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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Mid-Term Results Take Investor Focus Off Washington
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Thursday, November 08, 2018
True to form, the opposition party regained control of the House, while the ruling party, in this case the GOP, retained control of the Senate. If history is any guide, this means that little in the way of legislation will be coming out of Congress for the next two years.   In the past, investors and the stock market alike did better than you might expect under this kind of political paralysis. That's because financial markets abhor the unknown. Given the unpredictability of politics and legislation, investors are far more content with inaction than action, unless of course, those actions are favorable to the markets or the economy.   Take for example, the tax cut of 2018.

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BCC, MCLA Align Community Health Programs
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Thursday, November 08, 2018

Nicole Porther from MCLA said the need for trained community health professionals is growing as the population ages. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the population ages, there is a burgeoning need for community health educators.   Berkshire Community College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts have recognized that need and on Tuesday signed an articulation agreement to start training those professionals.   "There are career opportunities which are so critical to well-paid positions doing work people love. We are particularly proud of getting our side of this launch and being able to align it so well with what is happening at MCLA," said BCC President Ellen

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State Allocates $150K To Berkshires For Overflow Sheltering This Winter
Staff Reports,
01:35AM / Thursday, November 08, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state has allocated $150,000 to provide addition shelters for those in need this winter.   The Department of Housing and Community Development is providing the funds to ServiceNet to provide overflow sheltering. ServiceNet will subcontract with other organizations in the county including Soldier On in Pittsfield, Construct in Great Barrington, and the Lousison House in North Adams to serve the homeless population this winter.   "It is welcome news that the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development will continue to provide funding for the Winter Overflow Homeless Shelter beds. The continued support of DHCD, the Berkshire

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Leaving Your Job? What Should You Do With Your 401(k)?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:37PM / Wednesday, November 07, 2018

You've got a powerful retirement savings vehicle in your 401(k) plan, which offers various investment options and the chance to accumulate tax-deferred earnings. But if you leave your job before you retire, what should you do with your 401(k)?

You have several choices — and it’s important that you understand them, because your decision can greatly affect the resources you’ll ultimately have available during your retirement years. Here are the main options for dealing with your 401(k) from a previous employer:

* You could leave the money in the company's plan. Not all companies offer this option, but many do. If you like the investment choices available in your

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The Twists and Turns of the District Attorney's Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Andrea Harrington and her family the night of the primary. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was Thursday, March 1, 2018, when the body of a woman was found in a nearby wooded area. Hours later, District Attorney David Capeless sent a notice to media outlets that he had a "major announcement."   Television stations on the scene where the body was found quickly went to air telling the public that a major announcement was pending.   The media advisory didn't say much but given the timing, it was assumed by many that Capeless would release information regarding the homicide and many in the public were glued to social media waiting to see if it was the body of a woman

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Harrington Claims Victory in Berkshire District Attorney Race
Staff Reports,
10:16PM / Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Harrington's family joined her at the celebration party. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Andrea Harrington has turned back a write-in challenge to claim victory as Berkshire County district attorney.    While her opponent, Paul Caccaviello has not conceded, Harrington has opened up enough of a lead that her supporters feel confident that she will carry the day.    "I am truly humbled by this opportunity and I make a promise to the people here today and the people of this community that I will always work for the best interest of Berkshire County," Harrington said to supporters gathered at Tavern at the A to celebrate her victory.   Harrington has won

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Berkshire County Election 2018
Staff Reports,
04:51PM / Tuesday, November 06, 2018
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, just re-elected to his 13th term and his third representing the Berkshires, will become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in the next Congress. The Democrat is currently the ranking member and, with the Democratic takeover the House, is in position take command of the powerful committee.     State Elections   There were no surprises at the state level: Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito won another two-year term. Also re-elected were U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Secretary of State William Galvin,  Auditor Suzanne Bump, Attorney General Maura Healey and Treasurer Deborah

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Miss Hall's School Presents 'Decision Height'
03:28PM / Tuesday, November 06, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Miss Hall's School Theater Ensemble takes female empowerment to new levels with its upcoming production of "Decision Height," a dramatic story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) of World War II.

The show opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, followed by shows at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11. All performances will take place in the Woods Theater of the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center on the Miss Hall’s School campus. 

General admission is $10, and reservations are recommended. Senior citizen and handicapped-accessible seating is available. Tickets can be bought online; after 4 p.m. Nov. 9, call

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State Releasing Extra Funds to Help Rural Schools
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:41AM / Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said for years the state has been providing a 'one size fits all model' for funding and that is now changing with such programs as rural school aid. DALTON, Mass. — Rural schools will receive additional support this year after state Sen. Adam Hinds successfully secured a $1.5 million budget allocation for additional aid.   The budget line provides districts below certain incomes and density $100 extra per student. The sparsity aid program helps rural schools with funding struggles keep up with larger schools throughout the state.    "In a rural school our fixed costs are the

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Biz Briefs: Main Street Hospitality Branching Outside Massachusetts to Rhode Island
01:49PM / Monday, November 05, 2018
Main Street, Rhode Island

Main Street Hospitality Group, owners and operators of boutique hotels in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts that include the iconic Red Lion Inn, has been named as the management partner for the new Hammetts Wharf hotel development on the waterfront in Newport, R.I.  This marks the company's first step outside of Massachusetts as it pursues growth throughout the Northeast.

When completed in the spring of 2020, the $29 million development will include an 84-room boutique hotel to be managed by Main Street Hospitality, as well as a 4,000-square-foot restaurant and 3,000 square feet of retail space.  Developed by Peregrine Group LLC, Hammetts

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Berkshires Beat: Two Firefighters Join Great Barrington Force
12:31PM / Monday, November 05, 2018
New firefighters

Two Great Barrington firefighters have graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy's Call/Volunteer program. At the ceremony on Monday, Oct. 29, call firefighters Mike Bissaillon and Iovan DeRis graduated alongside call and volunteer firefighters from throughout Massachusetts.

The Call/Volunteer academy program is a rigorous 240-hour course that is held twice per week as well as most weekends over a four-month period at the academy's Springfield campus. Time is spent in the classroom and on the drill yard, where students acquire the basic knowledge and skills for firefighting. All of the training concludes with live firefighting in the burn building. Participants

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District Attorney Write-In Campaign Could Delay Results
By Tammy Daniels & Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, November 05, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There are only a few local races on the ballot Tuesday and their outcomes won't take too long to tally up. Except one.    It's possible that full results for the Berkshire County district attorney might not be known until Wednesday — or even Thursday.    The election for Berkshire district attorney has had plenty of twists and turns but the biggest has been the decision by second-place Democratic primary finisher Paul Caccaviello to mount a write-in campaign against the party's nominee Andrea Harrington.    Harrington's name is the only one on the ballot but there's always a spot on the ballot for a write-in

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