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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 6 - Nov. 15
Staff Reports,
04:55PM / Friday, November 16, 2018
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Nov. 6.   Anthony Deordio, 43, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of rape and abuse of a child.   He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in North Adams on Nov. 1, 2017, and involved an 8-year-old girl.   Richard Dixon, 34, of Pittsfield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of child pornography, and dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity.   He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. He is accused

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The Independent Investor: The Apple of Our Eyes
By Bill Schmick,
12:44PM / Friday, November 16, 2018
Go into just about any supermarket right now and what do you see? Bins and bins of gorgeous red, green, and golden apples. The harvest is overwhelming, but some apples are worth more than others.   If you are like me, an average consumer, it takes about 23 minutes to do my grocery shopping, according to Proctor and Gamble. During that spate of time, I buy an average of 18 items out of maybe 30,000 to 40,000 choices. I have little time to browse and, most of the time, I don't even check the prices, which brings me back to the apple cart.   You see, I value my fruits and vegetables. The more local, the better, because to me, the taste is everything. Until recently, I was partial

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North Adams Man Killed in MassPike Work-Site Accident
Staff Reports,
09:54AM / Friday, November 16, 2018
BECKET, Mass. — A North Adams man was killed Thursday afternoon while working on the Massachusetts Turnpike near mile-marker 17.2.   Authorities say Brian M. Simard, 26, was killed in a "work site accident" at 1:45 p.m. Simard, a construction worker, was pronounced dead at the scene. His obituary can be found here.   "No further details will be released at this time as the accident remains under investigation," states a press release from the Berkshire district attorney's office.    The westbound lane of the MassPike was blocked for nearly three hours. State police from the Westfield barracks are leading the

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The White Stuff Is Coming! The White Stuff Is Coming!
Staff Reports,
02:30PM / Thursday, November 15, 2018

Here's an update direct from the Massachusetts Emergency Agency:

Precipitation is expected to start in southwestern Massachusetts by 5 p.m. this evening, spreading to the northeast, arriving in Worcester by 7 p.m., Boston by 8 p.m., and northeastern MA by 9 p.m.  Snow will be moderate to heavy at times, with snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour possible, reducing visibility to half-mile and accumulating quickly.  Accumulations of 4-8 inches in Western and central Mass, 4-6 inches along the 495 belt, and 1-2 inches along the 95 belt are expected.  

Our first set of cancellations:

• The Southern Berkshire Regional School District has canceled all

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Community TV Stations: Proposed FCC Rule Could Gut Funding
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, November 15, 2018

The studio at NBCTV set up for a debate. The local access television station says its revenue from the local cable company has been dropping yearly. A proposed change before the FCC could cut into its ability to provide local programming and possibly force it to close.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local public access stations fear that a potential new Federal Communications Commission rule will allow cable companies to obliterate their operating funds.   Public, educational, and government access (PEG) stations are mostly funded through franchise fees that cable subscribers pay in their monthly bill. Communities negotiate those fees, typically every 10 years.    The

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Harrington Announces First Assistant, Transition Team Chair
Staff Reports,
01:16AM / Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hampden County Assistant District Attorney Karen Bell will serve as first assistant district attorney. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Andrea Harrington has started to build her team.   On Wednesday, the district attorney-elect announced Karen Bell as her first assistant district attorney. Bell is currently an assistant district attorney in Hampden County with some 20  years of experience.   She's said to have worked in the appellate division, the district court, grand jury, and the superior court divisions.    "Bell has prosecuted thousands of cases and most recently served as a member of the Hampden County District Attorney's Superior Court Homicide

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Great American Smokeout Set For Nov. 15
01:57PM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The American Cancer Society is encouraging current smokers to commit or recommit to healthy, smoke-free lives by participating in the 43rd Great American Smokeout event on Thursday, Nov. 15.

"The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit smoking cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco," said Wendy Matthews, executive director of the American Cancer Society. "We are showing our support for people who take those first steps toward making a plan to quit."

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29 percent of all cancer deaths. In fact, smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than

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BArT Announces First Quarter Honor Roll
01:50PM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced the students who made honor roll for the first quarter of the 2017-18 school year.  

Students who earned 80 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "Honors." Students who earned 90 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "High Honors."

Academic courses at BArT are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks for the appropriate grade level and include all standards deemed necessary for a complete, college-preparatory, middle and high school education.

Grade Six

High Honors: Persephone Clark, Sascha

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BMC Receives Straight A Grade for Patient Safety
12:21PM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C-based organization aiming to improve healthcare quality and safety for consumers and purchasers, has announced the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades and awarded Berkshire Medical Center the elite designation of "A" for its continued achievement in patient safety.

BMC is one of only 42 "Straight A" hospitals in the United States to be awarded an "A" every grading cycle since 2012.

"This consistent recognition for patient safety is reflective of the dedication our care team has to providing nothing but the best and safest care possible," said David Phelps, president and chief

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BMC Expands Rehabilitation Care with Addition of Two Physicians
04:38AM / Wednesday, November 14, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has announced the appointment of Dr. Victoria Tuttle and Dr. Katie Hatt to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services of BMC. 

They will join Dr. Francis Bohdiewicz and Dr. Douglas Molin at Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services of BMC.

Dr. Tuttle received her medical degree from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal Medicine at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y. Dr. Tuttle is accepting new patients in need of osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Dr.

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Berkshires Beat: Vessels for Change Returns to Aid Immigrant Center
12:18PM / Monday, November 12, 2018
Vessels for Change

This fall, 70 area artists joined creative forces to make and sell 100 hand-crafted and hand-painted ceramic mugs, the proceeds of which benefit the Berkshire Immigrant Center.Now in its second year, Vessels for Change culminates in a celebration at Bright Ideas Brewing on the Mass MOCA campus in North Adams on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. For a $100 donation to the Berkshire Immigrant Center, donors receive a one-of-a-kind handmade mug, locally brewed beer, and a celebration. To make a donation and reserve a mug, visit the website. www.vesselsforchange.com

In September 2017, ceramic artist Stephanie Boyd, one of the event organizers, was inspired after a

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Biz Briefs: Big Y Helps Fund Books for North Adams, Pittsfield Elementary Schools
11:56AM / Monday, November 12, 2018
Book donations

As the result of a partnership with Big Y, a family-owned food retail company with stores across Western Massachusetts, schools in Berkshire County received 1,000 new books for school and classroom libraries. The six elementary schools benefiting from this generous donation included Silvio O. Conte Community School, Morningside Community School and Crosby Elementary in Pittsfield and Brayton Elementary, Greylock Elementary and Colegrove Park Elementary in North Adams.

"Like schools in the Greater Springfield area, Berkshire County faces challenges increasing reading proficiency at the elementary level. That is why it has long been a goal of ours to expand our

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