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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Great Barrington Police Presents Medals of Valor
01:03PM / Friday, September 15, 2017

Great Barrington Police Officers Jonathan Finnerty, Jason LaForest and Stockbridge Police Officer Donald Hopkins.  GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Police Department on Tuesday recognized several officers and other first responders for their bravery and commitment to public safety.    In February, Police Officers Jonathan Finnerty and Jason LaForest, along with Stockbridge Police Officer Donald Hopkins, responded to a domestic incident in which the alleged aggressor was intoxicated and threatening violence against the officers.   Following a 40-minute effort to get the suspect to come down from a perch where he had positioned himself, armed with an ax that he

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'Heart & Sass' Central to North Adams' Vibrant Renaissance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Friday, September 15, 2017

North Adams City Council President Benjamin Lamb, a nominee for 'Under 40 Change Maker, and Annie Rodgers take a selfie with the photograph of North Adams by Ogden Gigli.   HANCOCK, Mass. — North Adams, the city with "sass," was honored on Thursday night for "Putting the Berkshires on the Map."   The city's recognition by 1Berkshire puts it with Berkshire luminaries as Solid Sound Festival, Jacob's Pillow, the Clark Art Institute, Hotel on North, Berkshire Health Systems and Tanglewood for enhancing the image of the Berkshires.   "It's a community of neighbors that see a need and meet it, discover an opportunity and seize

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The Independent Investor: The Price Tag of Disaster
By Bill Schmick,
03:46PM / Thursday, September 14, 2017
Over the past four weeks, just two hurricanes have cost the country upwards of $300 billion. This has easily surpassed the 2005 hurricane cost of $200 billion, which included Katrina, Wilma and Rita combined. The cumulative cost of weather continues to escalate and with good reason.   Before you leap to the conclusion that global warming is the culprit, let me lay out some facts. Coastal storms are no more (or less) frequent an event now than they have been throughout our history. So what gives?   The answer lies in population growth and demographics within our own society. A few years ago, a study funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that although

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Clark Art Hosting Second Annual Trail Run
10:43AM / Thursday, September 14, 2017
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -— The Clark Art Institute will host the second annual Stone Hill Trailblazer 5K Run on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 a.m.   Registration is $32 ($27 for Clark members). Register before Sept. 23 to save $5. Ages 12 and under are free.   To register, visit berkshirerunningcenter.com or call 413-344-4472. Day-of-race pick up and registration start at 7; day-of-race registration payment is cash or check only.   The 5K trail run is a great way to explore both the Clark's campus trails and the interconnected trails maintained by the town of Williamstown. The race features individual timed results and is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.

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BHS Forms Accountable Care Organization to Improve Health Outcomes for MassHealth Members
01:29PM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. —Berkshire Health Systems, through its Physician Hospital Organization called the Partnership for Health in the Berkshires, and Community Health Programs, in partnership with Fallon Health, will offer a new managed care option — Berkshire Fallon Health Collaborative — for MassHealth members.

The creation of BFHC is part of the state's reform of MassHealth to include Accountable Care Organizations, in which physicians, hospitals, insurers and other health care providers work together to provide integrated care with the goals of improving health outcomes and containing costs.

Effective March 1, 2018, MassHealth members identified by the Executive

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Josh Billings RunAground Set for Sunday, Sept. 17
01:16PM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017

LENOX, Mass. — The 41st annual Josh Billings Triathlon will take place on Sunday, Sept. 17.

The race starts in Great Barrington and ends at Tanglewood in Lenox with a 27-mile bike ride, a 5-mile canoe, kayak, or paddleboard sprint, and a 6-mile run.

The Josh, which began in 1977, has been a fixture in Berkshire County ever since. Proceeds from the event benefit Berkshire United Way. Over the past decade, the Josh Billings has contributed over $70,000 to the organization in support of their mission to build a stronger community.

