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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Baker Pauses Reopening, Ups Enforcement of COVID-19 Mandates
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com
02:30PM / Friday, August 07, 2020
BOSTON, Mass. -- Citing what he termed a “new phase” in the commonwealth’s battle against COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker Friday announced a new set of initiatives designed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.   That means delaying the next phase of Baker’s plan to reopen the state’s economy and increasing efforts to enforce the social distancing and face-covering mandates currently in place.   “Due to that slight uptick in positive cases, we are indefinitely postponing step 2 of Phase 3 in our reopening process,” Baker said Friday afternoon. “Five weeks ago, we laid out new economic sectors that could reopen in Phase 3. This

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State Police Bust $3M Illegal Pot Growing Operation in Savoy
06:46PM / Thursday, August 06, 2020

Troopers say they confiscated nearly 3,600 marijuana plants with a street value of more than $3 million. The grow operation was using $10,000 a month in electricity. SAVOY, Mass. — State Police say they have busted an illegal pot operation in the small hilltown and seized more than $3 million worth of plants.    According to troopers with Cheshire barracks, an investigation into suspicious activity on Jackson Road resulted in the discovery of the growing operation and resulted in the arrest of two New York State men: Yebin Mai, 28, of Staten Island and Bin Huang, 32, of Brooklyn.   Troopers were assisted by members of the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit, the

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The Retired Investor: Tensions With China May Heat Up
By Bill Schmick,
05:12PM / Thursday, August 06, 2020
On Aug. 15, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Premier Vice President Liu He, will be facing off once again; this time to review the Phase One trade deal inked on Feb. 15. Neither side is especially happy with progress so far.   From the U.S. point of view, China has not lived up to its agreement to buy $200 billion of U.S. goods over their 2017 purchasing level. Chinese imports of agricultural products are actually lower than the 2017 level, which is about half the level needed to meet their promised target of $36.5 billion. The energy purchases they promised have also fallen woefully short of their commitment. Only 5 percent of their $25.3 billion in promised

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It's World Breastfeeding Week
By Kate Hylan,
10:59AM / Thursday, August 06, 2020

This week, Aug. 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, a global campaign to support, raise awareness and engage in conversations about breastfeeding.

At Community Health Programs and Barrington OB/GYN, we strive to help our patients feel informed and supported in their breastfeeding journeys. We have a team of lactation consultants, certified nurse-midwives, doctors, and nurse practitioners who are ready, willing and able to answer any breastfeeding questions and help our patients succeed in reaching their goals. In fact, many of us have breastfed (or are breastfeeding) our own babies and/or supported partners; so we can speak from both clinical and personal experience.

We understand that

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New Dentist Joins CHP
10:48AM / Thursday, August 06, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr. Yaman M. Kana has joined the CHP dental staff.

He is seeing patients at both CHP Neighborhood Dental Center in Pittsfield and North Adams Family Medical & Dental.

Dr. Kana received his dental education at Ovidius University of Constanta in Romania. He first practiced general dentistry in a private practice in Damascus, Syria, and also in the Syrian military.

He then settled in Boston, working in both a private practice and at Boston University's Dental Health Center.

Kana later worked at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, then went on to practice dentistry at DotHouse Health Center in Dorchester, HealthFirst Family Care Center in Fall River and,

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Berkshires Beat: Food Pantry Returning to Eagle Street Starting Aug. 12
10:38AM / Tuesday, August 04, 2020
Back home

Starting Wednesday, Aug. 12, the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry will return to operating out of its home at 45 Eagle St. in North Adams. At that time, the hours will change to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those coming directly to the Friendship Center. Intake and food distribution will take place at the front door. Those who cannot physically come to the food pantry or who feel ill, may call 413-664-0123 on Wednesday during hours of operation to set up a delivery. Deliveries will take place between 10 a.m. and noon on Thursday, Aug. 13.

The Food Pantry will operate from the Holden Street side of the St. Elizabeth Parish Center one final Wednesday, Aug. 5, during two sessions, 10

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Tanglewood Online Festival Enters Sixth Week
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Columist
09:51AM / Tuesday, August 04, 2020

The Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival will enter its sixth week with an expansive range of innovative digital audio and video streams. These performances were recorded at Tanglewood's new and breathtaking spaces at the superbly designed Linde Center – a constituent part of the BSO's/Tanglewood's new entity, the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI). Other concerts will include performances previously recorded and archived by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. 

A unique, all-encompassing digital music festival, the array of programming replicates a choice selection of the previously announced 2020 live performances Tanglewood had hoped to present this summer,

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How Can You Help Lower Your Longevity Risk?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:16AM / Tuesday, August 04, 2020

The investment world contains different types of risk. Your stocks or stock-based mutual funds could lose value during periods of market volatility. The price of your bonds or bond funds could also decline, if new bonds are issued at higher interest rates. But have you ever thought about longevity risk?

Insurance companies and pension funds view longevity risk as the risk they incur when their assumptions about life expectancies and mortality rates are incorrect, leading to higher payout levels. But for you, as an individual investor, longevity risk is less technical and more emotional: it's the risk of outliving your money.

To assess your own longevity risk, you first will want to

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Isaias to Bring Rain, Wind to Northeast
10:07PM / Monday, August 03, 2020
A tropical storm warning has been issued for Massachusetts and Connecticut as now-Hurricane Isaias was nearing landfall along the Carolinas' coasts. Rain in the region is expected to start during the night on Monday and continue through Wednesday.   "Along and just northwest of the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England, heavy windblown rain with embedded thunderstorms will be the central theme from Isaias," AccuWeather Northeast weather expert Elliot Abrams said on Monday.    Isaias is expected to make landfall Monday night as a Category 1 and shift inland, with Accuweather saying the eye of what should then be a tropical storm moving north

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First-Responder Profiles: EMS Director Jen Weber
01:23PM / Monday, August 03, 2020

Jen Weber shows students some of the ambulance equipment.  LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The COVID-19 pandemic has perhaps brought the role of first-responders more to the forefront lately, but these men and women have regularly been serving their communities in numerous emergency situations.   This is a series profiling some of our local first-responders in partnership with Lee Bank to highlight the work they do every day — not just during a pandemic.    Emergency medical technician Jen Weber has been working in the health-care field for awhile but only recently became involved in emergency medicine. She attended Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington,

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Markey Talks Education, Health & Green New Deal in Campaign Swing
By Jack Guerino & Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:35PM / Friday, July 31, 2020

Markey says public education and student access to the internet are keys to the future during a stop in North Adams.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Sen. Edward Markey made three stops in the Berkshires on Friday to speak on education, technology climate change, health care, racial justice and other issuing affecting the nation.    His "Leads and Delivers Tour" bus campaign has been making its way around the state as he seeks re-election in the U.S. Senate. The state's junior senator is being challenged in the Sept. 1 Democratic primary by U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III of Brighton.    The former Malden representative is known for his

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@theMarket: Stocks Fall as Congress Fails to Act
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Friday, July 31, 2020
It should come as no surprise that our politicians failed to compromise on a new bailout package this week. It is symptomatic of a country that suffers from a great philosophical divide. The only entity that investors can truly believe in is the Fed. Keep the faith.   Chairman Jerome Powell, in his Thursday press conference after the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, said the path forward is "extraordinarily uncertain." As such, our central bank will remain accommodating, he promised, which means the financial markets will continue to be supported going forward.   Readers should remember that.  Over the long term, I plan to remain constructive towards

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