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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

SVMC Grant Enables Data Collection to Boost Patient-Centered Care
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:05PM / Sunday, October 08, 2017

Officials from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Southern Vermont Health Care and the Aircast Foundation gather in the SVMC Orthopedics office in Bennington, Vt., on Thursday. Right, the plaque marks the new collaboration.

BENNINGTON, Vt. — In 1950, Barbara Houle injured her leg in a skiing accident. She couldn't straighten or bend her knee, and the surgical solution at the time involved removing all the cartilage. That, however, had its own side effects.

"As I got older … it was bone on bone. The noise was worse than the pain," Houle said. "The pain I had I could cope with."

But this past summer, Houle's husband went to the Southern

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50th Greylock Ramble This Weekend
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:56PM / Saturday, October 07, 2017
ADAMS, Mass. — The Greylock Ramble turns 50 this Columbus Day weekend with Ramblefest returning Sunday and the hike up Mount Greylock on Monday.   Back in 1965, a group of residents covertly named Operation Wonderful Town, chaired by Adams resident, businessman and champion Thunderbolt skier Bill Linscott, formed with the charge of organizing an annual hike to the summit of Mount Greylock.   And 50 years later, ProAdams has taken over where Operation Wonderful Town left off and hundreds still make the trek every Columbus Day.   "These events are important to Adams," ProAdams member Ray Gargan said. "Not only do they provide unique activities for the

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@the Market: Markets Need a Time Out
By Bill Schmick,
10:59AM / Saturday, October 07, 2017
The S&P 500 Index has gone up eight straight days. The other averages have done the same thing. That hasn't happened since 2013. It's time for a break.   It appears that stocks are in "melt-up" mode. That's a term we financial geeks use to describe an unrelenting rise in equity prices. Consider it an investor stampede where the fear of missing out on even higher prices creates a buying frenzy.   There are some fundamental reasons for the market's rise. The economy appears to be chugging along. Interest rates remain low while inflation continues to bump along the bottom. This Friday's payroll numbers were a disappointment to most. For the first

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Striking Nurses Get Support From Other Labor Unions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:52AM / Saturday, October 07, 2017

Liz Morrison said the nurses wouldn't strike if they didn't believe there is an issue. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The striking nurses at Berkshire Medical Center are finding support from other labor unions.   On Friday, an array of other union members joined the picket line, linking arms with the nurses from the local chapter of the Massachusetts Nursing Association, and spread out along the sidewalks surrounding the hospital. The effort was a show of solidarity from others who have gone through the same battle in the past.   "This is what solidarity looks like. It is when not only your own union members are out here but when others recognize why you are here and

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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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