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Letter: BAtT Fundraiser Success Because of Community Support
Letters to the Editor,
01:00PM / Wednesday, May 10, 2017
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On Saturday, April 8, Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School hosted our 10th annual "Get BART Smart" fundraiser – and raised $27,843 (net) for the school's college preparatory programs. Over 130 people attended – and re-lived their high school years through our team trivia game. A huge "thank you" to all who played and made it a great evening!

This night would not have been possible without the support of over a hundred local organizations and businesses.

Our High Honor Roll sponsors: Aladco Linen Services; Berkshire Bank; Cord Master Engineering; Primary Venture Partners; Shine Wire Products Inc.; Smith Watson & Company, LLP; and

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Taconic Construction: Walls Going Up, Power Coming On
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:35AM / Sunday, May 07, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The wrap around the construction site at Taconic High School is expected to be fully removed soon.   The work has ramped up in recent week with the onset of nicer weather. On Thursday, there were close to 150 workers on site through various subcontracts working on the $120 million high school project.   The exterior precast being placed around the entire building had just begun and is expected to be completed by the end of May. The window frames are on site and will be installed following the precast work. And in two weeks, permanent power will energize the job site, placing a generator.   The flooring on the third floor is nearly complete,

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McCann Tech Welding Grads Hope to Spark New Careers
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:24AM / Friday, May 05, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Certificates of completion were awarded Wednesday to the dedicated graduates of McCann Technical School's evening welding course, part of a workforce development program to train for manufacturing skills.    "This is a compressed course. You went through a lot of material in a very short period of time," metal fabrication instructor John Kline said. "You know how far you've come in the short seven weeks we had here. ...   "I hope you got a lot of out of it, and not just the hands-on welding but what you learned in the classroom as well. You not only learned how, you learned why. And you need

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MCLA Names Recipients of Berkshire County Educator Recognition
01:06PM / Monday, May 01, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of the seventh annual Berkshire County Educator Recognition Award. This award, given by MCLA in collaboration with Berkshire County K-12 superintendents and Berkshire Community College, was created to honor the region’s exceptional teachers.

This year's recipients will be recognized on Thursday, May 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Murdock Hall room 218, on the MCLA campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The recipients are Lisa Kelly Kane (Early Childhood – Community Setting), director of St. Paul's Children Center of Stockbridge; Robin Poirot (PreK-Grade 2), a kindergarten

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Pittsfield School Officials Approve Further Budget Cuts
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Thursday, April 27, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The proposed school budget has been cut again, raising the number of layoffs to 75.6 full-time equivalent positions. However, the teachers' union is foregoing some $300,000 worth of raises to save some of those jobs.   On Wednesday, the School Committee adopted a proposed budget of $60,686,338, with the city's share of that being $60,066,338. That is $250,000 less than what was presented at the budget hearing two weeks ago.   "We understand we have to do this because we understand the situation we are in," Superintendent Jason McCandless said.    McCandless said two days after the public hearing on April 12, in a meeting with

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Pittsfield Council Asked To Push For State Education Funding Changes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:21AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — How the state calculates what it costs to run a school system is much different from what local officials say it actually costs.   That was the message delivered to the City Council on Tuesday night when the School Committee arranged a presentation from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. MASC Field Director Tracy Novick urged the council to advocate for changes to the state funding formulas to bring more state dollars into the city.    "The commonwealth of Massachusetts is not doing its fair share in making sure our children are having the best education," Council Vice President John Krol, an avid supporter of the

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BCC Students to be Inducted Into National Honor Society
01:42PM / Monday, April 24, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. mdash; Berkshire Community College will hold an induction ceremony for students joining the Xi Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on Thursday, April 27, at 12:30 p.m. in the Boland Theatre of the Koussevitzky Arts Center on the college's main campus in Pittsfield.

Phi Theta Kappa is the national honor society of junior and community colleges in the United States. The purpose of the society is to recognize and encourage scholarship among students.

To be eligible for membership, students with freshman standing (12 to 29 credits) must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or better. Students with a sophomore standing (30 or more credits) must have

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MCLA Makes It Official With Inauguration of President Birge
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
08:33PM / Friday, April 21, 2017
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Birge takes the oath of his office from Susan Gold, chairman of the board of trustees. See more photos here. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — James F. "Jamie" Birge hadn't intended to become a college president.    After interviewing dozens of presidents of colleges large and small, private and public, for his dissertation in leadership studies, he came away with the impression it was too difficult, too demanding and fraught with financial pressures.   "Why would anyone want to do that job?" he joked on Friday afternoon as he gave his inaugural address as the 12th president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. "After finishing my dissertation

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United Way Program to Provide Kindergarteners With Supplies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:24PM / Thursday, April 20, 2017
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Gary Levante is co-chairing the day of caring this year.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Every child entering kindergarten next year will have a backpack full of supplies.   Berkshire Bank employees will be filling 1,200 backpacks with books, supplies, reading lists, and informational fliers as part of the Berkshire United Way's day of caring. The literacy kits will be given out at locations throughout Berkshire County on June 21 at a series of "pop-up parties."   "Each kindergarten party will have a variety of family friend activities. There is going to be food and fun and all types of good stuff," said Berkshire United Way CEO Kristine Hazzard

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World War 2 Veteran Shares His Story With Reid Students
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:47AM / Monday, April 17, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was like pins and needles.   That's what Bill Weigle, a World War II pilot, told the Reid Middle School eighth-grade class of his flights during the war. He never knew when or if a German fighter would appear near him and shoot him down.   "I did not come here to tell you I'm a hero because I'm not. But we were on pins and needles the whole time," Weigle said.   Weigle was alive on Thursday to share his story with the class and credited that to the education and training he received. He stressed the importance of education to the students, multiple times telling them that if he didn't have the training he had, he would

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