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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Great Barrington, Berkshire Thunder Start Strong in BABL
08:11AM / Tuesday, May 22, 2018
The Great Barrington Millers and Berkshire Thunder are off to fast starts in the Berkshire Adult Baseball League this season.   Each team has gone 2-0 to lead, respectively, the 20-year-old and over-35 divisions in the 13-team league.   Last week, the Thunder defeated the Outlaws, 14-0, behind three hits and three stolen bases from Bruce Blake. Rob Yeaton had two hits for the outlaws.   The Millers edged Lenox, 7-5. Scot McFarland hit a home run, and Chris Walker earned the win on the mound. Justin Hopkins had a double and an RBI for Lenox.   In last week’s other game, the Adams Aces won their opener, 8-0, over Tunnel City. Corey Swistak had a triple, and Jeremy

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Breaking: Adams Man Accused in Terror Plot Pleads Guilty, Agrees to 20-Year Sentence
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com
02:36PM / Monday, May 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Adams man accused by the government of plotting a terror attack and providing material support to the Islamic State pleaded guilty to all charges in federal court on Monday afternoon.

Alexander Ciccolo, 25, admitted to supporting ISIS, planning a terror attack at an unnamed college campus outside Massachusetts, illegally possessing firearms and assaulting a nurse at the Franklin County Jail on the first night of his incarceration during a 50-minute hearing before Judge Mark G. Mastroianni.   According to a plea agreement negotiated between Ciccolo’s lawyers and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ciccolo would be sentenced to 20 years in prison and a

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Berkshires Beat: Roots Rising Enters New Phase
01:40PM / Monday, May 21, 2018
Rise up

Roots Rising, Pittsfield's farm-based youth development program, was developed in collaboration by Alchemy Initiative and Berkshire Botanical Garden, and launched in 2017. Now that the program is in operation, the two organizations have agreed to shift to a single managing organization. This will ensure the most efficient oversight of the program’s continued growth and success. Effective immediately, Roots Rising will become a program of Alchemy Initiative, with Berkshire Botanical Garden stepping aside as a program partner.

Both Alchemy Initiative and Berkshire Botanical Garden are extremely proud of Roots Rising's achievements in its first year of operation. In

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Music & Art Come Together This Summer With Painted Pianos
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:08AM / Monday, May 21, 2018

Keith Bona checks out his piano at Memorial School.  ADAMS, Mass. — More than a dozen pianos are being transformed into singular artworks to evoke the county's musical and artistic heritage.    Dirty, dusty and out of tune, these castoffs found new partners as local artists tramped through the empty Memorial School last Tuesday to select the perfect piano for their endeavors.    Sue MacVeety of Sheffield had come prepared with primer, covering her selection with its first base coat of white. Keith Bona of North Adams picked a large upright and was planning out a celestial concept and figuring how he might use the frame-like back.   "This

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Local Collegians Making their Marks in Spring Post-Season
iBerkshires.com Sports,
09:30PM / Sunday, May 20, 2018
Taconic graduate Dom Nda is headed to the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships next weekend in Wisconsin.   The UMass Boston senior qualified as an individual in the 100-meter dash and will run a leg on the Beacon’s 4-by-100 relay quartet. Earlier this month, the 4-by-100 relay squad broke the school’s record in the event by clocking a time of 41.15 seconds at the MIT Last Chance Qualifying Meet.   Nda is just one of several area alumni who are competing or have competed in national championships this spring.   At the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Championships over the weekend in Minnesota, Hoosac Valley graduate Kali

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Six Qualify to Regional from Pittsfield Pitch, Hit and Run Competition
Community submission,
10:23AM / Saturday, May 19, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Baseball in the Berkshires held the Pitch, Hit and Run Competition at Belanger field on May 12.   Although the weather was un-baseball like - cold and rainy - the competition was held, and six boys and girls qualified to move onto the sectionals which will be held in Hadley on June 2.   Qualifiers at the sectional competition will move to the regional competition to be held at Fenway Park and the finals at the All-Star Game Weekend in Washington, D.C.   Qualifiers from the Pittsfield event included: Aiden Arsenau, Aiden Underdown, Jason Fields Jr., Lily Smith, Gavin O'Donnell and James Smith.

