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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Lanesborough Digs Into Police, Fire, Highway Budgets
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:50PM / Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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The Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee met with department heads for more than three hours Tuesday night to discuss the budget.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town department heads of four of the most expensive budget sectors justified their proposed increases Monday night.

Police, Fire, Highway and Mount Greylock Regional High School officials met with the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee. The goal is to get a handle on those high-cost sectors as the fiscal 2015 budget is crafted.

Police and highways are both proposing about a $10,000 increase while the Fire Department is looking for modest $900. Those numbers do not include salary raises because negotiations

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Forum, Resource Fair to Focus on Hospital Closure
04:42PM / Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Community and service groups will come together on Friday to find ways to help those left jobless and without medical services with the closing of North Adams Regional Hospital.

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's monthly meeting in the morning will focus on how local professionals can support the community; in the afternoon, a community resource fair will be sponsored by  Northern Berkshire United Way and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

The NBCC forum will discuss the loss of health care services and the supports needed to help the community adapt to the changing environment. The forum begins at 10 a.m. with the usual round of

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my Resume
by domo2012 03:29PM / Thursday, March 20, 2014
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Feeding the hungry
by buddy 04:12PM / Friday, February 21, 2014

Williamstown Community Preschool Installs New Signage
by Billsville 02:46PM / Tuesday, February 26, 2013


WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Community Preschool began sprucing up its new home by hiring local sign maker Lindsay Neathawk,

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Capeless: Heroin Creating 'Public Health Crisis'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56PM / Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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District Attorney David Capeless called a press conference Tuesday to both shed light on the situation but also show what resources are out there.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In just the first few months of 2014, five Berkshire residents have died from suspected heroin overdoses.

District Attorney David Capeless on Tuesday called a press conference to shed light on what he calls a "crisis" situation in the region.

"We are experiencing a public health crisis, nationally, in the commonwealth and here in Berkshire County. It's heroin addiction caused by overreliance on prescription medication to treat pain," Capeless said.

"Last year, in 2013, we saw a major

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Leave Your Job, Leave Your Retirement Plan?
By Wells Fargo Advisors, Submitted Content
01:40PM / Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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When you leave a job – whether due to layoff or for any reason – you are often faced with a decision about your 401(k) or other retirement plans. Over time, you may be in the same position as many other employees who have accumulated substantial balances in these employer plans that are designed for tax-advantaged retirement savings.

If so, you may find yourself having to make a decision about whether to keep your 401(k) funds with your former employer, roll them over to an IRA, or pay the taxes and cash out.

For this reason, it is important that you understand the implications of each option.

Some employers offer the opportunity to maintain your retirement account at your

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MCLA Theater Students Produce 'Angels in America'
MCLA Submission,
10:14AM / Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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Senior theater students Joshua Lapierre, left, and Erik Dabrowski rehearse the MCLA production of 'Angels in America.'

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Fine and Performing Arts department presents Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Angels in America."

The show debuts in Venable Theater on April 15-17 at 8 p.m., and continues on April 23-26, also at 8, with an 11:30 a.m. symposium prior to the matinee at 2 on April 26.

"Angels in America" is organized and performed by the Theatre Lab class and directed by assistant professor Laura Standley. She, along with her cast, who also serve as the technical crew and

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Mount Greylock Alum Jaffe Returns to Perform Benefit Concert
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:03AM / Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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Ben Jaffe, seen here with bandmate Suzanne Santo, is a 2003 graduate of Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, where he is returning to play a benefit concert on April 11. (Courtesy photo)

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — They are words that many can relate to.

"I miss my friends, my old school friends/The ones that I've known all my life."

Ben Jaffe, a 2003 graduate of Mount Greylock Regional High School, sings those lyrics in "Old School Friends" with his band honeyhoney.

This Friday, April 11, life might imitate art when Jaffe returns to his alma mater to perform a concert that he hopes will bring the community together to support the Mount Greylock

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Bankruptcy Court Makes Emergency Services A Priority
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:07PM / Monday, April 07, 2014
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Members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association rally outside the federal courthouse in Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge agreed on Monday that reopening emergency services in North Berkshire was a priority.

There is a question, however, on where those services could be provided.

Judge Henry J. Boroff, presiding over the Chapter 7 liquidation filing of Northern Berkshire Healthcare, went so far as to wonder if he shouldn't put in an extra layer of authority to uphold the state's previous order for Berkshire Medical Center to operate the Emergency Department.

"The first priority is to get emergency services up at this point," he

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Ta Bellas Italian Restaurant Opens in North Adams
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:02PM / Monday, April 07, 2014
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'Chef Alex' and owner Farhi Karakaya are reopening MediTerra in North Adams as an Italian restaurant.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — New restaurant Ta Bellas is bringing Italian cuisine back to North Adams.

Owner Fahri Karakaya has reopened Mediterra on Main Street as an Italian restaurant, which the city has not had since the closing of Red Sauce two years ago and Isabella's a year or so before that.

"This area in Northern Berkshire needs an Italian restaurant," Karakaya said. "The menu is purely Italian, and the name is Ta Bellas, 'the beautiful tables.'"

Karakaya explained that he made the switch to Italian because his newly hired chef specializes

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New North Adams Library Director Settling In
By Phyllis McGuire, Special to iBerkshires
03:41AM / Monday, April 07, 2014
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Mindy Hackner is settling in as the North Adams library's new director.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The historic North Adams Public Library has a new director.

But she's not new to North Berkshire.

Mindy Hackner worked at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library in Williamstown for nearly 18 years, starting at the circulation desk and then becoming webmaster and children's librarian.

It was a "bittersweet experience" when she resigned in 2013 to take over as director of the Dalton Public Library.

"The opportunity to come back to North County to a larger system drove my decision to leave Dalton," Hackner said recently in her new office in North

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Green Rainbow Party Places 3 Candidates on Statewide Ballot
By Andy McKeever,
10:11AM / Sunday, April 06, 2014
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Both Daniel Factor and Ian Jackson gave stump speeches at the meet and greet event.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Green Rainbow party is putting three candidates on the statewide ballot.

Last week, two of the three rallied party members at the Rainbow Restaurant, just a few weeks prior to when the campaign officially kicks off.

Attorney Daniel Factor of Acton is seeking election as the secretary of the commonwealth. Factor says he is running to spread ideas currently unheard under the current, mostly Democratic, government.

"We're at a point right now in Massachusetts where basically there is only one party running the show. But when we have conversations with people all over

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