"The Josh is all about teamwork and community. In that spirt, Berkshire United Way is honored to invest proceeds back into the Berkshires to help

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Protect Three Key Goals With Life Insurance
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:28AM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. And "awareness" is an appropriate designation, because many people remain unaware of the many ways in which life insurance can help families meet their key financial goals. Here are three of the biggest of these objectives, as seen through the eyes of a hypothetical couple, Jim and Joan:

* Pay off mortgage: Jim and Joan have a 30-year mortgage. If one of them dies well before that mortgage is paid off, could the other one afford to keep making payments to remain in the house with the children? It might be quite difficult – many families absolutely need two incomes to pay a mortgage, along with all the other costs of living. At

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County Curtains Board Recommends Closure: 175 Jobs Could Be Lost
Staff Reports,
05:19PM / Tuesday, September 12, 2017
LEE, Mass. — County Curtains is likely to close, putting 175 local workers out of a job.   On Tuesday, the company released a statement saying that after several years of effort to sell it or improve sales, the board of directors is recommending a liquidation of the bedding and home decor supplier and related operations. That liquidation process needs to be approved by the more than 300 company shareholders on Oct. 4.   "This has been a heartbreaking decision, but the board is confident that it is in the best interests of our shareholders –including our ESOP and our employee participants," said CEO Celia Clancy in a prepared statement.   "The

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Berkshires Beat: New Art Exhibit Now Open in SVHC Corridor Gallery
01:15PM / Monday, September 11, 2017

Art in the halls: Southwestern Vermont Health Care's Corridor Gallery welcomes a new exhibit by Dr. Stuart DuBoff and his wife Shelli DuBoff. The show features paintings by Ms. DuBoff and photographs by Dr. DuBoff. Dr. DuBoff is an ophthalmologist at Advanced Eye Care. He has been practicing medicine for 45 years and is affiliated with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. Both artists concentrate on subjects related to Cuba and Latin America.

The pieces in this exhibit are for sale. Proceeds benefit the artists and the SVHC Auxiliary, which has given more than $1 million to support services and equipment upgrades to SVHC over the past 20 years.

In addition to the Corridor Gallery,

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Biz Briefs: Greylock App Connects Members With Local Discounts, Perks
12:23PM / Monday, September 11, 2017

ChaChing: Greylock Federal Credit Union has introduiced its new ChaChing app. The new free app works on Greylock members' smartphones alerting them to a variety of perks, benefits and discounts available at a range of merchants around Berkshire County. Using the GPS on member's phones, ChaChing sends mobile alerts off­ering instant discounts whenever they are near participating merchants.

Here's an example of how ChaChing works: If a Greylock Member with the app on their phone walks by a participating coffee shop, they might get a pop up notice on their phone saying they can save on their next coffee. Or, if they are near a participating restaurant, they may get a pop up

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'Tulip Fever': When Speculation Was in Bloom
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:24PM / Friday, September 08, 2017
A fascinating backdrop for an intricate if not convoluted, seriocomic love story that could have very well been written by Nöel Coward gives director Justin Chadwick's "Tulip Fever" an arthouse cachet. But while patience is a virtue, the esoteric appeal of this costumed affair set in 17th-century Holland may require more virtue than the general moviegoer wishes to expend. All the same, for those unfamiliar with the financial frenzy that speculation in tulip bulbs created during the era in question, its intrigue deserves a study even if you pass on seeing the film.   Viewed in a greater, historical perspective, not unlike the frantic rush by everyday Americans to play

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@theMarket: Markets Brace for the Weekend
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Friday, September 08, 2017
Usually, the weekend is a time when traders try to relax, reduce stress, and prepare for the coming week's markets. This weekend will be an exception to that rule. Just about everyone is focused on the latest news of Hurricane Irma's landfall in southern Florida tomorrow and into Sunday.    Over in Southeast Asia, analysts are also expecting North Korea to fire off yet another missile. Exactly where and when is up in the air.   As if that were not enough, an earthquake and Hurricane Jose both hit Mexico simultaneously last night causing quite a lot of damage. Investors have no idea what economic impact these natural disasters will have on the North American economy.

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