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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Burning Crosses Across the Berkshires: KKK Thrived Locally 100 Years Ago
By Joe Durwin, Special to iBerkshires
07:20AM / Sunday, February 28, 2021
PITTSFIELD , Mass. — Over a thousand men, most of them hooded, gathered around a burning cross.  Some 200 were new recruits, there to be inducted into the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan. The year was 1927.   The place was a farm 15 miles from Pittsfield.     The first arc of the Ku Klux Klan following the Civil War seems to have permeated very little into New England, in terms of formal organization. The requisite attitudes were certainly present in the Berkshires by then; the same month that Berkshire volunteers were mustering with the 27th Infantry to fight in that conflict, at least eight innocent men of color were arrested following the September 1861 slaying

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Williams College Investigating 'Unsafe Party'
Staff Reports, iBerkshires.com
07:30PM / Saturday, February 27, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The president of Williams College is calling on the people responsible for a maskless party to come forward and take responsibility for the incident.   In a letter to the college community on Saturday, President Maud Mandel reported that between 80 and 100 people participated in the party at Wood House, a residence hall at the corner of South Street and Main Street.   "When Campus Safety arrived on scene, the attendees fled," Mandel wrote. "CSS noted that many people at the party were either completely without masks or were wearing them around their necks, on their wrists, etc. As you can imagine, the crowd was tightly packed in such a small

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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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@theMarket: Higher Interest Rates Clobber Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
11:42AM / Saturday, February 27, 2021
In the grand scheme of things, a small, upward blip in the yield of the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond should be of little concern to equity investors. But sometimes, when the conditions are ripe, even the tiniest spark can cause a conflagration within a speculative stock market.   As readers are aware, interest rates have been trading at historically low levels for some time. The onset of the coronavirus forced our Federal Reserve Bank to pin them even lower. Essentially, it is why the stock market has been having such a great run. Investors have been conditioned to just assume that, if anything, interest rates might trend even lower but not higher. However, during the last few weeks, the

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Member Running for Select Board
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:42PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A member of the town's Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee has announced his intention to run for an open three-year seat on the Select Board this May.   Jeffrey Johnson on Friday issued a news release saying that he hopes to "make a difference in the quality of town governance and in the fabric of the lives of his neighbors."   Johnson, 47, grew up in Williamstown, attending both the local elementary school and Mount Greylock Regional School, and currently works for the commonwealth's Department of Developmental Services in its Pittsfield/North Adams office.   "I love and appreciate this town and, to me, that

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The Retired Investor: SPAC Attack
By Bill Schmick,
12:37PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
One of the hottest trends on Wall Street today is "special purpose acquisition companies" or SPACS. There is hardly a day that goes by without an announcement of a new SPAC, or the acquisition and merger of a private company by one.   It works like this. Even though they are called "companies," SPACs have no commercial operations, no sales, profits, or losses. All they have is a pile of cash. They received that money from investors in an initial public offering (IPO) with the promise that they would invest that money down the road into a private company with good prospects.   You are basically giving a blank check to a group of financial pros with a track

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Pool Testing in Lanesborough-Williamstown Schools Yields Negatives
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:07AM / Friday, February 26, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District on Thursday completed a successful first week of pool testing for COVID-19 among its students and staff.   "It's amazing how empowering it is for a child to see they just did something with something the size of a Q-tip that has the power to determine if a virus is in them so they can take care of themselves and their family and their friends," Business Manager Joe Begeron told the School Committee on Thursday night. "Every student I saw today had a really positive experience, a really positive outlook for what this means."   Mount Greylock was one of the first districts to sign up and

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Effective Monday, a Little More of State's Economy to Open Up
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:40PM / Thursday, February 25, 2021
SALEM, Mass. — Massachusetts' reopening plan is going back to the future.   On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that on Monday, March 1, the commonwealth will shift to Step 2 of Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan.   That means that indoor performance venues like theaters will be allowed to reopen with a 50 percent capacity limit, as will museums, fitness centers and libraries. Other restrictions also will be lifted, including a ban on restaurants hosting musical performances.   Actually, those restrictions will be RE-lifted. The commonwealth already was in Step 2 of Phase 3 until a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases forced state officials to move

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Williamstown Trust OKs Emergency Mortgage Program; O'Connor Won't Seek Re-Election
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
08:54PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The board of the town's Affordable Housing Trust on Wednesday decided to move ahead with an emergency mortgage assistance program for residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, approved a solution for a problem vexing a different town committee and learned that one of its members will be rotating off after May's town election.   The board member in question is Anne O'Connor, who made her colleagues on that panel the first to learn that she will not seek another three-year term on the Select Board this spring.   O'Connor, who occupies the trustee position designated for a member of the Select Board, noted that she brings a particular

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Berkshires Gets Limited Vaccine Doses; Named 'High-Efficiency Collaborative'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:12PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — COVID-19 vaccine shipments expected early last week were delayed because of inclement weather and were smaller than expected, leaving Berkshire County shorthanded. And a "very limited" amount of vaccines was available for appointment first-dose slots on Wednesday.     "This week, Massachusetts received 139,000 doses," Mayor Linda Tyer said to the City Council on Tuesday. "That's it, we have a million potential new residents who are eligible, but for the week we received 139,000 doses."   Public Health Program Manager Laura Kittross said there is limited access everywhere and doesn't expect this to be an

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EforAll Seeking Applicants for 'Digital Business Survival Course'
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:12PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County is collaborating with R3SET Studios to run a free online "Digital Business Survival Course" to help small businesses improve their online marketing.    "With all of the many restrictions on business during the pandemic, having a robust web presence, sales and outreach are truly mission-critical," said EforAll Director Deborah Gallant. "If your business was limping along with a sub-par web marketing approach before all this, it became a much higher priority to get this all in order."   This five-week course runs from March 12 to April 16.   Gallant said EforAll, a nonprofit

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Clark Art Lecture On The Mandylion
09:06AM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — On Friday, Feb. 26, Beinecke Fellow and professor at Syracuse University Glenn Peers presents a talk through the Clark's Research and Academic Program's lecture series on "The Mandylion's Marital and Martial Message Machines."    The pre-recorded lecture will be available on the Clark website from Feb. 26 through June 15.   Byzantine precursor to the Veronica, the Mandylion was believed to be a self-portrait made by Jesus and sent to Abgar, King of Edessa, with the apostle Thaddaeus. This talk focuses on the tenth century, when the Mandylion was a symbol of earthly and divine power within the new Christian dispensation. The

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Chair Reports on Talk with Acting Police Chief
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The chair of the town's committee on diversity, equity and inclusion Monday reported to his colleagues that he had a long conversation with the town's acting chief of police and that future dialogues between the committee and Police Department are planned.   "This past weekend, I had an extensive meeting with Lt. [Michael] Ziemba," said Mohammed Memfis, the chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee. "We met for a very long time and talked about a host of issues.   "One of the things that was really clear from the conversation that was explained by Lt. Ziemba is that DIRE has played an exceptional role for

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