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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Campaign Finance Takes Center Stage In GMP Senate Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:37AM / Thursday, September 01, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The morning after pre-primary reports were due to the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the three vying for the Democratic nomination for the state senate sparred on WTBR's "Good Morning, Pittsfield."   Leading off the debate, host John Krol tackled those reports posed pointed questions about the candidate's donors.   Adam Hinds, on leave as executive director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, nearly quadrupled the amount of fundraising of his closest competition by reeling in $75,000. The names on the donor list include city councilors, current and past presidents of the Chamber of Commerce, the head of

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Pignatelli Kicks Off Re-election Campaign
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:11AM / Thursday, September 01, 2016

William 'Smitty' Pignatelli is embarking on his eighth campaign for House of Representatives. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In front of a crowd of who's who of the Berkshires, fifth-grader Jada McKie took to the microphone.   "Massachusetts has the greatest state representative of all and it is I, Smitty Pignatelli," McKie exclaimed, getting the crowd roaring with laughter at her impression of the 4th Berkshire District representative.   She read a birthday card she drew for William "Smitty" Pignatelli that  says, "You are the most kind person I have ever met. Massachusetts is very lucky to have a state representative like you. Love,

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Berkshire Healthcare Communities Earn 19 National Awards
03:37PM / Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Of the few long-term care and senior living providers in Massachusetts recognized this year by National Research Corporation for exceptional customer and employee satisfaction, Berkshire Healthcare communities captured about 75 percent – 19 out of 25 - of the Massachusetts awards.

In the Berkshire region, Berkshire Healthcare's 2014-15 Excellence in Action award winners for customer satisfaction were Fairview Commons (Great Barrington), Kimball Farms Life Care (Lenox) and Williamstown Commons. For both customer and employee satisfaction, Kimball Farms Nursing Care (Lenox), Mount Greylock Extended Care Facility (Pittsfield), North Adams Commons and

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'Playing With Fire' Merges Music, Mystery With Flair
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires.com
12:43PM / Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Often, when we think of our greatest musicians – performers who spend countless hours practicing their instrument, and leading up to that, years perfecting their craft to attain the highest levels of virtuosic and interpretive artistry - we may assume that their lives are fully taken up by mastering their art.

So, it may come as a surprise that occasionally, a maestro ("master") can find the time and passion to dedicate her/himself to a completely different art form – and to, over the years, excel equally at that "secondary" activity. Such is the case with Boston Symphony violinist Gerald Elias.

A graduate of Yale University, Elias has been a Boston

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Make the Most of Gifts to Grandchildren
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:23PM / Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Did you know that National Grandparents Day is only a couple weeks ago, on Sept. 11, 2016? While this "day" is not as widely known as Mother's Day or Father's Day, it is nonetheless important, as it recognizes the key role that grandparents play.

If you are a grandparent yourself, you might expect some cards or phone calls or emails from your own grandchildren – but you will probably experience even greater enjoyment in the gifts you can give them. If you're thinking of making a financial gift, consider your options carefully.

To begin with, don't forget about your own needs. As much as you love your grandchildren, you can't afford to provide

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Democratic Senate Candidate Participate in Pittsfield Gazette Debate
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:55AM / Wednesday, August 31, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In the second of back-to-back debates for the Democratic state Senate candidates on Monday, the three spent an hour handling questions posed by David Cachat, coordinator of PCTV's CityLink channel.   Not only was the debate, which kicked off at 8:30 p.m. the second that night for the senatorial candidates, but it was also back to back for Berkshire Community College. The three candidates had debated at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington before heading to BCC for the Pittsfield Gazette's debate. The Gazette had put on a few hours earlier a debate among the two Democrats seeking the nomination for the House seat in the 3rd Berkshire

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Great Barrington Help Another Hiker Off Monument Mountain
05:23PM / Tuesday, August 30, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Chief Charles Burger reports that the Fire Department rescued a 60-year-old injured hiker from Monument Mountain on Monday afternoon.

