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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

SVMC's 'Green' Razing of Lodge Building Makes Way for New ER
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff
01:28PM / Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Lodge building was most recently used for offices. 

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center has begun the slow process of a "green demolition" of its Lodge building.

The building, which SVMC is demolishing to make way for its $28 million Kendall Emergency Department, was built in 1925 and initially acted as laundry and housekeeping facilities. In recent years, the Lodge has served primarily as an office building.

"This really is the culmination of probably the better part of 10 years of planning," said SMVC President and CEO Thomas Dee.

Rather than demolishing the Lodge and disposing of the materials, SMVC is doing a "green

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Carpenter, Framingham State Women Top Williams in OT
09:24PM / Saturday, November 20, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Mount Everett alumna Gwendolyn Carpenter scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds Saturday to help the Framingham State women's basketball team earn a 67-66 overtime win over Williams College.   Carpenter scored three points in OT and made a steal with 10 seconds left to help seal the victory.   Krysta Padellaro led Framingham State (3-1) with 15 points.   Maddy Mandyck scored a game-high 16 points for Williams (2-3), which hosts Springfield College on Tuesday.   Men's Basketball WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Nate Karren scored 15 points to lead the Williams College men's basketball team to a 90-50 win in the first round of the Purple and

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@theMarket: Market's Week of Indecision
By Bill Schmick,
11:51AM / Saturday, November 20, 2021
Stocks and bonds traded in a tight range for most of the week. Some stocks were rewarded, while others punished, based on their earnings results. The U.S. dollar hit a series of new yearly highs, and just about everyone is waiting for President Biden's pick to head the Federal Reserve Bank.   That announcement could come as early as this weekend. Chairman Jerome Powell's term will end in February 2022. He is a Republican, picked by former President Donald Trump. He had a somewhat rocky relationship with the ex-president but did manage to maintain the independence of the central bank despite Trump's attempted interference. His track record through the pandemic makes him a

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St. Lawrence Women's Basketball Edges Williams
10:45PM / Friday, November 19, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The St. Lawrence women's basketball team held off a furious comeback by Williams to escape with a 65-64 win on Friday night in the Morin Memorial Tournament.   Katie Frederick and Sierra Sanson each scored 14 for St. Lawrence, which had a 55-42 lead going to the fourth quarter.   Maggie Meehan scored 25 points, and Maddy Mandyck had 13 rebounds for Williams (2-2), which hosts Framingham State on Saturday afternoon.   Men's Hockey WATERVILLE, Maine -- Jacob Monroe scored midway through the second period to lead Williams to a 1-0 win over Colby in Friday's season-opener.   Evan Ruschil stopped 43 shots to earn the shutout in

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The Retired Investor: The Teacher Shortage
By Bill Schmick,
11:46AM / Friday, November 19, 2021
The U.S. labor shortage is hitting the public education sector hard. Yes, COVID-19 and its mutations have had a lot to do with the lack of teachers, but the problem predates the pandemic. In just the last two months, 65,000 public education employees left the industry.   Across the United States, in October 2021, there were 575,000 fewer state and local education employees than in February 2020, according to the latest employment report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pandemic, in some ways, was simply the straw that broke this camel's back.   Stagnant wages, or worse, falling wages, have beset the teaching industry for years. In 2018, for example, the wage gap between

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Mount Greylock School Committee OKs Additional 90K for Storage Building
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Friday, November 19, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee unanimously authorized using  up to $90,000 more of Williams College's capital gift funds for a storage building at the middle/high school.   The structure was originally intended to cost just $90,000 but bids were coming in significantly higher and Business Administrator Joe Bergeron had to ask the panel for doubled funding on Thursday.   "It is a nightmare scenario for me coming to you and asking for an additional $90,000 from the capital gift because I know how sensitive that topic is," he explained.   "But we also do not have good pockets of money to be able to tap into for

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SVMC Lab Receives National Accreditation
01:57PM / Thursday, November 18, 2021
BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has awarded accreditation to the laboratory at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC).     The laboratory is staffed by a team of phlebotomists, technical laboratory technologists, medical technologist, cytologist, and pathologists who work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to deliver laboratory results to the patients of SVMC.   "Laboratory accreditation ensures accuracy,” said Karen Bond, the department's director. "CAP's vigorous inspection confirms that SVMC is delivering high quality results

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Williamstown Select Board Extends Interim Town Manager's Stay
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:37AM / Thursday, November 18, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.— The Select Board voted to keep current interim Town Administrator Charles Blanchard on the job with eyes on a more all-encompassing permanent search in the future.   The selectmen had even fewer choices Thursday with candidate Barry Del Castilho pulling his name from consideration and with a 4-1 vote, the selectmen slotted Blanchard back into the town manager seat.    "I am very comfortable with Charlie in the interim. I am comfortable that he doesn't want to be the permanent town manager," Board member Jane Patton said. "...I have a lot of faith in town hall, and I will continue to be vigilant in what we are looking for with the

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Williamstown's COOL Committee Pushes Fire District on Station Design Process
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:10AM / Thursday, November 18, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Members of an environmental action group Wednesday pressed the fire district to incorporate the advocates into the early planning for a new fire station on Main Street.   Stephanie Boyd and Susan Abrams of the Carbon Dioxide Lowering (COOL) Committee addressed the Prudential Committee at its monthly meeting to ask how COOL Committee members best can engage with the district's Building Committee and its designers to make sure the planned station is in line with the Net-Zero Carbon Emissions pledge overwhelmingly passed at this year's annual town meeting.   "We're saying that we have knowledge or services that might help you with your

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Letter: Williamstown Racial Justice & Police Reform Supports Bernard for Interim Town Manager
Letter to the Editor,
03:30PM / Wednesday, November 17, 2021

To the Editor:

Despite the enormous racial justice and police reform challenges facing Williamstown, the town has been operating with less than a full-time town manager for over seven months. We call on the Select Board to choose North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard as interim town manager.

We believe that Mayor Bernard is the unicorn that Select Board member Jane Patton hoped for when she asked for administrative and racial justice experience in a candidate. Mayor Bernard has hired a police chief, one of the key tasks for the next town manager. Furthermore, Mayor Bernard said "North Adams also has been part of an overdue national reckoning with the legacy of racism and white

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Williams Men Come Back for OT Win on Opening Night
08:21AM / Wednesday, November 17, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Cole Prowitt-Smith scored 16 points, and the Williams College men's basketball team overcame a seven-point half-time deficit to earn a 79-69 overtime win over SUNY-Oneonta in Tuesday's season opener.   Frankie Williams scored 17, and Michael Ortale had a double-double with 11 points and a team-high 13 rebounds for Williams, which outscored Oneonta (3-1), 10-0 in overtime.   Former Wahconah standout Brandon Roughley, who attended the Salisbury School, scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds and passed out a pair of assists in his debut for Williams.   Williams (1-0) hosts Curry College on Saturday evening in the opening round of the Purple

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Williamstown Parents Concerned by 'Picnic Style' Dining at School
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Wednesday, November 17, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District superintendent Tuesday said that he is confident the staff at Williamstown Elementary School have created a safe, sanitary environment for children to eat lunch while making necessary accommodations to allow for social distancing   Last week, parents concerned about a practice having children eat lunch on the floor of the cafeteria sent a letter to Superintendent Jason McCandless, the School Committee and the town's health inspector calling for a change to the current procedure.   "We were told this was a temporary thing in the spring to get our kids back in school and with warmer weather the kids

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