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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Put Lessons From 'Retirement Week' to Work
03:05PM / Wednesday, October 18, 2017

To raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement, Congress has designated the third week of October as National Save for Retirement Week. What lessons can you learn from this event?

First of all, save early – and save often. Too many people put off saving for retirement until they are in their late 40s – and even their 50s. If you wait until you are in this age group, you can still do quite a bit to help build the resources you will need for retirement – but it will be more challenging than if you had begun saving and investing while you were in your 20s or early 30s. For one thing, if you delay saving for retirement, you may have to put away large

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Who Withdrew?: MNA Mixes Up Labor Board Complaints
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:16AM / Wednesday, October 18, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Massachusetts Nursing Association has withdrawn one of the multiple unfair labor practice charges it filed against Berkshire Medical Center.    In July, the registered nurses' union filed a charge against a new absentee policy the hospital's administration had established. The claim was that there was a modification to the contract because the new policy was not negotiated. The union said the hospital broadened the circumstances around absences for discipline.   However, according to a union spokesman, it was later learned that the policy was not going to be implemented for the union's membership. Last week, on Oct. 13, the union

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Education Task Force Panel Answers Questions at NBCC Forum
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:28AM / Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Panelists Jake Eberwein, left, Paul Butler, Douglas McNally, Robert Putnam and Tony Mazzucco, all members of the task force. 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The vision of the Berkshire County Education Task Force is a single, countywide school district that would create sustainable educational opportunities and academic support to a dwindling student population.

The controversial recommendation, made in July after two years of study and modeling, hasn't been an easy sell in the small towns fearing that consolidation means school closings and loss of local control.   But task force members are hoping that officials, parents and community members will see the benefits of at least

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Biz Briefs: Outlets Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
02:22PM / Monday, October 16, 2017

Racing for a cure: Lee Premium Outlets' parent company, Simon Malls and Simon Premium Outlets in New England, continue engagement as one of five national sponsors of Susan G. Komen, encouraging employees, retailers and shoppers to participate in activities and contribute to the achievement of Komen's bold goal of reducing current U.S. breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

Visitors to the Lee Premium Outlets, as well as other Simon malls and outlets in New England, will notice the pink theme carried out at select Guest Services booths and staff will be honoring National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donning pink accessories. Other planned activities include: $5 and $10

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Berkshire County Kids Place Honors Volunteers at Annual Gala
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:20PM / Monday, October 16, 2017

This year's gala at the Country Club of Pittsfield was the 'Enchanted Forest.' PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jennifer never thought her family would have to deal with a sexual assault.    "I knew sexual abuse was rampant but I thought of it as something that happened to other people, to other kinds of families, not ours," she said. "I know now I was wrong and naive and maybe even a little bit of a snob."   Then she learned her 4-year-old had been abused for as long as the child could remember. Her family had no idea what to do next, other than what she had gleaned from crime shows like "Law & Order."   "I had this

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BCC Honors Academic Achievement at Convocation
12:29PM / Monday, October 16, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College will recognize the academic achievements of 109 students during an Honors Convocation Program that will take place on Thursday, October 19, at 12:15 p.m. in the Boland Theater at BCC's main campus on West Street.

Each honored student ranks in the top five percent of the college with a grade point average of 3.75 or better in courses totaling at least 12 credits.

Honored students (and hometowns) include:

Massachusetts

Adams: Michael A. Corkins, Kayla J. Doyle

Becket: Leah E. Brooks, Rebecca J. Simmons

Cheshire: Shannon M. Gwozdz, Dudley R. Johnson

Cummington: Alexander F. Griffith

Dalton: Shaina R. Benham, Magdelin C. Bennett,

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire County Arc Participates in BIAMA's Walk & Roll
11:27AM / Monday, October 16, 2017

Walk & Roll: Twenty-seven individuals from Berkshire County Arc's Brain Injury Program participated in the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts' Walk & Roll in September. The team, which was named "BCArc Renegades," participated. Two Berkshire County Arc supervisors served as the co-captains of the team: Amber Steele and Kara Rogers. Supporters cheered along the team as they made their way down the two-mile route. Afterward, participants enjoyed lunch by the lake.

Berkshire County Arc opened its first residential program for individuals with developmental disabilities in 1971, and, in 2002, the agency opened its first residential program for individuals with

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Greylock Thunder Softball Seeks Players, Coaches for 2018
10:49AM / Saturday, October 14, 2017
ADAMS, Mass. -- The Greylock Thunder travel softball teams will hold tryouts this month for their 2018 summer season.   Interested players in the 14u, 16u, and 18u age groups should attend. All interested coaches should apply in person or via email.    Tryouts will be held:   U-14 & 16  Oct. 21, 3 to 5 p.m. at Reid Field.   Oct. 22, 3 to 5 p.m. at Reid Field.   U-18 Oct. 22, 3 to 5 p.m. at Reid Field.    All interested players are encouraged to come try out.   A brief informational session will be held at the start of tryouts to go over what to expect with the 2018 program: costs, travel expense, commitment, schedules, etc.   The

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'Blade Runner 2049': Virtual Truth & Justice
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
02:58PM / Friday, October 13, 2017
I'm not exactly sure what I saw, but I kind of think it was sort of OK, maybe. It's quite a tussle trying to follow the unnecessarily convoluted story in Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner 2049." The miasmic visuals of the scorched Earth scenario frustratingly obscure the gist of the thing. Yet, when the complicating fog eventually lifts way toward the end of the near three-hour followup to the 1982 "Blade Runner," we see it's not all that intricate. Rather, it's apparent that unable to dazzle us with brilliance, the director attempts to baffle us with, well, you know what.   The film attempts to compensate for its lack of truly ingenious plotting

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iForum: Girl Scouts Already Doing Great Things in the Community
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:45PM / Friday, October 13, 2017

You might have seen the group of 100 Girl Scouts in the Berkshire Mall last March, coming together to learn about other cultures on World Thinking Day.

I wanted to preserve the moment.

There, in front of me, stood six young ladies from my Girl Scout troop, holding three binders that, on the surface, didn't look all that interesting. But, as with people and programs like the Girl Scout program itself, there was more than meets the eye.

Inside the binders was a brand new curriculum these girls as fifth-graders had developed over the past six months to give to their two schools, Williamstown and Lanesborough elementary schools, to help teach other fifth-graders the Bill of Rights in a

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BRPC Considering Expanding Role In Education Task Force
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14AM / Friday, October 13, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Education Task Force has asked BRPC to take an expanded role in helping school districts regionalize.   The task force had already released its recommendation that eventually the county should have a single school district. That process will take years and have many challenging steps. The group has now asked the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to serve as the "backbone" to support any consolidation efforts county school district undertake.   "We're not setting policy direction for them, we are providing administrative support," said Executive Director Nathaniel Karns.   BRPC already serves as the fiscal

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Williamstown Elementary Holds Fall Children's Clothing Sale on Oct. 14
02:09PM / Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bins of goodies await shoppers on Oct. 14.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Elementary School PTO's annual clothing sale enters its second decade on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. As an added bonus, items will be half-price for customers receiving a hand stamp and entering after 1:30 p.m.

The WES cafeteria will be packed with gently used, nearly new and brand new quality children's clothing and accessories, including dressy styles, swim and athletic wear, foot wear, costumes and pajamas. Shoppers will find all types of bargains for all types of weather for all four seasons - especially the seasons coming up.

“The clothing sale will feature great

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