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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Superior Court Briefs: March 31 - April 5
Staff Reports,
12:42PM / Friday, April 07, 2017
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, March 31.   Jason Pennell, 28, of Holyoke had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.   He was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Williamstown on January 18, 2017.    Terry Martizna, 26, of Lanesborough pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, armed career felon, illegal possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition without a firearm

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Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program Names New Program Manager
12:24PM / Friday, April 07, 2017

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. – The National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced that Valerie Balint will join the organization as the new program manager of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios (HAHS) program, based at Chesterwood in Stockbridge.

Balint's mission is to enhance the relevance and reputation of HAHS member sites in their communities so as to contribute to a national conversation on the arts in American public life.

"With Valerie's strong curatorial expertise and interest in working in artists' homes and studios, she will be a great asset to the HAHS program and its membership," said Donna Hassler, executive director of Chesterwood and

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Kindergarten Registration Dates Scheduled Around County
11:29AM / Friday, April 07, 2017

Schools across Berkshire County are holding registration days for next year's kindergartners. Schools can submit their information to be added to this list to info@iberkshires.com.


* Adams: St. Stanislaus Kostka School is now registering for the 2017-2018 school year. Openings are available in grades pre-kindergarten through grade eight. Financial aid is available for qualified applicants. Schedule a shadow day at 413-743-1091.

 

* Clarksburg: Kindergarten registration has begun for the Clarksburg Elementary School. Call the school at 413-663-8735 to register your child for the fall. Children must be five years of age by August 31, 2017.

 

* Florida: The Gabriel Abbott

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Area's Collegians Well into Spring While Fields Back Home Soak
iBerkshires.com Sports,
02:23AM / Friday, April 07, 2017
While Berkshire County high school student-athletes spin their wheels in the gym and watch the rescheduled and postponed game count grow, area alumnae are well into their spring seasons, most of which started on spring break trips to warmer climes.   The Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team started its season with a one-goal loss at Bates up in Maine back in early March but went on to play four games in Florida on its way to an 8-1 record.   Senior Hank Barrett, a graduate of Mount Greylock, has appeared in three of them. The 13th-ranked Cardinals extended an eight-game winning streak with Wednesday’s 17-13 win over No. 11 Amherst and hosts Williams on Saturday

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The Independent Investor: Don't Let Romance Blind You to Finances
By Bill Schmick,
04:08PM / Thursday, April 06, 2017
Don't let romance blind you to the financial downside of living together. Unmarried couples need as much, if not more, financial and estate planning than those who are married. Without it, one or both partners may lose everything they have committed to the relationship. Here is a primer on what steps you should take.   Over 6.7 million unmarried couples are co-habitating in America at last count. Over 90 percent of them are heterosexual, in case you're wondering. As such, these couples, regardless of sexual orientation or length of the relationship, are considered and classified as unrelated individuals in the eyes of the law.   And the rights of unmarried couples are

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Berkshire, Bennington Cultural Institutions Create 'Art Country'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:50PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Mass MoCA Director Joseph Thompson talks about the ArtCountry collaborative on Wednesday morning.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Joseph Thompson's been talking for years about creating a destination in North County that will keep tourists longer than a day.

The director of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is convinced that trading up day-trippers for overnights, weekends or longer will cause a seismic shift in not only the way Northern Berkshire is perceived but exponentially increase the cultural economic impact on the region.

On Wednesday morning, Thompson was joined by the directors of four other major cultural institutions in launching ArtCountry.org, a collaborative

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Payless Shoe Store to Close at Berkshire Mall
Staff Reports,
01:57PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Payless ShoeSource at the Berkshire Mall is slated for closure, the latest hit to the struggling shopping center.

Payless joins a number of national brands closing brick-and-mortar storefronts in the face of declining sales and the rise of online shopping. Two weeks ago, J.C. Penney, a founding anchor at the 30-year-old Berkshire Mall, announced its store there would be one of 140 nationwide slated for closure.

Best Buy and Macy's left within the last 18 months and Sears, also a founding anchor, this quarter said, "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

Payless filed Chapter 11

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BArT Charter Public School Announces New Executive Director
01:05PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017

ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Trustees of BART Charter Public School has named James "Jay" C. White II as the school's executive director, starting June 19.

Trustee Chair Charles Swabey said White will bring to BArT more than 30 years of teaching, administrative and fundraising experience in a variety of settings, including middle and high school, colleges and universities, and national and international nonprofit organizations.

White currently serves as provost, dean of the college, and professor of physics at Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vt., which he joined in 2015.

Swabey said White was inspired to apply for the executive director position by a visit to

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How Can the Sandwich Generation Relieve Financial Stress?
11:31AM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Don't worry too much if you haven't heard, but April is National Stress Awareness Month. Of course, stress can present emotional and physical challenges to all of us, but if you belong to the “sandwich generation” – that is, you may be caring for aging parents while still supporting your own children – you may be facing some financial stress as well. What can you do to relieve it?

For one thing, be aware that you're certainly not alone. About one in seven middle-aged adults is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child, according to the Pew Research Center.

Still, knowing that you have plenty of company won't provide you with

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Higher Ed Commissioner Santiago to Speak at BCC Commencement
Staff Reports,
02:47PM / Tuesday, April 04, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 57th commencement.   Santiago was appointed to his position by Gov. Charlie Baker in July 2015. Working with the Board of Higher Education, he is responsible for providing overall direction to public higher education in Massachusetts and helping shape state-level policies that maximize the benefits of higher education to the commonwealth and its citizens. Santiago joined the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in April 2013 as the senior deputy commissioner for academic affairs.   "On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and

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Medford Woman Killed in MassPike Accident
03:32PM / Monday, April 03, 2017
LEE, Mass. — A Medford woman died after a one-car crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike on Monday morning.   The accident, which occurred in the westbound lane near the 13.6 mile marker in Lee, was reported at 7:48 a.m.    Bernadette D. Murch, 53, the operator and only occupant of the vehicle, was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. She was pronounced dead a short time after arrival.   Preliminary investigation by Trooper Eric Bauman indicates that Murch's 2015 Fiat 500 was westbound in Lee when, for reasons still under investigation, the vehicle went off the right side of the road and rolled over.

The investigation is being conducted by state

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Biz Briefs: Two Pittsfield Businesses Get Help to Grow
02:23PM / Monday, April 03, 2017

There they grow: The city of Pittsfield has fully supported two local businesses, Modern Mold and Tool and Shire City Herbals, which were recently awarded tax incentives through the state's Economic Development Incentive Program to facilitate expansion projects in the city. The businesses were among 13 companies across the commonwealth that received tax incentives through the program. EDIP is designed to foster job creation and stimulate business growth; companies receive state and local tax incentives in exchange for job creation, manufacturing job retention and private investment commitments.

Modern Mold received $145,000 in investment tax credits toward a $3 million investment to

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