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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Holiday Hours: Thanksgiving
06:30PM / Monday, November 23, 2020

Plymouth's statue of Massasoit, who was instrumental in Plymouth Colony's survival, looks out over the Plymouth Rock monument. Image via SeePlymouth.com.

Thanksgiving will be observed on Thursday, Nov. 26. The day is a national holiday inspired by the first Thanksgiving dinner shared between the Pilgrims and Wampanoags in 1621 at Plymouth. The living history museum Plimoth Pawtuxet continues the tradition each year with a recreation of the event in which visitors can participate. This year will include COVID-19 restrictions.

Thanksgiving was first federally recognized by proclamation in 1863 by President Lincoln at the height of the Civil War. It did not become codified as a

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Biz Briefs: Big Y Closing Stores for Thanksgiving Holiday
05:59PM / Monday, November 23, 2020
Big Y Giving Workers Two Days Off Big Y has issued a reminder that it will close all stores including Big Y World Class Markets, Table & Vine and Fresh Acres specialty market on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, as well as Friday Nov. 27. Big Y Express Gas & Convenience locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day as well.   Big Y officials say this two-day closing is to thank the thousands of employees for their continued hard work and tenacious efforts throughout the challenges of being an essential service throughout the pandemic and so their employees can rest and spend more time with their families. In addition, the closure will allow time for extra cleaning, restocking and

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SVHC Fundraiser Features Virtual Grand Raffle & Drawings
04:24PM / Monday, November 23, 2020
BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Jingle Bell Express, a virtual holiday-themed fundraising event to benefit Southwestern Vermont Health Care, kicked off on Friday, Nov. 20.   The centerpiece of the event is a grand raffle. It includes 10 packages worth $1,300 to $5,000 each. Prizes include $5,000 cash and a vacation in the French Riviera, with no expiration date, along with packages including dining at 13 restaurants, a diamond bracelet, golf at 10 courses, and much more.   Tickets are $100 each, and only 500 will be sold. One ticket offers a one-in-50 chance to win prizes valued at a total of more than $20,000. Ticket sales close on Monday, Dec. 14. The drawing will take place during

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Commonwealth Urges Residents to Do What It Takes to 'Get Back'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:53PM / Monday, November 23, 2020

Today we're launching #GetBackMass, a new public awareness campaign to urge people to keep doing the things we know work to fight #COVID19MA - so we can "get back" to the things we love to do.

😷 #MaskUpMA
↔️ Keep our distance
⚕️ Get tested

Learn more: https://t.co/mndvD9lnCb pic.twitter.com/IXIy7ZUWLb

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) November 23, 2020 BOSTON — The Baker administration on Monday announced a new COVID-19 advertising campaign statewide and a targeted effort to reach residents through community groups.   The hashtag "GetBackMass" is part of the latest public awareness campaign launched by the

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SVMC: COVID-19 Update Nov. 23
01:20PM / Monday, November 23, 2020
  November 20, 2020   Teaming Up for This Next

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Community Thanksgiving Meals Turn to Takeout, Continue Service
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:12AM / Monday, November 23, 2020

Berkshire Food Project's communal meal will be pickup on Monday this year.  ADAMS, Mass. — After spearheading an inaugural community Thanksgiving dinner last fall, there were times this year when Brian and Ann Grande thought there would not be a second annual meal.   But while they know this year will look very different, they could not let a pandemic stop them from plating up turkey and the fixings for those in need.   "We want to show the town of Adams that First Congregational Church cares about its neighbors," Brian Grande said last week. "It's a small church. We might have maybe 90 members, but we have a good family there. We do a lot

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BMC Therapy Dog Program Offers Benefits to Patients
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:38AM / Sunday, November 22, 2020

Dr. Rebecca Caine, an internist at BMC, is the new host of the recently relaunched 'Berkshire Health Program.'  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Man's best friend can also be some of the best medicine for patients at Berkshire Medical Center.    Dog owner Dr. Rebecca Caine believes that having a canine pal, or any pet, is good for both physical and mental health.   "There are a lot of benefits to the patients in the hospital and in other settings to spend time with animals," Caine said on a recent episode of Berkshire Health System's "Berkshire Health Program" on Pittsfield Community Television.   Caine was discussing the health

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One-Eyed Cat's Pet Contest Win Benefits Humane Society
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:47AM / Saturday, November 21, 2020

Alastor was found abandoned in the woods and taken to Berkshire Humane Society. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local animal lover and her adorable one-eyed cat made the Berkshire Humane Society's day by winning a contest that benefits the shelter.

Joanne LaCrosse won the Berkshire Humane Society a $5,000 prize, 1,000 pounds of Blue Buffalo pet food, and 100 Kong pet toys after her cat Alastor Mini Moody was awarded first place in a national pet contest.

LaCrosse told the story of how her furry friend has improved her life to the pet food company and the public voted Alastor a winner.

"All of the things that the Humane Society goes through on a daily basis to keep animals

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@theMarket: Markets Are in a Tug of War
By Bill Schmick,
09:54PM / Friday, November 20, 2020
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging way beyond those cases earlier in the year. That could indicate tough going for the economy over the next two quarters. On the other hand, two highly effective coronavirus vaccines have been announced, but won't be widely distributed until next year. In the middle sits the stock market investors.   We know that financial markets are discounting mechanisms, meaning that investors usually buy or sell stocks based on what may happen in six to nine months from now. At that time, so the story goes, at least two vaccines will be readily available to most of the public. One may be ready for limited distribution before the end of the year

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Colleges Training Teachers 'For Whatever Comes Next' in Age of COVID
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Friday, November 20, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Before the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, it was North Adams State College.   Before that, it was the State Teachers College of North Adams.   Before that, it was the North Adams Normal School.   In 2020, there is nothing normal about the way teachers are trained.   When the world turned upside down in March, MCLA professor Nicholas Stroud, like educators across the country, had to rethink how he teaches. But as the chair of the school's education department, he also had to think about what he teaches.   "One of the things that is true of our department is we're always

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Budget Amendment Includes Increase For Rural Schools
04:12PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
BOSTON — State Sen. Adam Hinds announced Thursday that he has secured $3 million for rural schools in the state Senate's budget.   Hinds said the State Senate adopted his budget amendments to increase funding for the Rural School Aid grant program by $1.5 million, raising the total appropriation for this account to $3 million in the FY20 Senate Budget.    "A child's ZIP code should not determine the quality of their education," Hinds said in a release. "Rural school districts experience fiscal uncertainty every year because of the unique and substantial obstacles they face to provide their students basic school services. My hope is that with this

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The Retired Investor: The Rise of RCEP
By Bill Schmick,
03:59PM / Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Regional Comprehensive Economics Partnership (RCEP) is a trade pact that could change the global trade equation over the next decade. It is an example of multilateralism and free trade that could leave the United States in the dust.    The 15 nations that comprise RCEP represent about one third of the world' s population (2.2 billion people), and 29 percent of global gross domestic product. The partnership is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The RCEP is officially the world's largest trading bloc.   What makes this trade deal noteworthy, apart from its size, is the inclusion of China. In the

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