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Superintendent Candidate Geryk Says Prepared to Move ACRSD Forward
The School Committee on Wednesday interviewed the second of four superintendent candidates: Maria Geryk, former superintendent of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools.

Former Berkshire Place to Transform Back to Independent Senior Living
After opening a brand-new $10 million building on South Street, Berkshire Place is now planning to renovate and transform its former home back into independent living. Berkshire Retirement Home has owned the building at 89 South Street since 1888 when it opened as senior housing as Berkshire County Home for Aged Women. The name was changed in 1960 to Berkshire Place and the operations shifted to skilled nursing and rehabilitation, long-term care, and residential care.

Superintendent Candidate Vosburgh Says Adams-Cheshire 'Perfect Fit'
The School Committee is searching for a replacement for Superintendent Robert Putnam, who is retiring at the end of the school year. At the same time, it is in talks with North Adams about possibly sharing a top administrator.

PEDA Working Through Minutiae to Get BIC Up and Running
PEDA approved a series of agreements on Wednesday, which is hoped to tie up the legal documentation required for the Berkshire Innovation Center. The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority has long had a ground lease in place for the Berkshire Innovation Center. But, as the project has evolved, the roles of various parties had altered - thus the required paperwork changes were needed to align.

Incumbent, Newcomer Vying for Selectman in Cheshire
The two candidates vying for the three-year seat on the Board of Selectmen this year are offering voters a choice between experience or a fresh perspective.

Touch a Truck Draws Curious Kids
The event allowed children to explore big trucks as well as learn about community helpers such as a police car, fire truck and ambulance. There were also buses, tractors, tow trucks and more.

Current Sonsini Staff Looks To Move Past Recent Drama
It's been a distressing few months at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter because of court cases, contracts, and battles over leadership. But, every morning staff continues to open those doors, feed the dogs and cats, give them medicine, and try to find homes for the stays and surrenders.

Adams Finance Committee Completes Review of Fiscal 2019 Budget
A vote to approve the town administrator's personal services budget failed with a 1-9 vote because a majority of the committee felt the $95,000 salary cap for the town administrator's salary was out of line.

Pittsfield Board Concerned Proposed Assisted Living Expansion; Praises St. Mary's Plans
Side by Side is looking to expand its assisted living facility to the east by knocking down a neighboring four-family dwelling on West Union Street. But, the Community Development Board is concerned that there will be an additional 20 living units with only six parking spaces. The board fears that there are too few parking spots available in the residential neighborhood.

Action Plan Developed to Make Berkshires Age Friendly
The trends are very clear. In just 12 years, around 60 percent of the Berkshire's population will be older than 50 year's old. "Our population in 2010 was 18.5 percent persons over the age 65. And then by 2020, that percentage of older adults is expected to increase to 24 percent," Margaret McDonough, a senior planner with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, said.

Hoosac Valley Middle School Students Explore STEM
Organizer Laura Scholz said now that Grades 4 and 5 are at Hoosac Valley, the hands-on STEM program that was once held at CT Plunkett School could be expanded to Grade 7 and add new programming.

Marijuana Company Sees North Adams Ripe for Growth
Operating as Valley Green Grow Inc., the company has filed with the state to operate a dispensary and a cultivation location. The dispensary would be located at 1499 South State St., a small brick house that's found itself surrounded by commercial properties, with Cumberland Farms to its north and Hardman Industrial Park to the south.

State Representative Mark Preps For State Budget Debate
State Rep. Paul Mark is looking to create a Berkshire County opioid task force in the budget. Mark has filed an amendment for $250,000 to start the task force with the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Coalition, and a number of other organizations tackling the issue.

North Berkshire Coalition Forum Tackles Economic Development
Butler said that while there is a lot of "growth potential" in those sectors, people are always asking him about specific jobs that are available. On that front, the news is both good - and bad.

Q&A: Superintendent Interviews Offer Window into Administrators’ Thinking
Below are excerpts from the hour-long interviews of each candidate, during which the committee asked a series of predetermined questions with an opportunity for committee members to ask follow-up questions.

Central Berkshire Habitat Teams With Lowe's For Women Build
More than 18,000 women construction volunteers unite nationwide to build up their communities with Habitat homeowners.

