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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Health Matters: Four Quick Tips to Protect Against Anaplasmosis
By Marie J. George,
09:16PM / Tuesday, May 07, 2019

For those who don't work in health care, the disease anaplasmosis sounds made up. In reality, it's the second most common tick-borne illness affecting our region. 

Like Lyme disease, the most common one, it is caused by bacteria carried by the blacklegged tick. According to the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont has the highest annual incidence of anaplasmosis nationwide.

You can get anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, as well as a handful of less common tick-borne diseases from the same bite. Because of the tick life cycle, the number of tick bites peaks in May and June and again in late October and November. 

Here are some quick tips to protect you against anaplasmosis and

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U.S. Open Local Qualifier Held at Berkshire Hills Sports,
02:58PM / Tuesday, May 07, 2019
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Rutland, Vt.'s, Jared Nelson and Dartmouth's, Mark Purrington Tuesday earned a spot in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying Tournament with their performances at the local qualifier at Berkshire Hills Country Club.   The two tied for first in the one-round event at 3-under-par 69 to earn the two berths at stake in the June 3 sectional in Purchase, N.Y.   Another Vermonter, Killington's Garren Poirier, finished just out of the money in third place at 2-under 70, the only other red number on the leaderboard.   Poirier, like Nelson, is an amateur.   Nelson made the turn at even par but started the back nine strong with birdies on the


North Adams Weekend Festival Features Music, Art and Wellness
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, May 06, 2019

Danielle Klebes is painting 'Outdoor Recreation' on the back of Tres Ninos.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The O-Positive Festival is set to kick off on Friday with two days of music, performance, art and health care.    "O-Positive is a cultural and wellness organization that supports the health of underinsured artists musicians," explained Ashley Strazzinski, artistic director, to the Public Arts Commission last week. "So artists will paint murals and host workshops, have different happenings and musicians will perform in exchange for wellness services at a clinic at Mass MoCA. There's going to be a health-care expo that's tied in with the


Rousseau Wins 18th Annual LeClair Race Sports,
01:16PM / Sunday, May 05, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Brandon Rousseau won the 18th annual Jocelyn E. LeClair Memorial Scholarship Race on Sunday at Windsor Lake.   Rousseau covered the 5-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 4 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of the field.   The runner up — and first woman across the line — was April Varellas, who finished in 22:00.   A small but hearty contingent of runners participated in the event, and though the skies threatened rain, the weather held off for the event, which raises scholarship money for students at Drury High School and Hoosac Valley Regional High School plus the YMCA’s summer camps and the ROPES camp.   The JEL was started nearly


@theMarket: New Highs Beget New Highs
By Bill Schmick,
05:00PM / Friday, May 03, 2019
Some people believe we are in a "melt-up." It is where the simple weight of money pouring into the U.S. stock market continues to carry stocks ever higher. Whether that qualifies as an investment thesis, or simply a lame excuse to justify record highs, it matters little to the bulls.   It is true that this past week, we actually witnessed a rare event — a two-day, 50-point drop in the S&P 500 Index — before stocks recovered.  But good news on Friday morning (job gains in the economy came in at 236,000) cheered investors. It was largely a goldilocks report where wage gains (considered inflationary) were flat for the month, bringing the the average hourly


New Director of Development Joins Jacob's Pillow
12:30PM / Friday, May 03, 2019

BECKET, Mass. — Ina Clark has joined Jacob's Pillow as director of development.

Jacob's Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, a National Medal of the Arts recipient, home to America's longest running dance festival, and has recently expanded to become a year-round center for dance research and development.

"I am excited to announce that a development executive as experienced as Ina Clark will be joining Jacob's Pillow," Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge said. "Her passion for dance is palpable and I so look forward to having her join the excellent development team that's already in place and to working with her to evolve the Pillow's


Berkshire United Way Names New CEO
12:22PM / Friday, May 03, 2019

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire United Way has announced that Candace Winkler will replace outgoing CEO and Executive Director Kristine Hazzard.

Winkler comes to BUW from Santa Barbara. She will overlap with Hazzard for a month, and, after wrapping up things in California, will begin her full-time solo tenure in Pittsfield on July 1.

"We were looking for someone who had a passion for the health of communities and who we thought could really get to know and support the many agencies that work so hard in the county. We also wanted someone who we thought could have the vision for the Berkshire United Way could be in the future and who could support the board and staff as we


BFAIR Names New Director of Quality Compliance
11:54AM / Friday, May 03, 2019

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Erin Shea has been promoted to the director of Quality Compliance at BFAIR (Berkshire Family And Individual Resources).

Shea holds a bachelor's in social work from Our Lady of Elm's College and is a licensed social worker with more than 15 years of progressive experience supporting elders and individuals with disabilities and their families. She began her career at United Cerebral Palsy of the Berkshires and as a social worker with Berkshire Health Care Systems.  

Over the past 10 years, she has assumed a variety of roles at BFAIR, one as the assistant director of the Day Habilitation Center.

In 2014, the BFAIR Homecare program was developed and


WAM Announces Expansion of Theater Leadership
11:45AM / Friday, May 03, 2019

LENOX, Mass. — WAM Theatre announces the addition of two new members to the WAM Leadership Team as a long-time team member Gwendolyn Tunnicliffe moves on.  

"All of us at WAM will miss Gwen dearly. Her contributions to WAM in her four years with us have been immense and she is adored by our WAMily,” Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven explained. “We wish her well on her new life chapter and are excited to have hired long-time WAM artist Lia Russell-Self as our new associate producing director and newcomer to WAM, Kristen Perlman, as our new philanthropy manager. We look forward to following Gwendolyn's new adventures and to welcoming Lia and


Biz Briefs: Lenox Fit Owner Named Woman Small Business Owner of the Year
11:16AM / Friday, May 03, 2019
Lenox Fit honor

The Small Business Administration has named Lenox Fit Inc. and owner Suzanne Merritt the 2019 Woman Small Business Owner of the Year for Massachusetts. Lenox Fit earned the recognition for increasing economic development and job creation in the Berkshires region.  Lenox Fit is a multi-dimensional fitness and wellness facility that serves Berkshire County region.  The customers range from rehab/post rehab from physical therapy, to advanced athletes and fitness enthusiasts of every level.  

"It is an honor to recognize Suzanne Merritt for being an amazing entrepreneur and overcoming adversity both personally and in business along her path to the


Gillette Carnival Returns to Berkshire Mall For 8th Year
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Friday, May 03, 2019

The carnival has been at the Berkshire Mall for the last eight years. LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Back in the 1940s, the Gillettes would set up and run carnivals all around Pontoosuc Lake.    Pittsfield brothers Jules, Art and Gene started up the Gillette Carnival in 1947 and it has grown to become a family affair. It takes the family throughout the Northeast during the summer but they always start the year at home.   "It was important coming back here. It is for two great organizations, Lanesborough Police Association and Stars of Hope," Jerry Gillette, who now owns the carnival his father had begun, said.   "And it is home for me. I'm from


Faith-based Organizations Honor National Day of Prayer in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:58AM / Friday, May 03, 2019

Akilah Edgerton and Katelynn Miner say a prayer for those in government. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — God bless President Donald Trump and Mayor Linda Tyer.   Those two names aren't spoken in the same sentence often. But for those gathered outside City Hall on Thursday, the focus wasn't on what divides a community, a state, or a nation.   The focus is on what unites -- love, goodness, and faith.   Pastors of a number of local faith-based organizations led a crowd of about 50 in prayer, prayers for the government, for education, for businesses, for the media, the military, the church, and for families.   "Now I think, based on what's happened in


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