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Girls Inc. Awards Scholarship to 10 Young Women
08:45PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Girls Inc. of the Berkshires awarded scholarship to 10 young women at its annual Ruth P. Boraksi Celebration Evening on May 3. The event recognizes the achievements of young women throughout Berkshire County and awarded scholarships through the Ruth P. Boraski Funds for Girls and on behalf of area community partners.

Receiving Ruth P. Boraski Funds for Girls Inc. Scholarships were Sarah Beckwith and Marya Makuc from Mt. Everett Regional High School; Janayah Burgess and Molly Clement from Taconic High School; Danielle LaBlanc from Pittsfield High School; and Sophie Shron from Monument Mountain High School.

On behalf of area partners, scholarships were awarded to

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MCLA Announces Recipients of Berkshire County Educator Recognition Awards
08:38PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of the eighth annual Berkshire County Educator Recognition Award. This award, presented by MCLA in collaboration with Berkshire County K-12 superintendents and Berkshire Community College, was created to honor the region’s exceptional teachers.

The recipients, all of whom recently were recognized at an MCLA ceremony, are Deborah Hartwig (Early Childhood – Community Setting), a Head Start teacher at Berkshire Head Start in Adams; April Mazzeo (Pre-K-Grade 2), a first-grade teacher at Hoosac Valley Elementary School in the Adams-Cheshire School District; Kimberly Comier (Grades 3-6), a

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Norman Rockwell Museum Names Chief Educator
08:08PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Norman Rockwell Museum has appointed Mary A. Berle, a Harvard-trained educator who is the current Principal of Muddy Brook Elementary School in Great Barrington, as the museum’s new chief educator. 

Berle will officially join the museum on September 1, 2018, assuming a newly created senior-level position to lead the museum’s education vision at a pivotal time of growth. In this position, she will build on the strengths of the museum’s robust education program currently led by Chief Curator Stephanie Plunkett and Digital Learning Director Rich Bradway.

As a member of the museum’s strategic leadership team, Berle will oversee all

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The Independent Investor: Are Americans Saving Enough for Retirement?
By Bill Schmick,
05:00PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018
If you simply read the headlines, you would assume that over half of Americans aged 55 and over, have no savings as they approach retirement. That's a dramatic statement, but is it true?   Most statisticians derive that data by adding up those who have an IRA or similar tax-deferred savings account such as a 401(k). The latest data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank's Survey of Consumer Finance indicated that 53 percent of households, age 55 to 64, had some savings in those tax-deferred accounts. So, yes, by that standard, almost half of all Americans fail the savings test.   But what about all the people who work for the government? There are 22 million workers toiling

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Attempted Abduction Reported In Egremont
Staff Reports,
02:20PM / Thursday, May 17, 2018
EGREMONT, Mass. — Southern Berkshire Regional School District officials are warning parents of an attempted abduction Wednesday afternoon.   Superintendent Beth Regulbuto sent a message to school families saying four men attempted to grab a young woman on Creamery Road. According to the superintendent, the woman able to free herself from the four Hispanic men in a cream-colored Jeep Wrangler with New York plates.   "She ran home and called the police, but the vehicle was already gone and was not able to be located," reads a memo released by Regulbuto.   The district will be making an extra effort to speak to students and reminding them how to stay safe around

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District Attorney Candidates Meet Head To Head In First Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:27AM / Thursday, May 17, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Paul Caccaviello had a domestic homicide case while working in the district attorney's office and he said he brought in behavioral experts to help teach and understand the issues of domestic abuse.    He said he's taken steps to create a sub-unit to focus directly on domestic abuse cases and to understand the best ways to become proactive in domestic abuse cases to halt things from getting worse. And that's what he says he'll do if elected as the new district attorney this fall.   "I've committed to bringing in training and education to my staff," Caccaviello said.   However, challenger Andrea Harrington said in

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