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Independent Investor: Don't Worry, Be Happy

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. click for more

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Help Protect Older Adults from Financial Abuse

Unfortunately, it is possible for anyone to become a victim. For a variety of reasons, older adults may be easier targets than younger people. click for more

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Baker Hill District Seeks Authority to Buy...

The Baker Hill Road District has asked the state to allow it to purchase the Berkshire Mall. The mall isn't currently for sale but the district wants to be in a place to acquire the property and needs legislative approval. The district had previously offered to purchase the property and the... click for more

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@theMarket: Fed Rate Hike Sets Stage For More

This week the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates again. That's two times in as many quarters. Back in the day, the markets would have swooned. This week they did the opposite. What gives? The short answer is investors believe both the economy and inflation are beginning to accelerate, so the... click for more

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J.C. Penney at the Berkshire Mall To Close

JCPenney at the Berkshire Mall will be closing. The store is part of 138 nationwide the company is closing. The anticipated closures were announced on Feb. 24 and on Friday the company released the list of specific stores slated for closure. click for more

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Secretary Ash Tours Greylock Works Project

Greylock Works received a $2,176,341 MassWorks grant last fall to redo the entry and parking lots on the east and south side of the sprawling structure. Part of that grant was a 10-year easement for the city to allow use of the parking for the adjacent Alcombright Athletic Complex. click for more

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Dellea Honored With Hillcrest's Irish Person of...

It was in the mid-1980s when Michael Dukakis was looking to close the Avalon School, which was in receivership. Meanwhile, Hillcrest officials had taken an idea of expanding into the education field to their Chief Operating Officer Eugene Dellea. Dellea brought the concept the board chair,... click for more

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The Independent Investor: Trump's Budget

It was late, "skinny," and guaranteed to send Washington lawmakers up a wall. President Trump's first crack at a budget, released on Thursday, makes drastic cuts to many sacrosanct departments and programs while boosting spending in others. click for more

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Medical Marijuana Dispensary On Pace To Open In...

Construction is on pace for what could be the first medical marijuana dispensary in the county. Khem Organics has started renovations on a building on Dalton Avenue, which currently houses Jay's Custom Muffler & Auto, Casey's Billiards, and used to house the Salvation Army store. All three... click for more

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Biz Briefs: Wheeler & Taylor Acquires GoodWorks...

Both organizations have a long history of supporting their communities through charitable giving and going forward will be no exception. Wheeler & Taylor will license the GoodWorks Insurance charitable-giving program to continue to support local organizations and charities in Massachusetts.

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Charter Proposes Broadband Expansion To Hancock,...

Charter Communications has submitted a proposal to rollout broadband to nearly a quarter of the remaining households without broadband internet. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute has qualified the proposal and if the six towns - three of which are in the Berkshires - approve will enter negotiations to make it happen. The company would then expand its network and offerings - including cabled, internet, and phone - to 5,000 households.

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@theMarket: Mushy Markets in March

I see a meandering two steps back, one step forward, kind of market with the downside risk somewhere between 2,300 and 2,330 on the S&P 500 Index. That would equate to about a 4 percent move. As pullbacks go, that would be minor and necessary given the stupendous gains we've seen since November.

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MountainOne Insurance Appoints Jake Rand to Sales...

As account executive, Rand will be responsible for developing a portfolio of new commercial insurance clients, as well as maintaining an existing book of business.

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North Adams Initiative Pursuing Eagle Street...

The city is hoping to build on the recent enthusiasm surrounding the Small Business Revolution to leverage those online votes into online dollars. The goal: to raise $25,000 by May 5 toward a matching MassDevelopment grant to make historic Eagle Street more attractive to pedestrians and visitors.

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Women Must Act to Overcome Financial Challenges

For one thing, women still encounter gender-specific obstacles to their important financial goals, such as a comfortable retirement.

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Mirabito, O'Reilly Auto Parts Both Looking to Move...

