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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

@theMarket: Markets Gain on Hope & a Prayer
By Bill Schmick,
04:39PM / Friday, February 15, 2019
Investors remain cautiously optimistic that the wall of worry that has been plaguing us for months may now be crumbling. That's no sure thing, but at least we did have some good news this week.   While most investors were not expecting a repeat of last month's partial government shut-down, it was still a relief to see that issue put to bed on Friday. The president reluctantly signed the budget bill that Congress passed over his objections.   Granted, the president did not get his wall, although now he is threatening to get the funding by declaring a national emergency on our southern border. Whether there is or is not such an emergency, by declaring one, he bypasses

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Holiday Hours: Presidents Day
02:00PM / Friday, February 15, 2019

Gen. George Washington taking command of the Continental Army in Cambridge in 1775.

Washington's Birthday will be celebrated on Monday, Feb. 18.

The holiday was first enacted by Congress in 1879 to mark George Washington's birthday on Feb. 22 and later moved to the third Monday in February in 1968. While the name of the federal holiday remains Washington's Birthday, it is more often referred to as Presidents Day to include the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12.

Washington was born in 1732 (or Feb. 11, 1731, according to the old-style calendar) in Colonial Virgina. A Founding Father, he would lead the new nation as head of the Continental Army in the Revolution and as

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Packer Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by Shakespeare Theatre Association
01:00PM / Friday, February 15, 2019

LENOX, Mass. — Shakespeare & Company's founding artistic director, Tina Packer, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Shakespeare Theatre Association.

She received the Douglas N. Cook Lifetime Achievement Award while attending the 2019 STA Conference in Prague. The award honors STA members who have made and are still making significant contributions to the field of Shakespeare Theatre.

"It was one of the greatest pleasures of my life to introduce Tina for the presentation of the Cook Award at the Lobkowicz Palace at the STA annual banquet in Prague," said STA Executive Director Patrick Flick. "The first sentence of my introduction was,

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Berkshire United Way Taps New Director of Development
12:43PM / Friday, February 15, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire United Way has hired Ilene Marcus as director of development.

Marcus joins the organization with more than 30 years of experience in social service programs, policy development, operations and revenue generation. She holds both her master of science in social work and master of public affairs from Columbia University.

Marcus will be responsible for developing engagement strategies and leading fundraising efforts to increase revenue, ensuring the organization's ability to invest in quality programs to build a stronger community.

Prior to joining Berkshire United Way, Marcus founded Aligned Workplace, where she consulted on creating revenue

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College Notes: January & February 2019
04:53PM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
Sports management majors Rachael Donahue of Pittsfield and Jacqueline Lemaire of North Adams were among 10 students from the Western New England University School of Business who spent part of their winter session in Australia. They are the first cohort to participate in the college's "J-Term" program of academic study and cultural experiences.   The students arrived in Sydney in time to take in the New Year's celebrations, including the spectacular fireworks atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and returned to Springfield for the start of the spring semester on Jan. 14. The two-week course, "International Business in Asia Pacific," was delivered through

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Hinds Given Committee Assignments: Chairing Revenue, on Ways and Means
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:43PM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Adam Hinds will serve as the first stop for many of the big initiatives coming from the State House this year.   Hinds was given his committee assignments on Thursday: He'll chair the Joint Committee on Revenue, be vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Redistricting, and will serve on the Senate Ways and Means, Joint Committee on Education, Joint Committee on Tourism Arts and Cultural Development, Senate Rules, and Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.   "In just about every issue we deal with, the question is how are we going to pay for it," Hinds said on Thursday of his new chairmanship.   This term the position will

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The Independent Investor: Trump's War on Drug (Prices)
By Bill Schmick,
04:19PM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump called on Congress to do something about the escalating drug prices in America. The president is doggedly pursuing this campaign promise in the face of an army of special interest groups and big drug companies. Hurrah for you, Mr. President.   In his State of the Union address he said:   He wants our legislators to "deliver fairness and price transparency for American patients. We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring down costs."   Given that drug pricing is a complicated area and there have been various proposals and

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SVMC Offers New Heart Health Screening
12:55PM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BENNINGTON, Vt. — A new heart health screening will soon be available to local patients at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center that will allow people to see their risk of a heart-related health event before symptoms arise.

Cardiac Calcium Scoring uses a computed tomography (CT) scan and specialized software to allow doctors to detect calcium in the coronary artery. A score of zero on the test indicates low risk, and increasing levels indicate increasing risk of a heart attack and stroke.

In the past, doctors would use a patient's risk factors — like family history, if they have high blood pressure or diabetes, and whether they smoke, for instance — to determine

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Your Financial Advisor Can Do Some 'Life Coaching'
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:55AM / Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Life coaches – not surprisingly – strive to improve the quality of life of their clients. And financial professionals essentially embrace the same mission. So, if you decide to hire a financial advisor, you should expect to receive some "coaching" as you work toward all your important objectives, such as sending your kids to college, enjoying a comfortable retirement and leaving a legacy that can benefit the next generation.

What tips from life coaches might you also get from your financial advisor? Here are a few:

* Create a plan. A life coach can help you create a plan for your future, taking into account your career aspirations, relationships, hobbies, charitable

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Former Pittsfield Cub to Appear at Baseball Museum
Community submission,
07:00AM / Tuesday, February 12, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- Former Pittsfield Cub star Bryan House will be “Talkin’ Baseball” at the Baseball in the Berkshires museum at the Berkshire Mall on Saturday, Feb. 16.   The former pro will meet and greet attendees and sign autographs free of charge as part of the museum’s Talkin’ Baseball program.   Attendees also will be able to have their picture taken with House, who will appear from 3 to 4 p.m.   The museum is located in the Berkshire Mall.

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Berkshires Beat: Rockwell Museum, Collective Arts Brewing Host Student Art Contest
11:02PM / Monday, February 11, 2019
Art of Brewlng

Norman Rockwell Museum and Collective Arts Brewing have announced a new partnership designed to promote illustration programs around the country and highlight career paths available to artists. The museum and the craft beer company have teamed up to host the first annual Art of Brewing Contest, open to art students in the United States. The submission deadline is March 31.

Eight winning entries — selected by a jury of representatives from Collective Arts Brewing, Norman Rockwell Museum and contemporary illustrators — will be showcased on a Collective Arts Brewing can series, distributed across North America. To be eligible, students must be 21 or older and

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Local Youths Advance in Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition
02:22PM / Monday, February 11, 2019
  PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Eight local boys and girls have earned the right to compete at the Western Mass regional of the Knights of Columbus free throw shooting contest.   Patrick McLaughlin, Jason Sibley, David Kirchner, Danielle Glasier, Katie Shove, Jocelyn Fairfield, Grace Julieano and Ahna Balcom advanced in their age groups from a field of 15 competitors at Crosby Elementary School.   The winners are eligible to compete at the March 9 regional competition at St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Springfield.  

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