Friday, December 19, 2014
Project engineer David Loring of Tighe & Bond provided an update on the Park Street reconstruction project. Final elements of the plan will be completed in the spring. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
PARK STREET RECONSTRUCTION TO BE FINISHED IN SPRING
The Park Street Improvement Project is largely complete and will be completely finished in the spring. IBerkshires.com reports that the town of Adams held its third and final public meeting last night with representatives from contractor J.H. Maxymillian, and project engineer David Loring. In contrast to previous meetings however, there was barely an audience. Loring said last night that there is still some "clean up" work to be done - such as adding in another bench, new signage, new parking meters, and some line work.
NYC MAN GETS TWO-YEARS FOR HOME INVASION
A New York City man has been sentenced to two years in jail for his role in a 2013 home invasion and assault in North Adams. 22 year old Daivon Henry, of the Bronx, and another man - 24 year old Richard Smith - also of the Bronx, were accused of invading a Brayton Hill Terrace residence on July 2nd of last year, in an effort to recoup drug debts. During the break-in the pair assaulted three victims - all of whom said a gun was present - and stole $14 in cash from one, according to police. According to police, upon the pair's arrest no gun was present, but the victims showed clear signs of suffering an assault. Smith and Henry also had been accused of raping one of the complaining witnesses in a separate incident.
WILLIAMSTOWN COMMITTEE TO FOSTER ECONOMIC GROWTH
A new committee formed by the Selectmen aims to rev up a conversation on making the business climate stronger. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the Economic Development Committee, consisting of local business people and community members, ultimately will be responsible for creating a plan to sustain existing local businesses and encourage growth. The 11-person committee will meet for the first time in January, according to Selectman Hugh Daley.
NORTH ADAMS BOUTIQUE CLOSING STORE-FRONT
Shima Boutique - an infant and toddler clothing and toys shop on Eagle Street in North Adams - will shift to an online-only store after the holiday shopping season, according to a message posted yesterday on the store's Facebook page. Co-owners Libbie Pike and Suzy Helme attributed the closure in part to an inability to compete with the discounts and lower prices offered by major online shopping sites.
VETERANS HOME TO CUT STAFFING AND BEDS
Faced with a deficit and a decline in patients, the Vermont Veterans Home's board of trustees has voted to reduce its patient volume from 171 beds to 130. The only no vote came from H. Jamie Percey, the Vermont State Employees Association representative on the board. Veterans Home CEO Melissa Jackson said the average patient census has 121 in the past year. The home has 13 openings, which it will now not fill. That alone would save the Veterans Home more than $764,000 per year. With other savings from fewer licensed beds, the cost is expected to drop $1 million annually.
A tour of the under construction hotel included a stop in lounge area that will include a two-story skylight (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
HOTEL ON NORTH A THIRD OF WAY COMPLETE
Construction on Hotel on North is a third complete and on pace for a May opening. IBerkshires.com reports that the owners of the North Street building, David and Laurie Tierney, led a tour yesterday afternoon of the site that will soon become a boutique hotel. Most of the work is being done with local contractors, Tierney said, as they try to support the community. As many as 80 workers have been on site at a time working from the fourth floor down.
PITTSFIELD MAN ACCUSED OF RAMMING CAR
A city man is being held on $10,000 bail after he deliberately rammed a vehicle with his snow plow and threatened the driver, according to Pittsfield Police. 31 year old Christopher Davis allegedly drove his 2001 Chevy pick-up, with mounted snow plow, into a 2009 Mercedes operated by 32 year old Derrick LaForest about 11:30am yesterday in a Fenn Street parking lot across from the Pittsfield post office. Davis reportedly displayed a handgun and a knife during the altercation, according to police. Neither weapon was recovered. It was not clear what provoked the attack, which remains under investigation.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK TO RESUME
The popular Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park program will launch a second, expanded season in July, this time setting up shop around the new performance pavilion in the recently renovated Common. This year's production will increased by one third in its number of performances, according to founder Enrico Spada, with three four-day weekends from July 16th to Aug. 2nd.
