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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

1Berkshire Executive, Tourism Expert Lauri Klefos Dies
Staff Reports,
04:58PM / Thursday, November 29, 2018

Klefos with 1Berkshire President Jonathan Butler in 2016. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The death of Lauri Klefos, executive vice president of 1Berkshire, has shocked a tourism and business community that had already been reluctantly preparing for her retirement this spring.    During her tenure at Berkshire Visitors Bureau, she oversaw the growth of national and social media marketing of the Berkshires, as well as the integration of business, tourism and creative economy strategies, and was instrumental in the consolidation of the county's four economic organizations into the 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance.    "1Berkshire and the Berkshires lost a great one

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Berkshire Bank, Nonprofit Build Beds for Berkshire Children
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:25AM / Thursday, November 29, 2018

The staff members assembled the beds and later painted them. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are a lot of challenges for a family just moving into stabilized housing.   Perhaps one of the most overlooked challenges is the cost of providing beds for the children. That's why in 2012 the Massachusetts Coalition for Homeless started a "Build a Bed" program aimed to have corporate sponsors build free beds for children across the state.   "When you think of helping a child succeed, sometimes the last thing you think of is what are they sleeping in. We were so happy to identify a need such as this," said Program Director Tina Giarla.   "The expense

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Shakespeare & Company Founder Krausnick Dies at Age 76
01:36PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. - Dennis Krausnick, 76, of Stockbridge passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by loved ones Tuesday, Nov. 27, after a long battle with cancer. 

Krausnick was a founding member and the director of actor training at Shakespeare & Company, a leading performance, training and education center located in Lenox, Mass.

He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in July 1942 to the late Leo and Naomi McVeigh Krausnick. He attended local schools and was a 1960 graduate of Scottsbluff High School in Scottsbluff, Neb. A teacher, writer, director and performer, he grew up in rural Nebraska, the sixth of seven children.

When he was 19, Krausnick entered the Society of Jesus

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Take Advantage of Tax Diversification
12:38PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

As an investor, you will have access to accounts that are taxed differently from one another. And it's possible you could benefit from tax diversification by owning accounts in these three categories:

Tax-deferred: Tax-deferred accounts include the traditional IRA and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. When you invest in tax-deferred vehicles, your money can grow faster than if it were placed in an account on which you paid taxes every year. You also may get a tax deduction for contributions you make today. When you start taking withdrawals from these tax-deferred accounts, typically during retirement, the money is usually taxed at your ordinary income tax

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Choosing a Nurse Practitioner As Your Primary Care Provider
By Brenda Strysko, DNP, CNM, FNP-BC,
12:07PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are becoming a more common health partner for many Vermonters.  According to a 2018 report by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Americans make more than 870 million visits to NPs every year.

Still, many patients are not aware that NPs can capably serve as a primary care provider. As clinicians that blend clinical skill in diagnosing and treating health conditions with consideration for disease prevention and health management, NPs provide comprehensive care to patients every day.

Vermont leads the way

Compared to other primary care providers, NPs are the most likely to practice in rural communities like Vermont. According to a 2011 survey from

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College Notes: September - December 2018
06:07PM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lasell students during a service-learning trip in Ecuador this summer. Hannah King was one of 13 students selected to participate in an environmental service-learning trip to Ecuador with Lasell College this past summer.   King, of Pittsfield, worked with faculty and peers to support sustainable agricultural practices in the country. The group spent their time in Ecuador living with local communities and immersing in their culture. Students helped to build brick ovens, create tiles and shingles, and clear mountainside debris.   In preparation for the two-week trip, King and their classmates participated in a semester-long course this spring. Students learned

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Berkshire Museum Trustees Vote to End Art Sales, Begin Building Repairs
04:06PM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Museum officials have voted to suspend further sales of the museum's art collection and to begin repairs on the century-old building.    A total of 22 works were sold in two tranchments, raising $53.25 million through public bidding and private sales.    "We are moving forward having secured the future of this museum for generations to come," said Elizabeth McGraw, president of the Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees. "Our work ahead is focused on making this museum ever more interesting, inspiring and engaging to the broad community in the region it serves and consistent with our unchanged mission."   The

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Daly Resigns as Berkshire Bank CEO
Staff Reports,
09:30AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Michael Daly has resigned as CEO of Berkshire Bank.   Berkshire Hills Bancorp announced on Monday that Daly has stepped down effective immediately and President Richard Marotta will take over as chief executive officer. Marotta was also appointed as a member of the board of directors. Sean Gary will take over as bank president.    "Mike's commitment to the Bank, our customers and our communities has been instrumental in Berkshire's success.  We thank him for his focus on creating the strong franchise we have today," said William J. Ryan, chairman the board of directors, in a statement released on Monday that did not give a

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Tuesday Weather Report: Drive Safely Out There!
07:20AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It started as rain for most of us Monday night, and now it's snow for all of us Tuesday morning. And it's not going to stop anytime soon.

Who's dreaming of a white December?

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday in Northern Berkshire County; the snow already falling caused the immediate closure of schools in Savoy and Florida - and the last-minute switch from a two-hour delay to a full snow day for BART, Clarksburg, North Adams, Central Berkshire and Adams-Cheshire and Stamford, Vt. You can find the running list here.

When all is said and done, most of us should see snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches in most places, with of course more falling in the

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Humane Society Offering '100 Cats for Christmas' Program
10:27PM / Monday, November 26, 2018
100 Cats for Christmas

For the sixth year, Berkshire Humane Society has received a grant from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s license plate program, which will support BHS’s 100 Cats for Christmas initiative during the month of December. 100 Cats for Christmas is the shelter’s largest and most successful low-cost spay/neuter effort for kittens and cats in the Berkshires and surrounding area. Without the support of MAC’s license plate program, this invaluable service would not be possible.

In the last six years, 100 Cats for Christmas has exceeded its goal of spaying and neutering 100 cats. To participate, qualifying residents of Berkshire County must visit one

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Coalition Introduces Idea of 'Trauma-Informed' Community
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:09PM / Monday, November 26, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There's usually a lot of talking at Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forums.

At the most recent forum, however, there was more listening.

The group of about 60 guests -- meeting for the first time in The Green's new space at 85 Main St. -- gathered on Friday, Nov. 16, to watch "Resilience," James Redford's film that chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists and educators who are using cutting-edge brain science to develop trauma-informed communities.

The film lays out the science behind a biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood that can trigger stress hormones that in turn

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Biz Briefs: Pine Cobble School, Northshire Bookstore to Host Book Fair
12:13PM / Monday, November 26, 2018
By the book

Pine Cobble School and Northshire Bookstore will host their second annual collaborative book fair on the Pine Cobble campus from Nov. 28-30 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily. The fair is open to the community.

This event includes a specially curated selection of books for all ages. Books are thoughtfully chosen by Cynthia Quinones, Pine Cobble's literature ambassador, and the Northshire staff. Northshire Bookstore has won national awards for their quality selection and service.  

Books will be sorted into categories, with selections for very young children, picture books, early chapter books, middle grade books, young adult, adult fiction, and a few

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