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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

What Can You Do With Your Tax Refund?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:42AM / Wednesday, April 10, 2019

We're getting close to the tax-filing deadline. For many of us, this means it's that time of year when we get our biggest financial windfall – a tax refund. If you have recently received a refund, or are expecting to get one in the next few weeks, what should you do with it?

Of course, you could just spend the money on something you want, but if you would like to maximize the financial benefits from your refund, you might want to consider other options, including the following:

Invest the money. In 2018, the average tax refund was about $2,700. For this year, it might be somewhat lower, due to changes in the tax laws and the failure of taxpayers to adjust their withholdings

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Primary Care Offices Offer More Than Ever
By Dr. Robert Schwartz,
11:26AM / Wednesday, April 10, 2019

As little as five or 10 years ago, you visited your doctor at your primary care office for your yearly physical and when you were ill. You might need to visit three or four other offices to get all of the care you needed.

But times are changing. Many primary care offices are offering patients more types of care more conveniently than ever. Knowing about all of the services your primary care practice offers can help you take better care of yourself and your family.

The shift in primary care started several years ago with the concept of the medical home. When patients first hear the term "medical home," they are often confused. "Do you mean nursing home?" they think.

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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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Pittsfield Business Owner Objects to Parking Meters In New Lot
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Council Vice President John Krol filed a petition calling for a new plan for the lot.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The owner of Berkshire Nautilus is glad to see the eyesore of a Columbus Avenue parking garage come down.

But, he feels deceived by the city because now parking meters are eyed for the new surface lot.

"I was literally stunned to learn for the very first time that not only would there be no additional free three-hour public spaces created with this," owner Jim Ramondetta told the City Council on Tuesday.   Ramondetta said he reached out to the mayor and his city councilor multiple times to learn more about the project directly across the street from his

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Letter: DA's Decision on Prevention Programs Hurts Children & Families
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Tuesday, April 09, 2019

To the Editor:

For 15 years,the Community Outreach and Education Department (COE) in the Berkshire District Attorney's Office has provided student-based, educational and prevention programming to elementary, middle and high school students throughout Berkshire County. Tens of thousands of students have received vital educational programming and support on bullying, online safety, safe and healthy relationships, substance abuse and leadership.

These grant-funded programs required data collection and the Berkshire results continually showed positive outcomes for our students. Alongside student programming, staff and parents have received the training and guidance they need to support

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Harrington Launches Plan to Address Domestic, Sexual Violence
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:38AM / Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Freeman Center Executive  Director Janis Broderick said domestic and sexual assault has been a growing problem in recent years and a lot more can be done. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Domestic and sexual violence has hit a "crisis level" according to District Attorney Andrea Harrington.   On Tuesday, she announced a new countywide Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force that will focus on curbing what is now growing numbers of sexual and domestic violence cases.   The task force will focus on outreach, securing new resources, and providing education and training throughout the Berkshires in an effort to prevent such crimes from

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Easter Events in the Berkshires
10:23AM / Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way ... and so are lots of fun family events in the Berkshires. If you have one you want included on this list, just email us at info@iberkshires.com.

April 13

Lenox: Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will offer its annual Slavic Easter egg decorating demonstrations and instructional workshops at the mansion’s former gatehouse at 55 Kemble St. from 10 a.m. to noon and then again from 1 to 3 p.m. This Eastern European tradition of creating intricate and beautifully decorated eggs has been passed down for generations.  Lenox resident Tjasa Sprague, who will again lead the workshop, learned the technique many years ago from her

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Lanesborough Waiting on New Inspection of Police Station
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Tuesday, April 09, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A third-party inspector is expected to file a report on the condition of the current police station as town officials prepare to release a request for a feasibility study on the department's needs.   Town Manager Kelli Robbins said on Monday that a state building inspector was in town reviewing the renovation plans for the current station and is scheduling an inspection soon. The Board of Selectmen had asked the state to provide an independent assessment of the 151-year-old building following a report from the town's insurance company calling on the building to be vacated.    Selectman Robert Ericson, who had headed the renovation project

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Preschool, Kindergarten Registrations Scheduled Around County
10:43AM / Monday, April 08, 2019

Berkshire County schools are starting to schedule preschool and kindergarten registration dates for the 2019-20 school year. Schools can send their information to info@iberkshires.com to be included on this list.

All students, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or homelessness, have equal access to the general education program and the full range of any occupational, vocational programs offered by public school districts.

Adams/St. Stanislaus Kostka

Preschool open house and registration for 3- and 4-year-olds will be held on Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in the St. Stanislaus Kostka preschool building on

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Berkshire Mosquito Control Gearing Up For 2019 Season
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:04AM / Sunday, April 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City Council President Peter Marchetti is asking that the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project be more proactive.   The request comes after the Board of Health agreed last year to limit the number of adulticide sprayings. Marchetti particularly called for more catch basin treatments, citing that in 2014 and 2015 there were 3,922 and 3,820 catch basins treated respectfully whereas in 2017 and 2018 those numbers dropped to 3,460 and 3,407.   "It is my hope that since this conversation is still early in the mosquito season that we can do much more to address this issue not only to assist with the public health threat but also to keep focused on

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Wahconah Building Project Passes by Narrow Margin
Staff Reports, iBerkshires Staff
07:02PM / Saturday, April 06, 2019
DALTON, Mass. — With just more than 51 percent of the vote, the Wahconah Regional High School building project was approved by the voters of the Central Regional Berkshire School District on Saturday.   Superintendent Laurie Casna reported Saturday evening that 1,785 of the 3,483 voters districtwide (51.2 percent) voted in favor of the $72 million project.   "We are very pleased to share that the vote for a new Wahconah Regional High School anticipated to open in the fall of 2021 passed today," Casna wrote in an email to the media.   The turnout of 3,483 voters in district's seven towns was just fewer than twice the number (1,761) who turned out for an

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Newest Pittsfield Police Advisory Group Holds First Meeting
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:33AM / Saturday, April 06, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The newly created Police Advisory and Review Commission got its feet wet at its first meeting on Tuesday.   The newly crafted committee is eyed to serve as a liaison between the Police Department and the community. It is the most recent iteration of a public safety-focused citizens group after a previous one fell to the wayside.   "We went through a long process of debate and discussion about the purpose of this committee and how it can strengthen our relationship between our police department and the community it serves," Mayor Linda Tyer said.   The push for the new committee began in the city in the winter of 2017 and appointments were

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Two Men Charged In Murder On Edward Avenue In Pittsfield
Staff Reports,
06:38PM / Friday, April 05, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men are facing murder charges in the death of 18-year-old Jaden Salois of Dalton.   Carlos Pascual-Polanco, 18, and Chiry Omar Pascual-Polanco, 22, both of Pittsfield were arraigned on murder charges on Friday related the shooting on Edward Avenue shooting of Salois.   Police discovered Salois outside a home on Edward, near the Elm Street intersection, in the early hours of Jan. 20. He was pronounced dead on the scene.   The alleged killers are being held without bail. First Assistant District Attorney Karen Bell is prosecuting the case.   "The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office was able to bring these charges thanks to the hard

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