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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Local Community Radio Station WBCR Goes Live
04:45PM / Thursday, March 19, 2020
Going live

Berkshire Radio Community Alliance is now broadcasting live from its new location on Main Street in Great Barrington. Passersby will now be treated to both veteran and newly trained volunteer programmers and their guests appearing “front and center” in the station’s storefront window. There, the resurrected and much-loved on-air mixing board’s red and yellow lights are lit to affirm that 97.7FM has come alive again.

"Live" programming — as differentiated from automated music and syndicated shows — requires a specialized, direct connection from the station's fully integrated, on-air mixing board at 320 Main St. to the radio tower

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The Independent Investor: An Old Dog Learns New Tricks
04:00PM / Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bill trying to work from home.  COVID-19 has upended my life. Like so many other elderly workers, I am at risk, according to the government, the media and the medical community. As a result, if I want to avoid getting sick or dying, working from home is my only option.   When I made that decision last Friday, I didn't think it would be a big deal. After all, I have worked at home before (when I was sick or recovering from one of my many surgeries).   But as I am in day four of this self-imposed isolation, I am learning that, at least for me, my work habits are going to need an overhaul.   As a self-confessed workaholic, who loves what he does, even the idea of

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BRTA Limiting Access to Intermodal Center in Pittsfield
03:10PM / Thursday, March 19, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority is limiting public use of the Intermodal Transportation Center to those utilizing BRTA's bus service, Peter Pan, Greyhound, Amtrak, or buying food at the coffee shop.    BRTA has also instituted social distancing within the ITC, by removing tables and spacing out the remaining chairs to ensure staff and customers' safety.   Bus service remains in effect and all vehicles are cleaned every evening using products that are effective against the spread of the novel coronavirus. The facilities are being cleaned using the same coronavirus effective products multiple times a day, especially in high-traffic,

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Local Grocers & Retailers Reduce Hours; Regional Malls Closing
12:39PM / Thursday, March 19, 2020
Shopping centers around the region are closing down, some by order and others out of caution in the wake of the novel coronovirus pandemic.    Lee Prime Outlets is closed until March 29.   TJMaxx/HomeGoods/Marshalls stores are closed globally for two weeks, along with the companies' online ordering and distribution centers.     Dick's Sporting Goods and related stores are closed until April 2 but online ordering and curbside pickup are available between 9 and 6 daily.   The Holyoke Mall was ordered closed by Mayor Alex Morse on Tuesday along with other retailers in the city with the exception of grocers and pharmacies.   Governors in New York,

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State Shutting Down Child-Care Facilities, Bottle Redemption
06:37PM / Wednesday, March 18, 2020
BOSTON – The governor on Wednesday issued an executive order requiring all early education centers and child-care providers to close effective Monday, March 23, except for those determined to be critical to maintaining services. The shutdown runs through April 6.    The administration had initially resisted closing day-cares even as schools and preschools were ordered closed across the state. Gov. Charlie Baker has said at several press conferences that the need for access to child care was critical for health workers and front-line responders. Guidance had been issued more than a week ago for child-care facilities.    At a COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Baker said

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No Delay for Opening Day in Strat-O-Matic Baseball League
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
03:48AM / Wednesday, March 18, 2020

CHESHIRE, Mass. — Xander Bogaerts will have a chance to lead his team back to the playoffs.

Aaron Judge will continue his assault on the home-run record book.   There will be a baseball season in 2020. And it will open sometime in early April.   At least in Cheshire it will.   For more than four decades, the World Baseball League has used Strat-O-Matic Baseball to bring the game home for brothers Jeff and Matt Chaput and a group of friends who have tested their baseball IQs against one another and fate to see who is the best at managing a virtual team of very real Major Leaguers.   Strat-O-Matic, which began in 1961, combines the statistics of current players with

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Mount Greylock Schools Working to Keep Kids Fed During Closure
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:34AM / Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Laurie Meehan helps pack lunch bags in the cafeteria at Mount Greylock Regional School on Tuesday morning. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Dozens of youngsters in the Mount Greylock Regional School District were brown bagging it on Tuesday.   But instead of bringing their lunch to school, they were getting a "grab-and-go" lunch from school courtesy of the district's food service staff.   At 7 on Tuesday morning, cafeteria personnel Tammy Jennings and Laurie Meehan were joined by acting Director of Special Education Patrick Priester and Superintendent Kimberley Grady in the cafeteria at the middle-high school.   The quartet prepared bags with a turkey and

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Guest Column: The Time is Now to Protect Our Local Hospital Workers
By U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, Guest Column
06:27PM / Tuesday, March 17, 2020
It is now clear that we are at war with the coronavirus. While the people of our state need a range of help and assistance, one action we need to take is clear to me: we need a massive wartime manufacturing mobilization for coronavirus testing kits and personal protective equipment for medical personnel. The courageous men and women who are on the frontlines at area hospitals need to have all the tools, equipment, and devices they need to test and treat patients.    That is why I have called on the Trump administration to immediately use existing authorities under the Defense Production Act to increase private production of the personal protective equipment, medical supplies and

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Dalton Woman Charged With Hit-and-Run in Great Barrington
04:20PM / Tuesday, March 17, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A Dalton woman was charged with motor vehicle offenses after striking a person walking on the side of the road on Vandeusenville Road on Tuesday morning and leaving the scene, according to Great Barrington Police.   Police received a report at 10:45 a.m.  that a woman on the side of the road by Bridget's Cemetery that had been struck by a car. Officers Jonathan Finnerty and Samuel Stolzar responded.    They found a 64-year-old woman from Christian Hill Road badly injured. She was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield by Southern Berkshire Ambulance. Great Barrington Fire Department assisted at the scene. Several car

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Itís Not Easy, But Look Past the Market Selloff
Submitted by Edward Jones,
10:45AM / Tuesday, March 17, 2020

These are challenging times. Like everyone, you are concerned about keeping your family safe and healthy, and you're doing your part to help protect your community from the effects of the coronavirus. And if you're an investor, you must also address your financial situation. 

How should you respond to the current market volatility and recent declines in investment prices?

For one thing, try to avoid what many others seem to be doing: panicking. The market selloff may feel unsettling, but it appears to be driven as much, or more, by fear and panic than by economic or financial reality.

Uncertainty is high, but there are reasons – solid, objective reasons – that

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Governor Closes Schools Statewide, Bans Gatherings of More Than 25
06:31PM / Sunday, March 15, 2020

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at a press conference detailing emergency actions being taken by his office.

BOSTON — State officials are taking "unprecedented" measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including closing all private and public schools, banning gatherings of more than 25, prohibiting on-premise patronizing of restaurants and taverns, and disallowing all visitors to long-term care facilities and nursing homes. 

The school and restaurant orders take effect Tuesday.

"I realize these measures are unprecedented. But we're asking our residents to take and understand the rationale behind the guidance," said Gov. Charlie Baker at

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Veterans Spotlight: Sgt. Delphia Took Care of Fellow Soldiers
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
05:05PM / Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dick Delphia served as a corpsman at a hospital in Germany.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — What an absolute pleasure to sit and interview veteran Dick Delphia recently. Delphia served his country stateside as a corpsman from Jan. 1, 1953 to to Jan. 1, 1956.    At the age of 86, he is tremendously fit (he and his wife, Teresa, ride their stationary bikes every day), honest and possesses an "old school" humility.   Delphia had to quit Pittsfield High School at the age of 14 because of the sudden death of his mother.   "I had to take care of the family ... there was six of us" he remembered.   He enlisted at the age of 19 and was sent to

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