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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: Jeweler, Health Food Store Open in Lee Outlets
03:32PM / Monday, November 21, 2016

Prime additions: Jewelry retailer Kay Jewelers Outlet and GNC are now open at Lee Premium Outlets in Lee, Mass., just in time for Black Friday and the busy holiday shopping season.

Kay Jewelers Outlet ensures that every diamond is hand-selected to be of the highest quality and is well-matched to one another in a beautiful piece of jewelry. Because Kay Jewelers import more diamonds than any other company in the United States, they can offer the largest and finest diamond selection at the best price. For the fitness buffs and health nuts, GNC is open and offers vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements, health and beauty items, sports nutrition and weight loss products, as well as nutrition

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Cook Safely This Holiday Season
02:56PM / Monday, November 21, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — As Thanksgiving approaches, Chief Charles Burger and the Great Barrington Fire Department remind residents to use caution as they cook over the holidays.

"Kitchens can be chaotic - especially when full of people or family members who are not familiar with where everything is or where everything goes," Burger said. "Please pay attention to the small things, like what's in the oven and what kinds of oil you're using at certain temperatures. These details are crucial in preventing fires."

Great Barrington Fire has responded to multiple fires caused by holiday cooking over the past several years.

According to the Massachusetts

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Berkshires Beat: Habitat Seeks Decorated Trees for Holiday Walk Showcase
12:05PM / Monday, November 21, 2016

Treeing off: Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity will hold its annual Christmas Tree Showcase at the First Congregational Church on Main Street in Williamstown on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 2 to 6 p.m., as part of the annual Williamstown Holiday Walk.
 
Members of the community, schools, churches, local businesses and community organizations are invited to purchase miniature artificial trees for $7 each to decorate and contribute to the showcase and raffle or for personal use. Trees may be purchased in Williamstown at St. John’s Church (church school entrance), 35 Park St.; First Congregational Church, 906 Main St.; Harsch Associate, 311 Main St.; Alton and Westall, 77 Water

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Carpenter Earns All-America Honor at Georgetown
iBerkshires.com Sports,
12:53AM / Monday, November 21, 2016
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Lenox Memorial graduate Scott Carpenter earned all-America recognition with a 10th place finish on Saturday at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.   Carpenter covered the 10-kilometer course in 30 minutes, 3 seconds to become the 11th runner in Georgetown history -- and the second in two years -- to finish in the top 10 at nationals.   His eight points helped the Hoyas finish 21st in the nation.   “Scott Carpenter stole the show today," Georgetown coach Brandon Bonsey said. "He has developed from a guy who few schools recruited out of high school into one of the best distance runners in Georgetown history. He saw what Jon

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BRPC Advocates for Investment in High-Speed Broadband
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:20AM / Friday, November 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Reliable high-speed broadband is critical to the county's economic competitiveness in the coming years.

That's the point the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is stressing in an eight-page letter to Gov. Charlie Baker and more than 15 state and local officials detailing the challenges and goals facing communities in this rural area.

"As a region that has struggled economically for forty-five years, and is increasingly reliant on entrepreneurs and sole-proprietors, who are often home-based and can be located anywhere, having full, future proof broadband available across the region is critical to our economic rebuilding and sustainability,"

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New Nonprofit Gives Expectant Moms Early Bundle of Joy
By Rebecca Dravis, Iberkshires.com Staff
01:06AM / Friday, November 18, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In a way, expectant mothers in Berkshire County owe some thanks to Donald Trump.

During the long presidential campaign, South Egremont resident Hinda Bodinger was feeling sad about the tone of the campaign, particularly in regards to inflammatory remarks about minorities and women. Not one just to sit back, Bodinger decided she had to do something.

"I really felt very strongly that I wanted to counteract that, at least in my community," she said. "If there was something I could do to counterbalance that, I wanted to do it."

What she ended up doing was conceiving an new nonprofit organization called Berkshire Baby Box. During an afternoon

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'Arrival': Quite a Trip
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:08PM / Thursday, November 17, 2016

You know how sometimes between sleep and consciousness you can tell the future? Well, good for you if you can; it doesn't happen to me, not anymore. I've been stuck in this reality mode since the 1960s ended. But, just in case you tune in, Dr. Leary, there's a fascinating variant of that "Twilight Zone"-like mind trip in director Denis Villeneuve's "Arrival," a tale of alien visitation with a tricky twist. It's the surprise answer to the brainteaser it never asks.

Otherwise, this rather solemn adventure, astutely crafted with the scientific method if not the élan that was evinced in "The Andromeda Strain" (1971), is your typical

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Guest Column: Massachusetts Stands For Civil Rights, Civil Liberties
By Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Guest Columnist
12:41PM / Thursday, November 17, 2016



Over the last week, I have heard many heart-wrenching stories about children and adults expressing their sadness and fear based on the results of the national election. It is natural to feel sad and disappointed when your candidate doesn't win. It is not typical, though, in our country, to feel fearful at the end of an election. But because of the repeated expression of bigoted views about women, racial minorities, people of both the Jewish and Muslim faiths, immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and people with disabilities, many people are fearful about the future.

While bigoted words and incivility in public discourse are out of line in and of themselves, the greater threat

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Festival of Trees Opens at Berkshire Museum
11:53AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Walk the red carpet like a movie star when "Now Playing: Festival of Trees 2016" opens at the Berkshire Museum on Friday, Nov. 18, with a festive premiere party.

Widely regarded as the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season in the Berkshires, the annual event will feature more than 100 dazzling decorated trees, bedecked in film world finery, reflecting this year's movie theme. The creative holiday trees are sponsored by businesses, schools, and community organizations in a true celebration of cinema, from film noir and sci-fi to action-adventure, Westerns, and animation.

The family-friendly premiere party runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov.

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Put Thanksgiving Lessons to Work in Your Financial Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:22AM / Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving is almost here. Over the years, this holiday has taken on a variety of meanings, most of them centered on family, caring and sharing.

You can carry these same values past Thanksgiving into your daily life – and you can certainly incorporate them into your financial strategies for taking care of your loved ones.

So, here are a few suggestions:

* Protect your family. If something were to happen to you, could your family pay the mortgage? Could your children still afford to go to college someday? To protect your family's current lifestyle and long-term goals, you may well need to maintain adequate life and disability insurance. Your employer may offer these types of

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Downing's Next Step Is Solar Energy Firm
04:43PM / Monday, November 14, 2016

Ben Downing will join a solar energy firm after leaving office.

BOSTON — Benjamin B. Downing, who has championed renewable energies during his 10 years in the state Senate, will join a solar energy company at the end of his term.

Nexamp Inc. announced on Monday that the Pittsfield Democrat, who did not stand for a sixth term, would be the solar contractor's new vice president of new market development.

"Ben's long history of public service will complement Nexamp's expert team of local development professionals," said Zaid Ashai, chief executive officer of Nexamp, in a statement. "He joins us at the most exciting juncture in our company's young

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Biz Briefs: Railway Museum Seeks Volunteers for Christmas Train Rides
02:29PM / Monday, November 14, 2016

Back on track: The 2016 season was Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum's first year "back on track" operating traditional train rides since December of 2011. A new train ride experience in the Hoosac Valley between North Adams and Adams enjoyed a very successful inaugural season. Winding down the 2016 operating season, BSRM has one final special event to present to the community: Christmas Train Rides featuring a visit from Santa Claus himself.

Volunteer help is needed in a few different places from routine summer operations. Experienced volunteers are placed in positions requiring skills, qualifications or certain levels of knowledge; however our Christmas trains are a great

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