|Congressman Neal Nominates Hoosac Valley Student to Annapolis
One of Hoosac Valley's graduates will be headed for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis this summer.
Jared Haley of Adams is the first Hurricane known to obtain an appointment to the academy. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal was on hand Tuesday morning to present his congressional nomination before Haley's family, teachers, and coaches.
McCann Cutting Costs for Electrical & Solar Array Repairs
McCann Technical School will receive $10,000 in repairs to its small roof-mounted solar array with a net-metering contract that will cut electricity costs.
The McCann School Committee voted Wednesday to enter into a 25-year solar net metering contract that should cut electricity costs by 25 percent.
Pittsfield Mulls Residency Requirement For Boards and Commissions
If a city board or commission is making decisions for the community, should the members actually live in the city?
That's the question in front of the City Council's Ordinance and Rules Subcommittee. The group met on Monday to discuss a proposal put forth by resident David Pill to implement a residency requirement for all boards and commissions.
Mount Greylock Retirees Address School Committee on Health Insurance
Several dozen current and retired employees of the Mount Greylock Regional School District attended last week's School Committee meeting to voice concerns that the district might unilaterally raise the percentage of health care costs borne by retirees.
Francesconi Narrowly Keeps Selectman's Seat in Cheshire
Incumbent Carol Francesconi narrowly defeated opponent E. Richard Scholz for an open seat on the Board of Selectmen.
The longtime incumbent and current chairwoman fended off Scholz by a slight margin of 25 votes.
Nowak, Blanchard Returned to Adams Board of Selectmen
Joseph Nowak and Richard Blanchard were re-elected to the Board of Selectmen on Monday.
The two incumbents were handed second three-year terms over Michael Ouellette, a former selectman.
Pittsfield Airport Fence Revision Will Curb Deer Incursion
About three to five deer a day are among visitors to Pittsfield's municipal airport each day.
It's a form of unwanted traffic the airport is looking to curtail, with the systematic repair or replacement of several significant sections of its perimeter fence
Advocates Continue to Push on Wiliamstown Preschool Program
Four members of the Williamstown School Committee on Thursday again explained their reasons for supporting a fiscal 2017 budget that includes a reduction to the school's popular preschool program.
At a special meeting originally rescheduled from April 13, the committee members explained why they did not oppose the school administration's decision to eliminate the full-day option for Side-By-Side.
Mount Greylock Decides to Reduce Building Debt Assessment in Year One
The Mount Greylock School Committee has decided to pay less on the school building project bond in the first year and forego savings that would not be realized until years down the road.
The question of whether to more aggressively pay down the principal on a $30 million bond has been discussed since the school district's two member towns passed a debt exclusion for the project in March.
Airport Study Group Continues To Pry Into Westwood Leases
PERC President Jay Anderson doesn't think the development of the Westwood Center would have happened without FAA approval.
But, the only correspondence with the federal aviation agency is a letter disapproving of the leases. Now, a study group is worried that the city could ultimately be on the hook to pay the FAA back for some 30 years worth of leases.
Long Timelines Not Uncommon in Domestic Terrorism Cases
It has been more than nine months since an Adams man was arrested and his Murray Street apartment was searched by the FBI.
It has been nine months since the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that Alexander Ciccolo was charged with violating a federal weapons possession law and released a detention memo outlining the ISIS sympathies of the 23-year-old man who also went by the name Ali Al Amriki.
North Adams Pupils Help With Windsor Lake Trout Stocking
The city's entire fourth-grade class turned out for the fish stocking event, getting some information on the four types of trout Mass Wildlife raises in its four hatcheries and getting the chance to help with the annual event. The day was designed to promote outdoor recreation, and provide the children an opportunity to be involved in a conservation project. The Berkshire County League of Sportsmen's Clubs was also involved.
New Adams Store Opens Up in Memory of Noah Brown
A new shop will be celebrating its opening this weekend, but its first day of business on Sunday will be bittersweet.
Kayla Pierce and her fiance, John-Michael Bradbury, are opening up "Smalls" at 64 Summer St. for two reasons: to support local crafters and to keep her son's memory alive.
BFAIR Meeting Shows How Far Services Have Come
Berkshire Family and Individual Resources on Friday recognized Doris Sartori and her family with BFAIR's inaugural Lifetime Advocacy Award at the non-profit's annual meeting.
