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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Community College Announces New Hires, Promotions
12:38PM / Friday, February 10, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has announced new faculty and staff additions as well as recent promotions.

Julia Curletti of Richmond, Mass., has joined BCC as staff assistant to the dean of enrollment management and student success. She previously worked at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston as a program coordinator. She garnered a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and attended New England Law.

Alyssa Felver has been named assistant professor of practical nursing. A registered nurse in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, she previously worked at the Berkshire Medical Center. Prior to that, she was a critical care registered

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Mass 2-1-1 Day Celebrated Feb. 11
09:45AM / Friday, February 10, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — United Ways in Massachusetts will join United Ways across the country as they celebrate National 2-1-1 Day on Saturday, February 11, calling attention to this free comprehensive information and referral service that has been in operation here in Massachusetts since 2006 and is celebrating its 20-year Anniversary nationally.

Leading up to 2-1-1 Day, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will formally announce the merger of the Call2Talk Mental Health/Suicide Prevention line with the statewide Mass2-1-1 platform.

Mass 2-1-1 is a referral line that is staffed by information and referral specialists 24/7 who connect residents to the resources they need. Last year, 1,262 calls

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The Independent Investor: Medicare, Why You Need More Than Part A & B
By Bill Schmick,
05:21PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017

Medicare costs jumped 3.4 percent last year. Drug prices gained a whopping 11 percent. Medicare parts A&B does not cover prescriptions and the gap between what it does cover and your out of pocket expenses could break you.

Last week, while walking Titus, our chocolate Lab, I bumped into a fellow dog walker. I'll call him Abe. Abe is retired and on a tight budget. In an effort to save money, he elected not to acquire drug prescription insurance called Medicare Part D.

"After all," he explained, I'm in my late seventies and aside from aspirin and the occasional antibiotic for the flu, I've been drug-free for as far back as I can remember." Until now —

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'The Comedian': Requiem for a Funnyman
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:09PM / Thursday, February 09, 2017

It's too bad I can't give you the Goldberger Guarantee for director Taylor Hackford's "The Comedian," an assurance of positive viewership I occasionally offer to close friends when I'm fairly confident they'll enjoy a particular movie. The warranty promises refund of the ticket price if any of those pals doesn't find the movie in question entertaining. I hate to be a piker, but, without releasing my tax records, rest assured that I couldn't afford to institute said guarantee en masse. If proved wrong, it would mean Hamburger Helper instead of steak tartare.

Actually, I'm more of a White Castle kind of guy. But the thought is, what if I'm

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Storm Center: Closings for Thursday, Feb. 9
08:52AM / Thursday, February 09, 2017
Up to a foot of snow is expected to fall on the Berkshires on Thursday. Driving is treacherous and visibility is low.    All public schools are closed today as are many state and local offices. Winter parking bans and snow emergencies are in effect in most towns: do not park on the streets or you may be towed. If you plan on going out, call ahead to ensure your destination will be open.   Email us at info@iberkshires.com with your closure. The following are closed:   Adams * All town offices, library and Council on Aging   * Smith Bros-McAndrews Insurance Inc.   * Adams Community Bank and drive-ups will be closing at 4 p.m. today     North Adams *

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Jacob's Pillow Hosts 'Chance to Dance' Contest
02:20PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

BECKET, Mass. - Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival invites artists of all styles to participate in the first ever Inside/Out: Chance to Dance viewers' choice contest.

An exciting opportunity to perform on the Pillow's iconic outdoor stage, the Chance to Dance contest is a viewer-selected online competition that allows the public, peers, and fans of artists to vote on their inclusion in the Inside/Out Performance Series for Festival 2017.

Submissions to the contest will be accepted from Feb. 6-20; voting is open to the public on PillowTV, the Jacob's Pillow YouTube channel, from February 21-26. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 7, and will perform on July 21 as a part

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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $1.5 Million in Winter Grants Cycle
12:38PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the recipients of its final round of grantmaking for 2016.

The foundation distributed over $708,000 in grants to individuals, schools and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves, and grants totaling nearly $800,000 from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

In Berkshire County, the foundation awarded grants from the Adams Cheshire Educational Partnership; Amy Clampitt Fund; Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund; Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence; Central Berkshire Fund; Martha Boschen Porter Fund; William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire & Savoy; and Williamstown

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Berkshires Beat: Senior Living Community Collects Items For Neighbors in Need
12:30PM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Helping hands: Brookdale Fillmore Pond, a senior living community, launched a partnership with the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless (BCCH), to provide assistance to those in need in the Bennington, Vt., area. The Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless currently provides resources for more than 400 people a year, but continues to need assistance. The associates, residents and their families at Brookdale Fillmore Pond collected items based on the needs of the BCCH.

Needed items that were collected include gently used seasonal clothing, including coats and socks; children's books; and personal hygiene items, specifically small bottles of shampoo, lotion, mouthwash and

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Biz Briefs: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity to Dedicate 37th Home
11:52AM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Home again: Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity will host a Home Dedication for Sheerece Adams on Saturday, Feb. 11. Adams is in the process of closing on the purchase of the rehabilitated Habitat home at 5 Hall Place. This new homeowner had to complete 400 hours of sweat equity working at ReStore, on the job site of her future home, in addition to Financial Tools workshops and coaching.

The dedication and presentation will start at 5 Hall Place at 2 p.m. After the dedication guests will be welcomed with light refreshments and a tour of the home. Habitat has invited several local leaders such as Sen. Adam Hinds to speak at the dedication. All in the community are welcome to join.

In

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On Valentine's Day, Consider Financial Gifts
10:36AM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Last year, Americans spent more than $19 billion on Valentine's Day gifts, according to the National Retail Federation, with the majority of this money going to flowers, candy, cards and an evening out. These gifts were thoughtful, of course, and no doubt appreciated, but they were also somewhat disposable, for want of a better word.

On the other hand, some financial gifts can have a pretty long "shelf life."

Beyond simply enclosing some money in a card, what sort of financial gifts can you give? The answer depends somewhat on the recipient. For example, if your sweetheart is also your spouse, some of the gifts suggested below may be redundant to the financial moves you

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New Shakespeare & Company Head Strives for 'Resonance' with First Season
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:30AM / Wednesday, February 08, 2017

LENOX, Mass. — Celebrating four decades of theater and maintaining relevance for contemporary audiences is the focus of Shakespeare & Company's 2017 season.

With founding Artistic Director Tina Packer at his side, first-year Artistic Director Allyn Burrows Tuesday morning unveiled the venue's lineup for its 40th anniversary season.

Burrows wasted no time establishing that the company cannot program its season in a vacuum and has to recognize the environment beyond its stages.

"Some of us, and Tina as well, were just down at the Shakespeare Association conference in Baltimore," Burrows said. "It was a collection of all the Shakespeare companies around the

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Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates Affiliates with Berkshire Health Systems
05:55PM / Tuesday, February 07, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates, a provider of orthopedic care in the Berkshire region, has entered into an affiliation with Berkshire Health Systems.

“Through this affiliation, Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates will be able to preserve and strengthen the availability of orthopedic services across Berkshire County,” said Dr. Kevin Mitts, division chief of orthopedics at Berkshire Medical Center and a surgeon with the practice. “In addition, this agreement gives us critical access to a variety of support services, including assistance in recruiting new physicians and other providers to serve our community’s orthopedic needs. In fact, two new

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