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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Honorees Chosen for Berkshire Nonprofit Awards
11:35AM / Monday, May 13, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires has announced the names of 19 honorees for the 2019 Berkshire Nonprofit Awards. The honorees will be celebrated at a breakfast event on Tuesday, May 21, from 8 to 10 a.m. at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield.

"We are looking forward to shining a light on these incredibly dedicated individuals, their commitment to our community, and their high-impact accomplishments," said Liana Toscanini, founder of the Nonprofit Center. The NPC was founded in 2016 to help nonprofits connect, learn and grow.

Nominations were solicited throughout February and March. A team of 17 judges from the business and nonprofit

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Mother's Day Brings Wintry, Rainy Weather
04:15PM / Sunday, May 12, 2019
Yes, it's May 12. And yes, there's a wintry mix of sleet and snow moving through the Berkshires. Happy Mother's Day!   There have been reports of snow at least a half inch of snow in the higher elevations, including Florida Mountain and Readsboro, Vt.    The National Weather Service says sleet and wet snow may produce slick spots across the higher terrain including the Massachusetts Turnpike between Otis, Blandford and Russell.   It was reportedly 30 degrees and snowing on the MassPike near Becket; the speed limit was lowered from the New York border to mile marker 44.   NWS's Albany, N.Y., bureau says there was a trace of snow on Mother's Day in

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@theMarket: Tariffs Trash Stocks
By Bill Schmick,
08:44AM / Saturday, May 11, 2019
Volatility in the form of U.S. trade tariffs levied on China cut through investors' complacency with a vengeance this week.  It took less than three days to drop the markets by 3 percent. Is it over or do we have another 5 percent or so to endure?   My bet is that it is over — for now. Sometime during the on-going trade negotiations occurring in Washington today and tomorrow, the thorny trade issues, (such as intellectual property (IP) protection for U.S. companies) will be kicked down the road. A compromise on other, easier issues will be announced as "on-going" (although not inked) and the Chinese delegation will fly home in an atmosphere of

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U.S. Census Jobs Already Available Ahead of 2020 Count
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:12PM / Friday, May 10, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Census may still be another year away, but there are jobs available now.   U.S. Census Bureau media specialist Keith Goralski said the bureau is already hiring people for address canvassing this year. The job asks people to confirm addresses of homes, looking for newly built homes and identify homes that may no longer exist. The goal is to get an accurate list of the addresses when the Census process rolls out in 2020.   "We are basically telling everyone that there are opportunities now because there are," Goralski said.   The bureau will be hiring throughout the country for part-time and full-time positions from now through 2020. The

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Berkshires Beat: 'Pleiades' Now on Permanent Loan to Ventfort Hall
11:16AM / Friday, May 10, 2019
'Pleiades' on display

Local sculptor Andrew DeVries has been for many years an exceedingly devoted friend of Ventfort Hall. His pair of bronze "Pleiades" - in ancient mythology seven sisters who became a cluster of stars - is now on permanent loan to Ventfort Hall.

The two Pleiades were first placed at Ventfort Hall when DeVries was the resident sculptor at the mansion in 2004 and 2005. After leaving Ventfort Hall for a time, they returned about five years ago and will now be on permanent display. DeVries sees this donation of the two Pleiades as a fitting way to thank Ventfort Hall, and everyone else, who helped in the rebuilding efforts of his Middlefield studio, as

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1Berkshire Youth Leadership Program Graduates Class of 2019
10:58AM / Friday, May 10, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Fourteen students from across the Berkshires graduated from 1Berkshire's Youth Leadership Program on Tuesday, May 7. Having completed the entirety of this 10-month leadership program, the students shared the product of their collective impact project with attending family, friends, and regional leaders, and were recognized for their program completion.

For their collective impact project, the Class of 2019 chose to conduct a sustainability fair in coordination with the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market. Through their project, they engaged more than 60 people and helped educate them about ways to be more environmentally sustainable in their own lives.

