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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

In Pursuit of Beetle Happiness: Part 3
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
04:40PM / Sunday, March 03, 2019

Ink sketch of a stag beetle by Tor Hansen. Below, an actual North American stag beetle. 

Switch research mosaic to Cape May in New Jersey, and situate yourself in an overgrown field gone to benign weedy neglect. While returning from a ferry crossing the Delaware Bay, I found a fleet question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) fluttering to a taller Queen Anne's Lace, and flitting down to feed on oozing sap welling from meristem and cambium within. Chafing beetles had scraped the cuticle so to reveal sap oozing from the wound, now a flourishing oasis for assorted foraging insects. The angle wing uncoiled its nimble proboscis, a hollow tubular flex straw,

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County Officials Celebrate Completion of Berkshire Flyer Plan
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:04PM / Friday, March 01, 2019

1Berkshire CEO Jonathan Butler and state Sen. Adam Hinds discuss the Flyer. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A committee that spent the last two years working on the Berkshire Flyer project is anxious to see how 2,600 new visitors to the Berkshires each summer will bolster the economy.   The goal is a passenger rail service from New York City to Pittsfield, departing Penn Station on Friday afternoon and returning Sunday afternoon throughout the summer to bring a new visitors to the area.   "We are targeting tourists and targeting second homeowners but we don't necessarily want to just give folks who are already coming here another way to get here, we also want to say

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@theMarket: Stocks on Hold
By Bill Schmick,
04:26PM / Friday, March 01, 2019
February delivered good gains for the markets. All the main averages were up, continuing January's climb toward the old highs. This week, momentum stalled a bit, indicating that investors need more good news to continue buying.   A China trade agreement (or lack thereof) still takes center stage. Despite the Washington, D.C., circus surrounding the testimony of Michael Cohen, the president's chief "fixer" for over a decade, traders largely ignored the hype.   At the same time (no accident in the scheduling), President Donald Trump hoped to take the spotlight off Cohen and back on him by meeting with Kim Jung-un in Hanoi for a second summit. Unfortunately, that

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Here We Go Again: March Warns Winter's Not Over Yet
03:25PM / Friday, March 01, 2019
Snowfall forecast has been reduced for Berkshire County for Sunday's storm. Now it's 4 to 8 inches through Monday morning, with temperatures in the single digits Monday night. Update from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:    "Winter Storm Watches are posted for all areas in Mass. Snow is forecast to begin between 6-8 p.m, from west to east.  Snow will end around 6 a.m. in Western Mass, and around 11 a.m. in eastern MA.  The time period for the heaviest snow is forecast to occur between 10 p.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. Monday. Temperatures during the day on Sunday will be in the 20s to low 30s."

A larger storm is poised to bring heavier snow,

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BCC Announces Adjunct Faculty Fellow, Several Other New Hires
02:18PM / Friday, March 01, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired a new director of Safety and Security and a new building maintenance supervisor II. It has also announced it has a new adjunct faculty fellow and interim dean of Business, Science, Mathematics and Technology.

Ellis Richardson has been hired as the new Director of Safety and Security. Richardson, a retired chief of police for the city of Hudson in New York, brings an extensive law enforcement background with a community-building mindset. He most recently worked as the Public Safety sergeant for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He attended University at Albany and received an associate's degree from Columbia-Greene

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Police Investigating Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash in Sheffield
01:26PM / Friday, March 01, 2019
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — A Mount Everett Regional School graduate died as a result of injuries sustained in a single-car motor vehicle crash late Thursday night.   According to a release from the Berkshire district attorney's office, Jesus A. Santos, 19, of Lakeville, Conn., lost control of the motor vehicle he was driving on Berkshire School Road at about 11:32 p.m. Thursday.   Santos was alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash.   The accident occurred about a mile from where a Sheffield Police officer attempted, unsuccessfully, to execute a stop for a motor vehicle violation of the vehicle that Santos was operating. His body was transported from the scene to the

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Biz Briefs: Tunnel City Coffee Hosts Art Show
12:44PM / Friday, March 01, 2019
Coffee shop art

Tunnel City Coffee in Mass MoCA hosts artists Sarah Sutro and Dorothea Osborn for a winter show of ink drawings and large scale paintings through March. Sutro's black and white drawings express spirituality, humor, ideas and nature with ink patterns created with handmade and Japanese ink pens. Osborn's work reflects microscopic biologic fragments in macro-scale brush strokes. All work is available for in-store purchase.   

