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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: The Biden Bounce
By Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Thursday, March 05, 2020
Super Tuesday surprised many investors. As the smoke cleared and the results came dribbling in, it became apparent that Joe Biden had risen from the dead. Wall Street celebrated by gaining over 4 percent in one day.   The market's performance says a lot about how investor's view the Democratic candidates. Taken as a group, Wall Street was not happy with where the Democratic candidates were heading. Last week, for example, I discussed Bernie Sander's election platform. The price tag alone ($50 trillion over 10 years) was enough to convince most Wall Streeters that the market and economy would be in for some really rough sledding if Bernie were to be elected.   Elizabeth


'The Invisible Man': More Than What Meets the Eye
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:30PM / Thursday, March 05, 2020
I inevitably ponder the same confounding question every time I review a horror move: Why would someone want to subject themselves to two hours of blood pressure-raising, heart-pounding, stomach-curdling and mind-distressing occurrences?    I then go on to explain that there are plenty of real, everyday circumstances from which to draw fear without paying handsomely for it at the Bijou. Things like the mortgage, a suspiciously weird neighbor who's doing gosh knows what, a bunch of looney, mendacious ne'er-do-wells helping themselves to the national treasure down in Foggy Bottom, and nowadays especially, the guy working in the diner who, after visiting the men's room,


Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for March
01:00PM / Thursday, March 05, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during March.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Huntington and North Adams on Wednesday, March 18, for this month's staff office hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  North Adams City Hall, 10 Main St. Stanton Hall, 24 Russell Road, Huntington

Appointments are not necessary but can be booked in advance by calling the Pittsfield office at 413-344-4561 or the Williamsburg office at 413-768-2373. These office hours provide an opportunity for those seeking assistance with state agencies or programs to


Officials Explain Steps Being Taken to Address Coronavirus
Staff Reports,
10:27PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Officials say Massachusetts is well positioned at this point at address any expansion in the state of Covid-19, a coronavirus that's killed more than 3,000 worldwide.

"Massachusetts remains at low risk and has had only one confirmed case to date so far," said Gov. Charlie Baker in a press briefing in Boston on Monday afternoon. "Our top priority remains the health and safety of our residents."   Appearing with Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Monica Bharel and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, the governor said the Department of Public Health has launched a website to apprise the public of news and updates on

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MCLA Spring Theatre Season Kicks Off With 'Topdog/Underdog'
05:01PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts theater program kicks off its spring season with Suzan-Lori Parks' "Topdog/Underdog."

The play will be directed by visiting guest artist Rodney Creech, with student John Archer-Harvey serving as assistant director.

"Topdog/Underdog" opens on Friday, March 6, with additional shows on March 7, 10, 11, and 12. All performances begin at 8 p.m. There will be additional matinee performances at 2 p.m. on March 7 and 8. A talk-back with Creech and the cast will be held after the March 8 matinee performance. General admission tickets are $15.

The play explores the lives of two brothers, Lincoln and


Physical Therapy Assistant Joins CHP
04:05PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has expanded its physical therapy staff in Great Barrington with the addition of Jennifer Valente.

A licensed physical therapist assistant, Valente worked most recently at Berkshire Rehabilitation Skilled Care Center and the Farmington River School. She also works as a tutor and lab assistant in the physical therapist assistant program at Berkshire Community College.

She earned her associate degree in physical therapist assistant at Berkshire Community College, and received clinical training at Baystate Neurological Rehabilitation, Columbia Memorial Rehabilitation and Genesis Rehabilitation at Hillcrest Commons in


Massachusetts, Vermont Vote in Presidential Primary Tuesday
03:15PM / Monday, March 02, 2020
Voters in Massachusetts and Vermont will finally get their chance to weigh in on the candidates running for party nominations for president.    They'll have a long list of candidates to chose from on the Democratic side but recent events have whittled active campaigns down to just five.   As of Monday afternoon, only former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts' own U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren are still in it to win. In Vermont, the Democratic candidates also include Mark Stewart of Farmington, Conn.   The number of failed campaigns is much


West Stockbridge Fire Chief Pays $5,000 for Violating Conflict of Interest Law
02:59PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. -— West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput, a former Select Board member, has paid $5,000 to settle accusations that he violated the state's conflict of interest law.

The State Ethics Commission has accepted Skorput’s payment of a $5,000 civil penalty and dismissed the adjudicatory proceeding against him.

The charges stem from Skorput continuing to serve as fire chief after his election to the Select Board; deciding payment amounts for himself, his daughter and his nephew; voting as a Select Board member to reappoint himself fire chief; terminating a firefighter who had filed a complaint against him; and through other actions, according to a news


Berkshire Theatre Group to Hold Auditions for 'Peter Pan'
12:20PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Theatre Group seeks child and adult actors, musicians, backstage crew, technical support, usher staff and parent volunteers to participate in its upcoming non-equity production, "Peter Pan."

This production will be directed by Travis Daly, with music direction by Jacob Kerzner, and will run July 2-26 at The Colonial Theatre, 111 South St. Auditions will take place Monday, March 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. and Wednesday, March 11, from 6 to 9 p.m.The Colonial Theatre. Auditions are by appointment only. To schedule an audition time slot, call 413-448-8084, ext. 80.

The roles are open to actors of all ethnicities, second grade through adults. Student


Williams Celebrates Stephen Sondheim's Impact on Musical Theater
12:06PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Renowned lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim is known for the remarkable range of musicals he has worked on, from "West Side Story" to "Sweeney Todd" to "Into the Woods." A class of 1950 graduate of Williams College, his life and legacy have influenced generations of people throughout the world — including countless Williams students — and the impact of his contributions to the field of musical theater is immeasurable.
On the occasion of Sondheim's 90th birthday in March 2020, Williams College will present a series of events on campus titled Sondheim@90@Williams. The events are free and open to the public


Swim-A-thon Fundraiser for Adaptive Needs Announces Ambassador
11:54AM / Monday, March 02, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire South Regional Community Center has announced Holly Vacchina as this year's Swim-A-Thon ambassador.

A critical fundraiser for Adaptive Needs programs at Berkshire South, the 10th annual Swim-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, March 7, in the Norris Aquatics Center. Swimming begins at 8 a.m.

Vacchina is one of the more than 16,500 patrons who use the therapy pool annually, more than 50 each day. It is the only warm-water therapy pool of its type in South County. Berkshire South's adaptive needs initiatives include free swim lessons, class modifications, fitness classes and specialized equipment for individuals of all


Veteran Spotlight: Gen. Sullivan Lead Army Into Information Age
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
05:08PM / Sunday, March 01, 2020

Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan with participants in the inaugural Sullivan Cup precision tank gunnery competition held in 2012 at Fort Benning, Ga.    FALMOUTH, Mass. — This will not be your typical Veterans Spotlight, simply because this gentleman is not your typical veteran.   It was an opportunity of a lifetime. What an honor and true pleasure to sit and interview retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan.   The former Army chief of staff and retired four-star general served his country from 1959 to  1995. Born in Boston, he grew up in Quincy and graduated from Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., later earning a master's degree from the University

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