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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Giving Up Control in the Event You Need To
By Bill Schmick,
02:46PM / Friday, May 06, 2016

The more successful you are, the more difficulty you face in wrestling with one inescapable fact. In preparing to pass the torch to your heirs, you need to give them the power to decide what happens to you and your estate in the event you can't.

That's not an easy thing to get your arms around if you have been the go-to guy or gal that the family depends on when life's hard knocks come visiting. How do you entrust your own health and wealth to others? Even if you love them to death, are they really capable of taking care of you in your time of need?

No question, it is a problem that you need to deal with and resolve before that family meeting I have been writing about in this


Great Barrington Police Officer Killed in Friday Morning Crash
12:08PM / Friday, May 06, 2016

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — An off-duty Great Barrington police officer died early Friday morning after his pickup truck hit a tree on Prospect Hill Road in Stockbridge.

Stockbridge Police Chief Darrell Fennelly said 25-year-old Ryan A. Storti of Muddy Brook Circle was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which was reported shortly after 2 a.m. According to a statement from the Great Barrington Police Department, Storti was alone and on his way home when he lost control of his truck and struck a tree on the side of the road.

The investigation is being conducted by members of the Stockbridge Police Department with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and


MassDOT's Adams Rail Line Project Falling Short of Station
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:41AM / Friday, May 06, 2016

Selectman John Duval attended the meeting in Pittsfield to urge MassDOT officials to finish the 6/10 of a mile needed. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is a newly renovated train station in Adams but no train.    In 2014, taxpayers in Adams reluctantly put up funds to purchase and renovate a former Hoosac Street car wash into the Adams Station, an end point to the Berkshire Scenic Railway's Hoosac Valley Service.   The idea to run Berkshire Scenic Railway trains between Adams and North Adams was first announced in 2013 and plans were laid to fix up the Pan Am lines from Burke Construction to North Adams. An additional 6/10th of a mile of track from there to Hoosac


'Keanu': Puss & Galoots
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:36PM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

More misses than hits in director Peter Atencio's "Keanu," a rambunctious action-comedy starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, suggest that the effort might best be enjoyed by fans of the duo's Comedy Central sketch series, "Key & Peele." Oddly, though, while unaware of the pair's cable TV fame and thus essentially a representative of the Great Unwashed, this admittedly easy chortler laughed much more than the supposed target audience with whom I viewed the movie.

While it behooves to academically note that the essence of comedy hasn't changed since Oog tripped Grouk as he exited his cave, the art of making folks chuckle, titter and hopefully


Berkshire Tidbits: Mother's Day
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
06:15PM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

Chez Nous Bistro, 150 Main St. in Lee, 413 243-6397, has reopened and they are still having fun for the next few weeks with their Thursday night Manger! Boire!/Eat! Drink! cooking demo and wine pairing tasting dinners at 6:30.

They start them about November until end-of-year holidays, pick them up again when the new year begins through the middle of February when they take their much needed vacation, then add another month and half of demos after they return in April.

If you remember from previous Tidbit columns, the two chef-owners, Franck Tessier and his wife Rachel Portnoy who is the pastry chef, present a small themed cooking lesson, share the evening's recipes, serve a full meal


Canning Announces State Senate Candidacy on Republican Ticket
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:38AM / Thursday, May 05, 2016

The announcement was made before the Veterans of Foreign Wars held its meeting. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christine Canning describes herself as a "pit bull with lipstick" who will go to Boston and fight for Berkshire County.   The Lanesborough resident and educational consultant announced her candidacy for state Senate at the American Legion in Pittsfield Wednesday evening.   Canning is running as a Republican and will take on the winner of the Democratic primary, which features Adam Hinds, Andrea Harrington and Rinaldo Del Gallo. The Berkshire's seat is open because Sen. Benjamin Downing has opted not to run for


Senate Candidate Hinds Opens Pittsfield Headquarters
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:48PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

More than two dozen supporters stopped by to check out the new office space. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Senate Candidate Adam Hinds opened a downtown office on Tuesday.   Hinds is running against Andrea Harrington for the Democratic nomination for the Berkshire state Senate seat being left vacant by Benjamin Downing, who opted not to run for re-election.   Rindaldo Del Gallo has said he plans to run but has not yet jumped into the race.    The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Executive Director Hinds held an open house at his new office on South Street — in the plaza at the Crowne Plaza — which had previously been used as the headquarters for the


SVMC Health Blog: Good News, Gone Bad
Sponsored Content,
03:15PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

One day several years ago, a national news broadcast reporter covered a scientific study that revealed the beneficial components of chocolate. "It's good for your heart," she proclaimed. "Eat more chocolate."

The 90-second news broadcast oversimplified the findings, and so did every other news source reporting the story in the wildfire of coverage that ensued. The "good news" of dark chocolate is still making headlines now, years later. Meanwhile millions are over-consuming chocolate and other foods that — while they may have some beneficial properties — have a lot of calories. Those calories are actually doing more harm than good.

So let's


Baseball Exhibit to Go Up at Country Club of Pittsfield Sports,
01:53PM / Wednesday, May 04, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- “Baseball in the Berkshires: A County’s Common Bond” will continue its 2016 season later this month at the Country Club of Pittsfield.

The historic exhibition that traces the game from its earliest beginnings through the career of contemporary local collegians was created last year and had its initial residence at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead.

It returned to the Holmes Road site this spring for a brief stay with plans to take it on the road to various sites around the county.

The first stop will be at the CC of Pittsfield from May 16 to 20.

No admission will be charged at the exhibit, which will be displayed Monday, May 16, from noon to 4 p.m.


Berkshires Beat: Save Stockbridge Bowl Campaign Nears Goal
01:06PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

Close to the goal: The Stockbridge Bowl Association expects to complete its $2.8 million Save Stockbridge Bowl capital campaign in 2016, as the organization celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1946.

The SBA has raised more than $2.4 million of the estimated $2.8 million cost to pay for Phase 2 of the Town of Stockbridge Lake Management Plan. The work will include dredging to remove silt that has built up over many decades, and to permit a significant winter drawdown to kill the roots of invasive non-native plants clogging many areas of the lake.

"If the Town of Stockbridge cannot dredge decades of accumulated sediment and enable a winter drawdown to kill the invasive


Biz Briefs: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Wins TV Award
12:05PM / Monday, May 02, 2016

SVMC patient John Kasper and Orion Howard, MD, pose with the 2015 Telly Award.

'Telly' It Like It Is: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, with its agency Jennings, have received a 2015 Telly Award for its Partnership is Powerful Medicine campaign video featuring cancer patient John Kasper.

In the video, John, an auto detailer in Bennington, shares his emotional story about battling cancer with SVMC’s team. The video was part of a series of patient videos, all of which can be viewed online.

“We are pleased to win this award and grateful to the team of doctors and nurses at the Cancer Center for the inspirational work they do every day,” said Ray Smith,


Barrett Contributing on Two Sports at Westfield State
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
02:52PM / Sunday, May 01, 2016

WESTFIELD, Mass. -- After helping the Westfield State women’s basketball team earn a MASCAC Championship this winter, Mount Greylock graduate and Owls freshman Lucy Barrett switched gears to lacrosse.


And Barrett has not missed a beat.


She scored two goals on Saturday as Westfield State defeated Framingham, 17-4, in the Owls’ regular season finale. For the year, she has eight goals and six assists despite missing the team’s preseason training due to the extended basketball season.


Westfield State is the top seed in the MASCAC tournament and on Thursday will host the winner of Tuesday’s quarter-final between Worcester State and


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