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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

U.S. Census Jobs Already Available Ahead of 2020 Count
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:12PM / Friday, May 10, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Census may still be another year away, but there are jobs available now.   U.S. Census Bureau media specialist Keith Goralski said the bureau is already hiring people for address canvassing this year. The job asks people to confirm addresses of homes, looking for newly built homes and identify homes that may no longer exist. The goal is to get an accurate list of the addresses when the Census process rolls out in 2020.   "We are basically telling everyone that there are opportunities now because there are," Goralski said.   The bureau will be hiring throughout the country for part-time and full-time positions from now through 2020. The

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Berkshires Beat: 'Pleiades' Now on Permanent Loan to Ventfort Hall
11:16AM / Friday, May 10, 2019
'Pleiades' on display

Local sculptor Andrew DeVries has been for many years an exceedingly devoted friend of Ventfort Hall. His pair of bronze "Pleiades" - in ancient mythology seven sisters who became a cluster of stars - is now on permanent loan to Ventfort Hall.

The two Pleiades were first placed at Ventfort Hall when DeVries was the resident sculptor at the mansion in 2004 and 2005. After leaving Ventfort Hall for a time, they returned about five years ago and will now be on permanent display. DeVries sees this donation of the two Pleiades as a fitting way to thank Ventfort Hall, and everyone else, who helped in the rebuilding efforts of his Middlefield studio, as

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1Berkshire Youth Leadership Program Graduates Class of 2019
10:58AM / Friday, May 10, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Fourteen students from across the Berkshires graduated from 1Berkshire's Youth Leadership Program on Tuesday, May 7. Having completed the entirety of this 10-month leadership program, the students shared the product of their collective impact project with attending family, friends, and regional leaders, and were recognized for their program completion.

For their collective impact project, the Class of 2019 chose to conduct a sustainability fair in coordination with the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market. Through their project, they engaged more than 60 people and helped educate them about ways to be more environmentally sustainable in their own lives.

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My Core Floor Wins Lever Health Tech Challenge
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Friday, May 10, 2019

Dr. Lara Aillon-Sohl was the runner-up with her  product ThriveText.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is a waiting list to see Brittney Cappiello but not many women want to talk about why.

She specializes in pelvic issues, treating women suffering from pain or even peeing their pants on a treadmill or a trampoline. 

"Even in this rural area, I currently have a three-month waiting list of people coming to see me," she said.   Woman pay a lot of money for diapers, pads, medications, or even surgeries every year to address a problem that they feel is unique to only them. She said the most common question she gets is whether or not she has seen such cases

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The Independent Investor: What Does Your 401(k) Investments Look Like?
By Nate Tomkiewicz and Bill Schmick,
05:14PM / Thursday, May 09, 2019
It might surprise you to know that many retirement savers religiously contribute to their tax-deferred savings plans but have no idea what investments they own. Many plan representatives simply suggest that if you don't know, just invest in a target date retirement fund. Is this a good idea?   Most 401(k)s and 403(B)s plans, for example, have between 20 and 30 investment options you can choose from.  This menu of choices normally includes bond and stock funds as well as international funds. There are also balanced or blended funds, which invest in a mixture of stocks and bonds. Many plans also have some kind of annuity-like investment as well as target date

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'Long Shot': Proves a Winning Bet
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:36PM / Thursday, May 09, 2019
I'm giving director Jonathan Levine's "Long Shot" a three, even though by most of my film-criticizing parameters (pace, creativity, screenplay, blah, blah, blah) it rates a 2.5. But hey, it's such a convivial and much needed feel-good movie that I'm figuring why be a piker? It's not like I have to pay Microsoft a vig depending on how many popcorns I allot the film in question, although that day may indeed be coming.   Pulling no punches in its hardly veiled muckrake of the current four-flushers down in Foggy Bottom, this delightfully quixotic confection, heir to the screwball comedies directors Frank Capra and Preston Sturges buoyed Depression Era

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Why Should Recent Graduates Care About Retirement Planning?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:41AM / Wednesday, May 08, 2019

If you've graduated from college in the past year or so and started your first job, you're no doubt learning a lot about establishing yourself as an adult and being responsible for your own finances. So thoughts of your retirement are probably far away. And yet you have several good reasons to invest in your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan.