Mirabito is planning to move all three of its Berkshire locations under one roof with renovations to a building in the Downing Industrial Park. The Community Development Board gave its site plan approval to the propane company on Tuesday night and the company needs just a few more approvals before it can begin the process. The company currently operates three facilities in the Berkshires - in Dalton, Lenox, and Great Barrington - and all three operations will be condensed into one, newly reno

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Johnny's Beach Club Sold, Mexican Restaurant Eyed

The former Johnny's Beach Club has been sold and will become a Mexican restaurant. Attorney Jeff Lynch reported to the Licensing Board on Monday that Wahconah Street LLC. has purchased the bar and will turn it into a restaurant. The Secretary of State's Office shows Suzanne Chung, a partner with numerous restaurants including Jae's Bistro, as one of the signatories as well as Oscar Amaya.

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Pittsfield Licensing Board Cuts Crowne Plaza Bar...

The Licensing Board opted to close the bars at the Crowne Plaza early for the next two weeks after an incident of overserving. Both bars at the downtown hotel will need to call last call at 11:30 p.m. with the patrons being out by midnight. That also includes any events the hotel at the hotel. The sanction was imposed as punishment for an incident on Dec. 23 that led to the arrest of a reportedly intoxicated man.

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Biz Briefs: March Is 'Massachusetts Maple Month'

Last year more than 77,000 gallons of maple syrup was produced and Massachusetts maple producers' sales each year contribute more than $6 million to the commonwealth's economy. The maple industry employs more than 1,000 workers and Massachusetts sugar makers steward more than 15,000 acres of woodland.

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@theMarket: Markets Are Priced for Perfection

What a week for stock investors! All the main averages and most of the minor indexes registered historic highs. No question, Donald Trump has been good for the markets. The question is when will investors begin to take profits? Calling a top (or a bottom) in the markets is notoriously difficult. Granted, over the years I have been lucky and managed to catch a turn or two once or thrice.

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General Dynamics Brings Engineering To Reid...

Engineer Jake Kalish is the type of person who learns better when he sees things in action. On Friday when he stood in front of an 8th grade class at Reid Middle School, he sped through the lesson he was teaching about the chemical reactions between salt water and magnesium and got right to the action. He and eight other engineers from General Dynamics spent the day leading classes through building small cars which run on salt water and magnesium.

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The Independent Investor: Pet Trusts Are the Way...

As I wrote in my last column, new legislation is surfacing in a number of states that recognizes our concern for our pets. Even though we consider our pets part of the household, legally, your pet is not considered a human. Instead, they are considered tangible property and, generally speaking, tangible property cannot be named as a beneficiary of a trust.

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Berkshire Bank Foundation Welcomes New Member of...

Barney has spent over 19 years with Berkshire Bank, rejoining the wealth group out of retirement to work on all aspects of client relationships, including financial planning and strategy implementation. He previously served as an officer of the Foundation and expressed his delight with returning to the board.

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BRPC Crafting Succession Plan For Executive...

BRPC Executive Director Nathaniel Karns knows a thing or two about planning. He's been in the business for 40 years with most recently a 23-year stint as the executive director of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

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Williamstown Asked to Expand Village Business...

For the second time in three years, Williams College is asking the town to expand the Village Business District, but this time it is not to allow a new development. The college’s Jamie Art was in front of the Board of Selectmen on Monday to ask it to pass along a formal request to the Planning Board to develop a warrant article for May’s Annual Town Meeting that will expand the commercial district to include the Taconic Clubhouse.

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Pittsfield Enters 2nd Year of Tyler Street...

Amewusika "Sike" Sedzro has been in the city for a year now with a primary focus on crafting a plan to revitalize Tyler Street. Entering her second of three years, the first steps in rolling out that plan will be taking shape. Overall the entire Tyler Street and Morningside Neighborhood are the next target for a complete redevelopment, following nearly the same plans as implemented on North Street over the last decade.

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Nurses Picket BMC As Staffing Issues Hold Up...

Nurses and supporters paced back and forth along North Street and Wahconah, holding signs, chanting "if we're out here, something is wrong in there." On the otherside of those walls, the administration is reviewing data showing Berkshire Medical Center ranking in the top when it comes to patient safety and preparing a forum to celebrate those numbers with employees. Outside, the nurses chant that the staffing levels are unsafe. Inside, a staffing office is reviewing the personnel on hand to m

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Community Helps Bounti-Fare During Storm

The storm that barreled through North County on Saturday night did more than snap a few trees and drop some powerlines. It peeled a roof of the Bounti-Fare Restaurant clear off the building.


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Berkshire Snapshot

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