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Berkshires Beat: Bad Weather Doesn't Stop Lenox Robotics Team
09:37AM / Monday, February 20, 2017
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Ella King and Billy Carroll made it to the robotics qualifier - and advanced to the state championships.

Way to go: When Lenox High School's robotics team, Team Enginuity, canceled its field trip to the First Technology Challenge qualifier in Dedham, Mass., on Feb. 11 because of bad weather, two students persevered.

Ella King, senior and founder of Team Enginuity, received a group text between runs at a FIS Giant Slalom Race at Sugarbush Mountain in Vermont that her team was not going to the robotics meet. She knew this qualifier was the last one before the state championship and it would be critical for the team to attend. She called her dad, who was still in Lenox, and asked him to pick up the robot from school. The family's plan was to meet on the eastern side of the state intersecting her brother's Wachusett Mountain ski race and her robotics match up near Boston. Little did she know that Billy Carroll, teammate at LMMHS also had a strong desire to compete. His family was happy to drive Billy to Dedham.  The two kids met early in the morning and got to work.

Team Enginuity, and two Saint Joseph's teams were at the qualifier along with 19 other teams.  All teams competed in five rounds. At the conclusion of 27 rounds, Team Enginuity was in second place, making them Second Alliance Captain for the final rounds. At the end of the day, Team Enginuity finished in the final round, was awarded the PTC Design Award and was one of four teams selected for the state competition in March.


Happy anniversary: Participants and staff of the Phase III Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Southwestern Vermont Health Care gathered on Thursday, Feb. 16, to celebrate the 70-year marriage of participant Al Kaptein and his wife Ellen. They were married February 16, 1947, in New York City.

They have lived in Bennington for 32 years. When asked what their secret is, Mr. Kaptein answered with a smile, "Her cooking." The couple has three children and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

Art all over: Pittsfield Artscape will once again partner with Berkshire Money Management to bring more public art to downtown through the Pittsfield Paintbox Project.  The Paintbox Project celebrates local artists, enhances the streetscape, and discourages vandalism of utility boxes throughout downtown.

Berkshire Money Management is the exclusive lead sponsor of the project, through which Artscape will offer artists a $400 stipend. In its inaugural year, Artscape installed eight designs from the Berkshire Museum to Persip Park. This year, designs will complete the downtown corridor, installing eight additional paint boxes down North Street to Berkshire Health Systems.


Help is coming: The National Board has awarded Berkshire County $61,848 in Phase 34 Emergency Food and Shelter Program assistance. Berkshire United Way, local administrator of the program, is urging qualifying organizations located throughout Berkshire County to submit an application for supplemental emergency food and shelter funding for Phase 34 at

Local organizations chosen to receive funds must be private voluntary nonprofits (with a voluntary board) or units of government; have an accounting system; practice non-discrimination; and have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.  Applicants must submit eight hard copies of the completed application by noon on Monday April 3, to: Berkshire United Way, c/o Julie Singley, 200 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. 01201.

The funding award is made by a National Board that is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consists of representatives from the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and United Way Worldwide.  Funds pass directly from FEMA’s EFSP program to the local agencies that are awarded funding, and a sub-committee of the local board made up of representatives of organizations that are not requesting or receiving funds determines the actual organizations that receive funding.

Books needed: The Lenox Library is now accepting donations for its 22nd annual book sale, to be held in August. The library welcomes hardcover and paperback books in good condition, as well as DVDs and CDs. The book drive cannot accept encyclopedias, magazines, LPs, VHS videos, or books with musty odors, mold, tears or markings.

Donations can be dropped off at 60 Hawthorne Street in Lenox on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. If you would like to drop off your donation at another time, or wish to have a donation picked up, please call Ilse Browner at 413-445-5679. All proceeds from this annual fundraising event benefit The Lenox Library’s many services and programs, offered to the public year-round free of charge.

This year's book sale will take place on August 25-27, Friday through Sunday, at the Lenox Library, 18 Main St., and will feature over 15,000 books at bargain prices in more than 30 categories.

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