Friday, December 05, 2014
National Grid customers being switched over to new supplier Hampshire Power will see a 'transition' price in this month's bill of the new and old rates. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Tammy Daniels)
RATE CONFUSION WITH ELECTRICAL SUPPLIER SWITCH
National Grid customers being switched over to new supplier Hampshire Power will see a 'transition' price in this month's bill of the new and old rates. IBerkshires.com reports that November's electric bills had a lot of residents scratching their heads. The city joined with nine other communities in an electrical aggregation program this fall to purchase power from a different, and lower cost, supplier. Hampshire Power offered a set rate of $0.12191 per kilowatt hour compared to National Grid's raised rate of $0.16273 per kWh. The switch was set for November 1st - the same day National Grid's rate increase went into effect. But what ratepayers saw on their bills was $0.13341 - which didn't correlate to any of the stated rates. Administrative Officer Michael Canales said he's been fielding calls from confused residents since they received their bills.
WILLIAMS COLLEGE JOINS WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON COLLEGE ACCESS
Williams College President Adam Falk yesterday joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college. The White House College Opportunity Day of Action was held to support the President's commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment. Williams submitted to the initiative a dozen new efforts to expand student preparedness for college and persistence to graduation.
Mark Maloy of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission explains the area being designated as blight. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
ADAMS SELECTMEN APPOINT TOWN ADMINISTRATOR, DESIGNATE BLIGHT
Selectmen in Adams officially appointed a new town administrator and designated a new blight area in town. Pending a physical and his signing of the contract, Tony Mazzucco will start January 12th. IBerkshires.com reports that he has agreed to a three-year contract with a starting salary of $81,000. The board voted unanimously to hire Mazzucco, the assistant city manager of Caribou Maine, after his interview November 22nd. The board also accepted a resolution that will designate a new slums and blight area and make it available for Community Development Block Grants.
INTERIM SCHOOL CHIEF VOTE TODAY IN WILLIAMSTOWN
School officials in Williamstown are poised to vote on a contract today for Gordon Noseworthy to serve as interim superintendent of Williamstown-Lanesborough Public Schools. Noseworthy, of Northampton, served as interim superintendent in Pittsfield in 2012-13 and also held that position in North Brookfield in 2010-11. According to Mount Greylock Regional School Committee Chairwoman Carrie Greene, he was selected for the position after interviews in open session on November 21st.
The popular Reindog Parade draws dozens of holiday dressed canines — and sometimes goats and other four-footed creatures. All local dogs are invited to attend, but their owners must be leashed. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Stephen Dravis)
WILLIAMSTOWN HOLIDAY WALK RETURNS
Williamstown history will be on display tomorrow when the 31st edition of Holiday Walk kicks off in the Village Beautiful. The annual celebration includes a free film at Images Cinema, the annual Reindog Parade, the Penny Social fundraiser, the tree lighting and, this year, a chance to see a 19th-century fire hose cart that is undergoing restoration at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. Holiday Walk weekend gets under way on Friday night with carols and cocoa on the Clark's Fernandez Terrace, where acapella singers from Williams College will entertain as the crowd dines on s'mores and hot chocolate from 5 to 7 p.m. The weekend concludes on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. with a tea in the lobby of the Williams Inn.
CHALLENGE TO HOUSATONIC RIVER CLEANUP LIKELY TO SPARK PROLONGED LEGAL DISPUTE
A challenge to the Housatonic River clean-up could lead to a long legal dispute. An official with the EPA has confirmed that General Electric's wide-ranging, strongly worded rejection of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Rest of River PCB cleanup remedy for the Housatonic increases the prospect of a prolonged legal confrontation. Jim Murphy, the EPA's Region 1 Boston-based spokesman, said the federal agency will study the company's formal comment before issuing a response next spring. He says that other public comments are also being evaluated.
