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Mount Greylock Needs to Deal with Dirt Stockpile from Building Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:47AM / Monday, September 17, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The ongoing dispute over permitting fees was not the only mess on the agenda of the Mount Greylock Regional School Building Committee on Thursday.   The committee kicked off its monthly meeting with a discussion about dirt, specifically, the large pile of earth to the south and west of the renovated school and how to dispose of it.   The pile has always been part of the project. It was created with the earth excavated to prepare for the middle-high school's new three-story academic wing. And the plan was to use that earth to fill in the footprint of the old, sprawling single-story academic wings that have been demolished.   The issue is that

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Mount Greylock Building Committee Seeks More Information on Permit Fees
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:41AM / Friday, September 14, 2018
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Williamstown resident Matt Sheehey asks the committee to take no action on payment for inspection services. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Building Committee on Thursday decided to defer action on an invoice from the town for inspection services and instead ask Williamstown's town manager to come before the committee and explain the basis for the bill.   At issue is up to $300,000 in fees that the school building project has incurred over the life of the addition/renovation at the middle-high school.   The town has provided the district with documentation that the project actually has run up $309,554 worth of fees already, based on the

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Ta-Nehisi Coates Featured Speaker at MCLA's Dukakis Lecture
04:37PM / Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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Ta-Nehisi Coates NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Best-selling author, journalist and Marvel Comics writer Ta-Nehisi Coates will be this year's featured speaker at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' annual fall lectures series.   Also speaking this fall will be Emmy Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, and Galen Nelson, senior director of innovation and industry support at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.   Coates is a winner of the National Book Award and the NAACP Image Award and author of "Between the World and Me," a number-one New York Times bestseller in 2015, which was required or recommended reading at more than 400 colleges and

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Williamstown Select Board Weighs Permit Fee Issue at Mount Greylock
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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Select Board members Hugh Daley and Jane Patton.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board on Monday discussed whether the town should expect the Mount Greylock Regional School District to pay for permitting fees associated with the newly renovated and expanded middle-high school.   Resident Matt Sheehy asked the board to encourage the district to push for a waiver of the fees, arguing that makes fiscal sense for local taxpayers and political sense for the future of the two-town regional school district not to expect the bill to be paid.   Sheehy told the board that while Lanesborough residents on the School Building Committee and School Committee have been pushing

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Williams College Inducts Mandel as 18th College President
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:26AM / Sunday, September 09, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Shortly after being inducted as the 18th president of Williams College, historian Maud S. Mandel shared a bit of her family's history that helps inform her worldview.   Mandel told the crowd gathered in Chapin Hall how her family fled the Holocaust in the 1930s only to have their ship of refugees denied entry into the United States. And she mentioned how lucky they were to eventually be given sanctuary by Great Britain, one of the few European nations not to eventually be occupied by Nazi Germany.   "These histories — of my mother's narrow escape and of the murder of her extended family — are formative to my thinking

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BCC's Director of Nursing Resigns
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Friday, September 07, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Director of Nursing Tochi Urbani has resigned from Berkshire Community College.   Dean of Enrollment Management Christina Wynn confirmed on Friday that Urbani submitted his resignation letter on Sept. 4 and will be leaving the college on Oct. 3. The resignation comes in the midst of college officials working to elevate the program's accreditation from a recently issued "approval with warning" status.   "At this point, we are placing a high priority on finding an interim director of nursing," Wynn said.    Wynn said the change will have no impact on the students who have just returned for the semester nor does she expect

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MCLA Opens Year With Plans to Enhance Programming, Raise Visibility
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:00PM / Tuesday, September 04, 2018
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Birge, with his wife, Lisa, pulls raffle tickets for a good cause.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is welcoming just over 400 incoming students this year — but it wants more.    At the annual campus breakfast marking the start of the semester, college President James Birge detailed some of the priorities designed to "position MCLA to strengthen and enhance the college," including enrollment.   "This fall, we will welcome 415 new students to MCLA," Birge told the crowded cafeteria on Tuesday morning.. "This number is lower than last year at this time by about 25 students. Although we had budgeted for a

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Q&A: Girls Nation Gives Mount Greylock Senior New Sense of Patriotism
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:59PM / Monday, September 03, 2018
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McComish out registering voters in Arizona earlier this summer.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School senior Karen Magnusdottir McComish spent her summer learning about America and gaining an appreciation for those, like her, who one day will help lead it.   McComish, a politically active teen who helped organize her school's response to gun violence last winter, represented Massachusetts at the 72nd American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation, a program that brings together 100 of the nation's best and brightest for a week of study and debate in Washington, D.C.   "Before this program, I was hopeful for a compassionate, forward-thinking

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Dellea's 'Quiet' Service Trumpeted as BCC Turf Field Named in His Honor
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
10:19PM / Friday, August 31, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Friday afternoon, Berkshire Community College ushered in a new era in Berkshire County sports and recognized a longtime civic leader in the process.

The best part for honoree Gene Dellea? It just may be the fact that his part came at the end of a 45-minute dedication.   "For all of you who know this person, you will say to yourself, 'Of course, this should be dedicated to this person,' " Dellea's friend Emil George said moments before revealing the name of the long-awaited artificial turf field at BCC. "Because this field is important not just to Pittsfield but to Berkshire County, it should be dedicated to someone who has given

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Williamstown Issues Temporary Certificate of Occupancy at Mount Greylock
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:17PM / Thursday, August 30, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town of Williamstown on Thursday afternoon issued a temporary certificate of occupancy for the new Mount Greylock Regional School.   Earlier in the day, school and town officials clarified that the issues holding up the TCO were typical for a building project of this size and in no way related to the functionality of the renovated and expanded middle-high school.   Wednesday night, the newly expanded school district's Transition Committee decided to delay the start of the school year by two days after the $64 million project last week failed to obtain the TCO it needs to allow faculty and staff to begin preparing for the academic

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