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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

@the Market: Stocks Look Ready to Reach New Highs
By Bill Schmick,
10:25AM / Saturday, May 12, 2018
The S&P 500 Index had its best week in two months. All the averages made good gains and investor sentiment numbers are improving. We could see a return to the January highs before summer unless something comes out of left field.   Left field has become a familiar place for the markets under the present political regime, but not all the news has been negative on that front. Take the release of three American prisoners by North Korea as an example. Kudos to the president for that one. Then there is the Iran nuclear deal — another campaign promise kept. Why are these important?   An American politician willing to keep his campaign promises is a historical event, in my

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Letter: Caccaviello Clear Choice for DA
Letter to the Editor,
05:50PM / Friday, May 11, 2018

To the Editor:

Most Berkshire County residents will go their entire lives with only a vague concept of what role the district attorney's office has in the grand scheme of our criminal justice system. As discouraging as that may sound, it also indicates that the average citizen has been fortunate enough to not need the services of the DA's office.

If however, you find yourself the victim of a crime you will become all too familiar with the role the DA has in advocating for your dignity and rights. Who would you want on your side, navigating the legal system on your behalf? Who would you trust to win justice for you and your family? Would you trust someone who has never worked as a

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BCC, MCLA Agreement Creates Pathway to Physical Therapy Doctorate
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:55PM / Friday, May 11, 2018

College Presidents Ellen Kennedy of BCC and James Birge of MCLA say there are more oppurtunities for the two institutions to collaborate to make higher education more accessible to students. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The county's two public colleges are teaming up to create a pathway for physical therapy assistants to continue their education.    Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts signed an articulation agreement on Thursday that opens the opportunity for a four-year degree in health sciences with a concentration in pre-physical therapy to BCC graduates.   The health sciences and community health education were added to the

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'Tully': The Helping Hand that Rocks the Cradle
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:41PM / Friday, May 11, 2018
There is a surprise twist in director Jason Reitman's "Tully," about a mom whose domestic struggles increase exponentially when she adds a third child to her already challenging brood.   Ordinarily, this wouldn't be big news. Lots of movies toss us an O. Henry in the ninth inning, some preceded by clues, others with no justification other than that they had no other way to end the thing. Y'know, when in doubt, drop the deus ex machina on 'em. But here, everything — the plot, the message, the who, what where and when — hangs on that curveball.   If nothing else, the story construction alone deserves kudos. Not because it is nifty, but because

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The Independent Investor: What's Up With Oil?
By Bill Schmick,
11:00AM / Friday, May 11, 2018
Two years ago, the experts were telling us that the price of oil would continue to fall. Twelve-dollar oil was a real possibility. The end of OPEC was nigh as well as their ability to influence geopolitics. It appears those predictions were premature.   The price of oil has more than doubled over that time, from roughly $30 a barrel in the spring of 2016 to over $71 a barrel today for West Texas Intermediate crude. Those same experts now expect the price could gain further, but there is no agreement on how much higher it can go.   The "swing" factor in that equation is firmly in the hands of American shale producers. They are the culprit of the past three-year decline in

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BCAC Celebrates Collaboration at Annual Meeting
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:27AM / Thursday, May 10, 2018

BCAC Deputy Director Brian House introduces Greylock Federal Credit Union as the winner of the 'Community Hero Award.'

PITTSFIELD,  Mass. — In 2014, a coalition of Berkshire County nonprofits banded together to form the Community Connector Partnership in order to offer residents a more streamlined approach to finding services they may need in their lives.

On May 4, Berkshire Community Action Council, one of the founding members of the partnership that is now 30-plus members strong, celebrated the ideas of collaboration and community at its annual meeting at the Berkshire Hills Country Club.

"It takes a holistic approach ... to help a family thrive," BCAC

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BerkChique Fashion Fundraiser Returns May 11-13
02:51PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Berkshires' premier annual pop-up clothing sale and fundraiser, BerkChique!, returns for its seventh consecutive year on the weekend of Friday, May 11, through Sunday, May 13, at the West Stockbridge Historical Society, located at 9 Main St.

Since its inception in 2012, BerkChique! has donated more than $150,000 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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'Show {Your School} Love Campaign and Contest’ Runs Through May 22
02:14PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week this month (May 7-11), Berkshires MacKid will celebrate Berkshire County K-12 private and public schools and their teachers throughout the month of May in partnership with Realty Street, Mazzeo's Ristorante, Dalton General Store, Tyler and Pine Bakery, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, and the Pittsfield Suns.

Through May 22, individuals will be able to submit one vote per day per email address for the school of their choice online and then answer a few super quick questions to "show your school love."

The wining school will receive a luncheon in June for its staff courtesy of Realty Street, Mazzeo's Ristorante, Dalton General Store, and

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Mental Health Month Marked in May
01:58PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — May is national Mental Health Month, and National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County is promoting awareness throughout the month.

The designation of May as Mental Health Month was started 69 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. This year, Mental Health Month is focused on the importance of balance in both mental and physical health, and how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, type two diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from

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BMC Receives Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award
01:47PM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For the second year in a row, Berkshire Medical Center has received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals that have prevented the occurrence of serious, potentially avoidable complications for patients during hospital stays.

The 2018 distinction places BMC among the top 10 percent of all short-term acute care hospitals reporting patient safety data for its excellent performance as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

This is the second time in less than a month that BMC's Patient Safety record has been

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This Mother's Day, Consider Financial Gifts for Your Adult Children
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:21AM / Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Mother's Day is almost here. If you;re a mother with grown children, you might receive flowers, candy, dinner invitations or some other type of pleasant recognition. However, you might find that you can get more enjoyment from the holiday by giving, rather than receiving.

The longest-lasting gifts may be financial ones – so here are a few moves to consider:

* Contribute to your child's IRA. If your children have earned income, they are eligible to contribute to an IRA, which offers tax benefits and an almost unlimited array of investment options. You can't contribute directly to another person's IRA, but you can write your child a check for that purpose. This could

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Berkshires Beat: BCC First in Massachusetts, Third in United States in Recycling Contest
02:16PM / Monday, May 07, 2018
Waste not

Berkshire Community College finished first in Massachusetts and third in the United States in the Diversion category of the 2018 RecycleMania competition with a recycling rate of 80.9 percent. RecycleMania is the nation's premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities, managed by Keep America Beautiful. With a recycling rate of more than 94.8 percent, The College of Staten Island is the top school in the Diversion category, while the Rhode Island School of Design finished first in the Per Capita Classic category.

The year marked BCC's 10th year of participation in the annual RecycleMania competition. The college has improved its waste

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