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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Biz Briefs: South County Bakers Develop Treats for Dogs
01:04PM / Friday, December 23, 2016

Gone to the dogs: The two-woman pastry team at The Old Inn on the Green and its casual sister property The Southfield Store -- Amanda Perreault and Cynthia Walton -- spend their days creating a dizzying array of sweet treats for humans. Their cakes, tarts, pies, cookies, breakfast goodies and more are lusciously displayed at The Southfield Store every day, are featured on the dessert menu at Old Inn and are available by special order.

But recently, the two women developed a new treat designed for canines: Chapman's Frozen Yogurt for Dogs. Their simple and healthful recipe combines ripe bananas and creamy peanut butter in a frozen yogurt base. The product, unveiled earlier this month,


Coalition Names Besaw Permanent Executive Director
By Rebecca Dravis, iberkshires Staff
12:48PM / Friday, December 23, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is currently focused on community pride, and there's no one more proud to lead that effort than Amber Besaw.

Besaw, who has been acting as interim executive director of NBCC since Adam Hinds stepped aside last spring to wage his successful campaign for a state Senate seat, has official been named permanent executive director.

Besaw has been with the Coalition for the past five years, holding positions of deputy director and program director for The Family Place. She brings her diverse background in medical social work, community mental health, clinical social work with children and families, program development, and

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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

Berkshires Beat: ABC Clothing Sale Donates $16,000 to Four Local Charities
12:28PM / Friday, December 23, 2016

Bettering the community: The ABC Clothing Sale Steering Committee has distributed $16,000 in unrestricted grants from the proceeds of its big annual Clothing Sale in September and the numerous specialty and pop-up sales it has held throughout the year. "ABC" stands for "A Better Community," echoing the sale's commitment to recycling clothing and household linens, and their mission to benefit local charitable organizations that serve at-risk families and youth and address hunger, poverty and inequality in Northern Berkshire communities.

This year the money was distributed between the following four organizations, to support their work in the communities of Northern


Neighbors Raise Concerns About Proposed Williamstown Hotel
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:37AM / Thursday, December 22, 2016

From left, developer Navin Shah's attorney Steve Pagnotta, architect Ann McCallum and Maple Terrace Motel owner Kjell Truedsson follow the procedings.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals last week decided to gather more information before deciding on an application for special permits that would allow construction of a three-story, 95-room hotel on Main Street.

Navin Shah is asking the town to allow him to build the hotel at 430 Main St. (Route 2), the site of the former Grand Union that has been home to an office building in recent years.

After the ZBA heard a presentation from the development team on Thursday about the reasons for the special permit, the board


'Manchester by the Sea': Set your Movie GPS
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:41PM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016

For those filmgoers who long for a movie with a beginning, middle and end, bereft of razzle-dazzle special effects and philosophy class mind benders, writer-director Kenneth Lonergan's soulfully touching "Manchester by the Sea" is just the ticket. But beware oh ye to whom such traditional fair initially appeals, as the astutely filmed story about an uncle made the guardian of a teenage boy after the kid's father dies ultimately asks just how much reality are you willing to take?

While to a degree you may escape into the fine artistry of the saga, its authenticity poignantly and regularly, to coin a phrase, harks back to the human drama in which we are all cast members.


Year-End Tax-smart Investing Ideas
11:27AM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016

As 2016 draws to a close and we move into the holiday season, you probably have a lot going on in your life. But it may be worth your while to take some time to explore a few year-end investment and financial moves that can potentially pay off for you when you file your taxes in April.

Here are a few such moves to consider:

* Boost your 401(k) contributions. Unless you have a Roth 401(k), your contributions are made with pretax dollars – so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. Ask your employer if you can increase your 401(k) contributions for the remainder of the year. (For 2016, you can contribute up to $18,000 to your 401(k), or $24,000 if you're 50 or older.)


Pot Moratorium Could Slow Greening of the Purple Valley
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board last week began to discuss whether it wants to bring to town meeting a proposal for a moratorium on marijuana businesses.

Community Development Director Andrew Groff asked the question in light of advice from town counsel and the Massachusetts Municipal Association about uncertainty in the wake of the passage of a November ballot initiative allowing the production, sale and use of recreational pot.

The recreational use and "home grown" aspect went into effect last Wednesday, but there is no regulatory framework in place for the commercial production or sale of non-medical marijuana in Massachusetts, and the commonwealth has until

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Greylock Boys Youth Basketball Goes 1-3 in Pittsfield Sports,
11:42AM / Tuesday, December 20, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Greylock seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball travel team went 1-3 with two close losses in a busy day of basketball at the Boys & Girls Club on Sunday.   Greylock started the day with a 56-25 loss to the B&G Club Black team, which got 10 points from Shaun Harrigan in the win. Derek Paris led Greylock with 13.   Dalton topped Greylock, 41-40, in the next game. Donovan Keegan led Dalton with 12 points. Paris scored 17, and Oscar Low added nine for Greylock.   Greylock beat Adams, 51-45, in its third game behind 17 points from Paris and 11 from Pablo Santos. Colin Doyle and Malcolm Waynick added six apiece. Adams got 19 points from Carson


Williams College Looks to Raze, Replace Dorm
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:18AM / Tuesday, December 20, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College will ask the town's Historical Commission for permission on Thursday to raze an 1850 South Street structure that has served as a residence hall since the 1970s.

Garfield House, named for its first occupant, an 1885 alumnus and ninth president of the college and the son of the 20th president of the United States, also a Williams alumnus, is outdated, inefficient and far too costly to renovate, according to a nine-person committee that studied the building.

The college's executive director of planning design and construction, who co-chaired that committee, said she and other members went into the six-week study hoping and expecting to be


Berkshire Health Systems Expands Primary-Care Access Across County
07:53PM / Monday, December 19, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has appointed five primary-care physicians, all accepting new patients throughout the Berkshires, from south to north. 

Drs. Judith Aldrich and Brynn Hancock have joined Berkshire Osteopathic Health of Berkshire Medical Center, which has offices in Adams and Pittsfield. Dr. Maxim Bitunov is now providing care at Hillcrest Family Health Center of BMC in Pittsfield, and Dr. Terra Lampiasi is at Lenox Family Health Center of BMC. Dr. John Paul Hickey is with Barrington Family Medicine in Great Barrington. 

The addition of these five physicians is a significant expansion of primary-care services in the Berkshires and Southern


Educational Task Force 2/3 Way Through Presentations To Local Governments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Monday, December 19, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County Educational Task Force has had a busy month presenting at 30 or so public meetings with still more than a dozen to go.

The task force is rolling out its plans for Phase 2 of a study looking at the future of Berkshire County's school systems. The next phase will dive deep into various options — from leaving things as they are to creating super-regional school districts — and is funded with $150,000 from the state.

The efforts are to explore ways to counter declining enrollment mixed with the rising costs of education and offer school districts recommendations on how they might address those vexing issues.



Cross, Carpenter Honored by Conferences Sports,
12:29AM / Monday, December 19, 2016
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts junior Keiland Cross was named the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week and Player of the Week on Monday, Dec. 12.   Cross averaged 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and six assists in a 2-1 week for the Trailblazers. He was named MVP of the Tri-State Shootout after collecting 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the 82-79 win over Fisher College, notched 27 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the 71-67 win over RPI and added 19 points, six assists and five rebounds in setback to WPI.   For the year, Cross is averaging a team-high 16.9 ppg in 32 minutes per night for the 2-8 Trailblazers.   The rookie


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