Virtual Meeting on Baby Bonds Program Findings

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A study on establishing a "baby bonds" program will be released on Monday during a virtual event beginning at noon. 
 
State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg convened a Baby Bonds Task Force earlier this year to explore the creation of the bonds in Massachusetts.
 
The release of the findings is open to the public; register here.
 
Baby bonds is a term used to describe trust funds set up by governments intended to build assets for low-to-moderate income residents and narrow the racial wealth gap. These trust funds are established at birth and grow until recipients reach adulthood. Account holders can then access their funds for asset-building activities such as post-secondary education, homebuying, or investing in a business.
 
Berkshire United Way Community Impact Director Katherine von Haefen served on the task force
 
"Berkshire United Way works to ensure economic stability for our most vulnerable families, and this program will help provide a financial foundation for the youngest members of these families," said von Haefen in a statement.
 
The task force will release its findings report detailing its recommendations on establishing an at-birth baby bonds program and provide an overview of its findings. Goldberg will offer opening remarks before panelists dive into the highlights of the findings report.
 
The Baby Bonds Task Force is a diverse cross-sector collaboration with members who have work, research, or volunteer experience in racial wealth equity, child welfare, public policy, community engagement, and asset-building initiatives. The task force also serves as an instrument to engage with impacted communities to allow community participation in the design of the program.

 


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Owner of Abandoned Cats Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A woman accused of abandoning more than a dozen cats during snowstorm a year ago has pleaded guilty. 
 
Kelly Hathaway of Pittsfield pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of animal cruelty in Central Berkshire District Court as part of a plea agreement. Following the plea agreement, she was ordered to have a mental health evaluation and follow any after care as instructed by the court.
 
She was placed on two years probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. She is not allowed to possess any animals and was ordered to surrender any she has in her care. She is also prohibited from volunteering with any animal groups.
 
Hathaway and another defendant were charged last March with abandoning 15 cats on back roads in Richmond and Lanesborough after an investigation by Lanesborough Police, Lanesborough Animal Control and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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