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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Independent Investor: Will Pot Stocks Go Up in Smoke?
By Bill Schmick,
05:29PM / Thursday, March 21, 2019
Today, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, while recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, plus the District of Columbia. Although there has been progress, little of the recent enthusiasm and hype over pot stocks will come to naught unless the federal government does a major about face and legalizes the substance. What are the chances of that?   Billions of dollars' worth of investment, stock market gains, and federal, state, and local taxes are at stake. Predicting the outcome of such a change in federal legislation is, for now, like betting all your chips on red or black in a roulette game. Nonetheless, a growing number of retail investors want to "get in" on

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'Transit': As in, Letters of ...
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:57PM / Thursday, March 21, 2019
One has to be either a fool or a complicit coward not to recognize the mercilessness regularly perpetrated on humankind by immoral governments and their tyrannical leaders. Equally clueless are those who don't realize that the worldwide, mass immigration being used as a scapegoat by said guilty-as-sin autocrats is in essence a product of their regimes' greed, racism and ineptness.   Ever notice that the really bad guys are never ever wrong? While Rick in "Casablanca" (1942) occasionally confesses to a lack of judgement, you'll never hear good Nazi Major Strasser admitting a mistake. Civics Lesson No. 1: Rick is good; Major Strasser is bad.   What all this has

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Weather Advisory: Snow, Rain, Wind on the Way
02:47PM / Thursday, March 21, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Hope everyone enjoyed Wednesday's blue skies and Thursday's warmer temperatures because a "bomb cyclone" is about to go off.    Accuweather is reporting that a strengthening storm could bring rain, snow and high winds into the Northeast this weekend. The storm would have to drop in barometric pressure over 24 hours to reach bomb cyclone level. "This storm may reach that criteria as it moves northward and intensifies from Thursday evening near Delmarva to Friday evening in southern Maine," according to Accuweather.   The Berkshires isn't yet listed as being in the snow zone but neighboring counties in New York and

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BCC Restructuring Workforce Development Offerings
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Thursday, March 21, 2019
PITTSFIELD,  Mass. — Berkshire Community College is restructuring its workforce development arm.   The college is currently looking for a new dean who will be in charge of bringing the community education and workforce development programming under the oversight of traditional academic programming. The rest of the staff, minus an administrative assistant, will be let go at the start of the fiscal year and the new dean will determine how the non-credit course work will be administered in the future.   "We want to better align our credit and non-credit offerings. Generally, at BCC, our credit programs have been in academic divisions and our non-credit programs have

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Mount Greylock Presents 'Hello, Dolly!'
08:57PM / Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A large ensemble of all grades supports the lead cast of 'Hello Dolly!'

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District will present its annual musical theater production on Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23, at 7 p.m. in the newly remodeled auditorium at Mount Greylock Regional School on Cold Spring Road.

More than 40 members of the Mount Greylock student body will present "Hello, Dolly!," with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart. Based on the play "The Matchmaker" by 20th century American playwright Thornton Wilder, "Hello, Dolly!" is the story of a delightful - and adventurous - day spent

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Berkshire Blizzard Brings Home Trophy
Community submission,
02:53PM / Tuesday, March 19, 2019
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The Berkshire Blizzard 14-and-under girls hockey team won the the Thousand Island Ice Out Tournament last weekend.   "The girls fought hard going with two big wins on Saturday before going to the championship game," Blizzard coach William Rech said.   The team includes: Kellie Harrington, Lizzy Hunt, Serena Batacchi, Jordanne Brazie, Beatrice Garvey, Meg Loring, Nyla Hess,  Maddy Rawling, Christy Rech, Mia Paligo, Tori Jarvis, Mia Alfonso and Cyra Pacher. 

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Steinman Leads St. Anselm into Elite Eight
iBerkshires.com Sports,
12:21PM / Tuesday, March 19, 2019
The remarkable run by Pittsfield’s Peyton Steinman and Grace Guachione and the St. Anselm College women’s basketball team continued Monday into the quarter-finals of the NCAA Division II tournament.   The Hawks defeated LeMoyne College, 63-61, to advance to next Tuesday’s Elite Eight games in Columbus, Ohio.   Steinman played every minute of the Sweet 16 contest, scoring 19 points, including a 3-pointer and 12-for-12 shooting at the free throw line.   “It’s surreal,” Steinman said in the post-game press conference. “I’m going to use the word again, it’s electric down there. We got knocked out early in the NE-10, and we

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Berkshire Beat: Herberg Team Wins 20th Annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge
11:21AM / Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tyler Vosburgh (left) and Bella Zeno operate the Herberg HBP robot during the championship match. Robotics Challenge

Herberg Middle School HBP (Heavy Brain Power) defeated Williamstown Elementary School (WES) LEGOHeads I, 78-54, in the finals to win the championship of "Into Orbit," the 20th annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge, conducted March 16 at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School.

The competition involved 16 Berkshire County teams comprising more than 130 students ages 8 to 14 using programmable robots built from LEGO kits to complete a variety of hypothetical missions that focused on space-themed missions – such as growing food in space, fighting muscle atrophy

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Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for March
01:45PM / Monday, March 18, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during January.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Plainfield and Alford for this month's staff office hours on Wednesday, March 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Alford Town Offices, 5 Alford Center Road Plainfield Town Offices, 304 Main St., from 11 to noon Plainfield Town Hall, 348 Main St., from noon to 1 p.m., during the senior lunch Appointments are not necessary but can be booked in advance by calling the Pittsfield office at 413-344-4561 or the Williamsburg office at

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Biz Briefs: Stop & Shop Workers Still Without Contract
Staff Reports,
01:15PM / Monday, March 18, 2019
UFCW planning Chicopee rally Area UFCW locals are hosting a rally at the Stop & Shop in Chicopee on Wednesday, March 20, as the grocery and union representatives have made little headway in contract negotiations.     UFCW Local 1459, representing about 2,000 workers in the Berkshires and Western Massachusetts, voted a week ago to authorize a strike if the contract talks continue to bog down. Local 1459's vote is in accord with four other UFCW locals that together represent some 30,000 workers in the grocery chain's New England stores.    Local 1459 President Tyrone Housey said in a video message on Friday that the grocer made some economic package

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Youth Voices Lead Coalition Forum
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:09AM / Monday, March 18, 2019

Malina Ziaja, a junior at Hoosac Valley High School, speaks during the coalition youth forum on March 12.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The youth spoke, and the adults listened.

Seven young people from the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's Youth Leadership Program led the Coalition's monthly form on March 12. Representing all four North County high schools, the teens talked to the adults about why adults don't always listen to the point of view of teenagers — and how that can change.

While the youths lead a NBCC forum every year, usually they pick a topic. This year, however, NBCC Executive Director Amber Besaw said, the topic came out the needs assessment

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Q&A: Doctor with Pro Football Pedigree Treating Sports Injuries in Bennington
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Sports
06:56AM / Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dr. Ivette Guttmann BENNINGTON, Vt. — Sustain a sports injury in and around Bennington, and you might discover that your doctor has more than years of medical training to bring to your recovery plan.   She just might be a former professional football player, too.   Earlier this winter, Dr. Ivette Guttmann joined the staff at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center as a sports medicine specialist.   Guttmann is board certified in pediatrics and primary-care sports medicine.   And she is a bona fide football hero, having set a record for touchdown completions in a season as a quarterback for the Orlando Starz and in the Independent Women's Football

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