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News and events in North Adams, Mass.

Christmas Eve Poem
06:07PM / Sunday, December 24, 2023

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Veteran Spotlight: Army Staff Sgt. Arthur Wiknik Jr.
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
12:24PM / Sunday, December 24, 2023
HIGGANUM, Conn. — Arthur Wiknik Jr. served his country in the Army's 101st Airborne as a staff sergeant from 1968 to 1970.   Born in Higganum, he was drafted at the age of 19 and did his basic training at Fort Dix, NJ.    "Didn't want to go in. I just got a big job at Pratt-Whitney, bought a '68 Camaro and had a girlfriend that I was crazy about," he said. "But I went in."   His first assignment was to Fort Polk, La., for Advanced Infantry Training.   "Much like basic but a lot more intense," he recalled. "I had lots of aptitude tests. I scored well on the app tests and weapons training." He was then sent to

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BAAMS Presents Live at Studio 9
12:37PM / Saturday, December 23, 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshires Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, Inc. (BAAMS) announced a monthly residency at Studio 9 at the Porches' Inn in North Adams beginning in January 2024.   Led by BAAMS' founder and Executive Director Richard Boulger, the monthly concerts will feature faculty from the Berkshires' Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, students, and special guests.   The first concert, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20, features Richard Boulger on trumpet flugelhorn, Dario Boente pn piano/keyboards, Tony Lewis on drums and Alex Blake on bass.   The monthly concerts will be highlighted by live performances of original jazz, funk, world music,

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Thousands of Veterans Honored With Wreath-Laying at Southview Cemetery
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:40PM / Thursday, December 21, 2023

A ceremonial wreath laying for each branch of the armed forces is held in the Drury High auditorium on Saturday. See more photos here. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 3,000 wreaths with bright red bows and one rock were laid on the graves of veterans in Southview Cemetery on Saturday.    The local Wreaths Across America effort is in its sixth year honoring the city's veterans. Donations are raised to purchase the wreaths that will stay at Southview until mid-January.   "My father was a World War Two vet and my brother-in-law was in the Army as well. My brother served with the National Guard for six years," said Nancy Lescarbeau as she searched out

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Holiday Hours: Christmas & New Year's
01:02PM / Thursday, December 21, 2023

You once could be fined for celebrating Christmas in Massachusetts. (Massachusetts State Library)

Businesses, schools and government offices will be taking breaks next week as the nation celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Christmas falls on Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, and New Year's Day on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. 

Christmas is now a state holiday but it wasn't always. The General Court under the control of the Puritans outlawed the holiday in 1659.

There was too much eating, drinking, wassailing and other festiveness for the colony's righteous rulers. Even after the ban was lifted, Christmas was treated as a regular day until its popularization during the Victorian era.

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NBSU Super Retiring at End of 3-Year Contract
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:42AM / Thursday, December 21, 2023
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — John Franzoni will stay superintendent of the Northern Berkshire School Union for the next three years.    The union's School Committee agreed on Monday to a contract that will see the Franzoni through June 30, 2027, when he plans to retire.    He was hired by the school union in 2018 to replace the retiring Jon Lev. Franzoni was principal of Brayton Elementary School in North Adams, and had been an administrator at both Greylock and the former Sullivan schools and athletic director at Drury High School.   Franzoni requested a 3 percent raise in each of the next three years, the same as his current contract, along with a four-week

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North Adams School Building Committee Looks Forward to Design Details
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:52AM / Wednesday, December 20, 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The "fun part" of designing a new school is about to start at the first of the year for the Greylock School project.   The Massachusetts School Building Authority's board unanimously approved the school district's preliminary plans on Dec. 13 and has invited it into the next module: preferred schematic design.   The proposed project would replace the existing Greylock Elementary School and Brayton Elementary School with a new consolidated facility for 240 students in kindergarten through Grade 2, plus pre-kindergarten, at the existing Greylock site.   Superintendent Barbara Malkas told the School Building Committee that they

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Avoid tapping into retirement savings early
Submitted by Edward Jones,
08:04AM / Tuesday, December 19, 2023
If you want to make a big purchase, such as a new car or a piece of property, or you were faced with a large, unexpected expense, such as a major home or auto repair, would you have the funds readily available? If not, you might look at what may be your biggest pool of money — your 401(k) or IRA. But should you tap into these accounts well before you retire?   Maybe not — and here's why: Less money in retirement – The more money you invest in your retirement accounts, and the longer you keep it invested, the more you'll probably have when you need it most — when you're retired. Consequently, taking out sizable amounts from these accounts before you

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North Adams Regional Opening Moves Forward With State Approval
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:49AM / Tuesday, December 19, 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The state's Public Health Council approved the determination of need for North Adams Regional Hospital, and the hospital is now preparing to move forward with renovations.   The request by Berkshire Health Systems for a determination of need license was approved by the council last Wednesday; BHS received the official letter that the determination of need was awarded on Friday.    "So in my mind, it was really official on Friday," said BHS President and CEO Darlene Rodowicz. "An hour after we got that approval, we got the letter from the state authorizing us to move forward with completing the inpatient unit

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Berkshires Awarded Fair Share Amendment Grants
10:37AM / Monday, December 18, 2023
Berkshires Awarded Fair Share Amendment Grants    BOSTON - The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that it is delivering a total of $100 million to the state's 351 cities and towns to support local infrastructure.    The awards come from revenue generated by the Fair Share Amendment.     In Berkshire County:   Adams: $164,272  Becket: $152,417  Cheshire: $122,439  Clarksburg: $44,745  Dalton: $120,797 Egremont: $97,200   Florida: $106,215 Great Barrington: $229,932 Hancock: $41,765  Hinsdale: $97,435 Lanesborough: $132,353 Lee: $162,458  Lenox: $154,189 Monterey: $128,942  Mount Washington

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North Adams Hires Past Legion Commander as Veterans Services Officer
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:01PM / Friday, December 15, 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Mitchell Keil has been hired at the new veterans services officer for the city of North Adams and district director for the additional communities of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Florida, Lanesborough, Savoy and Williamstown.   He was confirmed in his position at Tuesday night's City Council meeting. He replaces Air Force veteran Stephen Roy, who has resigned effective Dec. 22.   Mayor Jennifer Macksey thanked Roy for his service and that she wished him well in his future endeavors. She told the council that she believed Keil should be his successor.    Keil, past commander of American Legion Post 125, is a Marine veteran who served

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BArT Announces Upcoming Enrollment Deadlines
08:08AM / Friday, December 15, 2023
ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts and Technology (BArT) Charter Public School is currently accepting applications for students in grades 6 through 10 for the 2023-2024 school year and the 2024-2025 school year.   The first enrollment deadline for the 2024-2025 school year is Thursday, Feb. 29 at noon. The easiest way to apply is to visit https://bartcharter.schoolmint.com/. Use the teal button in the top right corner of the webpage to toggle to 2024-2025 (it will then appear orange).   Interested families should note that the best way to secure a seat or a desirable waitlist spot for the 2024-2025 school year is to apply before the Feb. 29 deadline.   The final enrollment

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