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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Great Barrington Celebrates Annual Du Bois Legacy Festival
03:56PM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Town of Great Barrington, together with community partners, welcomes nationally renowned artists and scholars to the Berkshires for the 3rd Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Festival on the weekend of Du Bois' 152nd birthday, Feb. 22-23.
 
"Each year we celebrate Du Bois with scholars and artists from the local area and also throughout the country to uplift the values of W.E.B. Du Bois in his hometown," said Gwendolyn VanSant, Legacy Committee vice chair. "In Great Barrington, we celebrate his commitment to racial equity, civil rights, progressive education, and economic justice. We are joined by partners who uphold a commitment to

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Letter: Quit Smoking for Heart Health
Letter to the Editor,
01:00PM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

To the Editor:

February is American Heart Month — a great time to quit vaping, smoking or other tobacco products.

Smoking can lead to narrowing blood vessels and high blood pressure and it is a leading cause of heart disease. Vaping is still fairly new and less is known about its effect on the heart. However, the American Heart Association reports that two new studies find that vaping may be just as dangerous by increasing heart disease risk factors.

So, for American Heart Month, make a resolution for a healthier life for you and your family. If you vape, smoke or use other tobacco products, quitting is the most important step you can take to protect your health.

If you want to quit

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Biz Briefs: Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Hosts Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week
11:54AM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. has announced Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week, a seven-day promotion running March 1-7. During Restaurant Week, 13 participating restaurants will serve a lunch or dinner pre-fixe for $20.20 or another amount ending with $.20 (tax and gratuity not included).

The goal of Downtown Pittsfield Restaurant Week is to highlight the numerous and diverse dining options of downtown Pittsfield and to help boost business during what is typically a slower time of the year for restaurants. DPI encourages residents to support their downtown favorites or try somewhere new. Participating restaurants include: Dottie's Coffee Lounge, Eat on

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A Snowy Tuesday in the Berkshires
11:15AM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The weather outside is ... a bit frightful this Tuesday morning.

Snow is falling across the region, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a special weather statement: "Snow has developed across the southern Green Mountains, northern Berkshires, and Washington county in eastern New York. Snowfall of varying intensity with temperatures near or below freezing could result in areas of slippery travel and reduced visibility. Around 1 to 3 inches of snow will accumulate, especially in the higher terrain. Use caution if traveling into the afternoon."

Be careful driving if you're out and about today running errands, getting to and from work, or bringing the kiddos

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What Does End of 'Stretch IRA' Mean to You?
11:01AM / Tuesday, February 18, 2020

If your IRA is big enough to help you pay for retirement with enough left over to leave to your heirs, you will want to pay close attention to some recently enacted legislation – because it could have a big impact on your estate plans.

Here's the background: As part of the 2019 SECURE Act, which includes provisions to help people build their retirement savings, the so-called "stretch IRA" has been limited for most non-spouse beneficiaries. Under the old rules, non-spouse beneficiaries could withdraw money from an inherited IRA gradually, over their lifetimes. By "stretching" out these payments, beneficiaries could spread out the tax burden, as withdrawals

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Annual Gathering Celebrates Susan B. Anthony's 200th Birthday
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
03:58AM / Monday, February 17, 2020

Deb Burns leads the crowd in several singalongs of music from Susan B. Anthony's era. ADAMS, Mass. — Upwards of 200 people serenaded Susan B. Anthony on the occasion of her 200th birthday on Sunday.   The anniversary event at the Adams Free Library, sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum and the Adams Historical Society, annually recognizes the famed civil rights and suffrage pioneer who was born on East Road on Feb. 15, 1820.   The celebration falls in a year that will be marked by several events commemorating not only Anthony's bicentennial but also the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States. Anthony long

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Veteran Spotlight: Williamstown Couple Find Career, Each Other, in Army
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:31PM / Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mary Roberts celebrating the holidays overseas during Desert Storm.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The featured veterans of my column this week are truly unique. They both served, while husband and wife, in the Army at the same time.   Mary Angelo-Roberts served her country from 1973 to 1995, retiring as a sergeant major while Charles "Chuck" Roberts served from 1975 to 1995 and retired as a first sergeant.    You will never meet two of the most genuine, classy people as you will the Roberts.   Mary grew up in Milford, Conn., and was sent to basic training at Fort McClellan in Alabama after enlisting at age 19. Chuck grew up in Williamstown and

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The Independent Investor: Economic Inequality Becomes Campaign Issue
By Bill Schmick,
06:32PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
As Bernie Sanders takes the lead in the Democratic primary campaign, investors are beginning to take his socialist leanings to heart. But dire warnings from the opposition and Wall Street seem to have little impact. A look at the present income inequality in America goes a long way in explaining why.   Over the years, I have written a number of articles on the growing threat of income inequality and its damage to "the Great Center" — the American middle class. According to a new study by the respected Pew Research organization, over the past 50 years, the highest earning 20 percent of U.S. households have garnered a steadily increasing share of America's total

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'The Big Chill' at Hancock Shaker Village Offers Day of Winter Family Fun
03:47PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

HANCOCK, Mass. — Hancock Shaker Village will host "The Big Chill" on Sunday, Feb. 16, an action-packed day of old-fashioned outdoor (and indoor) fun. The event will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the historic village closes at 4 p.m.

Activities include maple tree tapping, ice harvesting talks, a tour of the Ice House, horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with farm animals in the Round Stone Barn, crafts, blacksmithing and baking demos, snowman making, cider tastings, and cozy board games.

Wild Bill and the Flying Sparks, a self-described "honky tonk, roots rockin' country music band," takes the stage in the Believers' Room at 4 p.m., led by Wild Bill on the

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Berkshire Health Systems Taps New Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer
03:08PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. James Weil Lederer Jr. has been appointed to the position of chief medical officer/chief quality officer at Berkshire Health Systems.

"Dr. Lederer has over 20 years of experience in leading innovative, patient-focused, high-quality care initiatives in settings spanning acute-care hospitals, health systems and physician practices," said David Phelps, BHS president and chief executive officer. "He has shown to be a proven leader and will help our team to further advance the patient safety and quality initiatives that have placed us among the national leaders in patient care."

Lederer most recently served as the vice president for Clinical

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Jack Miller Contractors Fills Project Manager, Bookkeeper Positions
12:50PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
 

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jack Miller Contractors has hired Shawn Thibodeau as project manager and Kris Maloney as bookkeeper to continue building a highly skilled management team and provide additional services to an expanding client base. Jack Miller Contractors employees 18 professionals in the community.

Thibodeau is a lifelong resident of Southern Vermont with a career focused on carpentry, construction and project management since the mid 1990s, when he started as a carpenter apprentice. He has been a professional carpenter for 20 years, working for David Tierney Construction in Pittsfield and Blue Heron Construction in Bennington, Vt. Thibodeau owned his own construction

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Can You Improve Your Relationship with Money?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:07AM / Thursday, February 13, 2020

In your life, you will have all sorts of relationships – with your family, your friends, your co-workers, and even with civic groups and charitable organizations you support. But have you ever considered another key relationship – the one you have with money?

Of course, this type of relationship has several aspects, such as saving, spending and investing. And your fellow Americans clearly face some challenges in these areas. For example, in a recent survey by financial services firm Edward Jones, only 21 percent of respondents reported that they feel happy when thinking about saving money, while 92 percent said they see room for improvement in their financial health. Yet only

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