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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Williamstown Asked to Expand Village Business District
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Wednesday, March 01, 2017
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — For the second time in three years, Williams College is asking the town to expand the Village Business District, but this time it is not to allow a new development.   The college's Jamie Art was in front of the Board of Selectmen on Monday to ask it to pass along a formal request to the Planning Board to develop a warrant article for May's annual town meeting that will expand the commercial district to include the Taconic Clubhouse.   Art explained that the board of the golf course, a private entity that leases land from college, wants to raise the profile of the clubhouse's restaurant.   But the dining establishment actually sits in a


Nurses Picket BMC As Staffing Issues Hold Up Collective Bargaining
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:47PM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The nurses paced back and forth along North and Wahconah Streets. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nurses and supporters paced back and forth along North and Wahconah streets on Tuesday afternoon, holding signs and chanting "if we're out here, something is wrong in there."   On the other side of the hospital walls, the administration is reviewing data showing Berkshire Medical Center ranking in the top when it comes to patient safety and preparing a forum to celebrate those numbers with employees.   Outside, the nurses chant that the staffing levels are unsafe. Inside, a staffing office is reviewing the personnel on hand to make sure everything is covered.   What


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

Massachusetts Named Best State by U.S. News & World Report
02:25PM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BOSTON — The commonwealth of Massachusetts has been named the best overall state in U.S. News & World Report's inaugural report. 

This best state ranking evaluates all 50 states in various categories, with Massachusetts ranked the No. 1 overall state, No. 1 in health care, No. 2 in education and among the top 10 for economy and crime and corrections.

Massachusetts was recognized for having the most accessible health care and is ranked third for pre-K through 12th-grade education.

"Massachusetts is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of the strength and character of all those who call the Commonwealth home," said Gov. Charlie Baker.


Mount Greylock Project Ahead of Schedule, on Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Tuesday, February 28, 2017
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Building Committee continues to receive good news about its timetable and cautiously optimistic reports about the bids for the $64 million addition renovation project.   At its February meeting, the committee heard that the project is still generally on track with its budget — with some bids coming in lower than expected and one coming in 8 percent higher than estimated.   The next big milestone is March 20, when the district opens bids for the trade contractors, a major piece of the overall budget.   But the project already has realized savings at other steps of the project — money that has been reallocated to


Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Athenaeum teams up with Boston Bruins for PJ Drive
01:32PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

Pajama jam: The Berkshire Athenaeum is teaming up with the Boston Bruins to participate in their annual pajama drive to benefit DCF Kids (Department of Children and Families) and Cradles to Crayons. The PJ Drive's goal is to collect 10,000 pairs of new pajamas for children and teens in need across the stat, including Pittsfield.

The Boston Bruins PJ Drive runs through March 15. The library will be collecting new pairs of pajamas for babies, children and teens. Please bring new pajamas to the library's Children's Department.

Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson and his wife, Siw, started the PJ drive during the Boston Bruins 2007-08 season as a way to give to give back to their

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Berkshire Medical Center Sits Atop National Quality Ranking
12:52PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is ranked as the best performer in Patient Safety Indicators in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

BMC is ranked number one in the nation when compared to over 3,200 hospitals for its composite measure of Patient Safety Indicators, or PSI-90. The PSI-90 Patient Safety Indicators were developed by the Agency for Research and Quality, and provides an overview of hospital-level quality as it relates to a set of potentially preventable hospital-related events associated with harmful outcomes for patients. The lower a hospital’s composite score, the better, and Berkshire Medical


Biz Briefs: Lowe's, Central Berkshire Habitat Team Up for Women Build Month
12:18PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

Building a future: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and Lowe's invite women to build alongside future homeowners during the 10th annual National Women Build Month. Central Berkshire is one of 300 Habitat organizations nationwide hosting Women Build projects during the month of May with support from Lowe’s, a longtime partner in the event.

On April 30, local volunteers will start Women Build Month by attending a half day construction training that will give them the necessary tools to build the new construction home. Groups and individuals can register to participate in the Women Build dates in May. National Women Build Week brings together women to devote at least one day


McCann School Budget Reflects Hikes in Fixed Costs, Health Insurance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, February 27, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann Technical School budget for fiscal 2018 is up 2.7 percent over this year, largely reflecting increasing fixed costs and level state funding.    The school's budget is up about $250,000, from $9.09 million to $9,340,159, and includes $88,000 in cuts. Some $3.7 million of the spending plan will be covered by assessments to its nine districts for operations, transportation and capital projects. The total assessments are up less than one percent.    "The problem we run into when you look at the budget itself, the state Chapter 70 money is pretty much level, the numbers that are municipal assessments ... are fairly level for all


Williamstown Fin Comm Combs Through FY18 Spending Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:21AM / Monday, February 27, 2017
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Finance Committee last week dug into the details of the town's proposed fiscal 2018 operations budget, which calls for an aggregate 1.98 percent increase in costs across all non-school departments.   The Police Department, Milne Public Library, Council on Aging, Community Development Office, and Assessor and Finance departments were among those who presented their spending plans to the Fin Comm.   Town Manager Jason Hoch told the committee the town is projecting a 3 percent wage adjustment for its non-union employees in FY18. And the budget's bottom line benefits from a change in the Berkshire Health Group plan that shifts costs away from

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Greylock Youth Basketball Finishes Regular Season at .500 Sports,
07:08PM / Sunday, February 26, 2017
Pablo Santos scored 12 points Saturday to lead the Greylock seventh- and eighth-grade boys travel basketball team to a 47-36 win over Dalton in the team’s regular season finale.   Malcom Waynick added 11 as Greylock finished the year 4-4 going into next weekend’s Berkshire County Championship tournament.   “We were very pleased with how our kids finished the regular season,” Greylock coach Rick Paris said. “Pablo and Malcom, our two leading scorers, played well today, especially taking it to the hoop. In turn, Malcom got to the line and made six-of-six, all in the second half, while Pablo converted five of his drives and two-for-four at the


Lenox's Carpenter Wins Big East Mile Sports,
07:06PM / Saturday, February 25, 2017
Lenox Memorial graduate and Georgetown University senior Scott Carpenter ran a personal record time of 4 minutes, 3.57 seconds Saturday to win the Big East indoor mile championship at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex on Staten Island.   Carpenter helped the Hoyas score big points in the event, where Georgetown finished first, second and eighth.   In the team competition, Georgetown finished fifth of seven schools.   Taconic graduate and UMass-Boston junior Dominic Nda finished fourth in the 60-meter dash on Saturday at the New England Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Field Center in Boston. Nda posted a time of 6.97 seconds, a quarter second behind


Hundreds Rally In Pittsfield To Support ObamaCare
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:50PM / Saturday, February 25, 2017

State Reps. Paul Mark and Tricia Farley-Bouvier were speakers for the event.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Congress will soon take up bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

But hundreds of local residents took to Park Square on Saturday to oppose those efforts, joining thousands across the nation who have held rallies and packed congressional town halls.

The act passed under former President Barack Obama expanded health care coverage across the country. New President Donald Trump, however, has called it too costly and vowed to repeal and replace it. The debate over the repeal is expected to unfold shortly in Washington, D.C.    But here in heavily Democratic Massachusetts,


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