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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Licensing Board Considers Outdoor Restaurant Seating During Third Thursday
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Tuesday, May 24, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Office of Cultural Development is considering letting North Street restaurants have outdoor seating during the monthly Third Thursdays.   Shiobbean Lemme of the Office of Cultural Development brought the idea to the Licensing Board on Monday in hopes to find the best way to do it. The board said it liked the idea but wanted to see specific plans on how the alcohol service will be controlled by each restaurant during the popular street fairs.   "The theme for July is food and we were wondering if we could figure out a way to invite the 14 restaurants on the streetscape of Third Thursday to provide outdoor seating," Lemme said.   Lemme

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Lanesborough Fire Department Hosts Junior Firefighter Academy
10:39PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Lanesborough Fire Department hosted its first-ever Junior Firefighter Academy on Saturday, May 7.

The event was done in conjunction with the Berkshire County Fire Chiefs Association. Sixteen juniors attended from a number of Western Massachusetts fire departments as far away is Goshen, Huntington, Northfield, Monterey and Alford. 

The inspiration for the Junior Fire Academy was Nick Garrity. He and his father, Deputy Fire Chief Wood Garrity, saw the Junior Fire Academy being hosted by the National Volunteer Fire Council, and for the costs associated to attend that decided instead to host an event locally.

The juniors that attended rotated through eight


Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pittsfield Pair Charged With Drug, Gun Crimes On Circular Avenue
Staff Reports,
10:16PM / Monday, May 23, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested a juvenile and a 24-year-old man during the investigation of shots being fired in a home on Circular Avenue.   Police say Jerrel Hall and the juvenile were arrested on outstanding warrants Monday at about 11 a.m. at a home on Circular Avenue. Police were on scene continuing an investigation of Sunday's shooting and Det. Kim Bertelli-Hund observed several men in the area believed to have active arrest warrants. Two men then fled into a home.    Consent was given to search the home where both were found and arrested on those outstanding warrants.    Additionally, the pair are being charged with possession of a Class A

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Stop Ignoring Recall Letters From Auto Manufacturers
Sponsored Content,
09:56PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

Over the past two years, 113 million vehicles have been recalled by manufacturers. According to, that’s approximately one of every four cars on the road being recalled. This does not mean cars are any less safe than in the past; in fact, industry experts feel that cars are safer than ever before. It’s just that detection systems are now extremely advanced and defects are picked up much more quickly and easily. 

This should all be great news for the consumer, except … not all drivers are taking the recalls seriously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as many as 25 percent of car owners do not respond to a


Tyer Calls For $1M Police Department Boost in Wake of Shootings
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:52PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

Mayor Linda Tyer called the press conference to address the growing gun violence issue in the city. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer is calling for an increase of nearly $1 million to boost staffing in the Police Department.   The mayor was joined by an array of elected officials, community leaders, and law enforcement Monday in a press conference addressing increased gun violence in the city.   Tyer said the fiscal 2017 budget calls for a $936,000 increase for the Police Department to bring on a half dozen new officers and new equipment.   "For far too long the plea of our police chief to increase personnel has been ignored. A city of our size should


Berkshires Beat: Honoring Downing On His Way Out
02:31PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

More praise: State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) received awards from advocates for the Massachusetts tourism industry and advocates for clean energy in two ceremonies at the State House earlier this month.

Downing, a former chair and current vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, was presented with a Champion of Tourism award at Massachusetts Tourism Day. The annual event is sponsored by the Regional Tourism Councils and the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism. Tourism is the third-largest industry in Massachusetts, supporting over 132,000 jobs and generating $19.5 billion annually in visitor spending.

Downing also was honored by the


Biz Briefs: Lee Outlets Give Veterans Reserved Parking
01:34PM / Monday, May 23, 2016

Park place: In honor of National Military Appreciation Month in May, Lee Premium Outlets unveiled two reserved Veteran/Military parking spaces with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 20.

U.S. Army Recruitment Officers Staff Sgt. Aaron Pierce and Sgt. First Class Kenneth Rosado were in attendance along with representatives from various local veterans’ organizations, including American Legion Post 68 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 65, both of Pittsfield.

Other business and civic leaders in attendance included State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Lee Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Colleen Henry and Lee Chamber of Commerce Board President Franck Tessier.

Find a


Pittsfield Airport: Increased Military Traffic Caused By Training Demands
Staff Reports,
03:49AM / Monday, May 23, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — "It's the sound of freedom" is how the assistant airport manager describes the increased activity of military helicopters at the airport.   Residents may have recently noticed many military helicopters flying overhead recently. But don't be alarmed: it's just practice.   "The Army helicopters have a new navigation system and they are doing training that has to be accomplished by a certain date," Airport Manager Robert Snuck said.   "With us having an instrument approach here, some of that training is required to be conducted in designated mountain terrain. We happened to be a designated mountain


Berkshire Scenic Begins Summer Season Memorial Weekend
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Monday, May 23, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With several blasts of the train whistle, the Hoosac Valley Service's Budd Car 6126 moved along the backways of the city at a dignified 10 mph.

The ride from North Adams to Adams on Friday night was a precursor of the scenic rail line's first full summer season in North County — and a sneak peak for North Adams Chamber of Commerce members.

Jay Green, the nonprofit organization's rail director, acknowledged that some were dubious about the "scenic" part of the railroad in this very industrial area. But he promised the ride would be eye-opening.

"I challenge you to tell me after the ride that you didn't learn something or see


Parks Commissions Approves Improvements To Pellerin Field
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:15PM / Sunday, May 22, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first round of improvements to the newly named Buddy Pellerin Field at Clapp Park is set for this summer.   The Parks Commission gave the group heading the effort the OK to order a scoreboard and to continue planning for a number of other additions and changes to the field. The group has already raised $20,000 and has set a goal of a quarter of a million to make four phases worth of improvements to the ballfield.   "The support and feedback from the public has been unbelievably positive," said Ken Ferris, who is heading the effort.   Ferris was joined by Peter LaFayette in presenting the first-phase plans. The organization is paying for


United Way Ends 'Day of Caring' With Dance Party
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:14PM / Saturday, May 21, 2016

A total of 50 book houses have been installed throughout Berkshire County. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of people shook it up on the dance floor at Hancock Shaker Village on Friday night.   The dance party Friday night capped of the Berkshire United Way's Day of Caring during which dozens go businesses found ways to donated to the organization's childhood literacy efforts. Further, 50 book houses were installed all over the county as a mini-lending library, part of the Little Free Library movement.   "The Day of Caring was a way for folks who couldn't participate in the book houses — restaurants and stores for example — who wanted to be


PHS Baseball Team Throws Cookout For Soldier On Veterans
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:58AM / Saturday, May 21, 2016

The veterans were served hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Many young men have found themselves in the midst of battle at the age of 18.   They returned from overseas with limited support, post-traumatic stress and chronic illness, and often ended up living on the streets. But some found their way to Soldier On, which cares and helps pick homeless veterans back up and onto their feet.   Many of the 17- or 18-year-old young men on the Pittsfield High School baseball team aren't eyeing battlefields but rather college dorm rooms. But on Friday, they spent their practice time off the field and up at Soldier On, meeting, talking, and serving


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