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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Pignatelli Files Bill on Changing Chapter 90 Formula
05:42PM / Wednesday, February 27, 2019
BOSTON — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli has filed a bill that would update the funding formula for the state's Chapter 90 program by shifting the percentages toward road mileage.   H.D.3714, An Act promoting equitable distribution of Chapter 90 funds, introduces a new formula through which cities and towns are reimbursed through the Chapter 90 bond authorizations.   "There is a dire need to maintain and improve infrastructure throughout our commonwealth, especially in the rural parts of our state," said Pignatelli in a statement announcing the filing. "While Chapter 90 funds can serve as a lifeline to communities, the current funding

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Alumna Donates $5 Million To Support Teachers At Miss Hall's School
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:04PM / Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Theresa Thompson PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's School will bolster its efforts to attract and retain faculty with the help of the largest single gift the school's ever received.   Theresa Thompson, who graduated from the all-girls school in 1964, donated $5 million with an eye toward retaining faculty who deliver innovative curriculum at the school.   "The gift is directed to supporting salaries ... the salaries are our largest expense and our most valuable asset," said Head of School Julia Heaton on Wednesday.    Heaton said the gift had been in the works for some time and is being celebrated this year to honor Thompson's 55th

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Letter: Downed Poles and Electrical Outage
Letter to the Editor,
02:00PM / Wednesday, February 27, 2019

To the Editor:

We would like to thank the gentleman from National Grid who arrived shortly after downed poles and wires interrupted our electrical service for seven hours after the terrible wind storm Monday.

These men worked constantly in horrific conditions to restore our power. We were extremely worried because of medical conditions that require oxygen, but told one of the men and he said it would be a while; after seven hours of their extremely hard work, our power was back!

Thank you, so very much!

Barb & Fred Keyes

 

 

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Women May Need to Make Extra Financial Moves
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:45AM / Wednesday, February 27, 2019

International Women's Day will be observed on March 8. Around the world, special events will celebrate the cultural, social, political and economic achievements of women. However, this last area – economic progress – is one that still causes concern, and rightfully so, because women still face gender-related challenges. How can you deal with them?

To begin with, you need to recognize the nature of these challenges. While many factors are actually responsible for women facing more economic pressure than men, two stand out in particular:

Gender wage gap: It's still around, despite some progress toward equality. The U.S. Census Bureau has found that full-time, year-round

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February Going Out Like a Snowy Lion
11:26AM / Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February is certainly going out like a lion.

After the high winds of Monday and Tuesday, an Alberta clipper is set to dump a few inches of snow on the Berkshires on Wednesday night. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 3 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.

NWS expects 3 to 5 inches starting late afternoon and warns on slippery road conditions and poor visibility tonight. Our friends at Channel 13 predicts 2 to 4 inches of snow before sunrise on Thursday, though mountain locations could see between 3 and 6 inches.

We appreciate this nugget from Channel 6 News: "This will be a light and fluffy snow so shoveling and brushing your car off won't be

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Berkshires Beat: Williams College Highlights Sustainability with New Interactive Map, Audio Tour
03:44PM / Monday, February 25, 2019
Williams sustainability map

Following the lead of Middlebury, a newly created map of the Williams College campus highlights the college's sustainability initiatives, ranging from solar panels to rain gardens. It also provides a self-guided audio tour for visitors to learn more about sustainability — the first of its kind.

Over the course of the fall 2018 semester, Williams senior Korinna Garfield and alumna Caroline Bruno, sustainability coordinator at the college's Zilkha Center, incorporated sustainability features into the new map to help raise visibility about how sustainability is integrated into the Williams College campus. The map's features are grouped into

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WAM Theatre Casts Spring Production of 'Lady Randy'
02:59PM / Monday, February 25, 2019

LENOX, Mass. — The WAM team has announced the cast for their spring Main Stage production, the world premiere of "Lady Randy" by Anne Undeland.

After two preview performances, the production opens April 20 at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, and runs through May 5.

"Lady Randy" is an historical drama about Jennie Jerome, mother of Winston Churchill. The play was first developed by Undeland and director Jim Frangione at the Berkshire Playwrights' Lab, making this a true collaboration of regional talent.

Undeland will play the title role, with WAM newcomer Mark Zeisler is playing the roles of Winston Churchill, Leonard Jerome,

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CHP Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Publishes Scholarly Paper on Teen Asthma Management
02:15PM / Monday, February 25, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Community Health Programs nurse practitioner has published a scholarly paper focused on a modern approach to caring for adolescents and children with asthma.

Gina Nickels-Nelson who practices at CHP Berkshire Pediatrics in Pittsfield, has authored "Adolescent Ownership of Asthma Health: A Concept Analysis," which is now published in Wiley Nursing Forum, an academic nursing journal. Nickels-Nelson is a candidate for a doctor of nursing practice degree at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Her paper focuses on the concept of teaching patients "ownership" of their asthma, a chronic medical condition that impairs breathing and requires the

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Windy Weather to Blow Through the Berkshires
07:00PM / Sunday, February 24, 2019
There's a high wind warning in effect for all of Berkshire County, eastern New York and Southern Vermont through Sunday night and well into Monday.   Wind gusts could reach up to 55 to 65 mph. Strong to damaging winds are expected, which will likely blow down large tree limbs, trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.   National Grid says it has crews prepared for any downed trees or wires and asks residents to avoid downed or low-hanging wires. Motorists should watch out for debris and downed tree limbs. Report outages here: http://ngrid.com/out    Earlier this afternoon, the

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North Adams Inventor Wins PGA Honors for Camera Device
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:57AM / Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fruscio was getting orders for his invention as soon as people saw it.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ricco Fruscio had just gotten a brand-new IPhone 7 and was eager to try out the gadget's "million-dollar video camera."    So he tested it by recording his golf swing — but the results weren't illuminating.    "It was just a debacle," he said. "I got some great shots of my right leg and that was all."   They say necessity is the mother of invention, but it also helps when you have the ingredients for said invention close at hand.    He had old golf clubs. He has a workshop. All it took was a quick trip to

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Great Barrington Author Wins Awards for First Novel
01:44PM / Friday, February 22, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Great Barrington resident Judith Shaw's book "Charley's Horse" has been named "Children's Book Winner" and "Young Adult Winner" in the 2018 New England Book Festival.

Entries are judged by a panel of industry experts for general excellence, an author's passion for telling a good story and its potential to reach a wider audience. Since its release in 2018, the novel has also received a Maxy Award and a Reader's Favorite Review Award.
 

"Charley's Horse" is the story of an 11-year-old girl who is in love with horses. She knows everything about them except how to ride. When her parents

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'Isn't It Romantic': It's to Laugh
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:18PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019
  First things first. Unlike the 1932 Rodgers and Hart classic song "Isn't It Romantic?" director Todd Strauss-Schulson's convivially entertaining romantic comedy, "Isn't It Romantic," forsakes the question mark at title's end. All of which is either a mental slip or intended to suggest a more demonstrative, rhetorical meaning. In other words, no question about it: It Is Romantic!   In such case, an exclamation point would have been a more apt substitute for the question mark, and I would have been left without a pretentious, opening paragraph.   To tarry further, as I'm prone to do when the film in question doesn't necessitate

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