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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Waldorf High School Students Make Historic Trip to Cuba
03:05PM / Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Five Berkshire high school students and three teachers from the Waldorf High School in Stockbridge made an historic visit to Cuba this month, traveling first to Cienfuegos, where they stayed with Cuban families, the first U.S. high school students to do so since at least the Carter administration.
After a week in Cienfuegos, the group traveled to La Habana (Havana) through April 22.

Traveling students were Sergei Carty (Lenox), Kosta Koufis (Great Barrington), Takoda Nordoff (Monterey) and Annabell O’Neill and Raphaela Seward-Mayer (both of Philmont, NY). Accompanying them were Spanish teacher Sonia Cintron, accompanied by Ann Marie Genco and Guy Nordoff,

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St. Luke's Nursing Scholarships Available
02:59PM / Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The St. Luke’s Alumni Association will be awarding scholarships to those who are pursuing education in the nursing field, including an associate degree, a baccalaureate or a master’s degree or a nurse practitioner program.  

Any applicant must have completed at least one year of clinical practice in nursing.
 
Relatives of dues-paying members of the alumni group will be given preference; however, others are encouraged to apply. The scholarships are funded by members’ dues, bequests and other donations.
 
St. Luke’s School of Nursing closed in 1974 but the alumni association has remained active by supporting the scholarship

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MCLA honors Three Berkshire County Educators
02:47PM / Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of the fourth annual Berkshire County Educator Recognition Award.

The award, given by MCLA in collaboration with Berkshire County K-12 superintendents, was created to honor the region’s exceptional teachers.

This year’s recipients will be recognized on Thursday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m. in the MCLA Church Street Center Social Hall on the MCLA campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The recipients are Jo-Ellen Height (elementary education), Patricia Robie (early childhood education), and Brad Whateley (middle/high school education).

“All educators touch the future by working

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Green-Rainbow Statewide Candidates Launch 'Listening' Tour
Staff Reports,
10:37PM / Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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Local Green-Party activist L. Scott Laugenour, center, accompanied candidates Danny Factor, left, and Ian Jackson to submit their nomination sheets at Pittsfield City Hall.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A trio of Green-Rainbow Party state candidates toured the Berkshires on Tuesday, meeting with citizens and filing their papers at Pittsfield City Hall.

The group kicked off the day in front of the closed North Adams Regional Hospital to press a focal point of the party's platform: Universal health care.

"Health care is a human right," said Danny Factor of Acton, who is running for secretary of the commonwealth. If the government can bail out a corporation, it can find funds

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Lawmakers File Report On Lowering Student Debt
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:38AM / Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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State Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, has chaired a subcommittee looking into student loans.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It used to be that going to college was a surefire way to get ahead economically.

High school students across the state  get those acceptance letters in the mail, celebrate, fill out all of the loan paperwork and then head off to college to make a future.

But after the degrees are passed out, the first loan payment comes due. The new graduates find that for years to come, a significant amount of the salary they worked so hard to earn goes right to the creditors.

"People assume that the student loans will be worth it. But that's not necessarily the case,"

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Berkshire Runners Compete at Boston Marathon
By Stephen Dravis,
10:30PM / Monday, April 21, 2014
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BOSTON — Pittsfield's Stephen Foley was the fastest Berkshire County finisher in Monday's 118th Boston Marathon.   Foley, 42, covered the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds, which was good for 404th place in his division at the event, which drew 35,671 entrants.   Of the 31,805 finishers, Foley finished 2,663rd, according the website of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race.   He was the 2,509th man across the finish line and one of 10 runners from Berkshire County to finish in fewer than four hours.   The event was won by American Meb Keflezighi, a native of Eritrea, who finished in 2:08:37. Kenya's Rita Jeptoo was

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Klara's Gourmet Cookies Named Finalist for Award
12:06PM / Monday, April 21, 2014
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LEE, Mass. — Klara’s Gourmet Cookies has been named a finalist in the “Outstanding Cookie" category in the Specialty Food Association’s 2014 sofi Award competition. '

A sofi is the top honor in the $88 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation and represents the best of the best from members of the Specialty Food Association.

The Coconut Macaroons were one of 109 Finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from 2,025 entries across 30 awards categories from Outstanding Appetizer to Outstanding Vinegar. Winners will be announced by noted chef Dominique Ansel at a

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@theMarket: Easter Bunny Bounce
By Bill Schmick,
03:55PM / Friday, April 18, 2014
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This holiday-shortened week saw a relief rally that began on Monday and carried through until Thursday. The markets still have further to go in the coming week before we once again reach the top of this four month long trading range.

The question that haunts both bulls and bears is when and in what direction will the markets finally break out or break down? As readers are aware, I believe that there is a high probability that stocks will do both in the weeks ahead. We could easily see the S&P 500 Index, for example, reach a new high, possibly 1,900 or beyond.

However, at some point this spring, that index and others will rollover. The resulting decline will be nasty, scary and

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Holiday Hours: Patriots Day
12:07PM / Friday, April 18, 2014
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Monday, April 21, is Patriots Day, a state holiday marking the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord that began the American Revolution. The day has been celebrated on the third Monday in April since 1969.

It was on the morning of April 19, 1775, that Paul Revere and other riders began the alert across and beyond Massachusetts Colony that troops were planning to advance from Boston to the towns of Lexington and Concord. They were to seize a cache of gunpowder and arms and capture revolutionaries Sam Adams and John Hancock.

(Local legend claims that Israel Bissell, later of Hinsdale, rode all the way to Philadelphia, but most historians dismiss it.)

Previous attempts to

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"Draft Day": It's a Coin Toss
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:04PM / Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
Kevin Costner cogitates on who he will pick for his fantasy football team in the insider-y 'Draft Day.'

Director Ivan Reitman's "Draft Day" dramatically mirrors the changing, commercially charged face of sportsdom. Once upon a time, devotees were primarily concerned with their superstars' skill and determination. I've always added a few points for uniform design: i.e., the serious majesty of the Yankees' NY, and those pinstripes; the colorful whimsy of two birds balancing at each end of a bat on the St. Louis Cardinals' jersey.

But if such pure,

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