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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Here's Your Retirement Countdown
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:51AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

If you want to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you don't need to have been born rich or even to have earned scads of money during your working years. But you do need to make the right moves at the right time – which means you might want to start a "retirement countdown" well before you draw your final paycheck.

What might such a countdown look like? Here are a few ideas:

Ten years before retirement: At this stage of your career, you might be at, or at least near, your peak earning capacity. At the same time, your kids may have grown and left the home, and you might even have paid off your mortgage. All these factors, taken together, may mean that you can

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Polito Touts Infrastructure Projects in South County
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:52AM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito shakes hands with Lee Selectmen Chairman David Consolati after he said he was a Republican. LEE, Mass. — Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito assured local officials here that she's making sure small towns have access to funding for projects critical to their growth.   "Often I am the voice of the communities outside of Boston to make sure that the dollars get to other places in the commonwealth and to partner with others private and public to get things done," the former Shrewsbury selectman and state representative said on Tuesday.    Polito was speaking at the completion of one of those projects — the million-dollar

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Ciccolo Case Delayed Another Two Months
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Tuesday, September 26, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A technical glitch and a technical legal question are the latest causes of delay in the case against an Adams man accused of plotting terrorist attacks.   The lawyers in the case of the United States vs Alexander Ciccolo were back in Judge Mark G. Mastroianni's court on Tuesday morning.   The attorneys have spent months hashing out the issues of discovery, i.e., what information the government is required to give the defense prior to trial in light of the fact that much of that evidence is covered by the Classified Information Procedures Act.   It was apparent at the start of the 15-minute hearing that even the internal workings of the federal

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Local Democrats Rally Against Latest Federal Health Care Bill
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:30PM / Monday, September 25, 2017

Park Square was lined with people opposing the new federal health care proposal. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Republicans are attempting to once again repeal and replace the ACA with a new health care program.    The so-called Graham-Cassidy bill, sponsored by Republicans Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, is the latest attempt at a new federal health care program.   Republicans spent much of the weekend attempting to round up the votes needed to pass, but the bill is looking to fall short -- with three Republicans already indicating they will leave the bill short on votes.   But that didn't stop a few dozen local Democrats from taking to Park Square in protest

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Berkshires Beat: Fall Foliage Children's Races Winners Announced
01:08PM / Monday, September 25, 2017

Youths participate in the Fall Foliage Children's Races on Sept. 23.

The winners are: Local families took to Noel Field to enjoy a morning of fun on Saturday, Sept. 23, with about a dozen local nonprofits offering games, art projects and giveaways for the annual Fall Foliage Children's Races and Family Fair. The winners of the children's race were presented with medals by Mayor Richard Alcombright at the end of the event. All participants received participation ribbons.

The winners are: Girls 3 & Under, first, Kendall (no last name given), second, Danika Bruno, third, Gianna Briggs; Boys 3 & Under, first, Andre Thomas, second, Wyatt Reynolds, and third, Alex Golin;

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Area High School Golf Products Compete at Williamstown Invitational
iBerkshires.com Sports,
05:15AM / Monday, September 25, 2017
It was Berkshire County golf weekend at Williams College’s Taconic Golf Club over the weekend.   Five alumni of area high schools represented their teams in the two-round Williams Invitational.   Jake Foehl (Mount Greylock) carded rounds of 76 on Saturday and Sunday to tie for 15th place as an individual and help the Williams men finish second, five strokes behind team champion Trinity.   Hoosac Valley graduate Chad Alibozek and Salem State placed seventh out of 19 squads competing. Alibozek tied for 44th place after shaving seven strokes off his first round score and going 83-76.   Also on the course were three players competing for Massachusetts College of

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'Mother!': Oh, Brother!
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:22PM / Saturday, September 23, 2017
Fearing that I might be scarred for life after seeing Darren Aronofsky's "Mother!" I am happy to relate that slowly but surely the grotesque concepts and visions of this postmodern horror film are dissipating from my fragile and offended psyche. I mean, I am safe, aren't I? Hopefully it's not part of a grander trick.    This is sinister stuff, intentionally as well as through the error of its haughty self-indulgence. Oh, dear reader be cautious. It starts out with intriguing eeriness ... even a bit Hitchcockian. No offense, Master. But that's just to suck you into its ugly movie Hell.   For sure there will be a cult following by virtue of its violent

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Registered Nurses Notify BMC of One-Day Strike
Staff Reports,
01:54PM / Friday, September 22, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Massachusetts Nurses Association delivered a 10-day notice to hospital management on Friday notifying it of the local bargaining unit's intent to hold a one-day unfair labor practice strike beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and running until 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4.   Berkshire Medical Center, however, is characterizing this as a five-day work stoppage because any substitute nurses brought in are contracted for that period of time and will fill the shifts normally worked by union members.   The nurses' union and Berkshire Health Systems have been at an impasse in contract negotiations after nearly a year of talks, with the major

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Norman Rockwell Museum Welcomes New Board of Trustee Members
12:36PM / Friday, September 22, 2017

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Norman Rockwell Museum welcomed new members to its Board of Trustees and National Council during the museum's annual meeting held on Sept. 15. Douglas Clark, Audrey Friedner, Ramelle Pulitzer, and Ron Walter were elected as new trustees, starting this fall.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome such a talented group of new board members to the Norman Rockwell Museum," said board Chairman Robert T. Horvath. "Their diverse talents and networks will help us continue to reach new audiences and advance the legacy of Norman Rockwell and American illustration art."

Clark, from Saratoga, Calif., is managing partner of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich

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Local Lawyer Named Fellow at National Association
12:21PM / Friday, September 22, 2017

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Chris S. Dodig has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

The induction ceremony at which Dodig became a Fellow took place recently before an audience of 900 persons during the 2017 Annual Meeting of the College in Montréal, Québec.

Dodig is a longtime partner in the firm of Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP, with offices in North Adams and Pittsfield, Mass., and Bennington, Vt. He has been practicing with the same firm for 27 years, after graduating from Albany Law School in 1990.  His primary area of practice is serious personal injury litigation, with a focus on

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The Independent Investor: Time to Check Your Insurance Policies
By Bill Schmick,
03:35PM / Thursday, September 21, 2017
With hurricanes to the left and right of us, maybe a review of your home owner's insurance policy makes sense. You may find out that at today's real estate values, you are underinsured.   If you are like me, the last time you visited the insurance subject was during the Katrina/Sandy hurricanes. Since then, houses in some areas have appreciated by more than 30 percent. If so, a devastating event such as the widespread destruction recently caused by Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida could really decimate what is probably your most valuable asset.   Given the fact that hurricanes seem to be sprouting up all over the place, if you have been spared thus far doesn't mean

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Getting Your Snow Thrower Ready For Winter
Sponsored Content,
02:11PM / Thursday, September 21, 2017

HD Reynolds in Cheshire carries a full line ot Ariens snowblowers.

If you're like most of us, you probably used your snow thrower a lot last winter. But then, winter finally came to an end, and you could put your snow thrower away.

If you had fuel in the gas tank at that time and haven't thought about it since, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when you want to use it again.

Unless you used a fuel stabilizer that is specifically formulated to deal with the ethanol in today's gasoline, or drained the fuel tank and carburetor completely, your snow thrower may not start when you need it this winter. Today's gasoline tends to go stale fairly quickly.

To check your

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