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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Windy Weather to Blow Through the Berkshires
07:00PM / Sunday, February 24, 2019
There's a high wind warning in effect for all of Berkshire County, eastern New York and Southern Vermont through Sunday night and well into Monday.   Wind gusts could reach up to 55 to 65 mph. Strong to damaging winds are expected, which will likely blow down large tree limbs, trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.   National Grid says it has crews prepared for any downed trees or wires and asks residents to avoid downed or low-hanging wires. Motorists should watch out for debris and downed tree limbs. Report outages here: http://ngrid.com/out    Earlier this afternoon, the

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North Adams Inventor Wins PGA Honors for Camera Device
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:57AM / Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fruscio was getting orders for his invention as soon as people saw it.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ricco Fruscio had just gotten a brand-new IPhone 7 and was eager to try out the gadget's "million-dollar video camera."    So he tested it by recording his golf swing — but the results weren't illuminating.    "It was just a debacle," he said. "I got some great shots of my right leg and that was all."   They say necessity is the mother of invention, but it also helps when you have the ingredients for said invention close at hand.    He had old golf clubs. He has a workshop. All it took was a quick trip to

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Great Barrington Author Wins Awards for First Novel
01:44PM / Friday, February 22, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Great Barrington resident Judith Shaw's book "Charley's Horse" has been named "Children's Book Winner" and "Young Adult Winner" in the 2018 New England Book Festival.

Entries are judged by a panel of industry experts for general excellence, an author's passion for telling a good story and its potential to reach a wider audience. Since its release in 2018, the novel has also received a Maxy Award and a Reader's Favorite Review Award.
 

"Charley's Horse" is the story of an 11-year-old girl who is in love with horses. She knows everything about them except how to ride. When her parents

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'Isn't It Romantic': It's to Laugh
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:18PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019
  First things first. Unlike the 1932 Rodgers and Hart classic song "Isn't It Romantic?" director Todd Strauss-Schulson's convivially entertaining romantic comedy, "Isn't It Romantic," forsakes the question mark at title's end. All of which is either a mental slip or intended to suggest a more demonstrative, rhetorical meaning. In other words, no question about it: It Is Romantic!   In such case, an exclamation point would have been a more apt substitute for the question mark, and I would have been left without a pretentious, opening paragraph.   To tarry further, as I'm prone to do when the film in question doesn't necessitate

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Letter: Quit Smoking for Heart Health
Letter to the Editor,
07:00PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019

To the Editor:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and heart disease is a major cause of death among African Americans.

Smoking can:

• Raise triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood)
• Lower "good" cholesterol (HDL)
• Make blood sticky and more likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain
• Damage cells that line the blood vessels
• Increase the buildup of plaque (fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances) in blood vessels
• Cause thickening and narrowing of blood vessels

Smoking can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels and high blood pressure and

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The Independent Investor: Economic Prosperity in the United States
By Bill Schmick,
05:01PM / Thursday, February 21, 2019
The stock market is once again approaching historical highs. Unemployment is at multi-year lows. Interest rates and inflation, if not at record lows, are close to it. The president claims we are enjoying the strongest economy in our nation's history. Is that true?   The short answer, according to a recent study by Bloomberg, would be no, not even close. They went back over the course of the last 43 years and measured the nation's economy under three Democratic and four Republican presidents. They found that in all but one case both the economic and financial performance of the U.S. was better than it is now.   Bloomberg used 14 different gauges to measure a wide range of

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Berkshires Beat: CATA Artists 'Making Waves' at Good Purpose Gallery
04:12PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mike Fazos's 'Sun Tornado' is part of the 'Making Waves' display at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee. 'Making Waves'

Community Access to the Arts presents "Making Waves," an exhibit of artwork by CATA artists with disabilities at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee. The exhibit opens Feb. 27 and features paintings by CATA artists who use the innovative Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) technique to create their work. A free, public art opening will be held on Feb. 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with many of the artists in attendance.

Artistic Realization Technologies is an adaptive painting technique developed by artist Tim Lefens that gives full

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Biz Briefs: Two Former Prosecutors Open Local Law Firm
02:36PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019
New law firm
Gregory Barry, left,. and Robert Kinzer have opened a new law firm in Pittsfield.

Barry & Kinzer, LLP, a full-service law firm with more than 40 combined years of litigation experience, recently celebrated its opening in Pittsfield. The law firm was founded on Feb. 4, 2019, by Gregory M. Barry and Robert W. Kinzer, two former assistant district attorneys in the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. Their office is located at 152 North St., Suite 140, in the old Shipton Building in the heart of downtown Pittsfield. The law firm will be hosting an open house on Friday, Feb. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. to celebrate its launch.

The firm is dedicated to representing

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Wintry Mix Could Slicken Roads Overnight Into Morning
01:48PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

As if it's not already pretty darn icy out there, here comes another round of winter yuck.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday. The advisory predicts "mixed accumulation" - up to 2 inches of snow and up to one-tenth of an inch of ice.

The commute home Wednesday should be fine but as darkness falls Wednesday night watch out for conditions to deteriorate, and Thursday morning's commute in to work could be messy, too. Thanksfully, with schools on vacation, there's no need to worry about school buses.

Temperatures should remain in the mid-20s overnight but warm into the low 30s by morning, causing

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The Right Insurance Can Meet Both Short- and Long-term Needs
12:27PM / Wednesday, February 20, 2019

If you're going to achieve your important financial goals, you'll need to build an appropriate investment portfolio. But that's only part of the story – because you also need to protect what you have, what you earn and what you’d like to leave behind. That's why it's a good idea to become familiar with the various types of insurance and how they can address short- and long-term needs.

For starters, consider life insurance. You may have important long-term goals, such as leaving an inheritance for your family and providing resources for your favorite charities. You may be able to fulfill some of these through the death benefit on your policy.

You can also

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Farley-Bouvier Pushes Bill to Raise Tipped Workers Minimum Wage
Staff Reports,
06:53PM / Tuesday, February 19, 2019
BOSTON — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier is calling for the elimination of a lower wage for tipped workers.   The Pittsfield Democrat joined other lawmakers and Restaurant Opportunities Center this past Wednesday at the State House to introduce a bill that will gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers until it matches the minimum wage for all other industries.    "This bill will raise the minimum wage to the prevailing wage by 2027 in Massachusetts. In doing so, it would bring thousands of workers out of poverty, reduce sexual harassment in the workplace, and decrease the wage gap between male and female tipped workers," Farley-Bouvier said at the

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Berkshire House Delegation Gets Committee Assignments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Tuesday, February 19, 2019
BOSTON, Mass. — State Rep. Paul Mark will again chair the House Committee on Redistricting.   Mark was chair for the last two years and will continue to work as the U.S. Census begins. The population numbers gathered by the Census is followed by the state redrawing the lines for both the federal and state districts. Mark added that it also affects a significant number of federal and state grant programs which are based on per capita.   "It is extremely important that our region is treated fairly and having me as the chair helps ensure that our area is going to be treated fairly," Mark said on Thursday.    The Peru Democrat sees the job as a huge

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