Weisenflue explained just how difficult a road Doris and her late husband Aldo faced when they became advocates for their three children, one of whom, Bobby, is a model employee at the North Adams Big Y through a program operated by BFAIR.
Pittsfield Highlights Chestnut Seed Orchard to Celebrate Arbor Day
The American Chestnut tree was so woven into the fabric of early American life that it was referred to as a "cradle to grave" in when a child was born, he was placed in a Chestnut cradle and when he dies, in a Chestnut coffin.
Between four to five billion of the trees crowded the Eastern United State's landscape and was used for construction and food for both humans and animals. It was economic for wood and nut harvesters. It was a fixture in the ecosystem for wild animals. Farmers used the n
Cheshire Elementary Makes Reading Easy As Pie
All the students and staff members gathered in the back yard of the school to see if the challenge had been met and if so, who the lucky pie throwers would be.
Financial Advisers Deliver Dreary News to Pittsfield Officials
The City Council and the School Committee on Thursday were shown just how bad a shape the city's finances are in.
"There is no doubt that we have some legitimate challenges with our financial condition. I think tonight's presentation was meant to be an honest look at what those challenges are and set the framework for the need for all of us to work together in a variety of ways to address this issue," said Mayor Linda Tyer said. "There is no one single simply solution. While people wa
Mount Greylock Tower Repairs Resume
Work on the Mount Greylock Memorial Tower has commenced again and should be completed by September.
Mount Greylock State Reservation Supervisor Alec Gillman told the Mount Greylock Advisory Council on Thursday that construction started last week and a protective road was installed on the summit lawn so trucks and equipment to prevent damage. He added that scaffolding should be erected next week.
Clarksburg Holocaust Program Remembers the Rescuers
Clarksburg School's Holocaust Studies program has in the past explored the roots of genocide, discrimination and prejudice, the failure of political will to protect individual rights, and the rise of Nazism.
With the theme "Rescue and Remembrance," the 15 students told the stories of the saviors, including Miep Gies, Raoul Wallenberg, and Chiune Sugihara, who had risked their lives and careers to help Jews escape Nazi Germany's "Final Solution."
Williamstown Planning Board Nears Agreement on Waubeeka Overlay
The Planning Board on Thursday came close to approving a compromise amendment on the Waubeeka Overlay District proposal.
At the latest in a series of meetings that started in September, the panel narrowed its areas of disagreement to one: whether a potential resort at the South Williamstown golf course is limited by the square footage of its buildings or by the area of a building envelope.
Three Vying for Adams Board of Selectmen
With two selectmen seats up for election in Adams, incumbents Joseph Nowak and Richard Blanchard will attempt fend off former selectman Michael Oullette next week.
The only race on the ballot is for the two selectmen seats. Polls will be open at the town garage from 7 to 7 on Monday, May 2.
'BOOM' Looks to Connect Local Musicians
The Berkshires may be brimming with musicians, but for whatever reason, few venture far from their favorite open mic or music venue — leaving a sometimes stagnate local music scene.
"The issue with the Berkshires is it is just a spread-out area ... and there is no central place to go," BOOM co-founder Sandy McKnight said. "A lot of people are not aware of what is going on past Pittsfield if they are from South County and vice versa if they are from North County ... we want to change that ment
Lanesborough EMTs Forgoing Stipends to Save Ambulance Service
Town EMTS will no longer take the small stipend offered in order to help keep the ambulance service alive.
The move cuts out some $22,000 from the enterprise budget and is being coupled with increased fees. The hope is to keep the ambulance service afloat for the year while officials look to find ways to keep it. The service struggled in the last year because of some $30,000 in unpaid bills owed to the ambulance and the inability to respond to all calls
Cheshire Finds New Use For Pipeline Funds
The recent suspension of Kinder Morgan's Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project is freeing up funds for the town's master plan.
The Selectmen received a letter from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission thanking them for being part of the working group the commission hosted that provided towns affected by the pipeline with counsel and legal representation.
