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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Weather Whipping Up a Rainy Christmas Weekend
05:42PM / Thursday, December 20, 2018

FUTURECAST Winds...

Winds will increase rapidly later tonight into Friday-Especially the higher elevations where winds may gust to 50+mph from the SSE.

Wind Advisory is in effect for the Berkshires/S Vermont/Taconics...Catskills and Adirondacks. Especially East Facing slopes. pic.twitter.com/lGPz3q2sBE

— Steve Caporizzo (@SteveCaporizzo) December 20, 2018

The coming Christmas weekend may be more wet than white this year.

After a mild sunny day Thursday, there's rain in the forecast for much of the region with a flood advisory into the early hours of Friday.

Some areas could get up to 3 inches of rain, particularly in the higher terrain across the Berkshires. The National

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Berkshire United Way CEO Kristine Hazzard Stepping Down
12:40PM / Thursday, December 20, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire United Way will begin the new year searching for a new leader.    Kristine Hazzard will step down as president and chief executive officer by June 30, 2019. Hazzard has led the charitable organization for the past decade.   "While it will clearly be a challenge to replace Kris, we fully expect to find a very strong and driven professional who will take on the role of CEO and continue the great work being done by Berkshire United Way, as well as help map out and drive strategies and execution to meet the changing needs of our community," said Richard E. Rowe, chairman of the United Way board, on announcing her

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Kimball Farms Awarded Five-Year CARF accreditation
02:42PM / Wednesday, December 19, 2018

LENOX, Mass. — Kimball Farms Life Care has earned a Five-Year Term of Accreditation from CARF International.

"Only about 10 percent of the continuing care retirement communities in the country have achieved five-year accreditation status," said Bill Jones, president of Berkshire Healthcare, which operates Loomis. "This is a tremendous source of pride for all of us and it speaks volumes about the terrific work the team here does."

In Massachusetts, only seven CCRCs hold five-year CARF accreditation. Two of those, including Kimball Farms and Day Brook Village Senior Living (formerly Loomis House) in Holyoke, are Berkshire Healthcare Systems affiliates.

An

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Consider Some New Year's Financial Resolutions
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:29AM / Wednesday, December 19, 2018

As the year winds down, you may want to look ahead to see which areas of your life you can improve in 2019. Perhaps you will decide to exercise more, eat healthier foods, reconnect with old friends or volunteer at a school or charitable organization.

All these goals are certainly worthwhile – but you also may want to add some New Year's financial resolutions to your list.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

* Boost contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Good news! Contribution limits will be increasing for many employer-sponsored retirement plans. For 2019, you can contribute up to $19,000 (up from $18,500 in 2018), or $25,000 (up from $24,500 in 2018) if

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Holiday Events and Tree Lightings 2018
11:15AM / Wednesday, December 19, 2018

'Tis the season to be merry and bright. Planning a holiday event? Let us know at iBerkshires.com. (Visit our Holiday Bazaars and Craft Fairs list for holiday craft fairs.( And see below for a guide to Christmas tree lightings in towns across the Berkshires.

The city of Pittsfield is offering free downtown parking for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas on Fridays Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 28. There will also be a week of free parking starting Dec. 17 through Dec. 21. Parking is always free in the evenings and weekends.

 

Holiday Events Wednesday, December 19

Pittsfield: The sixth annual Beer & Carols will be held in the Common Room at Zion Lutheran Church, 74

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North Berkshire Coalition Forum Listens to Community's Kids
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Out of the mouths of babes.

At the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's December monthly forum — held for the first time outside of North Adams, at First Congregational Church in Williamstown — Executive Director Amber Besaw unveiled a six-minute video she made in conjunction with Paul Marino from Northern Berkshire Community Television in which several local children were filmed answering questions about their own families.

The airing of the video to the nearly 100 people in the church's Fellowship Hall kicked off the forum subject: "Re-Imagining How We Support Children in Our Community." The topics brought together people from

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BRTA Strike Ends; Regular Bus Service Resumes Wednesday
Staff Reports,
02:15PM / Tuesday, December 18, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRTA buses should be back on schedule Wednesday, Dec. 19, bringing an end to the strike that has paralyzed much of the county's public transportation system for the past two weeks.    The latest offer presented to the federal mediator on Tuesday was voted on by the paratransit union membership at a meeting and was approved.     The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority sent out an alert early Tuesday afternoon reporting it had received notification that the union representing the paratransit drivers had accepted the latest offer. Regular paratransit services will resume Thursday, Dec. 20.   Fixed route service had been severely

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Berkshires Beat: Lenox Sixth-Grader Wins Hinds' Holiday Card Contest
03:51PM / Monday, December 17, 2018

Hinds poses with the winner (front right), two of the runners-up and local Marines collecting toys for their Toys for Tots program. She's a winner

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds introduced Savannah Reber, the student artist whose drawing was chosen for his greeting card this year, during a holiday open house in his downtown Pittsfield office on Dec. 13. His office was decorated with hundreds of drawings submitted by local third- through sixth-grade students to his Holiday Greeting Card Design Contest. In total, 348 students from a dozen schools located across western Massachusetts submitted entries to the contest.

Savannah, 12, is a resident of Lenox and is in sixth grade at Lenox

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Wintry Mix Into Monday, Then Warmer Temps on Tap
01:50PM / Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wintry mix will begin today, transition to mainly snow this evening before ending overnight. Total amounts will be fairly light, but still enough to make surfaces slippery. Allow extra time for travel today! #518wx pic.twitter.com/jTdYzRyUc7

— NWS Albany (@NWSAlbany) December 16, 2018 Mother Nature couldn't quite decide what to gift us with this weekend, so she decided to give us a little bit of everything: freezing rain, sleet, snow.    The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for Sunday and into Monday morning.    This mixed precipitation will be coming down over the Berkshires on Sunday afternoon and then switching over to snow,

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Harrington Prepares to Take Over District Attorney's Office
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:47AM / Sunday, December 16, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If Andrea Harrington wants to make the reforms to the criminal justice system that voters elected her to make, it is going to require the right team of staff members.   And that's what Harrington has been spending her last month or so looking to build. The district attorney-elect defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in the November election and since then has been focusing on finding people she believes in to take leadership roles in the next incarnation of the district attorney's office.   "The people who voted for me voted for me because they believed in the vision that I articulated. In order to enact that vision, we need to have the right

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@theMarket: The Market's Winter Storm
By Bill Schmick,
03:28PM / Friday, December 14, 2018
Stocks worldwide have experienced a downdraft since October. All the gains so painstakingly made thus far in 2018 have been erased. Volatility has battered markets with all the severity of a Nor'easter. Next year may prove to be a continuation of the same.   It is interesting that the culprits responsible for this change of heart in the markets have been around for just about all of the past year. Leading the list is Donald Trump. It was our president that decided to wage a trade war against the world. There has been little success in his battle thus far. The prospect of more of the same faces us well into the new year.   The Federal Reserve Bank can also take some blame.

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1Berkshire Annual Meeting Remembers Klefos, Looks to Year Ahead
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:32PM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler welcomes members and local elected leaders to the organization's annual meeting.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — 1Berkshire's annual meeting last Thursday was a celebration: not just of the work the organization's been doing this past year but a reflection on the life of one its primary architects.    Vice President Lauri Klefos, who had been head of the merged Berkshire Visitors Bureau, had died unexpectedly just a week before, sending shockwaves through the tourism and business community.    "She saw 1Berkshire as a vehicle that would allow us to leverage our resources and amplify our voice for a

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