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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Daly Resigns as Berkshire Bank CEO
Staff Reports,
09:30AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Michael Daly has resigned as CEO of Berkshire Bank.   Berkshire Hills Bancorp announced on Monday that Daly has stepped down effective immediately and President Richard Marotta will take over as chief executive officer. Marotta was also appointed as a member of the board of directors. Sean Gary will take over as bank president.    "Mike's commitment to the Bank, our customers and our communities has been instrumental in Berkshire's success.  We thank him for his focus on creating the strong franchise we have today," said William J. Ryan, chairman the board of directors, in a statement released on Monday that did not give a

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Tuesday Weather Report: Drive Safely Out There!
07:20AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It started as rain for most of us Monday night, and now it's snow for all of us Tuesday morning. And it's not going to stop anytime soon.

Who's dreaming of a white December?

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday in Northern Berkshire County; the snow already falling caused the immediate closure of schools in Savoy and Florida - and the last-minute switch from a two-hour delay to a full snow day for BART, Clarksburg, North Adams, Central Berkshire and Adams-Cheshire and Stamford, Vt. You can find the running list here.

When all is said and done, most of us should see snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches in most places, with of course more falling in the

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Humane Society Offering '100 Cats for Christmas' Program
10:27PM / Monday, November 26, 2018
100 Cats for Christmas

For the sixth year, Berkshire Humane Society has received a grant from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s license plate program, which will support BHS’s 100 Cats for Christmas initiative during the month of December. 100 Cats for Christmas is the shelter’s largest and most successful low-cost spay/neuter effort for kittens and cats in the Berkshires and surrounding area. Without the support of MAC’s license plate program, this invaluable service would not be possible.

In the last six years, 100 Cats for Christmas has exceeded its goal of spaying and neutering 100 cats. To participate, qualifying residents of Berkshire County must visit one

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Coalition Introduces Idea of 'Trauma-Informed' Community
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:09PM / Monday, November 26, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There's usually a lot of talking at Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forums.

At the most recent forum, however, there was more listening.

The group of about 60 guests -- meeting for the first time in The Green's new space at 85 Main St. -- gathered on Friday, Nov. 16, to watch "Resilience," James Redford's film that chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists and educators who are using cutting-edge brain science to develop trauma-informed communities.

The film lays out the science behind a biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood that can trigger stress hormones that in turn

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Biz Briefs: Pine Cobble School, Northshire Bookstore to Host Book Fair
12:13PM / Monday, November 26, 2018
By the book

Pine Cobble School and Northshire Bookstore will host their second annual collaborative book fair on the Pine Cobble campus from Nov. 28-30 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily. The fair is open to the community.

This event includes a specially curated selection of books for all ages. Books are thoughtfully chosen by Cynthia Quinones, Pine Cobble's literature ambassador, and the Northshire staff. Northshire Bookstore has won national awards for their quality selection and service.  

Books will be sorted into categories, with selections for very young children, picture books, early chapter books, middle grade books, young adult, adult fiction, and a few

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Rural Policy Advisory Commission Plans Dec. 6 Meeting in Pittsfield
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:32AM / Monday, November 26, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The commonwealth's rural towns have older populations, smaller tax bases and poorer infrastructure than the rest of Massachusetts.   They also have greater numbers than a lot of people realize.   According to one definition of "rural," i.e. communities with population density of less than 500 people per square mile, nearly half of all Massachusetts municipalities are rural — including all but two, North Adams and Pittsfield, in Berkshire County.   In 2015, an act of the Legislature created the commonwealth's Rural Policy Advisory Commission, which began formal study of the problems facing low-density towns in June of this

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Good Science at Work Inside Butterfly Magical Wings
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
04:57PM / Sunday, November 25, 2018

A male Argema mittrei, a Malagasy Moon moth, spreads its wings after just emerging from a silken cocoon. At right, two pupae in cocoons spun for climate control.  the   I walked down the road on Mount Greylock that leads to a parking lot for trekkers who want to traverse trails through the deciduous woodlands where the manifold wonders of nature unfold.   All around me were untold numbers of buds about to burst from their winter dormancy. Trilliums at ground level were showing tiny green leaves, not yet revealing their triad flowers so deep red or white, remindful of the three-cornered hats worn during Colonial days. Spring beauties were carpeting the forest

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@theMarket: It Is a Black Friday on Wall Street
By Bill Schmick,
11:11AM / Saturday, November 24, 2018
Black Friday sales are in full swing. Normally, today is all about the retail trade. Consumers spend the day waiting in line, picking up heavily discounted "door buster" deals, and generally starting their holiday gift shopping. This year, it appears traders are also holding their own Black Friday sales.   The day after Thanksgiving, the stock and bond markets are open for a half day. Few turn up for work, so trading desks are usually manned by a skeleton crew, volumes are light and the indexes meander about the center line. As such, what happens on Black Friday has little consequence in the grand scheme of things.   The real action is before a holiday, especially one

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The Independent Investor: The Origin of Black Friday
By Bill Schmick,
05:58PM / Thursday, November 22, 2018
As you finish your turkey and prepare to get an early start on Black Friday shopping, you might wonder how shopping became such an integral part of your Thanksgiving holiday. The term has followed a circuitous route through our financial history.   Although the term "Black Friday" is a new phenomenon, its origins date back to the late 19th century. The term was first associated with a stock market crash on Sept. 24, 1869.   Two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, tried to corner the gold market. This created a boom-and-bust atmosphere in gold prices. That volatility spilled over into stocks. Before it was all said and done, stocks lost 20 percent of their value, while

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Holiday Hours: Thanksgiving
02:30PM / Thursday, November 22, 2018

Plymouth's state of Massasoit, who was instrumental in Plymouth Colony's survival. Image via Massasoit Community College.

Thanksgiving will be observed on Thursday, Nov. 22. The day is a national holiday inspired by the first Thanksgiving dinner shared between the Pilgrims and Wampanoags in 1621 at Plymouth. The living history museum Plimoth Plantation continues the tradition each year with a recreation of the event in which visitors can participate.

Thanksgiving was first federally recognized by proclamation in 1863 by President Lincoln at the height of the Civil War. It did not become codified as a national holiday until 1941 when President Roosevelt signed a law setting it as

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Frigid, Blustery Weather on Tap for Thanksgiving 2018
11:00AM / Wednesday, November 21, 2018

People spending time outdoors during Thanksgiving Day into Black Friday may face some of the coldest conditions on record in the Northeast for late November: https://t.co/H4jbKuRbZd pic.twitter.com/yMeaioqjgV

— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) November 20, 2018 Mother Nature is preparing a one-two punch for the Thanksgiving holiday.   Intense snow squalls will move through the region Wednesday afternoon and wind-chill factors could make Thanksgiving Day one of the coldest on record.    Snow squalls are currently moving across New York State and will enter the Berkshires around mid-afternoon. The National Weather Service is warning of "rapidly changing weather and

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How Should You Respond to Wild Swings in Financial Markets?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
07:01PM / Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What's going on with the financial markets? Specifically, what's behind the price swings of the past several weeks? And, more important, how should you, as an individual investor, respond?

To begin with, the recent volatility was not really all that extraordinary. The daily drops pushed U.S. stocks down about 10 percent from their recent record highs, although they have regained some of that ground. A 10 percent drop represents a “correction” – not a crash – and historically, corrections have occurred about once a year.

So what seems to have caused these market jitters? Here are the key culprits:

* Anticipated slowdown in economic growth and corporate

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