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Williamstown Fire District: No Request Received to Fund Ambulance Study

- 24 Comments

The Board of Selectmen walked out of Monday's meeting thinking that a study to look at the financial viability of Village Ambulance Service would be paid for by the town, Williams College, the service and the Williamstown Fire District. That was news to the members of the Prudential Committee that governs the fire district.

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Baker Hill District Seeks Authority to Buy Berkshire Mall

- 13 Comments

The Baker Hill Road District has asked the state to allow it to purchase the Berkshire Mall. The mall isn't currently for sale but the district wants to be in a place to acquire the property and needs legislative approval. The district had previously offered to purchase the property and the concept is to use the district as a tool in the creation of a public/private partnership with a private developer for reuse. The Baker Hill Road District is responsible for building and maintaining the con

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Adams Reviews Adams-Cheshire, McCann Fiscal 2018 Budgets

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The Selectmen and Finance Committee heard from both Adams-Cheshire Regional School District and McCann Technical School on their fiscal 2108 spending plans and aired concerns about both budgets. Wednesday was the third of four joint budget hearings held at the Adams Visitors Center. The two regional school budgets make 39 percent of the town's proposed $15.5 million the fiscal 2018 budget.

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J.C. Penney at the Berkshire Mall To Close

- 12 Comments

JCPenney at the Berkshire Mall will be closing. The store is part of 138 nationwide the company is closing. The anticipated closures were announced on Feb. 24 and on Friday the company released the list of specific stores slated for closure.

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Pittsfield Seeks Artist To Paint Mural On Tyler Street

- 10 Comments

The city hopes to spruce up Tyler Street and it is starting by asking an artist to paint a mural. The city's Office of Cultural Development put out a call for submissions to paint a mural on a Tyler Street building. The effort is in tandem with the Transformative Development Initiative through MassDevelopment. The mural would be the first for Tyler Street, where there is no public art, and is the first in a process to engage residents in envisioning what the street will look like in the futur

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Cheshire Residents Want A School Closure Re-vote

- 10 Comments

Nearly 20 people, mostly from Cheshire aired their concerns at Monday's Adams-Cheshire Reigonal School Committee meeting during public comment. They felt closing Cheshire worked counterintuitively to the committee's goal to increase programming and resources in the classroom.

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iBerkshire Storm Center: Weather Updates & Cancellations

- 9 Comments

A major Nor'easter has dropped up to a foot of snow over the county by mid-Tuesday afternoon, with snowfall expected to intensify during the day. The Berkshires are still forecast for 18 to 30 inches of snow total.

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Adams Selectman Ask Softball Leagues To Compromise

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The Selectmen on Wednesday declined to step into a dispute between two local softball leagues, tabling a vote on field usage until April. There was a full room Wednesday of parents and coaches from the Lassie League and the newly established Adams-Cheshire Savoy League that both requested the use of Russell and Reid fields because they are unwilling to rejoin as a single league.

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Mass MoCA Hopes to Complete UNO Park by Memorial Day

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Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is setting an ambitious goal of having the new UNO community park open for Memorial Day weekend. The opening could coincide with the ribbon cutting on Building 6 that will add 105,000 square feet of space to the museum.

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Letter: Say No to Immigration, Yes to Making Pittsfield Great again

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What needs to happen is the "Mayor" should be protecting who is already here. The reason she got into office. This city is in dire straights. Financially we are a whisper away from the ever breaking threshold of economic failure.

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Medical Marijuana Dispensary On Pace To Open In Pittsfield Soon

- 6 Comments

Construction is on pace for what could be the first medical marijuana dispensary in the county. Khem Organics has started renovations on a building on Dalton Avenue, which currently houses Jay's Custom Muffler & Auto, Casey's Billiards, and used to house the Salvation Army store. All three businesses are vacating the facility to make way for the dispensary.

