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Lanesborough FinCom Voices Concern With Educational Spending
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:19AM / Thursday, April 23, 2015
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Finance Committee wants to see if there is even more money available to pull out of the education budgets.   On Tuesday, committee members said they wanted more answers about both the Mount Greylock Regional School District budget and the Elementary School budget, feeling that each have more money than they need.   The town administrator, however, said the dollar amounts aren't worth the fight.   Committee members said they were concerned that Mount Greylock school officials had returned to give a "formal" presentation to the committee after voting to add an additional $42,100 into the budget.   Those additions resulted in a

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Pittsfield Approves Funds To Build New Taconic High School
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:34PM / Tuesday, April 14, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the City Council authorized the borrowing to build a new Taconic High School.   The proposed school is going to cost $120.8 million, with the city picking up $40 million or so of that tab. The rest is being paid through the Massachusetts School Building Authority.    Tuesday's vote allows the city's financial staff to bond the funds for the project. In June, the MSBA will cast a similar vote for its portion.   For more information about the project, click here.   "This is certainly the most important vote, most meaningful vote, I will ever take as a member of the City Council," said Ward 6

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Pittsfield School Officials Hear Resistance To Adult Learning Cuts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:34AM / Friday, April 10, 2015
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. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Adult Learning Center leaders are protesting the school department's proposal to cut more than $100,000 in funding.   The budget calls for a reduction of $106,281 for the adult education program. Superintendent Jason McCandless said the proposed cut is part of $2 million worth of reductions in the fiscal 2016 budget.   Overall, the proposed $58 million budget is 3.5 percent more than last year but obligations and reduced income had put the department in a place in which $4 million was needed for level services.   "Even though we are getting an additional $2 million from the city, we need $4 million," McCandless

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Grimm's Fairy Tales Staged at St. Joseph's High
08:48PM / Thursday, April 09, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Fairy tales come to life this weekend at St. Joseph's High School.

Students will be staging "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon," a fast-paced ride through the stories of the Brothers Grimm.

The play was written by Don Zolidis and is directed by Eric Barriere and Tess Daly.

It will star St. Joe student actors who will attempt to combine all 209 stories ranging from classics like "Snow White," "Cinderella" and "Hansel and Gretel," to more bizarre, obscure stories like "The Devil's Grandmother" and "The Girl Without Hands."

This free-form comedy will include lots of audience participation and

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Wahconah Mounts Musical Production of '9 to 5'
By Heather Cachet, Special to iBerkshires
02:16PM / Thursday, April 09, 2015
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DALTON, Mass. – Wahconah Regional High School Apollonian Players will present "9 to 5: The Musical" this weekend.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors and will be available at the door or at O'Laughlin's Pharmacy on Main Street.

Set in 1979,  the musical follows the story of three women who become tired of working in an office for an overbearing, male-chauvinist boss. When they decide to take things into their own hands and make some changes to their office routines, bedlam ensues.

The three women are played by Catie May, as

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Pittsfield Council Looks At Bonding Impacts For New Taconic
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Wednesday, April 08, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Should the proposed Taconic High School be approved, city officials will have to make some long-term financial decisions.

They could bond quickly to take advantage of lower interest rates and start paying principal earlier or push back the debt.

The city will also have to decide whether to bond for 20 years to save on the total amount of interest paid or 28 years to lower the annual payments.   Cinder McNerney, managing director of First Southwest, has seen cities and town employ the whole spectrum of options and said there are benefits to each.   The bonding isn't expected for about two years, so she told the City Council that if it does approve

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Pittsfield Schools Call For 3.5 percent Increase From City
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:40PM / Monday, April 06, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department is asking for a 3.5 percent budget increase.

Superintendent Jason McCandless says the budget  won't "devastate" the school system but also won't allow growth.

McCandless said contractual obligations for fiscal 2016 went up by $1.4 million, payments on new buses added $370,000 to the budget, electricity is expected to rise $108,000 and gas $422,000, and another $1 million in special education tuition costs are expected to increase.    "These four items plus our contractual obligations are driving the discussion," McCandless said, adding that the department also lost revenues in a kindergarten grant

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Williamstown-Lanesborough Elementaries OK Superintendent Contract
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:24PM / Monday, April 06, 2015
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Two-thirds of the Lanesborough-Williamstown public school "Tri-District" has approved the contract for the towns' next school superintendent.   On Monday morning, the elementary school committee members who compose the joint Superintendency Union 71 committee met and unanimously approved a three-year deal for Douglas Dias.   The contract faces another vote for approval on Wednesday morning, when the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee meets at 9 a.m. at the junior-senior high school.   Dias would be paid $150,000 in the first year of the contract with increases to be negotiated by him and the school districts in succeeding

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Bidwell House Museum Offers High School Internships
12:28PM / Wednesday, April 01, 2015
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MONTEREY, Mass. — The Bidwell House Museum, a colonial historic house museum in Monterey, is offering high school students with an interest in history, particularly local Berkshire colonial history, the opportunity to become a Young History Scholar Intern this summer.

The Bidwell House Museum is a 1750s New England heritage site providing through its land, house and collection a personal encounter with frontier life in early America. The museum includes the fully furnished colonial homestead, several outbuildings and 192 acres of grounds with gardens, stone walls, foundations and hiking trails.

High school interns spend two weeks at the museum. In week one, the intern learns about

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