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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

@theMarket: The Market's Winter Storm
By Bill Schmick,
03:28PM / Friday, December 14, 2018
Stocks worldwide have experienced a downdraft since October. All the gains so painstakingly made thus far in 2018 have been erased. Volatility has battered markets with all the severity of a Nor'easter. Next year may prove to be a continuation of the same.   It is interesting that the culprits responsible for this change of heart in the markets have been around for just about all of the past year. Leading the list is Donald Trump. It was our president that decided to wage a trade war against the world. There has been little success in his battle thus far. The prospect of more of the same faces us well into the new year.   The Federal Reserve Bank can also take some blame.

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Winter Plans on Teasing Berkshires This Weekend
02:50PM / Friday, December 14, 2018

Will we have a white Christmas? Maybe ...

Oh, hey there, winter.

After a snowy Thanksgiving period, there hasn't been much weather to speak of since then. (Except that it's been cold. Not as freezing cold as it was on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but fairly chilly.)

But this weekend could be different. After an early forecast of rain for Saturday and Sunday, it now appears as if clouds will move in on Saturday and temperatures wil hover just around freezing on Sunday to make the precipitation more of a messy, wintry mix in the Berkshires.

While there is no official winter storm warning as of Friday afternoon, AccuWeather predicts a wintry mix in the morning Sunday, followed

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Holiday Events and Tree Lightings 2018
11:15AM / Friday, December 14, 2018

'Tis the season to be merry and bright. Planning a holiday event? Let us know at iBerkshires.com. (Visit our Holiday Bazaars and Craft Fairs list for holiday craft fairs.( And see below for a guide to Christmas tree lightings in towns across the Berkshires.

The city of Pittsfield is offering free downtown parking for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas on Fridays Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 28. There will also be a week of free parking starting Dec. 17 through Dec. 21. Parking is always free in the evenings and weekends.

 

Holiday Events

 

Thursday, Dec. 13

North Adams: Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night returns to North Adams in the historic village of Blackinton

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1Berkshire Annual Meeting Remembers Klefos, Looks to Year Ahead
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:32PM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler welcomes members and local elected leaders to the organization's annual meeting.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — 1Berkshire's annual meeting last Thursday was a celebration: not just of the work the organization's been doing this past year but a reflection on the life of one its primary architects.    Vice President Lauri Klefos, who had been head of the merged Berkshire Visitors Bureau, had died unexpectedly just a week before, sending shockwaves through the tourism and business community.    "She saw 1Berkshire as a vehicle that would allow us to leverage our resources and amplify our voice for a

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BHS Expands Rheumatology Services With New Doctor
03:03PM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has further expanded its rheumatology services with the appointment of Dr. Liana Fraenkel, a board-certified and fellowship-trained rheumatologist.

Dr. Fraenkel joins the Berkshire Medical Center medical staff and the physician staff of Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC. She is accepting new patients in need of rheumatology care and is partnered with Drs. Lauren Dudley and Leonard Sigal at Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC.

Dr. Fraenkel is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and was fellowship-trained in rheumatology at Boston Medical Center. She received her medical degree from McGill University,

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What Is Smarter: Paying Off Debts or Investing?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:50AM / Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It probably doesn't happen as much as you'd like, but you may occasionally have some extra disposable income. For example, perhaps you have recently received, or will soon receive, a year-end bonus. Or maybe you will get a sizable tax refund in just a few months. Wherever this money comes from, you will want to put it to good use. Should you use the cash to pay down debts or should you invest it instead?

There's no simple answer, and everyone's situation is different, but here are a few suggestions for helping you make a good choice:

* Evaluate your cash flow. If you already have enough cash to meet your daily living expenses, you might lean toward investing the money,

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Harrington Adds Two More to District Attorney's Office Leadership
Staff Reports,
03:25PM / Tuesday, December 11, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — District Attorney-elect Andrea Harrington added two more individuals to her leadership team on Tuesday.   Richard Dohoney will be brought on as Harrington's deputy district attorney and Jeanne Kempthorne will serve as chief of appeals and legal counsel. Dohoney, of Great Barrington, is currently the city solicitor. Kempthorne is a former federal prosecutor working in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston for 11 years.    The two join Karen Bell, who was previously announced as the office's first assistant.   "I am excited to bring such an experienced and talented group of prosecutors and legal professionals to serve as my senior

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BRTA Work Stoppage Playing Havoc With Regular Bus Routes
Staff Reports,
10:33PM / Monday, December 10, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The paratransit strike is entering its second week with no sign of resolution.   The work stoppage has affected the regular Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus routes, causing havoc for people trying to get to jobs, schools and other appointments.    One individual, who wished to remain anonymous, told iBerkshires they'd used up sick time because they were unable to get to work last week and a friend lost her job for the same reason.    "If this strike goes on much longer I don't know if I will have a job or how I will pay for housing," the frustrated BRTA rider wrote.   Transit officials have been working to

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Berkshire Health Systems Named a 2018 WWCMA WorkWell Massachusetts
04:37PM / Monday, December 10, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems and its Wellness at Work program have been named a WorkWell Massachusetts Award Program Gold Level winner for exemplary worksite health promotion for the fourth straight year.

The award recognizes Berkshire Health System's achievements developing, implementing and participating in corporate health improvement and wellness programs. BHS is one out of six Gold Level award recipients for 2018, and is the only organization to have received a Gold Level award each of the four years of the program.

Committed to the health and well-being of the entire Berkshire community, the BHS Wellness at Work team works with local employers as a partner

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Berkshires Beat: SVHC Celebrates Putnam Nursing School Alumni
02:30PM / Monday, December 10, 2018
Together again

Sixty-three alumni of the Putnam Memorial Hospital School of Practical Nursing joined leaders from Southwestern Vermont Health Care for a reunion lunch on Dec. 6. The event marked the 70th anniversary of the first graduating class of the school. Throughout its 50-year tenure, the school graduated more than 800 nurses.

The lunch was the final event in a year-long celebration of the hospital's centennial. The year was marked by "A Century of Caring," a historical exhibit which traveled to every region the health system serves; Centennial Community Day, a free event that drew 4,000 people to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center campus in Bennington; and

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BArT Seniors Receive John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
02:50PM / Friday, December 07, 2018

ADAMS, Mass. — Half of the BART Charter Public School senior class are recipients of the John and Abigail Adams scholarship.

Recipients of these scholarships, upon acceptance, are entitled to attend any Massachusetts state school tuition-free for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education.

The recipients are Isaiah Albright, Ruth Bristol, Natalie Celebi, Thomas Cook, Dylan Dermody-Battaini, Joshua Donovan, Joshua Doubiago, Matthew Failla, Macie Fitch, Shanique Maloney, Braydon Peterson, Hannah Stringer, Caitlin Terpak and Abel Ward.

To be eligible, students must score at the advanced level on one of the three Grade 10 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assesment System (MCAS) tests

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Pignatelli Honored As 'River Hero'
02:17PM / Friday, December 07, 2018

BOSTON — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli and state Sen. Anne Gobi, chairs of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, were honored as River Heroes on Wednesday evening at the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance annual dinner.

Pignatelli and Gobi, of Spencer, were responsible for the passage of a $2.4 billion Environmental Bond Bill, signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in July that allocated $55 million in funds for river and wetland restoration programs across the commonwealth. In Pignatelli's own Fourth Berkshire District, he allocated $400,000 in funds for the upkeep and expansion of the W.E.B. DuBois river garden park and the

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