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Local Environmentalists Oppose Policies Supporting Natural Gas

- 5 Comments

Dicken Crane has a large solar array on his Holiday Brook Farm. He has a forest management program to harvest timber to burn in wood furnaces. He doesn't need more natural gas. Crane is one of some 500 businesses which have signed onto a petition against Gov. Charlie Baker's push for more natural gas.

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First Phase of Springside House Restoration Starts This Spring

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The first phase of the restoration of the Springside House is slated to begin this spring. The city awarded Allegrone Construction a $212,000 contract to fix the foundation, a portion of the roof, and drainage controls. The construction will start in the spring, addressing the most immediate needs to preserve the building. From there, advocates and city officials are continuing to plan the exact usage of the building for the future.

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North Adams Preschoolers Now Brushing Their Teeth in School

- 4 Comments

To help make those two minutes go more quickly, Nicholas brings an iPad into the bathroom and uses the Colgate SmileMakers app, which plays a catchy little tune while counting down in large numbers that the children can see. Halfway through, the kids switch from brushing their bottom teeth to their top teeth, and at the end they brush their tongues.

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Pittsfield Brainstorms Future of Parks and Open Spaces

- 4 Comments

Expand the skate park. Add lights to Clapp Park. Fix the drainage at the old beach at Pontoosuc Lake. More benches at Burbank. Disposal stations for dog waste. Dog parks. Outdoor ice skating. Restoring the Springside House. And the list goes on.

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Secretary Ash Tours Greylock Works Project

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Greylock Works received a $2,176,341 MassWorks grant last fall to redo the entry and parking lots on the east and south side of the sprawling structure. Part of that grant was a 10-year easement for the city to allow use of the parking for the adjacent Alcombright Athletic Complex.

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Berkshire Arts, Research Take Hits in White House Budget

- 4 Comments

Federal spending on the arts and the sciences each would take a hit in the White House's proposal. And that would have ramifications locally, whether it's federally funded research at institutions of higher learning or arts programs at museums and theater companies that are the backbone of the region's tourist trade.

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Lanesborough Elementary Weighs New Tuition Policy

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The Lanesborough Elementary School Committee on Friday formally began the process of raising the tuition it charges New Ashford. In response to longtime criticism from town officials about the difference between the negotiated salary rate and the actual per-pupil cost of a Lanesborough education, the district has developed a policy that will peg that tuition to that average cost.

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Lanesborough, Pittsfield Police Participate In 'High Five' Friday

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Police throughout Massachusetts on Friday stood outside of their local elementary schools waiting for the students to arrive. Once the children piled off the bus, the officers were there greeting them with high fives to start their day.

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Lanesborough Finance Panel Angry With School Officials

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The Finance Committee chairman is peeved with Mount Greylock Regional High School for canceling a meeting to discuss the budget. The committee met on Monday with an agenda that included meeting with the Mount Greylock Regional High School Committee to discuss the proposed budget. However, after a testy meeting last week, another meeting to attend on Monday, and a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Mount Greylock officials opted to cancel their appearance with the Finance Committee.

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Williamstown Fin Comm Pleased With School Budget Presentation

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An appreciative Finance Committee on Wednesday heard an explanation of Williamstown Elementary School's proposed $6.8 million fiscal 2018 budget. The K-6 school has a budget that calls for a 2.39 percent spending increase over this year but which calls for a 3.64 percent increase in funding from town property taxes.

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Hoyt Announces Run For Adams Board of Selectmen

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Christine Hoyt officially kicked off her campaign for a seat on the Board of Selectmen on Thursday morning at Town Hall. "After a lot of thought and consideration and support from family and friends I felt it was time to take that next step as it relates to being involved in the town of Adams," Hoyt said. "With that, with enthusiasm, I stand here today and announce my candidacy for the town of Adams selectman."

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Williamstown Planning for Pot

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Town Planner Andrew Groff brought the board a proposed bylaw for discussion that limited retail pot establishments to one of the town's commercial zones, the Planned Business zone at the north end of Simonds Road and on Main Street (Route 2) west of Stratton Road.

