|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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
North Adams Groups Holding Toy & Clothing Drive
The city's emergency responders are teaming up with the Northern Berkshire Family YMCA and North Adams Rotary to conduct a Holiday Toy and Clothing Drive this Thursday, Dec. 8, from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Walmart on Curran Highway.
Regional Planners Still Waiting On DLTA Funds To Be Released
BRPC Executive Director Nathaniel Karns wants to help move the Eagle Mill redevelopment along.
But, he isn't sure if he'll have the funds to do it. Last year, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission began the process of crafting a 40R zoning overlay district. It is a series of regulations aimed to encourage dense residential and mixed-use zoning districts.
Clarksburg Welcomes Reserve Officers, Hears From Ed Task Force
Kevin Stant and Samantha Haines were confirmed by the Select Board as reserve patrol officers for the rest of the 2017 fiscal year.
Chief Michael Williams introduced the officers, whom he said had completed the reserve intermittent officer training course. They also successfully passed the interview process and background check.
North Adams Indoor Sports Facility Marks Third Anniversary
The Cages at the Mill is entering its fourth year of providing indoor practice, training and instruction space for local athletes in the former Blackinton Mill building on Massachusetts Avenue.
To celebrate, the complex will hold an open house on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Attorney General Upholds Williamstown's Waubeeka ByLaw
The owner of Waubeeka Golf Links has been chomping at the bit to move forward with a proposal to diversify the property in an effort to preserve the 50-year-old enterprise.
After a six-month review of the Waubeeka Overlay District bylaw passed at May's annual town meeting, the Attorney General's Office on Thursday notified the town that the bylaw allowing development of a 120-room inn s approved.
Berkshire County Arc Holds Annual Meeting
Berkshire County Arc singled out a few of its 700 employees for awards at Friday morning's 62nd annual meeting.
Live Feed: Pittsfield Lights the Christmas Tree
Pittsfield holds its tree lighting at Park Square with hot cocoa and a visit from Santa Claus.
Williamstown's Chopsticks Restaurant Reopens
After a six-week closure to address building code issues, a Main Street Chinese restaurant has been cleared to reopen, Town Hall reported Friday morning.
Williamstown's Holiday Walk Returns Saturday
Carols, cookies and canines will help lift holiday spirits this weekend in the Village Beautiful.
The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce's annual Holiday Walk gets under way at 9 a.m. Saturday morning with the Run with the Reindeer 5-kilometer run and offers up a full day of family-friendly activities.
BRPC Urges Single Environmental Report to Move Scenic Rail Project Along
Because of all of the work done already to bring the Berkshire Scenic Railway to Hoosac Street in Adams, BRPC says only one environmental review is needed.
The Berkshire Scenic Railway is already operating on tracks between Renfrew Street and North Adams and the plans have been to continue that all the way to Hoosac Street, less than a mile away. But, the initial round of funding didn't support building out the new tracks to get there.
Sand Mill Road Bridge Repair Likely To Start In Spring
The Board of Selectmen squared away paperwork needed to go out to bid for the Sand Mill Road Bridge repair project and work is likely to start in the spring.
The board signed paperwork Tuesday that will be sent to the state Department of Transportation's Chapter 90 division to approve spending and the reimbursement for the project, estimated to cost between $150,000 and $250,000.
Lanesborough-Williamstown Schools Begin Search for Interim Superintendent
The Lanesborough-Williamstown Tri-District is moving ahead with a plan that officials hope will bring an interim superintendent to the district as early as Jan. 1.
Adams Woman Celebrates 100 Years
The community wished Rose Koscielniak, a true "Wonder Woman," a happy 100th birthday on Thursday.
Friends and family surrounded Koscielniak at a party held at the Council on Aging, which was decorated to the nines with balloons and Wonder Woman posters, to celebrate who they said was a real superhero.
Seven Years In, Cop on Top Continues To Grow
It's been seven years since the first Cop on Top set in motion a series of fundraisers, growing every year, that has raised more than $600,000 for Special Olympic athlete.
"We've made so much money in our county program that we help other programs in other counties," said Officer Darren Derby, who along with Investigator John Bassi, has been heading the local efforts for years.
Pittsfield Super Tracking Impacts of Federal Education Act
Superintendent Jason McCandless said he is watching closely what the federal replacement to No Child Left Behind will ultimately mean for the district.
Last year the federal government adopted Every Student Succeeds Act and it was signed into law on Dec. 10. The program replaces No Child Left Behind but it does retain some of those provisions. When it comes to the local level, the largest changes would be regarding the ranking system.
North Adams Housing Supports Louison House Plans
The authority agreed earlier this year to transfer the Church Street home to Louison House for $1 but the final closing has not taken place. In the meantime, the family shelter was forced to move into the building after a fire on June 26 damaged the Adams residential shelter.
