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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for November & December
01:29PM / Thursday, November 09, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, and his district staff will host three community outreach events during the months of November and December.   Hinds will convene his final Speak Up Western Mass public forum of the year at Williamstown Town Hall, 31 North St., on Monday, Dec. 11,  from 10 to noon.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Chester and Savoy at the following locations: Wednesday, Nov. 15,  from 11 to 1, Chester Town Hall auditorium, 15 Middlefield Road Thursday, Nov. 16, from 10 to noon, Savoy Senior Center, 720 Main Road (enter at the rear of Savoy Town Hall) All

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Holiday Hours: Veterans Day
03:10PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

An image of the 353rd Infantry in France taken two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect.

Veterans Day falls on Saturday, Nov. 11, but will be observed on Friday, Nov. 10, as a state and federal holiday.

The federal holiday is to commemorate the service of the nation's military veterans in ensuring peace.

It was first known as Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. In recognition of the efforts of World War II veterans, President Eisenhower in 1954 signed legislation creating Veterans Day with the goal of honoring all American veterans.

Closed on Friday, Nov. 10:
Some federal

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Berkshire Community College Offers More Fall Workshops in South County
01:32PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Community College's South County Center is rounding out its fall noncredit workshop series with a variety of programs, including social media, Photoshop, food and wine, smartphones, swimming and ServSafe recertification.

Back by popular demand, "Social Media and Your Lifestyle" is slated for Monday and Wednesday, Nov. 13 and 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. Amy Chin, software consultant, will lead this workshop. Cost is $40.

Graphic designer Jane McWhorter is scheduled to teach "Intermediate Adobe Photoshop" on Tuesday afternoons, beginning Nov. 15 through Nov. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. and Dec. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. Cost of this nine-hour

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One Man's Mission: A Book For Every Child
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:53PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Northern Berkshire Santa Fund is teaming up with Robert Behr to put a book in the bag of every child the Fund serves this Christmas. To help with this effort, you can donate money online, or donate gently used children's books for all ages in several locations: in North Adams at the iBerkshires.com office at 102 Main St. or the Friendship Center at 45 Eagle St. or in Williamstown at the First Congregational Church (side door) at 906 Main St.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — When Robert Behr retired from his Williams College job two years ago, he knew he wasn't going to be content just sitting around. So he agreed to volunteer at the Friendship Center food pantry in North Adams --

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Required Withdrawals from Retirement Plans: What Should You Know?
12:20PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

You may spend decades contributing to your IRA and 401(k). But, eventually, you will need to use this money. Before that day arrives, you will want to be familiar with the rules governing withdrawals – and you will want to know just how much you should take out.

To begin with, withdrawals from traditional employer-sponsored retirement plans like these fall under the Internal Revenue Service's "required minimum distributions" (RMD) guidelines. (You aren't required to take these distributions from a Roth IRA.) Here are some of the key RMD points to keep in mind:

* You need to take distributions by age 70 1/2. You generally should begin taking RMDs in the year in

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Miss Hall's School Presents 'You Can't Take It With You'
12:07PM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Miss Hall's School Theater Ensemble will live life to its eccentric fullest this fall, performing the popular madcap comedy "You Can't Take It With You" on the Miss Hall's campus at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12.

This MHS production stars senior Jayme McGuigan of Pittsfield as Martin Vanderhof/Grandpa; junior Jasmine Briggs as Alice; and sophomore Emily Carmel of Pittsfield and junior Trudy Fadding of Glendale as Alice's parents, Penelope and Paul Sycamore. Guest actor Matthew Gallagher of Pittsfield plays Tony Kirby, while senior Gabby Hinkley of Dalton and senior Miriam Myers of

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Letter: Great American Smokeout Is Nov. 16
Letters to the Editor,
11:21AM / Wednesday, November 08, 2017

To the Editor:

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 16, a great day to remind clients, friends, and family about quitting smoking or any tobacco use.

Developed by the American Cancer Society, the Great American Smokeout is a perfect opportunity to think about quitting and its many benefits — physically, mentally, and financially, and maybe even plan a quit attempt. Remember, quitting can take many tries and help is always available for any tobacco user who wants to quit, whether on November 16 or at any other time.

You can help smokers and other tobacco users by encouraging them to keep trying to quit and by offering them the following suggestions:

Consider talking to a

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Berkshire Attack Lacrosse Competes at New England Showcase
Community submission,
11:29AM / Tuesday, November 07, 2017
LONGMEADOW, Mass. -- Players from schools throughout Berkshire County and beyond competed on Sunday at the New England Lacrosse Showcase with Berkshire Attack, a local lacrosse club.   Club teams from seven states competed in front of nearly 100 college lacrosse programs at this annual event.   Berkshire Lacrosse Club offers opportunities to learn and play lacrosse for those in grades 3-5, 6-8 and high school.   For more information about joining the program, contact Jeff Murray at jrmurray11@yahoo.com or Larry Sheedy larrysheedy@gmail.com.  

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Berkshires Beat: Center for EcoTechnology Wins 2017 Composting Challenge
02:01PM / Monday, November 06, 2017
The winner is

The Center for EcoTechnology, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Pittsfield, has been awarded top honor in the North American 2017 Rathmann Challenge, "Mitigating Climate Change: Expanding the Use of Compost," for its pioneering work over the past 20 years to expand the use of composting to reduce wasted food, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The announcement of the award was made on Wednesday, November 1, by the Rathmann Family Foundation. The Rathmann Challenge, which was launched in 2014, seeks to advance organizations possessing the creativity, entrepreneurial ethos, and innovative spirit to make a positive difference in the world. CET

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Biz Briefs: North Adams Edward Jones Office Supports Northern Berkshire Santa Fund Toy Drive
12:13PM / Monday, November 06, 2017
Giving back

Walter Lother, the local Edward Jones financial advisor, is supporting the Northern Berkshire Santa Fund toy program by using his office as a drop-off location for this year's toy drive. Local residents may help needy children in the area by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy to the office, 71 Main Street, North Adams, during regular business hours from Nov. 1 through Dec. 1. Especially needed are LEGOs and baby dolls of all types, as well as board games and books.

"With the holiday season around the corner, we are all getting ready for the festivities," Lother said. "And as this is the season of giving, now is a great time to remember the less fortunate in our

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@theMarket: Investors Underwhelmed by Tax Reform
By Bill Schmick,
10:07AM / Saturday, November 04, 2017
With great fanfare, House Republicans rolled out a tax reform proposal that they promised would get this country going again and invigorate business, while creating jobs and huge savings for the middle class. What are they smoking?   Clearly, the entire reform package was simply a smoke screen to reduce taxes for American corporations with the majority of benefits directed at the country's largest companies. For the individual, depending on what you make and where you live, taxes will remain the same or go up.    Several legislators used a postcard as a prop claiming your individual tax return will be so simple it will fit on a postcard. The reason is simple. This plan

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'Suburbicon': Where Seldom Is Heard a Tolerant Word
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:27PM / Friday, November 03, 2017
My rich sister Ann has regularly informed that "It's always about the money, especially if they say it's not about the money." Whether she influenced the deservedly famous Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, or they figured out the maxim themselves, they have made a successful film career of exploring and dramatizing it.    "Suburbicon," their latest bit of cynicism about how the American dream is perennially misrepresented as a free-for-all grab of wealth and not the pursuit of human rights and freedom the Founders envisioned, robustly continues the muckrake.   Here, in a rare departure of form, though co-writing and producing, they've chosen

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