Berkshire Medical Center Gets OK to Expand Addiction Treatment
Berkshire Medical Center is taking the first steps in providing local comprehensive after-care for patients struggling with addiction.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has approved the proposal by BMC to create a new 30-bed unit to improve long-term recovery. The Clinical Stabilization Services center will be created on the first floor of the Edward A. Jones Memorial Building, which also contains the the McGee Recovery Center.
Drury Arts Students To Perform Amadeus & Sgt. Pepper
The Drury Arts Department will bring the play "Amadeus" and the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" to the stage this spring.
Media arts teacher Jamie Choquette said because of the high quality and talented students in the art department this year, they decided to raise the bar and take on more challenging performances to close out the year.
MPO Short On Ready Projects to Spend $2.5 Million
The MPO isn't quite sure how to use up $2.5 million for road projects.
The money was planned to be used for a renovation of the intersections near Berkshire Medical Center. However, the state Department of Transportation and city officials say there is no change the design will be ready in time for 2017. That delays the project to at least 2018 and leaves $2.5 million left to be programmed.
Williamstown Selectmen Back Mohawk Trail Partnership
The Board of Selectmen on Monday agreed to support a drive to create a 21-community economic development and conservation project stretching from the Pioneer Valley across North Berkshire.
Lanesborough Retirees Weigh in on Health Insurance Proposal
Retirees from the town say they were one of the first to agree to move to Medicare when few towns were doing that.
They don't receive any additional reimbursement like other towns and at age 65, health insurance premiums jump by some 30 percent, according to Charles Ornaellas, a former member of the public employee committee. The move to the federal Medicare program saved the town by reducing its contributions toward health care because the federal government took over the majority of the cos
Pittsfield Council Nearing End Of Vice Presidency Debate
It's been more than four months since a lengthy City Council debate about how to pick a vice president and still no resolution has been adopted.
On Tuesday, the Council tabled a set City Council rule changes which include outlining that a vice president would be elected by the councilors during inauguration. That process triggered heated debate at the end of the year which included a charter objection and councilors petitioning for a special meeting. A temporary compromise was reached but the
Cheshire to Decide Race for Selectman on Monday
E. Richard "Dick" Scholz is trying again for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, this time hoping to oust longtime incumbent Carol Francesconi
Taconic Project Passes 90 Percent Design Phase
The 90 percent design drawings have been submitted to the MSBA but architect Carl Franceschi says the design work is much closer to 100 percent.
"We are actually beyond 90 percent completion of the full document," Franceschi, of Drummey Rosane Anderson, said.
Plunkett Student Support Center Deemed a Success
C.T. Plunkett Elementary pupils and teachers are benefiting from the newly implemented student support center.
Principal Michelle Colvin introduced the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee on Monday to the team of Plunkett administrators and teachers who have created and implemented a program that allows disruptive students to leave the classroom, unwind, and learn better self-control.
Bloomberg Releases Platform for 3rd District Representative
Candidate for state representative Michael Bloomberg released this weekend a platform focused on eight issues he'd like to tackle if elected.
The platform was released in tandem with his website. While he highlighted eight areas of focus, he said his highest priorities will be on jobs, education, and public safety. The other focus areas are the opioid crisis, "smart" government, veterans services, environmental sustainability, and taxes.
New Wine Bar Eyed For Downtown Pittsfield
A new wine bar is planned for downtown.
Susan Jansen, who once was part owner of the former Halpins, is looking to open Regions Wine Bar and Nosh in the Crawford Square building. Jansen received a seasonal beer and wine license from the Licensing Board on Monday.
Malkas Offered Superintendent Post in North Adams
Barbara Malkas has been selected to lead the North Adams Public Schools.
The School Committee made the unanimous decision on Monday night after about 45 minutes of discussion.
Colegrove Park Elementary School Wins Preservation Award
Colegrove Park Elementary School is now an award-winning project.
The Massachusetts Historical Commission is presenting the renovation project with its annual Preservation Award at a ceremony set for May 19 at the state archives building.
Figment Project Promises Busy Day of Artmaking This Saturday
Sometimes it just takes a kernel of an idea to get a community imagining up all kinds of possibilities.
On Saturday, one of those ideas will sprout into Figment North Adams, bringing community and arts together at Windsor Lake.
From stage readings and bands, to blacklight face-painting and plastic bag weaving, to yoga and wishing maps, the 6 1/2-hour event will be part arts festival, part block party, part family fun.
