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Adams-Cheshire Fails to Approve Fiscal 2018 Budget

The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee failed to pass its $19.2 million budget Monday night and may pass the buck to the towns. The budget failed to get the five votes needed for passage, with the four Adams representives voting for and the three Cheshire representatives voting nay after an at-times heated two-hour long meeting at Hoosac Valley High School.

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

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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Cheshire Seeks Ways to Keep Elementary School Open

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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Adams Police May Leave Civil Service

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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Cheshire Holding Public Forum on Ideas for Cheshire School

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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North Adams Team Wins 18th Annual Robotics Challenge

The competition involved 26 Berkshire County teams comprising more than 180 students ages 8 to 14 using programmable robots built from LEGO kits to complete a variety of missions involving hypothetical scenarios that focused on improving interactions between people and animals.

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Adams Reviews Adams-Cheshire, McCann Fiscal 2018 Budgets

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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Mass MoCA Looking to Orient Visitors, Send Them Downtown

Thousands of visitors are headed for the city this summer and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts is hoping to push as many as it can into the downtown. The museum opens its $65 million renovation of the massive Building 6 that will double its gallery and events space and welcome back the Solid Sound Festival and Freshgrass.

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Dr. Donovan Traces History of NARH to 1955; Third Volume in Works

Donovan finished the second part of his three-part self-published volume on the history of NARH last fall. This second part ends at 1955, just as the "new" hospital opened. The first volume covers its establishment up until 1910. The hospital was opened after a tragic train crash two years before. Built for about $20,000 including land, the imposing three-story, brick and limestone "cottage" style structure facing south took 16 months to complete. It had 12 beds and, that first year, had a pa

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Lanesborough Elementary Weighs New Tuition Policy

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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Berkshire Arts, Research Take Hits in White House Budget

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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Legislators Pledge Support to Disabled Community During Uncertain Times

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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Vermont State Police Seek Information on Stamford Accident

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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Pittsfield Brainstorms Future of Parks and Open Spaces

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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North County Seniors And Students Prepare Food Bags

North County seniors and students teamed up to make and fill bags for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts' Brown Bag program. Seniors made an assembly line at the Visitors Center on Friday morning and filled 96 decorated bags with food for other seniors throughout the county.

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Lanesborough, Pittsfield Police Participate In 'High Five' Friday

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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Cheshire Sees Race for Selectman

Voters will decide a two-way race for the Board of Selectmen this year, one of only two races on the town election ballot. Edmund St. John IV and E. Richard Scholz will vie for a three-year seat being vacated by current Chairman Paul Astorino.

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Berkshire Money Management Pays For BCC Nursing Exams, Licensing

The times Bill Schmick from Berkshire Money Management was in the hospital, it was BCC graduates who helped him. For that he is grateful. So grateful that he's helping Berkshire Community College nursing students with their licensing and exam fees. Berkshire Money Management on Monday donated $7,740 to the 18 students currently enrolled in the college's nursing program. The money will pay for the exam and licensing costs for when the students graduate and enter the field.

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Libraries' Forum Targets Fake News

iBerkshires.com will participate in a public forum on Monday sponsored by the Milne and North Adams public libraries on so-called "fake news." "Fact or Fabrication in Today's News" takes place on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at the Williamstown Youth Center.

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Adams Reviews Facilities and DPW Budgets for Fiscal 2018

Town officials reviewed public buildings, public works and the public services budgets on Tuesday night during the second of four budget hearings scheduled this week. Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco lead the joint Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee budget hearing at the Visitors Center in going over spending plans for the three departments in the $15.5 million fiscal 2018 budget that is up $1 million increase over this year.

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Cheshire, Lanesborough Consider Sharing Roads Chief

Town officials have been mulling the idea of sharing a highway superintendent with Lanesborough as it's search for a new Department of Public Works chief has dragged on for months. The plan had been for the new person to train with the retiring Superintendent Peter Lefebvre — but his last day is only weeks away now.

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Former Pittsfield Officer Sentenced for Stealing From Police Union

A former Pittsfield Police officer sentenced on Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to stealing more than $200,000 the Pittsfield Patrol Police Union. Jeffrey D. Coco, 44, former union president, will serve up to 20 months in the House of Correction.

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Pittsfield Looking to Restore Capitol Marquee

The city is looking at spending some $150,000 to restore the historic Capitol marquee outside of the senior center. Barry Architects did an assessment of the structure and determined there are significant repairs needed.

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Williamstown Fin Comm Pleased With School Budget Presentation

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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Vietnam Veterans Honored In Pittsfield Ceremony

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.

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Brayton Students Play Bingo For Books

More than 50 students and their parents participated in the first "Bingo for Books" event last week at Brayton Elementary school during which students showcased their literary skills. Fourth-grade teacher Marie McCarron said she and fellow teacher Karen Cellana brought the event to Brayton because they wanted to get parents more involved in the classroom.

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Women's Commission Breakfast Focuses on Civic Engagement

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud admitted she was "preaching to the choir" on Monday morning as she stressed the importance of community engagement in the politic process. Her audience at Berkshire Community College was nearly 100 women and legislators who'd shown up on a cold and rainy morning in the Susan B. Anthony Lounge for the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women's annual legislative breakfast.

