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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Bay State Games Girls Basketball Tryouts Set
02:31PM / Friday, May 20, 2016
WESTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Tryouts for the Bay State Games Western Massachusetts girls basketball team will begin on Thursday, May 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hampshire Regional High School.   The tryouts will be held over four dates, which include one at North Adams’ McCann Tech on Wednesday, June 22, from 6 to 8 p.m.   Interested players must participate in at least one tryout to be considered for the team, which will compete at the Bay State Games July 15-17 at the Reggie Lewis Center in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury Crossing.   The team is open to all girls in ninth through 12th grades (2016 graduates welcome) who either live in Massachusetts or attend a Massachusetts

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'The Meddler': Mommy Nosiest
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:34PM / Thursday, May 19, 2016

If you believe that contemporary movies are too full of gratuitous violence, non-stop action and inundating special effects, then you might call director-writer Lorene Scafaria's "The Meddler" the exception that proves the rule.

Starring Susan Sarandon as Marnie Minervini, the loving helicopter mom who just can't keep out of her thirty-something daughter's business, it is a sweet cupcake of a movie, drizzled with just enough sour strife to make it satisfyingly real. We all know these characters. Some of them are us, and happy to indulgently play out our anxieties.

Act 1, scene 1, Mrs. Minervini, an attractive, recently widowed woman in her 60s, has jettisoned her

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Hinds Tours Local Businesses, Stumps On Economic Development
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fire Cider owner Dana St. Pierre said his company is in the market for a commercial kitchen in Pittsfield but the available real estate is making it difficult. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Seth Nash initially scoffed at the idea of paying a consultant to come in and look at his business operations to find more efficiencies.   The owner of Blue Q, which occupies most of a large warehouse on West Housatonic Street, was presented with the idea of hiring a lean consultant, a business process eyed to eliminate wasted time, space, and capacity.   He said no because of the cost. His wife, however, is a grant writer and — with his approval — submitted an application to the

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Berkshire Tidbits: Farmers Markets Opening
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
01:33PM / Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Manger! Boire! Eat! Drink! Thursday dining, cooking demo, wine pairing series at Chez Nous Bistro, 150 Main St. in Lee, 413 243-6397, is ending its run until the end of October and it is going out with a bang!

This last evening, chef-owners Franck Tessier and Rachel Portnoy are taking their guests on a culinary journey to New Caledonia, a French outpost in the South Pacific.

Dinner will start with coconut-marinated fish as an appetizer followed by pork with caramel and spring rolls. Franck will demonstrate these courses and Rachel will make a Pavlova/crisp meringue cake filled with housemade lychee sorbet for dessert and will create the recipe sheets for diners to take home. And, as

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Fairview Commons Hosts Dementia Education Series for Caregivers
01:04PM / Wednesday, May 18, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Fairview Commons Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, will offer a dementia education series for caregivers in May and June.

The three-part program is free of charge and includes light lunches. Pre-registration is requested by calling 413-528-7120.

The series, presented by Marcia McKenzie of the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, will be held on Tuesdays, May 24, May 31 and June 7, from 10:30 a.m. to noon each day at Fairview Commons, 151 Christian Hill Road, Great Barrington. Subjects include effective communication strategies,

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A 529 Plan Can Help with Those College Bills
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:25AM / Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We’re near the end of another school year. If you have younger kids, you might be thinking about summer camps and other activities.

But in the not-too-distant future, your children will be facing a bigger transition as they head off to college. Will you be financially prepared for that day?

A college education is a good investment – college graduates earn, on average, $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates, according to a study by Georgetown University. But a bachelor’s degree doesn’t come cheap. For the 2015–2016 school year, the average expense – tuition, fees, room and board – was $19,548 at a public four-year school

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Berkshires Beat: Seeing the Signs in North Adams
02:39PM / Monday, May 16, 2016

Signs of the time: MountainOne Bank has given $10,000 to North Adams Partnership in support of new welcome and wayfinding signage throughout North Adams.

“The North Adams Partnership has undertaken the responsibility of developing a new branding campaign for North Adams as part of its economic development program. MountainOne Bank is committed to supporting this initiative, especially given that we are headquartered in North Adams," said Robert Fraser, president and CEO of MountainOne Bank. "We are dedicated to the communities we serve through robust lending and community banking programs, further enhanced by our Community Dividend grant program and volunteer leadership

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Biz Briefs: Nonprofit Leaders Participate in Training
12:54PM / Monday, May 16, 2016

Leading the way: Four Berkshire County nonprofit leaders participated in Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s 2016 Nonprofit Leadership Institute, a collaborative and peer-learning program for executive directors across the region to strengthen their leadership and management skills.

Facilitated by veteran consultant Janet André Block, the program includes small group meetings for five full days, followed by two full days of personalized coaching and consulting for each participant.

The Nonprofit Leadership Institute is made possible through the generosity of individual donors and four Berkshire Taconic area funds.

Participating were Nick Pohl, Housatonic Youth Service

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Graduates Leave MCLA Commencement 'One Degree Hotter'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:53PM / Saturday, May 14, 2016

Krystal Henriquez, organizer of last month's Figment North Adams, is among Saturday's graduates. She is starting an internship at Mass MoCA.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts made 404 graduates "one degree hotter" on Saturday morning.

And it wasn't from the traditionally steamy Amsler Campus Center gymnasium, but the awarding of 369 bachelor's degrees and 35 master's degrees and certificates at the college's 117th commencement.

"You will leave this room one degree hotter, you will be leaving this room with the knowledge and skills to face any obstacle thrown your way," Kelsey McGonigle, president of the class of

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Clark Curator Explores 'Enigmatic' Artist in New Book
By Phyllis McGuire, Special to iBerkshires
07:30AM / Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Clark Art's Lara Yeager-Crasselt will speak on her new book this Sunday. Copies will be for sale.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Lara Yeager-Crasselt's enthusiasm was palpable as she gestured to an image of a painting in her newly published book "Michael Sweerts (1618-1664): Shaping the Artist and the Academy in Rome and Brussels."

"This is called 'A Painter's Studio,' " Yeager-Crasselt said. "It was done when Sweerts was in Rome and shows how he approached the subject of artists at work 'with an exceptional degree of immediacy and complexity,' which distinguished him from his contemporaries."

Asked what motivated her to write

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@theMarket: Traders Build a Wall of Worry
By Bill Schmick,
05:33PM / Friday, May 13, 2016

The markets are marking time. Earnings season is just about over. The lofty levels of the stock market survived those results largely because they were not quite as bad as expected. Now it is on to the next worry.

Pick your poison — uncertainty over this summer's political conventions, can oil prices sustain these price levels or how about the possibility of a Fed rate hike in June? No question, there is a wall of worry out there, but so far the markets have weathered everything the bears have thrown at them. That is quite impressive given that we have had a 13 percent gain from the lows and hovering just a percent or so below all-time highs.

We have been trading in a tight

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Superior Court Briefs: May 3 - May 11
Staff Reports,
02:31PM / Friday, May 13, 2016
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, May 3.   Joseph Wiggins Jr., 39, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and armed career felon.   He was ordered to serve four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the armed career felony change and given concurrent two-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other charge. His sentence will begin on June 2, 2016.   The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on his home in Pittsfield on May 8, 2015.   James Swift, 55, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his

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