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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Mass MoCA Holds Grand Opening for Massive Building 6
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:01PM / Sunday, May 28, 2017

Museum director Joseph Thompson listens to speakers at the grand opening event in Courtyard D.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Sunday officially became the largest contemporary art museum in the world when it opened its doors to another 120,000 square feet of gallery and event space.    With the clipping of an abstract (invisible) yet "shiny and glittery" ribbon, Executive Director Joseph Thompson ushered the crowd gathered in Courtyard D into Building 6 — the Robert W. Wilson Building.   Thompson's brevity on this day is understandable. He's been talking about what the doubling of gallery space at

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@theMarket: Markets Climb Higher
By Bill Schmick,
06:37PM / Friday, May 26, 2017
In the absence of any earth-shaking news, stocks tend to follow the recent trend. That trend, since the election has been up, so ... The question to ask: when we can logically expect that trend to change?   As readers may recall, my target for the S&P 500 Index is somewhere between 2,443 and 2,475, which I expect we will hit before the end of the second quarter. This week, we broke 2,400, regaining everything that was lost in last Wednesday's 2 percent downdraft. Now, that 2,400 price level should act as a support for the bulls.   "Are you still bullish?" asked one of my clients yesterday.   "That depends upon your time frame," I

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Lee Bank Announces Multiple Staff Promotions, New Hire
12:46PM / Friday, May 26, 2017

Susie Brown, Paula Lewis, Paula Miller and Kathy Kelly.

LEE, Mass. — Lee Bank recently announced the promotion of three key leaders within the company and the addition of a mortgage officer to support its continued growth in 2017.

Susie Brown has been named to the position of senior vice president, human resources and administration, Paula Gangell-Miller has been named to the position of vice president, community banking-retail operations, and Paula Lewis has been named to the position of first vice president, retail lending. They have a combined 70 years of tenure with Lee Bank, one of the few remaining local and independent full-service banks in the Berkshires.

In addition,

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Memorial Day Events 2017
By Staff Reports,
09:30AM / Friday, May 26, 2017


*Adams
The parade will step off at 10 a.m. from the former Adams Memorial Middle School and conclude with the traditional ceremony at the Maple Street Cemetery. The usual route will be followed: Columbia Street to Hoosac Street, Hoosac Street to Summer Street, Center Street to Park Street.

The keynote speaker will be retired Army Lt. Co. John Bianchi, a 35-year military veteran who retired in 2007 after serving seven years as an enlisted man and 28 years as an officer. He served with Army National Guard and Army Reserve and his duty stations included the Pentagon and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Two Hoosac Valley High School students will recite Lincoln's

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Holiday Hours: Memorial Day
09:00AM / Friday, May 26, 2017

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army Arlington National Cemetery is the nation's first federal military cemetery. A ceremony is held each Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Memorial Day is being celebrated Monday, May 29. It is a federal holiday observing the sacrifices of the nation's servicemen and -women. It started as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, particularly in the South, and many states adopted the day as Decoration Day to commemorate all U.S. soldiers after World War I.

Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress. It falls on the last Monday in May.

Closed:
Federal, state and local offices; no mail

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State Senate Accepts Amendment To Study Passenger Rail to New York
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:18PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Senate adopted a budget amendment Thursday to develop a blueprint for more consistent passenger rail service to New York City.    State Sen. Adam Hinds filed the amendment which would task the state Department of Transportation to create a working group to study what it will take to establish the service.    "When we are trying to improvement out economy and address population loss, getting our infrastructure right is a key part of that," the Pittsfield Democrat said on Thursday. "This was identified as an important first step."   Some four years ago, former Gov. Deval Patrick had pushed a plan to purchase and

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The Independent Investor: Ready For a 20 Percent Correction?
By Bill Schmick,
03:11PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017

As the stock market makes new highs, investors tend to get greedy. They also begin to believe that what has happened in the recent past will continue to happen in the future. Actually, history shows the exact opposite. It is time to give the potential downside some thought.

Hope burns brightly in the equity markets right now. Many on Wall Street believe that the Republican-dominated Congress, led by Donald Trump, "The working man's president," will usher in a golden era of strong economic growth and robust financial markets. The problem is that politics and investments make for strange bedfellows.

At some point, I expect that the two will part ways and when they do, look

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Berkshire High School Athletes, Coaches Honored at Sports Caravan
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:29AM / Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jay Anderson of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank noted the closing of St. Joe PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the 55th annual Sports Caravan Awards were given to outstanding athletes and coaches of area high schools, a moment was taken to note it would be the last year that one of those schools would be represented.    Jay Anderson, president and CEO of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, introduced the winners of the Robert "Boog" Powell Awards, and opened by noting the closing of St. Joseph's Central High School and acknowledging girls swimmer Jessie Tobin, who will be the last St. Joe athlete to be presented with a Caravan award.     "What I

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On '529 Day,' Think About College Savings Plans
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:39AM / Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You probably won't see it on your calendar, but May 29 (5/29) is 529 College Savings Day, or "529 Day" for short. This day, named after the 529 plan, a popular college-savings vehicle, is designed to promote people’s awareness of the need to save and invest for the high costs of higher education.

And that need has never been greater. Consider the following:
 
* College prices keep moving up. College costs just keep rising. For the 2016–2017 school year, the average cost (tuition, fees, room and board) was about $20,000 for in-state students at public universities and more than $45,000 for private schools, according to the College Board. These costs are

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Berkshires Beat: Williams Environmental Center Earns Petal Certification
03:41PM / Monday, May 22, 2017

Nearing the goal: The Class of 1966 Environmental Center has achieved Petal Certification, meeting six of the seven environmental performance criteria for the Living Building Challenge. Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives Director Amy Johns accepted the building’s Petal Certification at the Living Future Conference in Seattle on May 18.

Twelve months of consecutive data showed that the center qualified in six of the seven environmental performance criteria for the Living Building Challenge, but fell short for the energy standard, just missing full certification as a Living Building. The LBC program, administered by the International Living Future Institute, is the most

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Berkshire Bank Moving Corporate Headquarters to Boston
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
03:24PM / Monday, May 22, 2017
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Bank is moving its corporate headquarters this Boston later this year as it acquires Commerce Bancshares Corp., increasing the bank's holdings to $12 billion.   The $209 million acquisition makes Berkshire Hills Bancorp the largest regional bank in Massachusetts, according to officials, and the first regional bank headquartered in Boston in decades. Bank officials say moving its corporate headquarters will not affect its employees here and that the operational center will remain on North Street.    "Locating our corporate headquarters in Boston will not take us away from our roots in Berkshire County; we remain committed to all of

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Biz Briefs: CompuWorks Celebrates 30 Years in IT Services
03:05PM / Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy anniversary: CompuWorks, a Pittsfield-based managed IT services provider (MSP) specializing in making companies more efficient, innovative and profitable through the effective use of technology, is celebrating 30 years. The company reflected on its history in an address to its employees.

Founded in 1987 by David Hall and Alan Bauman, CompuWorks' mission has always been to help its clients maximize the business impact of technology. The company believes that technology should be a competitive asset, not simply a necessary evil.  CompuWorks serves as the outsourced IT department for most of its clients who range in size from 20 employees to over 1,000 and are generally

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