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Williamstown School Committee Sends Fiscal 2018 Budget to Town

The Williamstown School Committee on Tuesday voted to send the town a fiscal 2018 budget that raises overall spending at the K-6 school by 2.39 percent. The appropriated portion of the budget — the part paid by local property taxes — is up by 3.64 percent according to the budget presented at a Tuesday public hearing and approved by a unanimous of the committee moments later.

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Pittsfield Committed to Diversity But Work Still to Be Done

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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Berkshire Blizzard Host Inaugural Tournament

The first-year Berkshire Blizzard girls hockey team hosted a tournament over the weekend in North Adams.

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Habitat for Humanity ReStore Celebrating Earth Day by Holding DIY Contest

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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Williams Admits 1,253 Students for Class of 2021

"This year's applicant pool was the largest and strongest in the college's history, which made rendering decisions particularly challenging," said Richard Nesbitt, director of admission. "We anticipate yielding a terrific and diverse class of powerful academics, curious problem-solvers, and engaged community members."

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Flying Cloud Institute Welcomes New Board Member

Nash currently runs NASH Insights in Lenox, Mass., working with organizations to assess their needs, conduct program evaluation, and obtain grant funding. She is the former executive director of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and the Boston Area Health Education Center.

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Everett Murder Suspect Arrested In Pittsfield

Police arrested a man accused of murdering a man in Everett in February. Pittsfield Police say David Grossack, 47, was arrested in the city this afternoon. Grossack was listed as one of Massachusetts State Police's "most wanted" for allegedly killing and Everett artist.

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Dina Guiel To Seek Pittsfield's Ward 2 City Council Seat

Dina Guiel plans to run for City Council. Guiel announced on Tuesday that she intend to seek the Ward 2 council position. It is currently held by Kevin Morandi, who has been in the seat since 2011. Morandi has not yet said whether or not he intends to seek re-election.

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North Adams Girls Travel Basketball Team Wins Saratoga Tourney

The North Adams Youth Basketball League’s third- and fourth-grade girls won their fourth championship of the season this past weekend.

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Independent Investor: Don't Worry, Be Happy

Where, you might ask, do we here in the U.S. rank? The answer would be No. 14, down from No. 3 in 2007. The least happy inhabitants on Earth appear to be in Africa while the average Chinese person is no happier than he was 25 years ago, despite the country's much-lauded economic miracle.

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Berkshires Beat: Volunteers Needed to Monitor Water Quality As 'River Smart' Month Nears

Once a month, trained volunteers will collect water samples at designated locations on the Green River in the Hoosic Watershed and Wahconah Falls Brook and the Southwest Branch of the Housatonic River in the Housatonic Watershed.

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Miss Hall's School Teacher Honored

Himes joined MHS in July and oversees the school's new Department of Engineering and Technology Innovation, and he directs the MHS STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) initiative. Both programs are based in the Grace Murray Hopper Innovation Lab in Linn Hall, the school's new interdisciplinary academic building.

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Fake News Not New But Can Be Combatted: Panel

Those are just three ways media consumers can judge the veracity of something they see online, according to a panel of media and education professors. The panel participated in a forum on Monday evening called "Fact or Fabrication in Today's News," jointly sponsored by the North Adams Public Library and the Milne Public Library in Williamstown.

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Spring Vacation Baseball Clinic Scheduled

The Berkshire Baseball Academy will hold a youth clinic April 17-20.

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Non-Partisan Advocacy Workshops Offered

Participants are welcome to stay for an hour or the whole day. All workshops will be held on the Berkshire Community College campus at 1350 West St. in Pittsfield, which is fully accessible.

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SVMC Health Blog: Three Food-Related Decisions That Can Help Lower the Risk of Colon Cancer

Almost 100,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer every year, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Some of the risk factors are unavoidable, such as age and family history. Others are within your power. When you make choices to improve your diet and increase your activity, you decrease your risk.

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Help Protect Older Adults from Financial Abuse

Unfortunately, it is possible for anyone to become a victim. For a variety of reasons, older adults may be easier targets than younger people.

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SVMC Launches Total Joint Replacement Class

This free class is appropriate for both patients who are scheduled for a joint replacement surgery and for those who have received an orthopedic surgeon's recommendation for a joint replacement.

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Adams Warns Regional School District No Support for Budget Increase

School officials arrived empty-handed to Tuesday's Finance Committee meeting because Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee's spending plan for fiscal 2018 is up in the air. The Finance Committee had penciled in the assessment for Adams based on a $19.2 million budget that should have been approved on Monday. Instead, the School Committee's three Cheshire representatives balked at a plan that would mean the closure of Cheshire Elementary School.

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Lanesborough FinCom Member Calls For Even Sharper Tuition Increase

Finance Committee member Ronald Tinkham wants to know how many hours are spent mowing the lawns at the elementary school and says New Ashford should pay for a portion of that too. The School Committee adopted a policy which sets tuition costs at the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education calculated per pupil cost. The move is in response to the Board of Selectmen urging for sharp increases in the tuition rates. When the new rates go into effect, it will essentially double th

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