On Aug. 29, at 2:41 p.m. firefighters, along with Southern Berkshire Ambulance, responded to Monument Mountain on a report of a hiker who had fallen on the Squaw Peak trail a short distance from the top. The man had injured his ankle and was unable to walk.

Sheffield and Egremont fire departments were immediately called in for assistance to provide their ATVs and manpower, along with the Western Mass Technical Rescue Team.

The first responding crew found the man, who was hiking the trail with a friend, stable but unable to

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Biz Briefs: Berkshire East Opens New Children's Aerial Adventure Park
03:42PM / Monday, August 29, 2016

Up in the trees: Berkshire East has expanded its outdoor adventures with the building of the Berkshire East Children's Aerial Adventure Park .

Seeing the need to provide an exciting and green recreational activity for younger children, Berkshire East hired Tree-Mendous Forest Adventure Parks, an industry leader, to design and build two separate parks for various ages and abilities.

For children 3 years of age and older, the Tree House Park features a maze of trails that are fully protected by netting. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents and grandparents to share the joys of a forest adventure with their children and grandchildren. Trained guides will be present at all

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Our Lady of Fatima Statue Stopping in Berkshires; Vigil Set at St. Elizabeth's
03:35PM / Monday, August 29, 2016

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church will host the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima for an overnight vigil on Sept. 10-11.

The statue will be at churches within the Diocese of Springfield from Sept. 8 through Sept. 28 as part of a two-year tour.

The procession at St. Elizabeth's begins Saturday, Sept. 10, after the 4 p.m. Mass and the vigil continues through the night until the 8:30 Mass on Sunday morning, Sept. 11.

After Mass at 10:45 a.m. on that Sunday, around noontime, the statue will be carried by firefighters to the city's Veterans Memorial, where a bell will be run for each of the airplanes involved in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

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Berkshires Beat: Youth Works Summer Program Recognizes Teens
02:43PM / Monday, August 29, 2016

Congrats: The 12th annual Youth Works Summer Program held its closing ceremony on Aug. 26 at Pittsfield City Hall with the city’s director of Administrative Services, Roberta McCulloch-Dews,  recognizing the achievements of youth workers who successfully completed a summer of employment throughout Berkshire County.

Event speakers included Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, current youth participants Raven Basinger, Garrett Haywood, Gabe Shultheis, and Youth Works alum Nolan Stout. They praised the 35 program graduates for their diligence and presented them with certificates.

Youth Works participants included: Zaniyah Adams; Trisann Alexander; Emma Borden; Tylor Bourne; Roy Brauski;

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Letter: Adam Hinds: Our Next Step Forward
Letters to the Editor,
01:00PM / Monday, August 29, 2016

To the Editor:

Rarely in this region do we find ourselves at such an important change in our regional leaders as we look to elect our next state senator. Challenges, successes, and dreams alike all speak to a need for strong, knowledgeable leadership and advocacy both locally and in Boston.

Locally we are faced with challenges impacting many places: decreasing population, needed infrastructure improvements, challenges with opioid addiction and abuse, and gaps in our economy that magnify socioeconomic difficulties and unemployment rates. These issues are ones that permeate the lives of everyone in the region. To tackle these issues, we need someone with a strong voice and significant,

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End of Session Review: Paul Mark
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Monday, August 29, 2016

DALTON, Mass. — The state passed an economic development bill this session that Rep. Paul Mark says will benefit his district through bridge repairs and allocation for the MassWorks program.

The Peru Democrat said the bill includes $50 million set aside for bridge repairs, which is funding small towns previously didn't have access to. His district of 16 mostly hilltowns spreading throughout the most rural areas doesn't have the tax base to foot the bill for pricey bridge work.

"In some of my smaller, rural hilltowns, you have bridges under 20 feet and they aren't eligible for state or federal money normally. Now we set up a special fund," Mark said.

MassWorks

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