PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police Department's K9 Jango has received his bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc.
The vest was sponsored through funds raised at HeatherFest, an annual blues festival hosted by Heather McKibben in Norton. The nearly 25-year festival supports a number of charities, including Vested Interest in K9s. The vest is embroidered with the sentiment "Donated by HeatherFest in memory of Bill McKibben," McKibben's father who died last year.
Jango is a 2-year-old German shepherd who joined the Police Department in September 2017. He completed patrol and narcotic detection schools, and is currently working with his handler, Officer Nicholas Sondrini, on day shift.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton whose mission is to provide protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies in obtaining this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest has provided more than 3,000 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million.
The program is open to dogs actively employed with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 pounds. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. To find out more about Vested Interest or make a donation: 508-824-6978, www.vik9s.org or P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
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Pittsfield School Officials Affirm Decision on Braves' Replacement
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee affirmed its decision to replace the Taconic mascot on Wednesday.
"I think we are wading here into a parliamentary morass," committee member William Cameron said. "The point of the vote has been lost sight of as we struggle to find words to satisfy those people who won't be satisfied by anything but rescinding the vote."
School officials voted in August to eliminate the name, but the item was placed on the agenda again in September after a group of alumni and residents communicated that they were unclear that a vote would take place. They wanted a chance to speak to the matter.
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McCandless said he took issue with some of the comments made and noted the administration made sure cafeteria employees were kept working through the outset of the pandemic and the summer.
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A collaboration of the Berkshire District attorney's office and the Pittsfield Public Schools is using $25,000 in seed money in hopes of growing a sustainable program for social emotional learning in the schools. click for more
The council accepted an order from the mayor Tuesday to borrow an aggregate a sum not exceeding $8,470,000 for General Fund Capital Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2021 to address various city projects.
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The city announced Tuesday that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, or MassDOT, approved and funded the City of Pittsfield's grant application for the Shared Streets and Spaces Program in the amount of $238,826. click for more
Berkshire United Way and Miraval Berkshires have teamed up to honor an essential worker or first responder on the front lines of relief efforts in Berkshire County during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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