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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

CATA Names New Development Director
04:16PM / Friday, March 06, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Access to the Arts has appointed Alexandra Heddinger as the nonprofit's new development director.

Heddinger's hiring comes at a pivotal moment for the organization as they prepare to open their new, fully accessible arts center and implement a strategic expansion of the nonprofit’s innovative arts programs for people with disabilities.

Heddinger comes to CATA from Berkshire Country Day School, where she served as director of admission and marketing, and the Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y., where she worked for 17 years, most recently as director of advancement. Heddinger has deep ties to the local arts community, having started


@theMarket: The COVID Crash of 2020
By Bill Schmick,
03:15PM / Friday, March 06, 2020
The stock market has not only erased all the gains of this year but is now working on giving back last year's gains as well. Are we close to a bottom or is there more pain in store for investors?   Unless you are invested in gold, or U.S. Treasury bonds, there are few places that offer protection to investors right now. What may have spooked traders most this week is the freefall of interest rates as exemplified by the benchmark U.S. Ten-Year Treasury bond. It has done the unthinkable falling below one percent in yield. Some believe it is on its way to zero.   You might assume that all this selling is based on the fear that the United States will soon see thousands of new


McCann Announces Second Quarter Honor Roll
03:05PM / Friday, March 06, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School has announced its honor roll for the second quarter of the 2019-20 school year.

High honors

Grade 12: Blevins, Macie; Canales, Dana; Carpenter, Emma; Carpenter, John; Charron, Jessica; Daigneault, Mya; DeBlois, Morgan; Delmolino, Braedon; Gazaille, Bree; Goodell, Madison; Hardee, Dylynn; Harrington, Vanessa; Hartley, Jadon; Kupiec, Kiera; LeSage, Vanessa; Levesque, Andrew; Loughman, Alicia; Mahar, Nathan; McLain, Emily; Mitchell, Madison; Rose, Christopher; Shepard, Nicholas; Tovani, Darius; Traversa, Vanessa; Williams, Hailey; Williams, Hanna; Yeaton, Aleasia.

Grade 11: Bailey, Matthew; Burdick, Allie; Champney, Molly; Cirullo, Connor;


Don't Let Coronavirus Infect Your Investment Strategy
12:13PM / Friday, March 06, 2020

As you know, the coronavirus has become a major health concern, not just in China, but in other parts of the world, too – and it's also shaken up the financial markets. As an individual investor, how concerned should you be?

The impact of the coronavirus on the markets isn't surprising. China is the world's second-largest economy, and when it experiences factory closures, supply chain disruptions and city lockdowns, the ripple effect on the world's other economies is considerable. Plus, the financial markets simply don't like uncertainty – and there's a lot of that associated with this outbreak and the efforts to contain it.

Nonetheless, instead of


The Independent Investor: The Biden Bounce
By Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Thursday, March 05, 2020
Super Tuesday surprised many investors. As the smoke cleared and the results came dribbling in, it became apparent that Joe Biden had risen from the dead. Wall Street celebrated by gaining over 4 percent in one day.   The market's performance says a lot about how investor's view the Democratic candidates. Taken as a group, Wall Street was not happy with where the Democratic candidates were heading. Last week, for example, I discussed Bernie Sander's election platform. The price tag alone ($50 trillion over 10 years) was enough to convince most Wall Streeters that the market and economy would be in for some really rough sledding if Bernie were to be elected.   Elizabeth


'The Invisible Man': More Than What Meets the Eye
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:30PM / Thursday, March 05, 2020
I inevitably ponder the same confounding question every time I review a horror move: Why would someone want to subject themselves to two hours of blood pressure-raising, heart-pounding, stomach-curdling and mind-distressing occurrences?    I then go on to explain that there are plenty of real, everyday circumstances from which to draw fear without paying handsomely for it at the Bijou. Things like the mortgage, a suspiciously weird neighbor who's doing gosh knows what, a bunch of looney, mendacious ne'er-do-wells helping themselves to the national treasure down in Foggy Bottom, and nowadays especially, the guy working in the diner who, after visiting the men's room,


Hinds Sets Community Outreach Events for March
01:00PM / Thursday, March 05, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The staff of state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will host two community outreach events during March.   The senator's staff will be available to meet with constituents in the communities of Huntington and North Adams on Wednesday, March 18, for this month's staff office hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  North Adams City Hall, 10 Main St. Stanton Hall, 24 Russell Road, Huntington

Appointments are not necessary but can be booked in advance by calling the Pittsfield office at 413-344-4561 or the Williamsburg office at 413-768-2373. These office hours provide an opportunity for those seeking assistance with state agencies or programs to


Officials Explain Steps Being Taken to Address Coronavirus
Staff Reports,
10:27PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Officials say Massachusetts is well positioned at this point at address any expansion in the state of Covid-19, a coronavirus that's killed more than 3,000 worldwide.

"Massachusetts remains at low risk and has had only one confirmed case to date so far," said Gov. Charlie Baker in a press briefing in Boston on Monday afternoon. "Our top priority remains the health and safety of our residents."   Appearing with Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Monica Bharel and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, the governor said the Department of Public Health has launched a website to apprise the public of news and updates on

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MCLA Spring Theatre Season Kicks Off With 'Topdog/Underdog'
05:01PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts theater program kicks off its spring season with Suzan-Lori Parks' "Topdog/Underdog."

The play will be directed by visiting guest artist Rodney Creech, with student John Archer-Harvey serving as assistant director.

"Topdog/Underdog" opens on Friday, March 6, with additional shows on March 7, 10, 11, and 12. All performances begin at 8 p.m. There will be additional matinee performances at 2 p.m. on March 7 and 8. A talk-back with Creech and the cast will be held after the March 8 matinee performance. General admission tickets are $15.

The play explores the lives of two brothers, Lincoln and


Physical Therapy Assistant Joins CHP
04:05PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has expanded its physical therapy staff in Great Barrington with the addition of Jennifer Valente.

A licensed physical therapist assistant, Valente worked most recently at Berkshire Rehabilitation Skilled Care Center and the Farmington River School. She also works as a tutor and lab assistant in the physical therapist assistant program at Berkshire Community College.

She earned her associate degree in physical therapist assistant at Berkshire Community College, and received clinical training at Baystate Neurological Rehabilitation, Columbia Memorial Rehabilitation and Genesis Rehabilitation at Hillcrest Commons in


Massachusetts, Vermont Vote in Presidential Primary Tuesday
03:15PM / Monday, March 02, 2020
Voters in Massachusetts and Vermont will finally get their chance to weigh in on the candidates running for party nominations for president.    They'll have a long list of candidates to chose from on the Democratic side but recent events have whittled active campaigns down to just five.   As of Monday afternoon, only former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts' own U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren are still in it to win. In Vermont, the Democratic candidates also include Mark Stewart of Farmington, Conn.   The number of failed campaigns is much


West Stockbridge Fire Chief Pays $5,000 for Violating Conflict of Interest Law
02:59PM / Monday, March 02, 2020

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. -— West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput, a former Select Board member, has paid $5,000 to settle accusations that he violated the state's conflict of interest law.

The State Ethics Commission has accepted Skorput’s payment of a $5,000 civil penalty and dismissed the adjudicatory proceeding against him.

The charges stem from Skorput continuing to serve as fire chief after his election to the Select Board; deciding payment amounts for himself, his daughter and his nephew; voting as a Select Board member to reappoint himself fire chief; terminating a firefighter who had filed a complaint against him; and through other actions, according to a news


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