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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire United Way Highlights Efforts To Help Area Teens
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:33AM / Saturday, October 07, 2017

Pittsfield Schools Superintendent Jason McCandless was the keynote speaker. LEE, Mass. — When Ana Monsalve returned the United States at age 10 after living abroad, she entered school not knowing English.   She leaned on support from her family and the community to learn the language, and then caught up with her education.   Now she is college bound pursuing a career in architecture and environmental science. And she already has a leg up in the field because she spent this past summer getting her hands dirty, working with the Roots Rising program.   "This past summer I had the opportunity to participate in the Roots Rising program offered by the Berkshire

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Berkshire Scenic Line Completed For This Weekend
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:27PM / Friday, October 06, 2017

A platform should be ready at the Adams Station for the rail line's next season. ADAMS, Mass. — The final section of the Hoosac Valley Service has been completed just in time for the fall foliage.   The final 6/10ths of a mile of track between Renfrew and Hoosac streets laid down by the state will allow the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum trains to run all the way to the renovated Adams Station on Hoosac Street starting this weekend.    "We are excited it is just about complete," Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said at this week's Selectmen's meeting. "When you drive through town you can see the track moving along and we are

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'Battle of the Sexes': We've Come a Long Way, Baby
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:44PM / Friday, October 06, 2017
Watching Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's "Battle of the Sexes," about the events leading up to the famous gender war/tennis match on Sept. 20, 1973, between woman's champion Billie Jean King and former great Bobby Riggs, I tried to remember what I thought at the time. I like to think I applauded the dispelling of prejudices and welcomed the renaissance it boded for the human race. Surely I didn't opt for the he-man stance, afraid what it might mean to my manhood if a female bested a male in something other than childbirth. Nah, I couldn't have.   It's mindboggling. While the more advanced, higher-educated segments of the world's populace have more

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The Independent Investor: Tackling Taxes
By Bill Schmick,
05:05PM / Friday, October 06, 2017
President Donald Trump introduced a flurry of tax proposals last week. Tax reform, as well as tax cuts, was included in his plan. Give him an "A" for effort in tackling something that no politician has dared to do since Reagan.   Naturally, depending upon your political views, critics will disparage his efforts, claiming it is yet another tax break for the rich. Others will approve of at least some of his suggestions. On the surface, his plan would significantly reduce the marginal tax rates, increase standard deductions, repeal personal exemptions, limit itemized deductions and let corporations and businesses expense new investment, but not deduct interest

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Gray Raven Farm to Reopen This Weekend
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:19PM / Friday, October 06, 2017

The Bergerons specialize in goat's milk products and honey from the farm's apiary. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Gray Raven Farm will hold its grand reopening this weekend with a new focus on its handcrafted farm products.   Dan and Sharon Bergeron, owners of the 551 North Main St. farm, have been busy sprucing up the farmstand and reimagining their business after a brief hiatus. They are reopening the farm with a renewed focus on goat's milk and honey products.   "We took some time and restructured a little bit and we are coming back with a lot more of our original handmade products like the goat milk soap and honey lotion," Dan Bergeron said. "We

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Superior Court Briefs: October 2 - October 5
Staff Reports,
02:40PM / Friday, October 06, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, October 2.   Robert Brady III, 35, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.   He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Burbank Street on April 14, 2016.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 3.   Eric Hunt, 51, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of heroin with conspiracy to violate drug laws.   He was ordered to serve concurrent two to three years at the

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Berkshire County Kids Place Readies for Annual Gala
02:24PM / Friday, October 06, 2017

Martino Glass, above, and Craig and Patti Cusson, left, are being honored at the Berkshire County Kids Place gala on Friday, Oct. 13.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Kids Place will be honoring Martino Glass Company as well as Craig and Patti Cusson on Friday, Oct. 13, at their annual gala fundraising event at the Country Club of Pittsfield.

Martino Glass Company has been a long-time supporter of Berkshire County Kids Place through offering financial support of events, providing assistance with facility needs, and giving of their time when needed. Martino Glass will be recognized for this support with the Community Leader Award.

Berkshire County Kids' Place also is

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State Asking For Input On Outdoor Recreation Plan
Staff Reports,
04:08PM / Thursday, October 05, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — What type of outdoor recreation would you want to see created?   That's what the state is asking right now. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is updating its Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which makes it eligible for about $2 million per year from the federal government.    The National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund program has been ongoing since 1965 and has paid for a number of outdoor recreation projects in the county. Locally, the money has purchased land along the Appalachian Trail and at Onota Lake. North Adams received a quarter of a million dollars to build a park on River

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Pennsylvania Man Killed in MassPike Tractor-Trailer Accident
10:30AM / Thursday, October 05, 2017

LEE, Mass. — Monday, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Trooper Gary Ruef of the Westfield Barracks came upon a crash on Route 90 the Mass Pike eastbound at the 12.6 mile marker in Lee.

Upon arrival, Trooper Ruef discovered that a 2014 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, had struck the rear of a 2018 International tandem tractor-trailer that was traveling in the right travel lane at a slow speed. Upon crashing into the rear of the trailer, the load being carried on the trailer consisting of re-bar shifted forward and penetrated into the cab of the tractor. The truck also caught on fire from the crash. T

Ruef and several bystanders, including an off-duty and a retired firefighter, attempted to

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BMC Management Focusing On Inside While Nurses Strike Outside
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:40AM / Thursday, October 05, 2017

Hospital officials greeted the nurses at the door Wednesday morning, but aren't letting them back to work. The lockout will last until Sunday morning, when the contract with the replacement nurses ends. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The unionized nurses at Berkshire Medical Center are certainly making their voices known this week, as they picket outside of the hospital.   But inside, management isn't focused on what's happening just beyond the campus' property line. They're focused on what's happening inside.   "There is a lot of discussion about what is happening outside and there is not much we can do about that. We decided to focus on what is

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Consider Multiple Factors When Creating Retirement Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:24PM / Wednesday, October 04, 2017

When you create your financial and investment strategies for retirement, what will you need to know? In other words, what factors should you consider, and how will these factors affect your investment-related decisions, before and during your retirement?

Consider the following:

Age at retirement: Not surprisingly, your retirement date likely will be heavily influenced by your financial situation – so, if you have to keep working, that's what you'll do. But if you have a choice in the matter, your decision could have a big impact on your investment strategy. For example, if you want to retire early, you may need to save and invest more aggressively than you would if you plan

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Area artists rally to support the Berkshire Immigrant Center
11:43AM / Wednesday, October 04, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 50 area artists are joining their creative forces to make 100 hand-painted ceramic mugs in support of the Berkshire Immigrant Center.

The project, Vessels for Change, will culminate in a celebration at Bright Ideas Brewing on the Mass MOCA campus in North Adams on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 7-9 p.m.

For a $100 donation to the Berkshire Immigrant Center donors will receive a one-of-a-kind handmade mug, locally brewed beer and a celebration. To make a donation and reserve a mug, visit the website.

Ceramic artist Stephanie Boyd, one of the event organizers, was inspired after a recent mini-fundraiser she held on Facebook shortly after the events at

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