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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Checklist for Helping You Choose a Financial Professional
12:13PM / Wednesday, November 01, 2017

For reasons likely to remain obscure, October 30 is Checklist Day. But while the origins of this observance may be a mystery, the value of checklists is clear: They help us organize our time and break large jobs into manageable steps. You can use a checklist for just about any significant endeavor – including the task of choosing a financial professional to help you achieve your important goals.

Here's what such a checklist might look like:

* Find someone with the proper credentials. Make sure a prospective financial professional has the appropriate securities registrations.

* Find someone who has worked with people like you. You will want to seek out a financial professional

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Weathering the Storm: What to Do If You Catch the Flu
Sponsored Content,
11:23AM / Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Imagine you see a weather report for heavy rain. You're headed off to work for the day, and you have your rain coat within easy reach. Do you bring it with you? Of course you do! You bring it with you knowing that, depending on the storm, the raincoat may not be 100 percent effective. But it will go a good long way to keep you dry.

As an infectious disease specialist at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, especially in the months leading up to flu season, I spend a lot of time persuading people to get a flu shot. It really is the best way to prevent getting the flu yourself and to decrease the effect of the flu on the whole community.

According to a recent study reported by the

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Massachusetts Health Connector Begins Open Enrollment
11:10AM / Wednesday, November 01, 2017

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Health Connector has started open enrollment for 2018, providing members and new applicants the opportunity to pick a health insurance plan for the New Year, and officially kicking off a full-scale, statewide outreach and education campaign.

Massachusetts has the highest insured rate in the country, with 97.5 percent of the state's residents covered according to the U.S. Census. The lead up to Open Enrollment has created national concern about outreach activities, particularly in states that are part of the federal government Exchange. Consistent with the commonwealth's mission to support access to affordable health coverage for everyone, the

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BMC Again Achieves Straight As for Patient Safety
10:57PM / Tuesday, October 31, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center has once again been named among the safest hospitals in the nation by The Leapfrog Group, the nation's leading nonprofit watchdog on hospital quality and safety. 

The Leapfrog Group has announced new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades for fall of 2017, and Berkshire Medical Center once again earned an "A." BMC has achieved straight As since the inception of the Safety Grade in 2012, and is one of only 59 hospitals out of over 2,600 surveyed nationwide to attain this honor.

"Berkshire Medical Center has been, and continues to be a national leader in providing the safest environment for our patients," said David

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Biz Briefs: Abstract Art Colors Walls at Tunnel City Coffee
02:47PM / Monday, October 30, 2017
Coffee and art

Contemporary abstract work by Williamstown, Mass., artists Jeff and Jane Hudson now hangs at Tunnel City Coffee’s flagship shop on Spring Street, marking the next phase of the pair's artistic journey. The show runs through December.

Jane Hudson's deftly plotted explosions of color energize the shop’s walls, while Jeff Hudson's contemporary digital prints engage visitors with nothing less than burning social questions of the modern world.

Moving from analog through the technological revolution and into the realm of software applications and iPad drawings, the Hudsons consider themselves lucky to keep pace. They use a variety of Mac-based photography

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Berkshires Beat: Coalition Holds Fall Neighborlies Awards Night
01:17PM / Monday, October 30, 2017

Adia Bourassa was honored with a Neighborly Award. Facing recognition

The Northern Berkshire Neighbors program of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition held its Fall Neighborlies Community Recognition Award Ceremony at Congregation Beth Israel on Oct. 18. Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community. Northern Berkshire Community Coalition staff and Mayor Richard Alcombright presented Neighborlies to the following recipients:

* Community Health and Wellness awards went

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Berkshire Curling Club Hopes to Ride Olympic Wave of Popularity
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Monday, October 30, 2017

Organizers of the year-old Curl Berkshires says interest in the 600-year-old sport tends to peak during the Winter Olympics. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — You don't need blades to hit the ice.   "I can't skate, but I can curl," says Gerrit Blauvelt. "It's not a requirement that you have any physical ability. Curlers come as young as 5 or 6, and there are people curling into their 90s.   "If you want to do more competitive levels, there are those opportunities."   For the uninitiated, there is the Curling Club of the Berkshires.   Blauvelt is the vice president of the year-old non-profit, which will offer an open house for would-be

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@theMarket: Markets Are Waiting for Tax Reform
By Bill Schmick,
10:48AM / Saturday, October 28, 2017
Stocks gyrated up and down this week as events in Washington competed with quarterly earnings results for investor's attention. Next week, we should find out more about both.   True to form, third-quarter earnings results have been in-line or better than expected. Over 70 percent of companies have "beat" earnings estimates, which is no surprise. Sales and earnings guidance have also been upbeat. For those unfortunate corporations who "missed" their targets on either the top or bottom line, retribution was swift and dramatic.   Some companies saw their stock price plummet 20 percent or more. And we are not just talking about penny stocks. Some mega-cap

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The Independent Investor: IRS Changes Tax Rules for Next Year
By Bill Schmick,
02:39PM / Friday, October 27, 2017
As politicians squabble over tax reform and cuts, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to do their job. New tax provisions for 2018 are out and some of them may be of interest to you.   Right now, there are seven marginal tax rates (soon to be three or four, if tax reform happens). Each tax bracket applies to a different income range. The highest tax rate (39.6 percent) will apply to all those who make $426,700, or $480,050 (married). The lowest rate, at 10 percent, would apply to those making $9,525 as an individual and $19,050, if married. You can review the other five brackets at your leisure by going to IRS.gov.   The IRS has also increased the standard deduction to

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Senator Markey Holding Town Hall in Pittsfield
02:13PM / Friday, October 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., will hold a town hall on Sunday at Barrington Stage Company.    The event runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; doors open at 5. The theater is located at 30 Union St., off North Street, with parking available in the Columbus Avenue Parking Garage a block south or on the other side of North Street in the Melville Parking Lot.    Markey will take questions from the audience and discuss U.S. Senate action on the opioid crisis, health care, tax reform and foreign policy. The event is free and open to the public.   The senator has been holding town halls across the state with the most recent in Western Massachusetts in

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Brien Center Program Director Receives Excellence in Program Leadership Award
01:13PM / Friday, October 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Meri-Ellen Morgans of The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse has received the Excellence in Program Leadership Award from the Association for Behavioral Healthcare.

ABH, a statewide organization representing more than 80 community-based behavioral healthcare provider organizations, announced its 2017 Recognition Award recipients at its Salute to Excellence event, earlier this month. Each year, ABH recognizes individuals and groups that have made impressive contributions to the field of mental health and addiction treatment.

"On behalf of ABH, we want to thank all of today's award recipients for the important work that they do every

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New Doctor Joins BHS Renal Services
12:47PM / Friday, October 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems announces the appointment of Dr. Kevin Quiusky, a board-certified and fellowship-trained nephrologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and to the physician staff of the BHS Kidney Disease and Hypertension Center.

Dr. Quiusky is accepting new patients in need of renal care and is partnered with doctors David Albert, Hani Erian, David Henner, Steven Lamontagne and Henry Rose, and nurse practitioners Sheila Silsby and Susan Downey Luhrmann.

Dr. Quiusky is board-certified in internal medicine and was fellowship-trained in nephrology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He received his medical degree from

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