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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Year-end: Put This Year's Investment Performance in Perspective
12:32PM / Wednesday, January 02, 2019

How can you assess your investment portfolio's performance in 2018? The year was full of wild swings in the financial markets, so your own results may well have bounced around quite a bit, too. But you can still get a clear picture of how you did if you keep your investments' returns in the proper perspective – by making sure your expectations are relevant, realistic and reviewed.

Let's look at how these terms can apply to a meaningful evaluation of your investment progress:

Relevant: Many investors compare their portfolio returns to a popular market index, such as the S&P 500. But this comparison is not really valid for a variety of reasons. For one thing, indexes

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Wintry Mix Bids 2018 Farewell; Wind Welcomes 2019
01:52PM / Monday, December 31, 2018

It looks like 2019 is coming in like a lion.

OK, not a huge, roaring lion. More like a baby lion, only not as cute. Unless you think ringing in the new year with a wintry mix of snow, sleet and ice is cute. To each their own.

The National Weather Services has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the region from 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1. Mixed precipitation is expected, with a total snow and sleet accumulation of up to 2 inches and ice accumulation of up to one-tenth of an inch expected, particularly in North Berkshire and higher elevations.

Roads could be slippery as New Year's parties wind down tonight, so use caution when driving - and as always, make sure

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2018 in Review: Pittsfield Baseball, Softball Programs Dominate Spring, Summer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Sports
07:46AM / Sunday, December 30, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield's baseball roots go back to the 18th century.   In 2018, the Shire City was a power in baseball and softball.   At the youth and high school levels, Pittsfield showed diamond dominance that easily was the story of the year in local sports.   For the second year in a row, the Taconic baseball team won a Western Mass Championship and returned to the state finals. This time around, in the D3 final, Taconic came up a little short but considering all the seniors who graduated from the state title team the year before, it made for a two-year run of which few schools can boast.   Meanwhile, the Pittsfield High softball team made its own

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Nonprofit Center Names New Board Director
02:15PM / Friday, December 28, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires has elected Erika Allison of 1Berkshire to its board of directors.

Allison is an engineer, educator and entrepreneur.  A recent transplant to the Berkshires, she is currently director of Member Services at 1Berkshire. Previously she was founding director of a STEM education nonprofit startup in New York City leading the launch of east coast operations and programming. She then moved to Maine to became project director for a five-year, $12M National Science Foundation research & implementation program to improve rural STEM education and STEM teacher preparation.

"Erika's entrepreneurial spirit,

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Berkshires Beat: 'CHEST' Program Elevates Environmental Services Team at Fairview Hospital
01:59PM / Friday, December 28, 2018
CHEST award

Fairview Hospital's new Environmental Services Team has achieved the American Hospital Association certification as Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technicians (CHEST). Previously known as the Housekeeping team, every member of the new Environment Services Department had to complete 24 hours of required classroom instruction. The CHEST Program content consisted of seven domains: Cleaning and Disinfection, Waste Handling, Floor Care, Linen Handling, Infection Prevention, Safety, and Communication. Fairview Hospital is the only rural hospital in Massachusetts that completed the staff development program.

"Doctors and nurses do their best to keep patients

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Berkshires Impacted By Sporadic 911 Outage
Staff Reports,
01:10PM / Friday, December 28, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 911 system has been sporadically out of commission statewide on Friday and affecting most of Berkshire County.   The Massachusetts State Police released a statement shortly before 7 a.m. encouraging residents to call their local public safety departments directly instead of using the emergency reporting system. The issue was affecting both cellular and landline service.   "A nationwide outage affecting CenturyLink, an internet communications company, is impacting wireless 911 call capability in various parts of the country," reads the statement from state police.   Shortly after 1:30, MSP released an update saying the issue had not been

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Lee Police Chief Named First Fourth Berkshire Unsung Hero
01:51PM / Wednesday, December 26, 2018

LEE, Mass. — Chief Jeffrey Roosa of the Lee Police Department was named the first recipient of the Fourth Berkshire Unsung Hero Award.

The award was launched by state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli in December 2018. It aims to recognize people, groups, and organizations who have positively contributed to the Berkshire community.

"Chief Roosa exemplifies what it means to be an unsung hero," Pignatelli said. "His humbled, steadfast service to law enforcement in the Berkshires for the past two decades has been driven by his sole desire to protect our community. This recognition is one way to say thank you for his service to our community."

Inspired to become a police

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Financial Tips for Snowbirds ... Present and Future
11:51AM / Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Winter is here again – which may make you wish you were somewhere else. You might be thinking how pleasant it would be to become a snowbird and move to a warmer climate for the season. Of course, your stage of life will help determine if you are prepared to be a snowbird now or if you’re just hoping to be one in the future. But in either case, you'll need to be financially prepared.

So, let's look at what it would take to be a snowbird – tomorrow and today:

Snowbird tomorrow

The further ahead you plan, the more options you're likely to have when you embark on the snowbird life. If you're going to be retired, you'll need to review all your sources of

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Watercooler: Allium to Close After 12 Years in Great Barrington
01:46PM / Monday, December 24, 2018
Saying goodbye

After nearly 12 years in the Berkshires, Allium Restaurant + Bar will be closing its doors on Jan. 1.  Since May of 2007, Allium has presented casual-fine food in downtown Great Barrington. The management team recognizes the popular gathering place Allium has become and wanted to give as much notice as possible. Working with their staff members to find new jobs and taking time to properly say goodbye, is of great importance as they close this chapter.

"Regretfully, and after sincere thought and consideration, we’ve decided to set our sights on new goals," proprietor and founder Nancy Thomas said. "This journey would not have been possible without

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Greylock Federal Hires New Controller
01:00PM / Monday, December 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced the hiring of Aman Kaushal as an assistant vice president and controller. Kaushal joins the finance group at 150 West Street in Pittsfield.

"Aman brings a great depth of knowledge and expertise in corporate accounting," said Greylock Senior Vice President/SFO Dianne Supranowicz. "He is a welcome addition to our team."

Kaushal is a licensed certified public accountant in the United States and Canada. He is a seasoned professional with experience in major public accounting firms and private industry including: distribution; utilities; manufacturing; and technology environments. Before moving to

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BCC Hires Financial Literacy Coordinator
12:56PM / Monday, December 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has filled the position of financial literacy coordinator and coordinator of Student activities and also welcomes Eleanore Velez, an admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center, back to the college.

Tina Schettini, who previously worked as a Senior Special Projects coordinator, has moved to the Student Engagement Center to work as the coordinator of Student Activities.

Nancy Stoll has joined the college as the Financial Literacy coordinator, a position based in the Student Financial Services office and funded by a grant to the college from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Stoll comes to the college with

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Greylock Appoints New Director to Board
12:05PM / Monday, December 24, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced the appointment of Colleen White Holmes to the credit union's volunteer board of directors.

"Colleen will be a strong voice for our members," board Chair Stanley Walczyk said. "Her commitment to community development will be a great addition to our team. We are grateful that she has joined the Greylock family."

Holmes is president and CEO of Berkshire Children and Families, a community-based organization promoting the well-being of children and the strength of families in Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley.

Her career has focused on community and organizational development. Most recently,

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