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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: Mr. Tire, Tax Holiday, Business Directory
Staff Reports,
05:27PM / Thursday, July 30, 2015
Don't worry, Mister Tire will still be here when the snow flies.

Tired of Rumors

Larry Davis of Mister Tire in North Adams is assuring his many, many patrons that the 38-year-old family business is definitely not closing.

"It's come to our attention that the rumor about town has us closing our doors, or being sold to the highest bidder. We'd like to take the time to assure the community that neither of these things are true," the company posted on its Facebook page.

Rather, Davis will be spending less time at the shop, with his children Matt, Mike, and Tori, and general manager Scott taking over more of the operation.

"Larry's children will continue to


Advocates Call For Expanding Medicare On Anniversary Of Bill Signing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:14PM / Thursday, July 30, 2015
Advocates held a 'birthday party' for Medicare outside of the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Charles Wohl says the United States ranks 37th in the world in health outcomes.

But ranks first in per capita spending.

"That is terrible," Wohl said.   "We have a highly inefficient health-care system. Twelve to 30 percent of health-care spending goes down the drain for administrative costs."   However, with the Medicare system, only 3 percent of the total expenses are for administration. The rest goes directly to keeping the elderly and those with disabilities healthy.   That's why Wohl joined with others on


Joan of Archetype: Playwright Explores Timeless Theme With Classic Story
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:13PM / Thursday, July 30, 2015
Tina Packer as Isabelle d'Arc and Anne Troup as her daughter Joan. LENOX, Mass. — Shakespeare & Company audiences come to venue year round to see historical dramas and new works.   This summer, they get both rolled into one.   Thursday marks the world premiere of Jane Anderson's "Mother of the Maid," which tells the story of Joan of Arc through the eyes of her mother, played by the company's founding artistic director Tina Packer.   Like the Shakespeare histories that are a staple at the Kemble Street venue, "Mother of the Maid" uses the famous and the infamous to explore timeless themes and makes the events of yesteryear


Legislature Overrides Cultural Council, Kindergarten Cuts
07:57PM / Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BOSTON — The state House and Senate voted on Wednesday to override Governor Charlie Baker's veto and restore $2.3 million in funding in the fiscal 2016 budget for the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Baker vetoed $162.8 million in line items when signing the the $38 billion budget several weeks ago. Most if not all of his vetoes were expected to be overridden by the Legislature.

Wednesday's vote restores funding for the Cultural Council to $14.16 million passed by the Legislature and means a 20 percent hike over last year's $11.8 million. The funding passed unanimously in the Senate and by 153-2 in House.

"The arts and cultural community is thrilled by the


Berkshire Botanical Garden, Project Native Move Toward Merger
04:30PM / Wednesday, July 29, 2015

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The trustees of the Berkshire Botanical Garden and Project Native have been discussing for some time the benefits of joining forces, and last week both boards unanimously approved motions to pursue a combination.

Both nonprofit groups are still working out details but are optimistic that a final agreement can be reached and that the deal will close by the end of the year.

"Our missions are in complete alignment," said Matt Larkin, chairman of the board of BBG. "The importance to the well-being of our environment of preserving the native elements of our habitat has never been better understood or more at risk. This has been a major subject of our


The Classical Beat: Don't Miss Tanglewood, Tannery Pond
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:51PM / Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Miró String Quartet, one of America’s highest-profile chamber groups, will play at Tannery Ponds in New York.

Tanglewood in Lenox is the place to be this week for brilliant and unforgettable performances. Why go? To experience the symphonic masterworks of Beethoven, Schubert and Shostakovich, while fabulous guest artists such as the masterful pianist Garrick Ohlsson, phenomenal singers Dawn Upshaw and Matthias Goerne, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma will take center stage in the Shed.

Add to this the all-day spectacular audience favorite "Tanglewood on Parade," and you can expect another week of large-scale, not-to-be-missed stellar performances.



Adams Terror Suspect Ciccolo Denies Weapons, Assault Charges
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:42AM / Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Attorney David Hoose of Northampton repeatedly declined to comment on anything he learned from his client, Alexander Ciccolo, on Wednesday.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Adams man suspected by the government of plotting domestic terrorism pleaded innocent on Wednesday in U.S. District Court to two non-terror charges.

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, appeared briefly before Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson.

He answered to a federal weapons possession charge and an allegation of assault while in the Franklin County lockup earlier this month.

To both chages, Ciccolo answered, "Not guilty."

After the six-minute hearing, Ciccolo's attorney met with reporters on the courthouse


Hundreds Oppose Pipeline Project at FERC Scoping Session
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:11AM / Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Taconic High School auditorium was filled for the hearing that lasted long into the night. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Natural Gas distributor Kinder Morgan filed some 6,500 pages of environmental reports on Friday.   On Tuesday, residents filled the Taconic High School auditorium to tell federal regulators their concerns about the environmental impacts of Kinder Morgan's proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project.   "These documents are massive with highly technical and important information," said state Rep. Paul Mark at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission scoping session.   He said the documents that were submitted contain omissions of


Local Author Publishes Book On Northern Berkshire Trains
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:25AM / Monday, July 27, 2015
Kristen Demeo is releasing her latest book, 'The Rails of Northern Berkshire,' about how the trains changed the region.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Local writer Kristen Demeo is releasing her latest book, "The Rails of Northern Berkshire," about how the trains changed the region.

The St. Stanislaus Kostka School teacher said she hopes this book will both educate and reconnect people with the past.

"It's a book that celebrates trains and the kinds or the emotions people might associate with it and through that I share my own story and how the trains came into my life," Demeo said. "In doing that, I hope to have people recollect how trains fit into their


Local Lawmakers Push To Override Baker's Budget Vetoes
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:30PM / Sunday, July 26, 2015
The Legislature is expected to take up some of the overrides next week. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local legislators are hoping to restore most of the governor's $162.8 million in vetoes from the state budget.   Gov. Charlie Baker signed the $38.1 billion budget into law July 17. But, he also cut $162.8 million out of the Legislature's budget, which local lawmakers feel will be detrimental to programs and initiatives.   "I thought the budget was a strong budget that we sent to the governor. And then I saw his vetoes and I was disappointed," state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, said on Thursday. "I hope we commit to do the right


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