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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Great Barrington Public Theater Will Stream New Full-Length Program
06:23PM / Thursday, April 23, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Great Barrington Public Theater will release an online video program on Monday, April 27, expressly created for theater lovers who are staying safe at home.

"Bear Tales: Six Feet Together" spotlights fresh work and stories from new and established voices. While primarily spotlighting the deep pool of talent residing in and around the Berkshires, it also includes a new one-woman play written and directed by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet, with the accomplished Rebecca Pidgeon taking the role of famed reporter, critic and bon vivant Dorothy Killgallen.   

"With stay-at-home social distancing the temporary new normal, a core group of

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Health-Care Officials Urge People Not to Delay Medical Help
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:33PM / Thursday, April 23, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — People delaying their medical care is emerging as a byproduct of the novel coronavirus pandemic.    It's become so apparent, that six Boston teaching hospitals have partnered on a series of public service announcements urging people not to put off contacting their doctors or avoid emergency rooms because of COVID-19 fears.    "We're not seeing the same number of patients coming to our emergency departments with strokes, with heart attacks, with traumas," said Dr. Michael Apkon, CEO of Tufts Medical Center, who with two other hospital officials spoke at Gov. Charlie Baker's daily COVID-19 update on Thursday. "In fact,

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Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Officials, Data Put Nursing Homes' COVID-19 Numbers in Context
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:53AM / Thursday, April 23, 2020
BOSTON -- The governor and secretary of health and human services Wednesday each attempted to put the number of COVID-19 deaths linked to nursing homes in context.   At their daily press briefing, the state officials were asked two questions about nursing homes: why the commonwealth's fatality numbers at the facilities are on a par with neighboring New York when Massachusetts' total number of deaths from COVID-19 trails the Empire State and why the Legislature has advanced a bill requiring the Department of Health to "report weekly the number of COVID-19 positive cases and mortalities at assisted living residences, elderly housing facilities and long-term care facilities

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Pandemic Forces Adams Aggie Fair to Cancel for First Time
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Thursday, April 23, 2020
ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire County's only agricultural fair is a high point of summer as local farmers display their livestock and produce; crafts and canned and baked goods fill the exhibit hall; and the sounds of music and crashing cars fill Bowe Field.   But not this year.   The 46th annual Adams Agricultural Fair has been canceled for the first time in its history.   The fair's board of directors announced Wednesday that because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to call off this year's fair.   "It was an extremely difficult decision to cancel the fair," board member Elizabeth Randall said. "We finally decided

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County's Colleges Allotted Funds From Federal Stimulus
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Thursday, April 23, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The county's four colleges are in line to receive a combined $4.2 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, with at least half that money going directly to aid students financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   One provision of the $2 trillion CARES Act signed into law late last month is $12.6 billion set aside for institutions of higher learning, to be distributed based on a formula that factors in each school's Pell Grant recipients.   The grants to colleges and universities, which are administered by the Department of Education, made headlines this week when President Trump objected to the idea that Harvard

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Pittsfield School Committee Sees Level-Funded Budget
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:08AM / Thursday, April 23, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee delayed voting Wednesday on a level-funded fiscal 2021 budget of $65,113,700 that would include near $1.4 million in cuts.    "It seems like we were in the fast lane and then we had to come to a screeching halt as deadlines loom," Chairwoman Kathrine Yon said. "We are seeing things change daily and it is very difficult to put all of our eggs in one basket."     Last week, administrators came before the School Committee empty handed because with the COVID-19 pandemic essentially resetting the state budget, they had little context to build their own budget.   All that was known was that they

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Federal Waiver Allows for Expansion of Family Food Benefits
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:08PM / Wednesday, April 22, 2020
BOSTON — Families struggling during the novel coronavirus lockdown may now be eligible for a state food program beginning in May.   Massachusetts was among the first states to take advantage of waivers to establish a "pandemic electronic benefit transfer program" under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.    "It's an important opportunity to provide nutritional resources to families who have lost access to free or reduced price meals at schools across the country that closed in response to COVID-19," said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, who added that food security is an important factor in the determinants of

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Baker: Expect 'Forceful Guidance' on Business Reopenings
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:47PM / Wednesday, April 22, 2020
BOSTON — Officials, health experts and business leaders are trying to envision what a "reopened" Massachusetts might look like. But Gov. Charlie Baker says it's too soon to be thinking of putting any new rules into effect.   "We need to be on the other side of the curve before we do any of this stuff," he said at Wednesday's daily update on the novel coronavirus pandemic. "And then the question becomes what are going to be the rules, how are they going to work."    The state is in the midst of what is being described as a "surge" in cases of COVID-19, the highly contagious novel coronavirus that has killed more than 45,000

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Internet Seen as Helping Save Planet, but Many in Mass Still Miss Out
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:33AM / Wednesday, April 22, 2020

NASA images depict a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide from the average level amounts from 2015-2019 during March to March 2020. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — When the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires last week hosted a virtual town hall with Berkshire County's legislative delegation, the area's elected officials got a little face time with their constituents to talk about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.   All but one.   State Rep. Paul Mark, of  Peru, was an audio-only participant in the hourlong webinar.   "It's good to see my colleagues," Mark said at one point. "I haven't seen any of you for at least a month

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Guest Column: Our Cultural Organizations Need Us Because We Need Them
By Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, Guest Column
09:39AM / Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Arts and cultural programs are not quantifiable in terms of the tremendous impact they have on our society. Whether we are in a museum, concert hall, or any other venue; enjoying art together is much more than a mere source of entertainment: it’s a way for us to collectively experience the human condition. The value that this brings to all of us, as human beings, simply cannot be overstated.   In the Berkshires, our arts and cultural organizations take on another dimension as well. Here, they are a way of life. The Berkshires are a hub for people from all over the world to visit to enjoy our cultural offerings. From the Norman Rockwell Museum to Shakespeare & Company to Mass

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Earth Day 2020: 'Learning Experience' for Activists
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:43AM / Wednesday, April 22, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — For activists committed to saving the planet, the climate change crisis is top of mind, every day.   But there is one day each year when they can plan to rally together with like-minded citizens and engage the apathetic and unaware.   In a normal year, that day would be Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.   As it is with so many so many other things, normal is not part of the conversation.   "It's definitely been a change," said Jane Winn, the executive director of the Pittsfield-based Berkshire Environmental Action Team. "One of the things that hurts the most is we had student interns, who were absolutely

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Baker: No One Looking to 'Jump Off the Deep End' on Reopening State
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:12PM / Tuesday, April 21, 2020
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker indicated Tuesday that he is not feeling any particular pressure to rush to open non-essential businesses in the commonwealth.   But if that pressure does come, he indicated that he will push back strongly on the idea.   "I'll be damned if the way this works is we flatten the curve, we do all this stuff we were supposed to do and then we create some run-up again in the fall because we don't handle the re-entry, the reopening in a way that actually works and makes sense and keeps people safe," Baker said at his daily press briefing.   "So, yeah, this is difficult. It's also purposeful, and in many cases it has

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