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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

BRTA Strike Ends; Regular Bus Service Resumes Wednesday
Staff Reports,
02:15PM / Tuesday, December 18, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRTA buses should be back on schedule Wednesday, Dec. 19, bringing an end to the strike that has paralyzed much of the county's public transportation system for the past two weeks.    The latest offer presented to the federal mediator on Tuesday was voted on by the paratransit union membership at a meeting and was approved.     The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority sent out an alert early Tuesday afternoon reporting it had received notification that the union representing the paratransit drivers had accepted the latest offer. Regular paratransit services will resume Thursday, Dec. 20.   Fixed route service had been severely

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Berkshires Beat: Lenox Sixth-Grader Wins Hinds' Holiday Card Contest
03:51PM / Monday, December 17, 2018

Hinds poses with the winner (front right), two of the runners-up and local Marines collecting toys for their Toys for Tots program. She's a winner

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds introduced Savannah Reber, the student artist whose drawing was chosen for his greeting card this year, during a holiday open house in his downtown Pittsfield office on Dec. 13. His office was decorated with hundreds of drawings submitted by local third- through sixth-grade students to his Holiday Greeting Card Design Contest. In total, 348 students from a dozen schools located across western Massachusetts submitted entries to the contest.

Savannah, 12, is a resident of Lenox and is in sixth grade at Lenox

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Wintry Mix Into Monday, Then Warmer Temps on Tap
01:50PM / Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wintry mix will begin today, transition to mainly snow this evening before ending overnight. Total amounts will be fairly light, but still enough to make surfaces slippery. Allow extra time for travel today! #518wx pic.twitter.com/jTdYzRyUc7

— NWS Albany (@NWSAlbany) December 16, 2018 Mother Nature couldn't quite decide what to gift us with this weekend, so she decided to give us a little bit of everything: freezing rain, sleet, snow.    The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for Sunday and into Monday morning.    This mixed precipitation will be coming down over the Berkshires on Sunday afternoon and then switching over to snow,

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Harrington Prepares to Take Over District Attorney's Office
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:47AM / Sunday, December 16, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If Andrea Harrington wants to make the reforms to the criminal justice system that voters elected her to make, it is going to require the right team of staff members.   And that's what Harrington has been spending her last month or so looking to build. The district attorney-elect defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in the November election and since then has been focusing on finding people she believes in to take leadership roles in the next incarnation of the district attorney's office.   "The people who voted for me voted for me because they believed in the vision that I articulated. In order to enact that vision, we need to have the right

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@theMarket: The Market's Winter Storm
By Bill Schmick,
03:28PM / Friday, December 14, 2018
Stocks worldwide have experienced a downdraft since October. All the gains so painstakingly made thus far in 2018 have been erased. Volatility has battered markets with all the severity of a Nor'easter. Next year may prove to be a continuation of the same.   It is interesting that the culprits responsible for this change of heart in the markets have been around for just about all of the past year. Leading the list is Donald Trump. It was our president that decided to wage a trade war against the world. There has been little success in his battle thus far. The prospect of more of the same faces us well into the new year.   The Federal Reserve Bank can also take some blame.

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1Berkshire Annual Meeting Remembers Klefos, Looks to Year Ahead
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:32PM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler welcomes members and local elected leaders to the organization's annual meeting.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — 1Berkshire's annual meeting last Thursday was a celebration: not just of the work the organization's been doing this past year but a reflection on the life of one its primary architects.    Vice President Lauri Klefos, who had been head of the merged Berkshire Visitors Bureau, had died unexpectedly just a week before, sending shockwaves through the tourism and business community.    "She saw 1Berkshire as a vehicle that would allow us to leverage our resources and amplify our voice for a

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BHS Expands Rheumatology Services With New Doctor
03:03PM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has further expanded its rheumatology services with the appointment of Dr. Liana Fraenkel, a board-certified and fellowship-trained rheumatologist.

Dr. Fraenkel joins the Berkshire Medical Center medical staff and the physician staff of Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC. She is accepting new patients in need of rheumatology care and is partnered with Drs. Lauren Dudley and Leonard Sigal at Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Fraenkel is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and was fellowship-trained in rheumatology at Boston Medical Center. She received her medical degree from McGill University,

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What Is Smarter: Paying Off Debts or Investing?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:50AM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It probably doesn't happen as much as you'd like, but you may occasionally have some extra disposable income. For example, perhaps you have recently received, or will soon receive, a year-end bonus. Or maybe you will get a sizable tax refund in just a few months. Wherever this money comes from, you will want to put it to good use. Should you use the cash to pay down debts or should you invest it instead?

There's no simple answer, and everyone's situation is different, but here are a few suggestions for helping you make a good choice:

* Evaluate your cash flow. If you already have enough cash to meet your daily living expenses, you might lean toward investing the money,

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Harrington Adds Two More to District Attorney's Office Leadership
Staff Reports,
03:25PM / Tuesday, December 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — District Attorney-elect Andrea Harrington added two more individuals to her leadership team on Tuesday.   Richard Dohoney will be brought on as Harrington's deputy district attorney and Jeanne Kempthorne will serve as chief of appeals and legal counsel. Dohoney, of Great Barrington, is currently the city solicitor. Kempthorne is a former federal prosecutor working in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston for 11 years.    The two join Karen Bell, who was previously announced as the office's first assistant.   "I am excited to bring such an experienced and talented group of prosecutors and legal professionals to serve as my senior

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BRTA Work Stoppage Playing Havoc With Regular Bus Routes
Staff Reports,
10:33PM / Monday, December 10, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The paratransit strike is entering its second week with no sign of resolution.   The work stoppage has affected the regular Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus routes, causing havoc for people trying to get to jobs, schools and other appointments.    One individual, who wished to remain anonymous, told iBerkshires they'd used up sick time because they were unable to get to work last week and a friend lost her job for the same reason.    "If this strike goes on much longer I don't know if I will have a job or how I will pay for housing," the frustrated BRTA rider wrote.   Transit officials have been working to

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Berkshire Health Systems Named a 2018 WWCMA WorkWell Massachusetts
04:37PM / Monday, December 10, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems and its Wellness at Work program have been named a WorkWell Massachusetts Award Program Gold Level winner for exemplary worksite health promotion for the fourth straight year.

The award recognizes Berkshire Health System's achievements developing, implementing and participating in corporate health improvement and wellness programs. BHS is one out of six Gold Level award recipients for 2018, and is the only organization to have received a Gold Level award each of the four years of the program.

Committed to the health and well-being of the entire Berkshire community, the BHS Wellness at Work team works with local employers as a partner

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Berkshires Beat: SVHC Celebrates Putnam Nursing School Alumni
02:30PM / Monday, December 10, 2018
Together again

Sixty-three alumni of the Putnam Memorial Hospital School of Practical Nursing joined leaders from Southwestern Vermont Health Care for a reunion lunch on Dec. 6. The event marked the 70th anniversary of the first graduating class of the school. Throughout its 50-year tenure, the school graduated more than 800 nurses.

The lunch was the final event in a year-long celebration of the hospital's centennial. The year was marked by "A Century of Caring," a historical exhibit which traveled to every region the health system serves; Centennial Community Day, a free event that drew 4,000 people to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center campus in Bennington; and

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