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New Gas Station Proposed In Adams

- 51 Comments

The Planning Board has approved the demolition of the former Goodwill property on 160 Howland Ave. to make way for a gas station and 5,000 square-foot convenience store.

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Williamstown Town Meeting OKs Zoning Bylaw for Pot

- 48 Comments

By an overwhelming majority, voters at the annual town meeting on Tuesday approved zoning bylaw changes that create a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana businesses in town. But it was clear that the option of banning retail pot is still very much on the table.

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North Adams City Councilor Bullett Resigning

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Her letter thanks the people of North Adams for the "honor and privilege of representing you" as well as the mayor, councilors, city employees and volunteers she's worked with over the past six years.

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Berkshire Bank Moving Corporate Headquarters to Boston

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Berkshire Bank is moving its corporate headquarters this Boston later this year as it acquires Commerce Bancshares Corp., increasing the bank's holdings to $12 billion.

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Pittsfield City Clerk Election: Phillips Out, Cetti In

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City Clerk Jody Phillips will not seek re-election but Assistant Clerk of Elections Michele Cetti will seek the job.

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North Adams Developer Sees Historic Mill as Thriving Business Hub

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Local developer David Moresi envisions filling the former Excelsior Mill on Roberts Drive with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, businesses and artisans. He expects to make announcements in the coming weeks about new tenants that are already in the works and will begin aggressively marketing the complex.

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Adams Welcomes New Fire Chief

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The Adams Alerts Hose Company has a new leader in John Pansecchi, who was elected as chief engineer during the annual Fire District election on May 9. Pansecchi, who has been on the Fire Department for 30 years, said taking the helm feels like a natural transition.

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Adams Celebrates Rail Trail Extension Opening

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Town officials, state representatives and those who played a critical role in the development of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail attended an official ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of its latest extension. Cyclists rolled into the Adams station Friday afternoon from all directions to celebrate the official opening of the 1.2 mile extension of the rail trail that goes from Hoosac St to Lime St.

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North Adams Eagle Street Initiative Launches; Exchange Project Grows

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Two big initiatives are launching this summer and next to promote elements of North Adams downtown area. It's a year away, but the $60,000 NAMAzing Eagle Street Initiative, or NESI, will reinvigorate the city's historic byway with new signs, social spaces, art installations and clearly marked entrances for pedestrians and motorists.

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Earl Persip Jumps Into Pittsfield City Council Race

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Earl Persip III has joined the race for City Council. The director of operations at the Berkshire Family YMCA announced his candidacy for an at-large seat Friday morning.

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Northern Berkshire United Way Celebrates Successes

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Northern Berkshire United Way honored the Starr Baker on Thursday with its Volunteer of the Year Award at its annual Community Celebration and Awards Breakfast at the Williams Inn. The event brought together some of the agency's leading corporate supporters and representatives of the 20 member nonprofits who receive financial support from the local branch of the United Way.

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Adams Selectmen Unsettled By Regional School District Amendment

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The vagueness of an amendment pushed by Cheshire citizens to amend the regional school district as a way to keep their school open has Adams officials wary of the fall out. The Selectmen have added the amendment to the annual town meeting warrant but wanted to make it clear that it could have a financial impact in Adams. The amendment would purportedly allow Cheshire to spend more on its school without triggering proportional spending by Adams.

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Home Damaged, Pets Lost in North Adams Fire

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An early morning fire severely damaged a Greylock Avenue home on Sunday. No one was injured but two pets were lost. Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire began on small exterior porch on the south side of the single-family home.

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Williamstown ZBA Denies Hotel Bid for Lehovec Property

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A divided Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday ruled against four applications for special permits that would have allowed the development of a 77-room, three-story hotel at 562 Main St. The application to develop the so-called Lehovec property on Route 2 next to the former Agway met with fierce opposition from residents in the neighboring Colonial Village development.

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Adams Agrees To Host Agreement With Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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The board voted unanimously Wednesday to provide Mission Massachusetts' general manager Cory Robinson with the letter that allows Mission to move further along in the state application process to sell medical marijuana. Attached to the letter is a host community agreement that promises Adams 3 percent of all revenues if the dispensary opens.

