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Cheshire & Adams Looking to Keep Tractor-Trailers Off Country Road

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The towns of Cheshire and Adams are looking to solve a tractor-trailer truck issue on Fred Mason and West roads.
Interim Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV told the Selectmen on Tuesday that he has been in contact with Adams officials who want to work toward a solution that would keep large trucks off the shared country road.
"We will put our heads together and figure it out," St. John said. "It is nothing that has to be decided today."
St. John said trucks heading north on Route 8 to Speciality Minerals in Adams often turn onto Fred Mason Road, which becomes West Road in Adams, then turn onto Notch Road that ends near the top of the Specialty Minerals pit. The route avoids going through downtown Adams. 
"They have been receiving complaints," St. John said. "Basically trucks are going on Notch Road and it's a dead end basically ... they just want to limit it."
He said Cheshire has similar issues with Richmond Hill and Stewart White roads because truck drivers follow their GPS systems up these roads and find them impassible. 
St. John said the first solution is to implement signage. 
"We can put up two signs: one restricting tractor-trailer traffic and one sign pointing them in the direction of Route 8," he said.
Selectman Robert Ciskowski noted that any signage would have to include a traffic study prior to installation.
"This would be a long haul," he said.
Highway Superintendent Blair Crane said signs don't work, in his experience.
"They don't work that well so you better have a Plan B," he said. "Lanesborough Road isn't supposed to have that kind of traffic either and an 18-wheeler flew by me today. A sign won't solve the problem."
He added that if Adams Police are not willing to enforce the tractor-trailer restriction, the installation of a sign would be a waste of time.
St. John and Crane agreed to work on a solution for the next meeting.
In other business, St. John said state Department of Transportation recently inspected bridges on West Mountain Road, East Main Street and Church Street.
"They received mostly satisfactory remarks," he said. "One thing they brought up was the potholes, which was just the given time they inspected them so there wasn't really anything there."

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MCAS Results Mixed for Hoosac Valley Regional School District

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Standardized test results were a mixed bag for the Hoosac Valley Regional School and although there was some progress, the district was penalized because of incomplete data.
Superintendent Aaron Dean went over the 2019 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System results at Monday's School Committee meeting and noted although the district is classified as "requiring assistance or intervention," this label is not truly accurate of the district's scores and progress.
"I don't see a problem because this is something we are going to stay on top of and I want to make sure we are constantly checking it throughout the year," Dean said. "It is unfortunate that we suffered a little bit in this but all in all the data here is not scary and I think ... we will be able to address these challenges."
Dean said the reason for this classification was the district being "in need of focused/ targeted support" and "failure to meet mandatory data reporting deadlines," which was simply a result of incomplete data that ultimately hurt the district. 
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