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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

MountainOne Unifies Branding of Divisions
04:20PM / Thursday, January 19, 2017

The clock also has a new lighting array installed.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne Financial, the parent company of MountainOne Bank and three additional financial service divisions, has rebranded each of its divisions under the MountainOne name.

The rebranding includes a new blue and white logo, replacing the tan and white one that MountainOne has used for several years.

"For nearly two decades, the individual companies of MountainOne have worked together to successfully build a complete portfolio of banking, insurance, and investment services in the Berkshires and throughout our region," President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Fraser said. "In 2013, our

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United Way, Habitat For Humanity Launch Free Tax Prep Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:14PM / Thursday, January 19, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It's coming up on tax time, a chance to catch up on bills, build up savings, or make investments. And there are community groups just waiting to help people with the preparation and filing.   The Berkshire United Way and the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity have put together a pool of volunteers to help individuals and families file income tax with the IRS securely and for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.   "Doing it through VITA means it is secure, direct with the IRS, and you are not paying anything. You are not paying interest on your return. It is the most secure way to do it and the cheapest way to do it,"

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Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest Theme: 'Trees are Terrific'
12:56PM / Wednesday, January 18, 2017

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has announced the theme of 2017's fifth grade Arbor Day Poster Contest: "Trees are Terrific … from Berkshires to Bay!"

Fifth grade classes from both public and private schools across the commonwealth are encouraged to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest by having the students create posters highlighting this year's theme, and then hosting a school poster contest. The winning poster from each school can then be submitted to the agency for review.

"I am delighted that students from across the Commonwealth continue to participate in the Department of Conservation and

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What Should You Know About Taking RMDs?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:59AM / Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As we get older, the end of another year takes on greater meaning, in many ways, than it did when we were young. And if you're a certain age, Dec. 31 has a very specific meaning in terms of your finances, because it's the deadline for withdrawing money from some of your retirement plans. What should you know about these withdrawals? And how much control over them do you have?

Here's the picture, in a nutshell: Once you turn 70 1/2, you generally need to start taking withdrawals – the technical term is "required minimum distributions," or RMDs – from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b) plan (for employees of pubic

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Berkshire Planning Receives DLTA Funding To Help Towns With Projects
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:53AM / Wednesday, January 18, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRPC finally got its local assistance funding and more than 25 towns have requested help.   The funding for District Local Technical Local Assistance program was questionable over the last few months as the state pondered budget cuts to address shortages of revenue. The state provides $2.8 million to regional planning committees to help towns with an array of planning projects.   But, late into 2016 the money hadn't been released and the governor was in the process of making budget cuts.   "The DLTA funding was spared from 9C cuts and I signed our contract on Dec. 15 and we are waiting for the signed contract back. With the holidays, that

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MCLA to Host Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day
02:06AM / Wednesday, January 18, 2017
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Saturday’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will feature opportunities for the area’s youngest athletes and showcase the talents of some of Berkshire County’s top women collegians.   The daylong festival that begins at 8 a.m. in MCLA’s Amsler Campus Center concludes with a 1 p.m. women’s basketball game featuring the Trailblazers and the Springfield Pride.   The Pride features 2013 Drury High graduate Danielle Racette, who is averaging 3.3 assists in 21.4 minutes per game this winter. Springfield (11-4) is gunning for its eighth NEWMAC championship and first since

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Neal: Democratic Party Needs a 'Reset'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:26PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The stop at MCLA was one of several the congressman made in North Berkshire.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Democratic Party can't "sugarcoat" its disastrous situation, says U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.

And the pain lies deeper than the loss of the presidency and failure to make inroads in the Republican-controlled Congress.

"Time for a reset," he said, pointing out that "the people we're losing used to be for us."

Nearly a third of House Democrats come from three states: Massachusetts, New York and California.

"In the last eight years, all election cycles for Congress, we have lost 62 House seats, 15 Senate seats," Neal said at a session at

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Neal Visits Hoosac Valley, Says Will Attend Inauguration
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:34PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hoosac Principal Jeremiah Ames welcomes Congressman Richie Neal to a student assembly on Tuesday.

CHESHIRE, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says he will attend Friday's presidential inauguration of Republican Donald Trump.

The Springfield Democrat and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter told students at Hoosac Valley High School on Tuesday morning that while disappointed with the results of the election, he felt it important to be at the transition of power.

"What the inauguration represents is the peaceful transition of power and as much as I was for Secretary Clinton, as much as I campaigned for her in New Hampshire and in Pennsylvania … and as much as I was

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Mount Greylock Grad Recognized on Senior Day at Bates College
iBerkshires.com Sports,
01:56AM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Carlos Ames receives congratulations from his Bates College men's squash teammates. Bates College senior Carlos Ames of Williamstown earned a pair of wins on Saturday as the 19th-ranked Bobcats men’s squash team celebrated Senior Day with wins over Hobart and Hamilton.   The Mount Greylock senior, playing at No. 8, defeated Hamilton’s Atticus Jones, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4. Then Ames moved to No. 9 on the ladder to beat Hobart’s Matthew Frantz, 11-7, 11-6, 12-14, 11-8.   Earlier this winter, Ames and the Bobcats came to Williamstown to face Williams College, and he earned a five-set win over the Ephs’ Andrew Litvin to help Bates win, 8-1.   Mount

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Biz Briefs: 'Farm to Fork' Bike Ride Coming to Berkshires
02:06PM / Monday, January 16, 2017

Fresh and fit: The award-winning bicycle event series Farm to Fork Fondo will launch its first ride in the Berkshires in September. Five hundred cyclists from throughout the country are expected to attend Farm to Fork Fondo on Sept. 23-24 at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield. Wrenegade Sports, the producer of this event, is based in Burlington, Vt.
 
The Berkshires' world-class arts culture is complemented by a close-knit community of farmers, food producers and chefs, committed to the farm-to-table movement for more than 25 years. The ride course, with options for all abilities ranging from 10 to 100 miles, will include gourmet aid stations at several Berkshire County farms

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Berkshires Beat: OLLI Opens Spring Classes
12:58PM / Monday, January 16, 2017

Lifelong learning: OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, kicks off its winter semester of classes this month in Pittsfield and Great Barrington. OLLI is a membership organization that offers over 80 classes, talks, workshops, events and trips a year, designed especially by and for people 50 years old and up.

There is no educational requirement for joining OLLI, just a love of learning for the sake of learning. The classes have no tests, no grades and no required homework.

Winter OLLI classes in Pittsfield include "International Folk Dance," "Ancient Writing Systems," "The Many Faces of Addictions," "Today’s

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Bruins Bag Banner With OT Win in Kittredge Tourney
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
10:03PM / Sunday, January 15, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Caleb Kollmer capped the 46th Gib Kittredge Hockey Tournament in style.


The Berkshire Bruins defenseman Sunday scored midway through the second overtime to give the hosts a 4-3, come-from-behind victory over Avon, Conn., in the Bantam Division title game.


Seamus Hayes scored with just less than three minutes left in regulation to complete the Bruins’ comeback from a 3-1 deficit, and Nate Haley made two saves in the last 10 seconds of regulation to send the game to OT.


“Whenever you win the Kittredge, you get to look at the banner for a couple more years,” Bruins’ coach Rob Abel said. “A lot of these guys, this is their last

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