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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Biz Briefs: Stop & Shop Workers Still Without Contract
Staff Reports,
01:15PM / Monday, March 18, 2019
UFCW planning Chicopee rally Area UFCW locals are hosting a rally at the Stop & Shop in Chicopee on Wednesday, March 20, as the grocery and union representatives have made little headway in contract negotiations.     UFCW Local 1459, representing about 2,000 workers in the Berkshires and Western Massachusetts, voted a week ago to authorize a strike if the contract talks continue to bog down. Local 1459's vote is in accord with four other UFCW locals that together represent some 30,000 workers in the grocery chain's New England stores.    Local 1459 President Tyrone Housey said in a video message on Friday that the grocer made some economic package

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Youth Voices Lead Coalition Forum
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:09AM / Monday, March 18, 2019

Malina Ziaja, a junior at Hoosac Valley High School, speaks during the coalition youth forum on March 12.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The youth spoke, and the adults listened.

Seven young people from the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's Youth Leadership Program led the Coalition's monthly form on March 12. Representing all four North County high schools, the teens talked to the adults about why adults don't always listen to the point of view of teenagers — and how that can change.

While the youths lead a NBCC forum every year, usually they pick a topic. This year, however, NBCC Executive Director Amber Besaw said, the topic came out the needs assessment

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Q&A: Doctor with Pro Football Pedigree Treating Sports Injuries in Bennington
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Sports
06:56AM / Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dr. Ivette Guttmann BENNINGTON, Vt. — Sustain a sports injury in and around Bennington, and you might discover that your doctor has more than years of medical training to bring to your recovery plan.   She just might be a former professional football player, too.   Earlier this winter, Dr. Ivette Guttmann joined the staff at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center as a sports medicine specialist.   Guttmann is board certified in pediatrics and primary-care sports medicine.   And she is a bona fide football hero, having set a record for touchdown completions in a season as a quarterback for the Orlando Starz and in the Independent Women's Football

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Southfield Fire Destroys One Building, Damages Second
Staff Reports,
01:07PM / Friday, March 15, 2019
NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — An early morning fire Friday in Southfield damaged one building and destroyed another on Norfolk Road.    The 1800s-era single-family home at 155 Norfolk Road was destroyed and the neighboring former Baptist Church damaged. It took several hours for firefighters to contain the blaze. The fires occurred not far from the New Marlborough Fire Station.    "The house was fully involved and beyond saving," Fire Chief Charles Loring III told ABC's News10. "So we concentrated on the church, the church turned into a home. We concentrated on that and were able to save it."   The call came in around 3 a.m. and at least

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Steiner School Taps New First-Grade Teacher
11:53AM / Friday, March 15, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Anna Taiga is joining Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School at first-grade class teacher for the 2019-20 school year.

Taiga was selected from a pool of applicants after an international search. At the Steiner School, as in most Waldorf schools worldwide, grade-school class teachers practice "looping," moving through the grade school curriculum with their classes and building strong, long-term relationships, for up to eight years.

"We are so happy to welcome Anna Taiga as teacher for the Class of 2027," said Steiner Board of Trustees President Chris Lee. "She is already a valued member of our teaching staff, working effectively

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Jacob's Pillow Names Fellowship Recipient
11:46AM / Friday, March 15, 2019

BECKET, Mass. — Bryan Arias, artistic director of ARIAS Company, has received the Jacob's Pillow Fellowship at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post.

The fellowship includes a $15,000 grant, a residency at the Pillow Lab, and a residency at LIU Tilles Center. The newly established fellowship represents a shared vision between the two organizations to broaden resources that allow artists to thrive and bring new work to stages in Massachusetts, New York and beyond.

"Support for artists, both in residency time and financial support toward the creation of a new work, is essential for moving the field forward. This robust fellowship, made possible by Roger Tilles,

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The Independent Investor: Does Our Debt Really Matter?
By Bill Schmick,
04:34PM / Thursday, March 14, 2019
The country's national debt hovers at historically record highs, as the nation's budget battle begins. It's a pretty safe bet to expect another budget-busting compromise as well as a hefty increase to our already-overwhelming debt load.   At times like this I wonder whether Americans are facing the prospect that someday the United States could be the world's largest impoverished nation, and if so, does it really matter?   Last week's column examined the subject of debt, both private and domestic, and how large it has become. This week, I begin by asking why debt matters at all? On a personal level, we know the answer, but what about the nation?   Debt has

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'Captain Marvel': Brave New Suffragette
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:43PM / Thursday, March 14, 2019
Unless you're a card-carrying, dyed-in-the-wool devotee of comic-book film extravaganzas like "Captain Marvel," they can be extremely difficult to follow. Each is chockfull of series lore, a veritable encyclopedia of minutiae that aficionados of the genre demand, and from which they deliriously kvell when given the slightest opportunity to relate in oral treatise. While too lazy to submerge my gray matter into the seemingly endless intricacies each example of the filmic breed holds, I am respectful of the passion, even if it's just to prove I'm not as much a fuddy-duddy and beside the point as I actually am.   As a stranger in a strange land, my modus operandi is

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Five Dead in Sheffield Structure Fire
Staff Reports,
02:41PM / Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Multiple fire departments responded to the single-family home on Home Road. SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Authorities are investigating a Wednesday morning structure fire on Home Road that left five people dead.    "This is an extensive operation and investigation with multiple local and state agencies," said Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington at a brief press conference around 2:30 p.m. at Town Hall. "It's going to take us some time before we can get you more information."   Harrington said the fire at 1343 Home Road was fully involved when responders arrived on scene and was knocked down at about 9:15 on Wednesday morning and determined

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Berkshire Beat: Simon's Rock Preparing for 'Everyone Swims' Program
12:20PM / Wednesday, March 13, 2019
'Everyone Swims'

The Kilpatrick Athletic Center at Simon's Rock College of Bard will host the "Everyone Swims" initiative this spring to give students, faculty, staff, and community members of all ages the opportunity to develop and strengthen their skills in the water. During Everyone Swims, the college will host free swimming lessons for children and adults. The initiative is one part of the year-round programming that promotes health, wellness, and safety.

Learners will focus on the five competencies of safe swimming as outlined by the American Red Cross: jumping in water over their head, treading water, turning 360 degrees, swimming across the pool, and getting

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Put Together a Professional Team to Help You Reach Your Goals
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:16AM / Wednesday, March 13, 2019

As you work toward achieving your goals in life, you will need to make moves that contain financial, tax and legal elements, so you may want to get some help – from more than one source.

Specifically, you might want to put together a team comprised of your financial advisor, your CPA or other tax professional, and your attorney. Together, this team can help you with many types of financial/tax/legal connections.

For starters, you may decide, possibly upon the recommendation of your financial advisor, to sell some investments and use the proceeds to buy others that may now be more appropriate for your needs. If you sell some investments you have held for a year or less and realize a

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MCLA Expands Pittsfield Presence With New Location
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:31PM / Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Professor Deborah Foss said the college has support adult learners for a long time. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Michael Steben earned an associates degree from BCC and then built a career in information technology.   He worked his way up in the industry and he got offered a leadership position, heading the IT Department for the city of Pittsfield.   It didn't take him long to realize that he needed to learn more beyond just technology.   "I've had a rewarding career as a technical person and I've recently been promoted to a management position. In my new role, I quickly came to realize that despite my technical prowess, I didn't know much about being

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