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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Money Management Pays For BCC Nursing Exams, Licensing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:16PM / Monday, March 27, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The times when Bill Schmick of Berkshire Money Management was in the hospital, it was BCC graduates who helped him.   For that he is grateful. So grateful that he's helping Berkshire Community College nursing students with their licensing and exam fees. Berkshire Money Management on Monday donated $7,740 to the 18 students currently enrolled in the college's nursing program. The money will pay for the exam and licensing costs for when the students graduate and enter the field.   "We're just happy to give back after all you've given me," said Schmick, who also write money columns that appear on iBerkshires.   One of those

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Non-Partisan Advocacy Workshops Offered
02:21PM / Monday, March 27, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Wondering how to make a difference on local, state and national issues? Looking to learn the basics of door to door canvassing, calling your legislators, or running for office? The Four Freedoms Coalition in partnership with Berkshire Community College, is offering a day of free non-partisan advocacy workshops called "Act Now: Civic Participation Workshops for Everyone" on Saturday, April 1.

Participants are welcome to stay for an hour or the whole day. All workshops will be held on the Berkshire Community College campus at 1350 West St. in Pittsfield, which is fully accessible.

The non-partisan Berkshire-based Four Freedoms Coalition was founded in

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Berkshires Beat: Volunteers Needed to Monitor Water Quality As 'River Smart' Month Nears
01:25PM / Monday, March 27, 2017

Help wanted: The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, with two watershed partners - the Hoosic River Watershed Association and the Housatonic Valley Association - invite interested individuals to a training on Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bill Laston Memorial Park on Route 7 in Lanesborough.

Once a month, trained volunteers will collect water samples at designated locations on the Green River in the Hoosic Watershed and Wahconah Falls Brook and the Southwest Branch of the Housatonic River in the Housatonic Watershed. The samples will be tested to determine bacteria levels. Currently, all three tributaries are partly or wholly listed as "impaired" by the

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Women's Commission Breakfast Focuses on Civic Engagement
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:58AM / Monday, March 27, 2017

Mary Berle provided list of collaboration points used in her school, Muddy Brook Elementary.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tahirah Amatul-Wadud admitted she was "preaching to the choir" on Monday morning as she stressed the importance of community engagement in the politic process.

Her audience at Berkshire Community College of nearly 100 was mostly women and legislators who had shown up on a cold and rainy morning in the Susan B. Anthony Lounge for the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women's annual legislative breakfast.

Their presence spoke to the fact that they were already engaged, or interested in becoming so. But in light of the breakfast's theme of

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North Adams Team Wins 18th Annual Robotics Challenge
11:39AM / Monday, March 27, 2017

North Adams 4-H Students Winning at Technology (SWAT) won the Berkshire Robotics Challenge. Back row: Aidan Roberts, Brian Czarnecki, Thayne Carlo. Middle row: Sean Mullen, J.T. Mullen, Nicholas Lescarbeau, Owen Vareschi. Front row: Coach Nathan Samson.

LENOX, Mass. — North Adams 4-H Students Winning at Technology (SWAT) defeated Herberg High Brain Power (HBP) from Herberg Middle School in Pittsfield, 79-65, in the finals to win the championship of "Animal Allies," the 18th annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge, conducted Saturday, March 25, at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School.

The competition involved 26 Berkshire County teams comprising more than 180 students ages 8

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Spring Vacation Baseball Clinic Scheduled
iBerkshires.com Sports,
04:36PM / Sunday, March 26, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Berkshire Baseball Academy at The Infield invites players ages 6 to 12 to a Spring Training Baseball Clinic over April vacation.   The clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 17 through 20 at Deming Park, 80 Meadow Lane.   The emphasis will be on position-specific training, team defense and game play under a competitive atmosphere. Campers are asked to bring lunch, water, sunscreen and baseball gear.   The cost is $120 per child.   For information, contact Shari Butler at butlershari@gmail.com.

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Berkshire Blizzard Host Inaugural Tournament
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
03:33PM / Sunday, March 26, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Two days of girls hockey action concluded Sunday afternoon with a victory for the home team.   But the Berkshire Blizzard was a winner in more ways than one.   “This is huge,” Blizzard coach Bill Rech said after the team wrapped up the inaugural Blizzard Bash at the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rink. “This is so important because it's a chance for more and more families who couldn't travel with us to come and see them play.   “The different youth hockey programs had some people here and had a chance to see this is what this girls hockey thing is all about. They had a blast watching.”   And the girls

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Legislators Pledge Support to Disabled Community During Uncertain Times
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:19PM / Friday, March 24, 2017

Pittsfield High School student Dwayne Revells talks about his experience with Goodwill Industries at Friday's breakfast.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On the shore of Pontoosuc Lake on Friday morning, thoughts were on happenings on the shores of the Potomac River.

The 17th annual Berkshire Legislative Breakfast to support services for people with disabilities saw a crowd of more than 300 at the ITAM Lodge to hear families and care providers share their concerns with members of the county's legislative delegation. That's the county's delegation in Boston, but events in Washington, D.C., very much on the minds of the speakers and the audience alike.

"The current political

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Flying Cloud Institute Welcomes New Board Member
11:59AM / Friday, March 24, 2017

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Flying Cloud Institute has announced that Mary Nash has joined the Board of Directors.

Nash currently runs NASH Insights in Lenox, Mass., working with organizations to assess their needs, conduct program evaluation, and obtain grant funding. She is the former executive director of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and the Boston Area Health Education Center.

Nash has shown her dedication to the students and educators of Berkshire County since she moved here in 1992 by working with the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire United Way, Hillcrest Educational Centers, and Berkshire Health Systems amongst several other

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Independent Investor: Don't Worry, Be Happy
By Bill Schmick,
04:02PM / Thursday, March 23, 2017

It is official: the happiest country in the world is Norway, with Denmark the runner-up, according to the World Happiness Report. What lessons can we learn from this survey and what, if anything, should we do as a nation to join their ranks?

Where, you might ask, do we here in the U.S. rank? The answer would be No. 14, down from No. 3 in 2007. The least happy inhabitants on Earth appear to be in Africa while the average Chinese person is no happier than he was 25 years ago, despite the country's much-lauded economic miracle.

How do a pair of tiny countries stay so happy for so long?  It sure isn't the weather, where it is so cold that summers require overcoats and the days

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Habitat for Humanity ReStore Celebrating Earth Day by Holding DIY Contest
12:48PM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore is celebrating Earth Day 2017 by asking people to give a second life to donated materials, reducing waste in landfills and by putting their "do-it-yourself" skills to work.

Participants should register for the Do-it-Yourself contest at ReStore, 399 Hubbard Ave., by March 25 to get their project materials and chance to win the grand prize, a $100 certificate to the ReStore.

The number of Contestants is limited to the first 20 entries. There is an entry fee of $10, which includes a cabinet door front and a 10 percent discount coupon. Get a chance to win the grand prize and have the title of being

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Help Protect Older Adults from Financial Abuse
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:02AM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Financial exploitation costs older Americans billions of dollars per year, according to several sources, including the National Council on Aging. If you have older parents, could they be vulnerable to financial scams and rip-off artists? And, if so, what can you do to help protect them?

Unfortunately, it is possible for anyone to become a victim. For a variety of reasons, older adults may be easier targets than younger people. And that is why, when interacting with your parents, you should look for these warning signs:

* Suspicious new relationships: If your parent mentions something about a new friend, a romantic partner or some type of caregiver who seems to have taken a great interest

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