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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire County Kids' Place Gala Celebrates Courage
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Sunday, October 20, 2019

Michael Supranowicz was presented with the Founders Award. He was president of the Kids' Place board for two years and retired from Hillcrest Educational Centers.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The "Wizard of Oz's" the Cowardly Lion finds his courage by facing his fears with the help of his friends.    "Like the Lion, many children just need someone to help them realize that the courage they need to heal from the abuse they have suffered is already inside of them," said Rosemarie  Phelps, chairman of the Berkshire County Kids' Place Board of Directors. "For 26 years, the Kids' Place has helped lead these children and their

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@theMarket: Markets Await a Brexit Vote
By Bill Schmick,
10:56AM / Saturday, October 19, 2019
Great Britain's House of Parliament is voting on yet another proposal to exit the European Union this weekend. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the President of the European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, have a tentative agreement, there is no guarantee parliament will vote for it.   In this world of binary events, financial markets are looking at the vote as a black or white outcome. Parliament votes yes and the British pound, world stock markets, and the European Union (EU) celebrates. If, as they have done in the past, the British politicians vote no, then gloom and doom will likely beset the markets.   My own opinion is that a no vote will simply send the various

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The Independent Investor: Was There Really a Trade Deal?
By Bill Schmick,
02:52PM / Friday, October 18, 2019
Last Friday a "phase one" trade agreement between the United States and China was announced with great fanfare. The problem is that nothing was written down, nor were the terms agreed upon. In the end, we only have a gentlemen's handshake. Will that be enough?   With the stock market up by over one percent, President Donald Trump spent most of the that day in front of the cameras crowing that China had agreed to buy $40-$50 billion worth of food imports from our nation's farmers. He repeated those numbers over and over, throwing in comments of how famers were going to have to buy bigger tractors to handle the business.   China's Vice Premier Liu He smiled

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Northern Berkshire Coalition Forum Envisions 'Inclusive Development'
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Friday, October 18, 2019

Kerri Nicoll, associate professor of social work at MCLA, introduces the 'inclusive development' topic at the NBCC meeting on Tuesday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — In its third forum on the topic of gentrification, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition flipped the script.

Instead of focusing on what people fear when thinking about the challenges of new community investment, participants in the October forum were asked to instead think about what aspects of "inclusive development" they would like to see.

"It was not a good place to get stuck in our fear," said Kerri Nicoll, associate professor of social work in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and

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'Pain & Glory': Regret & Joy
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:42PM / Thursday, October 17, 2019
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent," said the poet, John Donne. But Antonio Banderas' Salvador Mallo, the famed director whose poetic sensibilities are woven throughout Pedro Almodóvar's expertly crafted "Pain & Glory," sure tries to prove him wrong.   In self-imposed hiatus and exile from his storied career when we meet him, Mallo is an anxious confluence of nostalgia, regret, uncertainty and just a little glimmer of hope that might just be our wishful thinking.   Born into more than humble roots of which we are apprised in beautifully etched flashbacks as Salvador painfully and painstakingly tries

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Authorities Release Details of Alleged Assault at Simon's Rock
12:58PM / Thursday, October 17, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The details of an alleged assault at Bard College at Simon's Rock more than two weeks ago have been released by the authorities, and several aspects of the account aren't adding up.   The victim, an unidentified student of color, has said they were assaulted on a trail on the college campus and dragged into the nearby woods. This allegedly occurred on Friday, Sept. 27, and the campus safety office was alerted at 2 p.m. that day. The student was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center, treated for minor injuries and released.    The investigation into the reported assault continues, according to the Berkshire District

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Rain, Wind Heading for New England
, iBerkshires Staff
03:31PM / Wednesday, October 16, 2019

There's bad weather on the way. The beautiful and downright balmy weather over the Berkshires will change in a big way mid-week as a "bomb" cyclone hits along the Northeast seaboard.    Accuweather says the latest indications are the storm will strengthen at a fast enough pace from Wednesday to Thursday to be classified as a bomb cyclone. The barometric pressure has to fall at least 24 millibars, or 0.71 inches, in 24 hours for the bomb cyclone criteria to be met.   Since winds on the front side of the storm are likely to be from the east or southeast, instead of the northeast for much of the mid-Atlantic and New England, it is not likely to be considered

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BHS Diabetes Education Program Launches Weight Loss & Lifestyle Change Program
01:41PM / Tuesday, October 15, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Health Systems Diabetes Education Program has implemented a Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change Program for those with Medicare, with new classes beginning in November, at multiple locations across the Berkshires.

The program is aimed at adults 18 and older who have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes by a blood test within the past year. To be eligible for this program, participants must have a need to lose weight, with a Body Mass Index of 25 or higher. The program involves 16 weekly classes over the first six-month period, and six monthly sessions over the remaining six months, for a year-long program. Participants must also be willing to log food that they

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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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