PITTSFIELD MARCH PLANNED TO PROTEST RECENT POLICE SLAYINGS
Outrage over recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo., and in New York City has reached Pittsfield, where dozens of protesters are planning to hold a peaceful march on Sunday afternoon. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the march, organized by the local NAACP, churches and other service organizations, will begin at 3 p.m. in Pitt Park and continue to the Pittsfield Common. Will Singleton, president of the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP, made it clear that it would be a peaceful march - but he says that the local African-American community is "disgusted" with recent national events.
The executive committee met on Thursday to discuss an array of issues. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
COUNTY TRANSPORTATION PLAN IN THE WORKS
BRPC is looking for input on a plan for the county's transportation system. IBerkshires.com reports that the plan will guide where county officials will spend state, federal and local dollars on the system. The plan will include ways to reduce congestion, ease commutes, improve safety - and enhance sidewalks, bike lanes and trails. The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is looking for public input on the system and will be holding an input session on Tuesday, December 16th at 5:30pm at the Berkshire Regional Transit's Intermodal Center.
PITTSFIELD POLICE ISSUE ALERT FOR JAMES PURCELL, MISSING SINCE NOVEMBER 14
Pittsfield Police are seeking the public's help in locating a 30-year-old city man missing since mid-November. James Purcell disappeared November 14th after last being seen in his gray, 2008 Toyota Rav 4, license plate 828-EN8. Pittsfield Police Capt. John Mullin released information yesterday afternoon that identified Purcell as "missing and endangered." According to Mullin's press release, Purcell stands 5 foot, 10 inches and weighs 165 lbs. He is African-American and has brown eyes. Anyone with information about Purcell's disappearance or whereabouts is asked to call the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 448-9705.
BERKSHIRE CAROUSEL TO BE HOUSED AT ORIGINAL PITTSFIELD LOCATION
The Berkshire Carousel has come full circle. After attempts to locate the carousel in Lanesborough and Dalton, the amusement ride will land at its original destination: the vacant lot next to the CVS on Center Street in Pittsfield, organizers say. Organizers hope to have it up and running by the end of next year. The yet-to-be-assembled merry-go-round is currently stored at the former Crane stationery factory in Dalton, where work continues on the attraction. The carousel, its building and amenities are expected to cost more than $2 million.
LANESBOROUGH MAN GETS 18 MONTHS IN JAIL FOR BEATING GIRLFRIEND
A Lanesborough man with a history of domestic violence was sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to beating his girlfriend in October. 32 year old Terrance Jones, of South Main Street, attacked his girlfriend in the early morning hours of October 4th, after becoming angry over some texts he saw on her cellphone. During a later court hearing Jones was determined to be a danger and held without bail. Jones pleaded guilty in Central Berkshire District Court yesterday to felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor assault and battery on a family or household member.
SMOKESHOP DENIED LICENSE
A downtown Pittsfield smoke shop has had to remove half its inventory after the city's Health Department became aware that it had been operating for several months without sufficient permitting. According to Director Gina Armstrong, the department became aware of the establishment, Shire City Glass and Fine Tobacco, and a visit by an inspector in early November confirmed the presence of tobacco products at the new North Street store, which opened in June.
(Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/Joe Durwin)
PITTSFIELD PLAYGROUND REPLACED THROUGH STATE GRANT
One new Pittsfield playground is complete, and another slated for spring, through an initiative by Gov. Deval Patrick aimed at improving recreational access in low-income neighborhoods. IBerkshires.com reports that just before the first snowstorm of the season, contractors completed the installation of all new equipment at Raymond Crow Playground on Winter Street in the Morningside neighborhood, and work on the Westside's Dorothy Amos Park will begin sometime in April. The grant for $200,000 came out of $10.3 million allocated by the Patrick administration.
CITY OF PITTSFIELD TREE CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING TONIGHT
The City of Pittsfield will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting tonight at Park Square. The tree will be lit at 6pm. Caroling will take place prior to the tree lighting at 5:30. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive following the tree lighting, fresh of their stop in North Adams on Wednesday night. Free hot chocolate will be available courtesy of Patrick's Pub. Those who attend are requested to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the Christian Center's food pantry.
