Business in Brief


Pittsfield: Clothing drive to aid Suit YourSelf 

The Zonta Club of Berkshire County will host a clothing drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Crawford Square Building at 137 North St. The event will benefit the SuitYourSelf Boutique located at Goodwill Industries of the Berkshire's headquarters at 158 Tyler St.

Suit YourSelf, part of Goodwill's Workforce Development program, provides business interview attire and job coaching to support women and men entering or re-entering the workforce.

Those looking to donate clothing are asked to bring spring suits and appropriate work attire clean and on hangers. Accessories and gently worn shoes are also needed.

For information, call (413) 442-0061 or visit either, or

Lee: Laurel Lake center taps activities director

Elizabeth Cogswell has been named activities director at Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation at Laurel Lake, the organization has announced.

A Taconic High School graduate, Cogswell is also a graduate of Springfield College's rehabilitation program. She was previously employed at Laurel Lake, and worked for many years in the activities department.

Cogswell spent the past six years as an activity director in the Berkshires, while also attending the Chaplaincy Program at Bay State Medical Center. She also volunteers with HospiceCare in the Berkshires, and is a children's book illustrator.

Boston: Merrill Lynch hit with securities fine

The Secretary of State's office has fined Merrill Lynch & Co. inc. in connection with improperly selling more than $39 million in unregistered securities including auction rate securities to two Massachusetts cooperative banks in violation of federal law.

The names of the two banks have not been disclosed.

According to the original complaint filed by Secretary of State William F. Galvin, the securities involved were sold by a Boston branch of Merrill Lynch pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Securities Act, which allows the sale of unregistered securities to qualified institutional buyers, or QIBs. the complaint alleges that Merrill did not follow procedures for determining if the banks were qualified, and failed to train personnel on its own policies and procedures.

Merrill Lynch also agreed to permanently cease and desist from violation of the Massachusetts Securities Act. The two banks entered into separate settlement agreements with Merrill Lynch pursuant to civil actions.


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