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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: Greylock Donates $100,000 to Elder Services for Elder Nutrition Program
02:53PM / Monday, November 13, 2017
Staying healthy

Greylock Federal Credit Union has pledged to donate $100,000 over five years to Elder Services of Berkshire County. The gift is to support the Elder Nutrition Program, which provides meals through both Meals on Wheels and their 15 congregate meal sites located at Councils on Aging throughout the county.

ESBC's Elder Nutrition Program reaches some of the most vulnerable seniors in Berkshire County. According to a report from Elder Services, the typical person who receives a visit from a Meals on Wheels driver is between the ages of 75 and 90, female, widowed, and living alone on a fixed income. Each visit provides not only a hot nutritious meal, but also vital social

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Berkshires Beat: Home Instead Kicks Off 'Be A Santa To A Senior' Program
01:31PM / Monday, November 13, 2017
Holiday cheer

The local Home Instead Senior Care office serving Berkshire County is inviting the community to come together to bring some comfort and holiday cheer to area seniors through its Be a Santa to a Senior program. Providing gifts and companionship at a time when seniors may need it most, the program is made possible through the generous support of local businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community.

Holiday shoppers are invited to support Be a Santa to a Senior by visiting a participating location where Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be on display from Nov. 10 to Dec. 29. Those trees will be decorated with paper ornaments

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Momentum Growing Locally Behind Outdoor Recreation Economy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:41AM / Monday, November 13, 2017

Skiing has always been part of the Berkshire's winter season but ski areas are now improving their winter sports options and becoming year-round attractions.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshires recently hosted a meeting with the Legislature's Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development.    1Berkshire Director of Marketing Lindsey Schmid stood up before the group and began to tell the story about the importance of tourism in the Berkshires. But she didn't start with Tanglewood. Nor did she start with the Clark Art Institute or Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. She started with mountain biking, hiking, and

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Mount Everett Fall Festival Features Bard's 'Romeo & Juliet'
08:14PM / Thursday, November 09, 2017
  SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Mount Everett Regional School's Fall Festival production of "Romeo and Juliet" begins this weekend.   Performances are Thursday, Nov. 9, and Friday, Nov. 10, both at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. in the Consolati Performing Arts Center (TAC PAC). Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.   This year's show will also perform at the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox on Friday, Nov. 17, at 6:15 p.m. More information can be found at shakespeare.org.

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'LBJ': Offers Hope From the Past
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:41PM / Thursday, November 09, 2017
Viewers uninterested in politics and American history probably won't enjoy the insight and philosophical ruminations ventured by director Rob Reiner in his savvy biopic, "LBJ." Detailing the momentous ebb and flow of the times just before and after the ascension of Lyndon Baines Johnson to the presidency of the United States in 1963, Reiner, working from a script by Joey Hartstone, studiously puts forth a thesis worthy of an honorary master's degree.    If it had new information about the man behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I'd of considered a Ph.D.   Now, I won't attempt to pull away those who would much prefer the couch, the football game, a

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The Independent Investor: Cracks in the House of Saud
By Bill Schmick,
05:11PM / Thursday, November 09, 2017
Over the weekend, the government of Saudi Arabia announced multiple arrests of royal family members as well as other governmental officials. The official explanation was a new campaign to root out corruption, but many believe the raid was a power grab by the reigning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.   Corruption in Saudi Arabia is as common as sand. It is what makes the wheels run so global observers discounted that excuse. The assumptions ranged from a thwarted coup against the reigning family to a consolidation of power orchestrated by the heir apparent.   As a result, gold jumped over $10 an ounce, oil spiked 3 percent and investors held their breath expecting another shoe

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Holiday Hours: Veterans Day
03:10PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

An image of the 353rd Infantry in France taken two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect.

Veterans Day falls on Saturday, Nov. 11, but will be observed on Friday, Nov. 10, as a state and federal holiday.

The federal holiday is to commemorate the service of the nation's military veterans in ensuring peace.

It was first known as Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. In recognition of the efforts of World War II veterans, President Eisenhower in 1954 signed legislation creating Veterans Day with the goal of honoring all American veterans.

Closed on Friday, Nov. 10:
Some federal

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Berkshire Community College Offers More Fall Workshops in South County
01:32PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Community College's South County Center is rounding out its fall noncredit workshop series with a variety of programs, including social media, Photoshop, food and wine, smartphones, swimming and ServSafe recertification.

Back by popular demand, "Social Media and Your Lifestyle" is slated for Monday and Wednesday, Nov. 13 and 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. Amy Chin, software consultant, will lead this workshop. Cost is $40.

Graphic designer Jane McWhorter is scheduled to teach "Intermediate Adobe Photoshop" on Tuesday afternoons, beginning Nov. 15 through Nov. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. and Dec. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. Cost of this nine-hour

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One Man's Mission: A Book For Every Child
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:53PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Northern Berkshire Santa Fund is teaming up with Robert Behr to put a book in the bag of every child the Fund serves this Christmas. To help with this effort, you can donate money online, or donate gently used children's books for all ages in several locations: in North Adams at the iBerkshires.com office at 102 Main St. or the Friendship Center at 45 Eagle St. or in Williamstown at the First Congregational Church (side door) at 906 Main St.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — When Robert Behr retired from his Williams College job two years ago, he knew he wasn't going to be content just sitting around. So he agreed to volunteer at the Friendship Center food pantry in North Adams --

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Required Withdrawals from Retirement Plans: What Should You Know?
12:20PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

You may spend decades contributing to your IRA and 401(k). But, eventually, you will need to use this money. Before that day arrives, you will want to be familiar with the rules governing withdrawals – and you will want to know just how much you should take out.

To begin with, withdrawals from traditional employer-sponsored retirement plans like these fall under the Internal Revenue Service's "required minimum distributions" (RMD) guidelines. (You aren't required to take these distributions from a Roth IRA.) Here are some of the key RMD points to keep in mind:

* You need to take distributions by age 70 1/2. You generally should begin taking RMDs in the year in

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Miss Hall's School Presents 'You Can't Take It With You'
12:07PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Miss Hall's School Theater Ensemble will live life to its eccentric fullest this fall, performing the popular madcap comedy "You Can't Take It With You" on the Miss Hall's campus at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12.

This MHS production stars senior Jayme McGuigan of Pittsfield as Martin Vanderhof/Grandpa; junior Jasmine Briggs as Alice; and sophomore Emily Carmel of Pittsfield and junior Trudy Fadding of Glendale as Alice's parents, Penelope and Paul Sycamore. Guest actor Matthew Gallagher of Pittsfield plays Tony Kirby, while senior Gabby Hinkley of Dalton and senior Miriam Myers of

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Letter: Great American Smokeout Is Nov. 16
Letters to the Editor,
11:21AM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

To the Editor:

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 16, a great day to remind clients, friends, and family about quitting smoking or any tobacco use.

Developed by the American Cancer Society, the Great American Smokeout is a perfect opportunity to think about quitting and its many benefits — physically, mentally, and financially, and maybe even plan a quit attempt. Remember, quitting can take many tries and help is always available for any tobacco user who wants to quit, whether on November 16 or at any other time.

You can help smokers and other tobacco users by encouraging them to keep trying to quit and by offering them the following suggestions:

Consider talking to a

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