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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

'Hustlers': The Tacky Laps of Luxury
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:56PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Am I that naïve? I sat there aghast as some took in stride the vengeance being meted out by former strip club employees upon their predominantly Wall Street clients in director Lorene Scafaria's "Hustlers," a scathing dramatization of Jessica Pressler's New York Magazine expose.   Said financiers are assembly line-style drugged and then fleeced of their reputedly ill-gotten gains following the implied and sometimes more than implied promise of sexual favors. Point of disclosure: While not a regular habitué of such dens of iniquity back in the day, my fires of spring were not unsullied. So why the shock? Function of age? Advancing Fuddy-Duddyism?   For

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire Food Co-op One of Three Finalists for MassEcon Award
02:19PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
Economic Impact Award

Berkshire Food Co-op is one of three regional finalists to receive an Economic Impact Award from MassEcon. On Sept. 19, finalists will present one-minute pitches to a panel of judges and business leaders describing their growth in the commonwealth. Finalists compete on a regional basis in the West, Central, Southeast, Northeast and Great Boston areas. The winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October.

"Our mission has always been to support the health and well-being of our community and this expansion was a massive investment in that mission. This recognition from MassEcon represents a sweet moment for us, even as we continue the work of

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Narcan: A HOPE to Save Lives
By Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Guest Column
01:49PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
At the tail end of last year, I heard a story about a young man who had passed away of an opioid overdose. This story hit many nerves for me, in particular, because it involved a first responder who arrived on the scene while the young man was still alive, but was unable to take action to save his life because he was not carrying an opioid antagonist.   Opioid antagonists work by blocking receptors in the brain interacting with opioids causing the overdose and preventing the body from responding to them. The most common and easily accessible antagonist at this time is naloxone, usually referred to by its brand name, Narcan. We know that Narcan works and we credit it with saving

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Hinds Seeks Designs for Annual Holiday Card Contest
12:35PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School is in session and summer doesn't officially end until Sept. 23, but Team Hinds is thinking about the holidays.

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield) has sent packages to 57 schools across his Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District inviting students in grades three through six to participate in his annual Holiday Card Design Contest.

Each December, Hinds sends almost 1,000 greeting cards by mail to friends, family, colleagues and constituents. The winning design will be used as the cover art for his 2019 holiday greeting card. The student artist will be identified on the card, featured in the senator's media and social media

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MountainOne Announces Officer Promotions
11:55AM / Thursday, September 19, 2019

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne, a full service financial institution with offices in the Berkshires and Boston’s South Shore, has announced the promotions of 10 employees.

"We are happy to celebrate these individuals, and recognize their dedication, strong work ethic, accomplishments, and commitment to MountainOne," said Robert Fraser, MountainOne president and chief executive officer.

* Donna Bishop has been promoted to senior vice president, MountainOne Insurance, North Adams. Bishop oversees Personal and Commercial Insurance Operations, which involves the management of day to day service operations and insurance markets to create the highest level of efficiency

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Drury Class of 1951 Meets at Waubeeka Tavern
04:58PM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Drury High School Class of 1951 convened Wednesday for lunch at Tavern on 7 at Waubeeka Golf Links.   The group of graduates from the North Adams high school and their spouses and guests convenes monthly. They welcome anyone from the Drury class of 1951 to join them on Oct. 16 at noon at the 6' House Pub in Williamstown.   Jack and Joyce Brooks, Jeannette Brule, Carol Kelley, Herb and Donna Putnam, Gen and George Beckwith, Arlene Zappone, Richard Weld, Ray Piaggi, Janet and Dick Arick, Theresa King, Pat and Paul Gigliotti, Nola and Ivan Carli and Dan Skorcz (driver). 

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Ethics Commission Alleges Conflict Violations by West Stockbridge Chief
04:45PM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019
WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Enforcement Division of the State Ethics Commission on Wednesday filed an order to show cause alleging that West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput, a former Select Board member, committed multiple conflict-of-interest law violations, including setting stipends for himself, his daughter and his nephew; voting as a Select Board member to reappoint himself fire chief; and terminating a firefighter who had filed a complaint against him.   According to the order, shortly after Skorput was elected to the Select Board in 2013, a West Stockbridge official contacted the town's counsel about conflict-of-interest law exemptions available to Skorput

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'Voices for Recovery' Event Set for Saturday in North Adams
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A sign on the lawn of North Adams City Hall advertises the event.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The bracelet on Susan Cross' wrist says it all: "Stamp out stigma."

Cross showed her bracelet to Mayor Thomas Bernard on Tuesday afternoon as she and Bernard chatted about the upcoming Voices for Recovery walk and celebration, set for Saturday, Sept. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at Colegrove Park.

Cross is a prevention and recovery program associate with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition; joining her and Bernard at City Hall was Barb Reeves, a volunteer at the coalition's Beacon Recovery Community Center, which is officially hosting the sixth annual event for the first time

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Can 'AI' Help You Become a Better Investor?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
03:34PM / Tuesday, September 17, 2019

For the past several years, artificial intelligence – or AI – has increasingly found a place in many walks of life. Almost certainly, you use some form of AI, whether it's your time on social media, your use of mobile banking, the navigation system you rely on for directions, or any of the many other AI-driven applications relevant to your daily life. But AI has also become a significant part of the financial services industry. So, you might wonder if AI can help you become a better investor.

To begin with, what is AI? Essentially, it's the ability of a computer program or machine to think or learn. Using complex algorithms (a set of rules, or steps), computers and

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Berkshires Beat: Final 3rd Thursday of Season Features Walk a Mile Event
11:57AM / Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Walk a Mile

Upstreet Pittsfield's award-winning street festival, 3rd Thursdays, returns for the final event of the season on Thursday, Sept. 19, with the ninth annual Elizabeth Freeman Center Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. The largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, 3rd Thursdays are family friendly and open to all. North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from West Street to Linden Street and will be filled with music, performance, food and community activities.

The annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" will be the main attraction at September's Third Thursday festivities. People will once again sport women's footwear in an effort to stamp out

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Northern Berkshire Coalition Brainstorms Topics for Year
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires.com Staff
03:59AM / Monday, September 16, 2019

Jacob Schutz, assistant principal at Mount Greylock Regional School, speaks about keeping communication open between the community and its schools on Friday at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition first monthly forum.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition held its annual "needs assessment forum" on Friday to gather ideas for future forum topics.

But when the topics are narrowed down and announced, Executive Director Amber Besaw warned, the more than 100 people in the room on Friday shouldn't be surprised if they see ideas they hadn't heard mentioned in the room at The Green. That's because, for the first time, the Coalition held

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Distillers See Fertile Ground for Spirits in the Berkshires
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:02AM / Sunday, September 15, 2019

Matt Brogan and Katherine Hand began their cidery in a closet in Brooklyn; now they're setting up in the mill next to Riley. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two sets of artisan distillers from different parts of the county are setting up shop in a renovated mill along the so-called "Cultural Corridor."   Ryan Max Riley was looking for something different when he brought his rum distillery to Greylock Works from the high mountains of Colorado.   "None of this was even designed when I moved in," he said recently from his small space within the massive former textile mill.  "I had no idea what it would look like. But I trusted Sal and Karla ... I

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