McCann Pinning Ceremony Launches 15 on Nursing Career
It was very much a passing of the torch or really the lamp on Wednesday as most of the newly graduated licensed practical nurses were pinned by colleagues and friends, parents and siblings.
The ceremonies in the McCann gymnasium ended with bouquets, applause and bows as the graduates greeted their families.
Drury to Perform Manilow's 'Copacabana'
More than 65 students in the Drury arts wing will take their audience to where "music and passion were always the fashion" when they perform the musical based on Manilow's 1978 hit song this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Metered Parking Comes To Pittsfield In January
Metered parking downtown will start in the new year.
The city will be installing the new parking kiosks on North Street and in the First Street and McKay lots in December and the program will go live on Jan. 3.
Pittsfield Cleaning Up Financial Books Regarding Bonding
Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood is looking to clean up the books on some $69 million worth of City Council bond authorizations that were never spent.
Tuition Costs Highlight Meeting With Lanesborough School, Town Officials
Board of Selectmen Chairman John Goerlach said he is "thoroughly disgusted" that New Ashford is paying half the cost per pupil than Lanesborough is for the same education.
The town has a tuition agreement with New Ashford, which does not have an elementary school, to send their students to Lanesborough Elementary School. The tuition is set at $8,730, which is about half of the per-pupil spending of the entire school. Goerlach has been pushing for an increased tuition rate for years, calling f
Education Task Force Briefs Cheshire, ACRSD Officials
Town and school officials were told this week by members of the Berkshire Education Task Force that with a dipping population and shrinking resources, challenges facing Berkshire County schools are more likely to worsen than improve.
Ciccolo Adds Attorney With Experience Defending Terror Suspects
The Adams man facing federal terrorism charges has a new member of his legal team.
Northampton defense attorney David Hoose earlier informed the court that Ramzi Kassem, a professor at the City University of New York, has joined as co-counsel for Ciccolo, who was arrested on July 4, 2015, on a federal weapons charge.
Common Folk Host Play Examining Gun Violence
Common Folk will host the play "Venable 8: Three Lessons on Gun Violence" followed by a conversation in hopes to disarm the difficult discussion about gun violence in schools.
The local artist's collective production of the three-act play this week examines gun violence in the classroom, why it occurs and how it can be prevented.
North County Group Seeks 'Ambassadors' as Relocation Resource
Two Degrees of NoCo (North County) is a take off on 2 Degrees Portland, part of the city of Portland, Maine's efforts to grow its economy and culture. The idea is that tight-knit communities have less than "6 degrees of separation" and so become a well-connected resource for anyone considering relocating or moving a business there.
North Adams Housing Group Seeking Clarity on Asset Transfer
The HOI board, comprised of members the Housing Authority board of directors, had hoped to begin finalizing the transfer on Monday. But the news from its attorney, Elisabeth Goodman of Cain Hibbard & Myers was that the path was still not clear.
Authorization For Needle Exchange In Pittsfield Could Come Next Week
The decision whether or not to authorize the state to fund a needle exchange program in the city should come next week.
The Board of Health is the authority needed to authorize the program and is expected to take up the topic next Wednesday. Tapestry Health is looking to open one through funding from the state Department of Health to combat the spread of infectious diseases, similar to the one opening in North Adams in the coming months.
Pittsfield Licensing Board to Scale Back Proposed Fee Increases
The Madison isn't a big tourist attraction.
It's a place where neighbors gather, knock back a couple beers, and watch the game.
Owner William Molner doesn't want to raise his prices. He wants it to be affordable for the neighborhood he serves. Last week he got notice of how much the property taxes were increasing. In January, the minimum wage is going up meaning he'll pay more for his employees. His liability insurance is going up. There is general insurance. There is insurance on the
'Giving Tuesday' Urges Donations to Local Charities
Tuesday, Nov. 29, is "Giving Tuesday," and organizations and individuals throughout the community are encouraged to use the occasion to promote a cause or charity that is meaningful to them.
DeMarsico's Wine Cellar Pouring Fruitful Vintages
Owners Glen and Cheryl DeMarsico have been holding tastings about once a month at the Eagles Hall, which on Saturday coincided with the annual craft. The couple were set up at a table offering several of their wines, including a Cheshire pumpkin-and-spice limited holiday run. But one of their more popular libations a blueberry mead made with honey from the town of Florida and berries from Maine sold out in the first half hour.
Williamstown Housing Trust Looking into Rental Assistance Plan
The Affordable Housing Trust is working toward creation of a pilot program to help renters.
Two years ago, it launched a mortgage assistance program for first-time homebuyers that saw considerable initial interest. Since then, the trustees have heard about a need in the community for a program to help apartment dwellers move to and stay in town.
'Poultry Plunge' Raises Money for Special Olympics
Forty hearty souls got a jump on "Giving Tuesday" by jumping into Onota Lake Saturday in order to give to a good cause.
Law enforcement officers from throughout Berkshire County sponsored a "Poultry Plunge" to benefit Special Olympics Massachusetts.