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My Core Floor Wins Lever Health Tech Challenge
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Friday, May 10, 2019

Dr. Lara Aillon-Sohl was the runner-up with her  product ThriveText.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is a waiting list to see Brittney Cappiello but not many women want to talk about why.

She specializes in pelvic issues, treating women suffering from pain or even peeing their pants on a treadmill or a trampoline. 

"Even in this rural area, I currently have a three-month waiting list of people coming to see me," she said.   Woman pay a lot of money for diapers, pads, medications, or even surgeries every year to address a problem that they feel is unique to only them. She said the most common question she gets is whether or not she has seen such cases

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The Independent Investor: What Does Your 401(k) Investments Look Like?
By Nate Tomkiewicz and Bill Schmick,
05:14PM / Thursday, May 09, 2019
It might surprise you to know that many retirement savers religiously contribute to their tax-deferred savings plans but have no idea what investments they own. Many plan representatives simply suggest that if you don't know, just invest in a target date retirement fund. Is this a good idea?   Most 401(k)s and 403(B)s plans, for example, have between 20 and 30 investment options you can choose from.  This menu of choices normally includes bond and stock funds as well as international funds. There are also balanced or blended funds, which invest in a mixture of stocks and bonds. Many plans also have some kind of annuity-like investment as well as target date

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'Long Shot': Proves a Winning Bet
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:36PM / Thursday, May 09, 2019
I'm giving director Jonathan Levine's "Long Shot" a three, even though by most of my film-criticizing parameters (pace, creativity, screenplay, blah, blah, blah) it rates a 2.5. But hey, it's such a convivial and much needed feel-good movie that I'm figuring why be a piker? It's not like I have to pay Microsoft a vig depending on how many popcorns I allot the film in question, although that day may indeed be coming.   Pulling no punches in its hardly veiled muckrake of the current four-flushers down in Foggy Bottom, this delightfully quixotic confection, heir to the screwball comedies directors Frank Capra and Preston Sturges buoyed Depression Era

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Why Should Recent Graduates Care About Retirement Planning?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:41AM / Wednesday, May 08, 2019

If you've graduated from college in the past year or so and started your first job, you're no doubt learning a lot about establishing yourself as an adult and being responsible for your own finances. So thoughts of your retirement are probably far away. And yet you have several good reasons to invest in your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan.

First of all, by contributing to your 401(k), you can get into the habit of regular investing. And since you invest in your 401(k) through regular payroll deductions, it's an easy way to invest.

Furthermore, your 401(k) or similar plan is an excellent retirement-savings vehicle. You generally contribute pre-tax dollars

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Health Matters: Four Quick Tips to Protect Against Anaplasmosis
By Marie J. George,
09:16PM / Tuesday, May 07, 2019

For those who don't work in health care, the disease anaplasmosis sounds made up. In reality, it's the second most common tick-borne illness affecting our region. 

Like Lyme disease, the most common one, it is caused by bacteria carried by the blacklegged tick. According to the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont has the highest annual incidence of anaplasmosis nationwide.

You can get anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, as well as a handful of less common tick-borne diseases from the same bite. Because of the tick life cycle, the number of tick bites peaks in May and June and again in late October and November. 

Here are some quick tips to protect you against anaplasmosis and

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U.S. Open Local Qualifier Held at Berkshire Hills
iBerkshires.com Sports,
02:58PM / Tuesday, May 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Rutland, Vt.'s, Jared Nelson and Dartmouth's, Mark Purrington Tuesday earned a spot in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying Tournament with their performances at the local qualifier at Berkshire Hills Country Club.   The two tied for first in the one-round event at 3-under-par 69 to earn the two berths at stake in the June 3 sectional in Purchase, N.Y.   Another Vermonter, Killington's Garren Poirier, finished just out of the money in third place at 2-under 70, the only other red number on the leaderboard.   Poirier, like Nelson, is an amateur.   Nelson made the turn at even par but started the back nine strong with birdies on the

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