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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Berkshire Museum Will Reopen Saturday, Aug. 1
12:07PM / Saturday, July 11, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After being closed for more than four months, the Berkshire Museum will once again welcome visitors through its doors in downtown Pittsfield. 

The museum, which will open in phases, plans to open exclusively to its members for two weeks during its first phase beginning Saturday, Aug. 1, before inviting the whole community in phase 2 starting Monday, Aug. 17. The reopening of the Berkshire Museum comes as part of Phase 3 of the state's four-phase Reopening Massachusetts plan, which began Monday, July 6, as announced on July 2.

The museum intends to meet or exceed all state-mandated health and safety guidelines through each reopening phase. Beginning Aug.

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Neal Announces CARES Act Grants for Cultural Organizations
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:30PM / Friday, July 10, 2020

Norman Rockwell Museum CEO Laurie Norton Moffat, Rep. Richard Neal and Mass Humanities Executive Director Brian Boyles pose beneath a banner with Rockwell's depiction of Rosie the Riveter.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, visited the Norman Rockwell Museum on Friday to announce $72,500 in grants to benefit cultural institutions throughout Berkshire County.

The funds are part of $75 million in grants distributed by the National Endowment for the Humanities from the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.

Neal told his audience about the expedited process that got the CARES Act enacted and predicted success for the next

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Tropical Storm Bringing Heavy Rain to Berkshires
12:03PM / Friday, July 10, 2020
A tropical storm heading north up the Atlantic coast could bring more rain to the Berkshires over the weekend.    Dubbed "Fay," the storm began as a tropical depression off the coast of North Carolina midweek and formed late Thursday.    According to Accuweather, the storm has sustained winds of 60 mph and could bring 2 to 4 inches of rain over Western Mass and Southern Vermont from late Friday through Saturday morning.    "Fay will make landfall along the New Jersey coast during Friday afternoon," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and Lead Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. "Fay will be a mostly heavy rain producer but could still

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Senate Candidate Kennedy Makes Stops in the Berkshires
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:47PM / Thursday, July 09, 2020

Congressman Joe Kennedy III asks a question of pastry chef Cynthia Walton as Salvatore Perry looks on.   NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — U.S. Senate candidate Joseph Kennedy used a campaign stop in North Berkshire on Thursday to say that the nation's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic cannot ignore the creative economy that is a major economic driver in the region.   "We want to have arts and cultural institutions," the 4th Mass congressman said during a tour of the Greylock Works mill revival on State Road (Route 2). "Not only are they critically important to our economy, they're literally integral to our quality of life.   "And the

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The Retired Investor: Next Bailout Should Address Job Creation
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Thursday, July 09, 2020
As the COVID-19 virus rages across the nation, Americans are hoping for more assistance from the government on a variety of fronts. So far this month, their hopes have been met with a resounding silence from the White House, although members of Congress are trying to come up with answers that both parties can agree upon. I have a couple of suggestions.    The first round of fiscal and monetary stimulus did a good job in addressing the huge spike in unemployment the country has suffered. While the CARES Act at $2.2 trillion provided $500 billion to distressed industries, almost $350 billion in loans to small businesses and $4100 billion to hospitals, it was the $200 billion in

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Targeted COVID-19 Testing Set for 8 At-Risk Communities
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:22AM / Thursday, July 09, 2020
BOSTON — People in Western Massachusetts, and the Berkshires in particular, frequently complain the region is being ignored by a state government headquartered at the other end of the commonwealth.   On Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new program that will impact eight municipalities — none west of I-495.   But this is not the kind of list any town or city wants to make.   Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito used their daily press briefing to announce that the commonwealth will offer targeted free COVID-19 testing sites in Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, and New Bedford.   All residents of those communities will be

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Baker Pushes Back on Federal Pressure to Open Schools
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com
02:30PM / Wednesday, July 08, 2020
BOSTON -- Gov. Charlie Baker Wednesday said he does not think it “makes sense” for a one-size-fits-all approach to reopening the nation’s public schools but stopped short of directly criticizing a presidential tweet pressuring states to open the schoolhouse doors in the middle of a global pandemic.   Baker was asked in his daily press availability about President Trump’s Tuesday Twitter statement that indicated his administration “May cut off funding if [schools] not open!”   The Republican governor, not for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, found himself having to argue against his party’s leader while trying to not get into a

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Early EEE Detection in State Points to Need for Vigilance this Summer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:53PM / Tuesday, July 07, 2020
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — For nearly four months, Gov. Charlie Baker has addressed the media almost daily about a disease first discovered last year.   On Tuesday, he switched gears to remind residents of a more familiar deadly threat: eastern equine encephalitis.   "I know I speak for the lieutenant governor and myself when I say how much we appreciate the opportunity to speak about something other than COVID," Baker joked during an appearance at the headquarters of the Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project.   But things turned serious as Baker and other other officials talked about EEE, a mosquito-borne illness that infected 12 Bay State residents and killed six

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Berkshire Theatre Group to Present 'Godspell' Outdoors
10:23AM / Tuesday, July 07, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Theatre Group will produce "Godspell" this summer – the first musical in the United States to be approved by Actors' Equity Association in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The show will be presented outdoors in an open-air tent adjacent to The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and is scheduled to run Aug. 6 through Sept. 4. Tickets will be available for purchase Tuesday, July 7, at noon. 

"We could not bear the thought of a Berkshire summer without live theater to support our community, so we jumped through every hoop to create a safe way to make this happen," said BTG Board of Trustees Co-President Lee Perlman.

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Managing Withdrawals Carefully Can Protect Retirement Income
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:00AM / Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Throughout much of your working life, you contribute to your 401(k), IRA and other investment accounts to help ensure a comfortable retirement. However, once you do retire, you will need to shift your focus somewhat from building these investments to using them – in other words, you will have to start withdrawing from your portfolio to meet the costs of living. How can you be sure you are not taking out so much that you risk outliving your resources?

First of all, you need to establish a proper withdrawal rate – the percentage of your portfolio's value needed for one year's worth of retirement expenses. Ideally, if you were to stick with this rate, your portfolio would

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PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801
11:42AM / Saturday, July 04, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence:  The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.  

An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."

Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.

"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and

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Fourth of July: The Declaration of Independence
11:06AM / Saturday, July 04, 2020

A reminder what today is really all about: The adoption of a (literally) revolutionary document that stated the grievances of the colonists against England and their resolve to pursue a course of self-determination — without the bindings of hereditary rule.


The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent

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