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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Senate Candidates Debate at UCP in North Adams
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Sunday, September 04, 2016
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — In the seventh of eight debates in six days, the candidates for the Democratic nomination for the state Senate seat continued to show their differences.   United Cerebral Palsy held a nearly 3-hour forum Friday night with Executive Director Salvatore Garozzo moderating. The primary election is on Thursday and the winner will take on Republican Christine Canning-Wilson in the general election in November.    The three kicked off by telling a little bit about themselves. Adam Hinds grew up in Shelbourne Falls and was the son of a public school teacher and a part-time librarian. As a child, Hinds said his father tried to get an upholstery tool company


Local Environmentalist Updates Guide to Berkshire Trails
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:27AM / Sunday, September 04, 2016


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Lauren R. Stevens has been traipsing through the Berkshire mountains for more than 40 years.

And he wants others to find the same joy has in exploring the trails that weave throughout the county.

"I want people to gain an appreciation of the beautiful place we live in," the retired Williams College professor said. "There are benefits to just walking — physical and psychological. It has a way refueling."

Stevens recently published "50 Hikes In The Berkshire Hills," an updated guide to some favorite hikes, walks and climbs throughout the county. The guide, published by W.W. Norton's Countryman Press, came out in


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

@theMarket: A Tale of Two Interest Rates
By Bill Schmick,
07:33AM / Saturday, September 03, 2016

Ahead of the Labor Day weekend, investors had little to do but bet on how strong or weak the unemployment number would be. It turned out to be weaker than expected and the markets rallied.

Yes, we are once again in a "bad news is good news environment." Weaker economic data means the chances of the Federal Reserve Bank raising interest rates at the September meeting is diminished. That means lower rates for longer, which equals higher prices for stocks, bonds, and commodities. None of the above disappointed on Friday.

Investors should take the action in the markets (both up and down) with a grain of salt. The real market moves normally begin after the unofficial end of summer,


Williamstown Elementary Welcomes New Faces for School Year
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:59AM / Saturday, September 03, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As the School Committee held its second meeting in the month of August, Williamstown Elementary School's principal reminded the committee members they're not the only ones devoting time to the school in the "off season."

"People think that summer comes and teachers go on vacation, and it's just not true," Brookner said. "I've seen everybody. Some days, I want to say, 'What are you doing here? Go home.'

"But the classrooms are already looking beautiful. People are really excited about new ideas. It's a yearlong commitment from our teachers."

The WES faculty and staff officially reported for duties


Williams College Students Cleanup, Paint Up in North Adams
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:14PM / Friday, September 02, 2016

Leading Minds students had lunch at the UNO Center.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — At Hillside Cemetery, William College students set to work straightening out gravestones and scrubbing them clean.

On Main Street, they were painting the vintage-looking light poles shiny black and a crosswalk in bright colors. Still more were over at Christopher Columbus Drive clearing brush around the Hoosic River.

The green T-shirt clad students on Friday morning were participating in the Leading Mind program, one of a half-dozen "EphVentures" designed to introduce the class of 2020 to the bucolic Williamstown college and the Northern Berkshires.

"We welcome all these students to


The Independent Investor: The VA Political Football
By Bill Schmick,
12:06PM / Friday, September 02, 2016

It is an election year and as such veterans are a voting block that neither side can resist. Both candidates are promising to overhaul Veterans Affairs once elected. The questions are whether to hand it over to the private sector or just try and fix the government organization's short-comings.

We all remember the terrible scandal back in 2014 when a whistle-blower revealed shocking inefficiencies, coverups and the deaths of some veterans within the Veterans Affairs. The then Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, along with a gaggle of bosses in various states, who were caught falsifying waiting time reports for vets, provided the obligatory resignation parade before the


Mount Greylock Committee Declines Chair's Request to Step Down
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:31AM / Friday, September 02, 2016

Dorothy Presser of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees conducts a workshop at Wednesday's meeting. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Wednesday declined a request from its chairman to allow her to step down from the position.   Carolyn Greene asked her colleagues for a vote to replace her as chair with two months left before the panel's regular November reorganization, citing the personal toll of several months of in-fighting on the committee.   "For the past several months, we have experienced a level of contention at meetings and over emails that I have not been able to resolve," Greene said, reading


Polling Stations in Berkshire County
12:54AM / Friday, September 02, 2016

Polls are open in Massachusetts from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for state & federal elections, including primaries; municipal election times vary.

Where to vote:

Adams: Department of Public Works garage, North Summer Street
Becket: Town Hall, Main Street
Cheshire: Community Senior Center, 119 School St.
Clarksburg: Senior Center, Cross Road
Dalton: Community Center, Main Street
Egremont: Fire station, Egremont Plain Road
Florida: Town Office, 379 Mohawk Trail
Great Barrington:

Precincts A, C, D: Fire Station, 37 State Road Precinct B: Housatonic Community Center, Main Street

Hancock: Hancock School, Route 43
Hinsdale: Town Hall, South Street
Lanesborough: Town Hall, 83 North Main

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Berkshire Mall Set to Be Sold
Staff Reports,
03:13PM / Thursday, September 01, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Berkshire Mall is set to be sold to a New York investment firm which specializes in distressed malls.   Mehran Kohanseih, also known as Mike Kohan, said he will close on a sale of the mall Friday for $3.5 million. His goal is to be a "hands-on" owner and bring new tenants.   "It has a lot of challenges we are trying to overcome," Kohan said of the Berkshire Mall on Thursday.    His firm, Kohan Retail Investment Group of Great Neck, N.Y., owns more than a dozen malls. The firm will is purchasing The Berkshire Mall from Strategic Asset Services, which bought it in 2014 from Pyramid Companies. CBL & Associates


Golfweek Recognizes Williams College's Taconic
01:52PM / Thursday, September 01, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.  -- For the sixth consecutive year, the Taconic Golf Club, home to both the Ephs' men's and women's golf teams, has been ranked No. 2 nationally by Golfweek magazine.   The Taconic Golf Club has been ranked behind top-ranked The Course at Yale University in each of the last six years. Taconic Golf Club was last ranked first among the nation's top college courses in 2010 when The course at Yale was ranked No. 2   The top four ranked courses by Golfweek in 2016 remain the same as in 2015: The Course at Yale, Taconic, University Ridge Golf Club in Veriona, Wis., and the Rawls Course at Texas Tech.   The layout at Taconic is


Campaign Finance Takes Center Stage In GMP Senate Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:37AM / Thursday, September 01, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The morning after pre-primary reports were due to the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the three vying for the Democratic nomination for the state senate sparred on WTBR's "Good Morning, Pittsfield."   Leading off the debate, host John Krol tackled those reports posed pointed questions about the candidate's donors.   Adam Hinds, on leave as executive director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, nearly quadrupled the amount of fundraising of his closest competition by reeling in $75,000. The names on the donor list include city councilors, current and past presidents of the Chamber of Commerce, the head of


Delinquent Property Nets $15,500 in Williamstown
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:59AM / Thursday, September 01, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A local contractor Wednesday purchased a White Oaks resident seized by the town through tax title foreclosure.   Jerry Smith of Williamstown was the successful bidder in a two-person auction, bidding $15,500 for 87 White Oaks Road on Wednesday morning in the Selectmen's Meeting Room.   Town Finance Director Janet Saddler conducted the auction, which she started at $40,000. Hearing no bids, she dropped the asking price in $5,000 increments.   When her proposed opening bid reached $20,000, she informed the bidders she would not accept a price lower than $14,000, which elicited a bid at that level from Smith. His opponent raised the price to

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