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Pittsfield Officer to Carry Torch in Austria For Special Olympics World Games

The job of a police officer means dealing with people on their worst days, day after day. And it wears on the officers. Eight years ago Officer Darren Derby started getting involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising efforts for the Special Olympics. He's raised more than a half million dollars in support of those athletes. And he does it because he feels those athletes do more for him than he could ever do for them.

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North Adams Misses Out on Downtown Funding

Wednesday capped a monthslong effort by a local team headed by City Councilor Benjamin Lamb and Events Coordinator Suzy Helme that first nominated North Adams. The city joined seven other communities selected from 14,000 nominations as semifinalists last fall.

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Holiday Hours: Presidents Day

Washington's Birthday will be celebrated on Monday, Feb. 20.

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Adams Apartment House Destroyed in Blaze

At least a half-dozen people have lost everything after a fire ravaged a three-apartment home on Old Columbia Street early Saturday morning. Fire Chief Paul Goyette said some 45 firefighters from four towns battled the blaze for nearly five hours before it was finally extinguished.

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BMC Rebuilt Surgical Residency Program Earns New Accreditation

"That was the year things changed radically around here. We had to regroup and rethink about surgical education. We had to develop a whole new process and whole new program," Dr. Michael DiSiena said.

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Adams Officials Fight to Keep Plunkett School Open

Adams officials spoke out forcefully on Thursday against the idea of closing C.T. Plunkett School, saying the struggling community simply could not take the hit. Selectmen Chairman Jeffrey Snoonian said closing Plunkett would be a bigger shock to Adams than the loss of a school would be to Cheshire. George Haddad, local businessman and former selectman, said it would "hasten the fall of the community."

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North Adams Looks at Shorter Bike Trail Project

Williamstown's route is fairly set and a much easier one than North Adams. It runs largely on level terrain along the Hoosic River on land owned by the town and Williams College for about 2.5 miles. The money for that is set. North Adams, however, is in a use it or lose it proposition. Money set aside for the trail from federal Scenic Byway funds and a patchwork of other programs is still there but will disappear.

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Adams Selectman Wants to Look Into Splitting Adams-Cheshire District

Selectman John Duval is advocating for splitting the troubled regional district so both Adams and Cheshire can keep their elementary schools open.

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Berkshire Scenic Releases Strong Ridership Numbers For Inaugural Year

In the first year the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum gave rides to 9,600 passengers on the Hoosac Valley Service. The 8-mile ride from North Adams to Renfrew and back kicked off in October of 2015 with a few pilot rides. It returned for a few more in December and then went full speed ahead in April of 2016. The 9,600 passengers who took the trip is more than the first year the organization ran scenic rides in Lenox, according to President Jay Green.

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Cheshire Concerned About Share of School District Costs

The Selectmen are wondering about cost sharing between Cheshire and Adams with the expected closing of an elementary school. Of major concern is the town's responsibility for repairs to C.T. Plunkett School in Adams if Cheshire School should close.

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Adams-Cheshire Struggling With School Closure Decision

Cheshire and Adams have long been tied together by history and familial bonds. For the last 50 years, that's been strengthened through a shared educational system. But dropping enrollment and the school district's struggle in the last years with ballooning budgets, has the two towns at odds over whose elementary school will close.

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State Officials Still Awaiting BMC Intersection Area Redesign

The project to re-do the intersections around Berkshire Medical Center has been pushed back yet again, as the design has not progressed enough. The $7.1 million project for the Berkshire Medical Center area has been ranked as a top priority by Berkshire Regional Planning Commission but the design is too far behind to go to bid in 2018. The project has been 11 years in the making, after a 2006 circulation study identified it as a focus for improving traffic in downtown Pittsfield.

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Dissolving Adams-Cheshire May Not Be Financially Effective

The potential closure of an elementary school has had officials in Adams and Cheshire mulling the possibility of breaking up the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District. But the options for changing the 50-year-old agreement or dissolving it all appear cumbersome and financially ineffective.

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Town Officials Tour Adams-Cheshire Schools

With the district pondering the likelihood of closing one of the schools, their condition, size and maintenance costs are expected to influence the debate. The guided tours also provided a chance for administrators to lay out the class configurations that will be part of the conversation.

