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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The Retired Investor: Non-Fungible Tokens Come of Age
By Bill Schmick,
04:21PM / Thursday, September 02, 2021
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been around since 2014, but I'll bet you haven't heard of them until this year. As part of the crypto craze, these NFTs are commanding millions of dollars in spending and expanding into everything from original art to tacos.   NFTs are digital assets. For those like me, who are old enough to be grandparents, and may still read the newspapers, the concept of a digital asset may not be all that intuitive. "Non-fungible" means that it is a unique asset that can't be replaced with something else.   NFTs are bought and sold online (usually with a cryptocurrency), and stored and encoded in the same way. The difference is that

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MCLA Announces First Recipients of the Henry B. and Mary D. Holt Scholarship
12:05PM / Thursday, September 02, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MCLA announced the first recipients of a new annual scholarship created to support the College's students. The Henry B. and Mary D. Holt Scholarship was established in 2021 to honor the Holts for their lifelong commitment to the arts, and is supported by Frederick and Renee Keator of the GRFHM Foundation.      A total amount of $4,000 will be distributed through multiple awards for the Fall 2021 semester. Scholarships are limited to current and active MCLA students who are in good standing and first-generation students (excluding first-year students) who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the arts or

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State Vaccine Mandate Extended to Home Care and Hospice Workers
02:36PM / Wednesday, September 01, 2021
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration has set a deadline of Oct. 31 for staff to be vaccinated at rest homes, assisted living residences and hospice programs, as well as for home care workers providing in-home, direct care services.   The plan to expand the vaccine requirement for caregivers is subject to Public Health Council approval and is part of the administration's effort to protect older adults against COVID-19. Last month, the administration announced a vaccine requirement for employees of skilled nursing facilities.   Following the council's approval, the requirement would be implemented through the respective Department of Public Health and Executive

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Filmmaker Brings 'Gatsby In Connecticut' To Ventfort Hall
01:40PM / Wednesday, September 01, 2021
LENOX, Mass. — Filmmaker and director Robert Steven Williams will share elements of his documentary film "Gatsby in Connecticut, the Untold Story" at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in person and via Zoom on Sept. 7 at 4:00 P.M. as part of its Tuesday Talks.   According to Williams, the writer’s inspiration came not from his time spent on Long Island’s Gold Coast, but rather from the  summer of 1920 in Connecticut during Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s honeymoon in Westport.    With historian Richard Webb, Williams dug into the Princeton University Archives; they interviewed many scholars of the book’s author, and met with

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CHP's 'Big Orange Bus' to Provide Vaccines at BCC
12:47PM / Wednesday, September 01, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) welcomes Community Health Programs (CHP) to campus on Tuesday, Sept. 7 from 10 am to 2 pm for a visit from CHP's "Big Orange Bus."    The mobile health unit that will administer the first dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the "one shot" Johnson & Johnson vaccine.    The bus returns on Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 10 am to 2 pm for the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.    Vaccines are given free of charge, and no appointment is necessary.    In addition, Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) will be on campus the week of Sept. 20 to

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Flash Flood Watch In Effect This Afternoon As Ida Hits Berkshire County
12:00PM / Wednesday, September 01, 2021
Rain can be expected in Berkshire County on Wednesday and lots of it.   The National Weather Service had set a flash flood watch from 2 p.m. until Thursday, Sept 2, at 2 p.m.   The heavy rainfall is associated with Hurricane Ida and 3 to 6 inches of rain is expected to fall in the region.   The National Weather Service warns that flash flooding is most likely to take place in urban, low lying and poor drainage areas. They urge those in affected areas to monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.   Meteorologist Steve Caporizzo of News10 in Albany, N.Y., said the flood threat is mainly south and east of

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MassDOT Launches Education Effort to Raise Public Awareness on Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Use
08:07AM / Wednesday, September 01, 2021
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in collaboration with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division, is launching a new educational effort that seeks to highlight the importance of Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHB) and encourage their use in communities statewide.    The Beacons, which are also referred to as High-Intensity Activated Cross-Walk (HAWK) signals, are regulatory traffic control devices designed to help stop vehicles traveling in areas of high traffic speed and volume and to allow pedestrians to safely cross roadways and intersections.     MassDOT has posted a new safety video, at

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Governor, State Officials Mark 'Last Mile' Connections in Becket
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:57PM / Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito worked closely with the partners — down to the status of the wires and poles, say local officials. BECKET, Mass. — Heather Anello has been trying to keep her businesses running on insufficient broadband for years.    "We have three dwellings there, the liquor store, the dispensary and the restaurant. We had very low bandwidth, we had three routers," she told the large gathering Tuesday that included Gov. Charlie Baker outside the "fiber hub" next to Town Hall. "We had to make very tough and difficult and costly decisions to provide competent wireless services, not only to our customers but just things as

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Polito Hears How Lenox Businesses Pulled Through Pandemic
By Brittany Polito,
03:40PM / Tuesday, August 31, 2021

LENOX, Mass. — Lt. Governor Karen Polito took a stroll around historic downtown Lenox and spoke to business owners about their push through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Polito, who was joined by State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, was impressed with the amount of activity on Main street, Walker Street, and Church Street during her visit Tuesday but recognized the resilience that it took for these proprietors to persevere in the last year and a half.

Polito heard from a variety of business owners who spoke about utilizing curbside pickup, long and tireless days of providing service, a lack of staffing, and even the pandemic's negative effect on the housing market.

Loeb's Foodtown of

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BMM CEO Joins South Berkshire Development Board
02:57PM / Tuesday, August 31, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire (CDCSB) has welcomed Allen Harris as its newest member to the Board of Directors.     Allen, a Berkshire native and longtime resident of Dalton, was elected to serve a three-year term this week on the nonprofit's Board of Directors.   He is the Founder and CEO of Berkshire Money Management (BMM), a full-service financial management firm, located in Dalton. Allen is a professional investment management veteran who, for more than 20 years, has used his expertise to help his clients increase their investment portfolio value while protecting their wealth during economic

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MCLA Welcomes Three New Vice Presidents
12:20PM / Tuesday, August 31, 2021
This academic year, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts welcomed three new vice presidents to its executive team: Joseph DaSilva, vice president of administration and finance; Richard Glejzer, vice president of academic affairs; and Jeannette Smith, vice president of student affairs.     The three new vice presidents were hired after a search process that included multiple interviews and open meetings for campus community members including students, faculty, and staff.     "I'm excited to have three highly experienced vice presidents join our campus community at this pivotal moment in higher education," said MCLA President James F. Birge.

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Start thinking about your retirement income plan
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:20AM / Tuesday, August 31, 2021
If you're getting close to retirement, you're probably thinking about the ways your life will soon be changing. And one key transition involves your income – instead of being able to count on a regular paycheck, as you've done for decades, you'll now need to put together an income stream on your own. How can you get started?   It's helpful that you begin thinking about retirement income well before you actually retire. Many people don't – in fact, 61 percent of retirees wish they had done better at planning for the financial aspects of their retirement, according to an Edward Jones/Age Wave study titled Retirement in the Time of Coronavirus: What a

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