Lee Schools Seek Info on Water Bead Shooting

Staff ReportsiBerkshires
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LEE, Mass. — School officials say members of the Lee High cross-country team were targeted by someone with an airsoft gun on Monday. And they're asking for help in identifying the culprit. 
"This afternoon a very upsetting incident occurred," Superintendent Gregg Brighenti wrote in an email to parents late Monday night. "As the members of our cross country team were running down East Street, a dark SUV drove past them and targeted the group with an airsoft gun (or something similar)."
He said six students and a coach were hit. 
"Fortunately, none of the injuries were serious ... but it could have been much worse," he wrote.
The incident has been reported to the Lee Police Department but Brighenti said he's also asking the community for help because "in a small town, information often spreads by word of mouth."
Brighenti said it's possible the incident is related to an old TikTok challenge, called the "Orbeez Challenge," in which people are shot with the water beads. 
"I ask all members of our community to call the school if you hear any information that may be related to this incident," the superintendent wrote. 

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Thousands Flock to Designer Showcase Fundraiser at Cassilis Farm

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — More than a thousand visitors toured the decked-out halls of Cassilis Farm last month in support of the affordable housing development.

Construct Inc. held its first Designer Showcase exhibition in the Gilded Age estate throughout June, showcasing over a dozen creatives' work through temporary room transformations themed to "Nature in the Berkshires."  The event supported the nonprofit's effort to convert the property into 11 affordable housing units.

"Part of our real interest in doing this is it really gives folks a chance to have a different picture of what affordable housing can be," Construct's Executive Director Jane Ralph said.

"The stereotypes we all have in our minds are not what it ever really is and this is clearly something very different so it's a great opportunity to restore a house that means so much to so many in this community, and many of those folks have come, for another purpose that's really somewhat in line with some of the things it's been used for in the past."

"It can be done, and done well," Project Manager Nichole Dupont commented.  She was repeatedly told that this was the highlight of the Berkshire summer and said that involved so many people from so many different sectors.

"The designers were exceptional to work with. They fully embraced the theme "Nature in the Berkshires" and brought their creative vision and so much hard work to the showhouse. As the rooms began to take shape in early April, I was floored by the detail, research, and vendor engagement that each brought to the table. The same can be said for the landscape artists and the local artists who displayed their work in the gallery space," she reported.  

"Everyone's feedback throughout the process was invaluable, and they shared resources and elbow grease to put it together beautifully."

More than 100 volunteers helped the showcase come to fruition, and "the whole while, through the cold weather, the seemingly endless pivots, they never lost sight of what the showhouse was about and that Cassilis Farm would eventually be home to Berkshire workers and families."

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