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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $1.5 Million in Winter Grants Cycle
12:38PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the recipients of its final round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed over $708,000 in grants to individuals, schools and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves, and grants totaling nearly $800,000 from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Adams Cheshire Educational Partnership; Amy Clampitt Fund; Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund; Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence; Central Berkshire Fund; Martha Boschen Porter Fund; William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire & Savoy; and Williamstown

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Berkshires Beat: Senior Living Community Collects Items For Neighbors in Need
12:30PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Helping hands: Brookdale Fillmore Pond, a senior living community, launched a partnership with the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless (BCCH), to provide assistance to those in need in the Bennington, Vt., area. The Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless currently provides resources for more than 400 people a year, but continues to need assistance. The associates, residents and their families at Brookdale Fillmore Pond collected items based on the needs of the BCCH.

Needed items that were collected include gently used seasonal clothing, including coats and socks; children's books; and personal hygiene items, specifically small bottles of shampoo, lotion, mouthwash and

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Biz Briefs: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity to Dedicate 37th Home
11:52AM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Home again: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity will host a Home Dedication for Sheerece Adams on Saturday, Feb. 11. Adams is in the process of closing on the purchase of the rehabilitated Habitat home at 5 Hall Place. This new homeowner had to complete 400 hours of sweat equity working at ReStore, on the job site of her future home, in addition to Financial Tools workshops and coaching.

The dedication and presentation will start at 5 Hall Place at 2 p.m. After the dedication guests will be welcomed with light refreshments and a tour of the home. Habitat has invited several local leaders such as Sen. Adam Hinds to speak at the dedication. All in the community are welcome to join.

In

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On Valentine's Day, Consider Financial Gifts
10:36AM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Last year, Americans spent more than $19 billion on Valentine's Day gifts, according to the National Retail Federation, with the majority of this money going to flowers, candy, cards and an evening out. These gifts were thoughtful, of course, and no doubt appreciated, but they were also somewhat disposable, for want of a better word.

On the other hand, some financial gifts can have a pretty long "shelf life."

Beyond simply enclosing some money in a card, what sort of financial gifts can you give? The answer depends somewhat on the recipient. For example, if your sweetheart is also your spouse, some of the gifts suggested below may be redundant to the financial moves you

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New Shakespeare & Company Head Strives for 'Resonance' with First Season
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:30AM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

LENOX, Mass. — Celebrating four decades of theater and maintaining relevance for contemporary audiences is the focus of Shakespeare & Company's 2017 season.

With founding Artistic Director Tina Packer at his side, first-year Artistic Director Allyn Burrows Tuesday morning unveiled the venue's lineup for its 40th anniversary season.

Burrows wasted no time establishing that the company cannot program its season in a vacuum and has to recognize the environment beyond its stages.

"Some of us, and Tina as well, were just down at the Shakespeare Association conference in Baltimore," Burrows said. "It was a collection of all the Shakespeare companies around the

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Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates Affiliates with Berkshire Health Systems
05:55PM / Tuesday, February 07, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates, a provider of orthopedic care in the Berkshire region, has entered into an affiliation with Berkshire Health Systems.

“Through this affiliation, Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates will be able to preserve and strengthen the availability of orthopedic services across Berkshire County,” said Dr. Kevin Mitts, division chief of orthopedics at Berkshire Medical Center and a surgeon with the practice. “In addition, this agreement gives us critical access to a variety of support services, including assistance in recruiting new physicians and other providers to serve our community’s orthopedic needs. In fact, two new

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Pittsfield Police Suspending Residency Preference For Hiring
Staff Reports,
05:17PM / Friday, February 03, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is suspending its residency preference for the next Civil Service exam to boost its list of eligible candidates.   The department has been ramping up its hiring of new officers after the City Council authorized a $1 million boost in funding in the budget. Last month, the department put another 10 officers on the roads and had seven in the pipeline. But even more hiring is taking place.   The ramp-up in hiring led the department to exhaust the local list of candidates, which preferenced those who live in the city of Pittsfield. That list was completely depleted so in the next exam, the department is opening it up to the entire

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@theMarket: Trump Tweets Tweak Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:28PM / Friday, February 03, 2017

Financial markets, under the new president, continue to react on an hour-by-hour basis to Donald Trump's latest electronic missives. That's no way to conduct business but it is what it is. At what point will traders begin to discount these tweets?

It will take some time, in my opinion, because there has been nothing quite like this in the history of the world. What makes it worse, as it turns out, some of the new president's statements have proven less than factual, while others have clarified the growing mountain of fake news that media outlets appear happy to broadcast. In the middle are the High Frequency Traders and the computer algorithm geeks who find themselves running

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'20th Century Women': Vive la Différence
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:03PM / Friday, February 03, 2017

Folks who require a certain amount of shock, awe and disturbingly aberrant behavior in their cinema might do well to skip filmmaker Mike Mills' highly intelligent "20th Century Women" and perhaps instead focus on the 3-ring circus currently posing as our national body politic. However, if you're the sort who still believes there's room for truth, honest analysis, thoughtful contemplation and selfless, humanitarian goals, then here's your ticket to a sophisticated and high-minded respite from that hopefully temporary insanity lately threatening our democracy.

Rather than informing what "20th Century Women" is about, it might be easier to relate what it

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The Independent Investor: All You Need to Know About Medicare
By Bill Schmick,
05:38PM / Wednesday, February 01, 2017

More of us are signing up for Medicare every day. And like social security, there are plenty of unanswered questions for those of us who are beginning the process. There are plenty of places to seek answers, but how to separate facts from sales pitches from health insurance brokers is part of the problem. Here is a primer that may help you navigate these muddy waters.

Presidents as far back as Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 toyed with the idea of a government-sponsored health insurance program. Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy both tried and failed to get an act passed. But in 1965, under the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, Medicare was finally passed.

You qualify for Medicare at age

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High School Art Show Opens at Norman Rockwell Museum
02:23PM / Wednesday, February 01, 2017

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The annual Berkshire County High School Art Show returns for its 31st year at Norman Rockwell Museum with a special exhibit opening to be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Visitors can celebrate the creative talent on display from Berkshire County high schools, and meet the artists; original works in all media — from painting and drawing to photography, ceramics, three-dimensional assemblage, and digital art — will be on view.

Participating schools include: BArT Charter School, Berkshire School, Berkshire Waldorf School, Drury High School, Lee High School, Lenox Memorial High School, Monument Mountain Regional High School, Mount Everett

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MCLA to Present Student Leadership Conference
02:13PM / Wednesday, February 01, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will present the 22nd annual Leadership Conference, "100 Yards of Leadership," on Sunday, Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Amsler Campus Center Gym, when MCLA will welcome AJ Adams, an award-winning speaker, author and entrepreneur, as the keynote speaker.

Registration for this event, open to college and high school students, will remain open through Thursday, Feb. 2. This event is free to all members of the MCLA community, and $40 for those from other campuses. The cost includes breakfast, lunch and a snack.

"This conference is a place where students – whether they are emerging leaders or

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