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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Juneteenth Celebrated as State, National Holiday
10:05AM / Friday, June 18, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Saturday is the first time that Juneteenth will be celebrated as state holiday but also as a national holiday.    The date has long been celebrated in parts of the country, sometimes as Emancipation Day, the day in 1865 when Union Army Gen. Gordan Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, completing the end of slavery in the areas of the United States after more than 300 years. Juneteenth has been a state holiday in Texas for nearly 40 years.   President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation nearly three years earlier but it would take the advance of the Union Army into the Confederacy to make freedom a

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Health Together Wins Berkshire Health Technology Challenge
08:01AM / Friday, June 18, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A panel of expert judges declared Health Together the winner of Lever's Berkshire Health Technology Challenge.    The company, co-founded by Nicolas Boillot and Diedre Tomlinson, will use the $25,000 Challenge award to continue working on its innovative online health platform.    This is Lever's third BHTC, which focuses on health technology companies with fundable and scalable business models.    Finalists spent the past few months working with the Lever team, refining their pitches, learning from Lever's network of mentors, and deepening their entrepreneurship skills through Lever's Challenge

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Great Barrington Deputy Fire Chief Retires After 38 Years
Community Submission,
07:17PM / Thursday, June 17, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Deputy Fire Chief Steve Hall has retired after 38 years of service to the town of Great Barrington. For the past 20 years, he was deputy chief of the Housatonic Fire Station.   Deputy Hall's beginnings in the fire service were a bit non-traditional.   "I joined the fire brigade at Mead Paper when I was employed there," he said. "That is what inspired me to join Housatonic in 1983."   Over the years, Hall has served under five chiefs, going back to Fire Chief Mort Cavanaugh.   "Steve was my deputy when I started in Housatonic on the Great Barrington Fire Department," Fire Chief Charles Burger said.

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The Retired Investor: Chlorine, Cars and the Supply Chain Challenge
By Bill Schmick,
04:35PM / Thursday, June 17, 2021
Supply chain shortages are showing up across the nation. Some items, such as chlorine for America's pools and used cars, just illustrate a lesson we need to learn.    The chlorine shortages illustrate why supply chains are so important and how fragile they can be when faced with something as devastating as the pandemic. Last year, when lockdowns kept most Americans hunkered in their homes, an enormous home improvement wave swept through the country. Demand for home offices on the inside, and new recreational improvements on the outside, skyrocketed.   Gazebos, firepits, and swimming pools were just some of the items that consumers decided would make life bearable under a

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Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax Perform Benefit Show For Greenagers
12:46PM / Thursday, June 17, 2021
ERGEMONT, Mass. — Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax will present a benefit concert for Greenagers, outdoors under a tent on July 7 at 6 p.m. outdoors under a tent at the April Hill Conservation Center.    An outdoor reception follows for top-tier ticket holders; tickets can be purchased at greenagers.org/tickets.   On learning of Greenagers' outdoor education and job programs for teens and young adults in the Berkshires, Ma and Ax offered to team up for this outdoor event. The evening includes a conversation with the musicians and Greenagers Executive Director, Will Conklin.   Ma and Ax, in a shared statement, commended Greenagers' commitment to

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Clark Art Announces Research And Academic Program Fellowships
10:26AM / Thursday, June 17, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute's Research and Academic Program (RAP) announces the appointment of its 2021–2022 class of fellows for the upcoming academic year.   The Clark is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Through RAP, the Clark hosts a residential fellowship program that welcomes top international scholars for periods ranging from two to nine months. To date, the community of Clark Fellows numbers more than 400 individuals hailing from thirty countries, forming a global network of scholars united through the shared

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BCC Offers Admissions Info Sessions
04:34PM / Wednesday, June 16, 2021
PITTSFIELD, MA — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will offer two free Virtual General Information Sessions in the month of July 2021: Wednesday, July 7 at 5 pm and Thursday, July 15 at 12 pm.    The 30-minute info sessions, presented by admissions counselors on Zoom, are designed to familiarize prospective students with the application and registration process.   Virtual General Information Session participants can: Ask questions about the admissions process: how to apply, register, and choose classes Learn about BCC's affordability and its financial aid options Hear from staff about quality programs and student support services Discover how classes will

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Great Barrington Impact Fund Open for Applications
07:59AM / Wednesday, June 16, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Applications are now being accepted for grants from the town's Community Impact Fund.   Applications are due Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. at Town Hall. More details and application paperwork can be found here.   For the 2022 fiscal year, the town has earmarked $350,000 for distribution among qualifying organizations, individuals, town committees and town departments seeking support for community benefit projects.   Applications will be reviewed by the town's Community Impact Fund committee, which then makes recommendations to the town manager.   The town's Community Impact Fund receives 3 percent of gross sales at cannabis dispensaries in

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Vaccinated Residents Can Win a 'VaxMillion'
Staff Reports,
01:17PM / Tuesday, June 15, 2021
BOSTON – If avoiding a deadly disease isn't enough of a reason to be vaccinated, state officials are sweetning the jab with a chance to win $1 million.   The Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway is for residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated residents 18 and older will have the opportunity to enter to win one of five $1 million cash prizes. Fully vaccinated residents between 12 and 17 years of age may enter for the chance to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants.   "The commonwealth leads the nation in vaccinating our residents, with almost four million people fully vaccinated, and our goal remains ensuring everyone that wants a

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Father's Day Gifts
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:25AM / Tuesday, June 15, 2021
If you're a dad, you may be in line to get some nice gifts on Father's Day. But your greatest gift may be your ability to help your children. One way of doing that is to get them started in the world of investing – and making a few investments on their behalf.   Here are three possibilities:   529 plan – If you invest in a 529 education savings plan, your earnings can grow federally tax-free, provided the money is used for qualified educational expenses. (Withdrawals not used for these expenses will generally incur taxes and penalties on investment earnings.) If you invest in your own state's 529 plan, you might receive some state tax benefits, too,

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BCC 'One Stop' Construction Underway as Welcome Center Takes Shape
08:01AM / Tuesday, June 15, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) aims to streamline its admissions and enrollment process with its One Stop Student Success project, currently under construction on campus as part of a $5.5 million grant provided by Governor Baker's Capital Investment Plan for public higher education.    The overarching goal of this project is to make it easier for anyone who wants to access higher education to be able to do so with ease.   One of the most important parts of the One Stop project is the Welcome Center, located in the former dining hall in the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) building. The Welcome Center will be the gateway into newly consolidated offices

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Berkshire Rescue Team Seeks Donations for Vehicle
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:01AM / Tuesday, June 15, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue Team is aiming to raise $14,000 for a utility terrain rescue vehicle that is vital to their operations.   BMSAR is one of only two volunteer search and rescue teams in Massachusetts that are attached to the State Police Special Emergency Response Team, which is of "high value" for the organization.   It serves all of Western Massachusettes and sometimes assist in other parts of the commonwealth.   In order to respond to missing persons in the most efficient way, the team needs a vehicle that can handle rough terrain.   "We don't have a UTV vehicle ourselves, we can rely on the

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