The Greeting

Monday, Jan. 7, 2019

Good morning, Berkshirites. Hold on to your winter hats, because it's a newsy day here at Eagle HQ in downtown Pittsfield.

Startling news out of Williamstown, where Sweet Brook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for grievous violations; the care facility now sits at the bottom 1 percent of nursing homes in Massachusetts.

From our Fin, Feather, Fur and Fang Desk, we have a follow-up report on mountain lions, oft-spotted but rarely verified as living in our neck of the woods. State officials and experts agree that the mountain lion is not breeding in Massachusetts and has been deemed officially extinct in the Northeast; at the same time, three sightings between 1997 and 2016 have been confirmed by scat, DNA or tracks, according to a nonprofit group that studies the movements of the big cats.

The daughter of a man suspected of setting a series of arson fires in Pittsfield is concerned for his well being; he's on the cusp of being returned to the justice system here by the state of Vermont, where he's been held for months.

The ukulele, everyone's favorite plucky little instrument, was front and center in an annual celebration Sunday in Williamstown.

In Great Barrington, a mother whose son says he was sexually abused at a former Sheffield school put up a billboard seeking to reach others who suffered in the same way. The Sheffield Police Department is aware of the case but hasn't pressed charges because of a lack of evidence and the passage of time.

The Berkshire Eagle brings you these other fine stories:

LETTER LOCK OUT: Great Barrington residents used to be able to stop in at the post office to mail letters after hours; after complaints about homeless people in the lobby, patrons are now finding the doors locked at night. 

BABIES ON THE JOB: Six female employees have participated in Greylock Federal Credit Union's "Baby on Board" program. It allows Greylock's working mothers to nurse, play and bond with their babies on the job after returning from maternity leave until their youngsters are 6 months old.

A SHOWCASE FOR THE BODY, SPIRIT AND MIND: The recent Body, Mind & Soul Expo at the Berkshire Plaza Hotel featured more than 40 vendors, demos and info about health and wellness.

BAKER IN THE COUNTY: The governor paid a visit to the area Friday, touting employment as his No. 1 priority for the region.

When public officials aren't held to account, it can be like a kid with their parents' credit card. Thankfully, we're here to make sure that doesn't happen. Don't starve the watchdog. Subscribe today.

Very best,

Noah Hoffenberg,
Eagle online editor

Correction: Friday's story on Quincy Davis should have stated that he plays for the Monument Mountain boys basketball team.

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Amy Kucharik leads the intermediate workshop during the 8th Ukelele Festival and Workshops held at the Williams Inn on Sunday.

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