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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Higher Ed Commissioner Santiago to Speak at BCC Commencement
Staff Reports,
02:47PM / Tuesday, April 04, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 57th commencement.   Santiago was appointed to his position by Gov. Charlie Baker in July 2015. Working with the Board of Higher Education, he is responsible for providing overall direction to public higher education in Massachusetts and helping shape state-level policies that maximize the benefits of higher education to the commonwealth and its citizens. Santiago joined the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in April 2013 as the senior deputy commissioner for academic affairs.   "On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and

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Medford Woman Killed in MassPike Accident
03:32PM / Monday, April 03, 2017
LEE, Mass. — A Medford woman died after a one-car crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike on Monday morning.   The accident, which occurred in the westbound lane near the 13.6 mile marker in Lee, was reported at 7:48 a.m.    Bernadette D. Murch, 53, the operator and only occupant of the vehicle, was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. She was pronounced dead a short time after arrival.   Preliminary investigation by Trooper Eric Bauman indicates that Murch's 2015 Fiat 500 was westbound in Lee when, for reasons still under investigation, the vehicle went off the right side of the road and rolled over.

The investigation is being conducted by state

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Biz Briefs: Two Pittsfield Businesses Get Help to Grow
02:23PM / Monday, April 03, 2017

There they grow: The city of Pittsfield has fully supported two local businesses, Modern Mold and Tool and Shire City Herbals, which were recently awarded tax incentives through the state's Economic Development Incentive Program to facilitate expansion projects in the city. The businesses were among 13 companies across the commonwealth that received tax incentives through the program. EDIP is designed to foster job creation and stimulate business growth; companies receive state and local tax incentives in exchange for job creation, manufacturing job retention and private investment commitments.

Modern Mold received $145,000 in investment tax credits toward a $3 million investment to

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Berkshires Beat: St. Stan's Sendings Soccer Balls, Legos to Haiti
01:34PM / Monday, April 03, 2017

To Haiti with love: Students in St. Stanislaus Kostka School in Adams presented soccer balls and Lego sets to Holly Palardy for children living in rural Haiti. Palardy is the assistant director of the Haiti Plunge, a mission founded by Sister Eunice Tassone through the Cote Center 30 years ago. Money for this gift was raised by the students during Catholic Schools Week, where daily activities are dedicated to one of the elements of Catholic schools - faith, service and knowledge.  

This year, during Vocations Day, Sister Eunice Tassone, a native of North Adams, spoke to students about her vocation and the Haitian Plunge Mission. At a school-wide presentation, she gave an overview of

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@theMarket: New Quarter, New Market
By Bill Schmick,
02:03PM / Saturday, April 01, 2017
As traders and institutions put to bed the first quarter, several concerns loom large in the weeks ahead. How things play out over that time period will have important implications for the averages, given that they are not far from their all-time, historical highs.   What will the Fed do in May? Will Washington pursue tax cuts and if so, will there be opposition?  What will first quarter earnings look like and how will markets react to all of the above? Let's look in my crystal ball, shall we?   Wall Street analysts expect corporate earnings to be higher by as much as 10-11 percent. That would be a big change from the recent past, where dismal guidance and feeble results

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Williamstown Teacher Honored by State Down Syndrome Congress
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:39PM / Friday, March 31, 2017

Frani Miceli's class participates in World Down Syndrome Day in honor of their classmate Cole by wearing crazy socks to school.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Williamstown Elementary School teacher has been named the Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.

Fifth-grade teacher Frani Miceli was nominated for the award by Steve and Donna Narey, whose son Cole has Down syndrome and has been with Miceli for both fourth and fifth grades. Miceli joined other award recipients as well as Principal Joelle Brookner and paraprofessional Kelly Galusha at a ceremony in Worcester on March 25.

"One of the reasons the kids in Cole's class are so wonderful to him and

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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award Given to Choreographer
01:20PM / Friday, March 31, 2017

BECKET, Mass. — The 2017 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, a prestigious honor that carries a $25,000 cash prize, will be presented to choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker Liz Lerman in acknowledgement of her vision and outstanding contributions to the dance field.  

Long ago dubbed the "Democrat of Dance" by Alan M. Kriegsman of The Washington Post, Lerman's extraordinary career of the past four decades includes a wide range of groundbreaking work. Established in 2007, the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award's previous recipients include the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham; MacArthur Fellows Michelle Dorrance and Kyle Abraham; and

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Superior Court Briefs: March 20 - March 28
Staff Reports,
09:50AM / Friday, March 31, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, March 20.   Riley Nolan, 23, of Clarksburg pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of cocaine, and possession of diazepam.   He was ordered to serve concurrent one-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of heroin and conspiracy charges. He was placed on one-year probation on the others.   The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on October 5, 2016.   Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 21.   Eric Hunt, 51, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of

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Living together is not what it used to be
By Bill Schmick,
05:33PM / Thursday, March 30, 2017
Times are changing. Over 12 million Americans now "live in sin," as my parents would say, and their numbers are increasing every year. As long as they remain together, everything is copacetic, but what happens when they break up?   Thanks to the economy, demographics, and life-style choices, young couples today are living together and having children despite their unmarried status. In my own family, my niece is pregnant, unmarried, and has no intentions of tying the knot. Although her partner is the love of her life, they have decided (for now) to keep it that way.   And in today's economy, there may be a lot of good reasons not to get married. Number one among them

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'Life': No Bowl of Cherries
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:22PM / Thursday, March 30, 2017

I'm tempted to give away the ending of director Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an extremely tense but run-of-the-mill outer space adventure that was heading for an only so-so rating even before its curiously misanthropic finish. I'd be doing you a favor.

Sure to be shocked, the viewer is left wondering why Espinosa, working from a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, would paint such a depressing conclusion. You mean that's it? That's where we're headed? Well then, let me kill myself now. Even Schopenhauer, the granddaddy of pessimism, would be depressed.

Unable to recall another film that imploded so devastatingly in the last two minutes, canceling out

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Teach Your Children Well … About Finances and Investing
11:04AM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017

High debt levels … lack of savings … the inability to budget – these problems all have several causes, but one of them is almost certainly financial illiteracy. Too many of us just never developed the money management skills necessary to cope with our complicated – and expensive – world. But if you have young children, you can teach them some money-smart lessons – and who knows? You could use the opportunity to give yourself a few valuable reminders, too.

Here are some suggestions for a financial "curriculum":

* Save for a goal. In our highly commercialized culture, it's almost inevitable that your children will eventually become

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Berkshire United High School Rugby Seeks Players
09:22AM / Wednesday, March 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Berkshire United High School Rugby Club is seeking new players for the 2017 season.   No experience is necessary. Berkshire United practices Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Osceola Park in Pittsfield.   Berkshire United has both high school girls and boys teams and needs 15 new players for the each team this spring.   Players must be in high school grades 9-12. Berkshire United High School Rugby Club has been comprised of players from Monument Mountain, Taconic, Pittsfield High, Mount Everett, Wahconah, Mount Greylock, Drury and Hoosac Valley.   Players from all Berkshire County schools are welcome.   Berkshire United

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