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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Pittsfield May Consider Dropping Speed Limits Throughout City
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Thursday, October 27, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council may be looking to drop speed limits throughout a majority of the city now that it has the authority to do so.   Previously roads in thickly settled or business districts were 30 mph and the only way to lower that would be to petition the state. The state required a speed study done, paid for by the city, and the study would determine a speed limit based on actual speeds traveled by vehicles on the road.   When the state's municipal modernization bill goes into effect on Nov. 7, the requirement for a speed study and state approval will be removed, giving the council the authority to lower speed limits in those zones to 25. The bill


Permit Granted For Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Thursday, October 27, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Manna Wellness was granted a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday to operate a medical marijuana facility, despite protest from a resident who lives nearby.   Julia Germaine of Manna Wellness said the company is looking to build a 3,200 square-foot facility on undeveloped land in the Cloverdale Business Park. The site is located next to Dollar General on outer West Housatonic Street and Ice River Springs.    "The retail space will look similar to a pharmacy," Germaine said.   The site expects to serve 30 to 40 patients a day and be open seven-days a week from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Manna is planning to employ a dozen


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

Allegrone Finishes Redevelopment of Historic Onota Building
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:41PM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The downtown building is finding new use through the renovation project. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Allegrone Construction has completed a $9 million renovation of the historic Onota Building on North Street.   The company held an open house on Wednesday to show off the 25 rental units, rooftop deck, and six retail spaces.   Already more than half of the housing units have been leased with move-in day just a few weeks away on Nov. 15.   "There is 15 out of the 25 leased and we are hoping to see the rest leased in the next couple weeks," said Louis Allegrone.   The six-story building was originally constructed in 1928 and the reconstruction was part of a


MCLA to Host Open House for Prospective Students
12:19PM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host the second of three fall open house events for high school and transfer students interested in applying for admission to attend MCLA for the spring of 2017 or the fall 2017 on Saturday, Oct. 29. Check-in will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Amsler Campus Center.

In addition to touring the campus, prospective students and families can learn more about the admissions and financial aid process; student life; attend an academic program overview; and explore the many opportunities MCLA has to offer, such as internships, study abroad, our honors program and undergraduate research.

Those who wish to find out more about


BCC Honors Academic Achievement at Convocation
11:33AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College recently recognized the academic achievements of 103 students during an Honors Convocation Program.

Each honored student ranks in the top five percent of the college with a grade point average of 3.75 or better in courses totaling at least 12 credits.

Honored students (and hometowns) include:



Adams: Aaron R. Biros, Jeremy R. Patterson, Chelise M. Rondeau

Becket: Rebecca J. Simmons

Cheshire: Amy L. Brassard, Katie Clarke, Dudley R. Johnson, Emily A. Thurston

Chester: Henry J. Fristik

Cummington: Marion T. Brooks, Alexander F. Griffith

Dalton: Shaina R. Benham, Magdelin C. Bennett, Oksana O. Dix, Whitney N.


Investors Should Avoid 'Great Expectations'
11:06AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Apart from death and taxes, few events in our world are consistently predictable – and investment returns are definitely not one of them. What can you, as an individual investor, do to cope with the ups and downs of the financial markets and make progress toward your long-term goals?

To begin with, you should be aware that the financial markets have fluctuated greatly – daily, monthly and yearly – over the past three decades. Overall, though, the financial markets trended upward, as measured by major indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S & P 500. Of course, as you've no doubt heard, past performance can't guarantee future results.



Pittsfield Council Adopts 'No On 2' Resolution
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:17AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council's oddest vote tally of the year came Tuesday night with 11 potential votes being split five different ways on a resolution to oppose the ballot question to expand charter schools.   Council President Peter Marchetti was absent and unable to cast a vote. Ward 3 Councilor Nicholas Caccamo recused himself from the conversation — and sat in the audience without casting a vote — because he works for Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School. Councilors Donna Todd Rivers and Anthony Simonelli both abstained from voting but debated the issue. Councilors Melissa Mazzeo and Kevin Morandi opposed the resolution. And

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Lanesborough Approves Large Increase In Tax Rate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:40AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A significant decrease in value of the Berkshire Mall and the onset of the bills for construction of the new Mount Greylock Regional School are leading to nearly an 8 percent increase in tax bills.   The Board of Selectmen adopted a single-rate of $20.89 per $1,000 of assessed property value on Monday, which is a $1.53 increase over the previous year. The increase is mostly driven by a $12 million decrease in value for the Berkshire Mall plus another $360,000 or so for the first round of payments for the school.    "This is the first of three years," Town Manager Paul Sieloff said. "It is a tough couple of years."   Both

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Taconic High Construction: Precast Concrete Begins; Steel Going Up
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:18PM / Tuesday, October 25, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first precast concrete beam for the vocational shops at the new Taconic High School was placed on Tuesday.   Construction has been ongoing since March. It began with site work by J.H. Maximillian, who leveled the area, set up drainage, and blasted out rock ledge. Once that was completed, the foundation work started.    David Tierney Construction has so far completed the foundation in what is known as "area A" and steel work — the upward construction of the bones of the building — began in early October. Foundation has been laid in nearly all areas of the site, with just the final of four areas still being complete. That


Health Connector Launches Insurance Enrollment Drive in North Adams
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:11PM / Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Health Connector officials are urging citizens to explore their health insurance options during this enrollment season.

Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. With expected rises in health insurance premiums under the federal Affordable Care Act, it behooves people to look over their plans and update their accounts.

The word from the Health Connector is it's the time to shop for the best plan.

"A lot of time people think there's not an affordable option because they read the press like that, but there actually are very affordable options," Vicki Coates, the state Health Connector's chief operating officer, said. "It's


Mexican Restaurant Planned For Former Baba Louie's Pittsfield Location
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:04AM / Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Licensing Board granted the liquor license on Monday.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new Mexican restaurant is looking to open in the former Baba Louie's location on Depot street in the next month or so.   Jose Luis Verde is looking to open Tito's, a new chain restaurant with establishments in Ohio and Tennessee. Verde received approval for the liquor license on Monday and as soon as the OK is given by the state's Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the restaurant is ready to open.   "We have Mexican food, we try to make it a nice atmosphere," Verde told the Licensing Board.   Verde signed a lease with property owners Whaling Properties

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Senate Candidates Handle Slew of Questions During Debate At BCC
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:29AM / Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Most of the questions at Monday's state Senate debate were on the ballot questions, with each of the two candidates taking slightly different views on them.

Republican Christine Canning-Wilson and Democrat Adam Hinds are both seeking election to the state Senate seat being vacated by Benjamin Downing. The two faced off at a debate Monday night sponsored by the Pittsfield Gazette and Berkshire Community College and moderator Dan Dillon said while the ballot questions are going to voters, the candidate's answers do reflect where they stand on hot topics in the state.

He started off with the question of expanding charter schools. The ballot question would

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