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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Hoosac Valley's Puppolo Joins DI Ranks
iBerkshires.com Sports,
01:12PM / Monday, January 21, 2019
Hoosac Valley High School graduate Kali Puppolo Saturday signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Manhattan College and play softball for the Division I Jaspers.   Puppolo is in her second year at Herkimer College in New York, where she pitched a team-best 113 innings for the Division III junior college powerhouse.   Puppolo 15-3-1 with a 2.29 ERA for the Generals, who advanced to the title game of the NJCAA DIII National Championship.   Manhattan went 28-25 last spring, advancing to the semi-finals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.   There is a fair amount of local talent already competing at the Division I level this winter.   On the basketball court,

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SNAP Clients to Receive February Benefits Early
11:58AM / Monday, January 21, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Family Services of Community Health Programs advises SNAP clients that February benefits are being distributed early.

Clients are encouraged to budget this early February payment accordingly, as future benefits may not be reloaded until after the partial government shutdown comes to an end.

SNAP is the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for income-eligible individuals and families. Benefits are administered by the state.

WIC (Women, Infants & Children) benefits will continue and can be accessed as usual. CHP will communicate any WIC updates to clients, as information is available.

Any South County WIC or

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Health Drives Much of Pignatelli's Legislative Agenda
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, January 21, 2019
LENOX, Mass. — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli heard a story about a police officer who had witnessed someone die from an overdose while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.   Not all first-responders carry Narcan, which reverses opioid overdoses, and Pignatelli believes that if that officer's Police Department had it, the person could have lived.    "I am filing a bill that requires all first-responders to carry Narcan. We have this opioid epidemic all throughout Massachusetts and I find that several communities or first-responders do not carry Narcan," Pignatelli said.    "For instance, even locally the state police carry

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More Heating Assistance Sought as Officials Discuss Poverty
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Monday, January 21, 2019

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, right, and North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard applaud as new Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington, left, is introduced at a forum on poverty at Williams College.  

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As the Berkshires face the coldest weather of the winter so far, the county's state senator, Adam Hinds, has joined dozens of other legislators in urging Gov. Charlie Baker to help close the gap in heating assistance caused by a federal funding shortfall.

According to Berkshire Community Action Council, around 8,000 households in Berkshire County apply for LIHEAP (the low-income heating assistance program) every year; across the state, a total

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Soccer Referees Offer Course for New Officials
12:55PM / Sunday, January 20, 2019
LENOX, Mass. -- The Massachusetts State Soccer Referee Committee will offer its next new referee course on Sunday, March 17.   The course will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on Pittsfield Road (Route 7).   The cost is $115, which includes registration, administration and course fees.   Interested men and women are asked to register at onthe association's website.   For information, contact either courseadministrator@massref.net or Berkshire County Youth Soccer League assignor Anthony Pedlozky at assignor@bcysl.org.   The local board of officials will reimburse new referees for their soccer uniform and kit once they have officiated 10 games in a

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@theMarket: Markets Retrace December Losses
By Bill Schmick,
09:04AM / Saturday, January 19, 2019
It was a week where lackluster earnings battled with the Fed's willingness to hold off on rate hikes for investors' attention. The Fed won. Investors bought on the dips and helped to push the markets out of correction territory.   From a technical point of view, however, all the U.S. indexes are overbought, extended, and in need of some kind of pullback. Traders know this and have been shorting the market as it climbs, betting that we will see at least a 100-point decline in the S&P 500 Index. It hasn't happened — yet.   Normally, markets will do what is most inconvenient for the greatest number of traders.   In this case, the indexes simply keep going

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Snowstorm Prompts Snow Emergencies, Cancellations
03:25PM / Friday, January 18, 2019

This delightful paragraph arrived Saturday morning from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:

"The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public that weather forecasters are expecting a winter storm to impact travel across the Commonwealth beginning Saturday evening and continuing throughout Sunday. Heavy wet snow is expected to begin falling on Saturday evening, transition to freezing rain and sleet in some areas on Sunday, and be followed by a flash freeze on Sunday afternoon and evening. The public is advised to minimize travel if possible, make smart decisions if driving, and be mindful of potentially hazardous travel conditions due to the

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New Doctor Joins BMC Cardiology Services
01:01PM / Friday, January 18, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Tracy E. Hagerty, a board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologist and electrophysiology specialist, has joined the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Cardiology Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Hagerty specializes in general cardiology and electrophysiology and is accepting new patients in need of cardiology services. She joins doctor Jeffrey Leppo, Kyle Cooper, Kristen Currie, Henry Lyle, Lisa Massie, Teresa Menendez, Andrew Potash, Peter Shaw, Georgianne Valli-Harwood and Vikas Veeranna in providing comprehensive care through Cardiology Professional Services of BMC.

Hagerty is board-certified in internal medicine

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Donovan O'Connor & Dodig Names New Partner
12:57PM / Friday, January 18, 2019

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Attorney Gregory P. Howard has become a partner in Donovan O'Connor & Dodig.  

Howard has been with the firm since 2011. A native of Bennington, Vt., and lifelong resident of the area, he is well-regarded by both his clients and his peers. He received a bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, from the University of Rochester in 2008 and Juris Doctorate degree from Boston College Law School in 2011. He is a member of the Berkshire Bar Association and the Bennington County Bar Association.

Howard is licensed in both Massachusetts and Vermont, in the state and federal courts. His practice focuses on representing individuals and families throughout the

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'Green Book': Because Look Out Old Macky's Back
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:43PM / Friday, January 18, 2019
There it was, the perfect opportunity I thought I wanted — staring me right in the face. A quadruple bypass procured the day after Thanksgiving 2018 can have that effect on a film critic.   What more reason could I conjure to call it a career, to be done with this movie reviewing stuff and finally retire to that long-fabled cabin on the lake in Vermont where I would idyllically pen those 36 essays and short stories with which I had been threatening the world of belles-lettres lo these many years?   But then the words of professor Halberstadter, my mentor back at Olde Ivy Film Criticism College, slowly interceded.    "Always remember the oath you took,

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Barrett Enters First Full Term With Legislative Agenda
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Friday, January 18, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Entering his first full session in the House of Representative, John Barrett III is doubling down on the priorities he held when he was first elected.   "One of the areas I'm obviously concerned about is transportation in the county. We need it, especially in the Northern Berkshire area," Barrett said.     "Obviously we have to do some things to revamp it statewide but one of my bills is that under Massachusetts General Law is that 16 percent of your sales tax goes to running the MBTA so I am including a piece in there that may not go anywhere but it will get people maybe thinking about the way we can start directing some

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The Independent Investor: Pay Gap for Women Is Growing
By Bill Schmick,
07:22PM / Thursday, January 17, 2019
If Citigroup, one of the world's largest banks, is any indication, women earn 29 percent less than their male counterparts. It also revealed that only 37 percent of its managerial jobs were held by females.   Wall Street has long been known as "the last bastion" for white males. But to Citigroup's credit, it just made public its internal assessment of the existing pay gap between the genders. One reason it did so was the new disclosure standards that are now required in the United Kingdom since last April.   Last year, when Citigroup first reported these numbers for its U.K. workforce, women were paid 44 percent less, and if bonuses were counted, the gap widened

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