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PCTV Begins Takeover of WTBR Monday Morning
WTBR goes silent on Monday, temporarily. The Taconic High School radio station is being taken over by Pittsfield Community Television but will return once a new studio is build and licensure is issued later this year.

Adams Appoints Two New Police Officers
Police Chief Richard Tarsa asked the board Wednesday to promote reserve Police Officer Natasha Antona to full time and bring on Dylan Vandoloski as a reserve.

Bigg Daddy's Cheesesteaks Opens Downtown Pittsfield Location
There is no longer a need for people in Pittsfield to drive down to the city of brotherly love to get Geno's or Pats or Tony Luke's cheesesteaks. Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks are now available right on North Street. Xavier Jones opened Bigg Daddy's Philly Steak House in Crawford Square on Friday. It is his second location since starting what he envisions will be a local franchise last January.

Adams Sees Greylock Glen's Future With Reveal of Outdoor Center.
Officials on Friday unveiled the design for the Nordic ski and outdoor center for the 1,063-acre glen at the foot of Mount Greylock. The $6.5 million project is expected to go to bid next spring with a projected opening in fall 2020.

Adams Selectmen Meet New Adams-Cheshire Superintendent
School Committee Chairman Paul Butler introduced Vosburgh at Wednesday's meeting and Vosburgh said he has spent the last few weeks getting to know the district.

McCann Receives Almost $200,000 in Grant Funds
Superintendent James Brosnan was happy to tell the School Committee on Thursday that he recently visited Salem High School, where Gov. Charlie Baker awarded grant.

Pittsfield Looks to Hold Tax Lien Auction This Fall
The city will look at holding another tax lien auction later this fall. According to Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood, the city intends to host the auction in late fall to recoups some back taxes. The auctions essentially sell off liens on delinquent taxpayer properties to the highest bidder, which then takes over the rights to collect from the property owner.

TurboProp Owner Pulls Donation Over 'Turmoil' at North Adams Airport
The airport's largest business is threatening to pull funding for a planned administrative building and file suit against the city over "turmoil" caused by convicted rapist Alex Kelly.   1 Comment

Eagle Street Initiative Work Begins With Delivery of Parked Pocket Park
The manufactured pocket park built by B&B Micro-Manufacturing, a local tiny house construction company, takes up about two parking spots on the west side of the one-way street. It offers plenty of seating and counter space for eating and solar lighting for the evening.

Four Berkshire Women Celebrated as Unsung Heroines
Two Berkshire County women were honored as members of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's 2018 class of Unsung Heroines during a State House ceremony on Wednesday.

Williamstown Elementary School Committee Holds Final Meeting
After dispensing with the business, a couple of members closed the meeting with their thoughts on the committee's work, which included helping lay the groundwork for November's town meeting votes in Lanesborough and Williamstown that accomplished full regionalization of the PreK-12 region.

Cheshire Considering Moving Town Hall to Vacant School
Selectwoman Carol Francesconi, who also serves on the committee, said the group considered housing, satellite classrooms, commercial kitchen use, day care and even a small café in the facility. She said the town released a request for expressed interest and only received a response from a day care and a dance studio.   1 Comment

BIC Organization Ramps Programming Back Up, Preps For Groundbreaking
The BIC, as an organization, is back on track after the infusion of money to get the center constructed. "We're thrilled about the progress. It is great to be back in a posture of progression and see so many elements materialize," said Berkshire Innovation Center Chairman Stephen Boyd.

Cecropia, Our Sylvan King
When leaves are fully formed from springtime budding, the moths will emerge from their cocoons, and relying on stored energy only, will seek mates by pheromone production.

BRPC: Chapter 90 Spending Trails at Least a Year Behind
BRPC has found that towns tend to act conservatively with Chapter 90 funds for road work because of uncertainty around the program. Senior Transportation Planner Eammon Coughlin, of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, had taken on a study on the use of Chapter 90 in the Berkshires and found that there is at least a year delay between when the state funds are allocated to the towns and when they are actually spent.

Yola Esther Developer Settles With State, Asks Pittsfield to Accept Roads
The developers of the Yola Esther subdivision are again asking the city to accept the three streets - Kara, Giovina, and Karen - after reaching an agreement with the state Architectural Access Board.

North Adams Airport OKs Hangar Space for Kelly
The commission agreed to give Taconic Aviation owner Alex Kelly, a convicted rapist, permission to continue using the office space but after the vote, attendees railed against the commission and Kelly.   1 Comment

Lanesborough Ousts Reilly, Jones In Annual Town Election
Longtime moderator Robert Reilly and Finance Committee Chairman Ray Jones were both ousted from their seats in town government during Tuesday's election.

