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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Fund for Williamstown Deadline is March 15
12:06PM / Monday, March 09, 2015

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — March 15 is the deadline to submit a letter of intent for 2015 applications for the Fund for Williamstown.

The fund invites letters that describe innovative projects and services that benefit residents of Williamstown and help create a vibrant community responsive to diverse needs and voices.

Individuals, nonprofit organizations, community organizations and public agencies may send a one-page letter briefly outlining the project to grants@berkshiretaconic.org, and will be notified by March 20 as to whether or not the advisory committee has selected their project to submit a full application. If selected, full grant applications will be due by April 1.

For

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Mount Greylock Presents Budget to Williamstown Fin Comm
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:45AM / Monday, March 09, 2015
The Finance Committee expressed concern that Mount Greylock Regional School District was asking for enough money for programming. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District continues to make cuts to its proposed fiscal 2016 budget, but cutting much deeper will lead to a school that is unrecognizable to students returning next September.   That was the message the district's School Committee chairwoman and administration brought to the Williamstown Finance Committee on Wednesday night.   The school is currently asking for an assessment that is nearly two percentage points higher than the funding increase Williamstown is offering to the rest of

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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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Lanesborough Elementary Cutting SPED Posts In Wake Of Audit
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:00AM / Monday, March 09, 2015
The School Committee received both the audit and a proposed budget this week. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The administration is calling for the elimination of about seven positions in the school's special education department.    The request comes on the heels of an audit that found ineligible students were being enrolled in special education programming, resulting in double the amount of staff needed.    "We felt we were overstaffed in certain areas and it needed to be corrected," said interim Superintendent Gordon Noseworthy on Thursday when he presented the first draft of the budget to the School Committee.   "I feel this is a

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A History of Organized Crime in the Berkshires
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
07:42PM / Sunday, March 08, 2015
The city has seen its share of arrests and convictions related to gambling and purported mob ties.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Over the past few decades, popular culture depictions in movies and television has helped elevate the idea that gambling rackets and mob crime are the sort of thing that occurs in places like New Jersey, New York, Nevada or Chicago.  

The truth is, New England has seen plenty of it over the years, and some of it quite a bit closer to home than the locales in Scorcese's "The Departed." Over the course of the past century, central Berkshire County has several times been the site of organized crime activity, from petty book-making to major scandals

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@theMarket: Home on the Range
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Saturday, March 07, 2015

New highs followed by some selling, then a little back and fill, before climbing to yet another new high. That's the environment we are in and it happens to be a great recipe for making money in the stock market.

The last few days are a great example of what I'm talking about. Last Friday, the Nasdaq finally breached the 5,000 level. Now there was nothing magical about that number. It's round and the media decided to use it as some sort of goal post for the technology index. As I predicted in recent columns, the Nasdaq scored that touchdown and then this week, promptly fell back 40-plus points. The other averages sold off in sympathy and here we sit in yet another trading

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New Transportation Center Eyed To Help Veterans
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:17PM / Friday, March 06, 2015
Mayor Daniel Bianchi, left, BRTA Administrator Bob Malnati, Soldier On President Gary Shepard and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal cut the ribbon on the new call center. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some 25,000 veterans are treated at Veterans Affairs medical center in Leeds but a lot of appointments aren't kept.   "We know about half of our missed appointments are due to lack of transportation. This is a huge need and a huge gap," says Duane Gill of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.   Veterans and their families continually struggle getting to medical appointments, jobs, or school. Some 50,000 veterans across the country are homeless.   "Those folks are at

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The Independent Investor: Rise of the Smoothie
By Bill Schmick,
03:20PM / Thursday, March 05, 2015

The global market for smoothies is projected to hit $9 billion this year. Driven by a new health-consciousness among consumers, today's on-the-go convenience of gulping down your vitamins and minerals is appealing to more and more of us. Expect that trend to continue.

From a niche market in America in the '90s, the industry here at home has grown to over a $4 billion market today, which makes the United States the dominat domicile of all-things smoothie. The sector is forecasted to grow 10 percent a year for the next five years, according to Research and Markets Group, an analytical business group. Food chains, service restaurants, beverage companies and consumers, not to mention

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Baker's $38B Budget for 2016 Raises School, City Aid
Staff Reports,
10:03PM / Wednesday, March 04, 2015

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled his first state budget on Wednesday, a $38 billion spending plan that give municipalities and schools more money while addressing a $768 million budget deficit.

Unrestricted local aid is being increased by 3.6 percent to $980 million; Chapter 70 education aid is being increased by $105.3 million, including giving school districts $20 for each child.

"Our budget today sets the stage for a competitive and stable economic environment by making investments essential to future growth," Baker said in a statement. "By right-sizing the budget now and investing in transportation, education and our communities, we are making

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Mount Greylock presents 'South Pacific'
05:41PM / Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Mount Greylock students present 'South Pacific: In Concert' on Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8, at the '62 Center at Williams College.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — War, romance, human frailty and some of the most memorable tunes in the American theater will be on display at Williams College's '62 Center for Theatre and Dance.

Mount Greylock Regional School's spring musical, "South Pacific: In Concert," will be staged at the venue on Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7, at 7 p.m.   Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the ugliness of prejudice and the perils of

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Berkshire County Head Start Registering Children for 2015-16 School Year
11:59AM / Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Children who will be 3 or 4 years old by their local elementary school cutoff date may be eligible for a free preschool program at one of the seven sites throughout Berkshire County.

If parents cannot attend any of the registrations, applications are always accepted and can be obtained by calling 413-499-0137 or downloading an application from www.berkhs.org.

Income verification is needed with a completed application and eligible children are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Registrations will be held at the following locations:

March 4, 6-7 p.m.: Lee Elementary School, 1 Greylock St., Lee

March 11, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Muddy Brook School, 318 Monument Valley Road, Great

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Williamstown Housing Trust Awards Second Homebuyer Grant
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Affordable Housing Trust board members Stanley Parese, left, and Richard DeMayo. The trustees discussed the parameters of their Mortgage Assistance Program as they voted to award a second grant. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town's Affordable Housing Trust has awarded the second $15,000 grant under its Mortgage Assistance Program.   The program, created last year, seeks to help income qualified first-time homebuyers, people who have been displaced by the loss of a job and former residents of the Spruces Mobile Home Park.   The grant can be used for a variety of purposesto help lower the cost of homeownership.   "This grant will allow the borrower to obtain

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Hancock Suing Berkshire Wind Over PILOT Payments
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:13PM / Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The town of Hancock and the owner of Berkshire Wind are in a dispute over PILOT payments. The Selectmen on Tuesday voted to take the utility to court.

HANCOCK, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday decided to authorize the town's attorney to sue Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corp. for back payments from the utility's wind turbine farm on Brodie Mountain.

The action is the latest step in a dispute that stretches back to 2013, the last year of a three-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement between the town and the eastern Massachusetts power cooperative.

On Tuesday afternoon, the utility said it has been negotiating with the town in good faith and was

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