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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Medical Center Sits Atop National Quality Ranking
12:52PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is ranked as the best performer in Patient Safety Indicators in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

BMC is ranked number one in the nation when compared to over 3,200 hospitals for its composite measure of Patient Safety Indicators, or PSI-90. The PSI-90 Patient Safety Indicators were developed by the Agency for Research and Quality, and provides an overview of hospital-level quality as it relates to a set of potentially preventable hospital-related events associated with harmful outcomes for patients. The lower a hospital’s composite score, the better, and Berkshire Medical

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Biz Briefs: Lowe's, Central Berkshire Habitat Team Up for Women Build Month
12:18PM / Monday, February 27, 2017

Building a future: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and Lowe's invite women to build alongside future homeowners during the 10th annual National Women Build Month. Central Berkshire is one of 300 Habitat organizations nationwide hosting Women Build projects during the month of May with support from Lowe’s, a longtime partner in the event.

On April 30, local volunteers will start Women Build Month by attending a half day construction training that will give them the necessary tools to build the new construction home. Groups and individuals can register to participate in the Women Build dates in May. National Women Build Week brings together women to devote at least one day

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McCann School Budget Reflects Hikes in Fixed Costs, Health Insurance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, February 27, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann Technical School budget for fiscal 2018 is up 2.7 percent over this year, largely reflecting increasing fixed costs and level state funding.    The school's budget is up about $250,000, from $9.09 million to $9,340,159, and includes $88,000 in cuts. Some $3.7 million of the spending plan will be covered by assessments to its nine districts for operations, transportation and capital projects. The total assessments are up less than one percent.    "The problem we run into when you look at the budget itself, the state Chapter 70 money is pretty much level, the numbers that are municipal assessments ... are fairly level for all

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Lenox's Carpenter Wins Big East Mile
iBerkshires.com Sports,
07:06PM / Saturday, February 25, 2017
Lenox Memorial graduate and Georgetown University senior Scott Carpenter ran a personal record time of 4 minutes, 3.57 seconds Saturday to win the Big East indoor mile championship at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex on Staten Island.   Carpenter helped the Hoyas score big points in the event, where Georgetown finished first, second and eighth.   In the team competition, Georgetown finished fifth of seven schools.   Taconic graduate and UMass-Boston junior Dominic Nda finished fourth in the 60-meter dash on Saturday at the New England Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Field Center in Boston. Nda posted a time of 6.97 seconds, a quarter second behind

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Hundreds Rally In Pittsfield To Support ObamaCare
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:50PM / Saturday, February 25, 2017

State Reps. Paul Mark and Tricia Farley-Bouvier were speakers for the event.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Congress will soon take up bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

But hundreds of local residents took to Park Square on Saturday to oppose those efforts, joining thousands across the nation who have held rallies and packed congressional town halls.

The act passed under former President Barack Obama expanded health care coverage across the country. New President Donald Trump, however, has called it too costly and vowed to repeal and replace it. The debate over the repeal is expected to unfold shortly in Washington, D.C.    But here in heavily Democratic Massachusetts,

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@theMarket: Market Stalls at Record Highs
By Bill Schmick,
07:02PM / Friday, February 24, 2017

Stock market averages made another batch of new highs this week only to fall back in what may be buyer exhaustion. If the trend continues, investors may be looking at a 4-5 percent decline from here.

It is too early to tell, because one day does not make a trend. We could easily experience a rebound next week, but I would still consider the present levels of most indexes ripe for a fall. My column last week pointed out that we are now in a "danger zone." Sure, the markets could continue to grind higher but every additional point just sets us up for an overdue correction.

Since all eyes and ears are on Washington, progress on President Trump's agenda is dictating where the

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The Independent Investor: What Happens to Your Pet After Your Death?
By Bill Schmick,
04:52PM / Friday, February 24, 2017

If you are one of the 70 percent of the population that considers their pet a member of the family, you should review your estate planning documents. Otherwise, there is a good chance your pet will either end up in the pound, or worse.

This hits close to home for many of us. If my wife and I were to die, for example, who would take care of our chocolate Lab, Titus?

There are few people who we would trust to take care of him. Compounding the problem is the fact that he is 8 years old and suffers from arthritis. I discovered that simply putting some instructions in a will was neither legally binding nor particularly useful. Unless we do something different, Titus could be condemned to

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'Lion': A Prince of the Jungle
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:33PM / Friday, February 24, 2017

Watching Garth Davis' "Lion," about a 5-year-old Indian boy who gets lost thousands of miles from his home, the innate humanitarian in you wonders just how many years of do-gooding it might take to put a dent in the horrific squalor the tale depicts. The poverty, the social equivalent of that stench-filled restaurant bathroom that has never left your psyche, is overwhelming. Shocked by the no-holds barred expose of how 80 percent of the world lives in destitution, you are humbled by your good fortune.

Granted, scripture reads that "The poor will always be with you," and there has never been any shortage of those wicked sorts who have seized that phrase as

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IS183 Art School of the Berkshires Adds Three to Board
12:32PM / Friday, February 24, 2017

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — IS183 Art School's Board of Directors has announced the addition of Joyce Bernstein of New Marlborough, Rose Ellis of Williamstown and Robin (Schultz) Gerber of New Marlborough to the Board.

"We are thrilled to welcome Joyce, Rose and Robin to the Board of IS183," said Andy Foster, IS183 board chair. "The addition of their energy, expertise and enthusiasm will be of significant value to our community art school.  I, and the entire board, look forward to working with them closely in the years to come."

Bernstein's resourcefulness is resounding as an entrepreneurial and creative executive with experience in real estate

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MCLA Professor Begins 'The 50 Card Project'
12:12PM / Friday, February 24, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Every week since Inauguration Day and continuing through the end of 2017, Melanie Mowinski, an associate professor of visual arts at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will print a new letterpress card in a limited edition of 100, using vintage letterpress type, cuts and other printing matrixes.

After making a card of FDR's Four Freedoms on Inauguration day, Mowinski decided to make a card every week for the entire 2017 year. She calls this mission "The 50 Card Project." In total, she will create 50 different cards or 5,000 individual cards. As they are completed each week, she will send 15 to 20 to key players in Washington, D.C.

"The

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No Trial Date Set in 2015 Adams Terrorism Case
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:46PM / Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It likely will be at least mid-June before there is any talk of a trial date in the case of the United States vs. Alexander Ciccolo.

On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Robertson set June 20 for the next hearing in the case, which has dragged on for more than 18 months while the Adams man accused of federal terrorism offenses is held in a Rhode Island detention facility.

Robertson also ordered the exclusion of the time between Wednesday and June 20 from the speedy trial rules while Ciccolo's counsel and the U.S. Attorney's Office continue to discuss what evidence needs to be turned over to the defense.

On Wednesday, Assistant U.S.

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Biz Briefs: Stop & Shop Donates $5,000 to Berkshire Dream Center
12:43PM / Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Great dream: Stop & Shop North Adams store presented a check for $5,000 to the Berkshire Dream Center. Stop & Shop associate Karen Britten and store manager Dan Jowett presented the check to Dream Center founder and executive director Katelynn Miner.

The Berkshire Dream Center began from the vision that Miner received during her trip to the Los Angeles Dream Center in 2007. The LA Dream Center was founded by Pastor Matthew and Tommy Barnett in 1994 and is a volunteer driven organization that has more than 273 different types of outreaches. In the summer of 2011, the Berkshire Dream Center was founded and found its home in the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsfield. Shortly after

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