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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

South County Programs, State Park Fund Secured for FY2020
04:12PM / Tuesday, July 23, 2019
LENOX, Mass. — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli says some $350,000 has been procured through his efforts in the state's 2020 budget for programs in his 4th Berkshire District, including the Berkshire Youth Development Project, Greenagers, and Community Access to the Arts.   "BYDP, CATA, and Greenagers do so much good work in the Southern Berkshires, adding real value to our communities in terms of positive youth development, environmental advocacy, and special needs integration," said Pignatelli. "I wanted to make sure we highlighted these organizations through the state budget to put an emphasis on some of the best qualities the Berkshires have

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Berkshires Beat: Clinton Church Restoration Awarded $75,000
01:32PM / Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Clinton AME Zion Church outing (date unknown). Church grant

Clinton Church Restoration is one of 22 sites and organizations dedicated to preserving African American history to receive grant support from National Trust for Historic Preservation's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (Action Fund). As part of the second class of Action Fund grantees, Clinton Church Restoration was awarded $75,000 to continue its efforts to restore and repurpose the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington as an African American heritage site and cultural center.

"We are honored to receive this grant and be in the company of so many worthy projects," said Wray Gunn,

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Holyoke Mayor Morse Challenges Neal In Congressional Race
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Morse is joined by a large crowd of supporters at the Unicorn Inn on Monday night. HOLYOKE, Mass. — They said he couldn't do it.   There is no way a 21-year-old, turning 22, could defeat an incumbent mayor with years of political experience. And there was no way the city of Holyoke was ever going to be as good as it had been.   "When I ran for mayor eight years ago, people had a few things to say. They said No. 1, wait your turn. No. 2 maybe run for something else. Or No. 3, don't run at all, you are too young, too gay, too progressive, you are not going get elected here in the city of Holyoke," Alex Morse said at the Unicorn Inn on Monday night to a

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State FY2020 Budget Has Funding for Flyer, Rural Schools
Staff Reports,
09:07PM / Monday, July 22, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A compromise state spending bill reached over the weekend contains good news for the Berkshires, particularly its rural school districts.    State Sen. Adam Hinds' amendment to increase the Rural School Aid grant program by $1 million, raising the total appropriation to $2.5 million, is included in the fiscal 2020 state budget along with $7.7 million for projects in the senator's district.   "This is a strong budget with serious investments in key areas such as public education and transportation, while addressing other pressing policy issues such as reducing the cost of prescription medications," Hinds said in a

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College Notes: June & July 2019
03:51PM / Monday, July 22, 2019
Maya Finston-Fox of Monterey was among 30 Baldwin Wallace University students who gave up a week of summer break to make a difference through BW's Alternative Break service program. The Berea, Ohio, college's program facilitated four experiences with student volunteers traveling to Clarkston, Ga.; Kissimmee, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; and Raleigh, N.C.   Finston-Fox, a political science major and graduate of Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, volunteered to take part in the experience in Portland. The team of nine students partnered with the YWCA of Greater Portland to learn about domestic violence against women and how college students can be better advocates for their

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Review: 'Working: A Musical' Is Minimalist, Meaningful
By Nancy Salz, Guest Column
11:41AM / Monday, July 22, 2019

Why do we work? It's usually for more than money. To express ourselves, perhaps. To make a better life for our children. To create a legacy. To contribute to our country, our society. We can love our jobs or hate our jobs, but our reasons for working and our emotions about our jobs – which take up so much of our lives – are always deeply felt.

