Pittsfield Police Department Patrol Division responded and collected initial evidence at the scene and spoke with a witness.   Based on a day long investigation by members of the Detective Bureau, Narcotics Unit and the Anti-Crime Unit, a suspect was identified.  A search

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Guest Column: Quit Smoking Valentine's Day Message
By Joyce Brewer, Guest Column
02:00PM / Tuesday, February 06, 2024

If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant this Valentine's Day, consider taking the first step toward quitting smoking, vaping or using other tobacco.

1-800-QUIT-NOW has a special incentive for you — pregnant Massachusetts residents can receive up to $65 on a Mastercard gift card when they participate in its free coaching services. In the program for pregnant people, you can receive up to nine coaching calls with the same quit coach as well as text messages, email support and materials.

When you quit, your body becomes safer and healthier for your developing baby's brain and lungs, and what a gift that is. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit mass.gov/quitting for

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BCC's '40 Under Forty' Winners to be Honored
11:15AM / Tuesday, February 06, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC), together with partners 1Berkshire and Mill Town Foundation, will honor the winners of its annual 40 Under Forty Awards on Thursday, March 28 at 5 pm in the Robert Boland theater, located on the main campus at 1350 West Street, Pittsfield.     Tickets are $75 per person and may be purchased online at www.berkshirecc.edu/40-tix.   Proceeds benefit the BCC Foundation, which manages about 180 scholarships totaling more than $375,000 for BCC students and supports a number of programs at the College.    40 Under Forty celebrates talented people in the Berkshires, under the age of 40, who try to improving

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Dalton Select Board Approves More FY25 Budgets
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:57AM / Tuesday, February 06, 2024
DALTON, Mass. — The Select Board approved a number of departmental budgets for the coming fiscal year during its meeting on Monday night.    The fiscal 2025 budget is projected at $22 million of which about $10 million is for the town's operations. The Select Board has sliced some lines that have since been endorsed by the Finance Committee.   The town manager budget was approved for $201,663, a $10,419 or 5.45 percent change from this year. It reflects more four hours for the interdepartmental assistant who currently works eight hours a week.   The original purpose of the post was to work as a floater between different town departments, Town Manager Thomas

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Pittsfield to Recieve $2M in Opioid Settlement Funds
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:41PM / Monday, February 05, 2024

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is slated to receive more than $2 million in settlement funds to address opioid use in the community.

Last week, the finance subcommittee supported an order to transfer and appropriate the initial settlement installment of $510,711.79 from free cash to the new Opioid Settlement account.

In July 2021, the attorney general entered into an agreement with the major distributors of opioids. This includes payments to communities to address issues associated with opioid addiction and prevention and the city expects to receive $2,221,991.49 over its term.

Documents show that payments are scheduled until 2038.

Mayor Peter Marchetti reported that the Mental

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