Thought of the day

“Those who say they give the public what it wants begin by underestimating public taste and end by debauching it.” — T.S. ELIOT, American-Anglo poet and critic (1888-1965)

The Greeting

Warmer temperatures brought people outside on Wednesday to enjoy various Berkshire attractions, including this couple walking the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire near the lake, as seen from Route 8.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Good day, people of the Berkshire hills! Today, as with most days throughout the year,  The Berkshire Eagle is loaded with local news.

I have a trifecta of municipal malfeasance stories to offer you:
♦ Firstly, the ex-police chief in Lee is now out of federal prison, having done his time on an extortion charge, and he wants to collect his $1 million pension. He has been denied thus far.
♦ Secondly, in Great Barrington, the town has had to pull in some freelance help for its bookkeeping, after the former assistant treasurer/collector was dismissed for financial discrepancies. No one has been charged, although the state police investigation is ongoing.
♦ And thirdly, the former city solicitor in North Adams has had to pay up $7,500 for an ethics violation.

In other news, Major League Baseball is on tap, but Bay Staters will have to wait a little longer while the Red Sox play a string of early season games on the road. 

A Plainfield man is facing charges after allegedly striking a pedestrian with his 2016 Volkswagen Jetta; the driver was cited for operating under the influence of alcohol.  

And please enjoy these other articles from across the county ...

DISCIPLINE OR ASSAULT?: A court case will decide if a Clarksburg father figure allegedly went too far when he repeatedly struck a teen over grades he deemed not high enough. 

SUPERINTENDENT AND CUSTODIAN FEUD: In Lanesborough, accusations of bullying, counter-accusations of threats and disgruntlement on social media have mired the school district in controversy.

WATER, PLASTIC ISSUES BUBBLING UP: In Great Barrington, a plastic bottle ban is under fire just as a different group is making headway in establishing water refilling stations in town.

Today's a great, newsy day at Check it out, and then considering subscribing to help us keep the news flowing to you in your favorite format: in print, online and even in audio (our e-edition app will read our stories to you. Not bad, eh?).

Very best,

Noah Hoffenberg,
Berkshire Eagle online editor

The News

March gladness: Red Sox fans ready for team's earliest start in history

Welcome to the new normal in Major League Baseball.The defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox and the other 29 teams will be in action today amid the earliest start to their season in … more

Man found guilty of assault in child abuse case

PITTSFIELD — A Berkshire Superior Court jury found a Clarksburg man guilty on Thursday of assault and battery and two counts of endangering a child.Duane Griffiths, 35, was acquitted of six … more

Ex-Lee police chief hits roadblocks in seeking pension benefits after prison

PITTSFIELD — Now that he has served his federal prison sentence for extortion, former Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis is pushing to receive his retirement benefits.So far, the answer has been … more

Petition seeks look at school superintendent's performance after employee aired grievances, was fired

LANESBOROUGH — What began as a dust-up between a school superintendent and a custodial supervisor has turned into a campaign to get the School Committee to check the … more

Former North Adams solicitor to pay $7,500 conflict of interest fine

NORTH ADAMS — The former city solicitor will pay a $7,500 fine after admitting to violating state conflict of interest law.John DeRosa served as the city's legal counsel while also representing … more

Fill-in hired for Great Barrington treasurer's office after alleged theft prompts dismissal of longtime worker

GREAT BARRINGTON — Amid an ongoing probe of a longtime town employee suspected of stealing money from town coffers, officials have hired a former employee to work in the treasurer/collector's … more

Man facing OUI charge after pedestrian struck by car in Dalton

PITTSFIELD — A Plainfield man is accused of being intoxicated behind the wheel when he allegedly struck a pedestrian crossing Main Street in Dalton on Tuesday evening.Derek J. Talbot, 21, was … more

Man accused in Ashley Reservoir shooting facing new rape charges

PITTSFIELD — One of the men accused of taking part in an August assault and shooting near the Ashley Reservoir is facing new, apparently unrelated charges.Luis Delvalle-Rodriguez, 24, appeared … more

Bottle ban faces 2nd attack in Great Barrington; water refill stations on the way

GREAT BARRINGTON — As a controversial bylaw faces a new attack, the group behind legislation that bans the sale of small plastic water bottles announced that it has raised enough money for … more

The Weather


Click here for today's obituaries.

The Business

Baby Boomer Memories | Liggett's was the home of lime rickeys, flaming sundaes and more

I can't remember the last time I had a lime rickey, but I surely do remember the first time. It was in the early 1950s at the Liggett's Rexall Drugs store at 41 North St. in Pittsfield.A lime rickey … more

Fraud Watch | The anatomy of a scam

Con artists thrive on deception, impersonating a wide range of personalities from officials with an array of titles to ordinary people on the street — basically any character who can separate … more

The Poll

The Landscape

Bob Dunn | Game On: Why 'Portal' is the perfect video game ...

"Hey Bob, what's a perfect vid ..."
"`Portal.' It's `Portal.' Case closed. Anything else? Because the answer to your question is `Portal.'"Previously, we've talked about video games being a legitimate form of art, and for me, there's … more

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The Plan

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


The Snap

A barred owl perches on a wooden structure at the Williamstown Rural Land Foundation's Sheep Hill on Wednesday. While the barred owl is still very widespread and common, populations have decreased in the south because of a loss of swamp habitat. This owl was perched at the base of the land near a wetland area, and appeared to be hunting on Wednesday.

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