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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Construction Worker Killed in MassPike Accident
Staff Reports,
09:54AM / Friday, November 16, 2018
BECKET, Mass. — A construction worker was killed Thursday afternoon while working on the Massachusetts Turnpike near mile-marker 17.2.   State police from the Westfield barracks are investigating the accident that occurred at about 2:30 p.m.   The westbound lane was blocked for more than two hours.    The bridge in Becket at that mile marker over Route 20 has been undergoing repairs this fall although it was not on the list for lane restrictions for Thursday.   The state police Collision Reconstruction, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Crime Scene and Berkshire detective units responded to the scene and Occupational Safety and Health Administration was advised

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ConCom Denies Permit For Pontoosuc Lake Country Club Solar Array
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Friday, November 16, 2018

Anthony Contenta argued against the solar array. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Emotion isn't often shown during Conservation Commission meetings, a board known for its technicality and dullness.   But Michele Rivers-Murphy could barely hold it in Thursday night, sitting the City Council Chambers because as the snow fell outside, Rivers-Murphy and what seemed like the entire Ridge Neighborhood had won a battle against a solar array proposal for the Pontoosuc Lake Country Club.    After months of debate and site visits, the Conservation Commission denied a permit to Nexamp to build in the wetland buffer zone for a 6.5-megawatt solar array.   "There will be

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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

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The White Stuff Is Coming! The White Stuff Is Coming!
Staff Reports,
02:30PM / Thursday, November 15, 2018

Here's an update direct from the Massachusetts Emergency Agency:

Precipitation is expected to start in southwestern Massachusetts by 5 p.m. this evening, spreading to the northeast, arriving in Worcester by 7 p.m., Boston by 8 p.m., and northeastern MA by 9 p.m.  Snow will be moderate to heavy at times, with snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour possible, reducing visibility to half-mile and accumulating quickly.  Accumulations of 4-8 inches in Western and central Mass, 4-6 inches along the 495 belt, and 1-2 inches along the 95 belt are expected.  

Our first set of cancellations:

• The Southern Berkshire Regional School District has canceled all

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Community TV Stations: Proposed FCC Rule Could Gut Funding
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, November 15, 2018

The studio at NBCTV set up for a debate. The local access television station says its revenue from the local cable company has been dropping yearly. A proposed change before the FCC could cut into its ability to provide local programming and possibly force it to close.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local public access stations fear that a potential new Federal Communications Commission rule will allow cable companies to obliterate their operating funds.   Public, educational, and government access (PEG) stations are mostly funded through franchise fees that cable subscribers pay in their monthly bill. Communities negotiate those fees, typically every 10 years.    The

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Harrington Announces First Assistant, Transition Team Chair
Staff Reports,
01:16AM / Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hampden County Assistant District Attorney Karen Bell will serve as first assistant district attorney. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Andrea Harrington has started to build her team.   On Wednesday, the district attorney-elect announced Karen Bell as her first assistant district attorney. Bell is currently an assistant district attorney in Hampden County with some 20  years of experience.   She's said to have worked in the appellate division, the district court, grand jury, and the superior court divisions.    "Bell has prosecuted thousands of cases and most recently served as a member of the Hampden County District Attorney's Superior Court Homicide

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Great American Smokeout Set For Nov. 15
01:57PM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The American Cancer Society is encouraging current smokers to commit or recommit to healthy, smoke-free lives by participating in the 43rd Great American Smokeout event on Thursday, Nov. 15.

"The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit smoking cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco," said Wendy Matthews, executive director of the American Cancer Society. "We are showing our support for people who take those first steps toward making a plan to quit."

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29 percent of all cancer deaths. In fact, smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than

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BArT Announces First Quarter Honor Roll
01:50PM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced the students who made honor roll for the first quarter of the 2017-18 school year.  

Students who earned 80 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "Honors." Students who earned 90 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "High Honors."

Academic courses at BArT are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks for the appropriate grade level and include all standards deemed necessary for a complete, college-preparatory, middle and high school education.

Grade Six

High Honors: Persephone Clark, Sascha

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BMC Receives Straight A Grade for Patient Safety
12:21PM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C-based organization aiming to improve healthcare quality and safety for consumers and purchasers, has announced the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades and awarded Berkshire Medical Center the elite designation of "A" for its continued achievement in patient safety.

BMC is one of only 42 "Straight A" hospitals in the United States to be awarded an "A" every grading cycle since 2012.

"This consistent recognition for patient safety is reflective of the dedication our care team has to providing nothing but the best and safest care possible," said David Phelps, president and chief

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BMC Expands Rehabilitation Care with Addition of Two Physicians
04:38AM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced the appointment of Dr. Victoria Tuttle and Dr. Katie Hatt to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services of BMC. 

They will join Dr. Francis Bohdiewicz and Dr. Douglas Molin at Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services of BMC.

Dr. Tuttle received her medical degree from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal Medicine at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y. Dr. Tuttle is accepting new patients in need of osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Dr.

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Pittsfield Council Approves Tax Rate Cut
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:27AM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The city councilors easily approve the plan put forth by the administration on Tuesday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tax cuts make for more agreeable City Council meetings.   The council easily approved a plan to lower property taxes across the board -- both on the average bill and on the rate.   For the average single-family homeowner, the bill reduction may be small, at $9.48, but it is the first reduction to the property tax bill in 25 years. The reduction for commercial properties is much more dramatic with a $367.38 reduction for the median commercial property.   "I think it is important that we take a small win when we can," Councilor at Large Earl Persip

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Cop On Top Returns to Pittsfield On Dec. 1
Staff Reports,
05:07PM / Tuesday, November 13, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Cop on Top will return to the roof of the local Walmart on Dec. 1.   In a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, law enforcement officers from throughout the county will be camp out on the roof Walmart in the Berkshire Crossings shopping plaza. The officers will stay there until the goal of $55,000 is reached.   There will be food, prize raffles, and giveaways in the parking lot during the event. There will also be numerous police vehicles on display.   "The event will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, with the Pittsfield Fire Department hosting the first brave group of officers on the roof and local Special Olympic athletes will light the

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Michigan Company Looking to Buy Beacon Cinema
By Andy McKeever,
03:58AM / Tuesday, November 13, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Michigan company is looking to buy the Beacon Cinema.   Insight Management Consulting has made an offer to purchase the building and the business from owner Richard Stanley. Stanley had redeveloped the North Street building into a theater in 2008, becoming an anchor to the city's future vision of revitalizing North Street when it opened its doors in 2009.   "The Beacon Cinema is a unique historic landmark and vital anchor in downtown Pittsfield. The restoration of the formerly distressed structure was a critical catalyst in our downtown revitalization. Early investments in Pittsfield's downtown, like the Beacon, have stimulated other

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