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Lanesborough Voters Will Be Asked to Decide School Affiliations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:16AM / Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Voters are going to be asked if they want the final say in school affiliation.   The School Committee has the power to determine the school district's partnerships; it currently has an agreement with Williamstown for shared administration through Supervisory Union 71.   That affiliation came under fire over the last year when one of the three School Committee members pushed for its dissolution. Just a vote of the School Committee can end the agreement.   A research committee appointed by the Board of Selectmen is crafting a warrant article to change that authority. The group wants a change of such magnitude be done through a townwide vote

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Williams College Senior Awarded Churchill Scholarship
01:56PM / Monday, January 26, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College senior Jesse Freeman has been awarded a Churchill Scholarship for study at the University of Cambridge for the 2015-16 academic year. Freeman was among 14 students selected for honor this year.

Freeman, a math major from Bethesda, Md., plans to pursue a Master of Advanced Study in pure mathematics at Cambridge. Afterward, he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. either at Cambridge or in the United States and go on to conduct research and teach at the university level.

“I am excited, honored, and humbled to join such a fantastic group of scientists,” Freeman said.

At Willliams, Freeman is a teaching assistant for mathematics, as well as a

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Mount Greylock School District Facing Tough Budget Choices
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:37AM / Monday, January 26, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee heads into budget season having to decide whether it wants to fight for funds the district says it needs to maintain education.

At last week's meeting of the committee, Chairwoman Carolyn Greene and interim Superintendent Gordon Noseworthy shared their impressions of a recent meeting with town officials in Lanesborough, one of Mount Greylock's two member towns.

Their report was less than encouraging.

"Basically, they said they want us to cut out budget," Greene said. "They said they would limit us to 1 percent or less of an increase. If we wanted any more, we would have to fight it out on the

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Williamstown Officials Discuss Mount Greylock Expansion Proposal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:35PM / Tuesday, January 20, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Town officials had some tough questions about the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee's plan to seek expansion of the junior-senior high school district.

School Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Greene appeared last week at a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee to discuss the proposal to ask Williamstown and Lanesborough to incorporate their elementary schools into the Mount Greylock district.

The School Committee studied expansion in 2013, convening an ad hoc committee of representatives from both towns and all three schools. But Mount Greylock put the initiative on the backburner in fall '13 after the district was accepted

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MCLA Search Committee Closing in on Presidential Candidates
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:49PM / Tuesday, January 20, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There was an important figure missing from this semester's opening breakfast on Tuesday at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, but attendees were assured that the college was closing in on her replacement.

Mary Grant, after a dozen years leading MCLA, took up her new duties as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Asheville two weeks ago. A search committee that has spent the last months seeking out a suitable candidate conducted interviews over the weekend in Albany, N.Y.

"We're still in the confidential stage of this process and this past weekend was spent interviewing 13 viable candidates," said Denise Marshall, a trustee and

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Williamstown School Employee Gets 'Soup-er' Win
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:24AM / Monday, January 19, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Ordinarily, it would have take Williamstown Elementary School some 200 years to accomplish what Bernadette Archibald did in just three.   Archibald recently won one million Tools for Schools points from Price Chopper when her recipe for Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup was judged the best from among 80 dishes submitted to the supermarket's contest.   The Tools for Schools program allows shoppers to accumulate rewards points to benefit the school of their choice. The points can be redeemed for school equipment. Last year, the school accumulated about 5,000 points.   Archibald's winning recipe means that Williamstown will be able to acquire 16

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Williamstown Elementary Committee Starts Budget Discussion
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:11AM / Saturday, January 17, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown School Committee on Tuesday began the discussions that will lead to a fiscal 2016 budget proposal later this spring.   District Business Manager Lynn Bassett told the committee that she is awaiting guidance from Town Hall about how much money the school will have to work with, but she provided some preliminary insights.   For example, she told the committee the district is looking at a 10 percent increase in its health insurance rate and a 2.5 percent increase on its previously negotiated bus contract.   On the other hand, the school is expecting to realize heating savings in the neighborhood of $12,000 — enough to roughly

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Lanesborough Research Committee Weighs School Affiliation Pros & Cons
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:04PM / Friday, January 09, 2015
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. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The group of citizens tasked with researching school affiliation issues completed assessments of the familiar systems Thursday night and will delve into other options in the coming weeks.   The task force formed in November to research the pros and cons of potential administrative structures for the school system.   The town had previously been in an agreement for elementary school services with Richmond and Hancock elementary schools through Union 69 but that ended some years ago. Now the town is in the Supervisory Union 71 agreement with Williamstown.   However, school officials in both Lanesborough, Williamstown and the Mount Greylock

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The Independent Investor: Think twice Before Co-Signing Student Loan
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Friday, January 09, 2015
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Sure, we love our kids. Of course we want them to get ahead, so when your son, daughter, or nephew asks for your signature right next to theirs on that private student loan application it is tempting. But before you sign on the dotted line consider this.

When you consent to being a student loan co-signer you are in for the life of the loan. If the student fails to make payments, you must. If they are late, you get the notices, too. Their financial problems will impact your credit score and could haunt you the next time you apply for a car loan, home mortgage, or simply a credit card.

I know that putting aside your emotions is difficult at best in the decision-making process. Yet, you

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AG Rules Barton, Lanesborough School Violated Open Meeting Law
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:37AM / Wednesday, January 07, 2015
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The attorney general's office has found School Committee member Robert Barton guilty of violating Open Meeting law after sending out an email expressing his opinion.   On Oct. 30, Barton sent an email out with an attached letter that he dubbed "Lanesborough 2020."   In it, he advocated that the town "must move away from its two-town districts with Williamstown" and outlined his reasoning.   iBerkshires ran the letter as a guest column and, according to the state, Barton also sent it to all of the other School Committee members with a note asking them not to respond for fear of violating the

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