To explore these reasons fully, the author Studs Terkel crisscrossed America in the early 1970s recording more than 130 people in all kinds of jobs, from blue collar to professional. The result was a best-selling book – "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" (published

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Berkshire Force 10U Squad Uses Big First Inning to Claim Title
Community submission,
08:20PM / Sunday, July 21, 2019
DALTON, Mass. -- The Berkshire Force 10-and-under team Sunday scored 14 runs in the bottom of the first en route to a forfeit win in the title game of the 10th annual Dalton CRA Softball Tournament.   Mia DeJesus earned a perfect game of sorts, striking out the side in the top of the first.   After the Force rolled to its big inning in the bottom of the frame, its opponents from Latham, N.Y., threw in the towel and went home.   A.J. Pelkey and Madison Barber each had a pair of hits in the tournament-winning rally.   Earlier in the day, Pelkey hit a two-run homer in the Force' 8-0 win over Chatham, N.Y., to get to the title game.   Sunday's tournament win was

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Biz Briefs: Tourists Hotel to be Honored at Celebrate the Berkshires Event
12:07PM / Friday, July 19, 2019
Tourists awards

Tourists, the 48-room hotel that opened in North Adams in 2018, will receive the 2019 Putting the Berkshires on the Map honor in recognition of the substantial contribution that they have made to the Berkshire economy. This recognition will be presented at the 1Berkshires' ninth annual Celebrate the Berkshires event on Sept. 26 at Jiminy Peak.

"In the past 18 months, no property has garnered as much press or shone a light on the Berkshires more consistently than Tourists," said Jonathan Butler, CEO of 1Berkshire said. "With over $15 million in private investment, this project has assembled and reimagined a diverse collection of properties that illuminate

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Excessive Heat, Humidity Forecast Through Sunday
11:10AM / Friday, July 19, 2019

The National Weather Service is forecasting excessive heat and humidity to begin this afternoon, peaking Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Daytime highs are forecast to be in the 90s to low 100s today through Sunday, with dew points in the low to mid 70s. Little cooling is expected to take place in the overnight hours, with lows in most areas only dropping to the mid 70s to near 80.

Heat index values are expected to reach 95 to 100 degrees this afternoon. Heat index values could reach 107 to 112 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon for most of Massachusetts, with values between 96 and 102 locally in the Berkshires.

This level of heat and humidity is dangerous and relatively rare

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The Independent Investor: Paid Family & Medical Leave Overdue
By Bill Schmick,
04:28PM / Thursday, July 18, 2019
Paid family and medical leave are long-overdue in this country   What do the United States, Papua New Guinea and Oman have in common? Those are the only three countries in the world that do not legally obligate employers or taxpayers to pay for maternity leave.   Many American businesspeople will hide behind a knee-jerk response to the above statement: "We are a free-market society," they will argue, "and paid leave is paramount to just another form of socialism."   Good try, but that old argument is no longer based in facts. Free markets have given way to corporate socialism in this country, while corporations are now legally considered to have the same

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Great Music and More at Tanglewood, Sevenars, Berkshire High Peaks Festival
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
11:33AM / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

As Tanglewood enters its third week, stellar performances will take center stage in Ozawa Hall and in the Koussevitsky Shed. Why go? To experience world-class instrumental soloists, the Boston Symphony and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra perform chamber and orchestral masterworks by iconic masters Schumann, Brahms, Ravel, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Debussy, Gershwin, Stravinsky, Wagner and Tchaikovsky.

Add to the above an inspiring world premiere featuring Metropolitan Opera diva Reneé Fleming, baritone Rod Gilfry, and the Boston Symphony, led by maestro Andris Nelsons in composer Kevin Puts' orchestral song cycle "The Brightness of Light." The powerful and deeply

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Studs Turkel Makes Music, Caroline Rose Switches Genres and More
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:03AM / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A wonderful pops and dance week in the Berkshires is upon us. There is an original musical based on Studs Terkel's amazing oral history "Working," folk and pop acts at the highest level, Mark Morris at the Pillow, and twilight jazz on Edith Wharton's terrace. The pluses outweigh the minuses — the main minus being Patti Lupone's cancellation at the Mahaiwe. (She's still recuperating from hip replacement surgery, according to an announcement.) Lupone promises to reschedule.

Berkshire Theatre Group

"Working: A Musical" is based on Studs Terkel's brilliant collection of interviews chronicling the lives of ordinary Americans. It was first produced

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