LENOX DALE SETS TREE LIGHTING EVENT
The annual Christmas tree lighting in Lenox Dale will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Santa will arrive by fire engine at Veterans Memorial Park at the intersection of Walker and Crystal streets to light the tree. Following the lighting, Santa will greet the children at the Fire Station on Elm Street, where gifts and refreshments will be distributed. Santa will also pose for photos with the children. The event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company.
SECOND IN TALKING BOOKS SERIES TAKES PLACE SATURDAY
The second in the "Talking Books at The Whit," series of up-close-and-personal encounters with authors is scheduled to take place at 2pm tomorrow in Pittsfield. The event is being presented by nationally syndicated radio talk show host Stephanie Abrams in a cooperative effort with Ghazi Kazmi, co-owner of The Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield. Abrams will moderate the event and will read a portion of her novel, Rumors. The event will include both local and internationally known authors present at The Whit plus an interactive Skype visit with globally renowned executive chef Maria Loi, who has written over 30 cookbooks including the 2004 Official Cookbook of the Olympics in Greece.
BAKER WHITE HOUSE TRIP
Massachusetts Gov.-elect Charlie Baker is gearing up for a daylong trip to the White House where he's scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama. Baker told The Associated Press on Thursday that he first thought all 50 governors would be invited, but later realized it included only five or six newly elected governors. Baker said he expects to discuss a range of issues Friday, from federal and state relations to national security.
PROTESTERS ARRESTED ON MASS PIKE
State police say they've arrested a small number of protesters who blocked traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike and demonstrated at the State House over a grand jury's decision to not charge a white police officer in the videotaped chokehold death of an unarmed black man in New York City.
MARKY-MARK LOOKS FOR FORGIVNESS
Actor Mark Wahlberg is asking Massachusetts for a pardon for an assault he committed in 1988 when he was a troubled teenager in Boston. Wahlberg's application with the Massachusetts Parole Board says he isn't the same person he was 26 years ago and his past convictions are still affecting his life.
FUND FOR OUTBREAK VICTIMS INCREASED
A proposed fund to compensate victims of a nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people has been increased by about $35 million. The outbreak was blamed on a tainted steroid produced by Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center. It sickened more than 750 people in 20 states.
Federal labor economists say Rhode Island was the only New England state to post a significant change in the unemployment rate in October, dropping to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in September. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the region's unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in October from 6 percent in September. The Massachusetts rate remains unchanged at 6 percent.
Thursday, December 04, 2014
NURSES TO PICKET STAFFING LEVELS; BMC DISPUTES UNION'S STATISTICS
The Nurses union will picket outside Berkshire Medical Center next week over what they call "dangerous staffing levels," - a claim the hospital flatly contested. The Berkshire Eagle is reporting that in a news release issued yesterday, the Massachusetts Nurses Association said next week's protest is the nurses' way to "protest what they believe are dangerous staffing levels, excessive patient assignments for nurses and other health care workers, and a punitive work environment that is compromising the quality and safety of patient care for patients they serve throughout Berkshire County." BMC fired back at the MNA's claims, asserting that staffing levels are appropriate for the hospital's patient count and are adjusted as volume rises and falls. Mike Leary, spokesman for BMC, said 650 union nurses are employed by BMC and a vote of 80 doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire nursing staff. The picket will take place from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday next week.
NORTH ADAMS HISTORICAL COMMISSION HOLDS FIRM
The North Adams Historical Commission has affirmed its decision to keep the wrecking ball away from an abandoned house at 11-15 Furnace Street, despite requests from city officials for its demolition. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the commission agreed at its Monday meeting to uphold its August 21st decision to block the demolition on the property, which is part of the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. Community Development Director Michael Nuvallie had asked the commission to reconsider, but its four present members agreed their order should remain in place.
