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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Clark Art Institute Names New Director
01:29PM / Monday, June 13, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Board of Trustees of the Clark Art Institute has selected Olivier Meslay to serve as its Dena and Felda Hardymon director.

Meslay, an accomplished museum professional and noted scholar, will become the Clark's fifth director when he assumes his new role on Aug. 22.

Mesley currently serves as associate director of curatorial affairs, senior curator of European and American art, and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), and brings more than 35 years of international experience to his role.

Meslay was unanimously elected to the position during a special session of the Clark's board.


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Biz Briefs: New Bank Commitments Extend BerkShares Throughout Berkshire County
01:10PM / Monday, June 13, 2016

Share alike: Residents and visitors can now exchange federal dollars for local currency at all seven branches of Adams Community Bank, from North Adams and Williamstown to Lee and Lenox, as well as at the Pittsfield branch of Lee Bank. The addition of these eight bank branches more than doubles the total number of exchange points for the local currency program, which has always relied on close partnerships with community banks in the region.

Anyone can purchase BerkShares at participating bank branches at an exchange rate of 95 cents to 1 BerkShare. BerkShares can then be spent at participating businesses at face value; 10 BerkShares can be used to make a purchase worth 10 dollars. All of


Berkshires Beat: More Than 200 Compete in Charity Fishing Derby
11:48AM / Monday, June 13, 2016

Something's fishy: The annual Harry A. Bateman Memorial Jimmy Fund Fishing Derby was held Saturday, June 4. This year, 220 fisherman competed for prizes. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Jimmy Fund in memory of Harry A. Bateman, a former member of Central Berkshire Bowman & I.U.E. Local 255 who was well-known throughout Berkshire County and who became a victim of cancer in 1992.

The winners in the children's categories are as follows:

Heaviest Game Fish: First place: Jason Sweetser, rainbow trout, 2 lbs. 5 oz.; second place: Rebecca Stimpson, rainbow trout, 2 lbs. 2 oz.; third place: Rose Proper, rainbow trout, 2 lbs. 2 oz.

Heaviest Non-Game Fish: First place:


Clark Welcomes Masterpieces from the Prado
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
08:58PM / Saturday, June 11, 2016

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In 16th and 17th century Spain, many of the masterworks of Titian and Reubens were available only to the privileged few.

Starting Saturday, visitors to the Clark Art Institute have the privilege of seeing several of their important works, on loan for the summer from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.

"Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado," on view through Oct. 10, explores the relationship between Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens, his predecessor, the Italian Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) and their respective patrons, Spanish monarchs Philip IV and Philip II.

The relationship between Rubens and Titian is obvious. The former emulated,


@theMarket: The Only Game in Town
By Bill Schmick,
05:31PM / Friday, June 10, 2016

Investors are scratching their heads in confusion. How can U.S. stocks, bonds, commodities and the dollar all go up at the same time? It flies in the face of historical relationships that have been around for years. Thank the central banks of the world for the present situation.

It all comes down to negative interest rates. This year, both European and Japanese central banks have instituted this tactic in an effort to jump-start their economies, weaken their currencies, and offer lending institutions a disincentive to hoarding cash, rather than lend it out.

So far, this strategy has had dismal results.

Foreign institutions have flocked to the American financial markets where in our bond


Great Barrington Firefighters Douse Blaze in Historic Railroad Street Block
02:18PM / Friday, June 10, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Firefighters battled a one-alarm fire late Thursday night that threatened to destroy a downtown landmark.

Fire Chief Charles Burger said firefighters responded just after 11 p.m. to Martin's Restaurant, 49 Railroad St., where they found fire in a first-floor kitchen of a two-story downtown block with attached exposures.

Police Officer Chad Shimmon was on the scene discharging an extinguisher through an open window, which helped slow the fire growth. The second-floor apartment was searched to verify it was unoccupied. The first engine on scene was able to quickly control the fire while additional crews checked for extension, ventilated and performed


MCLA to Offer Violin Repair Workshops
11:46AM / Friday, June 10, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts  once again will welcome violin repair expert Hans J. Nebel to campus as he presents four week-long workshops in June.

The workshops will include “Introduction to Proper Violin Set-Up” June 6-10, “Tonal Improvements” June 13-17, “Fitting New Upper and Lower Block June 20-24, and “Crack Repair and Crack Reinforcements” June 27-July 1.

Nebel is the fourth generation of violin makers in his family, and a graduate of the Bavarian State School of Violinmaking in Mittenwald, Germany.

Nebel started his professional career at Rembert Wurlitzer, Inc., in New York City, where he worked


New Additions Join Cranwell Administration
10:24AM / Friday, June 10, 2016

LENOX, Mass. — Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort has welcomed two new members to its executive team.

Deanna Mangiardi has joined Cranwell as director of sales and marketing. Mangiardi comes from Hampton Inn & Suites, Lenox, where she spent eight years specializing in meetings, groups and local negotiated rates. She is an experienced director who has 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the service industry.

Matthew Polk has returned to Cranwell as director of finance. Polk started his financial career at Cranwell more than 14 years ago but for the past 12 years has been working globally with Four Seasons, Marriott in Australia and most recently Ritz Carlton in Hawaii.


The Independent Investor: How Does the Stock Market Perform in an Election Year?
By Bill Schmick,
02:34PM / Thursday, June 09, 2016

There is quite a bit of worry over this year's presidential elections. Most of that angst centers on the possibility that Donald Trump might be elected to the office and that this could be a disaster for the stock market. If history is any guide, those concerns may be misplaced.

Granted, we haven't seen a candidate quite like the "Donald" in modern history. Some would like to point out that Ronald Reagan, a movie star best known for co-acting with a chimp, did not give many Americans a warm, fuzzy feeling either. Others say Reagan was a pillar of common sense compared to Trump. A President Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, would be a down right relief.

Supporters will


June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month
02:40PM / Wednesday, June 08, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new feline family member is waiting at Berkshire Humane Society or Purradise Feline Adoption Center.

BHS and Purradise have adoption counselors to help people find the right match. Their adoption fee includes spaying/neutering, micro-chipping, age appropriate vaccinations, and so much more.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, about 3.4 million are cats and only 1.3 million of them are adopted.

Although BHS's multiple low-cost spay and neuter programs have drastically reduced feline overpopulation in Berkshire County, hundreds of kittens and cats are still brought to the


Greylock Announces BCC 'Marilyn Sperling Greylock Scholar' Scholarship
02:36PM / Wednesday, June 08, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has established the “Marilyn Sperling Greylock Scholar” Scholarship to honor the credit union’s recently retired president and CEO.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a recent female high school graduate, or non-traditional woman student interested in studying business at Berkshire Community College (BCC). It provides a maximum award of $5,000.

This year’s scholarship recipient is Lori Cormier, a non-traditional student who is studying Business Career Health Information Management and plans to graduate with her associate's degree from BCC in December 2016.

“The ‘Marilyn


Miss Hall's School Graduates 48 Students
02:24PM / Wednesday, June 08, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Forty-eight students, including 16 local girls, graduated during Miss Hall's School's 118th commencement on Sunday, June 5.

Ceremonies took place in the Thatcher Family Gymnasium of the Anne Meyer Cross '37 Athletic Center on the school's Holmes Road campus. Vittoria Incandela, a criminal investigator with the Cook County State's Attorney's Investigations Bureau in Chicago and a member of the Miss Hall's School Class of 2000, delivered this year's commencement address.

Among the class of 2016 graduates were the following local students: Isabella Beckington of Pittsfield; Amelia Biancolo of Richmond; Casey Booth Desnoyers of


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