BERKSHIRE COUNTY

Coverage of Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, at left, and City Councilor Melissa Mazzeo at right.
Tyer: Rosanne Frieri / Tyer for Mayor Facebook / Melissa Mazzeo for Mayor Facebook

Two established politicians — both women — are vying for the mayor’s office in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 

A building at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Eric Allix Rogers / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/reallyboring

The Berkshire County District Attorney's office has issued an update on its investigation of an alleged assault at Bard College at Simon's Rock. It says there are inconsistencies between the reported assault and the evidence gathered by law enforcement. 

The Wayfair customer service center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in the former Sheaffer Eaton paper mill. Parts of the original building were constructed in 1883 for the Terry Clock Co.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Online furniture giant Wayfair opened a new call center Thursday in a historic mill building in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 

Al Bertelli worked as an assembler in the power transformer division at General Electric Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

This month marks 20 years since General Electric Co. signed an agreement to clean up PCBs the company had dumped in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

In July, Bright Abbey opened Omega1 African Fashion, a new clothing store in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Many tout the arrival of online furniture mammoth Wayfair and its 300 new hires in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as a big win. That doesn’t compare to the nearly 14,000 jobs that once existed at General Electric Co. — but those working to shape a new economy in the Berkshires aren’t looking for another GE.

A detail from the sculpture "Conflict," a work by Beckie Kravetz on display in a summer show at the Barn Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

From her studio in western Massachusetts, regardless of material or scale, Beckie Kravetz sculpts remarkably human faces, even when they're abstract.

A courthouse in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Berkshire District Attorney's Office / Facebook

The Berkshire County District Attorney's office will no longer provide direct services to students in county schools, such as teaching classes to help young people avoid substance abuse.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey introduced a violence prevention program in North Adams on Monday, part of a partnership between her office and Sandy Hook Promise.

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington in front of the Boys & Girls Club in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The Berkshire County District Attorney's office has started a Juvenile Justice Unit and is expanding a program that diverts young offenders from the courts.

"We need to treat kids like kids, not just at home and at school, but in our criminal justice system," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said Tuesday.

People under 18 who have committed "low level" crimes such as disturbing the peace, vandalism or trespassing will be evaluated by a social worker at the DA's office to determine if they are eligible for diversion. 

Amherst College in Amherst, Mass.
Wikimedia Commons / via MassLive / MassLive.com/photos

U.S. News and World Report has released its latest list of the best colleges in the country, and some western Massachusetts institutions came out at or near the top. 

A voting sign.
Shannon McGee / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/shan213

As we review news of the week, we look ahead to the local election season in western Massachusetts.

A stretch of the Housatonic River.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The state of New York is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after it certified General Electric's cleanup activities in the Hudson River. 

In 1953 American illustrator Norman Rockwell moved from Arlington, Vermont, to the small town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on the Western edge of the Berkshires. While there, Rockwell developed a relationship with a prominent psychotherapist who came to influence the artist’s work. Their relationship is the subject of a new exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum: “Inspired: Norman Rockwell and Erik Erikson.” 

Author Brendan Mathews lives in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Courtesy Brendan Mathews

A photographer documents her childhood friend's rise to fame. Foreign journalists try to adapt to life in a U.S. city. A clown pines for the love of a trapeze artist. These characters and more make up a new short story collection from Lenox, Massachusetts, author Brendan Mathews, called “This Is Not a Love Song.” 

Tanglewood, the summer home in the Berkshires of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has long felt like something of a summer camp for musicians and fans. Since 1936, music lovers have noshed and lounged on blankets at Tanglewood while listening to the BSO play hits by Brahms or Beethoven (these days lawn tickets cost a modest $13).

Less visible are the hours of intense instruction for about 150 young musicians at the Tanglewood Music Center.

A classroom.
Wokandapix / Creative Commons

Voters in a Berkshire County town have signed off on exploring a schools merger with a community right across the border in Vermont.

Entrance to the Baseball in the Berkshires Museum.
Courtesy Baseball in the Berkshires Museum

A western Massachusetts baseball museum recently had to move out of the shuttered Berkshire Mall. For now, the museum is lining up temporary exhibits. 

When you hear the name O’Keeffe, who pops into your mind?

Probably Georgia. Her sensual, pastel-colored flowers and stark but soft desert landscape paintings are iconic.

But there was more than one driven, talented artist in the O’Keeffe family. An exhibit on view at the Clark Art Institute, “Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow,” explores the lesser-known artist in the family.

Bingo players at the Clarksburg Senior Center.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The senior center in the small Berkshire County town of Clarksburg has averted closure. The center was supposed to close this week.

Lily Kuzia, 89, and Shirley Therrien, 82, are board members on the Clarksburg Council On Aging. The board is disbanding because members say they're too old to run activities for seniors.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Sometimes community organizations close down because of a lack of funding, or not enough interest. But when it comes to bingo and other senior activities in Clarksburg, Massachusetts, the main problem is aging.

Inside the Berkshire Mall in January 2019.
JJBers / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/jjbers

A company from Ohio purchased the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, this week. The mall has been closed for the last three months and stores there have struggled to stay open for years.

Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack speaks during a press conference at Springfield's Union Station.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Two western Massachusetts lawmakers agree the Registry of Motor Vehicles deserves some blame for a recent fatal car accident in New Hampshire. But they stopped short of calling for the resignation of the state transportation head.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is among the western Mass. cities with a recreational marijuana store.
Kenneth C. Zirkel / Creative Commons

Massachusetts cities and towns with marijuana businesses are getting revenue from a three percent tax on retail pot sales.

The new Linde Center for Music and Learning is home to the Tanglewood Learning Institute. It launches its first season of music, lectures and cultural events this summer, and will offer events year-round, a first for Tanglewood.
Winslow Townson / Boston Symphony Orchestra

The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Lenox, Massachusetts, is about to become a year-round destination. Tanglewood's all-season complex opens this weekend, with a new series of lectures and events.

Racers ride a truck to the top of Whitcomb Hill Road in Florida, Massachusetts. Tim Delrosario-Rojas, second from right, won the championship race at the event.
Ben James / NEPR

More than 60 downhill skateboarders convened in a quiet western Massachusetts town in June — coming from as far away as Spain, Australia, and Mexico — to compete in the first-ever Whitcomb Summit Downhill.

Mary Kay Place as the title role in Kent Jones's "Diane."
IFC Films

The film "Diane," set in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is about the mundane and extremely generous measures a woman takes to help her friends and family. 

A view of Mass MoCA in downtown North Adams, Mass., as seen on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.
Shannon Young / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

The longtime director of MASS MoCA, Joe Thompson, will be arraigned Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of motor vehicle homicide in connection with a fatal collision in North Adams, Massachusetts, last July.

Farmington River Regional School in Otis, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Just like a fire drill, students and teachers routinely practice what to do if an armed intruder enters their school.

Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Richard Neal speaking at The Daily Hampshire Gazette in 2018.
Sarah Crosby / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Updated at 5:27 p.m. 

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield is pushing back against charges he's engaged in pay-to-play politics. The person making the charge may run against him. 

Congressman Richard Neal won a Democratic primary against challenger Tahirah Amatul-Wadud.
Frederick Gore / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Starting off our look at news of the past week: the fundraising practices of Democratic U.S. Rep. Richard Neal of Springfield, Massachusetts.

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