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Pittsfield, State Trying To Find Way to Make East Street Repairs

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The city is still trying to secure funding to renovate the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and East Street. But, it could take a while. The city had previously sought to fund it with a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for an array of improvements there tying into the development of the William Stanley Business Park. That federal officials responded saying the grant had asked to pull out some items, such as bringing fiberwire to the park. The city responded

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Adams-Cheshire Schools May Look At Increased Budget

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The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee delayed its budget vote until Monday, March 27, to determine if more positions needed to be included. The date puts the vote before required 45 days prior to town meeting. Committee members felt this allowed the opportunity to form a budget that may include positions originally cut.

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North Adams Children Sell 'Rainbow Rocks' for Charity

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An effort to raise $500 for a local cancer support group has brought in five times that much, largely thanks to an outpouring of support and the sales pitch of some of the area's youngest residents. Rainbow Rocks, a fundraiser organized by parent Jaycee Stred, brought children and parents together to paint colorful rainbows on rocks. On Sunday at Lickety Split, they presented PopCares with a check and cash for $2,500.

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No Contested Elections So Far in Williamstown

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Papers have been completed with the required number of signatures for five of the seven seats on the ballot. Potential candidates have taken out papers for the other two seats, Town Clerk Mary Kennedy reported on Thursday morning.

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Police Find Vehicle Of Missing Woman

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Authorities say the vehicle of 39-year-old Joanne Ringer has been found, but she is still missing. Ringer went missing on March 2. She had last been seen in Clarksburg and was driving her 2001 Volkswagen Jetta to Easthampton. On March 6, authorities found the vehicle in Easthampton but she remains missing.

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Helen Moon Announces Candidacy For Pittsfield City Council

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Days after the seat opened up, Helen Moon announced her candidacy to become a Ward 1 city councilor. Moon announced her candidacy Thursday morning. The 34-year-old is a registered nurse in the critical care unit at Fairview Hospital.

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Vermont State Police Seek Information on Stamford Accident

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State police are seeking information related to a reported hit-and-run that took place late Wednesday morning. Samantha Goodreau, 22, of North Adams, Mass., was southbound on Main Road in her 2014 Hyundai Elantra when she says another vehicle forced her off the road, and she collided with the guard rail on the southbound lane, and then fled.

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Dellea Honored With Hillcrest's Irish Person of the Year Award

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It was in the mid-1980s when Michael Dukakis was looking to close the Avalon School, which was in receivership. Meanwhile, Hillcrest officials had taken an idea of expanding into the education field to their Chief Operating Officer Eugene Dellea. Dellea brought the concept the board chair, financial and legal reviews were done and the leadership was ready to bring the idea of buying Avalon to the full board. But first, they needed the governor's office to stopping his efforts to close it.

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Cheshire Seeks Ways to Keep Elementary School Open

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Cheshire residents are exploring ways to keep their elementary school open even as the regional district prepares to relocate its students to other schools. More than 150 parents and community members attended a public forum moderated by the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday night to hash out possibilities to keep the school running or resurrect it later.

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Engineers Looking To Increase Water Flow Below Cleveland Reservoir

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Engineers have gotten approval to try a new way to alleviate environmental concerns related to a maintenance project at the Cleveland Reservoir, the main source for the city's drinking water. The project plan is to clean out the diversion pipes in both Cady and Windsor Brooks, which feed into the reservoir. The two inlets had been collecting sediment for decades, which has then been flowing into the reservoir. In 2012 the project to clean out the aqueduct system was proposed. But, some concer

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Mount Greylock's Operating Budget Flat, Building Project Drives Hike

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Mount Greylock Regional School officials Wednesday trumpeted a fiscal 2018 budget proposal that shows no increase in member towns' appropriations related to the school's operating costs. Williamstown and Lanesborough will be delivered higher assessments, but the increase is due entirely to the bond payment on the addition/renovation project approved in debt exclusion votes in both towns in early 2016.

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Cheshire Holding Public Forum on Ideas for Cheshire School

- 1 Comment

The community is coming together on Wednesday night to brainstorm reuses for Cheshire School and ideas to resurrect it. The information session will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the school.

