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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Holiday Hours: Labor Day
11:30AM / Thursday, August 29, 2019

Labor Day is being celebrated Monday, Sept. 2. Labor Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress and is held on the first Monday of September. Read a history of Labor Day here.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The union encouraged the development of a workingman's holiday and a number of states began setting a day aside. Parades and picnics or similar events were not uncommon in its early days; it is now seen as part of the last three-day weekend of the summer prior to the start of school in many localities. 

Massachusetts was among the first states to

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Squeeze, Benatar, Reba, Berkshire Ramblers Spark Labor Day Weekend Finales
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:42AM / Wednesday, August 28, 2019

For the Labor Day weekend, Tanglewood welcomes pop and country stars, the Guthrie Center offers local folkies, Mass MoCA throws a dance party and the Egremont Barn jumps with hip-hop.

Tanglewood

Now that the Boston Symphony Orchestra has finished its summer season, Tanglewood revs up for stars from the rock and country worlds in its Popular Artists Series.

Squeeze, the British rockers who first began recording in the 1970s, is at the Shed on Thursday night, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. The lineup of band members may have changed over the years, but the current crew surely will do such hits as "Tempted" and "Hourglass."

Two enduring women rock stars take the Shed stage

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Interested in Fixed Annuities? Beware of Common Misconceptions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:47AM / Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Between your 401(k) or pension, your IRA and Social Security, you hope to have enough to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Yet, you may want, or need, to find other financial resources – one of which might be a fixed annuity, which offers a guaranteed interest rate and can be structured to provide a lifetime income stream.

But you may be nervous about investing in annuities because of some negative things you have heard about them. How concerned should you be?

To help answer that question, let's consider some common misconceptions about fixed annuities:

* "I won't be able to touch any of my money if I need some of it before I retire." A fixed annuity is

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Windsor Receives $165k in Funding for Ecological Repairs
05:50PM / Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The secretary also met with local officials during her trip to Western Mass, including a roundtable on Friday in Pittsfield.  WINDSOR, Mass. — The town of Windsor has been awarded $165,000 to replace a culvert on the East Branch of the Westfield River. Windsor's grant is largest of 16 awards targeting culvert replacement and river health and totaling $932,000.    Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides announced the grants at an event last week at Windsor State Forest, then visited the sites of two culvert projects in Windsor and Cummington that received grants. Also receiving funds were Clarksburg and

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Williams College Museum of Art to Reopen on Sept. 6
11:24AM / Tuesday, August 27, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williams College Museum of Art will reopen for the fall in Lawrence Hall on Friday, Sept. 6, with a lineup featuring the critically exclaimed exhibit "Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A."

A celebration to mark the reopening of Lawrence Hall and the opening of "Axis Mundo" will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6. A season celebration to mark the entire fall lineup of exhibitions will be held Thursday, Oct. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to reopen the museum this September with a dynamic suite of exhibitions and collaborations with faculty, many of

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire County Youths Joined Amplify 2019 Program
10:31AM / Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Music in Common

Berkshire County youth Darby Taylor, Hailey Peters, Maddy Bronson and Olivia Davis participated in Music In Common's "Amplify" program in Sheffield, Mass., this summer. Amplify is a two-week residential program in which musicians perform songs written by Music In Common youth from around the world. The Amplify group performed three concerts throughout Berkshire County to culminate the program.

Eight musicians, ages 15 to 20, arrived in the Berkshires on July 7 from California, Iowa, Connecticut and Massachusetts and immersed themselves in a rigorous two-week residential program in which they learned nine songs, culled from more than 50 songs written by youth

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Berkshire Thunder, BBA Come Back to Win Berkshire Adult Baseball League Crowns
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
05:18PM / Sunday, August 25, 2019
CHESHIRE, Mass. -- Seven innings of solid defense allowed the Berkshire Thunder to get to a deciding game in the Berkshire Adult Baseball League on Sunday.   One big offensive inning gave it a league title.   The Thunder topped the Adams Aces by scores of 5-4 and 17-12 to win the league’s 35-year-old division crown in a best-of-three series.   The Thunder roared back after dropping the first game of the series on Saturday in Dalton on a day of comebacks in the BABL.   Down in Dalton on Sunday, the Berkshire Baseball Academy, which blew a four-run lead in an extra-innings loss on Saturday, came back to twice beat the Lenox Bulldogs, 1-0 and 11-1, in the BABL

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Microcosm Holds Surprising Pollinators' Diversity
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
04:51PM / Sunday, August 25, 2019

Note the underwing camouflage gray and the upper-side wing of sky blue for this spring azure on a red maple. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — During May and June at various sites in the Berkshires, close examination of the floral bloom reveals some welcome surprises regarding pollinating insects.   Just pretend to drop down in scale until you are a tiny person, like in "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift, walking among the mushrooms and fleabanes in bold bloom towering above. What a dynamic environment is the microcosm surrounding you with its assorted insect fauna.   Before long you may encounter one of our smallest butterflies, a spring azure (Celastrina ladon)

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Downer's Walkoff Lifts Lenox in BABL Finals
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
02:40PM / Saturday, August 24, 2019
LENOX, Mass. -- Mike Downer picked the right time for his first time.   The Lenox High School graduate blasted a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left field Saturday afternoon at War Memorial Field to give the Lenox Bulldogs a 7-6 win over Berkshire Baseball Academy in the Berkshire Adult Baseball League championship series.   “That is actually the first one I ever hit here,” Downer said of the home run. “All throughout high school, all throughout this, it’s the first one I ever hit.”   The walkoff homer capped a four-run comeback for Lenox and gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three-series. The two teams will meet again on Sunday at 10 a.m.

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Southern Berkshire Chamber Names Business Persons of the Year
11:52AM / Friday, August 23, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Business Persons of the Year are Gary Happ and Andrew Mankin of Barrington Brewery.

The SBCC Nomination Committee received nominations in May from the business community and residents. After an extensive review by the Nomination Committee, they presented this year's nomination finalist to the SBCC board. Happ and Mankin received a unanimous vote.

A celebration will take place at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this event are available through the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce business office, 40 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, by phone

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Be Alert for Opportunities When Preparing for College Costs
10:16AM / Friday, August 23, 2019

Now that summer is winding down, it will soon be "back-to-school" time. When children are young, your logistics for the new academic year may involve little more than a trip to buy school supplies.

But if you would like to send your kids (or grandkids) to college someday, you need to plan far ahead to meet the financial demands. And, as part of your planning, you also need to be on the lookout for all opportunities to help pay those sizable college bills.

Specifically, you will need to be ready to take action in these areas:

Financial aid: You should start thinking about financial aid at least a year before your child heads off to college. For example, you can begin submitting

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Navigating the Farmers Market: Best Food, Best Deals
By Ashli Minor,
10:07AM / Friday, August 23, 2019

As summer marches on and the harvests come in, we are surrounded by a growing bounty at farmers markets and local produce stands. What's the best way to shop at a farmer's market? How do you get the best food, for the best price?

Let's start with what we know: There are almost two million farms in the United States, and most are small; many are family-owned. Dozens of these farms operate right here in the Berkshire region, so if you want the freshest food, buying from farmers close to your home is a great first step. These nearby farms offer the freshest produce with the longest shelf-life. Why? Because the travel time between the pick and the plate is short. And getting to

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