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Officers Nicholas Lillie, Steven Wandrei, Nannette Reid and Elizabeth Zipp joined the force as full-time officers; Lillie. Reid and Wandrei graduated last Friday from the Police Academy.

North Adams Swears in Four New Police Officers

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Assistant City Clerk Melissa Kilbride swears in the new officers on Tuesday night.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city swore in four new police officers during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.
Officers Nicholas Lillie, Steven Wandrei, Nannette Reid and Elizabeth Zipp joined the force as full-time officers; Lillie. Reid and Wandrei graduated last Friday from the Police Academy.
Zipp was a full-time officer in her hometown of Hinsdale for five years. The Wahconah Regional High School graduate earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 2021 and master's degree in justice administration in 2022, both from Faulkner University. 
Zipp, who paid her way through the Police Academy, is a forensic interviewer for Berkshire County Kids' Place and part of the county's Domestic Violence Task Force. She is also an emergency medical technician and a task force officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 
Lillie lives in Hancock and graduated from McCann Technical School's machine technology program in 2018. He joined the Army National Guard and currently holds the rank of a specialist E4. He looks forward to being a police officer and is interested in becoming a drug recognition expert.
"I'm very proud that Officer Lillie brought home an award to the city of North Adams for being the most proficient member of the class for both the handgun and rifle fire," said the mayor.
Reid grew up in North Adams and Clarksburg, and studied criminal justice at Bay Path College. She moved on to jobs in customer service and finance, and ran a daycare for 11 years in her Adams home, but had always aspired to a law enforcement career
The mayor said she told a story of listening to the scanner with her father, the city's former Water Department chief Richard Boucher, and telling him that one day she wanted to be a police officer. 
"Well Officer Reid, today's your day," she said. 
Wandrei, of Adams, graduated from the McCann Tech's automotive program. He worked five years for Pete's Automotive and then moved down the road to Bedard Bros., where he's worked since 2008 as a master mechanic. 
 He is interested in working with domestic violence survivors as a police officer.
The officers were sworn in by Assistant City Clerk Melissa Kilbride and congratulated by interim Police Chief Mark Bailey and Lt. Anthony Beverly as family members watched from the audience. 
"I just want to especially thank the family, friends and everyone who's here tonight to support our officers and especially all of those who supported them through their 23-week journey," said the mayor. "It's not easy, not only for the officers but it's a big commitment from their families. And we appreciate your commitment to the city of North Adams."
She asked the new officers to "never betray your integrity, your character and the public trust. I ask that you always have the courage to hold yourselves and others accountable for their actions."
In other business:
The council heard from neighbors on Walnut Street about the safety issues related to the partial road collapse and from representatives of the Higher Education Coalition about legislation on higher education funding. (These will be covered separately.)
The council confirmed the appointments of John Treski to the Commission on Disabilities, filling the unexpired term of Carrie Crews expiring Dec. 1, 2025, and Michael Meaney to the Parks & Recreation Commission for a term expiring April 1, 2029, and the reappointment of Annette M. Guerino to the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission for a term expiring April 1, 2027.
The mayor read a proclamation in support of Transgender Visibility Day on March 31.
The council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the paint stewardship legislation. Thomas Irwin, a member of the Dalton Green Committee, has advocated for the program throughout the Berkshires. President Bryan Sapienza thanked Irwin for his efforts and said he believed North Adams is the 40th community to signal support. 

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North Adams to Begin Study of Veterans Memorial Bridge Alternatives

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Mayor Jennifer Macksey says the requests for qualifications for the planning grant should be available this month. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Connecting the city's massive museum and its struggling downtown has been a challenge for 25 years. 
A major impediment, all agree, is the decades old Central Artery project that sent a four-lane highway through the heart of the city. 
Backed by a $750,000 federal grant for a planning study, North Adams and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art are looking to undo some of that damage.
"As you know, the overpass was built in 1959 during a time when highways were being built, and it was expanded to accommodate more cars, which had little regard to the impacts of the people and the neighborhoods that it surrounded," said Mayor Jennifer Macksey on Friday. "It was named again and again over the last 30 years by Mass MoCA in their master plan and in the city in their vision 2030 plan ... as a barrier to connectivity."
The Reconnecting Communities grant was awarded a year ago and Macksey said a request for qualifications for will be available April 24.
She was joined in celebrating the grant at the Berkshire Innovation Center's office at Mass MoCA by museum Director Kristy Edmunds, state Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, District 1 Director Francesca Hemming and Joi Singh, Massachusetts administrator for the Federal Highway Administration.
The speakers also thanked the efforts of the state's U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, U.S. Rep. Richie Neal, Gov. Maura Healey and state Sen Paul Mark and state Rep. John Barrett III, both of whom were in attendance. 
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