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Michael Case, seen here at a veterans event two years ago, took over the DCR position on Feb. 1.

Governor Appoints Michael Case to DCR Regional Director Post

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The governor has tapped Michael Case to head the Western Regional office of the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Case took over the job on Feb. 1 and now oversees 39 parks from Mount Holyoke west, including Pittsfield State Forest, Mount Tom, and Mount Greylock. 
"I've been a Berkshires guy all my life. I'm an outdoors guy. I couldn't say no," Case said on Friday. 
The position is administrative and manages all of the state parks in the region. He oversees a team of district managers. The goal under Commissioner Leo Roy is to encourage usage of the state parks and "open up opportunities", whether it be hunting or hiking or other types of recreation. 
"Commissioner Roy is focused on getting people to use the parks," Case said. 
Case said one of his goals would be to increase the opportunities for camping by bringing more cabins and yurts to state parks. At October Mountain, there are three yurts that sell out quickly and Case said, "I would like to put some more in some of the other parks."
He added "we're putting a lot of money on the gravel roads" through parks, allowing residents to have better access.
Case spent 38 years in the military, retiring as a command sergeant major, and served four tours of duty. He said the governor's office picked him partially because of the leadership qualities he'd shown in the military. Beyond that, he also was an officer with the Pittsfield Police Department, seats on the Central Berkshire Regional School Committee and is a selectman in the town of Washington.
He also has been active in local veterans affairs and Republican politics, and is on the ballot this March 1 for Republican State Committee member.
The governor also appointed him on Monday as chairman the board of trustees at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke. There his focus will be first on finding a new superintendent after both the superintendent and the deputy resigned last year. 
"The rest is to provide oversight and leadership," Case said. 
The Soldiers Home is a fully accredited facility providing health care and full-time residential accommodations for veterans. It is state funded.
That unpaid position intrigued him because he wants to help serve veterans when they are at their most vulnerable. And being an avid outdoorsmen, Case said he leaves the DCR offices on South Street everyday with a smile on his face.
"I'm just really excited to fill them both," Case said.
Robert Mellace had been the DCR regional director until July 2015, when he retired. Since then the position has been filled on interim basis until Case's appointment. Case also replaces Steven Como as the chairman of the Soldiers Home. 

Tags: appointments,   DCR,   state officials,   veterans services,   

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A New Bousquet Ready for Winter Opening

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After receiving an extensive makeover, Ski Bousquet will open this winter with many new — and some old — features.

The most obvious renovation is the modern 15,000-square-foot lodge that greets visitors from Dan Fox Drive.  

A far cry from the original, more than 50-year-old facility, it features a gathering space, expanded dining options, a full bar, and plenty of outdoor seating. The building was designed by Allegrone Construction.

Skiers and snowboarders can still frequent their favorite trails such as Drifter, Russell, Parker, Main Street, and the intimidating Icicles if they dare.

The chairlifts will also maintain their original titles as the Blue Chair and Yellow Chair, which now seats three at a time.

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