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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Grazie, Mingo's Take Top Honors in Chowder Cook-off
12:39PM / Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The winners are

Hundreds of hungry WinterFest fans swarmed downtown to try samples of the nine fierce competitors at this year's annual Chowder Cook-off (find more photos here). Hundreds of ballots were cast for "People's Choice" favorites and write-ins for the "Only in North Adams" most unique chowder award. Voters were asked to rank their top three favorite, though many just picked one. Competitors were awarded three points for every first-place mark, two points for each second-place mark, and one point for every third-place mark.

In first place with 467 points was Grazie; a close second, Boston Seafood Restaurant snapped up second place with 460 points; and

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North Adams First-Graders Send Textbooks to Kenya
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Brayton Elementary School first-graders pose with the books they sent to students in Kenya.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It takes a village to get a load of books from North Adams to an African village.

Brayton Elementary School first-grade teachers Elizabeth Patenaude and Jacqueline Thomas recently spearheaded an effort to send 60 reading textbooks to Chesegem Primary School in Eldoret South, Kenya. They were assisted by Leon Aalberts, a retired teach and minister from Williamstown, as well as Williams College student and Kenyan native Felix Biwott, and two classes of eager first-grade students who not only got to learn about geography but also about the joy of giving back.

The project

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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,

Williamstown Youth Center Thanks Bedard Bros.
by Billsville 02:13PM / Friday, June 22, 2012
Bedard Brothers Chevrolet, through the Chevrolet Youth Soccer Program, has helped sponsor the Williamstown Youth Center's Soccer Program for the 2012 season. In addition to soccer equipment, this
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New 'Boutique Bridal Show' Offers Couples Quieter, Personal Meetings With Vendors
10:55AM / Monday, February 19, 2018

With Valentine's Day having passed and the "engagement season" now officially over, future newlyweds are wondering what's next: "Where will our venue be? Who will cater? Is this vendor reliable?" In a time that should be filled with excitement, the wedding planning process can quickly become a hodgepodge of questions and stress.

Sure, you can ask married friends for advice, but what if you both have different definitions of "good"? Yes, you can read Internet reviews for hours, but who is to say they are completely legitimate? Ultimately, nothing beats meeting with a vendor face-to-face, but it can be tricky to find the time to meet with 10 different

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Williams Men's Basketball Advances in League Tourney
07:12PM / Saturday, February 17, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- James Heskett scored 25 points Saturday to lead the Williams College men’s basketball team to a 73-71 win over Trinity in the quarter-finals of the NESCAC Championships.   Bobby Casey scored 18 and grabbed a team-high six rebounds, and the Ephs (20-5) held the Bantams to 44 percent shooting from the field.   Williams travels to Amherst on Saturday to play Hamilton in the conference semi-finals.   Men’s Hockey WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Daniel Woofenden and Max Fuld each scored twice to lead Williams to a 6-5 win over Amherst.   The Ephs (13-10, 9-8) led, 6-1 after two periods and held off an Amherst comeback in the third to secure their

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@theMarket: Markets Have Best Week in Five Years
By Bill Schmick,
05:12PM / Friday, February 16, 2018
Stocks have had what is called a "V" shaped recovery this week. The indexes climbed every day at least one percent or more. Will it continue or ...   It wouldn't surprise me if stocks took a breather about now. A bout of profit-taking after the stupendous come-back we have had would be entirely reasonable. If the S&P 500 Index, for example, fell back 2-3 percent over the next week or so that would be healthy.   Remember, we are still in that period of the markets where investors are driven by the fear of missing out. As interest rates continue to climb and bond investors experience losses, the natural thing would be to sell bonds and buy equities.    In

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New General Manager Appointed at Orchards Hotel
12:56PM / Friday, February 16, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Janell LaFleche has been promoted to general manager of Orchards Hotel.

LaFleche was welcomed to Hay Creek Hotels as the director of sales for Orchards Hotel in 2013. After increasing revenue during her three-year tenure in that position, she was promoted to assistant general manager, while maintaining her role in sales.