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$30 Million Expansion Project Planned for Tanglewood

The Boston Symphony Orchestra announced the investment Tuesday night. The four-building complex is being designed to support the performance and rehearsal activities of the Tanglewood Music Center and will be the focus point of the new Tanglewood Learning Institute

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Pittsfield's Newest Fire Truck Arrives

The city's replacement ladder truck arrived Friday, being the latest capital investment the city has made in the Fire Department. The 2014 Pierce Arrow XT chassis with 100-foot aluminum ladder was delivered Friday afternoon. The truck had served as a demonstrator model for Pierce, traveling from trade show to trade show without ever seeing a fire, and was sold the city for $780,000. The ladder is the new Truck 2, replacing a 1993 Spartan Darley aerial truck with a 75-foot ladder.

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Cheshire Historical Commission Wants to Save Masonic Lodge

The Historical Commission is hoping the town can save the Masonic Lodge on Church Street. Commission member Diane Hitter said the upper floors where the Mason lodge was housed is like a museum.

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Adams Visitors Center Parking Lot Eyed for Revamp

Community Development Director Donna Cesan said this year's Community Development Block Grant application reflects the strategic plan approved by the Selectmen in 2015 for community and downtown development. The maximum the town can apply for this year is $800,000 and the deadline is March 10. Adams should know by late summer if it is being awarded the money.

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Adams, North Adams Softball Leagues Partner Up

The Adams Lassie League and Northern Berkshire Softball will play games against one another this spring and form travel teams under Babe Ruth Softball.

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Pittsfield's Finance Director Reports Strong Revenue Figures

To date, the city is hitting its estimates for revenue. But, there are still some budget lines which are being continually monitored. Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood presented a report of the city's fiscal year 2017 to date. He said so far there are a few budget lines which look to go into deficit but revenues are trending upward.

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Pittsfield Awards Contract To Rehabilitate First Street Parking Lot

The First Street parking lot is set for a rehabilitation. The city awarded Maxymillian the contract to overhaul the 241-space municipal lot and in the end parking kiosks are planned to be installed. According to Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy, the construction is expected to start when weather allows this spring and conclude by June 30

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Adams Sets Challenge to Make 8,400 Recycled Shopping Bags

The local BagShare Project uses recycled materials mainly plastic woven feed bags and used irrigation tubing to create free reusable bags for consumer use. Brought to North Berkshire by Leni Fried and Mike Augspurger of the Old Stone Mill, the town's taken up the challenge to create a sustainable bag for every resident in Adams ahead of the plastic bag ban that goes into effect on March 30 for larger retailers.

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No Trial Date Set in 2015 Adams Terrorism Case

It likely will be at least mid-June before there is any talk of a trial date in the case of the United States vs. Alexander Ciccolo. On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Robertson set June 20 for the next hearing in the case, which has dragged on for more than 18 months while the Adams man accused of federal terrorism offenses is held in a Rhode Island detention facility.

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Progress Being Made on Pittsfield's Westside Riverway Project

The Westway River Park project is starting to come to fruition. Permitting Coordinator Nate Joyner told the Parks Commission on Tuesday that new park space should be opening this summer on Dewey Avenue. The city had acquired a number of parcels, mostly through tax title, and has been working to demolish existing buildings and clean contaminants from the soil.

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Lee Bank Donates $5K Toward Pittsfield's ShotSpotter Rollout

Lee Bank has joined in the support for the deployment of a gunshot detection system. Lee Bank is donating $5,000 toward the ShotSpotter contract. The technology is eyed to be installed this year and is used to detect and pinpoint the sound of gunshot, letting officers know on the spot when a weapon is fired on city streets.

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Clarksburg School Project Can Keep Original Well

The state Department of Environmental Protection says Clarksburg School can continue to use its original well as long as its meet specifications during any renovation. Officials have been unsure about the continued use of the well since an initial school survey done a decade ago.

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Miss Hall's School Presents 'The Addams Family'

This MHS production stars sophomore Ainsley Schuth as family patriarch Gomez Addams; senior Josie Dorsey as his wife, Morticia Addams; junior Olivia Kinne of Pittsfield as Wednesday Addams; and freshwoman Olivia Finston-Fox of Monterey as Lucas Beineke.

