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Neal: Democratic Party Needs a 'Reset'

The Democratic Party can't "sugarcoat" its disastrous results in November, says U.S. Rep. Richard Neal. And the pain lies deeper than the loss of the presidency and failure to make inroads in the Republican-controlled Congress.

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Neal Visits Hoosac Valley, Says Will Attend Inauguration

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says he will attend Friday's presidential inauguration of Republican Donald Trump. The Springfield Democrat and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter told students at Hoosac Valley High School on Tuesday morning that while disappointed with the results of the election, he felt it important to be at the transition of power.

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Civil Rights Leader John Lewis Speaking at MCLA Commencement

This year's keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement who, as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was one of the "Big Six" leaders of groups to organize the 1963 March on Washington. Lewis will receive an honorary doctor of public service.

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North Adams Library Trustees To Address Building Issues

The library trustees plan to meet with the city administration to go over some maintenance concerns. Library Director Mindy Hackner told the trustees Wednesday that the city is now completely in charge of addressing structural issues with the library.

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Cariddi Updates Maple Grove Civic Club Legislative Goals

State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi updated the Maple Grove Civic Club on some of the work she has done in 2016 and what she plans to advocate for in 2017. At the club's monthly meeting Sunday at the PNA, the North Adams Democrat spoke of her goals for the upcoming year and fielded some of the membership's question.

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Four Towns Sharing Economic Development Planner

BRPC is looking to "rapidly expand" a shared economic planner job. Four towns, Hinsdale, Great Barrington, Clarksburg, and Lanesborough, had signed onto a project to bring on a full-time economic development specialist. William Compton was hired for the position and now splits his time working with the various communities.

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King, Kingdom of God Remembered at Williams

Attendees at Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Williams College were reminded of King's humanity and the divine message he preached. Williams junior Naomi Francois of the school's Black Campus Ministries group told the crowd gathered in the Paresky Center that, as a Christian, she was offended by the way the name Christian is co-opted by people in who society who are anything but.

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Late Don Quinn Kelley Presented MLK Peacemaker Award

The late Don Quinn Kelley, historian and documentarian, had long been involved in social justice and community empowerment. Mayor Richard Alcombright described him as the type of person who was always looking for ways to help people, state Sen. Adam Hinds as someone who exemplified the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "march toward equal justice, the march toward fulfilling our cherished principles and fundamentals for this country."

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Berkshires Beat: OLLI Opens Spring Classes

There is no educational requirement for joining OLLI, just a love of learning for the sake of learning. The classes have no tests, no grades and no required homework.

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Williamstown Planners Seek Public Input on Housing Bylaws

The Planning Board has opened a months-long effort to gather public feedback about potentially changing zoning bylaws to open up options for new housing.The Planning Board has opened a months-long effort to gather public feedback about potentially changing zoning bylaws to open up options for new housing. Working with a grant from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, the board has created a website to collect public comments and plans at least two public events to solicit input the first

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Cheshire to Pursue Blight Removal Grant

The Selectmen have agreed to apply for a District Local Technical Assistance through the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to identify processes and possible funding to remove dilapidated homes. Town Administrator Mark Webber recommended to the board last week that they team up with Hinsdale and through BRPC apply for a grant that will provide guidance to remove blight in the community.

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North Adams Third-Graders Get Free Swimming Lessons

All North Adams third-graders will be provided free swim lessons through a donation from All Saints Episcopal Church and the Northern Berkshire Family YMCA. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children ages 1 through 14.

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Multiple Towns Battle Blaze in Pittsfield Apartment Building

Multiple towns joined Pittsfield Fire early Sunday morning to combat a blaze in a multi-family building on Dalton Avenue. Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said a family of five was taken to Berkshire Medical Center for smoke inhalation during the blaze which completely destroyed the apartment building.

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BCC Enters Home Stretch Of Renovation Project

The state's oldest community college is starting to look more like the newest. Berkshire Community College is wrapping up renovations to two academic buildings. The $30 million renovations have been underway since the spring of 2015. The renovated Melville Hall was opened on June 1 and construction workers are putting the final touches and equipment is being moved into Hawthorne Hall in anticipation for an opening later this month.

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Lanesborough Neighbors Opposing Day Care On Residential Street

Should a day care operate in a residential neighborhood? That is a question facing officials in Lanesborough as a day care opened in a Sunrise Street home and the neighbors are worried about the impacts it will have on the neighborhood. Those opposing the day care say it is operating as a business and needs to be treated as such - and therefore isn't allowed by zoning laws.

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Pittsfield Council Questions Snow Plowing Operation

Cars on the road, sidewalks being plowed in, and speeding are all continual concerns for the City Council when it comes to the city's management of snow storms. The council called on Commissioner of Public Services David Turocy Tuesday to discuss the snow plowing procedures. Turocy outlined the process and answered questions regarding issues relating to the efforts to clean up the roads during a storm.

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Acitivities Planned for King Day of Service on Monday

Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Monday will feature events and volunteer efforts across the county. In North Adams, the Martin Luther King Day Committee welcomes volunteers for its 24th annual Day of Service and celebratory lunch.

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Flying Cloud Institute Appoints New Executive Director

Rundle will step into her new role on January 16. As planned, Jane Burke and her husband, Larry Burke will both step off the Board of Directors in February. Burke will continue to work with Flying Cloud Institute as a consultant and an educator in its various programs.

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Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 9 - Jan. 12

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Contact Your Elected Officials

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Mount Greylock Building Committee Hears Good News, Prepares for Worst

The Mount Greylock Regional School Building Committee on Tuesday approved a series of potential cost reductions that officials hope never to implement. By a unanimous vote, the panel OK'd the recommendations of its value engineering working group, which was charged with evaluating design elements that could be modified or eliminated if bids on the project come in over budget.

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Clarksburg School Building Committee See Initial Plans

The School Building Committee got its first look at plans for a new or renovated school and the cost gave members pause. The initial project estimates range from $12 million to $24 million on the high side; most put the town's cost at about $8.75 million to $12 million.

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Small Business Revolution Spending 2 Days in North Adams

The Small Business Revolution is a movement spearheaded by Deluxe Corp. to highlight the challenges and opportunities of small towns and local businesses across the nation. For the second year, it's picking one small town to highlight. North Adams made the semifinals along with seven other communities for a visit by the team and Amanda Brinkman, Deluxe's ‎chief brand and communications officer.

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Clarksburg Board OKs Police Officers Swapping Positions

Sgt. Peter Wheeler asked to be demoted to patrol officer, and Sherry Burdick was promoted in his place. "Officer Wheeler had made the request as he has future endeavors that he is pursuing and he would like to assist in the transition of the sergeant," said Police Chief Michael Williams in presenting the request.

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