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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Governor Presents $45.5B Budget to For Fiscal 2021
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:43PM / Wednesday, October 14, 2020
BOSTON — Nearly four months past the end of the fiscal year, Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled a $45.5 billion budget for fiscal 2021 that will not change funding allocations to education and cities and towns and that will not raise taxes.    Baker felt that the revised House 2 budget should be able to make its way through the Legislature with some alacrity.    "There have been ongoing conversations all the way through this process with the Legislature and the fact that we're filing this, once we all have an understanding about what fiscal '21 revenue looks like, is not going to be a surprise to them," he said at Wednesday afternoon's press

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Berkshire United Way Starts Campaign Year
12:58PM / Wednesday, October 14, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire United Way kicked off its 2020 to 2021 campaign year with virtual fundraising efforts   This year will look different for Berkshire United Way's 140 workplace campaigns, but the goal to raise money while having fun remains the same.   "These campaigns are the backbone of our fundraising efforts, so this year we have modified our processes due to the pandemic, from virtual kickoffs and creative special events to customized campaign web pages that enable employees to virtually make gifts," Duffy Judge, BUW development manager said. "We have also launched a campaign kickoff video to replace in-person

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Pope Francis Names 10th Bishop of Springfield
11:03AM / Wednesday, October 14, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Pope Francis has named the Rev. William D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC as the 10th Bishop of Springfield.    The announcement was made Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the U.S. papal nuncio.   Bishop-elect Byrne was born Sept. 26, 1964. A native of Washington, D.C., he is the youngest of eight children of Mary (Largent) Byrne and the late Dr. William Byrne, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon who passed away in 2011.   As a youth, the bishop-elect attended Mater Dei School in Bethesda, Md., went on to Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, Md. and completed his

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Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: Oct. 13
09:51AM / Wednesday, October 14, 2020
      Recently, students in the Southern Berkshires returned to the classroom. The schools in the region have created back-to-school plans to help ensure student

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MassDOT: October Is Distracted Driver Month
09:46AM / Wednesday, October 14, 2020
  BOSTON — MassDOT highlights October as distracted driving awareness month.   The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is highlighting October as Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the importance of the "hands-free" law, signed by Governor Charlie Baker, which took effect on Feb. 23, 2020.    Since the hand-free law took effect, 22,417 motor vehicle citations, including warnings, have been issued to drivers in Massachusetts.    The "hands-free" law stipulates that operators of motor vehicles cannot use an electronic device unless the device is being used in hands-free mode. Operators cannot read or view text,

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Greylock Rewards Members for Shopping Local
09:15AM / Wednesday, October 14, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union is encouraging the community to Shop Local this October.    Greylock Federal Credit Union is offering a personal credit card incentive to remind members and cardholders to spend their money with local merchants, shops and restaurants.     "Small businesses are the backbone of our small towns and cities, and we all have a role in helping them survive the COVID-19 pandemic," President and CEO John L. Bissell said. "Greylock helped more than 360 small businesses secure Payroll Protection Program loans earlier this year, but this crisis is far from over and we all need to do our part to keep our

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Millennials' Transmission Seen as Driving State’s COVID-19 Uptick
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:46PM / Tuesday, October 13, 2020
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday declined to characterize the commonwealth as being at the start of a "second wave" of COVID-19 transmission.   But he had no trouble identifying the source of a recent surge in the spread of the novel coronavirus.   "I think it's really important to point out once again … and Dr. [Deborah] Birx said the same thing when she was here last week: The biggest single issue that's driving case growth is familiar people being familiar with each other," Baker said Tuesday afternoon. "She talked, in particular, when she talked to us, about something we've seen in our own data, which is a really

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Cold Front Could Bring Snow for the Weekend
Staff Reports,
05:58PM / Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Warming temperatures ahead of an approaching low pressure system with a sharp cool down with its passage.
Loop of forecast maps: https://t.co/ppSd7z6Ewe #nywx #ctwx #mawx #vtwx pic.twitter.com/K8VegAv8tI

— NWS Albany (@NWSAlbany) October 13, 2020 Mother Nature will be giving the Berkshires some warmth this week before sending a chill through the region — and possibly snow.    Temperatures are expected to rise into the low 70s on Thursday for some mild fall weather but that will be followed by heavy rain along the coast and cold front cross the country from the west.    Together, that may bring snowfall for the higher regions, and particularly to North

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Family Nurse Practitioner Joins CHP Lee Family Practice
02:11PM / Tuesday, October 13, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. Community Health Programs Lee Family Practice has added a new family nurse practitioner to its clinical team.   Janell Hostetler will see patients of all ages. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from Chamberlain University in Illinois, and she is board-certified in family health by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.   She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society of Nursing, the Golden Key International Honour Society and the American Nurses Association. She has also served as a volunteer with the ABCCM free clinic and women's shelter in North Carolina.   Hostetler worked

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Now More Than Ever: Get Your Flu Shot
Submitted by Christopher Sprowl and Jacqueline Jon,
02:04PM / Tuesday, October 13, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — With COVID-19 infections on the rise in many states, and with winter coming, we all need to roll up our sleeves for a flu shot.   COVID-19 and the flu are both respiratory infections, with similar symptoms. Each, if serious, can damage the lungs and pose deadly risks for people with underlying conditions. Each can be spread by an asymptomatic infected person exhaling droplets. None of us can afford to be infected with both viruses.   The difference: there's no vaccine against COVID-19 yet, but there is a vaccine for the flu. The data shows us over and over again that this preventive measure, which is widely available, can prevent flu or diminish

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Baker-Polito Administration Launches Eviction Diversion Initiative
11:57AM / Tuesday, October 13, 2020
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration has launched a $171 million "Eviction Diversion Initiative" to keep tenants safely in their homes and to support the ongoing expenses of landlords once the commonwealth's pause of evictions and foreclosures expires on Saturday, Oct. 17.    This strategy was developed by a cross-agency team assembled by the administration in coordination with the Massachusetts Trial Court to manage the end of the moratorium on Oct. 17 and reflects input from a broad range of stakeholders.   "The pandemic has created financial challenges for many individuals and families who are struggling with rent payments, and today we are

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Avoid Financial Mistakes During Retirement
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:40AM / Tuesday, October 13, 2020
When you retire, you've learned a lot about all sorts of things, helping you avoid some of the mistakes you made earlier in life. However, you may still be susceptible to financial missteps specifically related to your retirement years. How can you dodge these errors?   Consider these suggestions: Manage your withdrawal rate carefully. You will likely need to tap into your retirement accounts – your IRA and 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan. But you should establish an annual withdrawal rate that's appropriate for your situation. By withdrawing too much each year, especially in the early years of your retirement, you risk outliving your resources. You may want

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