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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Lever Demo Day Celebrates Entrepreneurship
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:48PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

Jack Wadsworth, a Williams alum and owner of Porches, speaks about how 'lonely' he and his wife felt when they first began investing in North Adams. They don't feel that way anymore.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — From musical education to tiny houses, Thursday's Lever Demo Day was a celebration of the region's entrepreneurial spirit.    The daylong event held at Greylock Works was an opportunity for local startups to display their visions and progress — and for the finale of the North Adams Arts Enterprise Challenge that saw the prize go to Eric Schimelpfenig of Fabber.   Launched back in April, the challenge offered $25,000 in startup funds

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The Independent Investor: Should You Pay Down Your Mortgage?
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, together with rising interest rates have changed the calculus in determining whether to pay down your mortgage or let it ride. Let's examine the pros and cons.   Over the last 10 years, as interest rates fell to almost zero, it made total sense to pay off your high-interest mortgage. At the very least, one could re-finance and save on monthly payments. This was especially true if your mortgage was in the last stages of a 30- or 15-year life.   At that point, the interest portion of the payment, (which is tax deductible) was minimal, while the principal payments represented the lion's share of the monthly bill. For those with new mortgages,

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Year-Long BHS Diabetes Prevention Program Seeking Participants
01:26PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Diabetes Education Program at Berkshire Health Systems is launching a year-long intensive program to help participants to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Space for this program is limited, and successful applicants will be accepted through a risk-assessment questionnaire. The program begins in September.

The classes are being held in Pittsfield, with 16 weekly sessions over six months, followed by six monthly sessions held for the remaining six months. It is open to those 18 and older, with priority given to applicants who have a weight loss need of 20 pounds or more and with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.

To be eligible, applicants must be willing to

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BMC Prostate Cancer Support Group to Feature Speaker on Nutrition
01:21PM / Thursday, August 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Prostate Cancer Support Group at Berkshire Medical Center will feature a guest speaker in September discussing Nutritional Concerns and Dietary Strategies for Prostate Cancer patients.

The group will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the HEAL room at the BMC Cancer Center, Hillcrest Campus of BMC, 165 Tor Court, Pittsfield. Michelle Garvie, an oncology dietitian, will talk about nutritional situations involving prostate cancer care, dietary management of symptoms from treatment, and an overview of a healthy diet during survivorship. 

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call BMC Care Navigation at

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Tanglewood Presents Powerhouse Programs
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
02:18PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Andris Nelson leads a program Friday night on 'Why Music Matters.'

This week, Tanglewood continues its high energy 2018 classical season with a powerhouse pair of programs performed by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMCO) and the Boston Pops, with guest artists the TMC vocal Fellows and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Young Artists Chorus.

The "heavy hitters" are John Williams' "Film Night" - always an audience favorite event and a high point of each year's Tanglewood offerings - led by Mr. Williams and Boston Symphony maestro Andris Nelsons. Conductor Stefan Asbury directs a TMCO instrumental chamber ensemble accompanying

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Old and New Favorites in Coming Up
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
01:30PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Jerry Noble and Friends are playing at Sevenars on Sunday, Aug. 12.

There are both old and new favorites on the horizon for this second week of August. Get ready for a revival of "She Loves Me," "The Wedding Singer," Melissa Manchester and Air Supply, plus a jazz afternoon at Sevenars.

Here is a wide range of styles for pop lovers:

Sevenars

Jerry Noble and Friends, specifically jazz clarinetist Bob Sparkman, headline the show at this Worthington venue on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 4 p.m. Jerry is a pianist, composer and guitarist who for 20 years has teamed on jazz collaborations with Bob. At this performance, they will play their favorites and as a special treat, they will

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CHP Gets Support for 'Reach Out & Read' Initiative
01:04PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has participated in the nationwide program "Reach Out & Read" for more than 15 years.

CHP is committed to supporting families in the Berkshires and beyond by keeping its Reach Out & Read program alive and well. A new study in Pediatrics featuring Reach Out & Read proves that the benefits of this model extend beyond literacy and help set children up for success.

The Reach Out & Read program has been supported in part by a $1,500 grant from the South Berkshire County Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, received in May 2018. With this money, CHP can buy between 500 and 600 books; last year, CHP

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Prescription for Better Health: Community Health Centers Like CHP
By Lia Spiliotes,
12:53PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

This past year, with strong bipartisan support, Congress invested nearly $10 billion in the nation's 1,400 community health centers, recognizing that a strong community-based system of care -- where people have certain access to doctors and preventive care -- will save lives and reduce health care costs.

National Health Center Week 2018, from Aug. 12-18, provides an opportunity to learn more about community health center (CHCs) and witness, firsthand, why we are at center stage in a changing health care landscape.

Health centers like Community Health Programs – we serve more approximately 30,000 residents at nine practices throughout Berkshire County -- are part of a nationwide

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How Can You Help Your Kids Pay for College?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:37PM / Wednesday, August 08, 2018

It's still summer, but we're getting close to a new school year. One day, though, "back-to-school" will mean "off to college" for your children. Will you be financially prepared to help your kids cope with the costs of higher education?

Your first step, of course, is to know what you're up against, so here are some numbers: For the 2017-18 academic year, college costs (tuition, fees, room and board) were, on average, nearly $21,000 for in-state students at four-year, public schools and nearly $47,000 for students attending private colleges or universities, according to the College Board. And you can probably expect even bigger price tags in the years to

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Local Students Graduate From College-Sponsored Summer Academy
By Matt McGrory, iBerkshires Intern
02:24AM / Tuesday, August 07, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than a dozen high school seniors and recent graduates earned college credits this summer through the MCLA/BCC Summer Academy program.   Friends and family gathered for the graduation luncheon this past Friday in the Conte Federal Building to celebrate the students’ achievement over the monthlong program.    The Summer Academy program, first instituted in 2016, has been designed to give motivated young adults a headstart into college by providing them with two free college courses; Statistics 101 and English 101, both of which award three college credits upon completion.   These credits can be transferred to any state-accredited

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Sniezek Wins Juniors Series Event at Waubeeka
04:52PM / Monday, August 06, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Henry Sniezek carded a 79 Monday to win the Berkshire County Juniors Series event at Waubeeka Golf Links.   Sniezek, playing out of Forest Park Country Club, finished going away in the 16-and-older division, building a 12-stroke margin over runner-up Connor Champeaux of Berkshire Hills.   Berkshire Hills' Liam Fitzgibbons and Waubeeka's Ryan Baran tied for third at 96.   In the 14- and 15-year-old division, Berkshire Hills' Brendan Hayden edged Matthew Shields of Stockbridge Golf Club for the title. Hayden finished at 84, one stroke better than Shields.   Max Digrigoli of the Country Club of Pittsfield and Harrison Seeley of Cranwell

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Berkshires Beat: Mayor's Fitness Challenge Winners Announced
02:34PM / Monday, August 06, 2018
The winners are ...

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition has announced the winners of the 2018 Mayors' Fitness Challenge winners.

From North Adams, the winners are as follows:

* Winning MFC Team: MCLAzybones

* MFC Individual Winner: Jane Bernard

* Healthy Work Site Winners: MountainOne Goal Diggers- & MountainOne Summit Slayers

* MFC Individual Winner At A Work Site: Denise Davis

* Participant With The Most Points Overall: Hannah Noel

From Pittsfield, the winners are as follows:

* Winning MFC Team: Seniors Rock

* Individual Winner: Debbie Holden

* Healthy Worksite Winner: MountainOne Skinny Dippers

* City Hall Team: The Awesome Assessors

* Passport Winners: Sue

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