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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire County Education Task Force's Single-District Solution Surprises Its Chair
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:32PM / Tuesday, July 18, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The chairman of the Berkshire County Education Task Force says he was as surprised as anyone when the group voted to recommend a single school district for the county's 30 towns and two cities.   But John Hockridge is convinced that the proposal makes sense for students and taxpayers alike.   "Most of us thought that was not the direction we were headed in 32 meetings over the last couple of years," Hockridge, a member of the North Adams School Committee, said on Tuesday. "But we went through a process on Saturday that involved breaking into six groups for thorough discussions of the options.   "From the breakout groups, the


Pignatelli Takes Over Cariddi's Chairmanship of Environment Committee
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:15PM / Tuesday, July 18, 2017
BOSTON, Mass. — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli is taking over the House chairmanship of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture for the late Rep. Gailanne Cariddi.   Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo appointed Pignatelli to the seat that was previously chaired by his former Berkshire delegation colleague, Cariddi, who died earlier this year. The dean of the Berkshire delegation will likely be removed from his current committees to focus solely on the chairmanship.   "Clearly, I am very honored. This is a key legislative position in leadership," Pignatelli said. "It bodes really well to have the chairman be from

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Berkshire Girls Lacrosse Squad Competes at Bay State Games
10:18PM / Monday, July 17, 2017
WALTHAM, Mass. — The first-ever group of Berkshire area lacrosse players recently competed in the seven-vs-seven tournament at the Bay State Games at the Veterans Memorial Complex on July 11-12.   Three years ago, coaches Jeff Murray and Larry Sheedy started a club team for girls to learn and play lacrosse. This initial group of 17 players from Grades 6-8 has now blossomed to three teams with one each for players in Grades 3-6, 7-8 and 9-11.   The 12 players who played six games at the Bay State Games were from six different area schools and were by far the youngest team in the competition. They came from Hoosac Valley High School, Pittsfield High School, Pine Cobble,


Bulldogs Win Western Mass State Tourney
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
09:53PM / Monday, July 17, 2017
GREENFIELD, Mass. -- The Lanesborough Bulldogs 11-and-under Cal Ripken Baseball team Monday rallied from a 10-5 deficit to earn an 11-10 win over Ashburnham-Westborough in the Western Mass State Tournament championship game.   The Bulldogs scored three runs without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the fifth and Kyle Kelly pitched a scoreless fifth to send the team on to the New England Regional later this month in Waterville, Maine.   On Monday, Lanesborough needed to win twice against Ash-West, a team that took a 6-4 decision from the Bulldogs earlier in the double-elimination tournament.   The Bulldogs also needed to bounce back after blowing a 5-0 lead when Ash-West

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Traversa Throws No-Hitter for Post 68 Juniors
09:02PM / Monday, July 17, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Joe Traversa threw a no-hitter Monday to lead the Post 68 Juniors to a 4-0 win over Longmeadow in the American Legion Baseball district playoffs.   On Tuesday at Clapp Park, Post 68 plays the winner of Wilbraham and Greenfield for the title. If Post 68 loses on Tuesday, it will play the same team again on Wednesday to decide the double-elimination tournament.   Seniors   PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- On Monday at Clapp Park, East Springfield defeated Post 68, 5-4, to win their bracket in the district tournament.   East Springfield advances to a best-of-three series with Northampton to decide the district title. That gets under way on Tuesday.  


Biz Briefs: Bank Donation to SVMC Funds Child-Friendly Waiting Areas
02:48PM / Monday, July 17, 2017

For the kids: The Bank of Bennington presented a $25,000 donation to Southwestern Vermont Health Care earlier this month at the bank's flagship location at 155 North S. in Bennington, Vt. The funds, given in celebration of the bank's centennial year, are dedicated to the creation of several interactive, child-friendly waiting areas within the health system.

Dubbed Kids Korner, the first two interactive play waiting areas will be developed at the pediatrics practice and on the Women's and Children's unit at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.

