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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Put a Trusted 'Quarterback' on Your Financial Team
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:17PM / Wednesday, January 31, 2018

On Feb. 4, the eyes of most of the country – and much of the rest of the world – will be on Minneapolis, site of the most-watched football game in the United States. As a fan, you can admire the way quarterbacks in the Big Game direct their teams. But as an investor, you can learn something from the big game by putting together your own team to help you achieve your financial goals – and you may find it helpful to have your own "quarterback."

Who should be on your team? Your financial strategy will involve investments, taxes and estate planning, so you will likely need a financial advisor, a tax professional and an attorney. Ideally, your financial advisor

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Health Matters: Antibiotic Resistance And What You Can Do About It
11:54AM / Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The introduction of antibiotics in the late 1930s decreased U.S. infection deaths by 73 percent in the first 15 years. Antibiotics have enabled complicated surgery, chemotherapy for cancer, care for premature babies, organ transplants and more. As a result, many claim that antibiotics are the most important medical advance of the 20th century.

What's troubling about antibiotics is that scientists are discovering fewer antibiotics than ever, and those we have are losing their effect. Bacteria and other microorganisms, which cause infections and disease, use several ways to impede antibiotic action and thus become "resistant" to the antibiotic. They can change themselves by

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Great Barrington Firefighters Snuff Kitchen Blaze at Pizzeria
12:07AM / Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Fire damage was limited to areas on the first floor and a second-floor bathroom.  GREAT BARRINGTON — The Fire Department extinguished a fire at Pizza House on State Road early Tuesday morning that severely damaged the business's kitchen and structure's first floor.    "Our crews did an excellent job limiting the damage despite the challenges posed by this particular structure, which has been a fixture in town for decades," Chief Charles Burger said. "I'm extremely grateful that a tragedy was avoided this morning, and I'm hopeful that Pizza House will be able to rebuild and the residents will be able to return home

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Berkshires Beat: Sports Teams Donate Blankets to Cancer Center
12:52PM / Monday, January 29, 2018
Losing Is Not An Option

Staff from Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, a department of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, and the founders of the LINAO grassroots fundraising movement, accepted a donation of more than 20 handmade blankets from the Castleton University softball and men's soccer teams on Jan. 9. The blankets will be given to patients undergoing treatment at the Cancer Center.

The blankets were given in honor of John Werner, who coached both the Castleton University softball and men’s soccer teams and who founded the LINAO movement. LINAO stands for "Losing Is Not An Option." It was a motto that Werner adopted to encourage strength in his battle

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BRPC Wants to Know How Towns Spend Chapter 90 Funds
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:13AM / Monday, January 29, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One of the first things Gov. Charlie Baker did on taking office in 2014 was release an additional $100 million in money for cities and towns to repair roads.   But towns in the Berkshires didn't use the money that spring. In fact, total spending on Chapter 90 allocations dropped to the lowest spending level in the last five years. Baker's announcement had come halfway through the fiscal year and was hailed by local officials.    The following year, spending peaked locally at $10 million but that was still less than what the state sent to Berkshire towns. The rest of it went into city and town's bank accounts. In the last five years, 75

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County Alums Posting Solid Indoor Track Times
iBerkshires.com Sports,
01:58PM / Sunday, January 28, 2018
Berkshire County was well represented at Saturday’s Massasoit Classic indoor track and field meet at Springfield College.   Trinity College sophomore Weyessa “Ace” McAlister (Monument Mountain) won the mile run, clocking a time of 4 minutes, 33.52 seconds, to win by more than two seconds. Earlier this month, he opened the 2018 with a fourth-place finish in the 3,000 meters at the Embry-Riddle University 2018 Indoor-Outdoor Challenge in Florida.   Springfield College’s and Taconic High School’s own Courtney Luscier won the 60-meter dash in a time 7.87 seconds.   Two more Taconic alumni were busy representing UMass Boston at this weekend’s

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Massachusetts Libraries Say State Budget Stacked Against Them
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:31AM / Saturday, January 27, 2018

Board of Library Commissioners Mary Kronholm, left, and Jan Resnick say level funding is forcing operations to eat into programming, training and support for public libraries.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A decade ago, the state's libraries were urging legislators to provide them the funding support they needed to serve their communities large and small.    Not much has changed since then.    The Board of Library Commissioners is asking for a $2 million increase over this year; the governor's budget is giving it $175,000 instead.   "The ask is a 3 percent increase ... we have operated on less than a 1 percent increase over the last eight

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@theMarket: Bulls Barrel Through Another Week
By Bill Schmick,
05:21PM / Friday, January 26, 2018
Better quarterly earnings trumped concerns of a declining greenback this week sending all the U.S. stock averages to yet more record highs. There appears to be no end in sight for this continued "melt-up" in the markets.   Over in Davos, Switzerland, President Donald Trump addressed the annual World Economic Forum. For the most part, it was a classic display of "Trumpisms"— MAGA, unfair trading partners, historic stock market.  His "ain't American grand again, thanks to me" message failed to impress most of his foreign audience although his supporters were ecstatic over his speech. But whether you love him, or hate him, "The

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BArT Announces Second Quarter Honor Roll
11:40AM / Friday, January 26, 2018

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced the students who made honor roll for the second quarter of the 2017-2018 school year.

Students who earned 80 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "honors." Students who earned 90 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "high honors."

Academic courses at BArT are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks for the appropriate grade level and include all standards deemed necessary for a complete, college-preparatory, middle and high school education.

Students in grade six who earned high honors are Abreyana

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WAM Announces Expansion of Theater Leadership
10:20AM / Friday, January 26, 2018

Talya Kingston has been named associate artistic director and Max Galdos-Shapiro will join WAM as general manager.

LEE, Mass. — WAM Theatre embarks on its ninth season with the announcement of two new members of the WAM Leadership Team and three new members of its board of directors.

Talya Kingston has been named associate artistic director and Max Galdos-Shapiro will join WAM as general manager. Together with Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven and Philanthropy and Outreach Coordinator Gwendolyn Tunnicliffe, they comprise the leadership team at WAM Theatre.

Newly appointed to WAM's board of directors are Lynn Festa, Wendy Healey and Arwen Lowbridge.

"We are

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'Phantom Thread': When Love Is In Fashion
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
02:51PM / Thursday, January 25, 2018
Though perhaps deluded, I'd like to think I put as much effort into an essay as Daniel Day-Lewis' Reynolds Woodcock devotes to making a dress in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Phantom Thread."    This is the sort of person you want doing your heart operation, piloting the airplane you're on, or teaching your kid. He's the real deal, and suffers for it, too. The maladies of obsessive genius are many. But the inherent reward is matchless, with the added benefit, aside from financial remuneration, of almost having a right to the arrogance you exude, if so inclined.   Welcome to Mr. Woodcock's world, a special place of understated elegance based in a

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GIC to Reconsider Reduction to Health Insurance Portfolio
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:06PM / Thursday, January 25, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The GIC may reverse course on its decision to slash the number of health insurance companies in its portfolio in half.   Last Thursday, the Group Insurance Commission, which administers health insurance to more than 400,000 state, school, and municipal employees, voted to decrease its options from six to three for active employees. GIC leadership said the move would save some $20.8 million.   GIC Executive Director Roberta Herman said the commission performed a study that showed many of the companies were offering similar products and that membership would have similar coverage but at a lower cost.   But, it was faced with a fierce outcry from

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