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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Watercooler: Company Donates Quilts to Hospital
12:10PM / Monday, January 07, 2019
Quilt donation

Staff of Oceanair Marine, Ltd., of Manchester, Vt., visited the Women's and Children's Department of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, a division of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, on Friday, Dec. 21, to deliver 19 hand-stitched, soft and colorful quilts and blankets for families being treated on the unit during the holidays.

The quilts were made with around 60 yards of donated fabric coming from donors from as far away as Minneapolis. Some of the quilts were made by employees who had never quilted before, while others — richly detailed — were made by more experienced quilters. Each one took between five and 10 hours of labor. The effort is a part of

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Berkshire Blaze Travel Softball Tryouts Friday and Saturday
Community submission,
10:45AM / Monday, January 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Berkshire Blaze travel softball program will hold tryouts this week for the 14-and-under and 16-and-underage groups.   Two days of tryouts will be hosted by The Infield at 10 Lyman St.   On Friday Jan. 11, pitchers and cathchers will try out from 7 to 7:30 p.m., and fielding and hitting tryouts will be from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.   On Saturday, pitchers and catchers will try out from 1 to 1:30 p.m., and fielding and hitting will be from 1:30 to 3:30.   Sign up on the team's Facebook page check in when you arrive.    Tryouts are being held in January to establish the teams in order to build schedules and purchase uniforms and equipment

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BRPC Looks to Kick Start Mountain Biking Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14AM / Monday, January 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC is hoping to kick off an effort to bolster mountain biking in the area.   Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is joining with two others Western Massachusetts planning organizations in a grant application to map, analyze, identify trail conditions, and lay the framework for a marketing effort to make Western Massachusetts known as a mountain biking hub.   The hope is that the Mass Trails grant will kick off the project and a previously secured $800,000 in an environmental bond bill by state Sen. Adam Hinds can follow. Those funds have not been released by the administration.   "The senator is a strong advocate for mountain

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Pittsfield Police Hosting Expo on Law Enforcement Careers
Staff Reports,
04:23PM / Sunday, January 06, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Want to fight crime? Because the Pittsfield Police Department is looking for candidates to join the force.   The department is holding a recruitment expo on Tuesday at Taconic High School to answer questions and demonstrate equipment for those who may be thinking of entering the profession. The expo is being held in anticipation of the next Civil Service test for police officers.   The department has been hiring over the last few years as it looks to expand its ranks. The last test was done in 2017 and to get more candidates the department has suspended its residency requirement.    The written examination to become an officer is administered by

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Berkshire Registers of Deeds to Standardize Procedures
07:07PM / Saturday, January 05, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's three registers of deeds say they will be working together to ensure consistency in procedures in the three offices.    Maria T. Ziemba, Northern Berkshire District Register of Deeds; Patricia M. Harris, Berkshire Middle District Register of Deeds; and Michelle Laramee-Jenny, Southern Berkshire District Register of Deeds, were all sworn into office in the Middle Berkshire District Registry of Deeds on Wednesday, Jan. 2.   All three registers have agreed to identify and standardize any differences in recording requirements and procedures between the registries in an effort to become more accommodating to law firms, financial

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Gov. Baker Highlights Success of Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:10PM / Friday, January 04, 2019

Following the tour of the facility, Baker has lunch with company officials, interns, and local elected officials. The governor was sworn into his second term of office on Thursday and was leaving to attend events in Holyoke, Springfield and Worcester.   LEE, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker blitzed the commonwealth this week as he kicks off his second term in the corner office.   On Friday, Baker visited Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing where the state had played a role in helping the company both expand and bring on interns.   Baker toured the facility, met with the interns, heard from company officials about future plans, and highlighted it as an example of the

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State Police Investigating 2 Separate Head-on Collisions
09:07PM / Thursday, January 03, 2019

Route 20 was closed for more than three hours after a head-on collision seriously injured three people.  HANCOCK, Mass. — Two separate head-on crashes occurred on Thursday evening that required the transportation of at least one person by medical helicopter.    The first occurred around 5 p.m. on Lebanon Road (Route 20) near the Overlook parking area in Hancock. Three people were taken to area hospitals with serious injuries. Traffic on Route 20 was detoured until the road was reopened shortly before 9 p.m.    The second accident occurred about 7:30 p.m. on Route 7 in New Ashford, near the Springs inn. Route 7 is closed in both directions from Mallery

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Baker Upbeat, Stresses Bipartisanship in 2nd Inaugural Speech
06:19PM / Thursday, January 03, 2019
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker delivered his second inaugural address from the House Chamber on Thursday, stressing the benefits of bipartisanship and the initiatives he'll be pushing in the coming months.    Baker, who easily won a second four-year term in November, welcomed the new and returning legislative members who were sworn in on Wednesday to the ongoing work on behalf of the state.   "I'm quite sure you've heard about the good work that goes on here, as well as those areas in which we fall short," he said. "We all strive to build a commonwealth of hope, opportunity and possibility. ...    "And in this era of snapchats,

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for January
02:45PM / Thursday, January 03, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during January.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Blandford and Lenox for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Blandford Town Hall, located at 1 Russell Stage Road Legacy Room of the Lenox Library, located at 18 Main St. All residents of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District are invited to participate in these sessions if they have an idea, question or comment about state government

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Becket Couple Welcome Berkshire County's New Year Baby
05:07PM / Wednesday, January 02, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Abigail Grace Lennon is the first baby born in Berkshire County in 2019.    The daughter of Katelyn and Mike Lennon of Becket arrived on New Year's Day at 11:40 a.m. at the Family Birthplace at Fairview Hospital.   Weighing in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, she is 20 inches long and was delivered by midwife Lisa Chism-Fraine.  

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Harrington Takes Over District Attorney's Office
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:19PM / Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Harrington is joined on stage during the ceremony by her husband, Timothy Walsh, and their two sons Francis and Ennis. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Andrea Harrington believes that "hope is not blind optimism" but rather a choice.   The new district attorney was inaugurated Wednesday morning and said she can envision a county free of sexual and gender-based violence, free of gun violence, free of addiction, and a place where people of all colors and genders can feel safe and protected.    But she cautioned, "nobody else is going to do it for us."   After being sworn in by retired Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina, Harrington told a

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Year-end: Put This Year's Investment Performance in Perspective
12:32PM / Wednesday, January 02, 2019

How can you assess your investment portfolio's performance in 2018? The year was full of wild swings in the financial markets, so your own results may well have bounced around quite a bit, too. But you can still get a clear picture of how you did if you keep your investments' returns in the proper perspective – by making sure your expectations are relevant, realistic and reviewed.

Let's look at how these terms can apply to a meaningful evaluation of your investment progress:

Relevant: Many investors compare their portfolio returns to a popular market index, such as the S&P 500. But this comparison is not really valid for a variety of reasons. For one thing, indexes

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