Agreement Reached Between Pittsfield Schools, PCTV For WTBR
The School Department is signing off on WTBR in June. But, Pittsfield Community Television will be signing on in the fall. The School Committee approved an agreement Thursday which gives management of the Brave FM to PCTV. The organization will be transforming the station into a hybrid model of a community and educational medium and bolstering the station's offerings.

Williamstown Con Comm Rejects Using Park Land for Cell Tower
And that one unambiguous objection to the idea was all it took to send Verizon Wireless back to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which this winter suggested that the applicant explore the notion of siting their monopole tower on town-owned land.   1 Comment

Legislature Looking at $200M in Chapter 90 Funds; $7.2M for Berkshires
Some $200 million in Chapter 90 road funds have been approved in both houses of the Legislature for fiscal 2019, with some $7.3 million headed for Berkshire County.

Adams to Move Forward With Bellevue Garage Project
EDM Architecture engineer Jeromy Richardson and architect Tim Widman and interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan met with the commission on Tuesday to go over revamped plans that have brought the project under the $105,000 budget.

Williamstown's Art Runs Boston to Benefit Disabled Runners Group
Art will toe the line in Hopkinton this Monday morning for his 16th Boston Marathon. But one of his most memorable experiences in a 26.2-mile event came a couple of hours to south, at the 2013 New York City Marathon.

Mount Greylock Building Committee Grapples With Technology Issue
Richard Cohen pushed back hard against a decision not to purchase classroom whiteboards that are compatible with the touchscreen capability in the projectors the district has purchased — challenging both the decision itself and the process by which it was made.

Adams Selectmen Opt for Higher Administrator Salary Range
The 3-1 vote on Wednesday was prompted by a request by one member of the Finance Committee to deflate the town administrator's salary line item from $95,000 to $80,000 because the member feared the capped salary would only limit the hiring process.

Youth Conference Inspires Teens To Become 'Tools of Change'
Zoe Hypolite watched as Hurricane Maria devastated her home country of Dominica. She knew something had to be done to help. She started fundraising.

Pittsfield Council Debates Police Oversight, or Advisory, Committee
The City Council agrees with having a citizen's committee to peer into the Police Department. But, it is more a matter of whose terms. That's how City Council President phrased it in the final hours of Tuesday night, as the City Council spent a lengthy amount of time on a petition from resident Craig Gaetani to establish a police oversight committee. The councilors hadn't really disagreed with the principles of such a committee, but rather, whether it should be a new committee created under t

Williamstown Historical Commission Orders Delay on Hoxsey Street Demolition
Williams College was before the commission with a request to raze the 19th-century Victorian home at 42 Hoxsey St. best known locally as the longtime home of Dagmar Burbriski.   1 Comment

North Adams Finance Begins Review of $44M Budget for Fiscal 2019
The committee will look through the draft budget over four meetings, the first of which was held on Wednesday night in City Council chambers. That session looked at general government, revenues, unclassified, debt and capital costs.

Cheshire Looks at Green Community Designation
The board has been toying with becoming a state-designated Green Community for some time now but has been hesitant to go all in because of some requirements.

Applications Open for North Adams Arts Enterprise Challenge
The goal of the challenge is to attract and develop new arts enterprises to join the Northern Berkshire cultural economy. The successful applicants will show that they can leverage existing cultural assets in the region and have the potential to attract investment.

North Adams Council Sets Clerk Committee, OKs Fund Transfers
An ad hoc committee appointed by City Council President Keith Bona will be reviewing operations at the city clerk's office because of the coming retirement of City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau.

Pittsfield Schools Shift Bus Payment Back to City, Reduces Budget
The final payment for the school bus fleet is moving to the city's side of the budget. At the public hearing on the School Department's proposed budget Wednesday, Superintendent Jason McCandless said the $558,469 payment is being pulled from the budget request.

North Adams Library Trustees Reject Idea of Reducing Hours
Staffing at the library has been an issue for some time now and five full-time employees must cover the 46 hours a week the library is open. Hackner said there are often gaps when employees take time off that cannot be filled with part-time employees and volunteers.

BRTA Consider Fare Increases, Service Reductions
The BRTA is prepping for increasing fares and reducing service. Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Administrator Robert Malnati said the state's funding for the organization is flat in the governor's budget.

