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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Lee High Graduates Told to 'Get Out There'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:04PM / Saturday, June 04, 2016

Valedictorian Emily P. Donovan challenged her classmates to lose sleep and take chances. See more photos here.

LENOX, Mass. — The 60 graduates of Lee High School couldn't miss the message on Saturday afternoon: Get out and do something.

"Lose sleep, take those chances, do memorable things that stay with you forever and let go of unimportant things," valedictorian Emily P. Donovan told them from the stage of the Shed at Tanglewood. "Let go of that AP test or 12 that you failed. Let go of that ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Let go of any mistakes you made along the way. Start this next chapter with a clean slate ...

"Go into the world filled with endless

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BArT 'Harvests' Hundredth Graduate
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:12PM / Saturday, June 04, 2016
ADAMS, Mass. — The "A" in BArT stands for "Arts."   But for a few moments at Saturday morning's commencement exercises, it sounded like the charter public school was an aggie school.   Assistant Principal and science teacher Miles Wheat picked just the right metaphor for the day.   "Gardening," Wheat said to the crowd gathered in the gymnasium at Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School. "There is something magical to me about watching a garden grow. I never get over the wonder of the harvest. It amazes me and humbles me every time."   Even though, as a biology teacher, he can explain to his students how plants

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Mount Everett Graduates Called on to Give Back to Community
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:34PM / Saturday, June 04, 2016

Valedictorian Justin Makuc called on his classmates to become responsible for others as their community had been for them. More photos later today.

LENOX, Mass. — Mount Everett Regional School's 56 graduates had the benefit of all the opportunities and guidance of the small school and it's supportive community.

Now it's time to build on that foundation, and give back.

That was theme at the school's graduation exercises on Saturday morning in Tanglewood's Shed.

"We owe thanks to all those who have gotten us this far, but we also owe them something more than that," said valedictorian Justin Makuc from the stage. "We have benefited greatly from

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BCC Grads Told Future May Be Murky But to Keep Moving
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:56PM / Friday, June 03, 2016

Sen. Benjamin Downing gives the commencement address at Tanglewood. More photos can be found here. LENOX, Mass. — Laura Forero thought she wanted to go into computer programming.   But one semester in at Berkshire Community College, she realized it wasn't for her. She finished up her classes and tried to figure out what to do instead.    "I realized that I did not see programming in my future. I realized this was not after all something I wanted to do. However, I did not see my decision as a failure. Instead I learned that I did not want to do something so it was kind of a success," Forero said.    The next semester she changed majors to

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Greylock Awards $6,500 in Scholarships to College-Bound Seniors
11:17AM / Friday, June 03, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has named 13 area college-bound high school students who each received $500 from the credit union’s “Treat Everyone Better Than They Expect” scholarship program.

The scholarships are presented to one community-minded senior class member from each Berkshire County high school.

“Greylock recognizes the importance of supporting the academic advancement and community involvement of Berkshire County students," Greylock President John L. Bissell said. "This year’s scholarship recipients exhibited admirable dedication to our community through volunteer service to their Berkshire County neighbors.

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'Love & Friendship': A Comedy of Manners & Manors
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:50PM / Thursday, June 02, 2016

I think it was because I was a sleepy little kid in grammar school who didn't appreciate the advantage of a good education that I didn't fully enjoy writer-director Whit Stillman's "Love & Friendship." I also blame that era, wherein I spent most of my classroom time drawing sketches of cars and baseball stadiums, for not really learning the times table past 8. Only the pocket calculator has saved me from financial ruin.

Yep, I hold that those years of foggy reverie, while doubtless a proving ground for creativity and idealistic wandering, denied me a certain cerebral software necessary to the conventional learning process. Hence, even though Stillman's

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Berkshire Tidbits: From the Top of Mount Greylock
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
03:32PM / Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Bascom Lodge, 413-743-1591, at the top of Mount Greylock in Adams will have its first musical evening of this year's season on Wednesday, June 1, at 6 in the Lodge lobby. This, as most events at the Lodge at the top of Mount Greylock, is free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary.

Quintessential, a local Berkshires all-male a cappella/without instrumental accompaniment quintet — tenors Al Thorp, Jay Wise and Jim McMenamy and bass/baritones Steve Dahlin and David Anderegg — will be new to the Lodge.

However, "the men are all veteran performers who have appeared with other local musical groups, including the Berkshire Bach Society, the Berkshire Concert

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Del Gallo Launches Bid For State Senate Seat
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:32AM / Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Rinaldo Del Gallo made his announcement in front of 35 or so supporters at Shire City Sanctuary. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jim Martin had his daughter taken away from him and he didn't have the money to fight for custody in the courts.

Rinaldo Del Gallo offered his legal services pro-bono and put more than 100 hours into the legal representation.

"He is more concerned about justice than he is money," Martin said on Tuesday when Del Gallo formally announced his campaign for the state Senate seat being vacated by Benjamin Downing.    Mark Delmyer has a similar story about Del Gallo helping to fight off developers looking to divvy up his family farm into

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Regionalization, Collaboration Focus of Adams-Anthony Talk
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:04AM / Wednesday, June 01, 2016

William Kolis, founder of the Adams Anthony Center, welcomes attendees to the latest issues talk sponsored by the center.

ADAMS, Mass. — A declining population and rising costs are pushing communities together to explore ways to share resources.

"We're going to have to look at how we maintain our way of life and continue the services that we need," said North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright at last week's Adams-Anthony Center talk on regionalization.

The talk was the lasted by the nonprofit organization, which brings together community and creative leaders to discuss various issues related to the Berkshires at the Adams Free Library. Last week, Alcombright was

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire United Way Hosts Day of Caring
01:55PM / Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Day of caring: Berkshire United Way held its 2016 Day of Caring on May 20. Day of Caring is the name United Way has used to represent volunteer engagement and community building.

In the past, Berkshire United Way Day of Caring initiatives have included the installation of Born Learning Trails at Muddy Brook Elementary School in Great Barrington, and Durant and Springside Parks in Pittsfield. To enhance literacy, volunteers have painted classrooms and held book drives in support of education. Volunteers also have cleaned the Housatonic River in Great Barrington, and held countywide forums with youth called “You First” to help them build aspirations.

At the heart of the 2016

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Biz Briefs: Greylock's Annual Shred Day Benefits Berkshire United Way
01:34PM / Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Shred it up: Greylock Federal Credit Union shredded over 5 tons of paper at its eighth annual Community Shred Day on May 21. The effort also raised $1,420 in donations for the Berkshire United Way. The credit union suggested a $1 donation per box from people looking to dispose of personal documents.

ProShred supplied two mobile shredding trucks featuring cameras inside the bin. People were able to watch their documents being shredded on the spot.

Millions of Americans have their identities stolen each year. Identity theft occurs when someone uses personally identifying information, like name, social security number, or credit card number, without permission, to commit fraud or other

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Lower Your Risk of Having Your Identity Stolen
01:02PM / Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Identity theft is a big problem. How big? Consider this: In 2015, about 13 million Americans were victimized, with a total fraud amount of $15 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.

That’s a lot of victims, and a lot of money. How can you protect yourself from becoming a statistic?

Here are a few suggestions:

* Secure your Social Security number. Identity thieves eagerly seek Social Security numbers — so don’t give out yours to anyone who asks for it. In fact, as a general rule, be reluctant to give it out at all. Always ask whomever you’re dealing with if he or she will accept another form of identification, or at the very least will take just

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