ADAMS NETS 90K ON PROPERTY AUCTIONS
The town of Adams has netted nearly $90,000 through the auction of five distressed properties - all of them seized for back taxes. Five other properties didn't generate bids high enough to sell on Monday at the Adams Visitors Center. The sale of the three properties with houses and two parcels without any buildings netted the town a total of $89,500, said town Treasurer Kelly Rice. The taxes owed on the five properties totaled roughly $55,000.
NORTH ADAMS TREE LIGHTING WELL ATTENDED
The City of North Adams, despite the rain, held its annual Christmas Tree Lighting last night. Hundreds of people attend the lighting, which included singing, hot cocoa and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who handed out small gifts from a North Adams Fire Department engine. Trees at both ends of Main Street were lit during the 6pm gathering. The First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir performed a series of holiday melodies and Christmas carols.
PITTSFIELD MAN ADMITS 2012 RAPE AND FACES UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON
A Pittsfield man is facing up to 10 years in prison after admitting to raping a Pittsfield woman in her home during a November 2012 break-in. 43 year old Christopher Peterson entered into a guilty plea in Berkshire Superior Court yesterday as part of a joint recommendation reached between his attorney and the Berkshire District Attorney's office. Peterson was arrested in December of 2012, and has since been held on $100,000 bail at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction. He pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to aggravated rape and breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE STUDY REQUESTED BY MAYOR
Mayor Dan Bianchi is still hoping the City Council will approve purchasing "rapid response" sport utility vehicles for the fire department to respond to medical calls. IBerkshires.com reports that the mayor has asked the Ambulance Review Committee to study service call data and how ambulance companies and the fire department are being used. Bianchi says he is looking for recommendations based on that information on the most efficient way to handle the services.
The boutique hotel is expected to open next May. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/Joe Durwin)
HOTEL ON NORTH PAVES WAY FOR MORE PITTSFIELD PARKING
A revision of downtown Pittsfield zoning districts that would allow Main Street Hospitality to develop additional parking area for a planned boutique hotel sailed easily through its first hurdle to approval on Tuesday. IBerkshires.com reports that in a public hearing that lasted less than three minutes, the Community Development Board looked favorably on the proposed amendment to city zoning, which would expand the Downtown Business District to include three parcels on the east side of Center Street and south side of Union Street. Two of these parcels are currently split zoned business and residential, while another is entirely in the high density residential zone.
MADD VIGIL SET FOR SUNDAY IN PITTSFIELD
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office in cooperation with Mothers Against Drunk Driving is sponsor a 'Vigil of Remembrance' on Sunday. The candle lighting ceremony, to remember those lost as a result of a drunk-driving crash, will be held at St. Stephen's Church on East Street in Pittsfield. District Attorney David Capeless will be the main speaker. Members of the District Attorney's Youth Advisory Board will participate in the ceremony as will the Grace Notes, vocalists from Miss Halls School, and members of the Massachusetts State Police. A reception will follow the ceremony at 3pm. The public is invited to attend.
New brick pathways at Persip (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/Joe Durwin)
DOWNTOWN PITTSFIELD CONSTRUCTION WRAPS UP FOR YEAR
A variety of Pittsfield, construction initiatives in the city's downtown have culminated with the onset of the winter season, but work will resume in several areas over the coming spring and summer. Continued streetscape development, along with renovations of pedestrian plazas and an elaborate redesign of the Pittsfield Common are among the projects that lie in various stages of completion, according to the city's Office of Community Development. Community Development Specialist Laurie Mick.said"Anything that doesn't get completed by the end of this year will resume in the spring."
The Finance Subcommittee met on Wednesday night. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
PITTSFIELD FINCOM APPROVES POLICE CONTRACT, WASTEWATER PLANT UPGRADES
The Pittsfield City Council's Finance Subcommittee is recommending the approval of a long-awaited new contract for police patrol officers. IBerkshires.com reports that the three-year contract is retroactive 2 1/2 years, meaning the administration and the patrol union will be going right into negotiating the next. Because of the lengthy negotiations during which the patrol union was operating under a previous contract, the city is paying about $403,000 for the retro-pay. A rejection by the Finance Subcommittee and subsequent City Council would have led to an arbitration process. The subcommittee approved it but urged both sides to come to agreement earlier.