This is the first of several donations the bank plans to make to celebrate its centennial year. The Bank of


Berkshire Force 14U Squad Finishes Second
12:43PM / Monday, July 17, 2017
GREENFIELD, Mass. -- After a great weekend of softball, the Berkshire Force 14-and-under softball team entered the final game as the undefeated No. 1 seed but took a 13-5 loss against New Hampshire's EFC Elite in the Coaches Classic Tournament on Sunday.   The Force  knotted the game up at 2-2 in the bottom of the first inning. Addison Lyon had an RBI single in the rally.   ECF Elite took the lead for good with five runs in the second inning.   The Force collected eight hits. Jordyn Lummus and Kirstyn Carrigan each collected multiple hits Lummus went 3-for-3 to lead the way.   ECF Elite had 14 hits in the game.


Berkshire Force 10U Wins Tournament
12:26PM / Monday, July 17, 2017
GRAFTON, Mass. -- The Berkshire Force 10-and-under softball team proved to be the best team out of 11 at the Grafton Invitational over the weekend, beating the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds en route to the championship.   After finishing 2-1 in pool play, the Force entered the tournament as the fifth seed. Behind a dominant two-hitter from starting pitcher Mia Arpante, they beat the fourth seed Grafton Diamonds, 11-0, in quarter-finals.   In the semi-finals, Amanda Pou mowed down the No. 1 seed Northeast Hurricanes, allowing one run on no hits and 12 strikeouts in seven innings as the Force won, 3-1.   The Force scored its first run against the Hurricanes when Michaela Hinckley raced

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Berkshires Beat: Brain Injury Group Raises Awareness at Pittsfield Suns Game
11:52AM / Monday, July 17, 2017

Brain game: The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts held a Brain Injury Awareness Night with the Pittsfield Suns on Sunday, July 16.

There was a table for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, and to share brain injury knowledge and help raise awareness, the Pittsfield Suns hosted a trivia game.

Rebecca Gleason, a brain injury survivor from North Adams and Northern Berkshire Brain Injury Support Group Facilitator for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, prepared for months before singing the National Anthem at the Pittsfield Suns game.

Scott Steves, also a brain injury survivor from North Adams, threw out the first pitch.

How wonderful: Two New York-based


Berkshire Force 14U Scores Early, Often in Win
04:28PM / Sunday, July 16, 2017
GREENFIELD, Mass. -- Jordyn Lummus’ triple helped get the Berkshire Force 14-and-under softball team off to a quick start in an 8-3 win over the Black Widows on Sunday in the Coaches Classic Tournament.   The Force scored on Lummus’ triple, a single by Addison Lyon, a single by Kirstyn Carrigan, a single by Ellianna Christopher, a single by Molly Sherman, a double by Lummus, and a walk by Szophia Lewis in the first inning.   Carrigan earned the win in the circle. She went  seven innings, giving up three runs, five hits, and striking out three.   The Force collected 11 hits. Lummus, Lexi Sondrini and Ellianna Christopher each collected multiple hits.  


State Budget Funds Office to Increase Employee-Owned Businesses
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:40AM / Saturday, July 15, 2017

State Rep. Paul Mark filed a budget amendment to restore the funding for the Office of Employee Involvement and Ownership in past seven consecutive years. DALTON, Mass. — Adam Vartikar grew up in a family-owned business in Brookline and now his parents are looking to retire.   But neither he, nor any of his siblings, want to run it. Vartikar has a close relationship with the employees and doesn't want to see his parents close the doors or sell out to a company that will move it away.   So he thought he'd help sell the business to the workers. He found out it is not that easy.   "You have this great, elegant solution for business succession


Berkshire County Arc Awards Scholarships to Five Local High School Seniors
12:44PM / Friday, July 14, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Arc and the Berkshire County Arc Down Syndrome Family Group have awarded scholarships ranging upwards from $1,000 to the following five high school seniors who demonstrated outstanding prior involvement with individuals with disabilities and the potential to contribute to the field of human services.

The students are:

· Jessie Downer, Wahconah Regional High School (Recipient of the Carol Craighead Memorial Scholarship Award, which is funded by Berkshire County Arc and the Berkshire County Arc Down Syndrome Family Group)

· Anthony Melski, Pittsfield High School

· Aubrey Milligan, Wahconah Regional High School



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