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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Conservation District Seeks Endowment of UMass Forestry Scholarship Fund
02:01PM / Wednesday, December 23, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Adrian “Beau” Meyer UMass Forestry Scholarship fund was established in memory of the late district chairman in 2005 by Berkshire Conservation District.

The scholarship has been actively awarding scholarships of $750 annually since 2013 to a student from Berkshire County or Western Massachusetts enrolled in a forestry program at UMass Amherst. The district is currently seeking $6,000 in donations before the end of 2015 in a campaign to endow the fund so that it may continue in perpetuity.

The UMass Foundation has offered to donate the remaining funds necessary for endowment should the district reach this goal.

Donations of $100 or more will

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Berkshire Co-op Market Hires New General Manager
11:22AM / Wednesday, December 23, 2015

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - After an extensive national search, the Berkshire Co-op Market's board of directors has appointed Daniel Esko to be the next general manager. He will assume the position on Feb. 1.

Esko was a 10-year veteran at the cooperatively owned Great Barrington grocer, serving as Grocery & Wellness manager and Operations manager before he assumed the role of operations manager for Shire City Herbals in Pittsfield in 2014. During his tenure at the co-op, he also provided support, training, and consulting services for a number of other co-ops.  Prior to that, he worked at the Kushi Institute Store in Becket and Whole Foods in Boston.

“I’m incredibly

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Simon's Rock Grad Named School's New Provost
11:09AM / Wednesday, December 23, 2015

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Ian Bickford, a 1995 graduate of Simon's Rock, has been named provost of the Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College.

Bickford will begin his term in January, succeeding Peter Laipson as leader of the nation's only B.A.-granting residential college of the liberal arts and sciences designed for younger students, and the founding site of Bard College’s network of nationally influential public early-college programs.

At the end of this semester, Laipson will depart his administrative post as provost at Simon's Rock to become the Emily H. Fisher Research Fellow of Bard College, a position he will hold through June of 2017. He

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What to Look For From a Financial Adviser
10:53AM / Wednesday, December 23, 2015

There’s a lot to know about investing, so it’s a good idea to get some professional help. But with so many financial advisers out there, how can you choose one that’s right for you?

You may have to interview several prospective financial advisers before deciding on one. When you talk to them, see if you can get a sense of how they might work with you. Specifically, try to answer the following questions:

Does this financial advisWhat to Look For From a Financial Advisoror …

… Understand you? Perhaps above all else, you want a financial advisor who will take the time to get to know you and your family, your goals and what’s important to you.

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Baker, Polito Sign Compacts With 17 South County Towns
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:44PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lenox Board of Selectman Ed Lane signs the compact with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — It started with the six Southern Berkshire school districts.    School officials were looking at the cost of operating each district while noticing student population dropping. They realized they couldn't do it alone.   It started with the six school districts spanning three towns. Now a collaborative has grown to include all 17 South County towns and has funding from the state and private sector to increase the sharing of services.   "The community has really rallied around this thing and it is unprecedented," said state Rep. William

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Baker Cheers, Challenges BArT Charter Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:52PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015
ADAMS, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday congratulated the students of Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School on their accomplishments and challenged them to keep building for their futures.   "If we work it right, if we work hard and work smart and make good decisions, you wake up when you're 59 years old and think you're the luckiest man alive," Baker told an all-school assembly. "But those habits, those skills, those foundations are what you're building now.   "You guys are building a great foundation, the kind of foundation where students get to go to the great places like that list I just saw."   Baker was in

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Berkshire Tidbits: Christmas Goodies, Year's End Events
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
12:48PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Charles H. Baldwin & Sons
Has Extracts Galore & Plenty More

When you are on tiny Center Street in tiny West Stockbridge, you cannot miss noticing that Charles H. Baldwin & Sons, aka Baldwin's Extracts, isdressed for Christmas. Even from outside.

Giant handmade pink and blue wreaths of oversize shiny-wrapped candies, ornaments, ribbons and flowers surround the two front windows, making spirits bright as soon as you see them. If you fade the nicely paved street and overhead wires, you could be back in the 19th century when Charles Baldwin opened.

After three previous generations had made extracts before them, Charles H. Baldwin and his father, H. M. Baldwin, started the

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Superior Court Briefs: Dec. 15
Staff Reports,
02:31PM / Monday, December 21, 2015
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, Dec. 15.   Kevin Fowler, 45, of Rocky Hill, Conn. pleaded guilty to 11 counts of larceny over $250, 11 counts of uttering, and 11 counts of forgery.   He was ordered to serve two to three years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Fowler admitted to creating false checks and cashing them in Berkshire County between June 4, 2015 and June 6, 2015. The checks totaled $27,967.

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The Independent Investor: How Rising Interest Rates Will Change Your Life
By Bill Schmick,
07:11PM / Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's official: Wednesday afternoon the Federal Reserve bank hiked the short-term interest rate, called the Fed Funds rate, for the first time in 9 1/2 years. It is the beginning of a new financial era for all of us and it behooves you to understand its implications.

Let me first assuage any concerns you may have that this single 0.25 percentage point increase will impact your life anytime soon. Instead, simply view this event as the beginning of a progression to gradually higher interest rates that will ultimately impact everything from car loans to retirement savings accounts.

The mechanism by which the Fed raises rates is complicated. Just know that overtime there is a domino

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'Trumbo': Write and Wrong
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:34PM / Thursday, December 17, 2015

Both fortunately and unfortunately, movies about bigotry and fearmongering in America always seem to be timely and appropriate. Hence, while director Jay Roach's engaging, wittily realized biopic about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo isn't especially artistic or cutting edge, it's dutiful, ultimately patriotic meditations in the cause of the First Amendment please our sense of justice.

Watching "Trumbo," we can't help but mull the current crop of political bloodsuckers looking to make hay of our worries. Is it just us smart people who know history repeats itself?

A reputedly accurate screenplay by John McNamara, based on Bruce Cook's biography,

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Holiday Spending Can Help Teach Children About Money
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:42AM / Wednesday, December 16, 2015

During this holiday season, you likely will be spending money, in various amounts and in various ways. And you can use this experience to teach your children about money management.

Here are a few ideas for doing just that:

* Stick to a budget. Tell your children you have set aside a certain amount of money for gifts and holiday events, such as hosting parties, and that you won’t exceed it. And if you have saved money throughout the year in a special holiday fund, let your kids know about that, too. This information should help impress upon them the importance of sticking with a budget and saving for a goal.

* Discuss credit and debt. Ideally, you won’t have to use your

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