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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Museum Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions Starting May 29
12:06PM / Thursday, May 27, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — This Saturday, May 29, the Berkshire Museum will begin to welcome walk-in visitors and shoppers and allow groups of more than six individuals for the first time since it reopened in August 2020. This move follows Governor Charlie Baker's announcement last week ending state COVID-19 restrictions on May 29.   Starting Saturday, vaccinated guests will not be required to wear masks. However, museum staff will continue to wear face coverings and strongly encourage all visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to do the same to create the safest possible environment for all patrons; and especially the museum's many visitors under age 12 who are not yet

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State Police Apprehend Maine Fugitive at Goose Pond
09:23PM / Wednesday, May 26, 2021

State and local police and K9 Emma travel on Goose Pond. BECKET, Mass. — State and local police apprehended a fugitive from Maine on Tuesday who had fled to a cabin on Goose Pond after wrecking his vehicle.   Diego Martinez, 30, of Sabattus, Maine, was arrested on extraditable warrants for his failure to appear in court on illegal drug and firearm possession offenses, as well as for criminal motor vehicle offenses.   At approximately 7 a.m. Tuesday, troopers from the Lee and Westfield barracks responded to numerous calls reporting a single-vehicle crash on Route 90 eastbound in Becket.    Witnesses reported that a man exited the vehicle after crashing and

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BArT Announces Upcoming Enrollment Deadline
04:00PM / Wednesday, May 26, 2021
ADAMS, Mass – Berkshire Arts and Technology (BART) Charter Public School is currently accepting applications for students in grades 6 through 10 for the 2021-2022 school year.   The next enrollment deadline for the 2021-2022 school year for grades 6 through 10 is Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. Click here to apply.   More information on the school's enrollment and lottery process can be found at www.bartcharter.org. Interested families should contact the school at 413-743-7311 ext 732 or enrollment@bartcharter.org. Please reach out to the Enrollment Team with any questions.    

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Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Berkshires; Cooling Temps on Thursday
01:21PM / Wednesday, May 26, 2021

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for parts of CT, MA, NY, OH, PA, VT, WV until 8 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/ET38jHmBHi

— NWS Albany (@NWSAlbany) May 26, 2021 It's hot and muggy out Wednesday with the temperatures hitting the high 70s even before noontime. That means its perfect weather for a thunderstorm in the Berkshires.    The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Berkshires until 8 p.m. There's the possibility of high winds and hail. Rain is in the forecast until early Thursday morning and temperatures in the high 80s.   Clarksburg has postponed its annual town meeting set for tonight until Thursday

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Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Insurance Agency Raise Minimum Pay
09:37AM / Wednesday, May 26, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Insurance Agency have established $16.50 per hour as their corporate minimum wage.    Additionally, they have adjusted the salaries of all employees making less than $20.00 per hour.   "Our vision is to enable our community to thrive and that means starting with our own team," said Greylock's President and CEO John L. Bissell. "As a major employer in the area, we try to lead by example and listen to our employees' needs. We have designed a pay and benefits package that reflects our lived culture."   Greylock had previously set their base at $15.00 in 2016, years ahead of

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Lee Bank Foundation Awards $56,500 to Berkshire County Organizations
04:38PM / Tuesday, May 25, 2021
LEE, Mass. — Lee Bank Foundation  awarded a total of $56,500 to 12 Berkshire-based community organizations, in the foundation's first 2021 round of grants.   Recipients were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to support their work on social justice issues, environmental conservation, food and housing security. Included in the awards are a series of Arts Access Grants for arts and culture organizations to expand ticket access for underserved audiences.   Recipients include:   Berkshire Center for Justice Berkshire Community Diaper Project  Berkshire Grown Berkshire Natural Resource Council  Community Access to the

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BCC To Hold Celebration for Graduating Honors Students
12:59PM / Tuesday, May 25, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will hold a virtual celebration of students graduating from its Honors Scholars Program on Friday, May 28 at 2 pm via Zoom.    All are invited to honor the graduates, hear stories of students transferring to new institutions, and reconnect with other honors students. To attend the virtual session, please email Matthew Muller, Professor of English, at mmuller@berkshirecc.edu or call 413-236-4584.   BCC alumnus Marco Moreno, a graduate of both BCC and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, will be the guest speaker. Opening remarks will be delivered by Dr. Laurie Gordy, Dean of the Humanities, Behavioral

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Berkshire Planning Commission Approves $4.5M FY22 Budget
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:08AM / Tuesday, May 25, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on Thursday approved a $4,493,869 fiscal year 2022 budget without debate.   This budget — which was given a positive recommendation by the Finance Subcommittee earlier this month — is $1,059,797 higher than this year's budget. This increase in the spending plan is primarily due to several new grants for economic development, education, and public health programs.   The budget includes salary increases of $496,455 that are largely for the promotion of a senior planner to a program manager, hiring a senior economic planner, an additional planner, and an open administrative position.   Along

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College Notes: April-May 2021
04:15PM / Monday, May 24, 2021

EZ Stride, left, was one of three innovations that won Grinspoon Spirit Awards at the Draper Competition at Western New England. Joseph Aberdale of Housatonic was part of a team at Western New England University that was recognized for innovation achievements at the Draper Competition and Harold Grinspoon Foundation.   Aberdale, attending the College of Engineering, and College of Business students Kyra Palumbo of Albany, N.Y., and Sami Dion of Wilbraham developed EZ Stride, a self-tightening sneaker that helps adults with limited mobility increase independence, confidence, and self-sufficiency when dressing. EZ Stride has earned a position in the Draper Competition semi-finals

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BCC 'Boost Your College Career' Summer Program
08:05AM / Monday, May 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announces a new summer program designed to help graduating high school seniors prepare for college.    "Boost Your College Career," created with grant funds from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will accept about thirty students into the program at no cost. The six-week program will be held during BCC's third summer session from July 12 to August 19.   Free transportation will be provided. Berkshire County high school seniors are encouraged to contact their guidance counselors to see if they are eligible and learn how to register for the program.    Based on

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Fireworks Enforcement Efforts Have Begun Statewide
12:33AM / Monday, May 24, 2021
STOW, Mass. — State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason announced fireworks enforcement efforts have started.    The State Police Bomb Squad is part of the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit (F&EIU) assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, which has already started working with local police and fire departments to enforce the fireworks laws and intercept fireworks being brought into the state illegally.   "It is illegal to bring fireworks into Massachusetts, even if they were legally purchased elsewhere," said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey.   The State Police Bomb Squad had a 63 percent

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Boys Camp Fire Caused by 'Oily Rags'
Staff Reports,
05:21PM / Friday, May 21, 2021

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Oily rags are the cause of a fire that tore through Camp Mah-Kee-Nac shortly after midnight on Friday.   Fire Chief Vincent J. Garofoli and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey stated on Friday that "improper disposal of oily rags" caused the blaze that destroyed eight cabins, including one used to store pool chemicals.    The overnight boys camp was apparently preparing for the summer season, said fire officials, because crews were staining wood and had stowed the rags in one of the cabins.    "As these chemicals evaporate, they can generate heat and if the rags are balled up or mixed with other trash, they can

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