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Clarksburg Sets Special Town Meeting to Fix Budget Gap

The Select Board has set a special town meeting for Wednesday, March 15, to address a $250,000 budget gap for fiscal 2017. Voters will be asked to cut a total of $93,916 out of the town budget with four months left in the fiscal year. Another $71,000 will be taken from an line item approved last year to pay off the library construction loan and $85,000 will be taken from the stabilization account.

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Berkshires Beat: Bad Weather Doesn't Stop Lenox Robotics Team

At the end of the day, Team Enginuity finished in the final round, was awarded the PTC Design Award and was one of four teams selected for the state competition in March.

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Boston Seafood Defends Chowder Cook-off Title

The 2017 competitors were Boston Sea Foods, Bounti Fare, Gramercy Bistro, Grazie, The Hub, Mingos, MCLA Dining Services, North Adams Commons and Williamstown Commons.

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Pittsfield Welcomes Serviceman Back From 5th Deployment

As soon as they saw the sirens coming down Wendell Avenue, the large crowd erupted in cheers: Tech Sgt Shane Willis is home safe. Willis returned to his hometown Friday night after his fifth deployment overseas. He was most recently stationed for seven months in Kuwait. He was previously deployed in Iraq three times and Afghanistan once. The 37-year-old Taconic High School graduate has been in the Air Force Reserve for 15 years now, joining when he was 22.

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Biz Briefs: Stop & Shop Donates $5,000 to Berkshire Dream Center

The Berkshire Dream Center's core values and beliefs are firmly grounded in the Bible.

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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 22 - Feb. 23

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IS183 Art School of the Berkshires Adds Three to Board

"We are thrilled to welcome Joyce, Rose and Robin to the Board of IS183," said Andy Foster, IS183 board chair. "The addition of their energy, expertise and enthusiasm will be of significant value to our community art school. I, and the entire board, look forward to working with them closely in the years to come."

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AAU Girls Basketball Team Seeks Players

The 'Squad' AAU girls basketball team is looking for seventh- and eighth-grade girls for the upcoming spring season.

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MCLA Professor Begins 'The 50 Card Project'

As part of her project, Mowinski will send cards to President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and other key figures in the Trump Administration. She hopes to remind them of what is important.

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William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty Welcomes Two Agents

McNair is an experienced agent, who previously was a partner at her own successful real estate firm in the Southern Berkshires and Hilltowns. Born and raised in the Berkshires, Barry grew up in a family of local architects, engineers and contractors, shaping her love for design and renovations at an early age.ful real estate firm in the Southern Berkshires and Hilltowns

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The Independent Investor: What Happens to Your Pet After Your Death?

You must understand that legally a dog, cat, horse or any other kind of pet is not considered a human being. They are considered your property. As such, Titus is our "property" and the law states that you can't leave property to a piece of property.

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Housatonic Boys Strong at North Adams Youth Basketball Tourney

Housatonic, Dalton and North Adams each won titles at this weekend's John Gaudreau Memorial Tournament in North Adams.

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Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

Of course, it's always tempting to spend the check from Uncle Sam on something fun. But a tax refund could be sizable the average amount in 2016 was $2,857, according to the IRS so putting this money to work could help boost your progress toward your financial goals.

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'Lion': A Prince of the Jungle

Fortunately, Saroo is too young to be afflicted with this rabid pessimism currently masquerading as populism. Fully in survival mode and still blessed with that idealism that distinguishes us from the savage beast, he traverses the landscape of India. We are aghast as the harrowing journey, based on a true story, thrashes our sensibilities. Bouncing from one train car to another and walking miles across inhospitable geography, it is heinous that this child must use his intuition to evade those d

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@theMarket: Market Stalls at Record Highs

It is too early to tell, because one day does not make a trend. We could easily experience a rebound next week, but I would still consider the present levels of most indexes ripe for a fall. My column last week pointed out that we are now in a "danger zone."

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Adams-Cheshire to Hold Preschool Screening

The purpose of the screening is to identify children who may have substantive needs in speech/language, cognitive/thinking, emotional/social or physical development. Support services are delivered to students in a side by side program with their typical peers.

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'Mom's Day Off' Raises More than $8,000 for Cancer Center at SVMC

The first 100 participants received an SVHC gift bag. All ticket revenue, a total of $8,140, was donated to the Cancer Center.

Berkshire Snapshot

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