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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

BMC Nurses Give Bargaining Committee OK to Call 2nd Strike
Staff Reports,
12:08AM / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The registered nurses at Berkshire Medical Center on Tuesday approved giving the bargaining committee the authority to call a second one-day strike.

The local Massachusetts Nurses Association chapter has been at odds with management for nearly a year and a half of contract negotiations. In October, the nurses staged a one-day strike, which was followed by a four-day lockout by management. The two sides returned to the bargaining table shortly afterward and have yet to come to a settlement.

After two days of voting concluding Tuesday night, the union's membership voted to again give its bargaining committee the authority to call a one-day strike. The vote

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Biz Briefs: Crissey Farm Honored for Excellence in Wedding Venues
03:38PM / Monday, January 15, 2018
'I do'

Crissey Farm has been named a winner of the 2018 WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award for Wedding Venue in Great Barrington, a recognition they have received five years in a row. WeddingWire Inc., the leading global online marketplace for the wedding and events industry, annually recognizes the top 5 percent of wedding professionals on WeddingWire who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The top local wedding professionals in more than 20 service categories from venues to florists are awarded the prestigious accolade.

Crissey Farm was recognized as a recipient solely based on reviews from newlyweds and their experiences working

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Williams College Seeks 'Books' for Human Library Project
03:01PM / Monday, January 15, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College is seeking volunteers for its seventh annual Human Library, which will be held on Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Paresky student center.

Founded in 2001 in Denmark, the Human Library seeks to promote human rights and social cohesion by creating greater understanding between people. It provides an opportunity for people to learn more about each other while working through stereotypes and discrimination. The event has been held at Williams annually since 2012.

A Human Library consists of volunteers who act as "books" that can be "checked out" by "readers." Each book decides on a title

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Berkshires Beat: Real Women Essay Contest Entries Sought
02:15PM / Monday, January 15, 2018
Real women

The 32nd Berkshire County Real Women Essay Contest has been announced by the Berkshire County Real Women Essay contest task force. The contest was created to honor National Women's History Month in March as an effort to increase awareness of contributions made by women to our society and used to promote students literacy and writing skills.

Founded in 1986, the Real Women Essay contest, invites Berkshire County students K-12 to participate by writing an essay, poem, scripted conversation, first-person monologue or journal recognizing a woman in their lives that has inspired them. Students can write about a role model or mentor, a woman on the national stage who has inspired

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Gubernatorial Candidate Warren Talks Opioids In Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:01AM / Monday, January 15, 2018

After brief opening remarks, the Democrat opened the floor to the community to hear what their thoughts on the best way to tackle the issue. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren says five people a day are dying from opioid addiction.   "In 2014, Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency around opioid addiction. We were the first state in the country to do so. Since then, 6,000 people have died of opioid addiction in our state, 250,000 are living with addiction in our state right now and that number is growing. Over five people a day are dying from opioid addiction or are sick. This at a cost of $10 billion annually," Warren

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@theMarket: Melt-Up Continues
By Bill Schmick,
11:53AM / Saturday, January 13, 2018
It's been the best two weeks for the U.S. markets in decades. Investors seemingly can't get enough stocks in their portfolios, no matter how high the indexes climb. Ain't it grand?   Over the past few weeks, I have explained in detail that the stock market is in "melt-up" mode. You may think it's crazy, or that the gains are a result of excessive exuberance. You may even be sitting there with your arms crossed, pointing your finger at me and predicting this is all going to end badly for investors. That's fine, provide as many opinions as you like, but stay invested in the meantime.   Some ask me how you can have the U.S. dollar declining, while

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'Darkest Hour': Saving The World 101
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
07:14PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
It is said that if you're hungry and motoring in a hurry, unable to stop due to time constraints, ubiquitous eateries will line the road. Likewise, an analogous case exists in times of sociopolitical crisis. Looking at our current situation in America, I see metaphors everywhere.   But in viewing Gary Oldman's tour de force portrayal of Winston Churchill in director Joe Wright's "Darkest Hour," it takes no great stretch of the imagination to draw comparisons. A threat to civilization is a threat to civilization.   The difference is that while the United Kingdom and eventually most of its allies, including the United States, faced an external menace back in

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The Independent Investor: The Cost of MAGA
By Bill Schmick,
06:46PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
It is the guiding principle behind the Trump administration, but to "Make America Great Again" the U.S. may have to break some eggs. Are you ready for that?   "MAGA" is much more than a marketing gimmick. Almost every day, we uncover additional evidence of how the President and his supporters in Congress are dismantling regulations, taxes, and on the foreign front, trade deals.   For example, while the president professes to have "a great relationship" with China and admires its president, Xi Jinping, at the same time, he is working behind the scenes to apply more pressure to our sometime-friend, sometime-nemesis.   This week we will have surely

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Ice Jam Overflows Route 8 in Cheshire
Staff Reports,
03:24PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
CHESHIRE, Mass. — A section of Route 8 was closed for more than an hour early Friday afternoon after Kitchen Brook overflowed its banks and covered the highway with large chunks of ice.   Communities across the region have been dealing with flooding caused by the spike in temperatures and heavy rain breaking up more than a foot of snow and ice that had covered the Berkshires over the last couple weeks. The National Weather Service has posted flash flood warnings for both Northern and Southern Berkshire County through tomorrow morning — when, believe it or not, another blast of cold air will blow through the county.   The flooding over South Street came without warning

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Former Mayor Alcombright Rejoins MountainOne
01:28PM / Friday, January 12, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Former North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright has rejoined MountainOne Bank.

"We are very pleased to announce Dick’s return to MountainOne in the newly created position of Vice President – Local Business and Customer Relations Manager," said Bob Fraser, MountainOne president and chief executive officer. "While his elected role as mayor of North Adams has concluded, his new position will keep him very much in the public eye, representing MountainOne and advocating on behalf of customers and the community. Dick brings a wealth of local knowledge and strong community connections to us, and we are excited about the contribution and impact

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MCLA Announces New Performing Arts Programs
02:31PM / Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts announces the addition of five new programs to its Department of Fine and Performing Arts, as two concentrations, in design and studio art, and three minors in dance, design, and music production, recently were added.

"The design concentration prepares students for traditional graphic design careers, web design, animation, concept, as well as character development for films, graphic novels or video games. It’s also great for illustrators and public relations professionals, and for self-promotion," said Melanie Mowinski, associate professor of visual art. "We imagine that students who are choosing the

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Du Bois 150th Festival Begins on Jan. 15 in Great Barrington
12:26PM / Wednesday, January 10, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The town of Great Barrington, birthplace of W.E.B. Du Bois, begins the Du Bois 150th Festival during the Martin Luther King holiday week of Jan. 15.

The celebration of the 150th anniversary of Du Bois's birth will culminate on his birthday, Feb. 23, at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in downtown Great Barrington with distinguished guests Dr. Reiland Rabaka, Ossie Davis, Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste and other celebrants.

"We are very excited about the Du Bois 150th Festival that will begin with a series of events on January 15, including lectures, readings, concerts, exhibits, performances and guided walking tours, hosted by the town and its

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