Sutro works in detail, giving a fluid sense of order to tiny ink points, like flocks of birds swinging in unison. "My current black and white ink drawings express patterns and energies of the human and natural worlds, a symbiotic

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Norman Rockwell Museum Presents 'The Art and Wit of Rube Goldberg'
12:16PM / Friday, March 01, 2019

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970), The Boot, left, c. 1948. Ink, charcoal, gouache on paper, 21" x 14 ½" and Style Note from Russia, right, c. 1948. Ink, pencil, gouache on paper, 20 1/4" x 15". Norman Rockwell Museum Collections, gift of Magdalen and Robert Livesey.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Norman Rockwell Museum presents "The Art and Wit of Rube Goldberg," an exhibit exploring the humorous illustrations of the visionary artist, who has become famous for the creative inventions bearing his name.

On view at the museum from March 2 through June 9, the exhibit will offer a revealing look at Goldberg's creativity through original comic strips from the

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March is Red Cross Month
11:59AM / Friday, March 01, 2019

March is Red Cross Month, and the Massachusetts Region asks people to be a hero for families in the Commonwealth by becoming a volunteer, learning lifesaving skills, giving blood or donating to #help1family on Red Cross Giving Day, March 27.

"During Red Cross Month, we are proud to recognize our volunteers who make up more than 90 percent of our workforce providing hope and urgent relief to families in need every day," said Lloyd Ziel, chief communications officer for the American Red Cross in Massachusetts. "These heroes are our neighbors who give blood, save lives with skills like first aid and CPR, or provide care and comfort to families devastated by crises like home

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Massachusetts Holding $3.4 Billion in Unclaimed Property
04:55PM / Thursday, February 28, 2019
BOSTON — More names have been added to the state's list of unclaimed property owners. More than 45,000 new properties worth millions of dollars are owed to individuals and businesses throughout the commonwealth.   "We currently hold over $3.4 billion in unclaimed property at Treasury and it could be yours," said Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. "One in 10 Massachusetts residents are owed money. Call our office today to begin the claims process."   Unclaimed property includes forgotten savings and checking accounts, un-cashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, dividends, and the contents of unattended safe deposit boxes. Most accounts are considered

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The Independent Investor: Veterans on Receiving End of Trump Administration
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Thursday, February 28, 2019
In the 2019 fiscal budget, the Department of Veterans Affairs received more than $200 billion in spending. That's a 6 percent increase over last year and counts as the largest amount ever received by the VA. The money will go a long way in implementing an array of much-needed reforms.   There will be $400 million earmarked for preventing opioid abuse. As you might imagine, veterans are a high-risk group since opioids are used extensively in treating wartime casualties.   An additional $1.1 billion will jump-start the overhaul of the VA's electronic health records, while $1.75 billion will go to implementing the VA Mission Act. That money will revamp and re-write the

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'Fighting with My Family': Truth in Wrestling
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:28PM / Thursday, February 28, 2019
Watching director Stephen Merchant's "Fighting with My Family," about a tight-knit family of professional wrestlers whose two youngest members have aspirations of making the big time, I, of course, had to think of my father.    Daniel Goldberger, a trucking company owner who submerged into the Polish underground in 1939 just before the Nazis confiscated his trucks and painted swastikas on them, was a kind but serious man. Even his jokes more often than not made a point, which played quite entertainingly against Mom's rather satiric sense of humor. Thus it is an anomaly I've never figured out that my Dad loved professional wrestling. It was as if he simply

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