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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Hinds Seeks Designs for Annual Holiday Card Contest
12:35PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School is in session and summer doesn't officially end until Sept. 23, but Team Hinds is thinking about the holidays.

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield) has sent packages to 57 schools across his Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District inviting students in grades three through six to participate in his annual Holiday Card Design Contest.

Each December, Hinds sends almost 1,000 greeting cards by mail to friends, family, colleagues and constituents. The winning design will be used as the cover art for his 2019 holiday greeting card. The student artist will be identified on the card, featured in the senator's media and social media

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MountainOne Announces Officer Promotions
11:55AM / Thursday, September 19, 2019

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne, a full service financial institution with offices in the Berkshires and Boston’s South Shore, has announced the promotions of 10 employees.

"We are happy to celebrate these individuals, and recognize their dedication, strong work ethic, accomplishments, and commitment to MountainOne," said Robert Fraser, MountainOne president and chief executive officer.

* Donna Bishop has been promoted to senior vice president, MountainOne Insurance, North Adams. Bishop oversees Personal and Commercial Insurance Operations, which involves the management of day to day service operations and insurance markets to create the highest level of efficiency

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Drury Class of 1951 Meets at Waubeeka Tavern
04:58PM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Drury High School Class of 1951 convened Wednesday for lunch at Tavern on 7 at Waubeeka Golf Links.   The group of graduates from the North Adams high school and their spouses and guests convenes monthly. They welcome anyone from the Drury class of 1951 to join them on Oct. 16 at noon at the 6' House Pub in Williamstown.   Jack and Joyce Brooks, Jeannette Brule, Carol Kelley, Herb and Donna Putnam, Gen and George Beckwith, Arlene Zappone, Richard Weld, Ray Piaggi, Janet and Dick Arick, Theresa King, Pat and Paul Gigliotti, Nola and Ivan Carli and Dan Skorcz (driver). 

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Ethics Commission Alleges Conflict Violations by West Stockbridge Chief
04:45PM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019
WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Enforcement Division of the State Ethics Commission on Wednesday filed an order to show cause alleging that West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput, a former Select Board member, committed multiple conflict-of-interest law violations, including setting stipends for himself, his daughter and his nephew; voting as a Select Board member to reappoint himself fire chief; and terminating a firefighter who had filed a complaint against him.   According to the order, shortly after Skorput was elected to the Select Board in 2013, a West Stockbridge official contacted the town's counsel about conflict-of-interest law exemptions available to Skorput

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'Voices for Recovery' Event Set for Saturday in North Adams
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A sign on the lawn of North Adams City Hall advertises the event.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The bracelet on Susan Cross' wrist says it all: "Stamp out stigma."

Cross showed her bracelet to Mayor Thomas Bernard on Tuesday afternoon as she and Bernard chatted about the upcoming Voices for Recovery walk and celebration, set for Saturday, Sept. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at Colegrove Park.

Cross is a prevention and recovery program associate with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition; joining her and Bernard at City Hall was Barb Reeves, a volunteer at the coalition's Beacon Recovery Community Center, which is officially hosting the sixth annual event for the first time

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Can 'AI' Help You Become a Better Investor?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
03:34PM / Tuesday, September 17, 2019

For the past several years, artificial intelligence – or AI – has increasingly found a place in many walks of life. Almost certainly, you use some form of AI, whether it's your time on social media, your use of mobile banking, the navigation system you rely on for directions, or any of the many other AI-driven applications relevant to your daily life. But AI has also become a significant part of the financial services industry. So, you might wonder if AI can help you become a better investor.

To begin with, what is AI? Essentially, it's the ability of a computer program or machine to think or learn. Using complex algorithms (a set of rules, or steps), computers and

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Berkshires Beat: Final 3rd Thursday of Season Features Walk a Mile Event
11:57AM / Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Walk a Mile

Upstreet Pittsfield's award-winning street festival, 3rd Thursdays, returns for the final event of the season on Thursday, Sept. 19, with the ninth annual Elizabeth Freeman Center Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. The largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, 3rd Thursdays are family friendly and open to all. North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from West Street to Linden Street and will be filled with music, performance, food and community activities.

The annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" will be the main attraction at September's Third Thursday festivities. People will once again sport women's footwear in an effort to stamp out

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Northern Berkshire Coalition Brainstorms Topics for Year
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires.com Staff
03:59AM / Monday, September 16, 2019

Jacob Schutz, assistant principal at Mount Greylock Regional School, speaks about keeping communication open between the community and its schools on Friday at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition first monthly forum.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition held its annual "needs assessment forum" on Friday to gather ideas for future forum topics.

But when the topics are narrowed down and announced, Executive Director Amber Besaw warned, the more than 100 people in the room on Friday shouldn't be surprised if they see ideas they hadn't heard mentioned in the room at The Green. That's because, for the first time, the Coalition held

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Distillers See Fertile Ground for Spirits in the Berkshires
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:02AM / Sunday, September 15, 2019

Matt Brogan and Katherine Hand began their cidery in a closet in Brooklyn; now they're setting up in the mill next to Riley. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two sets of artisan distillers from different parts of the county are setting up shop in a renovated mill along the so-called "Cultural Corridor."   Ryan Max Riley was looking for something different when he brought his rum distillery to Greylock Works from the high mountains of Colorado.   "None of this was even designed when I moved in," he said recently from his small space within the massive former textile mill.  "I had no idea what it would look like. But I trusted Sal and Karla ... I

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@theMarket: Investors Discover Value Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
05:10PM / Friday, September 13, 2019
Value stocks, those equities that have fallen out of favor, have made a comeback this week. These underpriced orphans have become the new darlings of Wall Street, while high-flyers (think software and some tech) have sold off. What does this say about the markets?   The short answer is that we have more room to run. It means, in my opinion, that we will reach and break historical highs in the U.S. averages and that we should have fairly smooth sailing into October. If, at that point, there are breakthroughs in the trade issue and the Federal Reserve Bank cuts interest rates, we could see the markets continue climbing. If, on the other hand, Trump trashes Chinese exports again and/or

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The Independent Investor: Europe Throws in the Towel
By Bill Schmick,
07:39PM / Thursday, September 12, 2019

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced a major new stimulus package on Thursday. A key interest rate was reduced, and a new bond-buying program was announced, amounting to $22 billion per month. In the past, those efforts would have been enough to boost the European economy, but will it be enough this time around?

It is not as if we haven't seen this before. Through the years, ever since the Financial Crisis of 2009, the ECB, as well as other central banks around the world, have stimulated their economies to avoid recession, or something worse. The problem is that monetary policy can only do so much before central banks find themselves "pushing on a string."

The ECB is

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'Before You Know It': Wherein the Critic Bemoans ...
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:32PM / Thursday, September 12, 2019
Wherein the Critic Bemoans the Vanishing of Local Moviehouses, Extolls the Virtues of Independent Films, Makes the World Safe for Democracy and Sings an Homage to the Family — Leo Tolstoy, "Anna Karenina."   This quote came to mind as I watched director-writer Hannah Pearl Utt's "Before You Know It," a charmingly engaging dramedy with a screwball slant that teaches a life lesson or two while touching our hearts and tickling our funny bones. Besides, I always wanted to use that axiom.   The story is brainy, sophisticated and bereft of gratuitous violence. So don't expect to find it at the highway multiplex. It's about two sisters who discover a

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