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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Girls Lacrosse Youth Programs Offered
07:43PM / Wednesday, March 02, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two Pittsfield-based youth girls lacrosse programs are available for players in grades 3 and up this spring.

Pittsfield’s Boys and Girls Club offers programs in two age groups: juniors (grades 3 to 6) and seniors (grades 7 and 8). New players are welcome and no experience is required.

 

The Berkshire Attack girls lacrosse club is an elite program for girls entering grades 6 to 12 and offering summer and fall playing opportunities.

 

The Attack will hold an informational meeting on Thursday, March 31, at 6 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club’s Lighthouse Cafe.

 

Players can register for the Boys and Girls Club’s beginners program by

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Great Barrington Attorney Announcing for State Senate
01:40AM / Wednesday, March 02, 2016

RICHMOND, Mass. — A local attorney has decided to run for the Democratic nomination for state Senate.

Andrea Harrington plans to formally announce next Tuesday morning for the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden District seat being vacated by state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing. Adam Hinds of Pittsfield, executive director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, is also running for the nomination.

"I am running for state Senate because our district needs a leader who understands the challenges facing our communities and will build on the opportunities we have to create jobs and protect our children," Harrington said in a statement.

In addition to practicing in

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Berkshires Goes for Sanders, Trump
Staff Reports,
12:07AM / Wednesday, March 02, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With the majority of precincts reporting in late Tuesday night, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were expected to post victories in their respective primaries in Massachusetts.

Trump, a New York billionaire developer, was far and away the winner in the Republican primary, with some 80 percent of precincts reporting he had scored nearly 49 percent of the vote.

But the biggest vote-getters by far in this very blue corner of a blue state were Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who were polling at about 50 percent and 48 percent, respectively, late Tuesday.

Both did well in the Berkshires, with the Vermont U.S. senator seemingly able to cash in on both his

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Berkshire Tidbits: Leaping Into Spring
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
04:34PM / Monday, February 29, 2016

Maple trees are waking up all around the Berkshire area. At this point, this changeable but pretty warm winter, everybody is already tapping in the sugarbushes. Sap is running intermittently and being boiled into gallons of syrup.

Most producers have syrup to sell. Some producers have already made hundreds of gallons.

This is past weekend all the sugarhouses that serve sit-down meals opened up to serve their fresh syrup. Most of them like to have visitors come watch the syrup being made in the sugarhouse, too.

Here's who's open for you to eat homemade pancakes and waffles and "anything you can put maple syrup on!" as Tom McCrumm of South Face Farm at the

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Hillary Clinton Visits Western Mass on Eve of Primary
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:10PM / Monday, February 29, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Hillary Clinton wowed a small crowd of supporters in Springfield on Monday morning before heading off to a larger rally in Boston just a day before the state's primary.

"I will work as hard as I can every single day. ... I will get up and to go to work for you and fight for you," the Democratic presidential candidate said, asking for their votes on Tuesday. "I want us to make progress again. I am a progressive who likes to make progress."

The former secretary of state took aim at the candidates on the right, saying the Republicans left are "still peddling the same snake oil" that trickle-down economics will work.

"They

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100K Gift Helps Brien Center Expand Youth Substance Abuse Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:23AM / Monday, February 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — B. John and Rosaleen Miller lost their son to a drug overdose.   Their response 20 year ago is helping prevent that tragedy occurring to other families. Jim Mucia of the Brien Center says, "if we can get one kid off of heroin it is worth it."   Mucia heads the Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program at the Brien Center. The program brings counselors into schools all over Berkshire County, provides intervention programs and holds forums and presentations, all with a focus of keeping students away from drugs and alcohol.   "The best way to reduce the opioid problem, which is obviously become huge, is to not start. Once an addict

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@theMarket: Odds High That markets Will Continue to Climb
By Bill Schmick,
02:22PM / Sunday, February 28, 2016

The S&P 500 Index broke through an important technical level this week. It is an encouraging sign and could mean that over the next few days that index could move even higher.

There are all sorts of technical levels that traders study. In the intermediate term, they usually look at the 50-day moving average. For the first time since the beginning of the year, we have broken up and through that level at 1,954 on the S&P. For those less inclined to worry about the charts, all you need to know is that traders are becoming bullish.

As I suggested in my last column, it was a week where markets first consolidated, and then climbed higher, supported by an oil price that refused to drop

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Neal Rallies Support For Clinton Campaign in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:36PM / Saturday, February 27, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is hoping the Democratic presidential primary is "put to bed" on Super Tuesday with Hillary Clinton sealing up the nomination.   The congressman joined local supporters in Clinton's Pittsfield campaign field office Saturday to rally support for the former secretary of state. Clinton is going up against Vermont's U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in seeking the nomination.   "We have a change to elect one of the most accomplished women in the world. I've known her forever and I've known Bill Clinton. A reminder: 23 million jobs, four balanced budgets, economic growth that surpassed 100 percent in some quarters,

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Cheshire Author Uncovers Ancient Goliaths
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
08:17AM / Saturday, February 27, 2016

CHESHIRE, Mass. — A new book by a local author guides readers to some of the more mammoth and interesting boulders in Massachusetts, many of which sit in Berkshire County.

"There are some big rocks out there," said Christy Butler, coauthor and photographer of "Rockachusetts" a hiking guide focused on notable boulders in the state.
 

The Lynn native and Cheshire resident rambled throughout Massachusetts mapping and researching more than 150 boulders. One third of these are in Berkshire County.

Butler, a visual artist who has been involved in publishing, photography, and filmmaking, teamed up once again with writer and licensed hiking guide Russell Dunn, but

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'Race': Takes the Silver
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:04PM / Friday, February 26, 2016

If only we were as proficient at correcting our social sins as we are at chronicling them. My case in point is director Stephen Hopkins' "Race," a dutiful but dramatically average telling of the heroic odyssey that made Jesse Owens a worldwide sports legend. We, in the more enlightened nooks and hollers, are properly abashed at the stumbling blocks  Owens had to hurdle on his way to glory in the 1936 Berlin Olympiad.

Yet, beneath our conceit, we shiver in the knowledge that there are still cave dwellers in those intolerant areas loath to celebrate humanity's égalité. So we watch respectfully, basking in this one victory, a steppingstone that etched

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The Independent Investor: Social Security Update & Other Tidbits
By Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Friday, February 26, 2016

Over the past few months there have been some changes to social security rules as well as an on-going effort to provide increased protection from brokers managing your IRAs. Here is an update to those topics.

Readers may recall a column I wrote as a result of last November's budget. Several changes were instituted to shut down some social security loopholes that could impact certain retirees. Prior to the new budget changes, a growing number of couples, 66 and older, could delay claiming benefits based on their own earnings record, while collecting a spousal benefit based on your spouse's earnings. This was costing the taxpayer millions and generating lifetime benefits for some

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Mass MoCA Hosts Multimedia Project 'The Aging Magician'
By John Seven, Special to iBerkshires
02:21AM / Friday, February 26, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Coming to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art for a residency and premiere of "The Aging Magician," composer Paola Prestini says multimedia productions are necessarily intimate and lengthy collaborations, children of multiple-parentage that reflect their genes seamlessly.

"I've been working on it with the same team for many, many years," she said. "Believe it or not, is really, really a collaboration where all the elements, we couldn't do one without the other."

The idea for the show began with Prestini hoping to reimagine the classic tale of Charon crossing the River Styx, in her version a journey to Coney Island that

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