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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

North Adams Native Writes Financial Self-Help Book
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
11:38AM / Saturday, September 30, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — City native and Drury graduate Catie Hogan hopes to empower and nudge millennials toward adulthood with her new book "The Millennial's Guide to Getting Your Sh*t Together."   Hogan, a financial planner and published comedy and satire writer now living in Atlanta, said the bulk of her collection of essays was inspired by her own struggles navigating the post-college world.    "Less than a decade ago I was drowning in student loans, had no idea what to do with my life and was consistently dating people who were wrong for me," she said. "I started reading a ton of personal finance and self-help books and eventually got my

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Judge Denies BMC's Request To Halt Strike
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:19PM / Friday, September 29, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A federal judge has denied Berkshire Medical Center's request for a temporary injunction to halt the one-day strike planned Tuesday by the nursing union.   The hospital had filed an emergency motion requesting the federal courts to put a stop to the strike. The hospital alleged that the Massachusetts Nurses Association did not follow the proper grievance process as outlined in the contract. It asked for a temporary injunction.   On Friday, Judge Mark G. Mastroianni denied that emergency request after a hearing in U.S. District Court in Springfield. The nurses plan to go ahead with the one-day strike on Tuesday.   "We are disappointed that it

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Jacob's Pillow Offers Year-Round Programming Through May
01:01PM / Friday, September 29, 2017

BECKET, Mass. — After celebrating its record-breaking 85th anniversary season, Jacob's Pillow announces new, expanded fall, winter and spring programming as a main component of Vision '22, a strategic approach to the Pillow's transformation into a year-round center for dance research and development and a civic partner in our region.

Highlights include the launch of the Pillow Lab and the In Process Series, a series of 12 customized artist residencies open to an intimate, invited audience; year-round events consisting of convenings, social dances, Pillow Pop-Up performances and community programming; and co-presentations with Berkshire County cultural partners including

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MCLA Announces Distinguished Alumni Awards
12:46PM / Friday, September 29, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts announces that this year's Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to Jamal Ahamad '11, Wayne A. Soares '89, Susan A. Bell '97, Russell J. Pearce '60, Daniel J. Trombley '90 and Ellen L. Kennedy '83, who were honored at an awards ceremony as part of MCLA's annual reunion weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Ahamad received the Young Alumnus Award, which is presented to the individual who, within 10 years of their MCLA commencement, has shown significant growth in their chosen profession and/or career path, received recognition as an emerging leader through professional and/or community achievements,

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Gonzalez Looks to Bring Aggressive Agenda to Governor's Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

The Needham Democrat stopped at Dottie's for coffee and conversations. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jay Gonzalez sees a lack of leadership coming from the governor's office.   The Needham Democrat says when it comes to transportation, health care, and early childhood education, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is happy with "the status quo."   "He's way too satisfied with the status quo. He is too often on the sidelines when he should be fighting for people. I think his approach to the job has been one where he basically looks at what we have and where we are and is trying to just do the best with what we have as opposed to figuring out where we need to

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Grant Helps Spread the 'Bee Friendly Williamstown' Buzz
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town has received a $9,120 grant from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell to further its efforts to become "Bee Friendly Williamstown."

Last May, Williamstown residents approved a non-binding resolution declaring the town a pollinator-friendly community. The resolution seeks to change residential and institutional landscaping practices by promoting ways to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides that scientists believe are killing bee populations.

Building on that, the town has partnered with several local organizations - Caretaker Farm, the Clark Art Institute, Images Cinema, Sam and Elizabeth Smith,

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Panel Explores Big Challenges Facing Local Education System
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Friday, September 29, 2017

The forum was moderated by NAACP President Dennis Powell and included Alicia Costa from Working Cities, Brendan Sheran from Pittsfield High School, Andrea Wadsworth from the Lee School Committee, and William Cameron, the former superintendent of the Central Berkshire Regional School District. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Education advocates have identified some major issues facing the future of the county's public school system in health insurance, private educational institutions, transportation, funding, and population.    On Thursday, Jobs with Justice held a forum to bring those issues to the forefront, hoping to build momentum behind solving the problems.   The

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Letter: Suicide Prevention Walk Set in Adams
04:00PM / Thursday, September 28, 2017

To the Editor:

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34; it is the only leading cause of death to have increased every year of the past decade. (Statistics provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

Members of the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention Board (BCSP) recently met with a group of youths to talk about the risks to the emotional and mental health of young people exposed to deliberately cruel posts on social media. We discussed how forums intended to foster communication can be used to bully others, and how victims of cyber bullying can feel increased isolation and anxiety and experience low

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'Brad's Status': What's It All About, Alfie?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
02:31PM / Thursday, September 28, 2017
In "Brad's Status," Brad Sloan nearly drives us crazy with his unremitting regret and self-doubt as he accompanies his son, Troy, played by Austin Abrams, to look at colleges in Boston. Oh, we all do it. That's how we keep score. It's just that Brad, portrayed by Ben Stiller, is especially effective in showing us how unattractive this practice seems if not kept in check. Still, we are compelled to commiserate, appreciating that Stiller's imaging of the neurotic, 21st century everyman adds an insightful chapter to the human comedy.   Written and directed by Mike White, Brad's travail is entertaining in that alternately painful and bittersweet way, when

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New York/Berkshire Rail Group Begins Research Into Passenger Service
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:44PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The working group is looking for ways to bring seasonal weekend rail service between NYC and the Berkshires. LENOX, Mass. — The working group looking to develop New York-to-Pittsfield passenger rail is beginning a deep dive into collating data and reaching out to possible stakeholders.   The initial focus will be on local connections, market potential, and railroad capacity issues as the group prepares a report to be delivered to the Legislature in March.    "It's an exciting charge that we have before us," said state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, who is spearheading the project and authored the legislation directing it. "The highlights are

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Health Matters: The Hidden Benefits of Local Food
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12:03PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Farmers market displays are colorful and eye-catching.

Some local food enthusiasts have called September "the best food month." All of the summer's produce — tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and sweet corn — is still available locally, and the fall vegetables, like squash and parsnips, are coming ready too.

If you are not accustomed to shopping at a farmers market, it is a great time to check it out. What you'll find there — in addition to the festival atmosphere, friendly neighbors, live music and delicious ready-made ethnic foods — are conditions that make it easier to eat healthfully.

As you enter the market you will notice the beauty

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Biz Briefs: Citizens for a Greater Bennington to Support the Putnam Block Project
11:23AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Around the block: The Citizens for a Greater Bennington, in partnership with Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, are giving a $100,000 grant to support the Putnam Block Redevelopment Project. The CFGB Grant will be made through the Southwestern Vermont Hospital Foundation and will leverage an additional $100,000 contribution from the Bank of Bennington.

The Putnam Block Project is a vibrant, mixed-use downtown space with offices, in-town living, restaurants and retail.  The Putnam Block Redevelopment is a community-led development. The civic leaders of Bennington together with the town, state and key tenants are providing the investments and

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