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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

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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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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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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Hancock School Committee Opens Conversation About Expansion
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:17AM / Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Hancock Elementary's four classrooms house the K-6 program. The School Committee is proposing an addition to provide more classroom space and bathrooms. HANCOCK, Mass. — The School Committee on Monday explained its rationale for investigating a possible expansion to the elementary school and sought public feedback on the initiative.   "Long-term, we need more instructional space and a couple of other spaces as well," Superintendent Barbara Ripa said.   "Some of you are saying, 'When I was a kid, I was in that building and there were 85 kids and we all fit.' Well, education has changed. The kinds of programs and services we need to provide our

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BMC North Reopens Operating Rooms
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:32AM / Monday, March 02, 2015
Carol Fairchild, director of the Crane Center, explains some of the changes at the newly relicensed operating rooms in North Adams.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The operating rooms at the former hospital are being put back into use after a nearly $1 million upgrade.

Two of the four surgical suites at the Northern Berkshire Campus of Berkshire Medical Center will begin orthopedic outpatient surgeries on Monday.

"It's a relief, it's exciting and I think people are happy," said Dr. Jonathan Cluett. "We're able to reinvigorate some energy into this resource and, ultimately, back into the community."

Cluett and his colleagues Drs. James R. Whittum and Suk

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McCann Tech Robotics Team Demonstrates for School Committee
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:20AM / Monday, March 02, 2015
Students on the robotics team hold a demonstration for School Committee members on Thursday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School's robotics team look to expand the program and come back even stronger next year.

The team, the Mad McCannics, ran a demonstration with their competition robot "Mac" at Thursday night's School Committee meeting.

They recently returned from a FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying competition for high school and middle school students.

"It was quite a day," said team adviser Erin Mucci. "The kids did a fabulous job and our robot competed admirably."

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is

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Williamstown Economic Development Panel Hears from North Adams Planner
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
08:49PM / Sunday, March 01, 2015
Williamstown is seeking guidance on an economic plan. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Economic Development Committee heard from North Adams' city planner earlier this month, and one piece of advice stood out: Keep seeking advice.   Mackenzie Greer sat down with the ad hoc committee to share North Adams' experience developing the city's first comprehensive plan in 40 years.   The Williamstown committee's objective is not quite so comprehensive. It was created by the Board of Selectmen with the specific charge of creating an economic development plan.   But since much of North Adams' Vision 2030 deals with the Steeple City's economy, EDC Chairman

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@The Market: Full Steam Ahead
By Bill Schmick,
03:53AM / Saturday, February 28, 2015

The major averages made all-time highs again this week, except the Nasdaq. It is just a matter of time before that tech-heavy index joins the party. But what happens after that?

The short answer is that we go higher, maybe not right away, but soon. January, you may recall, was a down month, which was similar to last year. This month saw a recovery followed by higher highs just like last year. If the trend versus last year continues, we should see further gains in March, possibly fueled by more demand from overseas investors.

Given that the United States is the only game in town for bond buyers, if off-shore investors want yield and safety, we should expect to see a continuation of demand

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Commission on Status of Women, Groups, Share Concerns With Lawmakers
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Saturday, February 28, 2015
State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier addresses the large crowd of mostly women at Friday's legislative breakfast.

LENOX, Mass. — Food assistance for young mothers can help a lot.

But it won't buy diapers.

And the cost of those very necessary items have become a burden on low-income mothers.   Marcy Gaul helps provide them through the newly formed Berkshire County Diaper Project, which collects donations and redistributes them.   "Our diapers disappear in days," Gaul told the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women and state legislators Friday morning.   The commission is a volunteer group of local women designated as special state

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'Still Alice': A Sadness to Remember
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:31PM / Friday, February 27, 2015
Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Sony Pictures Classics Julianne Moore loses herself in an Oscar-winning portrayal of a woman facing Alzheimer's disease.

Exiting from a screening of "Still Alice," the heart-wrenching tale of a renowned linguistics professor's valiant struggle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, a fellow viewer bemoaning the fragility of life adamantly apprised her pal, "which is exactly why I'm going to Costa Rica!" I analogously thought "Ferrari" ... as if some consolation prize could possibly assuage any fears of the life-stealing horrors just witnessed. . Oh,

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The Independent Investor: New Fiduciary Rule Would Benefit All of Us
By Bill Schmick,
03:48PM / Friday, February 27, 2015

The Department of Labor is trying again. This week, a proposed new rule, backed by the president, would force all financial advisers to adopt a "fiduciary responsibility" toward their clients when overseeing retirement plans. If passed, it could substantially reduce the fees and expenses we pay for that advice.

So exactly what is this fiduciary responsibility that President Obama is championing? The rule would require all advisers to put their client's interests above all other considerations when making investment recommendations on accounts covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. That means the bulk of middle class savings represented by all types of

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Berkshire Reps Rise In Legislative Ranks
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:08PM / Friday, February 27, 2015
The speaker of the house assigned committees on Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire's House of Representatives delegation is moving up in rank.   On Thursday, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo assigned committees, which placed local officials in leadership roles.    "I believe the Berkshires fared extremely well with this reorganization of the house," the dean of the delegation, state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, said Friday morning.   Pignatelli was promoted to vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development (on which he's served for some time), Rep. Paul Mark to vice chairman of both

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