BRTA GIVES DONATED GOODS TO SOLDIER ON
The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has once again this year given donated goods to 'Soldier On' in Pittsfield. All the items were donated by BRTA bus riders in support of the homeless veterans at Soldier On, on West Housatonic Street. The conference room at the BRTA had three, 8-foot tables filled - at times double-stacked - with canned/boxed food, beverages, toiletries, clothing and even a jigsaw puzzle. On Wednesday morning, several 'Soldier On' staff members and veterans arrived at BRTA headquarters in the Downing Industrial Park to collect the charitable goods. This was the fourth year the BRTA has sponsored the two-week charitable drive. From December 1st through December 15th, riders boarded the "B" buses for free if they donated a nonperishable food, personal care item or clothing.
MASSACHUSETTS GAINS JOBS, UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DOWN
Massachusetts gained an estimated 13,500 jobs in November while the unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent, down from 6 percent in the previous month. The office of Labor and Workforce Development said yesterday the state's total workforce increased by 17,600 in November, with 3,400 fewer residents unemployed during the month. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics also made a slight revision in employment growth for October, saying Massachusetts gained 1,600 jobs, up from the earlier estimate of 1,200. The state has gained a net of nearly 60,000 jobs in the past 12 months.
BERKSHIRE MUSEUM BEGINS TRADING IN BERKSHARES
BerkShares, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Berkshire Museum, among the region's oldest cultural institutions, has begun using the region's newest currency, BerkShares. Berkshire Museum will now accept BerkShares as payment for museum admission, movie tickets at the Little Cinema, and purchases in its gift shop. Executive Director Van Shields says the museum is committed to recirculating BerkShares that visitors spend there. BerkShares are a local currency for the Berkshire region. Citizens can exchange federal dollars for BerkShares at participating bank branches from Lenox to Sheffield at a rate of 95 cents per BerkShare. They can be spent at the 400 participating businesses as if they were dollars.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
(Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
BOSTON TRANSIT CAMPAIGN TOUTS NORTH ADAMS GETAWAYS
Riders on the T are getting an eyeful of North Adams. The Berkshire Visitors Bureau is running the transit campaign through the end of February to induce Bostonians to consider the Steeple City as a weekend getaway. The campaign is being funded by a $41,000 grant from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, provided from its stabilization fund for distressed communities.The mayor said there was a tendency in Berkshire County to think north and south, but the focus should shift east and west.
NORTH ADAMS TAPS NEW INTERIM DIRECTOR OF TOURISM, EVENTS
North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright has tapped Wendy DeSanty as his choice for interim director of tourism and events. DeSanty, who is expected to be formally appointed later this week, will be the second temporary employee to fill that position this year. She will replace interim director Roz Cummings, who stepped in for former director Veronica Bosley when she left the post in September. According to Alcombright, the interim director is a 20-hour a week position, paid at an hourly wage based on the starting salary for the full-time position.
Volunteers tackle the task of assembling Christmas food baskets for families who are assisted by the Williamstown Food Pantry on Wednesday morning at Sts. Patrick and Raphael Parish. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Rebecca Dravis)
WILLIAMSTOWN FOOD PANTRY READIES CHRISTMAS DONATIONS
The parish center of Saint's Patrick and Raphael was busy yesterday with volunteers of all ages. The Williamstown Food Pantry was preparing to give out food baskets, clothing and other items to families in need. Volunteers ranging from young home schooled children to retired church volunteers helped sort through canned food, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing and more in preparation for the families coming through the parish center that afternoon. The pantry has been helping the community for more than 28 years and is run by volunteers who help collect donations of items and money.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa informed the board that the police force should be fully staffed by next month. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
ADAMS POLICES FORESEE FULL STAFFING
The Police Department in Adams may have a full staff by next month. IBerkshires.com reports that Police Chief Richard Tarsa asked the Selectmen last night to allow the transfer of North Adams Police Officer Gregory Onorato. Tarsa said Onorato has been a full-time officer in North Adams for almost five years and took interest in an open position left by a resignation because he has moved to Adams with his wife. Tarsa said Onorato is known for his involvement in the North Adams community and will be a good addition to the Adams Police Department.