LEE PROPERTY TAXES RISE
Home and business owners likely will pay more in property taxes in 2015, due in part to a rise in housing values to the highest level in four years. The Berkshire Eagle reports that while the new tax rate is 7 cents lower than in 2014, the owners of an average single-family home will see an increase of about $72 in their real estate tax bills. The assessed value of an average single-family home climbed above the $250,000 mark for the first time since 2011. Annual growth, however, remained steady at about $11.6 million for the second straight fiscal year, causing an increase in the tax burden among property owners.
WATSON FUND STARTS LONG PATH TOWARD $25K GOAL
The John S. Watson Christmas Fund is accepting donations once again this year. The fund was founded in 1936 by local newsman John S. Watson. Last year the fund was able to serve 831 people with food and clothing certificates in 2013. Both clothing and food certificates are mailed out in December, so that the families have time to redeem the certificates in time for Christmas. The fund, now in its 78th year, is looking to raise $25,000 for needy families in the southern Berkshires. Donations to the fund can be made through Berkshire Bank south county offices, and checks should be payable to the Watson Fund. The fund has so far collected $740 in donations. Those wishing to make their donations "in memory of" or "in lieu of holiday cards" should include their requests with their check.
MA TAX PAYERS TO PAY LOWER RATE
Massachusetts taxpayers will start paying a lower state income tax rate beginning in January. Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter confirmed Wednesday that all the requirements needed to automatically lower the personal income tax rate from 5.2 percent to 5.15 percent beginning on January 1st have been met.
MASS LAGGING BEHIND IN EXPORT GROWTH
Economists say Massachusetts has been lagging behind the nation as a whole in one key area of international trade. Mass-Benchmarks, a journal of the state's economy says in a report that Massachusetts ranked 49th out of the 50 states in export growth between 2009 and 2013.
DEATH PENALTY NOT FORCED FOR CONFESSED KILLER
Lawyers for a man who confessed to carjacking and killing two men in Massachusetts and killing a third man in New Hampshire have argued that the federal government should not force the death penalty on Massachusetts, a state that has rejected capital punishment. Gary Lee Sampson was sentenced to death in 2003 by a federal jury in Boston, but that sentence was overturned eight years later by a judge.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
School Committee members Larry Taft, left, Mark Moulton and John Hockridge consider the proposal. Superintendent James Montepare is at front right. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Paul Hopkins)
SCHOOL COMMITTEE DELAYS REDUCING ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
The North Adams School Committee was split last night on the notion of reducing academic requirements for students participating in sports programs. IBerkshires.com reports that on a 4-2 vote, the committee decided to table the matter for further investigation. The proposal from school administrators would require students to pass only four - instead of five - core courses to keep playing sports. The change would keep the school system in line with Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association standards.
CHESHIRE: TOWN AWARDED $5K FOR SAFETY TRAILER
As part of its commitment to safety and controlling costs, the town of Cheshire was awarded a $5,000 loss control grant to purchase a safety equipment trailer for use by the local Fire, Police and Public Works Departments. The Berkshire eagle reports that the trailer will provide public safety employees with one portable location for all needed traffic and work zone safety equipment, enabling fast response to infrastructure repairs and emergencies, as well as clear delineation of construction and accident zones to promote safety. Cheshire received the grant from the Massachusetts Inter-local Insurance Association, which provides property and casualty insurance to the town.
