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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Massachusetts Schools to Remain Closed Through May 4
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:58PM / Wednesday, March 25, 2020
BOSTON — Public and private schools will remain closed through May 4, extending the emergency closure for COVID-19 another month.    The emergency order was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday and announced at a press conference that afternoon. The order includes child-care centers not serving essential personnel.   "This will allow school districts to provide the best possible opportunities for remote learning to all students," the governor said. "This is not an extended school vacation. During this long-term closure, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will work with school districts to further develop educational programming

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1Berkshire Providing Resource Links, Updates for Business
12:52PM / Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The team at 1Berkshire is continuing to monitor developments and official guidance, and curate informational resources to share with the business community.  

Workshop Information

AIM (Associated Industries of Massachusetts) and the Berkshire Innovation Center have partnered to offer a 30-minute Video Chat covering important issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic providing all businesses in Berkshire County access to this critical information from presenter Tom Jones, vice president of AIM HR Solutions:

Today, March 25, 2-2:30 p.m.
Join the meeting via Zoom: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/4879552540
Meeting ID: 487 955 2540 

Share some information

Complete the COVID-19

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Know the Four Uses of Cash
Submitted by Edward Jones,
08:16PM / Tuesday, March 24, 2020

It's important to have cash available for your everyday spending and the inevitable rainy day. However, you also need to develop a cash strategy that can contribute to your long-term financial success. But just how much cash do you need? And in what form?

To answer these questions, it's useful to look at the four main uses of cash:

• Everyday spending: Your everyday spending includes the cash you use for your mortgage, utilities, groceries and so on. As a general guideline, you should have one to two months of living expenses available during your working years, and perhaps a year’s worth of living expenses when you’re retired. (The latter can be adjusted higher or

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March 24 COVID-19 Briefs: Bus Social Distancing, NAPS Adds Meal Site
03:45PM / Tuesday, March 24, 2020
BRTA Wants Riders to Sit Apart   The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has instituted social distancing while riding. Signs will be posted in all vehicles prohibiting seating directly behind the vehicle operator, unless a mobility device prevents sitting elsewhere. As of this moment, there have been no changes to any BRTA bus routes or schedules.   All BRTA vehicles and both facilities receive daily cleaning using products that are effective against the spread of the novel coronavirus.  Public use of the Intermodal Transportation Center has been limited to those utilizing BRTA's bus service, intercity bus, or Amtrak.  Tables and seating at the ITC

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Baker Discusses Genesis of 'Essential' Business List
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:32PM / Tuesday, March 24, 2020
BOSTON — As the state order to close "non-essential" businesses went into effect on Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker addressed criticism that the commonwealth's definition of "essential" is overly broad.   "The essential operation portfolio we put out builds off a national standard that every other state that heads down this road has used as a baseline," Baker said in response to a question at a noon news conference. "I don't know what the crossover would be between states, but I would put it north of 90 percent."   Baker said the list of essential operations published by his administration is "well defined and

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Administration Filing Measure to Extend, Suspend Deadlines
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:03PM / Tuesday, March 24, 2020
BOSTON — The governor's office is filing a municipal relief package giving broad leeway to communities and school districts to extend deadlines and fees and bring back retired first-responders.    "It's amazing the details of how government works but when in a crisis like this, these adjustments need to be made, so that it can continue to work," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said at Tuesday's COVID-19 briefing.   The emergency legislation would allow municipalities to bring retired firefighters and police back on board by suspending the cap on hours and compensation for pensioners.    "We've heard a lot about front-line workers -- your

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March 23 COVID-19 Briefs: BMC Not Seeking Homemade Masks
05:06PM / Monday, March 23, 2020
BMC Not Accepting Homemade Masks Berkshire Medical Center is not accepting homemade masks at this time. Several groups on Facebook have been discussing a grassroots effort to make the masks and sharing patterns but Michael Leary, director of media relations for Berkshire Health Systems said, "we are not accepting any donations yet as our supplies are stable right now."   Leary said the hospital was grateful for the community for offering to donate supplies or sew the masks but that it was waiting for guidance from the Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.    "This certainly may be an option for us in the near future. We are

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Governor Orders Nonessential Services to Close or Work Remote
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:33AM / Monday, March 23, 2020

LIVE COVID-19 update: https://t.co/9eihELHGs1

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) March 23, 2020 BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency order on Monday morning for only essential services to continue operating and reduced the 25-person gathering limit to 10.   The move comes just days after Baker said there was no need to follow in the footsteps of neighboring states New York and Connecticut, who issued similar orders.   On Monday morning, Baker said there were a number of factors that led him to take the step.   "We're in constant contact with other governors, other states, federal and local officials, health care experts and a host of other

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Berkshire County Man Dies From COVID-19
05:55PM / Sunday, March 22, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The novel coronavirus has claimed its first Berkshire County victim, according to the Department of Public Health.    The number of those who have died in the state now stands at five, including the man from Berkshire County who was reportedly in his 70s.    The first death reported as a result of COVID-19 was on Friday, a man in his 80s from Suffolk County, and on Saturday, a woman in her 50s from Middlesex County.   DPH reported on Sunday that three more people died: the Berkshire County man, a man in his 70s from Hampden County and a man in his 90s from Suffolk County.    All three had been hospitalized.    "The

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March Going Out Like a Lion; Winter Storm Watch for Berkshires
12:28PM / Sunday, March 22, 2020
It may be spring but Mother Nature is giving us one last blast of March winter.   Parts of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont could get up to 10 inches of snow Monday and into Tuesday.    The National Weather Service's office in Albany, N.Y., has issued a winter storm watch from Monday afternoon through late Monday night.    NWS is forecasting 2 to 4 inches during the day Monday and another 3 to 5 later in the evening. A few more inches could arrive early on Tuesday and again on Wednesday through Thursday, when it may finally change over to rain as temperatures rise.   Accuweather says the pair of storms moving thorugh the upper Midwest and into the

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Q&A: Wahconah High Teacher to Participate in NASA Program for Educators
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:30AM / Sunday, March 22, 2020

Wahconah science teacher David Dahari is participating in a NASA program this summer. DALTON, Mass. — Wahconah Regional High School science teacher David Dahari is looking out of this world to get some real world experience.   This winter, Dahari was selected to participate in the 2020 NASA Airborne Astronomer Ambassador program.   As one of 28 teachers selected from 13 states, Dahari will have the opportunity this summer to train at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, Calif., and study aboard the agency's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a modified Boeing 747 carrying a 100-inch diameter

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Governor Says Army Corps Sussing Out Patient Capacity Options
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:20PM / Saturday, March 21, 2020
BOSTON — The state's COVID-19 command center has been in discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers about expanding patient capacity.   "Earlier today, we had a very productive conversation with U.S. Army Corps about ways they could potentially support the commonwealth and its citizens and its health-care system," Gov. Charlie Baker said at Sunday's coronavirus update. "During this outbreak, as most people know, the Army Corps has expertise and skills in designing and building critical infrastructure in a big hurry in times of need."   The governor said the Corps is looking at structures that can be easily modified into patient facilities, with

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