Selectmen approved the tree warden removing the large tree that fell on town property for firewood. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
FALLEN TREE WILL BE FIREWOOD
The giant tree that fell down next to the Town Hall in Clarksburg will be turned into firewood. The Selectmen on Wednesday agreed to a plan that would have the tree warden remove the tree and keep the wood. Town Administrator Carl McKinney said the decision will save the town about $500.
UPS EMPLOYEE STRUCK BY PICKUP IN NORTH ADAMS
A United Parcel Service employee was injured yesterday when he was struck by a vehicle on Beaver Street in North Adams. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the victim, whom police did not immediately identify, was taken by North Adams Ambulance Service to BMC in Pittsfield. His injuries did not appear to be life threatening, according to North Adams Ambulance Service. The UPS truck was pulled over to the side of the southbound lane of Beaver Street about 11:40 a.m. when the employee apparently walked out in front of the vehicle and was struck by a pickup truck, also headed south. The employee was a seasonal worker for UPS and not the driver of the delivery vehicle.
FORMER PITTSFIELD COUNCILOR COULD TAKE PLEA DEAL
Lawyers representing a former Pittsfield city councilor accused of warning a drug dealer about a police raid are working toward resolving the case short of trial. The Berkshire Eagle is reporting that Timothy Shugrue, who represents Paul Capitanio, said he is in continuing discussions with the Berkshire District Attorney's Office to craft a plea deal in the case. The 58 year old Capitanio, of Parkside Avenue, is facing single counts of conspiracy to possess oxycodone and accessory after the fact to distribute oxycodone.
BERKSHIRE CHAMBERS CALLS ALBANY AREA CASINO AN OPPORTUNITY
The site chosen for a casino in New York's Capital Region came as a surprise to some in the Berkshires, but it still presents an opportunity, according to the head of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. The Berkshire Eagle reports that new president and CEO of the chamber and chief operating officer of 1Berkshire, Jonathan Butler, said yesterday that the selection of Schenectady was unexpected. New York officials chose the site along the Mohawk River, northwest of Albany, over three other potential sites in the region. MGM Resorts International, which is developing a casino in Springfield, signed a letter of agreement with the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce last year. Butler says he is hoping the Chamber and 1Berkshire also can develop a relationship with the Schenectady casino's developer, which he said would benefit both sides.
PITTSFIELD AWARDED THIRD CONSECUTIVE GRANT TO COMBAT YOUTH VIOLENCE
Pittsfield has once again received a state grant to combat youth violence. The city has been awarded a $133,000 Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative grant. The funds will continue the city's efforts to reduce youth and gang violence. This is the third year the city has reeled in the grant. It started with a $60,000 grant in which the city opened community centers and organized programming at Dower Square and Francis Plaza. Last year, the city was awarded $100,000, which brought on Adam Hinds as a coordinator. The Police Department has also received some of the funds from the grant for the anti-crime unit.
PITTSFIELD WOMAN WHO RAMMED RIVAL'S CAR AVOIDS JAIL
A Pittsfield woman who police say rammed another car during a chase on the streets of Pittsfield had her case continued without a finding of guilt yesterday. 20 year old Harmony Edwards-Persip drove her vehicle into the back of a 19-year-old's Hyundai Accent about 9:45pm on July 18th as the woman was traveling down Merrill Road in Pittsfield. The defendant is due back in court January 29th.
