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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

MCLA Recognizes Adams Scholarship Recipients
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Tessa Langsdale, class of 2021, tells the students how she had been in their seats just last year.  See more photos from the event here.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 50 Berkshire students were recognized at the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship reception at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.   "I am really quite pleased to be able to welcome you and to be able to congratulate you on earning this scholarship," MCLA President James Birge told the recipients Tuesday at the Church Street Center. "It is a rigorous award to win and you have demonstrated your abilities to do that through your grades, standardized test performances ... and all

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Biz Briefs: BCC Offers Micro-Grants to Help Students Get Out of Debt
02:38PM / Monday, December 04, 2017
Helping hand

Berkshire Community College, with sponsorship from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, is offering select students micro-grants to help them pay their past-due debts and stay on track to graduate. The program is called the "Guardian Value Scholarship," which identifies students who are in good academic standing but unable to re-enroll due to college debt.

The scholarship can help reduce or remove a student's debt to the college which in turn allows them to register for upcoming spring 2018 classes at BCC. The maximum value of the scholarship is $1,500. If a student owes more than $1,500, they are expected to pay down the remaining balance of their debt

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Total Access Computers Serves Adams' Tech Needs
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:35AM / Saturday, December 02, 2017

ADAMS, Mass. — Dan and Andrew Maynard, owners of Total Access Computers, on 16 Hoosac St., want to be your friendly neighborhood tech experts.

The Maynards have one mission: to help people navigate the often-confusing waters of an ever-changing tech world.

"We like to help people, and we don't just fix your computer and send you on your way," Dan Maynard said. "We show you how to keep it clean and running properly because it is the right thing to do."

He started the business in the early 2000s in North Adams and it has been growing ever since.

"I put together a business plan, went in a with a few other people, started a little company and was doing sales

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The Independent Investor: The Bots Are Coming
By Bill Schmick,
04:43PM / Friday, December 01, 2017
One no longer needs to imagine a post-apocalyptic world where humans are hunted into extinction by intelligent robots. While a shooting war may not break out between the two sides before 2030, a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute indicates that as many as 375 million human workers will be replaced by automation.   Most readers are already aware that companies using high degrees of automation, such as Amazon, are decimating the brick and mortar method of selling products. Most analysts believe it is inevitable that this trend will extend to all kinds of products. Pharmaceuticals and food are just the most recent items to be transitioned over to the internet. While this will add

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Wahconah Regional Earns MIAA Sportsmanship Award
05:42PM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — Wahconah Regional High School's student-athletes have been presented with the Sportsmanship Award for District G from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.   The award was made at the MIAA's annual Sportsmanship Summit, held this year on Nov. 17, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. It was presented in conjunction with Friendly's Restaurants, which partnered with the student sports association as its official "family restaurant."   Awards are presented to one school chosen by member school athletic directors in each of MIAA's eight athletic districts. Wahconah was also named to the Sportsmanship Honor Roll for 2016-17

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'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri': Signs of the Times
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:12PM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
Director Martin McDonagh's compelling "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" features, among other things, misogyny, police brutality, racism, rape, child molestation, white supremacy, unrestricted gun possession, and anti-gay sentiments.    But no, it's not about Roy Moore's quest to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Rather, equally provocative and similarly chilling, the superbly acted film details a mother's rage over her daughter's unsolved murder to the backdrop of a small town rendered dysfunctional by the above-listed disgraces.   Frances McDormand, playing Mildred Hayes, the infuriated mom, is the beleaguered face of survival in

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Harvest Run Raises $15,000 for BCC nursing program
02:10PM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017

More than 170 runners took part in the annual Berkshire Healthcare Harvest Run to benefit the Berkshire Community College nursing program.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Healthcare Harvest Run raised more than $15,000 for the Berkshire Community College nursing program scholarship on Oct. 21 during the annual trail run and cook-off. More than 170 runners, including adults, students and children, participated in the trail run, relay and kids race.

"This was our most successful Harvest Run. We are very grateful to all the participants and the Berkshire Healthcare affiliates for their energy and enthusiasm," said Ellen Kennedy, president of Berkshire Community College.

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Consider These Year-End Tax-Smart Financial Moves
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:31PM / Wednesday, November 29, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, you may be getting pretty busy. But once the holidays are over, you will enter into a new season – tax season. The filing deadline for the 2017 tax year is April 17, 2018, but until that date – and especially before the end of the calendar year – you may want to explore some tax-smart financial moves.

Here are a few to consider:

Boost your 401(k) contributions. If you're like most people, you probably don't usually contribute the maximum amount to your 401(k), which, in 2017, is $18,000, or $24,000 if you're 50 or older. Unless you have a Roth 401(k), your contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, so the more you put in,

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SteepleCats Reveal New Look, New Logo
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:20AM / Tuesday, November 28, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The SteepleCats are relaunching with a new look, a new attitude and new leadership.   "We're changing the brand, and we're changing the look, and we're changing the feel," says new President Allen Hall. "A lot of things are going to change this year to be more North Adams-centered and focused in terms of its approach, its affordability, and our marketing and corporate packages."    The New England Collegiate Baseball League team is switching out its friendly fuzzy black and yellow cat for a leaner, meaner blue panther. The Drury blue logo and uniforms, with black, white and gray, is meant to evoke a more assertive,

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TEDx North Adams Features 11 Speakers at Mohawk Theater
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:37AM / Monday, November 27, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The environment will be spare but the organizers of the first-ever TEDx North Adams are sure that the ideas shared will be illuminating.    Eleven speakers will be featured at the Mohawk Theater in January for a full afternoon of talks and videos around the basic TED theme of "Ideas Worth Sharing."    Organizers announced on Sunday that the empty Mohawk on Main Street would be the venue for the event.   "We knew it would be bare bones and continue to be bare bones," said Benjamin Lamb, one of the organizers and president of the City Council. "We thought it was a good way to activate the space in a different

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@theMarket: Sweet Spot for the Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:31PM / Friday, November 24, 2017
Thanksgiving weekend usually marks the beginning of a great seasonal run in the equity markets that continues through January of next year. There are some additional reasons why this year may prove to be a good one.   No one disputes the fact that we have had an unusual year for equities; all three U.S. indexes have gains in excess of 15 percent. That is more than twice the average gains of the S&P 500 Index on a historical basis. In addition, those spectacular gains have been accomplished without any declines of more than 3 percent all year. If that is not a record, it is pretty close to one.   The economy, unemployment and inflation have all been moving in the right

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The Independent Investor: Why Stocks Continue to Climb
By Bill Schmick,
05:30PM / Thursday, November 23, 2017
As we approach the end of the year, most investors are both dumb-founded and pleased at the stock market's performance. President Trump and his followers would like us to believe it is all because of them. Hog wash.   There has been no substantive legislation since the new administration took office. Promises can only take us so far. Some say any further upside will be short-lived, because living on hope alone has already taken us too far. And yet, somehow the economy is still growing, even gathering momentum.   Recall, too, that Donald Trump and the Republican Party gained power on the promise of undoing many of the trade agreements the U.S. has forged over the past 40 years.

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