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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: McCann Brings Home Medals, Bus Changes, Boats and Photos Sought
11:07AM / Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Excellent skills: McCann Technical School has announced the medalists of the National SkillsUSA Championship held in Louisville, Ky., during the week of June 20-24. More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students, all state gold winners, competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

The following students were awarded gold medals at the state competition and competed at the National Level: Elizabeth Church, Dental Assisting; Emily Shanley, Technical Computer; Maria Deblois, Customer Service; and Charlie Bohl III, Noah Curran and Tanner Parrino, Automated Manufacturing Technology.

More than 2,500 participants competed at the state level in


Northern Berkshire United Way Names New Executive Director
10:51AM / Tuesday, July 12, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire United Way Board of Directors has named Christa Collier as its new executive director.

Collier replaces interim director, Gerald Desmarais, who took over at the end of June. Desmarais took the temporary post after the resignation offormer NBUW Executive Director Joseph McGovern, who in June accepted a new position as executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Collier received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Southern Vermont College and her master’s degree in communications and information management with a concentration in nonprofit management from Bay Path

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Miss Hallís School Announces Headís List, Honor Roll
10:42AM / Tuesday, July 12, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall’s School has announced 40 local students among the 112 girls schoolwide named to the Head’s List and Honor Roll for the second semester, which ended June 1.

For Head’s List recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 92, with no single grade below B-plus.

For Honor Roll recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 86, with no single grade below B-minus.


Head's List

Grade 12: Amelia Biancolo, of Dalton; Rachel Campoli, Dalton; Emily Pulver, Canaan, N.Y.; and Sarah Willson,


Competitive Course Record Set in Mass Am at Taconic Golf Club
Massachusetts Golf Association,
08:12PM / Monday, July 11, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.  — It didn’t take long for memories to be made and records to be broken at the 108th Massachusetts Amateur Championship.   During round one of the Massachusetts Golf Association’s marquee amateur event, Jake Shuman (Blue Hill CC) fired a competitive course record score of 7-under par 64 to set the pace at Taconic Golf Club.   Shuman, a rising junior at Duke University, carded seven birdies and zero bogies on Monday to post a score that is three strokes better than the course record previously held by Bill Hadden and set during the 2016 club championship.   “Controlling the trajectory and distance is huge on these greens,”


To Go Solar Or Not To Go Solar?
Presented by Greylock Insurance, Sponsored Content
03:37PM / Monday, July 11, 2016

In a highly unexpected move, the federal government pre-emptively extended the 30 percent investment tax credit for installing a solar PV (photovoltaic) system. This enticing credit was actually due to expire at the end of this year but is now available to homeowners through the end of 2018. While there are approximately 16,000 homes in Massachusetts today that have solar panels, with this exciting news, the number is expected to double in just a few years.

Does the growing popularity of solar and the appealing investment credit mean that you should install solar panels on your home?

Greylock Insurance, your Berkshire neighborhood agency, is here to help you assess this tricky


@theMarket: Historical Low-Interest Rates Prop Up Equities
By Bill Schmick,
09:26AM / Sunday, July 10, 2016

There was a time when soaring bond prices and correspondingly lower interest rates were a bad sign for the stock market and the economy. Thanks to worldwide central banks, that correlation no longer exists, or does it?

Current wisdom on Wall Street will tell you that interest rates are at historical lows because investors are hunting for yield. And it just so happens that the U.S. bond market still offers the highest return on your money. That's not hard to understand if you realize that most developed nations' treasury bonds are yielding far less than ours thanks to central bank manipulation.

Gold, on the other hand, continues to rise, racking up a 30 percent gain so far this


'The Legend of Tarzan': Doesn't Monkey Around
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:00PM / Saturday, July 09, 2016

David Yates, director of several "Harry Potter" films, does a respectable job of both preserving and translating for contemporary tastes "The Legend of Tarzan." Although a tad methodical, its high-minded social conscience, solid acting performances and scintillating integration of special effects make up for its occasionally slow pace.

Alexander Skarsgard, handsome, built to rumble and adept at varying grimaces, is a fine King of the Jungle ... an extraordinary presence who can illustriously switch from human to ape mode whenever the survival instinct deems necessary.

This latest permutation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' literary hero can glide through the trees with


Flying Cloud Instituteís Executive Director to Step Down at Yearís End
07:26PM / Friday, July 08, 2016

NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass.— Flying Cloud Institute has announced that Jane Burke will step down as executive director at the end of 2016 after 32 years in that role.

As Flying Cloud’s founder and first executive director, Burke has overseen the organization’s growth from an inventive experiment on a family farm in New Marlborough to a highly respected and effective educational force reaching more than 3,500 young people and hundreds of teachers through science and arts programs in schools and through other local partners throughout Berkshire County.

“Flying Cloud is thriving as never before,” said Amy Rudnick, chair of the board of directors. “With Jane as


Superior Court Briefs: June 27 - July 7
Staff Reports,
12:59PM / Friday, July 08, 2016
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Monday, June 27.   Dale Crittelli, 36, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.   He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on May 6, 2016.   Kristina Crittelli, 32, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.   She was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on May 6, 2016.   Gavin Mahar,


Free Summer Movies All Around the County
11:17AM / Friday, July 08, 2016

Summer is the time to kick back on the grass and watch an outdoor film. Series in Pittsfield and Williamstown start this weekend, and the annual Movies Under the Stars in Adams starts on July 22.

In Pittsfield, “Movies at the Park” will be offered Friday evenings, from July 8 through July 29, beginning at dusk at Clapp Park on West Housatonic Street opening with "Minions." The rest of the movies to be shown are "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" on July 15, "Inside Out: on July 22 and "Hotel Transylvania 2" on July 29.

Rain dates are Aug. 5 and 12 only if one of the previous movies is cancelled due to weather. “Movies at the Park” are


Berkshire Tidbits: Community Celebration, Co-Op Specials
By Judith Lerner, Special to
10:28AM / Friday, July 08, 2016

This Saturday, July 9, the towns of Becket and Washington will be holding a community fair, their Hilltown Brouhaha, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in various locations around the center of North Becket Village in the elbow of Route 8.

All the towns' hidden treasures will show themselves for the benefit of the community.

There will be food samplings from Dream Away Lodge and cooking demonstrations by Kushi Institute. Jacob's Pillow will present a dance performance, fairy houses will appear and there will be a book sale. Becket Arts Center and Athenaeum will have a silent auction.

Bowie the Magic Clown will be there and Smokey Bear, as well. Artisans, crafters and other vendors will sell


Ciccolo Pleads Innocent to Terror Charges
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:24PM / Thursday, July 07, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — An Adams man facing two terrorism-related charges pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court on Thursday afternoon.

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, was arraigned on several charges leveled in a superseding indictment released last week by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.   To each count, Ciccolo answered in a loud, clear voice, “not guilty,” in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson.   After the 15-minute hearing, Ciccolo’s attorney declined to speculate about the possibility of a plea bargain on the charges, which include accusations that he attempted to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and attempted


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