Riverfest Promotes Use of Housatonic; Cleans Up Pittsfield Park
To celebrate Earth day the Housatonic Valley Association did what you'd expect: they cleaned up a city park and promoted use of the river.
The group held a river festival on Saturday when dozens of volunteers and numerous environmental groups cleaned up Fred Garner park, provided information and education about the Housatonic River, and to welcome paddlers on a canoe trip who are traveled all the way to the Long Island Sound to promote the river.
Q&A: Drury's Carlson Reflects on Road to Williams
Olivia Carlson understands the value of a strong community.
Clarksburg Students Host Holocaust Exhibit Thursday
Clarksburg Elementary School's eighth grade is inviting the community to the annual Holocaust Exhibit on Thursday evening from 6 to 9.
Teacher Michael Little said this year's exhibit will mark 11 years for the Grade 8 Holocaust study program and, although the exhibit has shifted and grown from its roots, the message still remains the same.
Pittsfield Police Officers Focus Efforts on Building Community
"They look up to us. We are role models for these kids. It is absolutely remarkable to witness these kids, who would probably never have talked to the police, now come up, hold your hand, hug you, high five you. The have a comfort level and awareness of who we are and that we are not the awful people they thought we were. We're not scary," Derby said.
Child Care Organizations Raise Awareness of Child Abuse Issues
One hundred and twenty-two children are abused in Berkshire County each month.
And that's only the confirmed cases. Many others are never reported or confirmed. That number continues to grow. On Friday, children care organizations and elected officials laid out 122 pairs of shoes on the steps of city hall to raise awareness of the issue.
Disc Golf Course Installed at Pittsfield's Kirvin Park
The disc golf course at Kirvin Park has been installed.
The nine-hole course is now established and the metal and chain baskets have been set up. In the next week or so a sign with a course map will be installed.
"With the sign there will be a small tri-fold brochure box with a pull out brochure which explains the rules of disc golf. It has a map on it," Parks and Open Space Manager Jim McGrath said.
North Adams Airport Encourage Early Construction Start
The Airport Commission urged contractors to start construction on Phase 2 of the apron project as soon as possible.
The commission asked Gale Associates representative Erik Strand on Tuesday to recommend to the contractors to begin work in May as soon as they can.
State Looking To Plant 2,400 Trees in Pittsfield
The state is looking to plant some 800 trees per year in the city of Pittsfield over the next three years.
Pittsfield was chosen as part of the Greening the Gateway Cities program in which the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation is looking to plant trees in urban environments. The program targets the 26 gateway cities and will plant the trees in areas where there are currently low canopy levels.
"The Greening the Gateway Cities Program serves as an excellent example of a stro
Five New Sculptures Being Installed in Downtown Pittsfield For 2016
City workers installed Thursday the second of five new public art sculptures downtown.
"We have three more sculptures to come in this year," Recreation Activities Coordinator Department of Community Development Becky Manship said. "We're hoping to get those in within the next week, week and a half or so."
At Persip Park Artist Joe Chirchirillo delivered his "Wildflower" sculpture and city workers installed it. The cement piece will stand in the park throughout the summer and beyond. Last
Local Investors Purchase Berkshire Eagle, Three Vermont Newspapers
The Berkshire Eagle and three Vermont papers have been sold to a Stockbridge-based group of investors.
The Eagle announced the sale Thursday morning during a press conference at the Berkshire Museum. There the new owners promised to invest in the papers, raise the quality of the product, and ultimately restore the century-old paper as the "town square" of the community.
"Our plan is to grow the newspaper, not to shrink it," said former Judge Fredric Rutberg, one of the four investors purch
Adams Police Bring On Local Reserve Officers
The Selectmen ratified two new reserve officers to serve on the Police Department.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa introduced Adams residents Benjamin Alibozek and Dakota Baker to the Selectmen on Wednesday.
North Adams Board of Health Raises Tobacco-Buying Age to 21
Better have your ID ready to buy that pack of cigarettes. Beginning in August, you will have to be age 21 or older to buy tobacco products in the city.
The Board of Health on Wednesday approved the new regulation setting a higher age limit on tobacco sales that goes into effect on Aug. 1 of this year.