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Adams Police May Leave Civil Service

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Adams is considering leaving Civil Service requirements to make it easier to hire officers. Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco broached the possibility during joint Selectmen's and Finance Committee's fourth and final budget hearing held on Thursday night at the Visitors Center. That public hearing reviewed the public safety and library budget sections of the proposed $15.5 million town budget.

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Adams May Build New Storage Facility At Bellevue

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Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco asked the Cemetery Commission for their blessing to spend an estimated $100,000 to build a new storage facility at Bellevue Cemetery. The Cemetery Commission agreed Thursday that something needs to be done about the current storage arrangements at Bellevue Cemetery but asked Mazzucco to present additional solutions before expending $100,000 from the cemetery fund to erect a prefabricated metal building.

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Clarksburg Approves Measures to Close $250K Deficit

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Voters passed three articles at Wednesday's special town meeting that will bring the budget into balance and allow tax bills to finally go out. The town is dealing with a $249,992.06 deficit because of an accounting error and higher-than-expected charges from the state.

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Pittsfield Author Wins Public Radio Award

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Jackson joins illustrator Barry Moser and the Northampton Jazz Workshop. Recipients will be celebrated at the ninth annual Arts & Humanities Awards Celebration on May 24 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Tickets are available at NEPR.net. Proceeds support the programs and services of New England Public Radio.

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Three Vie For Open Adams Select Board Seat

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Adams will see a three-way race for one three-year seat on the Board of Selectmen this May.

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Habitat for Humanity ReStore Celebrating Earth Day by Holding DIY Contest

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Participants should register for the Do-it-Yourself contest at ReStore, 399 Hubbard Ave., by March 25 to get their project materials and chance to win the grand prize, a $100 certificate to the ReStore.

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Legislators Pledge Support to Disabled Community During Uncertain Times

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The 17th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast to support services for people with disabilities saw a crowd of more than 300 at the ITAM Lodge to hear families and care providers share their concerns with members of the county's legislative delegation. That's the county's delegation in Boston, but events in Washington, D.C., very much on the minds of the speakers and the audience alike.

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Pittsfield Shakespeare Presents 'Twelfth Night'

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One of Shakespeare's most loved comedies, "Twelfth Night" tells the tale of twins separated by a shipwreck, a countess surprised by her capacity for love, a servant who oversteps his place and mischievous pranks carried to the extreme. Featuring live music and slapstick comedy, it is the perfect complement to a beautiful Berkshire summer evening under the stars.

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Lanesborough School To Consider New Policy Raising Tuition

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School officials are crafting a policy to address tuition costs on an annual basis. Interim Superintendent Kimberly Grady told the Board of Selectmen on Monday that she will be presenting new policies to guide the tuition prices to the School Committee later this week. The move is in response to Lanesborough officials' desire to significantly raise the tuition costs for students coming from New Ashford.

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Hoosac Valley To Perform 'Anything Goes'

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Hoosac Valley Middle and High School brings the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes" to the stage this weekend. Stage director Nicole Boyer and Instrumental music director Jacob Keplinger wanted to bring something big to Hoosac Valley this year but also something classic.

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Pittsfield Committed to Diversity But Work Still to Be Done

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A recent letter to the editor castigating the city's administration for failing to promote affirmative action prompted Mayor Linda Tyer to respond with a full court press. Since taking office last year, Tyer said her administration has worked to increase outreach to minority populations, provide greater access to employment and work with organizations such as the NAACP, and recruit a more diverse population on boards and commission. The process is transformative, she said, and takes time.

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Vietnam Veterans Honored In Pittsfield Ceremony

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The war may be long over but Vietnam veterans are still tasked with a duty of making sure no other veterans return home to face the same fight for benefits they endured. Scott Gagnon served as both he commander of the Dalton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and as the Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars assistance service officer for Western Massachusetts. He knows well the fight Vietnam veterans have endured in just trying to secure proper medical care.

Berkshire Snapshot

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