First of all, by contributing to your 401(k), you can get into the habit of regular investing. And since you invest in your 401(k) through regular payroll deductions, it's an easy way to invest.

Furthermore, your 401(k) or similar plan is an excellent retirement-savings vehicle. You generally contribute pre-tax dollars

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Health Matters: Four Quick Tips to Protect Against Anaplasmosis
By Marie J. George,
09:16PM / Tuesday, May 07, 2019

For those who don't work in health care, the disease anaplasmosis sounds made up. In reality, it's the second most common tick-borne illness affecting our region. 

Like Lyme disease, the most common one, it is caused by bacteria carried by the blacklegged tick. According to the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont has the highest annual incidence of anaplasmosis nationwide.

You can get anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, as well as a handful of less common tick-borne diseases from the same bite. Because of the tick life cycle, the number of tick bites peaks in May and June and again in late October and November. 

Here are some quick tips to protect you against anaplasmosis and

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U.S. Open Local Qualifier Held at Berkshire Hills
iBerkshires.com Sports,
02:58PM / Tuesday, May 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Rutland, Vt.'s, Jared Nelson and Dartmouth's, Mark Purrington Tuesday earned a spot in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying Tournament with their performances at the local qualifier at Berkshire Hills Country Club.   The two tied for first in the one-round event at 3-under-par 69 to earn the two berths at stake in the June 3 sectional in Purchase, N.Y.   Another Vermonter, Killington's Garren Poirier, finished just out of the money in third place at 2-under 70, the only other red number on the leaderboard.   Poirier, like Nelson, is an amateur.   Nelson made the turn at even par but started the back nine strong with birdies on the

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North Adams Weekend Festival Features Music, Art and Wellness
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, May 06, 2019

Danielle Klebes is painting 'Outdoor Recreation' on the back of Tres Ninos.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The O-Positive Festival is set to kick off on Friday with two days of music, performance, art and health care.    "O-Positive is a cultural and wellness organization that supports the health of underinsured artists musicians," explained Ashley Strazzinski, artistic director, to the Public Arts Commission last week. "So artists will paint murals and host workshops, have different happenings and musicians will perform in exchange for wellness services at a clinic at Mass MoCA. There's going to be a health-care expo that's tied in with the

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Rousseau Wins 18th Annual LeClair Race
iBerkshires.com Sports,
01:16PM / Sunday, May 05, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Brandon Rousseau won the 18th annual Jocelyn E. LeClair Memorial Scholarship Race on Sunday at Windsor Lake.   Rousseau covered the 5-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 4 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of the field.   The runner up — and first woman across the line — was April Varellas, who finished in 22:00.   A small but hearty contingent of runners participated in the event, and though the skies threatened rain, the weather held off for the event, which raises scholarship money for students at Drury High School and Hoosac Valley Regional High School plus the YMCA’s summer camps and the ROPES camp.   The JEL was started nearly

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@theMarket: New Highs Beget New Highs
By Bill Schmick,
05:00PM / Friday, May 03, 2019
Some people believe we are in a "melt-up." It is where the simple weight of money pouring into the U.S. stock market continues to carry stocks ever higher. Whether that qualifies as an investment thesis, or simply a lame excuse to justify record highs, it matters little to the bulls.   It is true that this past week, we actually witnessed a rare event — a two-day, 50-point drop in the S&P 500 Index — before stocks recovered.  But good news on Friday morning (job gains in the economy came in at 236,000) cheered investors. It was largely a goldilocks report where wage gains (considered inflationary) were flat for the month, bringing the the average hourly

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