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Pittsfield Ironing Out Details of New Trash Pickup System

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The city's proposed budget does not include changes to the trash pickup system. But, Mayor Linda Tyer has identified it as a priority. In February the Resource and Recovery Commission endorsed a plan to give households a 35-gallon tote for trash and as much as a 95-gallon tote for recycling. Those totes will then allow Republic Services to switch to automated trash pickup. It would be the third time the City Council has attempted to make such a switch, both times in the passed it failed to ga

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Historic Blackinton Cemetery Hoping for City Takeover

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Brush and weeds are slowly being cleared from Blackinton Cemetery, uncovering graves lost to the overgrowth. For nearly a century, volunteers have kept up the private graveyard on Massachusetts Avenue but their numbers, and time, is running down.

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Williamstown Rural Lands Honors Retiring Executive Director

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Surrounded by the pastoral setting she worked for more than two decades to protect, Leslie Reed-Evans received the heartfelt congratulations of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation at Saturday afternoon's annual meeting.

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Bob Heck Announces Campaign For Pittsfield City Council

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Former radio host Bob Heck plans to seek a seat on the City Council. Heck announced on Monday that he plans to run for an at-large seat on the council. The Alden Avenue resident is the former host of 'Bob Heck in the Morning' on Live 95.9 and later on WBRK. He now owns and operates an entertainment business for weddings, parties, and bars and taverns throughout the county.

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Pot & Pollinators on Williamstown Town Meeting Agenda

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This year's annual town meeting is all about weed and weeds. The two articles that may generate the most discussion at the Tuesday evening meeting come near the end of the agenda: Articles 36 and 39 on a 40-article warrant.

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North Adams Event Tries to Link Local Vendors with Anchor Institutions

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On Friday, Lever hosted the first-ever event to try to form connections between small- and mid-sized businesses and the area's major "anchor" institutions, like Williams College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire Medical Center, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Mass MoCA.

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Adams Finance Committee Rejects Adams-Cheshire Amendment

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The Finance Committee rejected the citizen's petition article to amend the ACRSD agreement and allow Cheshire to independently fund their elementary school. "We usually donít vote on citizenís petitions and we just send them through but this one will have a major impact," Finance Committee member Jeffrey Lefebvre said. "I think we should give a sense of direction on what our feeling is."

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Lanesborough FinCom Takes No Stance On Retiree Health Petition

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Finance Committee Chairman Ray Jones wants to speak about his petition to change the health insurance split among retirees on the floor of town meeting. But, it isn't on the warrant. That non-binding question was placed on the ballot to be decided a week later.

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Hinds Gives BRPC Updates From the State House

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Local organizations have great long-term plans for the future of Berkshire County. But, state Sen. Adam Hinds said the state needs to get the "fundamentals right" before that can take hold. Hinds spoke with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on Thursday and reviewed the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. He said 1Berkshire also has a similar blueprint with how to revitalize the Berkshire economy. But, both plans are still two or more years away, he said.

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Pittsfield City Council Begins Review of Proposed Fiscal 2018 Budget

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Mayor Linda Tyer has put forth a $163.8 million budget, which basically puts the city at the levy ceiling. The budget increase is only 1 percent, with the majority of that going to health insurance, and will leave the city only $31,145 short of the hitting the levy ceiling. The ceiling is a state restriction on the amount of revenue the city can bring in from property taxes

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November Date Set for Mount Greylock Regionalization Question

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As the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee moves forward with its efforts to invite its "feeder" elementary schools to join the district, it is getting some indirect encouragement from the countywide task force looking at challenges facing public education.

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North Adams Library to Bring Back Some Original Fixtures

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The library will return original fixtures and furniture to the building that has been in storage since the renovation some years ago. Library Director Mindy Hackner told the trustees Wednesday that she recently toured the Windsor Mill to make sure there was nothing left in storage from the library and came upon some original exterior parts and fireplace surrounds.

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State Senate Accepts Amendment To Study Passenger Rail to New York

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The state Senate adopted a budget amendment Thursday to develop a blueprint for more consistent passenger rail service to New York City. State Sen. Adam Hinds filed the amendment which would task the state Department of Transportation to create a working group to study what it will take to establish the service.

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Build a Better World Reading Program to Take Place in Adams

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Children will be able to participate in the Build a Better World reading program to benefit Habitat for Humanity. The library trustees voted Thursday to allow Library Director Holli Jayko to spend up to $1,500 from the unrestricted passbook account and gifts to fund the initiative for the youth summer reading program.

