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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Displays at North Adams Public Library Tell Story of the Hoosic River Revival
02:32PM / Monday, February 13, 2017

It's a revival: The Hoosic River Revival's vision is to revitalize the Hoosic River, maintain current levels of flood protection and bring the river back as an asset to the residents of North Adams. The North Adams Public Library is currently featuring two displays to learn about the history of the Hoosic River and the Hoosic River Revival's vision for the south branch of the river.

The first floor display includes information about the history of the flood chutes in North Adams and an artist rendering that invites residents to "imagine a revitalized Hoosic River." Also on display are examples of river restorations in other parts of the country that have reconnected

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Coalition Forum Focuses on Housing Insecurity in North County
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:19AM / Monday, February 13, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Around 75 people came to the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forum on Friday to talk about homelessness.

But first, they had to take a quiz.

And the answers to those questions were a sobering lesson in the extent of the problem of housing insecurity in Northern Berkshire County.

According to slides presented that were based on data from Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, for example, 33 percent of people in Berkshire County are renters; that number jumps to 48 percent in North Adams and 41 percent in Adams, while Williamstown numbers match the county average. Of those renters, more than half — 56 percent — fall into the

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Monster Snowstorm Headed for Berkshires; School Closings Coming
Staff Reports,
10:30AM / Sunday, February 12, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The third storm in a week is expected to dump a foot or more of snow on the Berkshires over Sunday and Monday. A foot or more of snow fell over Sunday and Monday, closing or delaying schools and offices across the region.

Call ahead to your destination to ensure it is open

Cancelled

* Adams Library and COA are closed today; Town Hall is open

* Paint and Chat at Mohawk Forest Community Center has been canceled

Fire Departments are asking residents to clear out hydrants to make sure they are accessible. Home and business owners are required to clear sidewalks in front of their properties within 24 hours of a storm.


The National Weather Service is forecasting a

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@theMarket: Stock Markets at Historical Highs
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Friday, February 10, 2017

The bears headed for cover this week as all three U.S. indexes made new, all-time highs. That's a good sign and augers well for even more upside ahead.

Credit goes to President Trump and his tweets once again. This time, his promises to address tax reform within the next few weeks had the Algos (algorithmic computer software traders) hitting the "buy" buttons on their machines.

Investors (if there is still such a thing) had been worried that Trump and the GOP would get bogged down in Obamacare repeal and immigration issues. If so, that would be a major distraction and might mean that tax reform and fiscal spending would be pushed back to next year or even later. The tweet

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Letter: Quitting Smoking the 'Perfect Valentine's Gift'
Letter to the Editor,
01:00PM / Friday, February 10, 2017

To the Editor:

The Perfect Valentine's Gift: Help Your Loved One Quit Smoking

February is American Heart Month, so before you think about what kind of flowers or type of candy to buy for Valentine's Day, choose the valentine that is better than any box of chocolates or bouquet of expensive red roses: show your love by supporting your sweetheart in quitting smoking.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, smoking is a leading cause of heart disease. Smoking leads to the narrowing of blood vessels and high blood pressure. Quitting smoking greatly improves heart health.

Give Valentine's Day new meaning by helping your loved one become a nonsmoker. If your sweetheart

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Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Welcomes Fifth Grade Teacher
12:51PM / Friday, February 10, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School welcomes David Wallace French as fifth grade class teacher for the 2017-18 school year.

French was selected after a national search to replace retiring master teacher Tracey Brennan.

French graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also holds a master of science degree in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon, where he specialized in children and families. He brings 12 years of Waldorf teaching experience to his new position, including a full cycle of teaching at the Eugene Waldorf School in Oregon.

The Council of Teachers and the Board of

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Berkshire Community College Announces New Hires, Promotions
12:38PM / Friday, February 10, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has announced new faculty and staff additions as well as recent promotions.

Julia Curletti of Richmond, Mass., has joined BCC as staff assistant to the dean of enrollment management and student success. She previously worked at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston as a program coordinator. She garnered a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and attended New England Law.

Alyssa Felver has been named assistant professor of practical nursing. A registered nurse in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, she previously worked at the Berkshire Medical Center. Prior to that, she was a critical care registered

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Mass 2-1-1 Day Celebrated Feb. 11
09:45AM / Friday, February 10, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — United Ways in Massachusetts will join United Ways across the country as they celebrate National 2-1-1 Day on Saturday, February 11, calling attention to this free comprehensive information and referral service that has been in operation here in Massachusetts since 2006 and is celebrating its 20-year Anniversary nationally.

Leading up to 2-1-1 Day, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will formally announce the merger of the Call2Talk Mental Health/Suicide Prevention line with the statewide Mass2-1-1 platform.

Mass 2-1-1 is a referral line that is staffed by information and referral specialists 24/7 who connect residents to the resources they need. Last year, 1,262 calls

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The Independent Investor: Medicare, Why You Need More Than Part A & B
By Bill Schmick,
05:21PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017

Medicare costs jumped 3.4 percent last year. Drug prices gained a whopping 11 percent. Medicare parts A&B does not cover prescriptions and the gap between what it does cover and your out of pocket expenses could break you.

Last week, while walking Titus, our chocolate Lab, I bumped into a fellow dog walker. I'll call him Abe. Abe is retired and on a tight budget. In an effort to save money, he elected not to acquire drug prescription insurance called Medicare Part D.

"After all," he explained, I'm in my late seventies and aside from aspirin and the occasional antibiotic for the flu, I've been drug-free for as far back as I can remember." Until now —

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'The Comedian': Requiem for a Funnyman
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:09PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017

It's too bad I can't give you the Goldberger Guarantee for director Taylor Hackford's "The Comedian," an assurance of positive viewership I occasionally offer to close friends when I'm fairly confident they'll enjoy a particular movie. The warranty promises refund of the ticket price if any of those pals doesn't find the movie in question entertaining. I hate to be a piker, but, without releasing my tax records, rest assured that I couldn't afford to institute said guarantee en masse. If proved wrong, it would mean Hamburger Helper instead of steak tartare.

Actually, I'm more of a White Castle kind of guy. But the thought is, what if I'm

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Storm Center: Closings for Thursday, Feb. 9
08:52AM / Thursday, February 09, 2017
Up to a foot of snow is expected to fall on the Berkshires on Thursday. Driving is treacherous and visibility is low.    All public schools are closed today as are many state and local offices. Winter parking bans and snow emergencies are in effect in most towns: do not park on the streets or you may be towed. If you plan on going out, call ahead to ensure your destination will be open.   Email us at info@iberkshires.com with your closure. The following are closed:   Adams * All town offices, library and Council on Aging   * Smith Bros-McAndrews Insurance Inc.   * Adams Community Bank and drive-ups will be closing at 4 p.m. today     North Adams *

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Jacob's Pillow Hosts 'Chance to Dance' Contest
02:20PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

BECKET, Mass. - Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival invites artists of all styles to participate in the first ever Inside/Out: Chance to Dance viewers' choice contest.

An exciting opportunity to perform on the Pillow's iconic outdoor stage, the Chance to Dance contest is a viewer-selected online competition that allows the public, peers, and fans of artists to vote on their inclusion in the Inside/Out Performance Series for Festival 2017.

Submissions to the contest will be accepted from Feb. 6-20; voting is open to the public on PillowTV, the Jacob's Pillow YouTube channel, from February 21-26. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 7, and will perform on July 21 as a part

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