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The restaurant had closed abruptly in 2016.

Old Country Buffet Expected To Be Razed To Make Way For New Restaurant

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Old Country Buffet at Berkshire Crossing is expected to be razed.
 
The plaza owners Brixmor Property Group received the OK from the Conservation Commission to take down the restaurant. The plan is to construct a new, 5,500 square-foot restaurant in its place.
 
"The footprint of the proposed restaurant is significantly smaller. The existing restaurant is a square, rectangular shape. The concept is we've located the restaurant in that same building footprint but completely out of the riverfront area," James Scalise of SK Design said.
 
Scalise said there is a tight schedule for the owners to finalize the lease. Which restaurant will take its place was not disclosed on Thursday.
 
Old Country Buffet has been closed for the last two years. It closed with little warning in February 2016 as workers arrived there one morning to find a sign announcing its closure.
 
The restaurant was one of 74 closed by Ovation Brands at the time. Now it appears another company is interested in taking over the location. 
 
What would you like to see there?

Tags: restaurants,   

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Pittsfield Superintendant Warns of Prohibited Toy Guns

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The district has been alerted of a concerning trend that is prohibited on school grounds: Orby or Orbeez gel guns.

The toy guns shoot gel or water beads and are said to pose a risk of physical harm and being mistaken for a real firearm. They are a violation of the Pittsfield Public School's code of conduct and could result in a suspension of 11 days or more.

"Though these may appear as simple toys, it's crucial to recognize the potential risks tied to their usage. By raising awareness, we aim to educate our community about the possible hazards associated with these items, emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making and responsible behavior," said Superintendent Joseph Curtis in a memo to the Pittsfield Public School community on Friday.

Last fall, someone used a similar gun to target cross-country students and a coach from Lee High. No one was injured in the incident. 

Given the frequency of school shootings nationwide, Curtis said schools cannot afford to accommodate anything that even remotely that resembles a firearm. The toy guns and gel beads are secured behind a locked case in Walmart on Hubbard Avenue, many indicating that they are for ages 14 and older.

"The Pittsfield Public Schools firmly maintains that Orby toy guns and any associated pellets should not be brought onto school premises, including both indoor and outdoor areas. This directive is in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all students, staff, and visitors within our educational environment," he wrote.

"We stress the significance of following this directive to prevent any potential hazards or disruptions that may arise from the presence of these items on school grounds. By upholding this standard, we aim to cultivate a secure and conducive learning environment for everyone within the Pittsfield community."

The superintendent listed three potential hazards of the water-bead guns in the schools:

  • Physical Injuries: The guns have the capacity to propel projectiles at considerable speeds, posing a risk of injury to the eyes, skin, and even teeth, particularly when fired in close proximity.
     
  • Misidentification Risks: Due to their realistic appearance, some Orby guns may be mistaken for genuine firearms. Such misidentification could result in confusion and potentially perilous encounters, especially if law enforcement or bystanders perceive them as real weapons.
     
  • Public Disruption: The act of firing Orby guns in public settings can be highly disruptive and alarming to others. Such behavior may instill fear and panic among individuals nearby, potentially leading to charges of disorderly conduct or harassment.
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