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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: Lee Outlets Join In 'More Than Pink' Movement
03:07PM / Monday, May 01, 2017

Thinking pink: Simon Malls and Simon Premium Outlets across New England, including the Lee Premium Outlets, is holding its Spring 2017 More Than Pink movement in support of Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer. As part of its pledge to donate $1 million each year in 2017 and 2018, more than 180 participating Simon Malls, The Mills and Premium Outlets nationwide will be participating in a range of activities throughout the month of May.

Visitors to Simon Malls and Simon Premium Outlets will notice the pink theme carried throughout the shopping centers with features such as pink-lit entrances, pink flowers on display, pink ribbon parking and more. Staff will also be donning


MCLA Names Recipients of Berkshire County Educator Recognition
01:06PM / Monday, May 01, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of the seventh annual Berkshire County Educator Recognition Award. This award, given by MCLA in collaboration with Berkshire County K-12 superintendents and Berkshire Community College, was created to honor the region’s exceptional teachers.

This year's recipients will be recognized on Thursday, May 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Murdock Hall room 218, on the MCLA campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The recipients are Lisa Kelly Kane (Early Childhood – Community Setting), director of St. Paul's Children Center of Stockbridge; Robin Poirot (PreK-Grade 2), a kindergarten


Local Economic Specialists See Mall Site As An 'Opportunity'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Monday, May 01, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nathaniel Karns posed a question to David Curtis: Does the county have a place for a manufacturer to construct a 150,000 to 200,000 square-foot facility?   "Yes until you impact the environmental issues that surround the parcels which make it unusable. So the answer is no," Cutis, the economic development specialist with 1Berkshire, responded.   Berkshire Regional Planning Commission's executive director prefaced the question by saying most of the county's homegrown manufacturing companies expanded 10 to 15 years ago. The next step would be to double again but there is no industrially zoned and developable land available in the


Lenox Named Best Northeastern Small Town
10:51AM / Sunday, April 30, 2017
LENOX, Mass. — Lenox has been voted the Best Northeastern Small Town in USA Today's Best Small Town contest.    This town of 5,000 will be promoted across USA Today Travel Media Group's digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also promoted across the USA Today travel sections and other Gannett Media outlets.   "We all knew that Lenox is a special place and the best small town, but to hear a national outlet like USA Today and their many readers agree is a great feeling and a big win for us," Spaulding said. "This award, combined with the recent acknowledgement by Expedia, who named Lenox one of the top 26 luxury


Lanesborough Couple Fighting to Save Historic, Family Farm
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:39AM / Sunday, April 30, 2017

Chris Wheeler had dedicated the last two years to cleaning up overgrown sections of the farmland and growing fruit trees and berries.  LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Thomas Olsen grew up on a farm in Norway.   In 1923, he and his wife, Randi, immigrated to the United States, landing in New York. But the city life wasn't for him. He told his wife, "it's no way for a man to live" and every week he'd stash money aside in hopes to move to the country.   The Depression or some other factor would hit and he'd lose the savings and build it back up. And every week he'd stop at the bank and browse the real estate listings.   In 1938, one of those


Red Lion Reopens Dining Room With $1M Renovated Kitchen
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:24AM / Saturday, April 29, 2017

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Red Lion Inn bakes more than 6,000 muffins and some 1,300 of its famous apple pies every year.

So when the bakeshop in the multiroom kitchen showed signs of structural distress, inn management decided if it was time to revamp this very important area, why not do the whole kitchen over?   After more than two months of construction, inn officials cut the ribbon on the newly renovated $1 million kitchen on Thursday afternoon, capping the latest update of the historic structure whose roots date back to the 1770s.   Owner Nancy Fitzpatrick joked it was the kind of project done only about every 75 years or so.    "So you're all

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'Baseball and the Berkshires' Moves to Berkshire Mall
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:17PM / Friday, April 28, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Right alongside an athletic shoe retailer where today's high school baseball stars would feel at home, the stars of Berkshire County's yesteryear have a new home.   "Baseball and the Berkshires: A County's Common Bond" holds its grand opening on Saturday and Sunday and will be open Friday through Sunday for the foreseeable future at its new digs at the Berkshire Mall.   After spending parts of the past two years at Arrowhead in Pittsfield, including last year's run as a traveling exhibit, curator Larry Moore hopes the mall location will be a permanent home for the exhibit, which features artifacts celebrating the game's


@theMarket: 100 Days Does Not an Economy Make?
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Friday, April 28, 2017
Markets by their very nature are impatient. Every day they are open, something, somewhere has to be making traders money. Applying that behavior to either Donald Trump or the overall economy would be a mistake.   Nonetheless, it is what it is, Friday's first quarter GDP data, which measures the pace of growth in the U.S. economy, came at a dismal 0.7 percent. That was far less than expected.  Most economists were expecting a number closer to 1 percent or more.   The response from Wall Street was "where's the beef," meaning that there has been little to no evidence that our new president has done anything whatsoever for the economy. But what about all the new


'Born in China': Animal Magnetism
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:01PM / Friday, April 28, 2017

One of the key joys of seeing "Born in China," a splendidly picturesque documentary about snow leopard Dawa and her two cubs; Tao Tao, a young snub-nosed monkey; and a giant panda

Ya Ya and her daughter, Mei Mei, was worth listening to the kids in the audience emoting. Normally, I would rail at the ragamuffins' commentary with an agitation worthy of the great W.C. Fields. But this was different. For many of the seemingly delighted and relatively polite tykes, this was their first movie experience. Respect must be paid.

Here was the nascence of what might become a lifelong love of that to which I have attributed everything from a zeal for adventure to the development of


The Independent Investor: World's Bread Basket No More
By Bill Schmick,
06:03PM / Thursday, April 27, 2017
The recent controversy over dairy trade policies between the Trump administration and Canada is only the tip of the iceberg. While Trump is selectively picking on one particular product, the truth is that the United States is losing its competitive advantage in many areas of agriculture.   Government subsidies to the agriculture industry worldwide have always been a thorn in the American side. That's not to say that our farmers have gone without. We, too, subsidize our farmers. Taxpayers are expected to pay at least $87 billion to help farmers over the next dozen years. And for decades, we have been spending billions each year to protect them from lost income and crop


Berkshire County Rx Round Up Set for April 29
01:43PM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Community coalitions from across the county have joined forces to host a Rx Round Up at three locations on April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Anyone with unused, unwanted and expired prescription, over-the-counter and controlled medications may stop by to dispose of them safely. Personal needles will also be accepted in puncture-proof plastic containers. The process of dropping off medication is anonymous, takes only a minute, is better for the environment, and could end up saving lives.

The Rx Round Up will take place at the following locations: North Adams Police Station, 11 Summer St.; 510 North Street in Pittsfield,


Can You Free Yourself of Some Investment-related Taxes?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:31AM / Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tax Freedom Day generally falls around this time each year. This is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year, according to the calculations made by the Tax Foundation. So you may want to use Tax Freedom Day to think about ways you can liberate yourself from some of the investment-related taxes you may incur.

Of course, Tax Freedom Day is something of a fiction, in practical terms, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year via payroll deductions. Also, you may not mind paying your share of taxes, because your tax dollars are used in many ways – law enforcement, food safety, road maintenance, public education,


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