The Greeting

Monday, Feb. 4, 2019

Hello, Berkshires. Can you believe it? It's warm enough to venture outside! Ha! Kidding. That won't be for another month.

Today, I'm pleased to present you with the culmination of the latest work of The Eagle's Eye Team. It's a special report called Sent Away, and it highlights the challenge that incarcerated women face when they are housed far from home and legal help. 

There's also the work of our beat reporters, who comb the county day in and day out to bring you stories just like these.

BENDING OVER BACKWARD: The Berkshire Kripalu Community has launched a series of new programs to boost flagging enrollment.

ALL TOGETHER NOW: Area Catholics celebrate solidarity in faith.

PATS NATION, BERKSHIRE CHAPTER: Fans were out at Mazcots getting pumped as the Patriots sailed to a sixth Super Bowl win.

HOUSE FIRE DISPLACES 5: A North Adams resident used a blowtorch on his pipes, and the Fire Department answers the call that came after.

SLIPPERY SLOPE: We explain whose responsibility it is to keep the sidewalks clear of snow.

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

The News

Berkshire Kripalu Community stretches offerings

LENOX — BKC, also known as the Berkshire Kripalu Community, has launched a series of new individual, family and corporate wellness programs to boost membership and expand its footprint as a … more

As Pats win big in Atlanta, Berkshire fans out in force for support

It's 5:30 p.m. on a Sunday and the regular crowd is shuffling in at Mazcot's for Super Bowl LIII.The sports bar and grill on the Pittsfield-Lenox road was filling up with mostly New England Patriots … more

Former Lanesborough trooper headed for trial on charges in OT scandal

BOSTON — Even as other former state troopers plead guilty to charges connected to an investigation into fraudulent overtime claims, the attorney representing two of them, including one from the … more

Catholic Schools Week an annual show of sacred solidarity

LEE — The makeshift altar was set up beneath the basketball hoop.Desks were draped with white linen and adorned with a pair of sacramental candles and a vase of yellow tulips. Despite frigid, … more

Arguments expected to fly Monday on Wahconah project

DALTON — "What does $60 million buy me? I'd like to know."Dalton resident Cheryl Rose is asking that question — and she's likely not alone. In two months, residents of seven Berkshires … more

Look Ahead, Pittsfield: City Council to vet bag ban, pot taxes toward roads

A plastic bag ban batted around by city councilors over the last year could see a resolution this week during a meeting of the Ordinances and Rules Committee. Councilors have debated whether to make … more

Adams fire displaces five residents

ADAMS — Five people were displaced Thursday night after a fire damaged a home on Gilead Street. The call came in at 7:41 p.m. about a fire in the basement, according to Adams … more

In wake of changes, Catholic schools 'have to do business a little bit differently'

SPRINGFIELD — There was a time in this nation that Catholic schools educated about 1 in 8 schoolage children. But, times have changed. Today's educational landscape has been dramatically … more

Fire chief: North Adams house burns after blowtorch used to thaw frozen pipes

NORTH ADAMS — Four people and several pets were displaced Friday night when a North Street man tried to thaw frozen pipes with a torch and set his house on fire. Firefighters, rescue personnel … more

Sidewalks a slippery subject in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD — A mother and her children walked along Dalton Avenue, repeatedly exiting the sidewalk and into the busy street in order to avoid walkways full of snow and ice.The mother's account … more

Adams will have 'three strong final candidates' for town administrator post

ADAMS — With a little luck and a lot of hard work, the Select Board might be making a final choice for a new town administrator by late February.The nationally advertised opening drew 18 … more

The Weather


Click here for today's obituaries.

Sent Away | A Berkshire Eagle Eye Team special report

Long-distance lockup | Out-of-county jail deepens women's woes

After her arrest in Pittsfield, Tracey Santiago spent a night at the local jail. The next morning, unable to make $20,000 bail, Santiago was shackled and driven an hour to Chicopee.The van rolled up … more

Why Pittsfield jail opted to move women out

PITTSFIELD — When the new Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction opened in Pittsfield almost two decades ago, it included a women's section with 36 cells, along with 288 cells for … more

Berkshire lawyers say distance affects cases

PITTSFIELD — Women held at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women's Correctional Center while awaiting trial in Berkshire County are at a disadvantage, Berkshire County defense attorneys … more

Adams woman serving embezzlement sentence pinches pennies inside

Surgery set Jennifer Thurston on the path to the painkiller addiction that led her to steal from two employers, landing her in jail for embezzlement. Money is still a problem.Thurston, 46, described … more

'The best jail'

CHICOPEE — "Love & Violence." "Understanding Trauma." "Dialectical Behavior Therapy."Workshops like these are on offer at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women's Correctional Center in … more

Telephone lifeline from jail costly for family members

CHICOPEE — Jennifer Thurston's family spends up to $50 a week on phone calls to stay in touch with her while she is in custody. It's a lot for a family struggling with poverty and poor … more

Ankle monitors may help some Berkshire County prisoners return home early

If it means returning sooner to her home and family, Jennifer Thurston would gladly wear "the bracelet" — an electronic monitoring device.That option is now possible for local women jailed … more

The Poll

The Landscape

Mysteries from the Morgue: Legendary Snowstorms

Nor'easter expected? Blizzard in the forecast? Either prediction is a sure sign that media outlets will dig up photos and facts from historic storms of years past. Sure to be included are the … more

Kids rock in 'School of Rock'

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — It was W.C. Fields who famously said, "Never work with children or animals." It's a good thing Claire Burke never took that advice.Burke works for Tara Rubin Casting and is … more

The View


Our Opinion: Encouraging state effort for city neighborhoods

Economically speaking, Massachusetts is nothing if not a commonwealth of contrast. There is the greater Boston area, with its overheated job market, associated housing shortages and skyrocketing real … more

Letter: Personal testimony to value of immigrants

To the editor:Bruce Lester's Feb. 2 letter to the editor ("Illegal Immigrants strain our economy") made sweeping innuendos against all immigrants that I would like to defang with my own observations … more

How are we doing?

We'd love your feedback on the newsletter. Email your thoughts and suggestions to

The Plan

Berkshire Calendar: Check out what's happening today, tomorrow and this weekend!


The Snap

Determined to clear the court so they can play some tennis in the next couple of days, Julia Cancio and Williams College assistant tennis coach Felix Sun, both of whom are former students, took their shovels and spent a few hours at the Williams College tennis courts on Sunday. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 50s on Monday and Tuesday.

The Berkshire Eagle
75 South Church Street Pittsfield, MA 01201

Phone: (413) 447 - 7311
News Room Directory

Fax: (413) 499-3419
| Twitter | Location Map