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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Challenger Amatul-Wadud Dismisses Neal's Seniority Argument
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:37AM / Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A crowd of about 50 or so attended the Indivisible Pittsfield meeting at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Monday evening. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tahirah Amatul-Wadud doesn't put too much stock in U.S. Rep. Richard Neal's seniority.   The talk around the sitting congressman is that if the House of Representatives turns in favor of the Democrats, then he'd be elected the chairman the Ways and Means Committee. The Springfield Democrat is currently the ranking member on that committee.   Amatul-Wadud is challenging Neal for the 1st Massachusetts District seat in the Democratic primary.   She says the district wouldn't be seeing anything special happen if he was

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Lee Community Tennis Hosts Spring Break Youth Tournament
05:37PM / Monday, April 09, 2018
LEE, Mass. -- The Lee Community Tennis Association will host a youth tennis tournament April 19 and 20 at the Lee Middle and High School courts.   Open to all players ages 10-18, the Spring Break Tournament will use a “team tennis” format which has co-ed teams compete in singles and doubles contests.   Players can form their own teams of at least two boys and two girls or join individually and be placed on a team. Register online at leecta.com.    The cost of the tournament is $20 for both days. Scholarships are available if needed.

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03:15PM / Monday, April 09, 2018

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iBerkshires.com is ready to grow again but we need some help from our readers.

If you like us, you can help support the work we're doing for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

What began 18 years ago as a community billboard has now become the go-to news source for the Berkshires.

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We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires, community events, parades. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about the pivotal events that can affect their communities and their lives.

We do it because we feel it is our

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Bank Pays Veteran's Mortgage for One Year
01:45PM / Monday, April 09, 2018
How exciting

Keith Cosimini of West Springfield, Mass., was the winner of the Berkshire Bank Exciting Rewind Mortgage Giveaway for veterans. Cosimini spent much of his career as an Army specialist. As the winner, he will be awarded $12,000 to pay his mortgage for the year. The giveaway was extended to active military members and eligible veterans, serving as an extension of the dedication of Berkshire Bank to the servicemen and servicewomen of our country.
 
When asked of how he felt about winning the Exciting Rewind giveaway, Cosimini said, "I couldn't believe that I won when I got the call. I had recently opened an account with Berkshire Bank and saw the contest on

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire OLLI Set to Kick Off Spring Semester
01:16PM / Monday, April 09, 2018
Lifelong learning

OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, offers almost two dozen varied courses this spring throughout the Berkshires. With no tests, no grades, and no prerequisites, OLLI classes are designed for those who enjoy learning, meeting interesting new people and exploring the Berkshire and beyond. To register for classes, call 413-236-2190 or go online. OLLI courses are designed especially by and for people 50 years and older, but everyone is invited to join and attend.

Weekly classes are held in Pittsfield, Lenox, Great Barrington and Williamstown this semester. Highlights include:

* The Fight to Vote: Kit Dobelle, former White House Chief

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Court Ruling Paves Way For Berkshire Museum Art Sale
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:37PM / Friday, April 06, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum can proceed with its planned sale of some 40 pieces of art after a Supreme Judicial Court ruling Thursday.   The ruling affirms the agreement the museum had reached with Attorney General Maura Healey in February which includes allowing the museum to sell Norman Rockwell's Shuffleton's Barbershop, provided it remains on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum for 18 months. That agreement allows the art sale to proceed but only until the museum hits $55 million.   The museum is seeking to sell the artwork at auction through Sotheby's and raise some $55 million to reinvest. The museum had been financially struggling and looks

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@theMarket: The Trump Trade Bluff
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Friday, April 06, 2018
This week, our fearless leader upped the ante on the tariff tiff with China. It went like this: Trump announced his list. China announced theirs. And at the end of the week, the president sees them one better. Aside from the volatility, it is causing in the stock markets, not much besides headlines has been accomplished.   Are you seeing the pattern yet? Think back to Trump's schoolyard diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea. First, a furious exchange of tweets and name-calling between the two. That was followed by saber-rattling on both sides. More test missiles. Naval ships steaming toward the Peninsula. The media spent days explaining the "what ifs"

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'Step Up' Event Raises Awareness of Child Abuse in Berkshires
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:39PM / Friday, April 06, 2018

Others didn't think Kiersten Thomann would graduate high school after she got pregnant. But, she proved them wrong with the help of local parenting programs. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When Kiersten Thomann, a senior at McCann Tech, got pregnant, she heard what people were saying.   "People would say you can't do this, she ruined her life, she will never graduate," Thomann said.   "But I did do this. I am a great mom to my son. To me, having a baby at a young age meant my life had just begun. My son didn't take away my future. He gave me a new one."    She had quickly got in touch with Child Care of the Berkshires, which got her into

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'Isle of Dogs': Will Wag Your Tail
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:33PM / Friday, April 06, 2018
Writer-director Wes Anderson's often brilliant, stop-motion animated feature, "Isle of Dogs," about a 12-year-old boy's search for his lost pup, packs its humor-filled, sociopolitical wisdom into 101 entertaining minutes like hard ice cream jack-hammered into a pint carton. Lose concentration for a second and you'll miss a manifesto, a dictum, a theory and perhaps two or three mini-treatises on government. It soon becomes clear that the bulk of its pontifications will be gleaned not in the theater, but in the den via successive screenings over the years.   Thus the best tack to take, if you can, is to sit back, relax and enjoy this genre heir to "Animal

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Kids Place Holds Annual Benefit Race on Saturday
By Ashlyn Marcil, iBerkshires.com
11:48AM / Friday, April 06, 2018

The 5K race to benefit Kids' Place begins at 10 a.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Kids' Place will hold its annual Champions Against Child Abuse 5k and 1 Mile Color Fun Run on Saturday, April 7.

The 5K race begins at 10 a.m. at the Kids' Place offices at 63 Wendell Ave. Registration for the 5K is $25 for adults and $20 for children 15 and under. The 1 Mile Color Fun Run kicks off at 11 a.m. Registration for that event is $20 for adults and $15 for children between the ages of 5 and 15. Runners that want to participate in both events receive a $5 discount of both races combined ($40 for adults/$30 for children).

Laura Baran, the Development and Special Events

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Fallon Health Names Medical Director of Medicaid Programs, ACOs
11:22AM / Friday, April 06, 2018

WORCESTER, Mass. — Fallon Health, a mission-focused, community-based not-for-profit health care services organization, has appointed Dr. Linda Weinreb as medical director of its Medicaid programs and Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations.

A family physician with more than 25 years of experience directing clinical programs for, and conducting research with, vulnerable populations, Dr. Weinreb is a nationally recognized expert on the health and support needs of homeless families and the integration of behavioral health and primary care services for vulnerable populations. Dr. Weinreb has extensive expertise on the impact of social determinants on health and ways to address these

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The Independent Investor: Free Trade Vs. Fair Trade
By Bill Schmick,
04:50PM / Thursday, April 05, 2018
In today's world, talk of tariffs is part of daily news headlines. Politicians use terms like "free" and "fair" almost interchangeably in discussing trade to justify their position for or against tariffs. Maybe it's time to review the difference between the two concepts.   While they may sound similar, free trade and fair trade are often at opposite ends of the pole. Free trade is a world where the gloves are off. It allows international cut-throat competition where the marketplace can drive the cost of products way below the price where anyone can make any money. Free trade makes things cheaper including the money we earn to produce those goods.   Fair

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