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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

@theMarket: Markets Have Best Week in Five Years
By Bill Schmick,
05:12PM / Friday, February 16, 2018
Stocks have had what is called a "V" shaped recovery this week. The indexes climbed every day at least one percent or more. Will it continue or ...   It wouldn't surprise me if stocks took a breather about now. A bout of profit-taking after the stupendous come-back we have had would be entirely reasonable. If the S&P 500 Index, for example, fell back 2-3 percent over the next week or so that would be healthy.   Remember, we are still in that period of the markets where investors are driven by the fear of missing out. As interest rates continue to climb and bond investors experience losses, the natural thing would be to sell bonds and buy equities.    In

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Two Certified Nurse-Midwives, New OB-GYN Join CHP
12:43PM / Friday, February 16, 2018

GREAT BARRINGON, Mass. — Following up on a commitment to bring certified nurse-midwife care back to Southern Berkshire County, Community Health Programs has named two CNMs to its CHP Barrington OB-GYN practice. An additional obstetrician-gynecologist has also joined the Great Barrington practice, which serves women in South County, Northwest Connecticut and nearby New York state.

Dr. Andrew W. Beckwith, along with CNMs Lisa Marie Chism-Frain and Susan Greenberg-Yarmush, completes the practice staff that includes longtime CHP obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Antoine El Khoury and nurse practitioner Molly Rivest.

With certified nurse-midwives now in place in the Great Barrington

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Snowfall Predictions: Saturday Night Snow
11:27AM / Friday, February 16, 2018
 

Ha, ha. You thought spring was here as you shed the heavy winter coats this past week!

But alas, a winter storm is moving into the Northeast on Saturday night, bringing with the potential of 3 to 6 inches of snow in Berkshire County, according to AccuWeather, which is putting the probability of snow at around 50 percent.

The Weather Channel says most of Berkshire County will 1 and 3 inches falling in the overnight hours of Saturday into Sunday.

Our friends at WTEN say the further south and east you go, the more snow you will encounter, with the most snow falling from New York City into Southern New England. Their maps put most of Berkshire County in the 1- to 3-inch

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BRPC to Choose New Executive Director Next Week
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Friday, February 16, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC will pick its new executive director next week.   A search committee conducted its interviews for the three finalists for the position on Thursday and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will pick Nathaniel Karns' successor next week. Karns is retiring from the job after 23 years. He was just the second executive director since the commission was formed in 1967.   The finalists seeking the position are Thomas Matuszko, Sean Maguire, and Sungman Kim. The final interview was recorded and will be transcribed for the commissioners to review before casting the final vote.   Matuszko is currently the assistant executive director. He's been

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BART Boys Basketball Rallies, Falls Short in League Title Game
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
06:51PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- You know a program has arrived when moral victories just don’t cut it.   In that sense, the BART basketball team has arrived.   Moments after losing its league championship game on a late 3-pointer after rallying from 11 points down midway through the third quarter, the Wolf Pack players were quiet, dejected and, perhaps at some level, thinking about how they can change the script next season.   Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School knocked down a triple with 6.2 seconds on the clock to take a 39-38 win over a young but resilient BART squad and claim the B Division of the River Valley Athletic League.   “It's amazing what

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The Independent Investor: Time to Hedge Your Bets?
By Bill Schmick,
03:41PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018
Over the last few weeks, the threat of rising inflation has triggered a great deal of concern among investors. Given that inflation has been at a low level for a number of years, their concern may be justified.   Many market pundits were surprised by the wage data in the non-farm payroll report for December, which was released two weeks ago, Friday. In that report, wages jumped far more than most expected coming in at a 2.9 percent annualized growth rate.   Given that our central bank monitors wages as one of their key indicators to gauge future inflation, that number sent the bond and stock markets into a tizzy. Again this week, investors received another inflationary surprise

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'Peter Rabbit': Hop to It!
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:25PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018
The kids whooped and hollered in gleeful approval of director Will Gluck's adaptation of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit." This even included the 10-to-12 contingent, usually too sophisticated to admit endorsement of an entertainment that might indict them of liking "baby stuff." And while the littler ones among the audience of fully engaged firstnighters whose space I recently invaded brought fingernails to lips whenever the title character risked cottontail and whiskers for ill-gotten vegetation, they, too, were otherwise charmed.      I was heartened by several insights, not the least of which was the erudition evinced by these young moviegoers

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Guest Column: Quit Smoking to Celebrate American Heart Month
Guest Column,
03:00PM / Thursday, February 15, 2018

To the Editor:

February is American Heart Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is a leading cause of heart disease. Smoking can:

• Raise triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) • Lower "good" cholesterol (HDL) • Make blood sticky and more likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain • Damage cells that line the blood vessels • Increase the buildup of plaque (fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances) in blood vessels • Cause thickening and narrowing of blood vessels

Smoking can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels and high blood pressure and quitting smoking greatly

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Holiday Hours: Presidents Day
02:00PM / Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Gen. George Washington taking command of the Continental Army in Cambridge in 1775.

Washington's Birthday will be celebrated on Monday, Feb. 19.

The holiday was first enacted by Congress in 1879 to mark George Washington's birthday on Feb. 22 and later moved to the third Monday in February in 1968. While the name of the federal holiday remains Washington's Birthday, it is more often referred to as Presidents Day to include the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12.

Washington was born in 1732 (or Feb. 11, 1731, according to the old-style calendar) in Colonial Virgina. A Founding Father, he would lead the new nation as head of the Continental Army in the Revolution and as

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MCLA Rolls Out New Career Development Platform
01:57PM / Wednesday, February 14, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Center for Student Success and Engagement at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has launched a new, online career software portal to help prepare students for employment.

"The Career Trail Online" will provide a wide variety of services aimed at connecting students with their first jobs as college graduates and serve as a resource for alumni.

According to Dale Osef, MCLA's career development specialist, "The Career Trail," by Purple Briefcase, is a top-of-the-line, industry standard for connecting students to employers, faculty, staff, alumni and more.

"MCLA saw a need for a fresh, new approach to career development on our

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Consider Financial Gifts for All Your Valentines
11:34AM / Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day is here – and it's a pretty big business. In fact, U.S. consumers spent about $18 billion on their valentines in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation. Of course, recipients certainly appreciate flowers, candy, jewelry and so on, but this year, consider going beyond the traditional favorites to give your loved ones something more long-lasting – a financial gift.

And, while you're doing so, why not also go beyond the traditional definition of a "valentine"? After all, not all that $18 billion went to spouses or significant others. A sizable amount also went to non-romantic connections, including children, parents, friends,

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BART Basketball Advances to League Title Game
11:20PM / Tuesday, February 13, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- It was not that long ago that the BART basketball team was the kind of program others might see as a doormat.   Now, the Wolf Pack is on the doorstep of winning a league championship.   Brandon Bamba scored 27 points Tuesday as Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School defeated Eagle Hill, 59-52, in the semi-finals of the River Valley Athletic League’s B Division Tournament.   On Thursday afternoon at the North Adams Armory, BART will host the league title game -- a far cry from the program’s early days.   “Two years ago, we were getting beaten by 60 and 70 points per game,” BART coach Rob Daugherty said after

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