Christina Barrett and Michael Wynn gave up a few hours of their Wednesday night to help Santa Claus get in touch with local children. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
SANTA CLAUS CALLS PITTSFIELD CHILDREN
Jolly old Saint Nick made phone calls to 80 Pittsfield area children last night in preparation for his overnight journey next week. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Santa and Mrs. Claus will make more than 156 phone calls this year - enlisting volunteers from the city to help out. Eleven volunteers joined him last night and another 10 from the Knights of Columbus will join him on Thursday. The city has recruited the Wednesday night group for the last four years after the Elks Club had to stop the program. Each year, parents have an opportunity to sign their kids up to receive the call and share some information about the child's wants or ask Santa to give them a message. Last year, 184 children were called.
SHEFFIELD MAN PARDONED
A Sheffield man has secured a pardon for a marijuana conviction dating to his teenage years at Monument Mountain Regional High School during the late 1980s. The Governor's Council voted unanimously yesterday to approve favorable recommendations from Gov. Deval Patrick and the state Advisory Board of Pardons that Jeffrey Snyder, now 43 and a cancer survivor, be granted a pardon. He had been convicted of selling marijuana at the school less than a year after the Legislature had passed a provision that called for a mandatory sentence for drug offences within a school zone. Snyder, who was a senior at Monument Mountain when arrested in 1989, served a mandatory two-year term in the Berkshire Jail & House of Correction.
MONUMENT MOUNTAIN REPAIRS UPWARDS UP $26 Million
The committee tasked with assessing the needs of Monument Mountain Regional High School's physical plant met last week and emerged with a written overview and list of "immediate" and "near future" needs of the deteriorating high school which if undertaken are estimated to cost between $26 million to $34 million. The Berkshire Edge.com reports that the Berkshire Hills Regional School District's Buildings and Grounds subcommittee did not include in the estimate other notable costs such as insurance, permits, legal, contingency, hazardous waste abatement, demolition or bonds. The estimates were drawn from schematic design estimates that were part of the Monument High renovation project which Great Barrington voters foiled in November.
GROUP SAYS MASSACHUSETTS FACES $1B DEFICIT
An independent analysis pegs the state budget deficit at $1 billion in the current fiscal year - more than three times the previous estimate of state officials. The analysis released by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation forecasts a $288 million shortfall in revenue and $525 million in spending obligations not included in the budget which runs through June 30th. The organization also said the state faces at least $180 million in temporary Medicaid costs resulting from a breakdown of the state's health insurance exchange. Gov. Deval Patrick's administration estimates the deficit is $329 million and disputes the foundation's analysis.
UMASS PRESIDENT LEAVING FOR POST IN MARYLAND
University of Massachusetts president Robert Caret is leaving to become the chancellor of the University System of Maryland. The announcement was made yesterday by James Shea, chairman of the USM Board of Regents. Caret will begin his new post on July 1st. Caret has served as president of the five-member UMass system since January 2011.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Code Enforcement Officer Scott Koczela told the board that it is difficult to do a proper inspection once people move their things into an apartment. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
ADAMS BOARD OF HEALTH REVISITING RENTAL INSPECTION FEES
The Adams Board of Health may add a late fee for landlords delinquent in getting their rental properties inspected. IBerkshires.com reports that Code Enforcement Officer Scott Koczela told the Board of Health that he often gets called to do an inspection after people are already living in an apartment. Koczela said normally the fee is $25 and many landlords think nothing of moving people in without an inspection. He would like to raise the fee to $50 if renters are moved in too early. Koczela said there are many repeat offenders and even some of the town's better landlords allow people to move in prior to inspection.
