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Former Pittsfield Officer Sentenced for Stealing From Police Union

A former Pittsfield Police officer sentenced on Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to stealing more than $200,000 the Pittsfield Patrol Police Union. Jeffrey D. Coco, 44, former union president, will serve up to 20 months in the House of Correction.

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Non-Partisan Advocacy Workshops Offered

Participants are welcome to stay for an hour or the whole day. All workshops will be held on the Berkshire Community College campus at 1350 West St. in Pittsfield, which is fully accessible.

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Berkshires Beat: Volunteers Needed to Monitor Water Quality As 'River Smart' Month Nears

Once a month, trained volunteers will collect water samples at designated locations on the Green River in the Hoosic Watershed and Wahconah Falls Brook and the Southwest Branch of the Housatonic River in the Housatonic Watershed.

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Women's Commission Breakfast Focuses on Civic Engagement

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud admitted she was "preaching to the choir" on Monday morning as she stressed the importance of community engagement in the politic process. Her audience at Berkshire Community College was nearly 100 women and legislators who'd shown up on a cold and rainy morning in the Susan B. Anthony Lounge for the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women's annual legislative breakfast.

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North Adams Team Wins 18th Annual Robotics Challenge

The competition involved 26 Berkshire County teams comprising more than 180 students ages 8 to 14 using programmable robots built from LEGO kits to complete a variety of missions involving hypothetical scenarios that focused on improving interactions between people and animals.

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Libraries' Forum Targets Fake News

iBerkshires.com will participate in a public forum on Monday sponsored by the Milne and North Adams public libraries on so-called "fake news." "Fact or Fabrication in Today's News" takes place on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at the Williamstown Youth Center.

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Cheshire, Lanesborough Consider Sharing Roads Chief

Town officials have been mulling the idea of sharing a highway superintendent with Lanesborough as it's search for a new Department of Public Works chief has dragged on for months. The plan had been for the new person to train with the retiring Superintendent Peter Lefebvre but his last day is only weeks away now.

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Brayton Students Play Bingo For Books

More than 50 students and their parents participated in the first "Bingo for Books" event last week at Brayton Elementary school during which students showcased their literary skills. Fourth-grade teacher Marie McCarron said she and fellow teacher Karen Cellana brought the event to Brayton because they wanted to get parents more involved in the classroom.

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Vietnam Veterans Honored In Pittsfield Ceremony

The war may be long over but Vietnam veterans are still tasked with a duty of making sure no other veterans return home to face the same fight for benefits they endured. Scott Gagnon served as both he commander of the Dalton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and as the Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars assistance service officer for Western Massachusetts. He knows well the fight Vietnam veterans have endured in just trying to secure proper medical care.

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Lanesborough Elementary Weighs New Tuition Policy

The Lanesborough Elementary School Committee on Friday formally began the process of raising the tuition it charges New Ashford. In response to longtime criticism from town officials about the difference between the negotiated salary rate and the actual per-pupil cost of a Lanesborough education, the district has developed a policy that will peg that tuition to that average cost.

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North County Seniors And Students Prepare Food Bags

North County seniors and students teamed up to make and fill bags for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts' Brown Bag program. Seniors made an assembly line at the Visitors Center on Friday morning and filled 96 decorated bags with food for other seniors throughout the county.

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Legislators Pledge Support to Disabled Community During Uncertain Times

The 17th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast to support services for people with disabilities saw a crowd of more than 300 at the ITAM Lodge to hear families and care providers share their concerns with members of the county's legislative delegation. That's the county's delegation in Boston, but events in Washington, D.C., very much on the minds of the speakers and the audience alike.

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Flying Cloud Institute Welcomes New Board Member

Nash currently runs NASH Insights in Lenox, Mass., working with organizations to assess their needs, conduct program evaluation, and obtain grant funding. She is the former executive director of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and the Boston Area Health Education Center.

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Lanesborough, Pittsfield Police Participate In 'High Five' Friday

Police throughout Massachusetts on Friday stood outside of their local elementary schools waiting for the students to arrive. Once the children piled off the bus, the officers were there greeting them with high fives to start their day.

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Pittsfield, State Trying To Find Way to Make East Street Repairs

The city is still trying to secure funding to renovate the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and East Street. But, it could take a while. The city had previously sought to fund it with a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for an array of improvements there tying into the development of the William Stanley Business Park. That federal officials responded saying the grant had asked to pull out some items, such as bringing fiberwire to the park. The city responded

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Adams Police May Leave Civil Service

Adams is considering leaving Civil Service requirements to make it easier to hire officers. Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco broached the possibility during joint Selectmen's and Finance Committee's fourth and final budget hearing held on Thursday night at the Visitors Center. That public hearing reviewed the public safety and library budget sections of the proposed $15.5 million town budget.

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Cheshire Seeks Ways to Keep Elementary School Open

Cheshire residents are exploring ways to keep their elementary school open even as the regional district prepares to relocate its students to other schools. More than 150 parents and community members attended a public forum moderated by the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday night to hash out possibilities to keep the school running or resurrect it later.

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Independent Investor: Don't Worry, Be Happy

Where, you might ask, do we here in the U.S. rank? The answer would be No. 14, down from No. 3 in 2007. The least happy inhabitants on Earth appear to be in Africa while the average Chinese person is no happier than he was 25 years ago, despite the country's much-lauded economic miracle.

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Cheshire Sees Race for Selectman

Voters will decide a two-way race for the Board of Selectmen this year, one of only two races on the town election ballot. Edmund St. John IV and E. Richard Scholz will vie for a three-year seat being vacated by current Chairman Paul Astorino.

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Mass MoCA Looking to Orient Visitors, Send Them Downtown

Thousands of visitors are headed for the city this summer and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts is hoping to push as many as it can into the downtown. The museum opens its $65 million renovation of the massive Building 6 that will double its gallery and events space and welcome back the Solid Sound Festival and Freshgrass.

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Adams Reviews Adams-Cheshire, McCann Fiscal 2018 Budgets

The Selectmen and Finance Committee heard from both Adams-Cheshire Regional School District and McCann Technical School on their fiscal 2108 spending plans and aired concerns about both budgets. Wednesday was the third of four joint budget hearings held at the Adams Visitors Center. The two regional school budgets make 39 percent of the town's proposed $15.5 million the fiscal 2018 budget.

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Pittsfield Committed to Diversity But Work Still to Be Done

A recent letter to the editor castigating the city's administration for failing to promote affirmative action prompted Mayor Linda Tyer to respond with a full court press. Since taking office last year, Tyer said her administration has worked to increase outreach to minority populations, provide greater access to employment and work with organizations such as the NAACP, and recruit a more diverse population on boards and commission. The process is transformative, she said, and takes time.

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Vermont State Police Seek Information on Stamford Accident

State police are seeking information related to a reported hit-and-run that took place late Wednesday morning. Samantha Goodreau, 22, of North Adams, Mass., was southbound on Main Road in her 2014 Hyundai Elantra when she says another vehicle forced her off the road, and she collided with the guard rail on the southbound lane, and then fled.

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Adams Reviews Facilities and DPW Budgets for Fiscal 2018

Town officials reviewed public buildings, public works and the public services budgets on Tuesday night during the second of four budget hearings scheduled this week. Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco lead the joint Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee budget hearing at the Visitors Center in going over spending plans for the three departments in the $15.5 million fiscal 2018 budget that is up $1 million increase over this year.

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