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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

South County's Becker Pond Dam Makes Priority Project List
04:22PM / Thursday, December 06, 2018
MOUNT WASHINGTON, Mass. — Restoration of a mile of Schenob Brook and the removal of the Becker Pond Dam have been named as priority projects for the state.    The Baker-Polito administration made the designation on Thursday for Schenob Brook/Becker Pond Dam Removal Project along with 11 other river and wetland restoration projects across the commonwealth.   As priority projects through the Department of Fish and Game's Division of Ecological Restoration, they are now eligible for technical services, including data collection, engineering, design work, permitting, project management and grants.   "Ecological restoration is an important tool for local

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Student Could Face Charges in Mount Everett Bomb Threat
05:39PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — School officials say a student responsible for Friday's hoax bomb threat that caused the evacuation and closure of the Mount Everett Regional School campus has been removed from school.    In a message to the school community on Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent of Schools Beth Regulbuto wrote that the investigation had been completed.    "Our school administrators and the Sheffield Police Department questioned witnesses and the student. A confession was obtained, and the student has been removed pending disciplinary action and evaluation. The Sheffield Police will be acting in accordance with Massachusetts General Law and the District

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Letter: FCC Rule Endangers Existence of PCTV
Letter to the Editor,
05:00PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018

To the Editor:

Over the last 30 years, Pittsfield Community Television has served a special role in our community, providing information, entertainment, sports, and access to cable subscribers in the area. These programs are not provided by any Albany or Springfield channels.

PCTV's unique programming includes coverage of local events such as the Fourth of July Parade, high school graduations and school concerts, School Committee meetings, City Council and dozens of other municipal meetings, press conferences, local high school sports events, Veterans Day parade and memorial service, programs by and for the elderly, faith-based programs, and a host of volunteer-driven programming

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Three Factors to Consider When Making Charitable Gifts
12:19PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The holiday season is here, which means gift-giving is probably on your mind. In addition to making gifts to your family and friends, you also may be interested in contributing to charitable organizations. But before you donate financial assets, such as stocks, you will need to consider several factors, including taxes, your portfolio balance and the reputation of the charity.

Let's look at these areas:

Taxes: Your donations to qualified charities (those that are considered 501(c)(3) organizations by the Internal Revenue Service) can give you tax deductions – if you itemize deductions on your tax return. However, due to recent tax law changes, the standard deduction for 2018

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New Doctor Joins BMC Pulmonary and Critical Care Team
12:17PM / Wednesday, December 05, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems announces the appointment of Dr. David A. Oelberg, a board-certified and fellowship-trained pulmonologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Pulmonary Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Oelberg is accepting new patients in need of pulmonary and sleep medicine services, and is partnered with Drs. Hafez Alsmaan, Kashif Aslam, Cynthia Callahan, Julio Miranda, Michael Mortelliti and Jack Ringler at Pulmonary Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Oelberg is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care and sleep medicine. He received his medical degree from McGill University,

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Residents Unhappy With Mediation For GE River Cleanup
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Tim Gray, director of the Housatonic River Initiative, pushed for chemical and biological technologies to break down the PCBs in the river. LENOX, Mass. — Why is this even being negotiated?   That's what many of the residents along the Rest of the River corridor rhetorically asked Monday night in regards to the cleanup of PCBs in the Housatonic River.   Mediator John Bickerman has been brought in to help reach a compromise between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric regarding the final section of the river that needs to be cleaned up.   Bickerman led a public forum at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School on the matter in hopes to

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Berkshire Palate Opens in Williamstown
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Sweet potato with kale, dried fruit, brown butter and pecans.     WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It doesn't get much more local than Berkshire Palate, a family-run eatery that offers homegrown flavors.   Paul Brassard and his three sons Nolan, Aaron and Zach have had Berkshire Palate on the mind for some time now.   "Zach was making his own jams and spice rubs, so he was kind of outgrowing that," Paul said. "We always wanted a restaurant and once he went to culinary school then it went from 'it would be cool maybe someday' to 'when?'"    The Brassards looked at 13 locations but settled on 240A Main St. in the

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CHP Great Barrington Practice Wins Patient Experience Award
03:18PM / Monday, December 03, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs Great Barrington Health Center has been recognized by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners for excellence in the primary care patient experience, based on patient surveys.

The MHQP Patient Experience Awards is a new program introduced this year by MHQP, a nonprofit measurement and reporting organization that brings together providers, health plans and patients to improve the quality of patient care experiences in Massachusetts. MHQP conducts the only statewide survey of patient experience in primary care in Massachusetts, with feedback from more than 65,000 commercially-insured patients across the state.

Awards were given to the

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Paratransit Workers Vote Work Stoppage Over Contract
01:56PM / Monday, December 03, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The union representing paratransit drivers for the Paratransit Management of the Berkshires rejected a contract on Sunday, resulting in a work stoppage on Monday.   In a statement, the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority said the paratransit service will not operate during the strike.   "BRTA has subcontracted with other chaircar vendors to perform essential paratransit trips. BRTA will operate limited fixed route service during the strike," the statement reads.    Starting Tuesday, Dec. 4, the updated limited fixed route service bus schedule is below:   Route 1 will operate 6:30, 7:30, 9:00 and 10:00 morning runs and

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for December
09:10AM / Monday, December 03, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during December.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Clarksburg and Conway for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Last month's scheduled office hours in Clarksburg had to be postponed to December. Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 11 to 1, Clarksburg Town Hall at 111 River Road; Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 11 to noon, Conway Town Hall, 5 Academy Hill Road Wednesday, Dec. 12, noon to 1, Conway Town Offices, 32 Main St. All

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Common Folk Open Up Pop-Up Shop
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:10AM / Saturday, December 01, 2018

Some of the odds and endds that can be found at Common Folk's shop. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Common Folk Pop Up Shop is now open at the former Makers Mill space at 73 Main St.   Common Folk co-founder and creative director Jessica Sweeney said the artists' collective opened Phase 1 of their new headquarters on Small Business Saturday but have so much more planned for the new space.   "Phase 1 is complete and we are ready to open with retail, but we are really looking to do a lot more," she said.    Common Folk has been jumping around from location to location throughout its existence, which Sweeney said really did fit their nomadic nature.

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@theMarket: Markets Hope for Trade Breakthrough
By Bill Schmick,
05:13PM / Friday, November 30, 2018
This Saturday evening, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will sit down to dinner in Buenos Aires at the G-20 conference. Investors are holding their breath, hoping that the two might come to some agreement that could lower tensions and avert a full-out trade war between the U.S. and China.   Given past rhetoric and the president's mercurial temperament, anything could happen. Xi Jinping and his advisors, after years of dealing with Washington, believe if they just hang tough and wait Trump out, the outcome will be "business as usual" on their terms.   Unfortunately, Wall Street and the media have created another binary event out of the dinner. Either there is a

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