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North Adams Mulls Moving PreK and Grade 7 Classes
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:26AM / Wednesday, January 25, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Finance and Facilities Subcommittee will recommend the School Committee approve moving Grade 7 up to the high school.

The move to consolidate resources will also relocate the preK program from Johnson School into the elementary schools and add one class.

The change to a preK-Grade 6 and Grade 7-12 reconfiguration will require a School Committee vote and the approval of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which the school department is already pursuing.

Malkas said she had spoken separately with School Committee members about ways to consolidate resources before bringing the proposal to the subcommittee. There were two options: moving the preK

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Clarksburg School Options Being Narrowed Down
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Tuesday, January 24, 2017
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The School Building Committee is leaning toward one of two new options developed in response to feedback at its last meeting, when the initial plans for a renovated Clarksburg School were proposed.

Proposals E and F pick up on the concerns raised over the size of the primary wing and the need for a gym. The committee appeared heavily in favor of Option E, which included a rebuilt and expanded primary wing, a new kitchen and cafe, and a 4,000 square-foot gym, smaller than the 5,000 square-foot options.

Both those options will join the four prior schemes created by Jones Whitsett Architects along with the firm's review of the current building, the educational

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'Travel Photography for Everyone' Begins Jan. 25
11:37AM / Friday, January 20, 2017
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — One of the joys of traveling is creating enduring photographic images of the sights that fill you with wonder, delight, and surprise.

Learn how to capture even better images next time you travel with award-winning photographer Thaddeus Kubis in OLLI: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College's winter course, "Travel Photography for Everyone." No experience is necessary.

The class begins Wednesday, Jan. 25, and runs for four weekly sessions from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Berkshire Community College's South county Center, located at 343 Main St. in downtown Great Barrington.

Whichever media you use — film, digital,

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Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest Theme: 'Trees are Terrific'
12:56PM / Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has announced the theme of 2017's fifth grade Arbor Day Poster Contest: "Trees are Terrific … from Berkshires to Bay!"

Fifth grade classes from both public and private schools across the commonwealth are encouraged to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest by having the students create posters highlighting this year's theme, and then hosting a school poster contest. The winning poster from each school can then be submitted to the agency for review.

"I am delighted that students from across the Commonwealth continue to participate in the Department of Conservation and

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Neal: Democratic Party Needs a 'Reset'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:26PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Democratic Party can't "sugarcoat" its disastrous situation, says U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.

And the pain lies deeper than the loss of the presidency and failure to make inroads in the Republican-controlled Congress.

"Time for a reset," he said, pointing out that "the people we're losing used to be for us."

Nearly a third of House Democrats come from three states: Massachusetts, New York and California.

"In the last eight years, all election cycles for Congress, we have lost 62 House seats, 15 Senate seats," Neal said at a session at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Tuesday. "Two-thirds of the

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Neal Visits Hoosac Valley, Says Will Attend Inauguration
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:34PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says he will attend Friday's presidential inauguration of Republican Donald Trump.

The Springfield Democrat and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter told students at Hoosac Valley High School on Tuesday morning that while disappointed with the results of the election, he felt it important to be at the transition of power.

"What the inauguration represents is the peaceful transition of power and as much as I was for Secretary Clinton, as much as I campaigned for her in New Hampshire and in Pennsylvania … and as much as I was disappointed in the outcome I am going to be there," Neal said. "I will be there with a lot

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Civil Rights Leader John Lewis Speaking at MCLA Commencement
02:11PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will celebrate its 118th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 13, beginning at 11 a.m., in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium.

This year's keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement who, as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was one of the "Big Six" leaders of groups to organize the 1963 March on Washington. Lewis will receive an honorary doctor of public service.

In addition, Anne W. Crowley, an MCLA alumna and a corporate executive and communications strategist who enjoyed a lengthy career in both the public and private

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North Adams Third-Graders Get Free Swimming Lessons
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:41PM / Sunday, January 15, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — All North Adams third-graders will be provided free swim lessons through a donation from All Saints Episcopal Church and the Northern Berkshire Family YMCA.

According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children ages 1 through 14.

But through donations from the All Saints parish, all North Adams third-graders will learn a life skill that could save their lives.

"The goal of this program is to get every third grader to know how to swim because that is the age and the grade where the most drownings occur," YMCA CEO and Executive Director Randy Kinnas said. "In our

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BCC Enters Home Stretch Of Renovation Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:23AM / Sunday, January 15, 2017
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The classroom spaces have have much more natural light with the renovations. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state's oldest community college is starting to look more like the newest.   Berkshire Community College is wrapping up renovations to two academic buildings. The $30 million renovations have been under way since the spring 2015.   The renovated Hawthorne Hall was opened on June 1 and construction workers are putting the final touches and equipment is being moved into Melville Hall in anticipation for an opening later this month.   "We're looking late spring or early summer," Director of Facilities David Moran said of the entire project, which

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Clarksburg School Building Committee See Initial Plans
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:25AM / Friday, January 13, 2017
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The School Building Committee got its first look at plans for a new or renovated  school — and the cost gave members pause.

The initial project estimates range from $12 million to $24 million on the high side; most put the town's cost at about $8.75 million to $12 million.

Architects Margo Jones and Kristian Whitsett of Jones Whitsett Architects presented the committee Thursday with six possible layouts. The schemes ranged from a total renovation, partial renovation and new construction to a totally new school.  

"What you are seeing here tonight are very broad concepts," Whitsett said. "We don't want you to worry about

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