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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire Health Systems Initiates COVID-19 Antibody Testing
10:44AM / Thursday, June 11, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has begun providing COVID-19 antibody testing in the community, which will help residents to know if they have had COVID-19 at some point in the past, but officials stress that testing does not ensure immunity from the virus. 

The testing is available through a blood test and only with a physician order. Interested residents can ask their primary care physician to submit an order to the BHS Laboratory for a test to be drawn at a BHS blood draw station. The result will then be provided to the physician, who will relay the result to the patient.

Patients accessing the antibody testing will be responsible for any co-pays, deductibles or

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Bishop Rozanski Named Archbishop of St. Louis
10:51AM / Wednesday, June 10, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski has been named as the archbishop of St. Louis.    Pope Francis made the announcement on Wednesday morning that Rozanski, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, will replace the retiring Robert J. Carlson in St. Louis.   A press conference is being held Wednesday in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis to introduce the archbishop-to-be.   Rozanski was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Baltimore when he was named the 9th bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in 2014. The diocese encompasses the Roman Catholic parishes of Berkshire County, of which St. Joseph's in Pittsfield is the "Mother

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Safe Routes School Honors North Adams Coordinator, 2 Schools
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:13AM / Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Emily Schiavoni is this year's recipient of the Nikki Tishler Memorial Award for the work she's done in North Adams to promote safe walking and biking.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire County was well represented at the state's Safe Routes to School award program on Monday, including the presentation of the Nikki Tishler Memorial Award to North Adams Public Schools' Emily Schiavoni.   Lee Elementary won the Exemplary Program Award for the Western District and Clarksburg School received an honorable mention. Additionally, both schools along with Brayton, Greylock and Colegrove Park in North Adams were named Gold Level winners and Williamstown

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Berkshire HorseWorks Reopens With COVID-19 Precautions
04:10PM / Tuesday, June 09, 2020

CAPTION HERE RICHMOND, Mass. — Berkshire HorseWorks is reopened its facility to the public on Monday and implemented new "COVID Clean" restrictions while allowing clients to receive mental health treatment and engage in fun outdoor activities safely.    Specializing in Eagala's Model Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine-Assisted Team Building, the nonprofit ranch will make programs available while implementing social distancing, the use of masks and hand-sanitizer, and the sanitizing of facilities before and after appointments.   "Everyone is hurting on so many levels. We would be remiss if we hadn't found a way to offer our services and

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Nearing Retirement? What Questions Should You Ask?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:00AM / Tuesday, June 09, 2020

The recent market volatility has affected just about everybody's financial and investment situations. So, if you were planning to retire soon, will it still be possible?

Of course, the answer depends somewhat on your employment situation. With so many people's jobs being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, your retirement plans may also have been thrown into confusion. But assuming your employment is still stable, what adjustments in your financial and investment strategies might you need to make for your retirement?

Here are a few areas to consider, and some questions to ask yourself:

• Retirement goals: Now is a good time to review your retirement goals and assess your

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Tourism Destinations to Rely on Visitors' Compliance for Successful Reopening
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:46PM / Monday, June 08, 2020

1Berkshire's Ben Lamb, top left, moderatesa virtual town hall with, clockwise from top right: Canyon Ranch Managing Director Mindi Morin, Norman Rockwell Museum CEO Laurie Norton Moffat and Trustees of Reservations Southern Berkshires Director Brian Cruey. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Museum-goers are used to signs reminding them not to touch the exhibits.   This summer, they may see reminders not to touch their own faces.    If the commonwealth progress through the phased reopening announced by Gov. Charlie Baker last month, museums could be allowed to open as early as July. Recently, the director of Stockbridge's Norman Rockwell Museum and the Southern

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Small Classes, Plenty of PPE Advised School Reopenings
04:02PM / Monday, June 08, 2020
BOSTON — Schools planning to reopen in the fall will have to reduce their class sizes to no more than 10 students and keep students 6 feet apart as much as possible.    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued guidelines Friday on required sanitation supplies and safety for reopening schools this fall.    The memorandum covers the first 12 weeks of school and includes social distancing protocols based on the understanding of COVID-19 at the present.    That includes smaller classes at 10 and no more than two staff in a classroom at time. Whenever possible, the students should be isolated in smaller groups with a "consistently

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Lee High School Names Top Students for Graduation 2020
10:16AM / Monday, June 08, 2020
LEE, Mass. — Suriana Lee and Emily Molino have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for Lee High School's class of 2020.   Lee is the daughter of Chin and Sabrina Lee. She is a member of the National Honor Society, student government and the Social Justice Club and was a captain of the volleyball and tennis teams.   She is a recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award, the Superintendent's Award, the Principal's Award for Excellence and is a commended student in the National Merit Scholars program. She will be attending the University of Michigan in the   fall, studying aerospace engineering. Molino is

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Pittsfield Firm Aiming for Lever-Led COVID-19 Intrapreneur Challenge
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Monday, June 08, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ask Josh Levin about his company's foray into producing personal protective equipment, and he will be quick to clarify what his product is and what it is not.   "The fabric face mask is personal protection, but it's not a medical product," the CEO of LympheDivas said recently.   "What we normally manufacture are true medical devices. But the masks are not something like an N95 medical mask. This is more something people can do to reduce the risk, but, at least in my personal assessment, I don't see fabric masks as a true surgical mask or a true PPE."   In fact, fairly early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, Levin looked

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Berkshire Running Center Hosting Virtual Races
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:47AM / Monday, June 08, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Since the Pandemic hit, Berkshire Running Center has hosted a series of virtual races keeping the competitive spirit alive in the Berkshire County running community.   Runners don’t ask for much: the right pair of shoes, an open road with mindful drivers, and maybe even the wind at their backs but one thing most certainly missing during the COVID-19 outbreak is the thrill of race day.   "Given the global pandemic, we felt it was the only option to continue to provide that motivation to our runners," Berkshire Running Center owner Kent Lemme said. "When we saw all the big races canceling so far in advance we knew it was going to be

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Monument Graduates Told to Celebrate Achievements
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:46PM / Sunday, June 07, 2020

Valedictorian Jake Lyons describes high school as a slog through a dark until senior year, when he and classmates climbed out into the sun.  GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The graduates of Monument Mountain Regional High School gathered together to celebrate their collective achievement on Sunday morning.    But not at The Shed at Tanglewood, and not really together. The 103 graduates arrived separately by car to the school and then joined in vehicle parade after a pre-recorded graduation shown on Community Television for the Southern Berkshires.    "When it's safe, we'll all come together to celebrate you in person," said Peter Dillon,

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State Grant Program Should Help Local Food Producers
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:27AM / Sunday, June 07, 2020

Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides talks about the state's new Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As a member of a town committee, an officer with the advocacy group Berkshire Grown and a documentary filmmaker, Sarah Gardner has spent years pushing for a stronger local food supply.   So she was glad last month when Beacon Hill followed suit.   As part of its overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker recently announced $36 million in grants to build up the commonwealth's "food security infrastructure."    "The grants will fund

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