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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

State Senate Candidates Focus On Economics In 5th Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:07AM / Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Adam Hinds cited his work with the U.N., Pittsfield Community Connection, and the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition as showing he has the ability to bring parties together to tackle tough issues. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As director of the Pittsfield Community Connection Adam Hinds reeled in a $5 million grant to fight crime an violence in the city.   Over the next 10 years, the grant will supplement salaries to put at-risk youth in jobs, provide job training, get them counseling, and employed outreach workers who had been in gangs or jail and can show the youth that that lifestyle doesn't work.   The crime numbers overlapped with the three most impoverished census

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North Adams Downtown Hosts Motorama This Weekend
09:57AM / Tuesday, August 23, 2016
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The 6th annual Motorama will roar back into the city on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 9 to 3.    Main, Holden and Eagle streets will be closed to all but pedestrian traffic as downtown North Adams fills with cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors and more. Anything with a motor is welcome.   Last year's Motorama brought more than 500 vehicles, and this year hopes to draw record attendance. Those interested in exhibiting their vehicles can register beginning at 7:30 a.m. the day of the event. The cost to enter a vehicle is $15, but the public can enjoy the event free of charge. Trophies will be presented at the end of the event.   In

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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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Q&A With MCLA President James Birge
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, August 23, 2016

  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Originally called the North Adams Normal School, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was founded to train public school teachers.   True to that heritage, today's MCLA faculty members take seriously their role as educators. That is the message the college's 12th president received when he arrived on campus earlier this year.   "To a department, the faculty talked about their commitment to students achieving their academic goals, which isn't always the case," James F. "Jaime" Birge said recently. "Faculty aren't always as uniformly committed to that purpose as our faculty here. Literally, every

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Lanesborough, Berkshire Mall Getting Closer to Assessment Settlement
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:47AM / Tuesday, August 23, 2016

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A settlement regarding the assessment of the Berkshire Mall may be near.

The Baker Hill Road District's Prudential Committee held an emergency executive session with the Board of Selectmen on Monday night, in which both boards discussed the current Appellate Tax Board cases between Berkshire Mall LLC, the Board of Assessors and the Baker Hill Road District as well as cases between those entities in the Massachusetts Appeals Court.    According to Mark Siegars, attorney for the Baker Hill Road District, the mall's owners offered a settlement to which the town has seven days to respond. The board called the emergency meeting to discuss further

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Local Author Unveils Real Magic on Mount Greylock
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:13PM / Monday, August 22, 2016

Ilvermorny's granite castle may be fictional, but there's a granite tower at the summit.

ADAMS, Mass. — Local author Kristen Demeo has written "Shrouded in The Mist" to show kids the facts behind the fictional Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry located on the summit of Mount Greylock.

When Demeo heard that J.K. Rowling, the author of the "Harry Potter" book series, chose Mount Greylock to be the home of her fictional North American wizardry school, she felt she could harness a teachable moment.

"It connects kids with local history and helps them learn through a subject that may really interest them," Demeo said. "I hope kids

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MassDOT Moves Forward on All Electronic Tolling
05:18PM / Monday, August 22, 2016

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board decided Monday to move ahead with plans to completely demolish the Interstate 90 toll plazas by the end of 2017 as a milestone in the state's progress toward All Electronic Tolling along Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike), the Tobin Bridge and Boston tunnels.  

MassDOT said that AET will "go live" on Oct. 28. The board approved toll demolition contracts, reviewed data security and retention proposals and instructed MassDOT to proceed with public hearings on proposed toll rates designed to be revenue neutral and minimize changes in toll charges for current commuters.  

"The AET system

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Senator Warren Holding Presentation on 'America's Agenda'
02:23PM / Monday, August 22, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be at Berkshire Community College on Saturday for a public forum on "America's Agenda."

Based on the PowerPoint presentation she made at the Democratic Convention last month in Philadelphia, the senator will look at "how the playing field got tilted against America’s middle class – and what we can do to fight back."

The former professor and expert on bankruptcy law was instrumental in implementing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and  the development of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

She describes herself as a "data wonk" and has been studying the financial

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BHS to Close Walk-In Clinic at Pittsfield's Market 32
01:33PM / Monday, August 22, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems says its new Urgent Care Facility on East Street is working so well that it's closing Walk-In Care Clinic inside the Market 32.

The BHS Walk-In, located inside Market 32 near its Pharmacy, will close on Friday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m. The clinic will remain open for its regular hours, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until the 26th.

The clinic was opened over a year ago to treat minor injuries and illnesses at a lower cost and speedier pace than the emergency room and was staffed by a licensed nurse practitioner

BHS also opened a walk-in clinic at Williamstown Medical Associate that will continue to operate weekdays from 10

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Future of WTBR-FM Remains Uncertain
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Monday, August 22, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The future of WTBR-FM is still uncertain.   The radio station "Brave FM," stationed at Taconic High School, was once under threat of being silenced because of budget and interest. It is now facing the challenge of the new high school project's impacts on the tower location.   In 2014, the idea of ending operations because of shrinking interest was floated but community members overwhelmingly voiced support and it stayed on the air.    Now, with the construction of a new Taconic High School, Superintendent Jason McCandless is trying to find a solution as to where to put the tower.    "We could be looking at $125,000

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Women Team Up to Create Burial Gowns for Premature Babies
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:59PM / Sunday, August 21, 2016

The gowns are lovingly and delicately hand-stitched.  

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jennifer Breen knows she’s one of the lucky ones.

The North Adams attorney was able to take her son home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baystate Medical Center, where he spent the first 10 weeks of his life after being born at 29 weeks’ gestation. She is now able to hug and hold her happy and healthy 15-month-old son Joey every day and put the terrifying ordeal behind them.   But not everyone is so fortunate, and as Breen stayed connected with the preemie community online, she realized there was one thing that made the trauma of losing a premature baby so much worse for

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End of Session Review: Tricia Farley-Bouvier
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:42AM / Sunday, August 21, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The formal legislative session came to a close at the end of July, and 3rd Berkshire Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier says the highlights of the two-year session include a massive opioid bill and energy policy.   "Massachusetts will one again lead the nation when it comes to renewable energy with a requirement for procurement of big hydro, which will likely come from Canada or upstate New York, and excitingly off-shore wind, which we will see being built out off the shores of southeastern Massachusetts," Farley-Bouvier said.   The state's new energy bill also includes a provision to disallow electric companies from raising rates to fund a new

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Race Honors Memory of Drury Gradís Mother
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:50PM / Saturday, August 20, 2016

Drury High graduate Olivia Carlson talks to runners before Saturday's race.

STAMFORD, Vt. — Among Olivia Carlson’s many memories of her mother are the times the family would participate in 5-kilometer charity road races.

"Especially in the summers, we did 5Ks almost every weekend. I remember we would decide maybe Saturday morning, 'Oh, there's a 5K at 10,' and we’d run in, join the scramble, register day of and just hop in," Carlson said on Saturday morning outside Stamford Elementary School, site of the inaugural Train for Trish 5K Charity Run/Walk.

Reminded how much organizers of such events love a last-minute crush of entrants, Carlson

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