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Lee Teenager Wins Congressional Art Competition

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Fiora Caligiuri-Randall has a natural gift. Only the second acrylic painting the 14-year-old has painted will now hang in the halls of the Capitol in Washington D.C. Caligiuri's painting beat out 45 other high school artist's work throughout the First Massachusetts Congressional District in this year's Congressional Art Competition.

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Convenience Plus At First And Tyler Eyed For Rebuild

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The Shell gas station at the intersection of First and Tyler is eyed to be razed and rebuilt. Global Montello Group, which operates the store through a lease agreement with O'Connell Oil, has filed an application with the city to tear down the existing station and rebuilt as a Xtra Mart.

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North Adams Council Accepts Bullett Resignation, Mulls Replacement

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The council's Rule 25 sets out a process for filling mid-term vacancies. Candidates can submit letters of interest and qualifications and are given a chance to speak before the council for three minutes. Members may ask questions of the candidates and then take nominations and vote.

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House Lawmakers See Importance of Meals on Wheels Firsthand

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It sounds simple: give food to the elderly people of the county. But it is much more than that. The drivers delivering through Elder Services of Berkshire County's meals on wheels program can often be the only person the recipient sees.

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Berkshire High School Athletes, Coaches Honored at Sports Caravan

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As the 55th annual Sports Caravan Awards were given to outstanding athletes and coaches of area high schools, a moment was taken to note it would be the last year that one of those schools would be represented.

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Health Officials Talk Substance Abuse From Jail to Recovery

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Where does the system fail from the time an addict is arrested to well after leaving jail? That's what Marisa Hebble, of the executive office of the trial court, wants to not only answer but fix. She is heading the Community Justice Project, which focuses on "sequential intercept," essentially every point through the process someone struggling with addiction faces in the criminal justice system.

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Youth Substance Use and Abuse Targeted in Prevention Efforts

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Those 2017 statistics ó culled from needs assessment surveys completed by students, hospitals and pediatricians, parents, superintendents and other stakeholders ó were presented Monday at the Coalition offices in a news conference that brought many of those stakeholders together to interpret the numbers and discuss new strategies moving forward.

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Ty Allan Jackson Bows Out of City Council Race

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Local businessman Ty Allan Jackson put an end to his campaign for City Council on Monday. Jackson was the first to announce a campaign for City Council at large back in February. On Monday, through a Facebook post, the children's author bowed out.

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Culture, Recreation Dominate Downtown Pittsfield's Annual Meeting

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The Berkshires has a niche when it comes to scenic beauty and cultural institutions that other places can't replicate. The city's downtown is has placed those two aspects as cornerstones to economic development. At Downtown Pittsfield Inc.'s annual meeting Thursday morning, businesses who have helped expand in those areas were honored for their efforts.

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Stamford Group Asks for Time to Research Joint-Clarksburg School District

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A state education act is pushing small schools to consolidate their governance and share their services or come up with an alternative. Stamford's been wary of how the law would affect its school but some residents think they've found an answer ó across state lines.

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Pittsfield Disputing Responsibility Of 5-year-old Electric Bill

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The city is contesting a five year old electric bill of $1,700 for the softball complex on East Street. The City Council was asked to pay Eversource $1,701.28 from a final portion of Berkshire County Softball Complex, Inc.'s 2012 bill. The non-profit had left the premise after 30 years that October and was unable to pay the remainder of the electric bill.

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Adams Fire District Sets $2M Budget for Fiscal 2018

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The Fire District has been approved for a $1,953,440.52 budget for fiscal 2018. Water district members met May 9 in the Fire Station garage to vote for the almost $2 million budget, of which $1,906,440.52 will be raised by water revenue.

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Two Groups Interested In Leasing Cheshire School

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Two different educational organizations have reached out to the Selectmen about leasing Cheshire Elementary School. Selectman Robert Ciskowski said he was against leasing the building at this time because he felt there were too many unknowns. He said he feared it would end up costing the town money.

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Clarksburg Elementary Holocaust Exhibit Set Monday

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Clarksburg Elementary eighth-graders will host the school's 13th annual Holocaust Exhibit featuring Auschwitz survivor Magda Brown on Monday night. English teacher and exhibit organizer Michael Little said the exhibit this year will focus on anti-Jewish legislation in Nazi Germany.

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