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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: North Adams Verizon Wireless Zone Gives $1,000 to Food Pantry
12:30PM / Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Verizon donation

Keith Parzych, owner of the Verizon Wireless Zone store at 43 Main St. in North Adams, presented a check for $1,000 to Mark Rondeau, co-founder of the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative, on Tuesday at the food pantry on Eagle Street.

The donation came from the Wireless Zone Foundation of Giving, which is made up of Verizon Wireless Zone stores across the country who take small donations then sponsoring local charities. Founded in 2003, raises significant amounts of money and supports a large number of local and national charities and causes, including Make-A-Wish, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and

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Be Creative When Withdrawing from Retirement Accounts
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:09AM / Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Like many people, you may spend decades putting money into your IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. But eventually you will want to take this money out – if you must start withdrawing some of it. How can you make the best use of these funds?

To begin with, here's some background: When you turn 70 1/2, you need to start withdrawals – called required minimum distributions, or RMDs – from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 457(b) or 403(b). (A Roth IRA is not subject to these rules; you can essentially keep your account intact for as long as you like.) You can take more than the

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Helping Hands Founder Gathers Group to Tackle Homelessness
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:21AM / Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Flood House in North Adams has been the temporary home the Louison House transitional living facility, but Louison officials are looking forward to returning to their original location in Adams within the next few months.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — When Marilyn Honig was a child, her family suffered a devastating house fire that left four members of her family dead and the rest of them homeless.

That's why when a spate of house fires tore across North Adams at the beginning of the year, Honig immediately knew she wanted to do something to help.   "My heart really went out to the fire victims. I remember that feeling of being really scared," said Honig, a Stamford, Vt.,

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Dalton CRA Holds 23rd Annual Just for Kicks Tournament
09:36AM / Monday, October 14, 2019
DALTON, Mass. -- The hosts from Dalton won two divisions and placed two more teams in the finals of six divisions at the 23rd annual youth soccer CRA Just for Kicks Tournament over the weekend.   Fifty-nine teams competed in the event, which uses the fields at Wahconah Regional High School and Nessacus Middle School.   Dalton teams won the fifth- and sixth-grade Division 1 girls competition and the seventh- and eighth-grade girls division.   Dalton's girls also were finalists in the fifth- and sixth-grade Division 2 girls, and Dalton boys were finalists in the seventh- and eighth-grade boys.   Williamstown won the fifth- and sixth-grade boys Division 1 division,

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Innovation Center on Schedule For January Opening
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:58AM / Monday, October 14, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Innovation Center is still on schedule to open sometime in January.   The center's Executive Director Ben Sosne gave a brief update to the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority last week and said board should expect a grand opening in the first half of January.     "I was just through the building and it looks fantastic," he said on Tuesday. "I am really excited to get this thing open and welcome everybody in."   He said in the next few months they will be moving in tenants and figuring out final specs.   "Like painting and lighting and everything that is going in," he

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@theMarket: Stocks Soar on 'Skinny' Deal
By Bill Schmick,
04:43PM / Friday, October 11, 2019
Global markets regained their footing this week, as expected good news on the trade front produced a "relief" rally in equities. Who cared that there was little substance to the deal? Investors decided that even a tiny deal was worth more than no deal at all.   As I wrote last week if "Trump believes he needs a 'win' to counter the slowing economy and the impeachment inquiry, then even a half-hearted deal might be in the cards. In which case, we could see a 10-15 percent move higher in the averages."   But before we pop the champagne, I want to see exactly what the trade deal agreement actually says. So far, we know that both sides have agreed to some

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State Briefs: Last Mile Funding, Grant Awards
02:23PM / Friday, October 11, 2019

State Sen. Adam Hinds takes a photo of Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at the core bore site.

BLANDFORD, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, state Sen. Adam Hinds, state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Blandford Select Board member Eric McVey and other local leaders observed a core bore drilling on Thursday afternoon to replace outdated utility poles and install broadband internet.

Blandford was awarded a Last Mile Infrastructure Grant worth $1.04 million in 2018 to deliver broadband access to residents. Following the demonstration, Baker announced $5 million supplemental funding for the Last Mile Program, which will cover roughly half the cost of connecting

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Northern Berkshire United Way Kicks off 2019-20 Campaign
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:26AM / Friday, October 11, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire United Way touted its successes from the last year as it looked ahead to the next year at its annual meeting and campaign kickoff breakfast on Thursday.

Speaking to a sold-out crowd of 210 people gathered in the new Williams Inn, Christa Collier, executive director of the Northern Berkshire United Way, said the 2018-19 campaign goal of $480,000 was not only met but exceeded by $8,765. Much of that will be directed back to NBUW's 20 member agencies, but Collier on Thursday also wanted to highlight some of the other work the agency has been doing above and beyond those allocations.

To that end, two speakers shared news of programs last

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The Independent Investor: Brokerage Business Not What It Used to Be
By Bill Schmick,
04:15PM / Thursday, October 10, 2019
Last week, Charles Schwab, the mega-discount broker, disrupted the brokerage industry yet again by dropping its per-trade commission rates for U.S. and Canadian stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and options for both mobile and internet trades. It was inevitable and simply recognizes what the future holds for that segment of the financial industry.   Since Schwab's announcement on October 1, three additional big brokers — TD Ameritrade, E-Trade and Fidelity Investments — have thrown in the towel leaving only Vanguard (among the big houses) left out of the zero-commission trend.   The stock market reacted in shock. Traders hit the sell button on their computers

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Berkshires Beat: Tanglewood to Offer Year-Round Programming
04:01PM / Thursday, October 10, 2019
Tanglewood news

For the first time since it was established as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood will be holding programming during the fall, winter and spring. This change is enabled by the the development of Tanglewood's new Linde Center for Music and Learning, which was launched in the summer of 2019.

The Linde Center will host a variety of programming, offering participants a wide spectrum of performances and multidisciplinary activities designed to attract both newcomers and longtime patrons seeling to becoming more involved with music and the arts. The Linde Center will also serve as an event and concern rental space for use by the Berkshire community

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'Joker': Doesn't Kid Around
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:12PM / Wednesday, October 09, 2019
If van Gogh were alive today and dabbling in film, I expect that he might create something as artistically maddening as Todd Phillips' "Joker." But we must tread carefully. The controversy is there for the taking.    Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck, who will ultimately evolve into his alter ego, the Joker, before the closing credits fall on this fantastically directed, acted and produced "Batman" offshoot, is off the hook in every definition of the term. Thus the question is begged: Is it OK to derive entertainment from the criminally insane?   Phillips, who co-wrote this magnum opus with Scott Silver, throws all decorum and caution to the wind as

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Valley Flyer Connecting Springfield Region to New York City
06:05PM / Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Enjoyed the opportunity over the weekend to join federal, state and local partners to celebrate the launch of Valley Flyer service, which will strengthen western Massachusetts' transportation network along the Knowledge Corridor.

📰 via @WWLP22News: https://t.co/cuLvvKEk74 pic.twitter.com/8dxkJi0DOZ

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) October 7, 2019 SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — State officials on Saturday highlighted the Valley Flyer rail pilot that began service on Aug. 30 and will allow daily connections to New York City for the first time in 50 years.    Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, Mayor Domenic Sarno, Amtrak officials and community members

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