"Not only did Janell successfully balance both positions, she demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and an unabashed passion for the hotel. It is my pleasure to present this next chapter in her progressing career," said George Soderberg, vice president of operations for Hay Creek Hotels.

Originally from Cheshire, Mass.,

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Snowfall Predictions: Saturday Night Snow
11:27AM / Friday, February 16, 2018
 

Ha, ha. You thought spring was here as you shed the heavy winter coats this past week!

But alas, a winter storm is moving into the Northeast on Saturday night, bringing with the potential of 3 to 6 inches of snow in Berkshire County, according to AccuWeather, which is putting the probability of snow at around 50 percent.

The Weather Channel says most of Berkshire County will 1 and 3 inches falling in the overnight hours of Saturday into Sunday.

Our friends at WTEN say the further south and east you go, the more snow you will encounter, with the most snow falling from New York City into Southern New England. Their maps put most of Berkshire County in the 1- to 3-inch

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Williamstown Zoning Board Demands Verizon Go to Conservation Commission
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Friday, February 16, 2018

A big crowd -- mostly in opposition to Verizon's request -- attends Thursday's Zoning Board of Appeals hearing.   WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday decided it really, really wants the Conservation Commission to hear a request from Verizon Wireless to site a cell tower in Margaret Lindley Park, even if that request is ultimately doomed to fail.   After 90 minutes of testimony in a public hearing continued from December, the ZBA voted unanimously to require the petitioner to make a formal request to the Con Comm, which has jurisdiction over the park, located across the Taconic Trail (Route 2) from site where Verizon seeks special

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BRPC to Choose New Executive Director Next Week
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Friday, February 16, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC will pick its new executive director next week.   A search committee conducted its interviews for the three finalists for the position on Thursday and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will pick Nathaniel Karns' successor next week. Karns is retiring from the job after 23 years. He was just the second executive director since the commission was formed in 1967.   The finalists seeking the position are Thomas Matuszko, Sean Maguire, and Sungman Kim. The final interview was recorded and will be transcribed for the commissioners to review before casting the final vote.   Matuszko is currently the assistant executive director. He's been

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BART Boys Basketball Rallies, Falls Short in League Title Game
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
06:51PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- You know a program has arrived when moral victories just don’t cut it.   In that sense, the BART basketball team has arrived.   Moments after losing its league championship game on a late 3-pointer after rallying from 11 points down midway through the third quarter, the Wolf Pack players were quiet, dejected and, perhaps at some level, thinking about how they can change the script next season.   Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School knocked down a triple with 6.2 seconds on the clock to take a 39-38 win over a young but resilient BART squad and claim the B Division of the River Valley Athletic League.   “It's amazing what

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The Independent Investor: Time to Hedge Your Bets?
By Bill Schmick,
03:41PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018
Over the last few weeks, the threat of rising inflation has triggered a great deal of concern among investors. Given that inflation has been at a low level for a number of years, their concern may be justified.   Many market pundits were surprised by the wage data in the non-farm payroll report for December, which was released two weeks ago, Friday. In that report, wages jumped far more than most expected coming in at a 2.9 percent annualized growth rate.   Given that our central bank monitors wages as one of their key indicators to gauge future inflation, that number sent the bond and stock markets into a tizzy. Again this week, investors received another inflationary surprise

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'Peter Rabbit': Hop to It!
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:25PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018
The kids whooped and hollered in gleeful approval of director Will Gluck's adaptation of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit." This even included the 10-to-12 contingent, usually too sophisticated to admit endorsement of an entertainment that might indict them of liking "baby stuff." And while the littler ones among the audience of fully engaged firstnighters whose space I recently invaded brought fingernails to lips whenever the title character risked cottontail and whiskers for ill-gotten vegetation, they, too, were otherwise charmed.      I was heartened by several insights, not the least of which was the erudition evinced by these young moviegoers

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