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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

How Should Millennials Respond to Market Decline?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:09AM / Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has unsettled every age group, as we are all worried about our health and that of our families and communities. And if you're in the millennial generation, generally defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996, you might also be concerned about your financial future, given the sharp decline in investment prices. How should you respond to what has been happening? 

Your view of the current situation will depend somewhat on your age. If you're an older millennial, you had probably been investing for a few years when we went through the financial crisis in 2007-2008. And you then experienced 11 years of a record bull market, so you have seen both the

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Nurses Association Calls on Governor to Mandate N95 Masks
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
08:34PM / Monday, April 27, 2020

The KN95 masks were approved for use by the FDA on April 3 to help ease the shortage of high-performance masks nationwide. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nurses had already been making their way up Burbank Street from Berkshire Medical Center get protective masks and face shields when a man drove up to the curb.    Could he get a mask for his wife? She works at Hillcrest Commons, he said. "I have her ID."   After a quick consultation, a mask and face shield were passed over to him. Berkshire Healthcare, which operates nursing and rehabilitation facilities, was a close enough affiliate of Berkshire Health Systems, the nurses set up outside union headquarters

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Biz Briefs: Lodge Delays Opening, Grocers Want Front-Line Recognition
06:55PM / Monday, April 27, 2020
Bascom Lodge Delays Opening Although the Bascom Lodge at the summit of Mount Greylock has been closed and boarded-up for the last six months, and consequently not directly or indirectly exposed to the COVID-19 virus, the ban on the operation of all restaurants, bars, hotels and lodging facilities, as well as on all gatherings of 10 or more people does, and will continue to, impact its plans for the 2020 season.    Given the minimum two-to-three week startup time required to ready the lodge for opening, it is not possible for the lodge to open for May. The new opening date is set for Thursday, July 1, barring any changes at the state level. In the interim, the lodge's operators

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Governor Expects Details on 'Reopening' State Later This Week
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:20PM / Monday, April 27, 2020
BOSTON — The state's pandemic "lockdown" is set to be lifted in one week but state officials aren't clear on how — or if — that will happen.   Gov. Charlie Baker at Monday's daily COVID-19 update declined at this point to say if the stay-home advisory would be extended.    "The trend data remains reasonably high, but obviously whatever decision we make needs to come with a little thought and a plan behind it so we'll probably put that out later this week," he said.    The stay-at-home advisory and an order closing non-essential businesses was extended on March 31 to May 4. Last week, the decision was made to keep

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County Education Task Force Pitching Plan for Remote Learning Platform
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Monday, April 27, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force unanimously decided Saturday to move forward with a plan members hope will address a short-term need and bolster its argument for a long-term solution to problems confronting the county's school districts.   The task force endorsed a framework for a countywide online learning management system for remote learning that it hopes to present to school superintendents and school committees in the next couple of weeks.   The ambitious plan would have an online platform for course delivery, teacher collaboration and training in place this summer, in time for the 2020-21 academic year.   The immediate

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Rider Dies After Crashing Motorcycle on Stockbridge Road
11:24PM / Sunday, April 26, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A Hopedale man died from injuries incurred after he lost control of his motorcycle on Saturday.    Glen Sault, 62, was riding with a larger group, all members of Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association of Massachusettss Chapter 2-1, when he lost control of his motorcycle in the travel lane and crashed.    The accident occurred at 2:25 p.m. on Stockbridge Road (Route 7) in the area of Lover's Lane. The group along with a passing trauma doctor quickly stopped and rendered medical aid until emergency services arrived. Sault was transported to Fairview Hospital by Southern Berkshire Ambulance then by helicopter to Baystate Medical Center in

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Berkshire Family Practice Associates Expands Primary Care in North Berkshire
11:28AM / Saturday, April 25, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Family Practice Associates, an affiliate of Berkshire Health Systems, is expanding primary care services to North Berkshire. 

Berkshire Family Practice Associates of North Adams will provide comprehensive primary care services beginning on Monday, April 27, and is accepting new patients across the North Berkshire area.

"Access to primary care services is more important than ever, and Berkshire Health Systems is committed to expanding this access in the North Adams area as we continue to provide enhanced services at our North Adams campus," said David Phelps, president and CEO of BHS. "When Berkshire Family Practice Associates became

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@theMarket: Economy Craters as America Attempts to Reopen
By Bill Schmick,
03:55PM / Friday, April 24, 2020
As the economic and unemployment numbers reveal the devastating impact of the coronavirus, a struggle has developed between those who want to reopen the economy now, and others who fear the consequences of doing so. Is it truly a trade-off between economic life and additional deaths?   No one knows, but plenty of people and red-state politicians seem willing to take the chance. Those in blue states, which have been hit the hardest by COVID-19, along with the entire international medical community, want to take a more cautious approach.   As far as the markets are concerned, the roller-coaster ride that sent the averages up and down on a daily basis this week was simply a

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Area's Garden Centers Ready for Bump in Demand
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Friday, April 24, 2020

Customers can't go into Whitney's farm store but can order and pick it up outside. 

CHESHIRE, Mass. — When the commonwealth shut down non-essential businesses last month, nurseries and garden centers were classified as essential.

That could be an understatement. If anything, they're more important than ever.   "I've taken, I'd say, 10 times the phone calls about people wanting to start vegetable gardens this year," said Martha Tanner, the greenhouse manager at Whitney's Farm Market and Garden Center. "People are really interested in growing their own food and starting their own gardens.   "I totally encourage people to grow

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Former St. Joe's Serving Nearly 50 Homeless During Pandemic
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:06AM / Friday, April 24, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former St. Joseph's Central High School has been successfully serving the city's homeless for more than two weeks.   Fire Chief Thomas Sammons said it was clear from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak that the 120-year-old school would have a part to play.   "There was a lot of good reasons to use the building," Sammons said. "It was well maintained before it was closed down. All of the services were all still turned on, including the heat, electricity, water, and the alarm system. More than that, it was clean and empty. The size of the building meant that people could spread out and take advantage of the social distancing

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The Independent Investor: When Times Get Tough, Call a Woman
By Bill Schmick,
06:58PM / Thursday, April 23, 2020
We have all seen the heart-rending photos and videos. They are of nurses, mostly. As a large part of America's frontline against COVID-19, the media has determined that nurses and other healthcare workers are now "newsworthy." But there is a deeper story here.  It is about American women in general.   Actually, it was the "Gray Lady," the venerable New York Times, that first focused my attention on the real unsung heroes of this pandemic — women. Underpaid, taken for granted, expected to work for less pay, raise the kids, take care of the parents, and when they have time, maybe sleep for a few hours.   During this pandemic lock-down of the

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'The Grapes of Wrath': Bleed the Bitter Truth
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:51PM / Thursday, April 23, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the

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