The Police Advisory Commission met on Monday to finalize the advertisement and salary range. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com/ Andy McKeever)
LANESBOROUGH CONSIDERS SHARING POLICE CHIEF
The town of Lanesborough is sending out an invitation to four nearby communities to discuss sharing police services. IBerkshires.com reports that Police Chief Mark Bashara and K9 Officer James Rathbun are both retiring next year and the town is eyeing a chance to save money. While the search for a new chief is ongoing, the Finance Committee and the Selectmen are considering other ways to organize the department. Possible options could include replacing the two retiring officers with part-timers to reduce benefits, contracting with other departments for patrol - such as the state police or Pittsfield - or even sharing a chief as the town selectmen had previously suggested.
The Selectmen approved a peer review of Dollar General's traffic study if doesn't cost the town anything. (Story and Photo Courtesy of Media Partner iBerkshires.com)Jack Guerino)
DOLLAR GENERAL TRAFFIC STUDY TO BE REVIEWED
The Cheshire Board of Selectmen has voted to request an independent peer review of the Dollar General Traffic study. After postponing a decision last week, the board met yesterday and discussed their opinions of the study after reading it. Last week, residents Richard Scholz and John Tremblay approached the board with a letter requesting a peer review of the traffic study for the proposed discount chain store by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. They said they believe this study to be free of charge. One of the concerns Scholz brought up was whether or not the study represented peak traffic situations.
DRUGGED DRIVER RELEASED
A city man who was allegedly high on heroin when he caused a multi-vehicle crash that nearly electrocuted another man is free on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to several charges. 32 year old Peter Matthews, of Parkside Avenue, was had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf in Central Berkshire District Court on misdemeanor charges of drugged driving, possession of heroin and a marked lanes violation. According to Pittsfield police, Matthews was high on heroin Monday morning when his vehicle veered into oncoming traffic near the Lipton Mart at 460 South Street, snapped a utility pole and crashed into a fence. The pole and primary electric lines carrying 13,000 volts of electricity landed on a minivan. The driver of that mini-van was taken to BMC with minor injuries.
ARRESTED AFTER VIDEOTAPING OFFICER, PITTSFIELD MAN TO FIGHT CHARGE AT TRIAL
A Pittsfield man who was arrested after videotaping a police officer during a traffic stop is heading to trial in March to fight the charges. The Berkshire Eagle reports that 44 year old Keith Stringer, of Pittsfield, was videotaping Pittsfield Police Officer Dale Eason while he conducted a traffic-stop on First Street on August 20th. Officer Eason ordered Stringer to stop recording him and to move on, but when the defendant allegedly refused, the officer seized his phone and arrested him on a charge of disorderly conduct as a subsequent offense. According to court documents, Stringer refused to give Eason his name prior to being arrested.
THREE PITTSFIELD RESIDENTS, INCLUDING HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, FACE DRUG CHARGES
Three Pittsfield residents, including a Pittsfield High school senior, are being held on bail following a police raid on a city residence that allegedly turned up cocaine, marijuana and ammunition. The Berkshire Eagle reports that 24 year old Adam Pettijohn, his 18-year-old brother, Michael Preston, and Pettijohn's girlfriend, Nycole Kiley, were arrested about 5:30 a.m. yesterday after members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed a "no-knock" search warrant on a South Atlantic Avenue residence. Kiley, 18, is a senior at Pittsfield High School. They are all due back in court December 30th.
PRESS PROTOCOL DISCUSSED
The Police Advisory Committee has agreed to a press protocol similar to one put in place for city government earlier this year. The Berkshire Eagle reports however, that Charles Smith Jr. said he thought it "unfair to put everything on the chairman," and said that a policy "shouldn't limit" an individual member from talking to the press if giving their own opinion, as long as it was not said to represent the entire board. Chairman Alan Righi agreed that committee members should be free to speak but said they should clarify to the media that they are not speaking for the committee, and that statements for the group should come through the chairman.
FORMER LENOX SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBER PROBED
A former Lenox School Committee member is under investigation for the alleged theft of funds from the Morris Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization. The Berkshire Eagle is reporting that Jennifer Reinholt, who also was treasurer of the PTO until her one-year term expired in September, is the focus of a probe into the disappearance of funds from PTO coffers. Reinholt resigned from the School Com