Berkshire Mayors Call for Action on Border Separation of Families
The mayors of Pittsfield and North Adams are adding their voices to calls to rescind a "zero-tolerance" policy decision by the U.S. Department of Justice that has resulted in the separation of children from families attempting to cross the border illegally or requesting asylum.

Mohawk Theater Ideas Run From Go-Karts to Arts Performance Training Center
Those ideas and more were part of the out-of-the-box thinking at a forum Monday night to gather community feedback on possible uses for the long vacant Main Street movie house.

38 Graduate From The Adult Learning Center
Ckahlysia Walker's grandmother was pretty much destined to fail. It was some 60 years old in South Carolina when she found out she was pregnant in an environment rigged against her. She hadn't finished high school. She moved to New Jersey, started her family there, and ultimately got a job she could work at for 30 years.

Adams Town Meeting Opts For Higher Administrator Salary Range
During Monday's annual town meeting, the 104 present members out 150 passed the bulk of the 25 articles in the first few minutes of the meeting that lasted just over an hour. However, they pumped the brakes on Article 6, the town administrator salary, which narrowly passed with 17 votes.

Williams Hosts South Science Building Open House
The $66 million structure that's been rising off Walden Street for nearly two years was opened to the public for two hours last Wednesday evening.

State House Passes Act That Helps Preserve Family Farms
H.3915, An Act to establish estate tax valuation for farms, would change the method for assessment of the estate tax valuation for agricultural land. Pignatelli, of Lenox, worked with Hogan to include the agricultural estate tax reform bill as part of a larger environmental bond bill that seeks to address the commonwealth's climate change preparedness and response plans.

Pittsfield Schools Considering Future Consolidations
The most recent high water mark for enrollment in the Pittsfield Public Schools was 7,000 students in 1996. That number is down to 5,491. Schools like Morningside had 658 students then and now have just 374. Conte had 540 and now has 367. Reid Middle School had 803 students compared to 552 today.

Adams Town Meeting to Decide Budget, Town Adminstrator Spending
Town meeting members will address a 25-article warrant at Monday's annual town meeting, including approval of a $14.7 million budget for fiscal 2019 along with a capital budget of $1 million.

Pittsfield Warns of Increased Tickborne Illnesses
The department has been ramping up a public education campaign to help inform people the best ways to protect themselves. The effort is in response to an increasing number of tick-borne illnesses being reported.

Bellevue Cemetery Vandal May Be Groundhog
A Huffington Post article from 2012 tells a similar story of when residents of Hudson, N.Y., were up in arms when flags were disappearing from one of their cemeteries. However, after setting up some surveillance gear, they found a groundhog was the thief.

Baseball Exhibit Brings Cultural, Historical Threads Together
The 10-week exhibit will have a grand opening on July 5 but there will be a soft opening on Sunday, Father's Day, for a sneak peek with a ribbon cutting at 2:30 p.m. On July 17, one of the Boston Red Sox World Series trophies will be on display.

North Adams Elks, Veterans Office Host Picnic for Veterans
But the attendees were also taking away more than just food and conversation. This first annual picnic was offering a "goodie bag" of wellness supplies and a gift certificate for each veteran who attended.

Teachers' Union to Mount Greylock: Honor Existing Contracts
Educators in the regional school district are asking the Transition Committee to honor existing contractual wage increase, which officials have decided not to honor as three separate contracts are merged into one. Mount Greylock Educators Association Vice President Marty Walter said the teacher's unions feel it is "unacceptable" not to honor those wages and accused school administrators of being unwilling to negotiate.

Strike Averted: Hospital, Nurses Union Reach Agreement
The nurses union and the hospital have tentatively settled on a contract, averting what would have been the second strike. Bargaining for three consecutive days and stretching late into the night, Berkshire Medical Center and the local Massachusetts Nurses Union chapter settled on a five-year deal. That agreement needs to be ratified by a vote of the full 800 members.

Mount Greylock Regional Restores April Break to School Calendar
The Transition Committee opted against the superintendent's recommendation to shorten the April vacation. Superintendent Kimberly Grady proposed a school calendar which replaced the vacation with two long weekends. Grady was worried that extra snow days could put the district in a position where it wouldn't have the required 185 days of school.

Ready Set Learn Renovating St. Martin's Church Into Preschool
Ready, Set, Learn is expanding after purchasing and renovating the former St. Martin's Episcopal Church on Dalton Avenue. Owner Melissa Fawcett is moving the business from a residential home on Virginia Avenue to the former church in time for next school year.

State No Longer Interested In Cheshire Dam
Town Administrator Mark Webber presented a letter from DER to the Selectmen on Tuesday that stated although DER is not opposed to working with the town in the future, the removal of the decommissioned dam on West Mountain Road is no longer a state priority.

