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North Adams Happenings: Dec. 7-13

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Superior Court Briefs: Dec. 7

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Pittsfield Health Officials Wait for Council Comments on Needle Exchange

It is very unlikely the City Council will change the mind of the Board of Health when it comes to opening a needle exchange. But, the Board of Health does want to wait until the council has a chance to weigh in before making the decision.

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Solid Waste District May Have Program Director Applicant

Time's running out to find a new coordinator for the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District and officials hope they've finally found a qualified applicant who can take over. Windsor representative Douglass McNally brought in three new applications Thursday for the program director position soon to be vacated by longtime Program Coordinator Sandy Totter.

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North Adams Council to Vote Tax Classification on Tuesday

The administration is proposing to raise the property tax rate about 2 percent for fiscal 2017. Mayor Richard Alcombright is recommending the City Council continue the commercial shift at 1.71, which pushes more of the tax burden onto commercial, industrial and personal property taxes.

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Dec. 9-15

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Pedestrian Struck on Pittsfield's West Housatonic Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in front of Clapp Park Thursday afternoon. Police say an elderly man was walking on the sidewalk around 12:30 when a westbound vehicle went off the road and crashed into a sign, a utility pole, and the pedestrian. The pedestrian was taken to Berkshire Medical Center with "serious injuries" and the drive was transported there with "non-life threatening."

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Pittsfield Firefighters Pull Man From Burning Building

Firefighters pulled one man from flames after the apartments above Tahiti Takeout caught fire early Thursday morning. The department responded to the blaze shortly before 4:30 a.m. and upon arrival there were heavy flames shooting out of the back. Firefighters were told there was one person unaccounted for and launched an interior search, finding one man in the flames.

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Williamstown Elementary School Committee Chairman Steps Down

A turbulent year in the governance of Williamstown Elementary School took another turn on Wednesday evening when Dan Caplinger stepped down as chairman of the School Committee. Caplinger called a special 4 p.m. meeting of the body to announce his decision and decide on a new leader going forward.

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Plunkett School Roof Project to Begin in Spring

Work on the boiler room roof at C.T. Plunkett School is unlikely to start until spring because the ceiling has to be removed. Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Superintendent Robert Putnam provided the Selectmen with an update on the project during the board's public comment period on Wednesday.

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Three Resign From Pittsfield's Board of Health

A combined 22 years of experience on the Board of Health is leaving the board. Three board members submitted resignation letters, all ending their terms at the end of the month. Chairwoman Roberta Orsi, who has served on the board since its inception 12 years ago, Cynthia Geyer, who has six years on the board, and Dominica D'Avella, who has been on for the last four, submitted resignations over the last few months. "I think it is a loss to the city," said Jay Green, one of only two members

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Pittsfield Brightens Up Sick Toddler's Day With Christmas Display

Three-year-old Tony Maschino was too sick to go to Bright Nights in Springfield. So Pittsfield brought it to him. On Wednesday, between 50 and 60 volunteers helped set up a massive display of inflatable Christmas decoration in the family's yard. Maschino was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer some six weeks ago and the effort is just the latest in community-driven support for the family.

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Cheshire Still Unclear On Select Board Increase Process

The Selectmen still have no clear direction on how to proceed with increasing the board from three to five members. Town Administrator Mark Webber told the Selectmen on Tuesday that he held a conference call with special legal counsel to discuss adding two more members. Although Town Counsel Edmund St. John III was supposed to be involved in the conversation, he was unable to attend the meeting.

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Pittsfield Observes Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

It was on this day 75 years ago when Roman Sadlowski and Edward Burns, both hailing from Pittsfield, were killed during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. That morning, December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States naval base near Hawaii, killing thousands and sinking battleships. The attack brought the United States into World War 2, with thousands of citizens, dubbed the greatest generation, took up arms to defend the country.

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North Adams Schools Find Taps With Elevated Levels of Lead, Copper

An extensive testing of water delivery points in the city's schools has turned up elevated levels of lead and copper. Some 353 bubblers, faucets and other water taps were tested in September through a state grant through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust. The results were received this week, with about 50 points identified as exceeding state levels for lead and copper.

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Eversource Plans Solar Projects In Pittsfield and Lanesborough

Eversource is now in the permitting stage for two solar projects, tallying some 6.2 megawatts in central Berkshires. The electric company is looking to build a 2.2-megawatt facility on land it owns on Partridge Road in Pittsfield and another 4-megawatt array on Route 7 in Lanesborough. Both projects are on plots of land the company already owns and is considered "under-utilized."

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North Adams' E3 Academy Creates Mini-Pantry

The students at E3 Academy saw a problem with hunger and came up with a solution: a mini-food pantry. Inspired by the proliferation of Little Lending Libraries in the region, the Give Food Take Food pantry box outside the Vietnam Veterans Post 54 is stocked with canned goods with the idea that people who need it will use it.

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High School Athletes Learn Leadership Lessons

One of the chief lessons of Tuesday's Berkshire County Student-Athlete Leadership Summit was that leaders serve those whom they lead. But featured speaker John Martin gave the 130 high school students gathered in the Boys & Girls Club gym permission to be self-centered if just for one day.

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Salvation Army Donates Hundreds of Winter Coats to North Berkshire Vets

The Veterans Services Office on Tuesday took delivery of nearly 30 bags fillled with warm coats for local veterans. The donation came courtesy of the Salvation Army and was prompted by a chance meeting between office assistant Tina Samson and Capt. Katherine Corno of the local Salvation Army post.

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Pittsfield Fire Makes Terminally Ill 3-Year-Old Honorary Firefighter

Three-year-old Tony Maschino would hear sirens, look for the lights, and wave to passing fire truck or police cruiser. "This is something he truly loves. He's always been a fan of the Police and Fire departments. We'd be driving down the street and he'd be wanting to put his window down to wave to them. They've always been so kind to him," his mother Stephanie Maschino said.

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Pittsfield Looks to Add Inspection Sticker Clause to Junk Vehicle Laws

Better keep up with vehicle inspection stickers or you could be soon be breaking city code. Mayor Linda Tyer has put forth a petition which adds language to the junk vehicle code saying any vehicle without a valid state inspection sticker would be illegal to store on property after 48 hours. The petition went before the Ordinance and Rules Subcommittee on Monday and with no discussion, the petition was approved to go back to the full council.

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Williamstown Elementary Principal Lays Out Priorities

Maintaining staff and reinstating programs cut in the fiscal 2017 budget process are among the priorities of Williamstown Elementary School's principal. Joelle Brookner gave a presentation to the School Committee at its Nov. 30 meeting in an order to help the panel understand the budget numbers it will see this winter when it weighs the FY18 budget.

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North Adams Movieplex Holds 'Five For Free' Food Drive

Those who donate five non-perishable food goods can see a free movie of their choice at the North Adams Movieplex. The downtown theater will hold its annual "Five For Free" food drive Tuesday night to benefit the Berkshire Dream Center.

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Pittsfield Committee to Consider Seat Belts on School Buses

When the wheels on the bus take a hard right turn or hit a speed bump, children can often get tossed out of their seat. That's why the Public Safety Advisory Committee is going to look into possibly getting seatbelts on buses. The discussion comes right on the heels of a crash in Chattanooga, Tenn. in which six children were killed when the bus crashed into a tree. There is no law requiring school buses to have seatbelts in Massachusetts but a few states do. The National Safety Council, an ad

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