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Downing to Give Keynote Address at 56th BCC Commencement
04:46PM / Monday, May 02, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 56th Commencement Exercises to be held June 3 at Tanglewood in Lenox.

Downing was first elected in 2006 at the age of 24. During his decade of service, Downing, who recently announced that he will not seek a sixth term, has represented 52 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District, the largest Senate district in the commonwealth.

"Throughout his decade of service, Senator Downing has been a familiar face at our institution — always supportive and willing to help. He has been a true friend not only to BCC, but to so

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MCLA Signs Agreement with WNEU School of Law
01:28PM / Friday, April 29, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has signed a 3 + 3 articulation agreement with Western New England University School of Law to establish a joint program leading to a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor degree.
 
With this agreement, signed Tuesday by MCLA President James F. Birge, WNEU Provost Linda Jones and WNEU School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin, qualified undergraduates at MCLA may substitute the first year at the law school for their senior year at MCLA. As a result, they may earn their bachelor’s degree and juris doctor degree in six years instead of the typical seven.

According to Birge, this new partnership allows both MCLA and WNEU

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Montessori School Kicks Off $2.95 Million 'Go Beyond' Capital Campaign
12:56PM / Friday, April 29, 2016
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LENOX, Mass. — The Montessori School of the Berkshires, a school that serves toddlers through grade 8 in Lenox Dale, has launched a $2.95 million capital campaign called “Go Beyond.”

The campaign kick-off, which took place at a school-wide event on April 15, is part of the school’s 10th anniversary celebration. The “Go Beyond” Campaign is raising funds for a 7,300-square-foot expansion to the existing 9,000-square-foot building. Students, families, teachers and MSB board members attended the event.

In addition to a large space for whole school gatherings and indoor sports, the campaign will fund MSB’s expansion, including a second elementary

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Financial Advisers Deliver Dreary News to Pittsfield Officials
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Friday, April 29, 2016
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Kerwood said the city needs to take a variety of actions to solve its financial crisis.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council and the School Committee on Thursday were shown just how bad a shape the city's finances are in.   "There is no doubt that we have some legitimate challenges with our financial condition. I think tonight's presentation was meant to be an honest look at what those challenges are and set the framework for the need for all of us to work together in a variety of ways to address this issue," Mayor Linda Tyer said.   "There is no one single, simple solution. While people want to see reductions in budgets, and that's one

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Taconic Project Passes 90 Percent Design Phase
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:32PM / Tuesday, April 26, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 90 percent design drawings for the new Taconic High School have been submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority but architect Carl Franceschi says the design work is closer to 100 percent.   "We are actually beyond 90 percent completion of the full document," Franceschi, of Drummey Rosane Anderson, told the School Building Needs Commission on Monday.   By mid-June the full specifications will be completed, he said, and that's when the bidding process for the most of the work will be put to bid. The design work is continually updated and price estimated to ensure that the construction is no more than the $97.7 million

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Taconic High School Groundbreaking Scheduled May 13
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:14PM / Wednesday, April 20, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Taconic High School project is scheduled for Friday, May 13.   The 3 p.m. ceremony will celebrate the start of construction on the $120.8 million new school. J.H. Maxymillian Inc. has already been working on the site as part of a number of early bids released. Gilbane Construction is the construction manager at risk, and will be heading the project and managing the subcontracting.    The ground is being leveled where the new school will be located and an access road and parking lot is being created. The entire construction area will be fenced off.   Many of the current playing fields are in the planned

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Clapp Park Ballfield to Be Named After Coach Pellerin
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:22PM / Tuesday, April 19, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The baseball field at Clapp Park is being named after former coach George "Buddy" Pellerin.   The Parks Commission approved the naming on Tuesday after being overwhelmed by support from former players, family and friends of Pellerin. A large crowd filled the meeting room as Ken Ferris gave a presentation on not just why Pellerin deserved the recognition but also plans to upgrade the field.   "Buddy Pellerin was much more than a coach. You did well on the field but he was much more interested in what you did off the field," Ferris said.   Pellerin was head coach of the Pittsfield High baseball team for 19 years, leading the team to

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Tyer Looking To Pare Down Schools Budget Proposal
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:37PM / Monday, April 18, 2016
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Superintendent Jason McCandless is proposing a 3.7 percent increase to the budget. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer is asking the School Department to pare down its budget request even further.   The current proposal calls for a $2.157 million increase from city coffers, which represents a 3.7 percent hike over this year.   Tyer told the School Committee on Wednesday night that she wants "find a balance" between the requested $3.7 percent increase and the number of cuts it would take to get down to a 2.5 percent increase.   "The next round of reductions proposed was a reduction to 2.5 percent, which is not possible for us to

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St. Joe High Accredited, Approves Strategic Plan
02:54PM / Tuesday, April 12, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — St. Joseph Central High School has been accredited for 10 years by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The recent acknowledgment by NEASC affirms the academic excellence of the diocesan high school's programs and offerings, said school officials. The self-evaluation process, which is also extended to public schools, sets specific criteria as it reviews all aspects of a school.

School Board President John O'Brien applauded the many individuals and their countless meetings involved in the accreditation process, stating that it was "no small undertaking. We are extremely pleased with the NEASC commendations and have incorporated all of

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St. Joseph Students Receive Multiple Literary Honors
02:03PM / Monday, April 11, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — St. Joseph Central High School honors writer Taylor Jordao finished in the top 1 percent of nearly 3,000 writers in the Letters About Literature writing contest, sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. 

In recognition for her letter to author Shel Silverstein, Jordao and 14 other high school writers received commendations at the March 15 ceremony at the State House in the Great Hall. Jordao also met with Sen. Benjamin Downing, a St. Joseph alumnus (class of 1999).

Other St. Joseph students finishing as Letters About Literature semi-finalists, in the top 10 percent of entries, were: Elizabeth Bean, Ilyssa Creamer, Camila Gomez, Leanne Hamilton,

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