BERKSHIRE COUNTY

Coverage of Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

The former toll booth at Exit 8 of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Palmer.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will study the possibility of putting a new exit on the Massachusetts Turnpike in the western part of the state.

Funding for the review is contained in the budget signed by Governor Charlie Baker Monday.

Sue Baxter owns land abutting where a New York-to-Connecticute pipeline is being constructed. She sits atop a lifeguard chair made for her by friends, as she keeps an eye on the project.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Construction continues on a New York-to-Connecticut natural gas pipeline, running through Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. Despite work being well underway, there are some who believe the project -- which has been the source of a legal and regulatory battle -- can still be halted. And a few still protest daily, on private land only yards from the construction site.

Nurses on the picket line at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. during a one-day strike in June 2017.
Dave Roback / The Republican

Nurses and management at two western Mass hospitals are heading back to the bargaining table next week.

The sign outside St. Joseph Central High School in Pittsfield.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

After holding classes 120 years, Berkshire County's lone Catholic high school, St. Joseph Central of Pittsfield, closed its doors last week.

The school's closure was announced last fall amid sagging enrollment. And as the process has begun to clean out the building, students and staff members have largely moved on.

State Representative Gailanne Cariddi died Saturday, June 17th. She  was in her 4th term representing northern Berkshire County , including North Adams and Williamstown
Massachusetts Legislature / malegislature.gov

Funeral plans are set for Thursday for Massachusetts state Representative Gailanne Cariddi. The 63-year-old North Adams Democrat died over the weekend. It's not yet clear when a special election will be held to fill her seat.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

The Massachusetts House had planned to vote last week on a bill making substantial changes to the voter-passed recreational marijuana law. But after quick objections to the bill -- and an issue with how it was written -- Speaker Bob Deleo delayed that vote.

A warning sign posted by opponents to a proposed toxic waste disposal site in the woods, near the Housatonic River  in Great Barrington, Mass.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The Environmental Protection Agency's Appeals Board hears arguments Thursday on the second phase of cleaning up the Housatonic River in Berkshire County.

North Adams Mayor Dick Alcombright.
City of North Adams

The mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts, said he is not running for re-election in November.

Dick Alcombright, who has led Berkshire County's second-largest community for eight years, said Thursday it's time for new leadership and new energy for the city.

Alcombright said a bruising re-election campaign in 2015, which saw him recover from a primary night defeat to win the general election, was not a factor in his decision.

Employees at Tree House Brewing in Monson, Mass., fill beer growlers.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Craft beer enthusiasts in Massachusetts looking to take home growlers from their favorite breweries now won't have to rely just on glass jugs provided by the beer maker.

In an attempt to clarify regulations, the state's Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission said that customers can get their own beer growlers filled, so long as there's nothing printed on the outside.

MASS MoCA's exhibition space is doubling.
Jeremy Goodwin / NEPR

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams was already one of the largest contemporary art museums in the country — before a huge expansion opening this weekend.

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