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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Choosing a Nurse Practitioner As Your Primary Care Provider
By Brenda Strysko, DNP, CNM, FNP-BC,
12:07PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are becoming a more common health partner for many Vermonters.  According to a 2018 report by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Americans make more than 870 million visits to NPs every year.

Still, many patients are not aware that NPs can capably serve as a primary care provider. As clinicians that blend clinical skill in diagnosing and treating health conditions with consideration for disease prevention and health management, NPs provide comprehensive care to patients every day.

Vermont leads the way

Compared to other primary care providers, NPs are the most likely to practice in rural communities like Vermont. According to a 2011 survey from

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College Notes: September - December 2018
06:07PM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lasell students during a service-learning trip in Ecuador this summer. Hannah King was one of 13 students selected to participate in an environmental service-learning trip to Ecuador with Lasell College this past summer.   King, of Pittsfield, worked with faculty and peers to support sustainable agricultural practices in the country. The group spent their time in Ecuador living with local communities and immersing in their culture. Students helped to build brick ovens, create tiles and shingles, and clear mountainside debris.   In preparation for the two-week trip, King and their classmates participated in a semester-long course this spring. Students learned

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Berkshire Museum Trustees Vote to End Art Sales, Begin Building Repairs
04:06PM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Museum officials have voted to suspend further sales of the museum's art collection and to begin repairs on the century-old building.    A total of 22 works were sold in two tranchments, raising $53.25 million through public bidding and private sales.    "We are moving forward having secured the future of this museum for generations to come," said Elizabeth McGraw, president of the Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees. "Our work ahead is focused on making this museum ever more interesting, inspiring and engaging to the broad community in the region it serves and consistent with our unchanged mission."   The

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Daly Resigns as Berkshire Bank CEO
Staff Reports,
09:30AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Michael Daly has resigned as CEO of Berkshire Bank.   Berkshire Hills Bancorp announced on Monday that Daly has stepped down effective immediately and President Richard Marotta will take over as chief executive officer. Marotta was also appointed as a member of the board of directors. Sean Gary will take over as bank president.    "Mike's commitment to the Bank, our customers and our communities has been instrumental in Berkshire's success.  We thank him for his focus on creating the strong franchise we have today," said William J. Ryan, chairman the board of directors, in a statement released on Monday that did not give a

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Tuesday Weather Report: Drive Safely Out There!
07:20AM / Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It started as rain for most of us Monday night, and now it's snow for all of us Tuesday morning. And it's not going to stop anytime soon.

Who's dreaming of a white December?

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday in Northern Berkshire County; the snow already falling caused the immediate closure of schools in Savoy and Florida - and the last-minute switch from a two-hour delay to a full snow day for BART, Clarksburg, North Adams, Central Berkshire and Adams-Cheshire and Stamford, Vt. You can find the running list here.

When all is said and done, most of us should see snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches in most places, with of course more falling in the

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Humane Society Offering '100 Cats for Christmas' Program
10:27PM / Monday, November 26, 2018
100 Cats for Christmas

For the sixth year, Berkshire Humane Society has received a grant from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s license plate program, which will support BHS’s 100 Cats for Christmas initiative during the month of December. 100 Cats for Christmas is the shelter’s largest and most successful low-cost spay/neuter effort for kittens and cats in the Berkshires and surrounding area. Without the support of MAC’s license plate program, this invaluable service would not be possible.

In the last six years, 100 Cats for Christmas has exceeded its goal of spaying and neutering 100 cats. To participate, qualifying residents of Berkshire County must visit one

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Coalition Introduces Idea of 'Trauma-Informed' Community
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:09PM / Monday, November 26, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There's usually a lot of talking at Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forums.

At the most recent forum, however, there was more listening.

The group of about 60 guests -- meeting for the first time in The Green's new space at 85 Main St. -- gathered on Friday, Nov. 16, to watch "Resilience," James Redford's film that chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists and educators who are using cutting-edge brain science to develop trauma-informed communities.

The film lays out the science behind a biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood that can trigger stress hormones that in turn

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Biz Briefs: Pine Cobble School, Northshire Bookstore to Host Book Fair
12:13PM / Monday, November 26, 2018
By the book

Pine Cobble School and Northshire Bookstore will host their second annual collaborative book fair on the Pine Cobble campus from Nov. 28-30 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily. The fair is open to the community.

This event includes a specially curated selection of books for all ages. Books are thoughtfully chosen by Cynthia Quinones, Pine Cobble's literature ambassador, and the Northshire staff. Northshire Bookstore has won national awards for their quality selection and service.  

Books will be sorted into categories, with selections for very young children, picture books, early chapter books, middle grade books, young adult, adult fiction, and a few

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Rural Policy Advisory Commission Plans Dec. 6 Meeting in Pittsfield
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:32AM / Monday, November 26, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The commonwealth's rural towns have older populations, smaller tax bases and poorer infrastructure than the rest of Massachusetts.   They also have greater numbers than a lot of people realize.   According to one definition of "rural," i.e. communities with population density of less than 500 people per square mile, nearly half of all Massachusetts municipalities are rural — including all but two, North Adams and Pittsfield, in Berkshire County.   In 2015, an act of the Legislature created the commonwealth's Rural Policy Advisory Commission, which began formal study of the problems facing low-density towns in June of this

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Good Science at Work Inside Butterfly Magical Wings
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
04:57PM / Sunday, November 25, 2018

A male Argema mittrei, a Malagasy Moon moth, spreads its wings after just emerging from a silken cocoon. At right, two pupae in cocoons spun for climate control.  the   I walked down the road on Mount Greylock that leads to a parking lot for trekkers who want to traverse trails through the deciduous woodlands where the manifold wonders of nature unfold.   All around me were untold numbers of buds about to burst from their winter dormancy. Trilliums at ground level were showing tiny green leaves, not yet revealing their triad flowers so deep red or white, remindful of the three-cornered hats worn during Colonial days. Spring beauties were carpeting the forest

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@theMarket: It Is a Black Friday on Wall Street
By Bill Schmick,
11:11AM / Saturday, November 24, 2018
Black Friday sales are in full swing. Normally, today is all about the retail trade. Consumers spend the day waiting in line, picking up heavily discounted "door buster" deals, and generally starting their holiday gift shopping. This year, it appears traders are also holding their own Black Friday sales.   The day after Thanksgiving, the stock and bond markets are open for a half day. Few turn up for work, so trading desks are usually manned by a skeleton crew, volumes are light and the indexes meander about the center line. As such, what happens on Black Friday has little consequence in the grand scheme of things.   The real action is before a holiday, especially one

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The Independent Investor: The Origin of Black Friday
By Bill Schmick,
05:58PM / Thursday, November 22, 2018
As you finish your turkey and prepare to get an early start on Black Friday shopping, you might wonder how shopping became such an integral part of your Thanksgiving holiday. The term has followed a circuitous route through our financial history.   Although the term "Black Friday" is a new phenomenon, its origins date back to the late 19th century. The term was first associated with a stock market crash on Sept. 24, 1869.   Two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, tried to corner the gold market. This created a boom-and-bust atmosphere in gold prices. That volatility spilled over into stocks. Before it was all said and done, stocks lost 20 percent of their value, while

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