Kit & Kaboodle held its grand opening on Friday night. The craft and artisan store reopened on Holden Street last month. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
CRAFTS & ARTISAN STORE KIT & KABOODLE REOPENS IN NORTH ADAMS
Crafts store Kit & Kaboodle has changed its location but not its commitment to showcasing local talent. IBerkshires.com reports that the store's new space at 26 Holden Street North Adams displays a wide range of local and regionally made items, from scarves and handmade soaps and scented candles to paintings, carvings and many other items. And owner Carolyn Albert's own crocheted items. Albert opened last year in the Carlow Building in Adams but was forced to move early this fall when the building was sold. She decided to move north in hope of picking up more foot traffic.
The Windsor Lake Recreation Commission voted for a rate increase of 10 percent for seasonal campers. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
CAMPGROUND SEASONAL RATES HIKED
Seasonal campers will have to spend more this coming summer to stay at Historic Valley Park Campground. The Windsor Lake Recreation Commission voted to raise seasonal fees 10 percent, or an extra $180, for campers who spend the entire summer at Windsor Lake. Chairman George Forgea says that the rates have not been raised since the 2012 season. Forgea said he had discussed the rate hike with North Adams Mayor Richard Alchombright, and also suggested raising the monthly camping rate by 10 percent.
(Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Stephen Dravis)
CLARK ART TO CHARGE ADMISSION STARTING JANUARY 1st
The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown will start charging admission on January 1st. The museum officially posted its new admission policy yesterday, ending a long-standing practice of free admission November through May. According to the museum's website adult admission to the galleries will be $20. Admission will continue to be free for members, children under 18 and students with valid identification. Through the end of December, admission is free in the main galleries. However, the Monet - - Kelly exhibition has a $10 admission charge through December 31st.
BARTON RESIGNS FROM LANESBOROUGH SCHOOL COMMITTEE
Citing distrust of the committee's chairman, a member of the Lanesborough School Committee tendered his resignation yesterday. Robert Barton emailed Chairwoman Regina DiLego and town officials to announce that he plans to leave the three-person body and would try to serve until May 5th.
MAN WHO CRASHED STOLEN CAR IN PITTSFIELD HAD STOLEN DIAPERS
A Pittsfield man who allegedly stole diapers to support his cocaine habit is being held on $5,000 bail after he crashed a stolen car while trying to elude police. After a brief pursuit, 38 year old Tony Audet crashed the car into a delivery truck at the intersection of West Housatonic and Hawthorne Avenue. According to police, four large boxes of Pampers were found in the trunk. He was transported to Berkshire Medical Center for a reported head injury and was later booked at the city police station. He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to single counts of felony, receiving stolen property, misdemeanor third offense shoplifting and other charges.
PITTSFIELD MAN COULD FACE MAY TRIAL IN ARMED ROBBERY OF GAS STATION
A Pittsfield man accused of robbing an Elm Street gas station in 2011 is scheduled to go to trial on the charges in May. 30 year old Erich Rawlins of Deming Street was in Berkshire Superior Court yesterday for a pretrial hearing. Second Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Kinzer III told the court prosecutors would try the case in May unless a plea deal can be worked out. Rawlins remains held on $52,100 bail. He is due back in court in April for a final pretrial hearing.
WOMAN CHARGED IN LENOX DALE HOME INVASION
A woman accused of a Lenox Dale home invasion is being held without bail on a probation violation in connection with a 2013 beating of another woman. 20 year old Walezka Carmona, of Pittsfield, pleaded to sufficient facts for a finding of guilt in August on two charges of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and a single count of witness intimidation and two charges of misdemeanor assault and battery. Judge Fredric Rutberg continued the charges without a finding of guilt for six months. Carmona was ordered held without bail pending a final violation hearing scheduled for January 14th.
LENOX CHAMBER UNVEILS NEW APP
The Chamber of Commerce in Lenox has launched a Lenox-specific mobile app designed to keep visitors and residents in the loop about local events, deals at local businesses and loyalty-card promotions. The "Lenox in the Berkshires" app was unveiled during the Chamber's annual meeting and holiday dinner at Jae's Asian Bistro on Monday. Key features include a complete events calendar, updated frequently, as well as information on lodging, dining and shopping destinations.
