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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

@theMarket: Markets Brace for the Weekend
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Friday, September 08, 2017
Usually, the weekend is a time when traders try to relax, reduce stress, and prepare for the coming week's markets. This weekend will be an exception to that rule. Just about everyone is focused on the latest news of Hurricane Irma's landfall in southern Florida tomorrow and into Sunday.    Over in Southeast Asia, analysts are also expecting North Korea to fire off yet another missile. Exactly where and when is up in the air.   As if that were not enough, an earthquake and Hurricane Jose both hit Mexico simultaneously last night causing quite a lot of damage. Investors have no idea what economic impact these natural disasters will have on the North American economy.


MountainOne Names Head of Investment and Community Banking Teams
01:26PM / Friday, September 08, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. &mndash; Lynn Sullivan has been appointed president of MountainOne Investments and senior vice president of Community Banking and Cash Management Sales.

"I am excited to have Lynn join MountainOne," said Robert Fraser, MountainOne president and CEO. "Her background and past accomplishments will serve us well as she works to expand MountainOne Investments and enhance our retail banking business. Lynn's professional experience, which spans from community banking to regional banking and, most recently, a money center institution, will be key as we grow these business lines and seek to provide meaningful financial solutions to customers."



BMC Files Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Against Nursing Union
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:43AM / Friday, September 08, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The hospital has fired back at the MNA with its own complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.   Berkshire Health Systems is alleging that the nurses' union is not bargaining in good faith and is "surface bargaining" — a term used to describe negotiating without trying to actually reach a settlement.   The local chapter of the Massachusetts Nursing Association and Berkshire Medical Center's administration has been hit a gridlock in negotiations after nearly a year of sessions.    "We have met with the union nearly 30 times over the past 12 months," said Berkshire Health Systems Vice President for Human


The Independent Investor: America, the Battered
By Bill Schmick,
06:30PM / Thursday, September 07, 2017
Extreme weather and other climate disasters appear to be occurring far more frequently than we would like. The loss of life and economic damage also seem to be increasing. But does the data support those opinions, and if it does, what price do we pay for all of these perfect storms?   Long-time readers may recall my columns of four and five years ago, where I examined the price tag the world (and the U.S.) pays for weather-related disasters. Given the fact that we are between hurricanes (Harvey has departed Texas, while Irma bears down on Florida); it may be a good time to educate new readers on the economic cost; not to mention the loss of life.   In 2016, the U.S. suffered twice


Congressman Neal Holding Town Hall in Pittsfield
11:37AM / Thursday, September 07, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal will host a Town Hall forum on Friday, Sept. 15, at Berkshire Community College's Robert Boland Theater.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the program will begin at 5:30.

Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy will be on hand to welcome visitors to campus. Following an update about Washington, D.C., constituents will have the opportunity to ask questions of the 1st Massachusetts congressman regarding federal issues.

Neal is the ranking member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives. As the top Democrat, he advocates for the preservation and strengthening of such issues as health


HospiceCare Offers Grief Support Groups
01:27PM / Wednesday, September 06, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - HospiceCare in the Berkshires is hosting a new round of support groups across Berkshire County.

For more information on any of the groups, call 413-443-2994.

A weekly support group runs Tuesdays from Sept. 5 through Oct. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at HospiceCare in the Berkshires, 877 South St. This grouup is open to anyone who experienced any loss.

A free monthly drop-in support group for those who are grieving the loss of any loved one is held the second Wednesday of each month from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Dalton Senior Center, 40 Field St. Ext. The next meeting is Sept. 13.

A group called "New to Grief: What to Expect," a free informational meeting to learn


Brighten Your Grandchildren's Financial Future
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:01PM / Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Mother's Day and Father's Day may get more attention, but National Grandparents Day, observed on Sept. 10, has gained in popularity. If you're a grandparent, you might expect to receive some nice cards, but if you want to make the day especially meaningful, you may want to consider giving some long-lasting financial gifts to your grandchildren.

What might come to mind first, of course, is helping your grandchildren pay for college. You can choose from several college savings vehicles, but you may be especially interested in a 529 savings plan. With a 529 plan, your earnings accumulate tax free, provided they are used for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition,


Berkshires Beat: Brain Injury Association Returns to Cheshire for Walk & Roll
01:06PM / Monday, September 04, 2017

Walk & Roll: The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts is bringing its annual Walk & Roll fundraiser events to the Berkshires, kicking off their season with a return to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire on Saturday, Sept. 9, starting at 9:30 a.m. Parking will be located at the Farnams Road entrance off South State Road (Route 8). Parking is free, with handicap spaces and a drop off area close to the event site. Signs and parking attendants are available to guide participants.

Participants throughout western Massachusetts are encouraged to attend as BIA-MA returns to the same venue as last year's event. Residents can register as individuals, set up a team, start a


Traversa, Shade Lead Springfield to Rivalry Game Win Sports,
02:32AM / Monday, September 04, 2017
The local high school sports scene gets under way on Tuesday, but the area’s collegians already are laboring on fields throughout the nation.   On Saturday in Springfield, Pittsfield High graduates Dominic Traversa and Chad Shade helped lead the Springfield College football team to a 35-21 win over local rival Western New England. Shade completed three of four passes for 43 yards and ran 11 times for 40 yards. Traversa, a senior captain for the Pride, had five tackles. Springfield’s squad also includes Hoosac Valley graduates Zach Wright, a junior offensive lineman, and Jameson Coughlan, a freshman on the O-line, along with St. Joe graduate Jonny Bianchi, a senior


Berkshire Mall Baseball Exhibit Offers Special Program Saturday
03:58PM / Sunday, September 03, 2017
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- A long-time sports journalist and two former pros will share their insights into America’s pastime on Saturday at the Berkshire Mall.   “Baseball in the Berkshires: A County’s Common Bond,” the permanent exhibition of memorabilia at the mall, will offer an afternoon of presentations at its inaugural Baseball Day.   Former Colorado Rockies farmhand Peter Greenbush of North Adams will open the day by greeting fans and signing autographs from noon to 1 p.m.   At 1:30 in the mall’s Center Court, former Providence Journal and ESPN reporter Steve Krasner will offer a creative writing workshop for teachers, parents and students of


Cultural Council Announces 'EBT Card to Culture'
04:35PM / Saturday, September 02, 2017
STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The state's "EBT Card to Culture" will offer low-income families access to more than 100 nonprofit arts, history, and science venues across the state through free or discounted admission.    State officials and cultural leaders formally launched the new program on Wednesday at the Norman Rockwell Museum, which offers free admission to cardholders. Supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Baker-Polito administration, the EBT Card to Culture is considered the most comprehensive effort of its kind in the nation to open doors to arts and cultural experiences for low-income families.   "In our new strategic plan, the


World-Class Architect Climbs Aboard Model Railroad Museum
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
08:36PM / Friday, September 01, 2017

Award-winning architect Frank Gehry addresses the crowd at Friday's event. The 88-year-old Gehry will design the model railroad museum. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Officials with the proposed model railroad museum are confident that they will have the funding in hand next year to move forward on the $65 million project.    The Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum has so far raised $2.5 million from private contributions and state grants; it expects to reach 50 percent of its goal by January with the balance by June 2018. The principals, including former Guggenhaim director Thomas Krens and former Govs. William Weld and Michael Dukakis, believe the


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