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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Mount Greylock Committee OKs 'Disappointing' Deal to Get Remote Learning Started
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
09:20PM / Wednesday, April 08, 2020
  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A divided Mount Greylock Regional School Committee voted on Wednesday to approve a memorandum of agreement with the district's teachers that the entire committee characterized as "disappointing" but "the best we could do."   In a vote of 3-1 at a special remote meeting of the panel, it followed up an 80-minute executive session to review the MOA with a vote that set the parameters for "remote learning" in the district during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Both the district's elementary schools and middle-high school have been closed since March 13, and public schools throughout the commonwealth are closed until at

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Officials Optimistic Efforts May Be 'Flattening Curve' of COVID-19 Cases
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
08:19PM / Wednesday, April 08, 2020

BOSTON — State officials are "cautiously optimistic" that efforts to test and social distance may be flattening the curve even as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. 

"We're continually reviewing the modeling, but right now we see evidence that we're still on the upward slope of this pandemic," said Gov. Charlie Baker at Wednesday's daily briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak. "For example, the average new coronavirus test in Massachusetts has been rising steadily for three weeks, the percent of people testing positive continues to rise and reach the new high on Monday. ...   "At the same time we've not seen the same steep

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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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Boston Pops Cancels Spring Season; Tanglewood Decision Set for May
03:54PM / Wednesday, April 08, 2020
LENOX, Mass. — The Boston Pops has canceled its spring season and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's return to its summer home at Tanglewood is yet unknown.    The Pops' spring season from mid-May to June was to have celebrated Keith Lockhart's 25th anniversary season has been postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.   BSO officials say they are in daily conversations to assess the advisability of proceeding with upcoming programming over the next few months, including the 2020 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and the 2020 Tanglewood season, in connection with the spread of COVID-19.    The cancellation of the upcoming season is the

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April 8 COVID-19 Briefs: Big Y Closures; BRTA Advisories
02:35PM / Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Big Y Supermarkets Close for Easter, Monday All Big Y stores will be closed Easter Sunday, April 12, and Monday, April 13, and all Big Y Express gas stations will be closed Easter Sunday.    "We want to thank all of our retail heroes," said Charles D'Amour, president and CEO of Big Y Foods, Inc. "We hope that this break will allow our employees to spend more time with their loved ones and give them much-needed rest."   During the break, all stores will continue to be restocked and cleaned in preparation for reopening on Tuesday, April 14. Store hours will remain the same, including reserved hours of 7 to 8 a.m. for customers who are 60 and older or

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Williamstown Commons COVID-19 Casualties Rise
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:42AM / Wednesday, April 08, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit Williamstown Commons hard, with a total of 12 deaths reported as of Tuesday.   The total number of deaths in the state jumped to 356 with 96 new deaths reported from over the weekend and Monday. The total for Berkshire County is now 18, two-thirds of those from Williamstown Commons.   The numbers have risen sharply since the first death reported at the long-term care and rehabilitation center on March 29. Thirty-three residents have now tested positive. A second facility in the Berkshire Healthcare family, Fairview Commons in Great Barrington, also has turned up five COVID-19 positive cases.    The

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Caring for Those Who Provide Care: Frontline Workers Receive, Need Support
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:46AM / Tuesday, April 07, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Any death in a facility like the Williamstown Commons nursing home hits home for the caregivers who make the facility possible.   The 10 recent deaths in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic have been particularly painful.   "For folks who work in nursing homes, this is where [the patients live]," said Lisa Gaudet, a spokesperson for Berkshire Health Systems, which operates the 180-bed facility. "These staffs have a lot of relationships with these people. They know their families. They know their histories.   "It's also very hard for the families who can't go in and be with their loved ones."   And when deaths

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Miss Hall's School Head's List and Honor Roll
09:54AM / Tuesday, April 07, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's School has announced 51 local students among the 148 students schoolwide named to the Head's List and Honor Roll for the first semester, which ended Jan. 17.

For Head's List recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 92, with no single grade below B-plus.

For Honor Roll recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 86, with no single grade below B-minus.

Head's List

Grade 12: Ella Biancolo, Emily Carmel and Angela Guachione, Pittsfield; Meredith (Mere) Hall, Adams; Ria Kedia,

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CARES Act Offers Help for Investors, Small Businesses
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:17AM / Tuesday, April 07, 2020

As we go through the coronavirus crisis, we are all, first and foremost, concerned about the health of our loved ones and communities. But the economic implications of the virus have also weighed heavily on our minds. 

However, if you're an investor or a business owner, you just got some help from Washington – and it could make a big difference, at least in the short term, for your financial future. Specifically, the passage of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act offers, among other provisions, the following:

* Expanded unemployment benefits: The CARES Act provides $250 billion for extended unemployment insurance, expands eligibility and

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Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Responds to COVID-19 Crisis
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Tuesday, April 07, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- No one could have foreseen the exact nature or timing of a global pandemic, but some of the infrastructure put in place by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has helped area communities deal with the COVID-19 crisis.   On Thursday, BRPC Executive Director Tom Matuszko told the agency's executive committee that one of its initiatives was able to quickly pivot to addressing the fallout from the novel coronavirus.   "Through the Berkshire Public Health Alliance, in tandem with Tri-Town Health, local public health in the Berkshires were in a strong position to immediately respond," Matuszko wrote in his report to the board.   In the

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MCLA Moves Students Online But Still Plans Commencement
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:50AM / Tuesday, April 07, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Like so many college and universities across the nation, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has had to quickly restructure its spring semester and cancel all of its sports and activities.   But what it isn't going to do is force the class of 2020 to forgo its commencement ceremonies.   President Jamie Birge on Thursday confirmed to the board of trustees what he'd written weeks before on the college's website: some way, some how there would be a presentation of diplomas.   "I can tell you we will have commencement, but we don't know the date of that yet," he said during the call-in meeting of the trustees. "We will

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Governor Announces COVID-19 Relief Fund, Testing Facility for WMass
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:30PM / Monday, April 06, 2020
BOSTON — A COVID-19 testing facility is expected to be up and running in West Springfield by the end of the week for public safety workers.     The information was provided at Gov. Charlie Baker's daily update on Monday, which also included the announcement of a $13 million Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to support local foundations and community assets, especially front-line workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic.    The governor had indicated on Sunday the possibility of a testing center Western Massachusetts while speaking at the opening of a drive-through testing center at Gillette Stadium for first-responders. Two drive-through testing

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Bennington Hospital Adds Beds, Infrastructure to Prepare for Surge
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:04AM / Monday, April 06, 2020
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center had Vermont's first patient to test positive for COVID-19.   But hospital officials knew it would be far from the last.   Since then, the facility has been gearing up for the surge that public health officials nationwide are predicting.   "We actually had plans in place, like most hospitals, prior to the pandemic as to how we would tackle a surge need, whether from a disaster or an infectious outbreak," said Dr. Trey Dobson, an emergency department physician and SVMC's chief medical officer.   "We secured additional actual beds — some we shifted from other locations and some we

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