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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

The Retired Investor: The Supreme Court Loves Business
By Bill Schmick,
05:55PM / Thursday, September 01, 2022
Over the past seven decades, the U.S. government has embraced business. Both political parties and their leaders have continued and expanded a broad, business-friendly agenda. However, the judiciary tops the list when it comes to ruling in favor of American business.   In fact, the current Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) appears to top the tape in handing down favorable decisions to corporations and small business, according to a research paper by the Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research. The authors, Lee Epstein of the University of Southern California, and Mitu Guli at the University of Virginia School of Law compared the last decade and a half of Justice John

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Monkeypox Vaccine Available for Eligible Individuals
04:53PM / Thursday, September 01, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, will be offering monkeypox vaccination clinics in Pittsfield and North Adams in mid-September.    The clinics are open to individuals who are at risk for monkeypox and eligible to receive the vaccine. Monkeypox vaccination requires two doses a month apart.    The monkeypox clinics will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, as first dose clinics. In Pittsfield, the clinic will be held at the BHS Testing & Vaccine Center, 505 East St., St. Luke's Square, from 9 a.m. to noon, with a capacity to vaccinate up to 54 people. A first dose clinic will be held in

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Defendants in Delacruz-Batista, Tatro Homicides Arraigned
04:42PM / Thursday, September 01, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Superior Court on Monday arraigned the third of four defendants charged with murder in the homicide of Reymon Delacruz-Batista.   Naquan Miller, 43, faces charges of murder, armed kidnapping with serious bodily injury, accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact, and description of documents and objects. The court ordered that Miller be held without the right to bail.   He is one of four co-defendants, all of whom are currently detained without the right to bail and charged with murder in the case.    The court has also arraigned:   • Jamel Nicholson on Aug. 16 on charges of murder, armed kidnapping with serious

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Community Honors Loved Ones on Overdose Awareness Day
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:44PM / Thursday, September 01, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County had 62 fatal overdoses last year, 33 occurring in Pittsfield.  

Community members marked National Overdose Awareness Day on Wednesday with a memorial at the Common and a vigil at Park Square.  

The event — organized by Living in Recovery — aimed to memorialize those who have lost their lives to overdose, bring light to an often stigmatized topic, and offer harm reduction and grief support resources.

Program Director Julie MacDonald said overdose rates continue to rise and emphasized the importance of breaking the stigma surrounding substance abuse. 

"There's still so much shame attached to this and so,

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BCC Hires Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Director
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
10:45AM / Thursday, September 01, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired a director of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Former Director of Alumni Relations Antonia "Toni" Buckley has taken on the role of DEI director for the college. President Ellen Kennedy announced her appointment at the BCC Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.

"I just want to share that I'm really grateful and super excited about this opportunity to support the college in this next phase to becoming the most inclusive organization that we can be," Buckley said, adding that her heart lies within equity efforts and with BCC.

Buckley was born in Germany to two Syrian parents and moved to the United

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Dalton Board Discusses Possibility of New Wahconah Track
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
12:42PM / Wednesday, August 31, 2022
  Rich Peters, co-chair of the Wahconah building project, contacted iBerkshires on Thursday and said the track may have events next year but that the school could receive a warning and not be able to use it the following year if it was not fixed. The rubber, he said, was not so much peeling as worn off exposing asphalt, not cement, and the running shoes have micro spikes, not nails.    Most importantly, he noted that the $2 million being discussed by the board does not actually exist — it simply won't be borrowed.    "There will be no monies being returned to the towns," he wrote. "This only impacts the total amount that the

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District Attorney Candidates Meet in Final Debate
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:50PM / Tuesday, August 30, 2022
LENOX, Mass. — With one week to go until the Democratic primary, incumbent Andrea Harrington and challenger Timothy Shugrue participated in the final debate for Berkshire County district attorney at The Mount on Tuesday.    Berkshire Democratic Brigades sponsored the debate and BDB Chair Michael Wise moderated.   Shugrue began by arguing that he has more experience as a former assistant district attorney and 36 years of experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney. He described himself as a "smart progressive ... who advocates for and actually achieves progress."    He said he wants to hold people accountable for breaking the law and argued that

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Palfrey Drops Out of AG Primary
02:05PM / Tuesday, August 30, 2022
BOSTON — The race for attorney general tightened Tuesday as Quinten Palfrey suspended his campaign three days into early voting.    In his statement, he endorsed opponent Andrea Campbell, saying her "devotion to public service is admirable. She will continue the legacy of Maura Healey and be a fighter for justice for all."   Palfrey, who served in both the Obama and Biden administrations as well as in the state attorney general's office, was the favorite coming out of the Democratic convention and racked up more than 250 endorsements from party leaders, officials and activists, including several former and current Pittsfield and North Adams

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Lanesborough Picks New DPW Director.
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
05:34AM / Tuesday, August 30, 2022
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Select Board has approved Charlie Durfee as the new Department of Public Works director, to begin next month.     Durfee, the town's former fire chief and current DPW foreman, will begin the job on Sept. 21. He will replace current Director William Decelles.    "I'm a lifelong resident of the town of Lanesborough. I've been with our Fire Department for over 40 years. I worked with the Highway Department for 34 years and 10 months. I was a worker for probably 28 years, then I moved into the Foreman position," Durfee said during his interview for the job earlier this month. "I would love the opportunity

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Dalton Special Town Meeting Passes Renovation, Road Warrants
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
04:48AM / Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Forty-five voters attended Monday's special town meeting. DALTON, Mass. — A special town meeting on Monday voted to pass an amended Article 1 to raise and appropriate an additional $130,874 for various expenses that were not anticipated during the town meeting or a prior special town meeting.    The previous amount requested was $135,874 but was amended to not include $5,000 for the revolving police detail.   The initial reason for the $5,000 was to ensure that officers get paid during their next pay period. According to Town Manager Tom Hutcheson, it is currently taking two to three weeks for the officers to get paid for their work detailing for private

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Shannon Liss-Riordan Touts Experience in Attorney General Campaign
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
07:37PM / Monday, August 29, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Shannon Liss-Riordan says her legal work has prepared her to stand up for the people of Massachusetts as its attorney general.

As a labor attorney, she has spent the last 23 years fighting for working people and winning huge cases, she said. The candidate has taken on companies such as FedEx, Amazon, Uber, and IBM and has been victorious against them in court.

"I'm recognized as one of the nation's top employment lawyers representing employees and I've recovered more than a half of a billion dollars in stolen wages for working people over the course of my career," she said.

"I've used the law to make people's lives better.

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NAACP Cancels Sheriff, DA Debate
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:31PM / Monday, August 29, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The candidates have one more debate before next week's primary election.    It was supposed to be two, but a Berkshire NAACP forum planned for Monday has been canceled when half the invited candidates weren't able to attend.    The organizers said they were disappointed that Timothy Shugrue and Thomas Bowler could not fit it into their schedules.   "I just feel that everybody makes a choice. It was their choice to debate with us," chapter President Dennis Powell said. "We've always had debates and they've always been very bipartisan and important, we think, to the community, but they chose to debate with whom

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