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Berkshires Beat: Coalition Holds Fall Neighborlies Awards Night

Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community.

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Education Task Force Panel Answers Questions at NBCC Forum

The vision of the Berkshire County Education Task Force is a single, countywide school district that would create sustainable educational opportunities and academic support to a dwindling student population. The controversial recommendation, made in July after two years of study and modeling, hasn't been an easy sell in the small towns fearing that consolidation means school closings and loss of local control.

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More Than a 'Thank You': The 'Neighborlies' Bring People Together

While its gone through some changes throughout the years, its purpose has remained the same: to provide residents the opportunity to go beyond a thank you and recognize neighbors, community groups, youth, and local businesses for simple acts of kindness and going the extra mile.

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Coalition Brainstorms Needs of Northern Berkshire Community

But on Friday, at the first monthly forum of the year, the 70 or so participants had a bit of a different kind of conversation about the community's needs: namely, how to shape how Northern Berkshire County wants to define itself going forward.

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Coalition Remembers Cariddi, Looks Back During Annual Meeting

The slideshow inspired a solemn silence in the ballroom of the Williams Inn on Friday, where around 200 people gathered for the annual meeting. When Alcombright returned to the podium later in the meeting to give the keynote address, he — as usual — inspired laughter among the crowd as he looked back at his eight years as mayor of North Adams. Alcombright announced earlier this month that he would not be seeking another term as mayor.

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Parents Sought for Substance Abuse Focus Groups

Two focus groups are being held: 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, and noon Thursday, June 15. Both groups will be held at the Coalition offices at 61 Main St. and will include child care and food. Participants also will receive a $25 gift card for gas or groceries.

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Coalition on the Move for Transportation Discussion

The topic of that meeting was, appropriately enough, "You CAN Get There From Here," focusing on transportation issues and solutions. Participants rotated - transported, if you will - through several "stations" to learn about some new - and some old - initiatives happening in the realm transportation in Berkshire County.

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Youth Substance Use and Abuse Targeted in Prevention Efforts

Those 2017 statistics — culled from needs assessment surveys completed by students, hospitals and pediatricians, parents, superintendents and other stakeholders — were presented Monday at the Coalition offices in a news conference that brought many of those stakeholders together to interpret the numbers and discuss new strategies moving forward.

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Spring Neighborlies Celebrate Community Individuals Groups

Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community.

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Community Involvement Discussed at Coalition Forum

At the April forum on Friday, the focus was not on those jobs, or what those people do from "9 to 5," but rather, on what they do from 5 to 9 p.m. when they are not working.

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Coalition Forum Focuses on Housing Insecurity in North County

According to slides presented that were based on data from Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, for example, 33 percent of people in Berkshire County are renters; that number jumps to 48 percent in North Adams and 41 percent in Adams, while Williamstown numbers match the county average.

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Coalition Names Besaw Permanent Executive Director

Besaw has been with the Coalition for the past five years, holding positions of deputy director and program director for The Family Place. She brings her diverse background in medical social work, community mental health, clinical social work with children and families, program development, and community organizing to NBCC's mission of community support and action in Northern Berkshire County.

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Coalition Forum Tackles Opioid Abuse Epidemic

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition sponsored a screening of “Faces: Five Voices from One Community – Addiction and Recovery in North Berkshire” by local videographer Joe Aidonidis at the theater in place of its usual monthly forum in the First Baptist Church.

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Berkshires Beat: Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Holds Fall Neighborlies

Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community. More photos can be found here.

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Northern Berkshire Coalition Forum Roams Downtown North Adams

On Friday, for the October monthly forum, participants were asked to get up and out of the church for a very different reason: to engage members of the community who might not be aware of the Coalition's work or its meetings.

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Changes Mark Start of Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's 31st Year

Besaw, speaking from her office in August as she prepared to interview candidates for these openings, said that while the sheer amount of simultaneous turnover at the Coalition was indeed challenging for someone leading in an "interim" capacity, each departure was unique. "Independently, every person, it's understandable," she said. Hinds had a "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to run for office. Tobin "has a dream," she said. Sweeney is leaving to lead the new teen center in the city, and Rodgers,

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Downing Accepts Coalition's Hero Award, Thanks Community

"That's a choice a community makes, whether we're going to fall apart or face the challenges head-on," Sen. Benjamin Downing said. "When we're at our best, it's not just the glass is half full. But we know if we work hard enough, we're going to find the water to make the glass overflow."

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Coalition Forum: Prevent Tomorrow's Addicts By Educating Today's Children

That is part of a strategy called "looking upstream," and in the Berkshires right now, the analogy is being used to describe a way to tackle the region's substance abuse problem. In this case, said Wendy Pender, direction of prevention and wellness at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, "upstream" is actually the children of today who we hope to prevent from becoming the addicts of tomorrow.

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NBCC's Spring Neighborlies Honors Community Members

Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community.

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UNITY Youth Leadership Program Seeking Art

The mission of this project is to create a tangible collection of art by the community for the purposes of stress relief, and to inspire positive thinking.

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Hinds Talks Senate Run Before Teens Lead Coalition Forum

Before turning the floor over to the teenagers leading the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forum, Executive Director Adam Hinds had to address a very grown-up topic.

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Forum on Health Care Solutions Introduces Community Health Workers

These specially trained, paid workers fill a lot of different roles, from direct services like health screenings and home assessments to helping residents navigate systems of care and advocate for themselves.

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Volunteers Needed for 23rd Annual MLK Day of Service

The program will include the presentation of this year's MLK Peacemaker Award to PopCares Inc., in recognition of the difference the nonprofit organization makes in the lives of more than 310 local families who are battling cancer.

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Coalition Meeting Focuses on Region's Assets

"This is giving me shivers just looking at the potential we have come up with in the last 45 minutes." — Adam Hinds

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