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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Getting Your Snow Thrower Ready For Winter
Sponsored Content,
02:11PM / Thursday, September 21, 2017

HD Reynolds in Cheshire carries a full line ot Ariens snowblowers.

If you're like most of us, you probably used your snow thrower a lot last winter. But then, winter finally came to an end, and you could put your snow thrower away.

If you had fuel in the gas tank at that time and haven't thought about it since, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when you want to use it again.

Unless you used a fuel stabilizer that is specifically formulated to deal with the ethanol in today's gasoline, or drained the fuel tank and carburetor completely, your snow thrower may not start when you need it this winter. Today's gasoline tends to go stale fairly quickly.

To check your

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Health Alliance Offering Flu Vaccinations
03:37PM / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Public Health Alliance will offer flu vaccination clinics with no out-of-pocket charges around the county over the next month.

People should bring their insurance card(s) with them and wear short sleeves, or a shirt that has easily rolled-up sleeves.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends getting an annual flu vaccine as the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. In 2017, a study in Pediatrics was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccination also significantly

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Letter: Recovery in North Berkshire
Letters to the Editor,
03:00PM / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

To the Editor:

On Saturday, Sept. 23, the community is invited to come together to celebrate recovery from addiction and mental illness in our region at the Voices for Recovery Walk, Rally and Vigil. It will take place at Colegrove Park on Church Street in North Adams from 1-3:30 p.m. This event, organized by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, is part of a national observance of Recovery Month, a time to talk about and celebrate recovery.

Addiction, and the mental health issues that surround it, are challenges that many find hard to talk about and feel helpless to address. However, there are positive and affirming actions we can take to respond to the epidemic of

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HospiceCare Offers Several Grief Support Groups
01:34PM / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — HospiceCare in The Berkshires hosts monthly grief support groups around the county.

The loss of a loved one can be difficult and talking with others who have had a similar experience can help ease the burden. Call HospiceCare in The Berkshires at 413-443-2994 for information.

A grief support group for those who have lost a child before the age of 25 meets Monday, Oct. 2, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at HCIB's main office, 877 South Street in Pittsfield. "Grieving the Death of a Child" is a drop-in group that is free and open to the public.

Also, a monthly grief support group meets at Fairview Hospital, 29 Lewis Ave., in Great Barrington. The drop-in group

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SVMC Seeks Hospital Artifacts, Personal Histories as Hospital Turns 100
01:13PM / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

BENNINGTON, Vt. — A handwritten letter describing a hospital stay. A nursing school graduation program. A photo taken of employees celebrating a retirement. Nothing communicates history like stories, photos, and objects from the time.

As Southwestern Vermont Health Care prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2018, its art and archives department is seeking photographs, memorabilia, medically related antiques, and even patients, long-time employees, and their family members to help document the health system's history.

"We are looking for people who were born here or worked here in the early days and who can share interesting stories and memories or objects from that

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Five Tips for Women Business Owners
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:58AM / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Women are an integral part of the workforce, but they have had to overcome many obstacles along the way. Of course, challenges still remain, but women's success in the working world is worth commemorating – which will happen on American Business Women's Day on Sept. 22. Are you a woman considering "setting up shop"on your own? If so, here are five tips to consider:

* Balance your goals. It's possible – perhaps even likely – that your business goals will conflict with your personal financial goals. After all, if you’re purchasing new equipment or services for your business, you've got less money – at least for the time being –

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Letter: Rockwell Paintings Hold Special Meaning for Local Scouts
Letters to the Editor,
08:00PM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To the Editor:

As a lifelong Berkshire County resident and a multi-year Boy Scout leader, I am appalled by the Berkshire Museum's plans to auction off the best of their art collection, including two original Rockwells, gifted by the artist himself.

Scouts were a favorite subject of Rockwell's, and for decades he contributed to the annual Boy Scout calendar. He used local scout models as subjects, including my own niece. This topic hits home for me on many levels.

Over the years, I went on many all age Scout Fun museum day trips. This was an obvious destination for Scouts, and because of it's multi faceted programming and exhibits, they were able to fulfill the requirements

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Guest Column: Why Are Smoke-Free Homes So Important?
, Guest Column
07:00PM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Secondhand smoke comes from a lit tobacco product, like a cigarette, cigar or pipe — and it's not just a nuisance — it's a health hazard and it's dangerous. 

Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and poisons, and at least 50 of these are known to cause cancer. It stays in clothing, hair, furniture, curtains, and carpets even after a cigarette is put out and can harm people who come in contact with it, especially children. Keeping your home smoke free is important to ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, guests, neighbors, and even your pets.

Secondhand smoke is dangerous, even if you can't smell it. Opening a window, sitting in a separate

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Education Task Force Keeps Focus on Creating Opportunities for Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force on Saturday pressed forward less than 48 hours after one school district voted to step back from its participation in the effort.   The committee had a full agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting at Nessacus Middle School, but Thursday's decision from the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee to withdraw from the task force colored the conversation.   Chairman John Hockridge opened the meeting by addressing the vote head on.   "I just wished they'd put off the discussion for one more meeting to give us the opportunity to tell them where we're coming from," Hockridge said of the

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Healey Told Resources Lacking to Combat Opioid Epidemic
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:20PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Paul Hickling of the Brien Center talks about his organization's initiatives, including a new recovery center for new mothers. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Northern Berkshire has been knitting together a wide array of agencies and organizations to combat an opioid epidemic that's devastated communities. Its leaders, including Mayor Richard Alcombright, have played a prominent role in working groups both regionally and statewide addressing addiction and recovery.    But while the partnerships are strong, a lack of resources has left this fragile safety net overwhelmed and with too many gaps for those seeking help to fall through.    "You need help and

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Biz Briefs: Wild Oats Introduces Co-op Cash for Class Program
02:21PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Cashing in: Wild Oats Market, a cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store, bakery and cafe in Williamstown, has unveiled Co-op Cash for Class, a new program aimed at raising money for local schools. To participate in the program, schools must register online. They can then download a customizable flyer to share with parents and students encouraging them to enroll.

It is even easier for parents to participate. Families simply register online and designate up to two schools. As soon as they sign up they will immediately begin to earn points each time they shop. There are no receipts to deal with and every purchase counts. The more families that participate and shop, the more money

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Berkshires Beat: CATA Artists on Display at Pittsfield Guido's
12:23PM / Monday, September 18, 2017

Touring art: Community Access to the Arts will exhibit at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield as part of ​CATA's "Art on Tour" gallery series. The exhibit, featuring artwork created by Pittsfield-based CATA artists with disabilities, runs through Oct. 31, with a public reception on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The curated exhibit includes a variety of stylistic expression and techniques in water-based media, such as watercolor, tempera and ink, and feature both abstract and representational work. All works in the exhibit are professionally matted and framed, and all pieces are for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists. The

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