VICTIM IN SYDNEY SIEGE FORMER EMPLOYEE
The manager of a Sydney cafe, who spent time as an employee of a Lenox resort, is being lauded for sacrificing his life to save the lives of fellow hostages during a 15-hour siege at the eatery. The Berkshire Eagle reports that 34 year old Tori Johnson reportedly disarmed the gunman by grabbing his shotgun, an act that reportedly helped bring the standoff to an end early Tuesday. Johnson and Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old mother-of-three, were killed. Another 15 hostages were released or escaped. The hostage-taker was killed as police stormed the cafe to end the siege. Johnson served as the general manager of Wheatleigh in Lenox from 1994-2005.
BAKER IS A FAN OF JEB BUSH
Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker says he's "certainly a fan" of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has announced plans to actively explore a possible GOP bid for the White House. Baker stopped well short yesterday of declaring support for a prospective Bush candidacy, saying he's focused on getting his own administration off the ground.
BAKER SAYS HEROIN CRISIS IS AMONG EARLY PRIORITIES
Gov.-elect Charlie Baker says tackling heroin and opiate addiction would be an early focus of his administration, as state police reported dozens of suspected overdose deaths around Massachusetts in recent weeks. Baker said during a visit to the Statehouse yesterday that the addiction crisis cuts across everything, including geography and class.
STATEHOUSE MENORAH LIT TO MARK START OF HANUKKAH
An 18-foot menorah has been lit at the Massachusetts Statehouse to mark the beginning of the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah. A large crowd watched yesterday as Gov. Deval Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman were lifted in a small crane to light the first candle on the menorah near the Grand Staircase. Hanukkhah began at sundown on Tuesday. The Statehouse ceremony was one of several being held around the state, including the lighting of a 22-foot menorah on Boston Common.
CLIFFORD CREATOR DIES
Norman Bridwell, creator of the popular "Clifford the Big Red Dog" series of children's books turned into a PBS TV show, has died. Scholastic, his longtime publisher, says Birdwell died Friday in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. He lived in Edgartown, Massachusetts. More than 120 million copies of his books have sold worldwide, along with cartoons, a feature film, a musical, stuffed animals, key chains, posters and stickers.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The Adams Free Library, currently undergoing renovations that will make it more handicapped accessible, is reviewing a policy on service animals to ensure it's not discriminatory. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
ADAMS LIBRARY PULLS SERVICE ANIMAL POLICY AFTER OUTCRY
A policy on how to regulate certain animals within the Adams library has stirred up a firestorm of angry emails and posts questioning its legality and potential discrimination. IBerkshires.com reports that Library Director Deborah Bruneau said yesterday that there was never an intent to discriminate against anyone. Many of the responses questioned the library's right to ask that a service animal owner present any certification or to detain the owner at the front desk while other patrons are informed of the animal's presence. Bruneau said the only goal of the policy was to make sure the animals are kept under control and clean. The policy has been sent to town counsel for review and the trustees have been contacted about tabling the vote taken at last week's meeting.
The Maple Grove Civic Club decided the president of the club can appoint a chairman to revive the Adams Taxpayers Association. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
MAPLE GROVE CIVIC CLUB WILL REACTIVATE TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION
The Adams Taxpayers Association will be revived by the Maple Grove Civic Club despite objections by some members that it doesn't comply with the bylaws. The membership voted 15-6 at Sunday's meeting against a full club vote on the issue, leaving the details for the group's resurrection in the hands of the board of directors. Vice President Jeffrey Lefebvre said the club's bylaws allow for the appointment of a chairman of a special committee who then can create his own board. He said this board will be separate from the club and can be deactivated or asked to leave at any time.
