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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

The Independent Investor: What Do Prince, You and a Will Have in Common?
By Bill Schmick,
03:05PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

What do Prince, you and a will have in common? The short answer is maybe nothing, unless, like so many of us, you still have not finalized such a document. If you haven't, get on the phone with a lawyer and get it done.

The passing of Prince was a sad day, but even sadder is the fact that this week his sister just opened a probate case in Carver County, Minn., the home of the late rock star.

"I do not know of the existence of a will and have no reason to believe that the Decedent executed testamentary documents in any form," Tyka Nelson wrote in her filing.

Prince had no spouse or children but he does have several siblings and an estate valued at $300 million. There is


True North Insurance Appoints Broker, Vice President
02:10PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Brian Drake has joined True North Insurance as an employee benefits broker and a vice vresident.

"Brian brings over 14 years of experience and a passion for employee benefits to our team. He possesses the depth, agility, and integrity required today to guide employers through the complexities of insurance. We are delighted that Brian chose to make MountainOne and the Berkshires his home," Holly Taylor, president & chief operating officer said. “Brian's appointment builds upon True North's national partnership with Digital Benefit Advisors, the largest employee-benefits-only agency in the country. The Digital partnership has


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

MCLA Signs Agreement with WNEU School of Law
01:28PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has signed a 3 + 3 articulation agreement with Western New England University School of Law to establish a joint program leading to a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor degree.
With this agreement, signed Tuesday by MCLA President James F. Birge, WNEU Provost Linda Jones and WNEU School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin, qualified undergraduates at MCLA may substitute the first year at the law school for their senior year at MCLA. As a result, they may earn their bachelor’s degree and juris doctor degree in six years instead of the typical seven.

According to Birge, this new partnership allows both MCLA and WNEU


Williams College Alumna Wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship
12:12PM / Friday, April 29, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College graduate Yue-Yi Hwa, class of 2011, has been awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a doctorate in education at St. Catharine's College at Cambridge.

Hwa is currently doing education policy research at the Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After earning an masters in philosophy at the University of Oxford in 2013, she taught in a high-need school for two years with Teach for Malaysia. Her plan for graduate research at Oxford is to acquire expertise in education policy. Afterward, she plans to work in the Malaysian government or at a research institute or university doing policy research.

Hwa graduated from Williams


MCLA Gallery 51 Seeks Camera Phone Photo Show Submissions
11:31AM / Friday, April 29, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Gallery 51 is gathering images for “Waiting: A Camera Phone Photography Show,” which will open on Thursday, May 26, and run through Saturday, June 25.

A collaborative group project of MCLA and Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, “Waiting” will include more than 1,000 photographs, which will be selected for exhibit in MCLA Gallery 51.

The gallery will collect images of times in our day when we are waiting. The show will attempt to capture the moments that pass, unseen. This project represents a form of self-assessment as we consider these small moments in our daily lives.



Cal Ripken Opens Saturday in Williamstown
10:35AM / Friday, April 29, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The annual Cal Ripken Opening Day in Williamstown will be celebrated Saturday, April 30.

The boys and girls of the Williamstown Cal Ripken Baseball League will be marching through town to celebrate opening day, escorted by a color guard from American Legion Post 152, the WES marching band, Village Ambulance and the Williamstown Police and Fire Departments.  

The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. from the Williamstown Elementary School, marches up Cole Avenue (where traffic will be stopped briefly) and ends at Bud Anderson field.

After the opening ceremonies and the singing of the National Anthem, the season begins with games all day at Bud Anderson and the WES


Williamstown Planning Board Nears Agreement on Waubeeka Overlay
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:47PM / Thursday, April 28, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board on Thursday came close to approving a compromise amendment on the Waubeeka Overlay District proposal.

At the latest in a series of meetings that started in September, the panel narrowed its areas of disagreement to one: whether a potential resort at the South Williamstown golf course is limited by the square footage of its buildings or by the area of a building envelope.

The board agreed to meet again on Wednesday, May 4, at 5 p.m., in hopes of finalizing an amendment to a citizen's petition that is acceptable to the petitioner — the attorney for Waubeeka Golf Links owner Michael Deep — in time to introduce said amendment at


'A Hologram for the King': Angst of a Salesman
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:31PM / Thursday, April 28, 2016

Director Tom Tykwer's "A Hologram for the King," about a down-on-his-luck American businessman seeking to rectify his life through one big deal in Saudi Arabia, is the sort of film you enjoy while you're watching it, think about a little, and dismiss. The fleeting, two-pronged appeal comes thanks to the everyman charm Tom Hanks imbues in his Alan Clay, a desperate former corporate bigwig, and the inscrutable sociology he runs into whilst attempting to sell the Arab king a holographic teleconferencing program.  

We like Alan, especially after learning that his fall from Big Biz was a result of just one unfortunate decision during the Great Recession that he's


'BOOM' Looks to Connect Local Musicians
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, April 28, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Calling all Berkshire musicians: BOOM has arrived.

The Berkshires may be brimming with musicians, but for whatever reason, few venture far from their favorite open mic or music venue — leaving a sometimes stagnant local music scene.

"The issue with the Berkshires is it is just a spread-out area ... and there is no central place to go," BOOM co-founder Sandy McKnight said. "A lot of people are not aware of what is going on past Pittsfield if they are from South County and vice versa if they are from North County ... we want to change that mentality."

So the Berkshire Organization for Original Music was born to help connect musicians with

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Berkshire Medical Center Gets OK to Expand Addiction Treatment
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:32PM / Wednesday, April 27, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is taking the first steps in providing local comprehensive after-care for patients struggling with addiction.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has approved the proposal by BMC to create a new 30-bed unit to improve long-term recovery. The Clinical Stabilization Services center will be created on the first floor of the Edward A. Jones Memorial Building, which also contains the the McGee Recovery Center.

The 21-bed McGee unit provides short term — less than a week — of 24/7 supervised detoxification. But the closest longer-term support centers are in Springfield and Holyoke.

"McGee is a medically monitored


MPO Short On Ready Projects to Spend $2.5 Million
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:50PM / Wednesday, April 27, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The MPO isn't quite sure how to use up $2.5 million for road projects.   The money was planned to be used for a renovation of the intersections near Berkshire Medical Center. However, the state Department of Transportation and city officials say there is no chance the design will be ready in time for 2017. That delays the project to at least 2018 and leaves $2.5 million left to be programmed.   "We don't have 25 percent, we don't have the public hearing. It is a complicated project with right of ways," Mark Moore, of MassDOT District 1, said.    He said he has little confidence that the consultants the city is using to


Can You Make Your Investments Less 'Taxing'?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:06PM / Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tax Freedom Day, which typically occurs in late April, according to the Tax Foundation, is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year. So you may want to use this opportunity to determine if you can liberate yourself from some investment-related taxes in the future.

Actually, Tax Freedom Day is something of a fiction, in practical terms, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year via payroll deductions. Also, you may not mind paying your share of taxes, because your tax dollars are used in many ways – such as law enforcement, food safety, road maintenance, public education, and so on – that, taken


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