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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Hinsdale Select Board Member James Sullivan Dies of COVID-19
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:30PM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022

HINSDALE, Mass. — The community is mourning the loss of Select Board member James Sullivan, who died Dec. 31 from complications from COVID-19.

Town Administrator Bob Graves said he was a '"dedicated member of our community who attended everything and got involved in the town."

Sullivan served his town in many capacities, including as a Planning Board member since 2016, town moderator from 2017 through 2020, a representative to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission's Transportation Advisory Committee since 2019, and on the Select Board since 2021.

In addition, he served on search committees on an ad hoc basis and was the owner and operator of Sullivan

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Berkshire Health Systems Updates Visitation Policies
03:35PM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the most recent COVID-19 surge continues and following guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Berkshire Health Systems has updated its Visitation Policies for Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital and BMC and Fairview Physician Practices, effective Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.    In most cases, the policy limits visitation to one care partner for non-COVID-19 inpatient units and allows limited window-separated visits for COVID-19 inpatients. The detailed policy can be found online at www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/coronavirus.   For the Emergency Departments, non-Critical Care and Critical Care Units and Medical Surgical

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Lee Bank Fourth Quarter Community Funding
02:30PM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022
LEE, Mass. — Lee Bank Foundation has awarded $68,560 to twelve Berkshire area organizations in its fourth-round of 2021 community grant awards.    Recipients were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 to support their local programming. Included in the awards are a series of Arts Access Grants for arts and culture organizations to expand access to programming for underserved audiences. The following organizations received funding from Lee Bank Foundation: 18 Degrees Barrington Stage Company Berkshire Busk! Berkshire Community Action Council Berkshire Immigrant Center IS183 Art School Latinas413 Literacy Network of South Berkshire Mass MoCA NAACP

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State Police Investigating Death At Jiminy Peak
Staff Reports ,
11:23AM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022
HANCOCK, Mass. — The State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office is investigating an apparent accidental death at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort.   Detectives responded to the Hancock resort on Tuesday following a snow groomer and a snowmobile collision.   Kimberlee Francoeur, 30, of Lanesborough, died after the snow groomer operator backed into the snowmobile she was operating. Jiminy Peak Ski Patrol and Northern Berkshire EMS personnel attempted to save Francoeur's life, but ultimately a Northern Berkshire EMS paramedic pronounced her deceased at approximately 11:20 a.m.   According to witness statements, Francoeur was working

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Freezing Rain and Sleet Expected Wednesday
10:47AM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022
The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for portions of the mid-Hudson Valley, central and northern Taconics, northern Berkshires, and southern Vermont prior to noontime.   Some light glazes of ice are possible and this may cause some slippery spots on untreated surfaces. Sleet accumulations will be very light.    MassDOT issued a notice that the freezing rain will impact travel:   Members of the public are encouraged to travel only if necessary and delay trips if possible until at least noon today.  MassDOT crews have been chemically treating and salting roadways but rain, freezing rain and light snow in some regions has impacted

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MFBF Partners With A&B Insurance
08:22AM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. The Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) announced it has entered into an agreement with A&B insurance, an independent insurance agency based in Westford.    "MFBF is much more than the insurance or discounts we offer," said MFBF President Warren Shaw. "However, the single most important reason we've entered into this new agreement is that we believe it will provide our members with more and better options to help ensure the security of their family, home and business."   Immediately, A&B Insurance will be offering MFBF members discounts on policies with CountryWay, which is affiliated with Virginia Farm Bureau

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1Berkshire Launch Youth Leadership Class Applications
08:04AM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 1Berkshire's Berkshire Youth Leadership Program (YLP) announced that it has relaunched and is accepting applications for the YLP class of 2022-2023.   The 1Berkshire Youth Leadership Program, open to all current sophomores in the Berkshires, selects a cohort of up to 30 motivated students from all backgrounds for this ten-month experience that will allow them to explore the regional economy and develop their leadership skills.    Once selected, students will begin the program with a 3-day, 3-night retreat from June 9-12, at the conclusion of their sophomore year. At the retreat, students will meet for the first time, begin to build deep

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Green Future Planned for Former Hess Station in Pittsfield
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Wednesday, January 05, 2022

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city plans to turn the blighted former Hess station into green space that aligns with other improvement efforts on Tyler Street.

A purchase-and-sale agreement is currently in the works for Pittsfield to buy the property, which includes a small building on the paved lot. The site will be cleared in conjunction with Tyler Street Streetscape work this year.

"We're not anticipating this being some lengthy design process," City Planner CJ Hoss said. "We're really looking at trying to green the site, remove the pavement, remove the building, and just really clean it up, remove the blight and have it back in some sort of productive use where

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Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative Holding Additional Vaccination Clinics
04:28PM / Tuesday, January 04, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems and the Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative are holding additional community vaccination clinics to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Berkshires.    A clinic will be held in Pittsfield on Saturday, Jan. 8, and a Williamstown clinic will be held on Friday, Jan. 14.   "The Omicron variant continues to spread across the state and nation, and the Berkshires has seen a dramatic rise in positivity," said James Lederer, MD, BHS Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer. "While Omicron is more transmissible than its predecessors, the best defense is still full vaccination, including the booster. Breakthrough cases

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Price Chopper/Market 32 Campaign Supports Disabled Veterans
01:05PM / Tuesday, January 04, 2022
ERLANGER, Ky. — Price Chopper/Market 32 has completed its round-up campaign benefiting DAV (Disabled American Veterans).   The campaign, which ran throughout November, raised more than $78,000 to support DAV and its mission of service and support for disabled veterans and their families. The campaign took place in over 100 Price Chopper/Market 32 locations.   The 2021 Price Chopper/Market 32 campaign allowed donors to round-up purchases on a credit or debit card when completing a purchase.   "Price Chopper is known for serving veterans. With their continued support, we're able to help those who've served where they live," said Marc Burgess, CEO of DAV.

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Dalton Town Hall Won't Reopen Until Case Count Drops to 25
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
11:00AM / Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Health Agent Jayne Smith talks case counts in a virtual meeting of the Dalton Board of Health.

DALTON, Mass. — Town Hall will not reopen until Dalton's COVID-19 case count is 25 or less, the Board of Health reaffirmed on Monday.

There are more than 100 cases in the community with almost 70 occurring in the last seven days.

In mid-December, the offices closed to the public until further notice because of an uptick of the virus.  The 25-case cutoff was established as a measure for closure based on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's original guidance for schools.

This meeting was virtual because of the closure.

"So where that 25

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Pittsfield Swears in New City Council, School Committee
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:27PM / Monday, January 03, 2022

Mayor Linda Tyer took the opportunity to give her state of the city address. She is halfway through her second four-year term. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer, halfway through her second term, welcomed the incoming City Council and School Committee at Monday's biennial inauguration and looked back at what has been accomplished and to the challenges ahead. 

"Let's look back for just one minute to Jan. 6, 2020, the date of our last inaugural ceremony.  It seems like 100 years ago, we've all been through so much," she said.

"At that time though we had no idea of the utter devastation and hardship that was to come in the weeks and months

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