WINDSOR LAKE WEED PROBLEM NEEDS SOLUTION
After years of rapid growth, the invasive weeds in Windsor Lake are targeted for elimination next year. The Berkshire Eagle reports that a weed management plan for the picturesque Windsor Lake off Bradley Street is included in a lengthy list capital expenditures the city will make from the state's $750,000 emergency aid package. The city of North Adams is looking to advertise for a weed management study in early 2015 with the goal of having results in the spring. Treatment to rid the lake of the tall weeds is expected to begin in the late summer of 2015.
The new retaining wall on the west side of the building, completed last month (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
WORK CONTINUES AT COLGROVE SCHOOL
The roof on Colegrove Park School should be completed in 12 to 15 days - if the weather holds out. IBerkshires.com reports that roofing materials had arrived by the end of November but the weather hasn't been cooperative. Mayor Richard Alcombright said demolition is essentially completed and no surprises are expected as roof work continues. The roof on the 100-year-old structure is being redone as part of the $30 million renovation of the former Conte Middle School into a kindergarten-through-Grade 8 facility. The School Building Committee was given a brief update yesterday on progress so far.
GROUP OF TENANTS FILE LAWSUIT IN CHESHIRE
A group of tenants in Cheshire has filed a lawsuit against Morgan Management, claiming the landlord waited years to fix septic troubles at the mobile home park it owns off Wells Road and charged residents to pay for overdue repairs. The Berkshire Eagle reports that tenants living in Pine Valley's 95 units lived with "noxious odors" and in "unhealthy and unsanitary" conditions for more than a decade, the town's Rent Control Board found. Now the tenants are seeking more than $200,000 in repayments on rent from Morgan via a class action lawsuit. The group claims they were forced to live in those conditions during which time they thought they were collectively paying toward an eventual repair of the park's septic system.
The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Commission is hoping to hold a hazardous waste collection in the spring. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
SOLID WASTE DISTRICT EYES HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION
The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste District may hold a hazardous waste collection in May. Program Coordinator Sandy Totter tells IBerkhsires.com that the state-contracted collection service penciled the district in, but she was not sure if there would be enough money in the budget. Totter said the district has not held collection in two years and she has received many phone calls requesting one. She said the collection is an important service because people could have some dangerous items in their homes.
PATRICK UNCERTAIN ON FUTURE PLANS
Gov. Deval Patrick says he still has made no decisions about his future after leaving office. Patrick indicated yesterday that he had received feelers about a "range of things" but had no plans beyond vacationing with his wife, Diane, after his final day as governor on January 8th. Possible opportunities included what he termed a "loose affiliation" with an initiative planned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
HEALTH INSURANCE DEADLINE LATER IN MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts residents seeking health insurance beginning January 1st have a little more time to sign up through the state's health connector. State officials yesterday sought to clear up confusion about the enrollment deadline, which is Monday for people in many other states but not until December 23rd in Massachusetts.
GAS PRICES CONTINUE DOWNWARD TREND
Massachusetts drivers continue to benefit from tumbling prices at the pump. AAA Southern New England reports that the cost of a gallon of self-serve, regular dropped a dime in the past week to an average of $2.68. The current Bay State average is a quarter lower than a month ago and 75 cents lower than at this time last year, but still 13 cents per gallon above the national average.
The Lanesborough School Committee has been divided over budgets and the school's administrative affiliations. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Stephen Dravis)
LANESBOROUGH SCHOOL COMMITTEE CHAIR REJECTS CALL TO RESIGN
The chairman of the Lanesborough School Committee on Monday refused to resign either her position or her seat on the elected body in response to a complaint from another member of the committee. Committee member Robert Barton sent Chairwoman Regina DiLego a two-page letter dated Nov. 15 in which he outlined several alleged "inappropriate actions and erroneous public statements" over the past six months. DiLego read into the record a point-by-point rebuttal of Barton's specific charges and concluded by saying that she would not resign her current positions. The three-person committee has been at odds over the past year about budgets and the school's administration.
SON INJURES HEAD DURING ALTERCATION WITH FATHER AT FIRST