George Lucas Buys Rockwell's 'Shuffleton's Barbershop'
Don Bacigalupi, director of the nonprofit museum, founded by George Lucas, told the The New York Times on Tuesday that the Norman Rockwell painting will be "one of the anchor works of our museum."

Williamstown Planning Board Pulls All Proposed Bylaw Amendments
In a series of unanimous votes spread over a 2 1/2-hour public hearing Tuesday, the Planning Board decided to pull all three of the zoning bylaw amendments it had planned to bring before next month's town meeting.

Pittsfield Police Dog to Receive Protective Vest
Jango's vest is sponsored by fundraiser hosted by Heather McKibben of HeatherFest in Norton, Mass., and will be embroidered with the sentiment "Donated by HeatherFest in memory of Bill McKibben." Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.

Pittsfield Finalizes Local Marijuana Ordinance
When Christopher Swindlehurst and Crispina Ffrench first saw the former Notre Dame Church on Melville Street, they loved it. That was back in 2012. They turned it into a maker's space. It has a commercial kitchen. It is a screen shop. It has a sewing lab. And artisans and small businesses used it to make their goods. But Swindlehurst said the couple doesn't have the resources it needs to provide the upkeep it needs.

Request for Proposals For Cheshire School Released
Town Administrator Mark Webber told the Selectmen on Tuesday that the RFP for the now-closed school will be posted and applications will be due May 1.

Dozen Pittsfield Projects Vie For Community Preservation Funds
A total of $823,026 was requested of the Community Preservation Act funds. But, the committee will only able to fund less than half of that. The committee will have somewhere between $370,000 and $390,000 for recreation and historic preservation projects.

Q&A: Former FBI Agent Clint Watts on Social Media Manipulation
NBC News contributor and former FBI agent Clint Watts spoke at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' spring public policy lecture last week about the attacks and implications from the Russian propaganda campaign.

Williams College Donates $400K Toward Town's New Police Station
With a nod to the town's construction team, Town Manager Jason Hoch laid out a timeline that has shovels in the ground as early as June 4 and the new police station ready for occupancy in summer 2019.

Pittsfield's Carnevale To Lead Governor's W. Mass Office
MEMA's Regional Manager Patrick Carnevale will lead the governor's western Massachusetts office. Gov. Charlie Baker appointed Carnevali to run the Springfield office. There Carnevale will act as a liaison between the communities in western Massachusetts and the executive branch.

North Adams, Adams-Cheshire Creating Panel to Study Shared Superintendency
North Adams and Adams-Cheshire Regional school committees have agreed to create a subcommittee to gather some solid data on the benefits and challenges of sharing a school superintendent. Described as a "unique opportunity" by Adams-Cheshire Chairman Paul Butler, the proposal also has numerous unknowns.

Challenger Amatul-Wadud Dismisses Neal's Seniority Argument
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud doesn't put too much stock in U.S. Rep. Richard Neal's seniority. The talk around the sitting Congressman Neal is that if the House of Representatives turns in favor of the Democrats, then he'd be elected the chair the Ways and Means Committee. The Springfield Democrat Neal is currently the ranking member on that committee.

North Adams Ordinance Will Allow Alcohol Production at Greylock Works
Owners of the former textile mill, Karla Rothstein and Salvatore Perry, are in the midst of renovating the property. What is slated to be a $15 million project will include events, food production, restaurants, bar, and a hotel and 23 high-end condominiums.

Williamstown Planning Board Moves Tuesday Hearing to Elementary School
Since it already had a hearing posted for 7 p.m. at Town Hall, the body will meet there first and plans to immediately recess with the intention of reconvening across town in the larger space half an hour later.

North Adams Model Railroad Museum Signs Construction Team
Officials with the model railroad museum planned for Western Gateway Heritage State Park have signed agreements with Skanska USA and the Gilbane Building Co. to construct the 83,000 square foot building.

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Mount Greylock to Retain Counsel on Building Scheduling Issue
At issue currently is a change in the phasing of the project, which originally planned to have classes move into the new three-story academic wing during this month's vacation week.

North Adams Committee Mulling Plastic-Bag Ban
The ban proposal had been raised by Committee Chairman Eric Buddington, who said he had been looking into ban put in place by other communities. About 69 or 70 municipalities in Massachusetts have prohibitions on the plastic bags, with some including polystyrene containers.

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