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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

State Reopening Field Hospital at Worcester's DCU Center
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:25PM / Saturday, November 14, 2020
BOSTON — For the second time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commonwealth is setting up a field hospital in Worcester's DCU Center.   And the doctor in charge of the operation wants all Bay Staters to know that they have the power to make sure more such facilities are not needed during Massachusetts' second wave of the novel coronavirus.   "Once again, I will have to ask our caregivers to rise to the occasion and take care of our communities when they need us most," said Dr. Eric Dickson, the CEO of University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care. "I know they can do it. They're up to the challenge. But, frankly, they

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Carr Hardware To Collect Pajamas For At-Risk Children
03:52PM / Friday, November 13, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As chilly weather returns to the Berkshires, the PJ Library Pajama Drive also returns to help the many children in our community who may lack the comfort of warm sleepwear.   This year, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, who annually conduct the drive, teamed up with Carr Hardware to collect new pajamas (sizes newborn to teen) throughout the county.   Locations include: Carr Hardware, 256 Main Street in Great Barrington Carr Hardware, 489 Pittsfield Road in Lenox Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, 196 South Street in Pittsfield Carr Hardware, 179 State Road in North Adams   Last year's effort collected more than 150 pairs of

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@theMarket: Vaccine Hopes Send Stocks Higher
By Bill Schmick,
02:11PM / Friday, November 13, 2020
The first real hope at ending the global coronavirus pandemic was announced on Monday. Drug company partners, Pfizer and BioNTech, announced their COVID-19 vaccine, which exceeded expectations. The news sent world stock markets screaming higher.   Later in the week, some profit-taking developed, but overall the news was met with relief and cautious excitement. Most investors expected the Pfizer drug would be, at best, 60-70 percent effective, so when the company announced it was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, stocks soared.   While this was great news, there are a few drawbacks to the vaccine. For starters, Pfizer can manufacture only a limited quantity of

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Berkshire Health Systems Releases New Visitation Policy
03:49PM / Thursday, November 12, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Health Systems has changed its visitation policies as the number of COVID-19 cases in the community are rising.    The changes are effective starting on Monday, Nov. 16, and include:   • All patients and visitors must be screened for COVID symptoms upon entering a BHS facility.   • No visitation for visitors experiencing symptoms of illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, body      aches, loss of sense taste, or smell).   • Inpatient visitors/companions must sign in, show identification and be issued a visitor badge.   • Approved visitors must always

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The Retired Investor: Small-Town America Is in Vogue
By Bill Schmick,
01:53PM / Thursday, November 12, 2020
The on-going coronavirus pandemic has boosted consumer demand for small-town real estate. Whether that trend will continue with a vaccine on the horizon is anyone's guess.    In the meantime, it could be a godsend for those looking to retire and possibly downsize during this period. The obvious driver in this trend change has been the safety factor. The devastating carnage that occurred in the nation's large cities during the first surge of the coronavirus convinced many families to pull up stakes and find dwellings as far from the mayhem (and people) as possible.   Home listings in small towns jumped more than 100 percent this spring, according to Redfin, while

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South Berkshire Development Corp. Honors Longtime Volunteer
01:25PM / Thursday, November 12, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Peter Puciloski, of Lazan Glover and Puciloski LLP, has been honored by the Community Development Corp. of South Berkshires for his "dedication, expertise, and steady leadership" as Board President of the CDCSB.    "I believe in the mission of CDCSB – to create a healthy, diverse, and sustainable community in south Berkshire County," Puciloski said. "I was honored to share my law and business expertise to help this important organization."    Puciloski served as board president and was on the board for 13 years.    CDCSB builds affordable housing and creates living-wage jobs by working

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Big Y Launces Virtual Sack Hunger Program
08:25AM / Thursday, November 12, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. —  In order to simplify the giving of food to those in need, Big Y has turned their annual Sack Hunger campaign from a $10 sack of groceries to a more simplified $5 donation.   Donations will go to one of five food banks within Big Y's two-state marketing area. These food banks support local soup kitchens, food pantries, senior food programs, daycare centers and many others of the 2,100 member agencies that they help every day.    "Throughout our 85-year history, we've recognized the importance of helping our communities," Big Y's president and CEO Charles L. D'Amour said. "This year is no different. We know that

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HVAL Members Art Show
08:11AM / Thursday, November 12, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.— The Housatonic Valley Art League (HVAL), one of the area's oldest and largest non-profit art organizations, is having its Members End-of-Year Art Show online from Nov. 15 through Jan. 3, 2021.   HVAL held its Juried Art show online back in July, and since the health concerns have not changed, the Members show can only be seen on HVAL's website www.hvart.org.   The artist members of the Housatonic Valley Art League mostly reside in the Berkshires, nearby New York State, and Connecticut, but because of the popularity of their shows, the membership has spread across America and even as far away as France. 73 recent original artworks, by 26

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Congressman Richard Neal Vists Boyd Technologies
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:30AM / Thursday, November 12, 2020

CEO Stephen Boyd, FreMon Scientific's Farideh Bischoff and Thomas Rosenbloom with the ZipThaw, a device that controls the thawing of plasma. Bischoff is holding one of Boyd's smart bags. LEE, Mass. — Local manufacturer Boyd Technologies will be expanding its capacity to produce personal protective equipment and is collaborating with a life sciences company FreMon Scientific on a device for COVID-19 therapies.    Company officials had invited U.S. Rep. Richard Neal to tour the facility on Tuesday and hear an update on their work in the fight against novel coronavirus.   "This visit to Boyd Technologies today reassured my firm belief that there are

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Frontline Worker Honored With Miraval Retreat
10:19AM / Wednesday, November 11, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Lorena Dus, a senior caseworker at Berkshire Immigrant Center, has been honored by the Berkshire United Way with a retreat at Miraval Berkshires.   "I am very lucky. I have a job I love and being able to help others is my reward," Dus said. "I feel very humbled and honored and I look forward to staying at Miraval Berkshires. Thank you to Berkshire United Way and to my colleagues for thinking of me."   In partnership with Miraval Berkshires, Berkshire United Way issued a call for nominations to honor first responders and essential workers supporting their community during the pandemic.    "Thank you to everyone who took

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Lenox Couple Donates to Local Veterans Organization
08:10AM / Wednesday, November 11, 2020
LENOX, Mass. — The Matthew & Hannah Keator Family Foundation recently donated $25,000 to the Lenox VFW Conklin-Lane-Coakley Post 12079 in memory of Matthew's lifelong friend Army Sgt. Paul Kastrinakis.   "Sarge was one of my oldest friends and I made a promise to his family to do what we can to keep his memory alive and honor his service and patriotism to our country," Matthew said. "We hope that these funds help in some small way to offset expenses to our local military families."   Kastrinakis passed away on Feb. 7, 2019. The Keators, through working with their foundation and the Lenox VFW Post, have established a scholarship fund to be given

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Letters Show How North Adams Couple Endured WWII Separation
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The front cover reflects the 939 letters Henry Contois wrote to his wife, Doris. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — After three years in the Army, Henry Contois was eager to leave France for his hometown of North Adams.   "What a life this is waiting to go home after being away so long," he wrote his wife, Doris. "Don't think I'm losing courage, Honey, but honest I'm sick and tired of it all. But one thing I know, I'm not alone. There's plenty of other soldiers waiting just as I am."   They were reunited a few weeks later. His letter, written in March 1946, would be among last of more than 900 he wrote home during his military service. Doris

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