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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

@theMarket: Uncertainty Descends Upon the Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Friday, April 07, 2017
Pick your poison — U.S.-Syrian strife, weak employment numbers, China-U.S. relations — those are just some of the issues investors had to contend with this week. Despite these potential roadblocks, the averages hung in there, losing little ground as the week closed.   There was even more bad news, if you include the latest minutes of the Federal Reserve Bank's FOMC meeting. There was much discussion among the members and a chorus of assent to begin the delicate task of reducing the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet later this year. Recall that the Fed bought mountains of U.S. Treasury bonds over the last eight years in an effort to keep interest rates low (and


Superior Court Briefs: March 31 - April 5
Staff Reports,
12:42PM / Friday, April 07, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, March 31.   Jason Pennell, 28, of Holyoke had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.   He was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Williamstown on January 18, 2017.    Terry Martizna, 26, of Lanesborough pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, armed career felon, illegal possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition without a firearm


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

Williamstown Professor Wins Fulbright Fellowship for Brazil Research
11:52AM / Friday, April 07, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass — Anne Skinner, senior lecturer emerita in chemistry at Williams College, has been awarded a Fulbright fellowship to spend four months doing research in Brazil in 2018.

Skinner's project, "Shining Light on the Early Human Occupation of Northeast Brazil: A Multi-Institutional and Multidisciplinary Approach," will combine excavations in the UNESCO Human Heritage region of Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara with lectures and demonstrations at four Brazilian institutions, using excavated material to improve inter-laboratory collaboration. Her research dates fossils by measuring the accumulation of radiation damage during burial. Her previous studies in


Kindergarten Registration Dates Scheduled Around County
11:29AM / Friday, April 07, 2017

Schools across Berkshire County are holding registration days for next year's kindergartners. Schools can submit their information to be added to this list to

* Adams: St. Stanislaus Kostka School is now registering for the 2017-2018 school year. Openings are available in grades pre-kindergarten through grade eight. Financial aid is available for qualified applicants. Schedule a shadow day at 413-743-1091.


* Clarksburg: Kindergarten registration has begun for the Clarksburg Elementary School. Call the school at 413-663-8735 to register your child for the fall. Children must be five years of age by August 31, 2017.


* Florida: The Gabriel Abbott


Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation Names New Director
11:25AM / Friday, April 07, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation has named David McGowan of Brookline, Mass., as its next executive director.

McGowan has dedicated his career to conserving land throughout Massachusetts. After receiving his graduate degree from Antioch New England University in 1996, he worked at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. There, he worked on projects throughout the commonwealth – securing critical inholdings at Bradley Palmer State Park and Willard Brook State Forest, and helping conserve the 900-acre Spectacle Pond Farm at Otis State Forest.  

In 2006, McGowan took a position with The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.

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Williamstown Author Wins Literature Prize
11:04AM / Friday, April 07, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Williams College fellow has won the 2017 Blake-Dodd Prize in Literature.

Elizabeth Kolbert is a local resident and the Class of 1946 Environmental Fellow-in-Residence at Williams College. She won the $25,000 prize, one of 12 prizes totalling $265,000 awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Academy's 250 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners.  This year's award committee members were John Guare (chairman), Thomas McGuane, Anne Tyler, Rosanna Warren, and Joy Williams.

Kolbert will receive the prize in New York City at the Academy's annual ceremonial in May.

Kolbert has been a staff


Area's Collegians Well into Spring While Fields Back Home Soak Sports,
02:23AM / Friday, April 07, 2017
While Berkshire County high school student-athletes spin their wheels in the gym and watch the rescheduled and postponed game count grow, area alumnae are well into their spring seasons, most of which started on spring break trips to warmer climes.   The Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team started its season with a one-goal loss at Bates up in Maine back in early March but went on to play four games in Florida on its way to an 8-1 record.   Senior Hank Barrett, a graduate of Mount Greylock, has appeared in three of them. The 13th-ranked Cardinals extended an eight-game winning streak with Wednesday’s 17-13 win over No. 11 Amherst and hosts Williams on Saturday


Williamstown Fin Comm Votes Recommendations on Town Meeting Articles
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:16AM / Friday, April 07, 2017

Michael Sussman chairs Wednesday's Finance Committee meeting. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Finance Committee on Wednesday recommended passage of all the fiscal warrants for May's Annual Town Meeting, but not until after it revisited a few of the arguments that punctuated budget season at Town Hall.   Most of the discussion at its final meeting before the May 16 town meeting revolved around the warrant articles that the committee saw for the first time on Wednesday night: those related to the town's allocation of Community Preservation Act funds.   Members of the Fin Comm raised and rehashed some of the same issues that were raised during the deliberations of

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The Independent Investor: Don't Let Romance Blind You to Finances
By Bill Schmick,
04:08PM / Thursday, April 06, 2017
Don't let romance blind you to the financial downside of living together. Unmarried couples need as much, if not more, financial and estate planning than those who are married. Without it, one or both partners may lose everything they have committed to the relationship. Here is a primer on what steps you should take.   Over 6.7 million unmarried couples are co-habitating in America at last count. Over 90 percent of them are heterosexual, in case you're wondering. As such, these couples, regardless of sexual orientation or length of the relationship, are considered and classified as unrelated individuals in the eyes of the law.   And the rights of unmarried couples are


Berkshire, Bennington Cultural Institutions Create 'Art Country'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:50PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Mass MoCA Director Joseph Thompson talks about the ArtCountry collaborative on Wednesday morning.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Joseph Thompson's been talking for years about creating a destination in North County that will keep tourists longer than a day.

The director of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is convinced that trading up day-trippers for overnights, weekends or longer will cause a seismic shift in not only the way Northern Berkshire is perceived but exponentially increase the cultural economic impact on the region.

On Wednesday morning, Thompson was joined by the directors of four other major cultural institutions in launching, a collaborative


Payless Shoe Store to Close at Berkshire Mall
Staff Reports,
01:57PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Payless ShoeSource at the Berkshire Mall is slated for closure, the latest hit to the struggling shopping center.

Payless joins a number of national brands closing brick-and-mortar storefronts in the face of declining sales and the rise of online shopping. Two weeks ago, J.C. Penney, a founding anchor at the 30-year-old Berkshire Mall, announced its store there would be one of 140 nationwide slated for closure.

Best Buy and Macy's left within the last 18 months and Sears, also a founding anchor, this quarter said, "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

Payless filed Chapter 11


BArT Charter Public School Announces New Executive Director
01:05PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017

ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Trustees of BART Charter Public School has named James "Jay" C. White II as the school's executive director, starting June 19.

Trustee Chair Charles Swabey said White will bring to BArT more than 30 years of teaching, administrative and fundraising experience in a variety of settings, including middle and high school, colleges and universities, and national and international nonprofit organizations.

White currently serves as provost, dean of the college, and professor of physics at Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vt., which he joined in 2015.

Swabey said White was inspired to apply for the executive director position by a visit to


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