The Greeting

Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019

Snow! Hardly a surprise around here in the high country where the white stuff can hang around until May. Hopefully, you had an uneventful commute.

Someone's got a sore back this morning ... a 350-pound headstone was stolen from a Pittsfield memorial merchant.  The business owner thinks it was taken by "two strong guys." 

And as you can see, the Berkshires welcomed its first baby of 2019. Abigail came in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces, stretching out at 20 inches. Abigail and mom are doing fine and are expected to go home to Becket today, according to new dad Mike Lennon.

County smiles will be on the increase as dental organizations here just landed $36K in grants that will aid in the region's oral care.

If you're a fan of the Ted talks, there's something similar rolling out on Feb. 2 in North Adams. Listen and be learned.

Today and every day, intrepid Eagle journalists work the phones and beat their feet all over Berkshire County to bring you these fine stories and photographs:

LAWYERS, GUNS AND MONEY: A city man who was found with a gun, cocaine and other contraband in his home last January was sentenced to a year in jail Wednesday after pleading out in Berkshire Superior Court. 

TOURISM PAYS: Lenox is loving its tourist tax, because it keeps on giving.

LONELY AT THE TOP: Windsor is looking to make its seniors feel less isolated, in part by joining a regional consortium of councils on aging.

NEVER ENOUGH KANYE?: Are you the Berkshires' biggest Kanye West fan? Or his worst detractor in the county? Take our poll and let us know (it's unscientific but fun!).

When public officials aren't held to account, it can be like a kid with their parents' credit card. Thankfully, we're here to make sure that doesn't happen. Don't starve the watchdog. Subscribe today.

Very best,

Noah Hoffenberg,
Eagle online editor
nhoffenberg@berkshireeagle.com



The News

Meet the Berkshires' first baby of 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON — Katelyn Lennon had hoped her firstborn would arrive on Dec. 30, her mother's birthday.Grandma got her present two days later as Abigail Grace Lennon came into the world at … more

Missing 350-pound headstone rattles Pittsfield memorial store owner

PITTSFIELD — Some things you just don't expect to be stolen. Count a 350-pound gravestone among them."Maybe it was foolish, but I thought: they're headstones, who would steal them?" said Donna … more

Pittsfield man gets a year in jail for drug, gun charges

PITTSFIELD — A city man who was found with a gun, cocaine and other contraband in his home last January was sentenced to a year in jail Wednesday after pleading out in Berkshire Superior … more

'Tourist tax' is gift that keeps on giving for Lenox

LENOX — Town Hall continues to rake in more than $2 million a year from what some call "the tourist tax." That's the 6 percent slice of the statewide 11.7 percent lodging tax paid by lodging … more

Windsor moves to address isolation of older rural residents

WINDSOR — The town of Windsor hopes to step up outreach to its older residents, seeking to ease their isolation and loneliness. Communities that are already part of the Northern Hilltowns … more

TEDxNorthAdams returning Feb. 2

NORTH ADAMS — Following the success of the first TEDx talk in North Adams last year, its organizers have announced a date and lineup of speakers for year two.The 2019 edition of TEDxNorthAdams … more

Grant money to support dental care in Berkshires for those in need

GREAT BARRINGTON — Two local organizations devoted to helping low-income residents care for their teeth are the recent recipients of grants that will boost their mission.The Massachusetts … more


The Weather


The Business


The View

OUR OPINION

Our Opinion: Sen. Warren and the long road ahead

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has formed a committee to explore her run for president, which, in modern parlance, means she's running. On New Year's Eve, Sen. Warren became the first big … more

Our Opinion: For most part, lawmaker pay raises are defensible

State legislators will receive a pay increase in the year ahead, which is guaranteed to anger residents whose wages have stagnated in recent years. The hikes are defensible for the rank-and-file … more
COLUMNISTS

Baby Boomer Memories: In any weather, Model Dairy was tops for ice cream in the Berkshires

A special treat in the 1950s, even on a cold winter day, was a hot fudge sundae, and the very best could be found at Pittsfield's Model Dairy at 27 Ontario St.Even in the 1960s, a hot fudge sundae … more
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letter: Ethical landlords face tough challenges

To the editor:The majority of rental property owners are local folks who purchase a property as a long-term investment. Typically, the rental income just covers the property overhead costs with the … more

Letter: Upset by euthanizing of returned dog

To the editor:My husband and I decided to adopt a 5-year-old redbone coonhound named Ned from the Berkshire Humane Society on Nov. 15. This dog was perfect with other dogs and children and really … more


The Score

Lenox boys basketball starts 2019 right, avenging early-season loss to McCann Tech

LENOX — Students returned to the classroom and athletes returned to the gym on Wednesday for the first time this year. While it is impossible to change what happened in 2018, that doesn't mean … more

Howard Herman | Top Moment of 2018: Pittsfield American Little Leaguers run to Massachusetts state championship

The screening room at the Beacon Cinema was packed on a Wednesday in early August. It wasn't for the latest super hero movie.It was for a group of youngsters from Pittsfield, who were playing for a … more


The Landscape

Thom Smith | Nature Watch: Flying squirrels spotted in area

Q: Thom, I've had three flying squirrels feeding on sunflower seeds in my yard nightly in November and early December. I think they're southern flying squirrels. Could you explain the difference … more

Dance: A year of looking back while leaping forward

In 2018, professional concert dance performances in the Berkshires included lots of nods to tradition, but there were reminders aplenty that this is a living, evolving art form. Though many dancers … more


The Plan


How are we doing?

We'd love your feedback on the newsletter. Email your thoughts and suggestions to nhoffenberg@berkshireeagle.com.


The Poll



The Snap

GILLIAN JONES — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
Department of Transportation workers install barriers to close the Hubbard Street crossover on Route 7/20 in Lenox on Wednesday. The concrete barriers will bar travelers on Hubbard Street from crossing the median area of the four-lane, divided highway. The work will result in the temporary closing of the left lanes on both sides of the north-south highway from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. until the work is completed. Drivers should expect delays and reduced speeds while crews are out.

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