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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Dewey Hall Gets $15K Donation Boost Toward Preservation and Planning
12:46PM / Sunday, December 31, 2023
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Dewey Memorial Hall has received a donation boost toward its preservation and planning goals.     Housatonic Heritage has granted a $15,000 Heritage Partnership grant. This will go toward a $35,000 matching grant for feasibility and planning from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities fund announced in July.    "This $15,000 gets us much closer toward raising the match for the MCCF grant. The total cost of the project is unknown, but it is likely to exceed $70,000," said Dewey Hall President Beth Carlson. "This is vital foundational work necessary for the stable future of Dewey Hall."   While working to secure the

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Taconic Boys Basketball Was Top Story of '23
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
06:04AM / Friday, December 29, 2023
The year started with one high school state championship on the show and ended with another on the hardwood.     In between, there were plenty of team titles, tournament runs and individual accomplishments to keep Berkshire County high school and youth sports fans in the seats and on the sidelines.   Although not every successful season ended in the ultimate prize, there was plenty to be proud of along the way. And here is a look back at some of the biggest stories we covered in 2023:   No. 1 Taconic Boys Basketball Of all the state championships won this year – and there were several – perhaps none was sweeter than that of the Thunder in the Division 5 State

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Merry Christmas from iBerkshires
10:46AM / Monday, December 25, 2023

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Christmas Eve Poem
06:07PM / Sunday, December 24, 2023

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Great Barrington Price Chopper Rebranding as Market 32
08:32AM / Sunday, December 24, 2023
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. Following the vote of approval for a wine and malt liquor license for the Great Barrington Price Chopper by the town's Selectboard, Price Chopper/Market 32 will launch plans to modernize and expand its store under the company's Market 32 banner.   "We've been committed to the Great Barrington community for nearly three decades and, being on equal footing with other stores in the area will enable us to proceed with our plans to convert our store into a contemporary food and service-focused Market 32," said Price Chopper/Market 32 President Blaine Bringhurst.   The construction timeline for the conversion will be finalized when all of

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CHP, Rural Recovery Co-Host: Sober Curious?
12:57PM / Friday, December 22, 2023
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — For people considering quitting or cutting back their alcohol use in the New Year, Rural Recovery and CHP Berkshires are hosting a Jan. 3 hybrid event, "Sober Curious: A Conversation for the New Year."    The talk takes place at 7 p.m., at the South County Recovery Center, 67 State Road, Great Barrington, and and online via Zoom. Prior registration is required here.   CHP Berkshires Family Nurse Practitioner TC Clarke and Rural Recovery Program Director Gary Pratt will co-host the talk.   Pratt said the event will be informational and nonjudgmental for anyone who'd like to curtail drinking for a while or

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Holiday Hours: Christmas & New Year's
01:02PM / Thursday, December 21, 2023

You once could be fined for celebrating Christmas in Massachusetts. (Massachusetts State Library)

Businesses, schools and government offices will be taking breaks next week as the nation celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Christmas falls on Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, and New Year's Day on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. 

Christmas is now a state holiday but it wasn't always. The General Court under the control of the Puritans outlawed the holiday in 1659.

There was too much eating, drinking, wassailing and other festiveness for the colony's righteous rulers. Even after the ban was lifted, Christmas was treated as a regular day until its popularization during the Victorian era.

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Theory Wellness Becomes an Employee-Owned Company
12:26PM / Thursday, December 21, 2023
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Massachusetts-based cannabis company Theory Wellness is transitioning its ownership entirely over to its employees, in what is known as an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).    By doing so, Theory has become the first employee-owned cannabis company in the Commonwealth and the largest of its kind in the country, stated a press release.   Established in 2015 by co-founders Nick Friedman and Brandon Pollock, Theory Wellness has grown to include four dispensaries, production and cultivation facilities, over 200 employees, and has  served more than 3 million customers since inception.   "Our team is the heart and soul of our

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Great Barrington Applications for Deferred-Payment Home Improvement Loans
10:39AM / Thursday, December 21, 2023
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The town has opened applications for income-eligible homeowners seeking a deferred payment home repair loan of up to $50,000.   The loan is forgiven if the homeowner remains in the residence for at least 15 years.   Information and application materials are on the town Planning Department website page. There is information about the types of home repairs eligible for the loan, a pre-application form, income guidelines, a full application and implementation plan.   This Community Development Block Grant program, announced in August by the Healey-Driscoll administration, includes a total of $1.35 million for up to 24 low- and moderate-income

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CHP Mobile Health to Reach More Residents with Vaccines
02:44PM / Tuesday, December 19, 2023
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — As the CDC raises the alert about low vaccination rates and increased hospital emergencies and admissions for Covid, flu and other respiratory illness, CHP Mobile Health is ramping up holiday season vaccine clinics throughout the Berkshires.    CHP Berkshires is especially concerned with the reported slow pace of vaccines for children: the CDC notes a recent increase in cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children following Covid-19 infection in the United States. CDC reported that as of Dec. 2, 2023, just 7.7 percent of children age 6 months-17 were reported to be up to date with the 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccine.   "While it

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North Adams Regional Opening Moves Forward With State Approval
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:49AM / Tuesday, December 19, 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The state's Public Health Council approved the determination of need for North Adams Regional Hospital, and the hospital is now preparing to move forward with renovations.   The request by Berkshire Health Systems for a determination of need license was approved by the council last Wednesday; BHS received the official letter that the determination of need was awarded on Friday.    "So in my mind, it was really official on Friday," said BHS President and CEO Darlene Rodowicz. "An hour after we got that approval, we got the letter from the state authorizing us to move forward with completing the inpatient unit

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Becket Overnight Road Work
02:18PM / Monday, December 18, 2023
BECKET, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing previously scheduled guardrail repair operations on I-90 westbound in Blandford and Becket will now take place tonight from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. the next morning.     Work will take place on I-90 westbound at mile marker 30.0 in Blandford, with a right lane closure in place, and at mile marker 17.0 in Becket, with a shoulder closure in place. Work was previously scheduled for the night of Sunday, December 17, but was postponed due to inclement weather.    Drivers who are traveling through the affected areas should expect delays, reduce speed, and use

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