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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

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


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


'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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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,


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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