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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

BCC offering Virtual Massage Therapy Information session
12:44PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. Berkshire Community College (BCC) is offering a Virtual Massage Therapy Information session on Wednesday, March 3 at 4:00 PM.   Information sessions provide an opportunity for prospective and accepted Massage Therapy students to learn more about the Massage Therapy program, admissions process, financial aid process/due dates, immunization/medical requirements, CORI/SORI clearance, and the part-time evening/Saturday program pathway.   For more information, or to register for this Virtual Massage Therapy Information session, contact Judy Gawron, Program Coordinator and Professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, at jgawron@berkshirecc.edu or by calling

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EforAll Seeking Applicants for 'Digital Business Survival Course'
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:12PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County is collaborating with R3SET Studios to run a free online "Digital Business Survival Course" to help small businesses improve their online marketing.    "With all of the many restrictions on business during the pandemic, having a robust web presence, sales and outreach are truly mission-critical," said EforAll Director Deborah Gallant. "If your business was limping along with a sub-par web marketing approach before all this, it became a much higher priority to get this all in order."   This five-week course runs from March 12 to April 16.   Gallant said EforAll, a nonprofit

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State Wants Students Back in the Classroom in April
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:33PM / Tuesday, February 23, 2021
BOSTON — Public school students are expected to be back in the classroom by April.    Gov. Charlie Baker and Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey Riley on Tuesday outlined a phased-in process that will begin with elementary students.    "There's no substitute for in-person learning, especially for kids in elementary school," the governor said at his daily briefing. "Our administration's been clear for months that the best place for kids is in the classroom and today Commissioner Riley started a process, working with the board of Elementary and Secondary Education, to get more kids back into the classroom full time by

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Lenox Cultural Council Awards Local Grants
12:14PM / Tuesday, February 23, 2021
LENOX, Mass. — State Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Arlene D. Schiff, chair of the Lenox Cultural Council, announced the award of 26 grants totaling $12,600, for cultural programs in Berkshire County.   "It's the local volunteers who really make this system work," said Smitty Pignatelli. "They make limited resources go as far as possible, and they make the tough decisions about which projects should be supported. Thanks to them, the arts, sciences, and humanities are part of people's everyday lives in every community across the state."   Grants have been awarded to the following programs: Arts in Recovery for Youth; Berkshire Bach Society;

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Mahaiwe Adds We Banjo 3 Virtual Concert to Programming Schedule
09:38AM / Tuesday, February 23, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is adding a virtual concert performed by the band We Banjo 3 to its programming schedule, streamed from Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday, March 13 at 5pm.   Tickets purchased through the Mahaiwe benefit it in part.    "The fact that this show will happen over St. Patrick's Day weekend is just an added bonus," said Mahaiwe Executive Director Janis Martinson. "We would be excited to present We Banjo 3  at any time of year, because of their close harmonies, infectious beats, stunning precision, and just-plain-danceable songs.  These award-recognized musicians

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MCLA To Open Registration for Summer Sessions
04:01PM / Monday, February 22, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Registration for MCLA's three summer sessions will open March 1, 2021, and the majority of summer classes will be taught online this year.     Summer classes at MCLA offers summer classes for MCLA undergraduate and graduate students; students from other colleges; high school students; college graduates interested in Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Education (MEd) courses; or community members and others seeking courses.    Summer sessions schedule  Session A: May 24-July 2  Session B: June 21-July 30  Session C: July 6-August 13  MCLA's Division of Graduate and Continuing Education

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Veteran Spotlight: Marine Lt. Dominick Sondrini
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:11PM / Sunday, February 21, 2021

Lt. Dominick Sondrini with family. DALTON, Mass. — Dominick Sondrini served his country in the Marine Corps for four years as a lieutenant.    Growing up in Dalton, he attended the former St. Joseph's in Pittsfield and Wahconah Regional High School. After graduating from Western New England College, he was sent by the Marines to Quantico, Va., for Officer Candidate School, where he also completed the demanding Infantry Officer Course.    "Getting through these felt like a massive accomplishment — the drill instructors, some were mean, some were funny. There's so much yelling but I found lots of elements funny," he remembered, and

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IS183 Adjusting to Digital Platform, Welcomes New Faculty Artists
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
10:33AM / Sunday, February 21, 2021

Artist and speaker Pops Peterson, seen with students in this file photo, his hosting a scholarship fundraiser to help children attend IS183 Art School.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — A well-known Stockbridge art school quickly pivoted to digital learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with success and is now welcoming three new faculty artists to its talent pool.

"It's been full of changes, and full of innovation, and definitely challenges," Executive Director Lucie Castaldo said in regards to the historical year. "Virtual programming is going great, better than any of us expected because we really had no idea."

Since last April, IS183 Art School has had 648

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@theMarket: Stocks Versus Bitcoin
By Bill Schmick,
04:48PM / Friday, February 19, 2021
There was no contest this week. Cryptocurrencies took center stage as the stock market churned, chopped and gave investors a little indigestion. Welcome to the market's brave new world.   It appeared that Bitcoin was the answer to whatever ails you. Higher interest rates, the threat of higher inflation, weaker (or stronger) dollar, no problem just buy Bitcoin. By the end of this week, the crypto coin had chalked up a 15 percent gain and was trading above $52,000. Ethereum, Bitcoin's younger cousin, was also up 10 percent.   None of the financial market's usual suspects — stocks, bonds, or commodities — could come close to those kinds of gains. Detractors

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Berkshire Grand Jury Indicts Former Olympian of Indecent Assault
Staff Reports,
04:23PM / Friday, February 19, 2021

BREAKING: #ConradAvondaleMainwaring, who I,@markfwespn @GregAmante + others have been investigating for 3 years, was arrested AGAIN today. This time on a dozen felony sexual assault counts (some against minors) in Massachusetts circa the 1970s. THREAD/
https://t.co/v3bbXAj86P

— Mike Kessler (@mikeskessler) February 17, 2021 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Olympian has been indicted on 12 counts of indecent assault and battery alleged to have occurred in Becket and dating back 50 years.   Conrad Mainwaring, 69, was arrested by Los Angeles authorities on Wednesday on a fugitive from justice warrant related to allegations he had assaulted children while a camp counselor in

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Big Y Celebrates Supermarket Employee Day
12:17PM / Friday, February 19, 2021
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — On Feb. 22, Big Y will join supermarkets and food manufacturers nationwide in celebrating the first-ever Supermarket Employee Day.    FMI—The Food Industry Association, has proclaimed this new holiday to recognize employees at every level for the work they do. There are more than 40,000 individual stores that sell food and grocery items in the U.S. Millions of supermarket employees come to work daily to keep shelves stocked and to provide communities with essential services.   "We are thrilled to join in this national celebration of Supermarket Employee Day in recognition of the critical role our teams provide to our communities everyday.

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Patrick Leading Panel on Low Vaccinations in Communities of Color
04:19PM / Thursday, February 18, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former Gov. Deval Patrick will lead a virtual panel of local health professionals on Tuesday to address the low numbers of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state's communities of color.    The novel coronavirus is disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic people. Long-standing structural health and social inequities have increased the risks of sickness and death, which coupled with historic and systemic issues of maltreatment, have created an environment of mistrust with the vaccine process. According to the latest report by state Department of Public Health, only 3.3 percent of Hispanic or Latinx residents, 2.8 percent of Asian American and Pacific

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