Spitzer Center, Armory Work to Begin This Summer
The city is using Community Development Block Grant funding for fiscal 2017 to do the first phase of improvements at the senior center and the last phase, No. 12 to be exact, on the Armory on Ashland Street.

Colegrove Kindergarten Educator Named Kelley Teacher of the Year
The Kelley Award is given annually to the educator who most exemplifies the ideal teacher through dedication, teaching skills and understanding of children. Kelley was a longtime educator in the public schools, retiring as the principal of both the former Haskins and Johnson schools.

Donna Todd Rivers Hired as 'Berkshire Workforce Czar'
There are agencies, companies, and organizations throughout the county focused on workforce development. Each of them has their own set of offerings to job seekers and employers. Donna Todd Rivers is now eyed to become the person who knows them all and gets them all on the same page. Rivers has been hired as Berkshire County Regional Employment Board's Berkshire recruiter - or as state Sen. Adam Hinds has dubbed it, the "workforce czar." The position was created through state funding and is

Adams Secondary Reservoir Officially Out of Service
Earlier in the meeting, Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Romaniak went over a few reports of rat issues in town. He said they seem to be focused in the Howland Avenue and Commercial Street areas.

Cheshire Town Administrator Planning to Retire Next Year
The Selectmen plan to hire a part-time town administrator to replace Webber but increased the salary to attract a candidate who would work more than the one day that he does.

Lanesborough Sixth-Graders Have Plan For Berkshire Mall
The pair had sat down with Assessor Kelly Tolisano, who explained to them that the mall is valued at $19.5 million, resulting in a tax bill of $417,000 — a number that is significantly down from the mall's heyday and one that the current owner routinely falls behind on and then catches up at the last moment.

Adams Receives Paving Bids
The two bids opened on Thursday were: a base bid of $707,088.46 from J.H. Maxymillian and a base bid of $994,323.80 from Lane Construction.

Pittsfield OKs $159M Budget Appropriation; $10M In Capital Projects
The City Council is reviewing the mayor's proposed $167.6 million spending plan. The budget reflects a $2.8 million, or 1.8 percent, increase from the current year. The city's appropriation will be $159.9. The proposed operating budget is requested to be $148,465,621, which is $3.4 million more than last year, and the enterprise account budgets are eyed to be $11,531,024, which is a $154,529 increase. Those account for the $159,996,645 the City Council needs to appropriate.

Local Children and Family Organizations Honor 'Reunification Day'
Families are separated because of varied circumstances. In some cases, parents are struggling with addiction and aren't fit to care for their kids. With others, it is poverty or trouble with the law. It is never a good day for parents when a court issues an order for their children to be removed. But sometimes it is needed whether the parent recognizes it at the time or not, say officials.

North Adams Council OKs $41 Million Budget for Fiscal 2019
The bottom line was actually $827 lower than the figure initially provided to the council as a final number, reflecting two errors ($815 in public safety and $12 in FICA) that were caught by Councilor Marie T. Harpin's sharp eyes prior to Tuesday. (The budget will be posted to the city's website once the corrections are finalized.)

Public Official Removed from Contentious Lanesborough Town Meeting
The committee that governs the recently expanded PreK-12 school district needed to make an amendment on the floor of the meeting to bring the town budget in line with the assessment made to the town. Lanesborough's Finance Committee had reduced the assessment by $112,000 in the budget it sent to the meeting.

State Officials Launch Passenger Rail Expansion Efforts
Gov. Charlie Baker, surrounded by state and federal officials at Union Station, announced on Tuesday that the state Department of Transportation is soliciting requests for proposals for a consultant team to study the feasibility of east-west passenger rail service, the launch of a pilot for passenger rail service between Greenfield and Springfield, and one-seat service through Springfield to Hartford and New Haven, Conn.

North Adams Planners Approve Plans for Eagle Street Hotel
The vote to give Michael Gazal and Veso Buntic of Long Island, N.Y., operating as Eagle Street Holding LLC, a special permit for a change of use to convert the building into a contemporary 27-room hotel was unanimous, but it came with one contingency: that the hotel be responsible for preventing guests from double-parking while checking in.

Selectmen to Skyline: Events Are Getting Out of Control
The Selectmen has a message for the Skyline Country Club: the parties are starting to get out of hand. Skyline owner Jim Mitus has been leasing the clubhouse to a local event organizers Mad Crew three or four nights a year for the last few years. During each of the last three events, however, police had to respond to an array of issues. Town officials had somewhat of an intervention on Monday as they asked Mitus to keep a closer eye on those parties.

North Adams School Committee Approves FY2019 Budget
The School Committee on Monday approved a $17.7 million budget for fiscal 2019 that is up just under 2 percent from this year. The City Council is expected to approve the school budget Tuesday night as part of the city's overall spending plan for fiscal 2019.

 
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