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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Humans of the Berkshires Initiative Celebrates Local Youth
04:14PM / Monday, June 20, 2016

We're only human: Berkshire County has adapted the successful Humans of New York social media campaign to create a countywide forum that celebrates the rich lives of local youth as well as the abundant, positive, intergenerational interactions in the area.

Humans of New York was started by photographer Brandon Stanton in 2010 as an effort to catalog New York City’s eclectic residents, posting a simple photograph of the subject alongside their story. The initiative has blossomed into a movement, having been recreated around the world to celebrate the diversity and positivity of copious communities.

Seventy percent of eighth-graders in Berkshire County do not feel appreciated by


Cages Baseball Club Splits with Averill Park
09:44PM / Saturday, June 18, 2016
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Eric Leitch went 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI to lead the Cages Baseball Club Under-22 team to a 7-4 win over Averill Park in the first half of a double-header on Saturday.   Averill Park came back to win Game 2, 6-5.   In the opener, Dominic DeFelice had a pair of hits, drove in three runs and stole a couple of bases for Cages.   Josh Jezouit got the win with 6-⅔ innings of work, striking out eight and allowing just two earned runs. Alex Carusotto retired the last out to finish the game.   In the nightcap, Averill Park rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to come from behind for the victory.   Matt Braman went


@theMarket: It's Still a Coin Toss
By Bill Schmick,
06:11PM / Saturday, June 18, 2016

Despite all the algorithmic programs, high-powered computers, enormous capital and worldwide connections, what happens in the investment world sometimes comes down to a coin toss. The British vote next Thursday to stay or exit the European Community is shaping up to be one of those binary events.

Have you noticed that there are more and more of these kinds of events in the world?

Remember the U.S. government shutdown, the Greek Referendum, the TARP vote, the German bailout votes for Greece, the vote on Spanish austerity? These are just some of the either/or occasions that sent global markets up or down in double-digit moves.

If you listen to some of the big brokers, they are predicting


Dance Troupe's Residency Deepens Ties With Berkshire Community
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:57PM / Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thasia Giles of Jacob's Pillow said the organization has been growing its partnerships with the rest of the community. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An internationally acclaimed dance company is not only performing in the Berkshires, but also teaching and sharing its skills with the city's teens.   The office of Cultural Development announced Tuesday a community partnership with the Brooklyn-based Urban Bush Women Dance Company, providing 30 teenage girls a chance to participate in workshops with the troupe.   Further, the group is holding two community workshops for men and women of all ages throughout the county. There will also be a dance party at the Crowne Plaza,


Superior Court Briefs: June 14 - June 16
Staff Reports,
04:24PM / Friday, June 17, 2016
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Tuesday, June 14.   Michael Bell, 44, of Watervliet, N.Y. had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single counts of assault and battery on a disabled person.   He was released on personal recognizance. Bell is accused of assaulting a student while working at Eagleton School between March 1, 2015 and March 31, 2015.   Jerrel Hall, 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - armed career felon, illegal possession of a firearm - his second offense - and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number.   He was

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Lee Bank Names New Assistant VP, Private Banking and Trust Services
03:49PM / Friday, June 17, 2016

LEE, Mass. — Marianne Fresia has been named to the position of assistant vice president, private banking and trust services, at Lee Bank.  

In her new position, Fresia will focus on attracting, growing and retaining Lee Bank’s trust clients and will serve as liaison to October Mountain Financial Advisors’ team for clients interested in wealth management. Formed earlier this year, October Mountain Financial Advisors, an alliance of Lee Bank and St. Germain Investment Management, provides client-centered investment management, financial planning, and trust administration services to clients in Berkshire County and throughout New England.

As assistant vice president,


'Maggie's Plan': Has a Comic Twist
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:21PM / Friday, June 17, 2016

Because it is very New York, sophisticated, intelligent, witty, provocative and well written, I think Woody Allen would like director Rebecca Miller's "Maggie's Plan," just in case he's reading.

It is of course about love among the scholarly and introspective, the whys and wherefores therein, with a smart meditation on that emotion as life's essentially indefinable motivator. Though Miller, who wrote the screenplay with Karen Rinaldi, doesn't add to anything Shakespeare has already apprised us of, she gives it a good, seriocomic rummage.

Meet Maggie, the sweet, unassuming administrator at The New School in quiet, innocent and hopeful search of her destiny.


The Independent Investor: The Brexit Primer
By Bill Schmick,
10:19AM / Friday, June 17, 2016

At this time next week the results of a United Kingdom referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union will be announced to the world.

The polls are too close to call and the odds are changing every day. For the past several days equity markets worldwide have been selling off in fear that the Brits will vote yes to a Brexit. Why so much angst over one country leaving the EU?

The obvious concern is that if one nation decides to leave, how many other nations will follow suit? And if they do, the chances that Europe's currency, the Euro, survives would be dicey at best. That's a big deal since it is the second-largest trading currency in the world after the U.S. dollar.



Find an Abundance of Concerts Across the Region
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
12:54PM / Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Concert venues in the Berkshires and southern Vermont will provide a dizzying mélange of classical programs across the full musical spectrum this summer. From early music to avant-garde, from Bach to Beethoven, and light years ahead to the Bang On A Can Festival at Mass MoCA, there’s music in practically every style to stimulate and please all tastes.
Last week I highlighted three major venues where classical music rules: Tanglewood (, Manchester Music Festival ( and Tannery Pond ( For complete concert schedules, information and to purchase tickets, visit their websites.
And that’s not all.

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Ground Broken for Berkshire Country Day School's New Facility
12:30PM / Wednesday, June 15, 2016

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Kim Taylor planted a shovel in the ground last Friday, June 10, for the new Kim and James Taylor Music and Performance Room at Berkshire Country Day School, an independent school for students in preschool through grade nine.

Lynn Campana and Paul Hirt, parents of the late Kevin Hirt, Class of 2006, simultaneously broke ground for the Kevin Hirt Library and Learning Commons. The new facility will create a dramatic upgrade to the 70-year-old institution while preserving the beauty of the school's historic campus.

The groundbreaking is the result of "Fulfilling the Promise: The Campaign for BCD," which raised $2.89 million of its $3 million goal to


Mark Elder Abuse Awareness Day With Awareness, Tips
11:57AM / Wednesday, June 15, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In honor of Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, five local stakeholder organizations are hoping to cut down on financial exploitation of the older residents of the Berkshires through a collaborative effort to bring awareness and training to the greater community.

The Berkshire Bar Association, Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, Berkshire Elder Protective Services, Elder Services of Berkshire County and Greylock Federal Credit Union are launching a campaign titled “They Earned It, You Can Help Them Keep It” to raise awareness and prevent financial exploitation of elders.

Every day 10,000 people turn 65 in the United States, and that


Give Your Children the Gift of (Financial) Knowledge
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07AM / Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It’s almost Father’s Day. If you’re a dad with young children, you can expect some nice homemade cards and maybe even a baseball cap. But, of course, your greatest reward is spending time with your kids and watching them grow. In return, you can give them a gift – the gift of knowledge.

Specifically, in the months and years ahead, teach them the financial skills that can help make their lives easier and more rewarding.

For starters, encourage your children to become savers. You can do this in a couple of different ways. First, set a good example. You might explain to your kids that you want to buy a certain item, but you are waiting for it to go on sale. Or, if


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