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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Rabasco Wins Steel Rail Half Marathon
07:28PM / Sunday, May 19, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Pittsfield's Mark Rabasco Sunday won the Steel Rail Half Marathon with a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes, 39 seconds.   Rabasco covered the course with a mile pace of 5:32 and finished nearly 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Mac Bissaillon of Merrimac.   Mount Greylock graduate Emily Kaegi was the first woman across the line, finishing in 1:29:02. She was followed by April Varellas of Adams in 1:31.46.   Six hundred, twenty-one competitors finished the half marathon, which is held in conjunction with an 8-kilometer race.   Adams' Justin Levesque won the 8K in 30:28, more than two minutes ahead of runner-up and first woman across the line Heather

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North Adams Recovery Center Leads With Peer Mentoring
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:26AM / Sunday, May 19, 2019

Amber Besaw, director of NBCC, welcomes the gathering to the recovery center's open house on Tuesday. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Beacon Recovery Center opened only eight short weeks ago but already has a cadre of nearly a dozen people who show up every Wednesday.    That strong start was celebrated on Tuesday evening with an open house to get the word out that a safe space for sharing was available to those affected by addiction.    "We don't subscribe to one form of therapy or recovery," said peer counselor David Risch. "We do it by ourselves. We share our experiences, strength and hope in recovery. And if we want to break the stigma of

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Congressman Neal Stresses Free Speech at MCLA Commencement
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:30PM / Saturday, May 18, 2019

More than 400 degrees and certificates were awarded.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal urged the new graduates of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to not only hear, but to listen and not to be afraid of encountering alternative opinions.   Rather, he said, determine the facts before forming an opinion because that will make your argument "more clear and more crisp."   "It helps me to gain a fresh perspective and new ideas and to hear both sides of arguments and leads to, I hope, a new perspective," he said. "Despite the turmoil which we find the country in, and the incendiary nature of the public debate, democracy is

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Community Health Programs Taps New Board Member
10:42AM / Friday, May 17, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The board of directors of Community Health Programs has named Celia Clancy of Lenox as a new member.

Clancy is CEO of Celia Clancy Consulting and past CEO/president of The Fitzpatrick Companies. She brings to the board her background in retail and consumer goods business leadership and consulting. She has worked with public, private, family-owned private equity and ESOP companies; her expertise includes strategic planning, business process improvement, merchandising, direct consumer marketing and manufacturing.

"Celia brings an extraordinary background in business leadership and marketing to the board," said Lia Spiliotes, CEO of CHP. 

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The Independent Investor: Epidemic Pulls Pork Prices Higher
By Bill Schmick,
05:38PM / Thursday, May 16, 2019
The African swine fever could cause prices in China to spike 70 percent or more this year. The highly infectious disease is spreading throughout Asia and could lead to a large increase in the price of pork here at home as well.   Before you ask, this highly infectious virus, while deadly to pigs, is not harmful to humans. The problem is that when even one pig is tested positive, the entire herd needs to be slaughtered as quickly as possible. There is no cure.   The government is taking this epidemic seriously, and well it should. Tough new government rules have been implemented this month in Chinese slaughterhouses and processing plants to identify and test for the

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'Poms': Something to Cheer About
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:07PM / Thursday, May 16, 2019
The philosophical gist of "Poms," a rootin'-tootin' homage to Baby Boomer relevance about a former cheerleader who forms a cheer leading squad at her retirement community, reminded me of an illuminating exchange I had with my wife, Joanne, about 20 years ago.    We were driving across the Neversink River in New York's Sullivan County on the way to our daughter's summer camp when The Rolling Stones's "You Can't Always Get What You Want" came on the radio. Funny how you remember where you were during epiphanic moments. Well, it occasioned me to opine, somewhat resignedly, "Could you imagine, we'll be in the old age home someday

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Norman Rockwell Museum Celebrates 50th with Founders Day
11:36AM / Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Norman Rockwell offered to hang his art in the newly rescued Old Corner House in Stockbridge, which would eventually become the first Normal Rockwell Museum.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Norman Rockwell Museum will host Founders Day, welcoming Berkshire County residents for free in celebration of the Golden Anniversary of the opening of The Old Corner House, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19.

Family and friends of Rosamond Sherwood wanted to honor her memory and her contribution as one of the three Stockbridge women who in 1967 helped rescue the then 200-year-old building that would later become the original Norman Rockwell Museum.

"Rosamond Sherwood, with Norma Ogden and

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Time to ‘Cycle’ through Some Investment Ideas
11:11AM / Wednesday, May 15, 2019

If you've noticed an increase in bicycle-related events lately, it might be because May is recognized as "Bike Month" – and some cities even observe a specific Bike Week. Of course, bicycling is good exercise and an environmentally friendly method of transportation, but it can also teach us some lessons about investing.

Here are a few to consider:

* Put the brakes on risky moves. To keep themselves safe, experienced cyclists regularly do two things: They keep their brakes in good shape and they don't take unnecessary risks, such as whipping around blind curves. As an investor, you can combine these two actions by putting your own "brakes" on risky moves.

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Preschool, Kindergarten Registrations Scheduled Around County
09:43AM / Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Berkshire County schools are starting to schedule preschool and kindergarten registration dates for the 2019-20 school year. Schools can send their information to info@iberkshires.com to be included on this list.

All students, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or homelessness, have equal access to the general education program and the full range of any occupational, vocational programs offered by public school districts.

Adams/St. Stanislaus Kostka

Preschool open house and registration for 3- and 4-year-olds will be held on Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in the St. Stanislaus Kostka preschool building on

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Biz Briefs: BerkChique Fashion Fundraiser Returns to West Stockbridge
11:59AM / Tuesday, May 14, 2019
BerkChique's eighth year

The Berkshires' premier annual pop-up clothing sale and fundraiser, BerkChique, returns for its eighth consecutive year from Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, at the West Stockbridge Historical Society, located at 9 Main St., West Stockbridge. Since its inception in 2012, BerkChique has donated more than $180,000 to support local nonprofits. This year the sale is being presented by and in support of WAM Theatre and its programs, with additional donations going to the Berkshire Humane Society, Community Access to the Arts, and IS183 Art School of the Berkshires.

The annual event features new and gently used clothing and accessories in a variety of

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Author Jamaica Kincaid Speaking at Simon's Rock Commencement
03:34PM / Monday, May 13, 2019
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Jamaica Kincaid, author of a dozen seminal works of fiction and nonfiction and professor of African and African American Studies in Residence at Harvard University, will address graduates at the 50th commencement ceremony of Bard College at Simon's Rock on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. on Blodgett lawn.   Known for candid and emotionally honest writing, Kincaid has carved  out a place in the American literary landscape. Through her books and novels, including "Annie John," "Lucy," "At the Bottom of the River" and "A Small Place," she has attracted devoted fans across generations and ethnic boundaries with

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Elms College to Hold 88th Commencement May 18
03:04PM / Monday, May 13, 2019
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Elms College will confer degrees on 536 degrees on Saturday, May 18, at the Mass Mutual Center.    The commencement speaker is health-care entrepreneur and philanthropist William Lyons III, who will receive an honorary degree. Also receiving honorary degrees will be Savina Martin, co-chair of the Massachusetts Poor People's Campaign, and Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, executive director of Catholic Charities Agency in the Diocese of Springfield, in recognition of their contributions to the world.   The 91-year-old Catholic liberal arts college will present 187 bachelor of arts degrees, 206 bachelor of science degrees, 116 master's degrees 20

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