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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshires Beat: Mahaiwe, Simon's Rock Offer Drive-In Movie Theater
10:43AM / Saturday, July 25, 2020
Drive-in theater

The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, in partnership with Bard College at Simon’s Rock, will host a drive-in movie theater in the parking lot of the college’s Daniel Arts Center at 84 Alford Rdoad in Great Barrington. The theater will be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through Labor Day, weather-permitting.

Gates will open each night at 7:45 p.m., with previews and shorts starting at 8:30 p.m. and featured movies beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is $25 per vehicle. Attendance is limited to 50 cars and tickets must be purchased online in advance at mahaiwe.org; tickets are available first-come, first served. Movies projected on a 16-by-30-foot screen will be

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State Updates Guidelines for Youth Sports
10:08AM / Saturday, July 25, 2020
BOSTON, Mass. -- Football remains a “higher risk” sport that is restricted to non-contact drills and “individual skill work” under the latest guidance from the commonwealth released on Friday.   The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Friday released its updated rules for amateur sports activities.   The rules released on Friday specifically do not govern interscholastic athletics, but the same office will be determining the “rules for the road” for high school sports in conjunction with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.   Those interscholastic guidelines are expected to be released in early August,

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Southwestern Vermont Health Care Expands Advanced Breast Imaging Technology
09:53AM / Saturday, July 25, 2020

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care has invested $750,000 in the latest breast imaging technology for its newly renamed Breast Health and Imaging Center, formerly SVMC Women's Imaging. 

The funds purchased two Hologic Selenia Dimensions 3-D Mammography units. Both provide proven superior clinical performance compared with less recent technology.

"Our aim is to give patients and providers the crucial information they need to make decisions for further care, if needed," said Melissa Spiezio, SVMC's director of Imaging Services. "This advanced technology will help us meet that goal for years to come and to do so more efficiently and more

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Speakable Adjustable Mask Wins Lever Pitch Challenge
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Saturday, July 25, 2020

Lever director Jeffrey Thomas, left, speaking during the virtual pitch competition with Economic Development Secretary Michael Keannely. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Speakeasy Travel Supply won the Lever COVID-19 Intrapreneur Challenge Pitch Competition with its adjustable mask.   The Centerville company was awarded the $25,000 prize Friday to help ramp up the production of the mask after a virtual pitch contest in which  11 companies shared their innovative general use face mask designs.   "We are very humbled and we are just so thankful that you guys chose our product," owner Bethany Salvon said. "We can't wait; the whole team is

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Governor Signs Order Requiring Travelers to Isolate 14 Days
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:07PM / Friday, July 24, 2020

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed an executive order requiring anyone entering the commonwealth from any state outside the Northeast to self-quarantine for 14 days or provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19.

The new travel order, outlined on the state's website, carries a $500 per day fine for anyone violating the rule, which goes into effect on Aug. 1.

It applies to any residents of the commonwealth returning to Massachusetts as well as visitors from — for now — 41 states not identified as "lower-risk" states. The lower-risk states currently include the five other New England states plus New York, New Jersey and Hawaii.

That list of

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@theMarket: Bailout blues
By Bill Schmick,
03:53PM / Friday, July 24, 2020
Investors have been giving Congress the benefit of the doubt — until now. A long-promised second tranche of fiscal stimulus was supposed to be passed by the end of the month. The clock is ticking, but the horse-trading has just begun.    On Aug. 1, the rent is due for millions of Americans. The sunset of the $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits legislation, which amounts to almost 60 percent of their benefit, will have expired unless Congress acts. The GOP has dragged its feet for almost two months, hoping that the economy would bounce back, and relieve them of their responsibilities. The GOP and their leaders miscalculated.   Right now, the two sides are far

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'Auntie Mame': 'Life is a Banquet, and Most Poor Suckers Are Starving to Death'
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:27PM / Thursday, July 23, 2020

I wish that I were reviewing one of the half-dozen movies certain to be made when this pox upon our house is no more. But until that glorious return to normality has us resuming all the simple joys of life we take for granted, like going to the movies, I'll be retro-reviewing and thereby sharing with you the films that I've come to treasure over the years, most of which can probably be retrieved from one of the movie streaming services. It is my fondest hope that I've barely put a dent into this trove when they let the likes of me back into the

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The Retired Investor: The Weakening Dollar
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, July 23, 2020
Sometimes, investors are so focused on the trees that they miss the forest entirely. Take the U.S. dollar, for example. It has been declining at an alarming rate, yet no one seems to care.   Today, investors are occupied by a number of trees — earnings, stock prices, dividends, earnings results — that a weakening currency is almost an afterthought. Unfortunately, if the dollar continues to weaken, it could radically change your investment choices.    Most readers, in general, believe a strong dollar reflects a strong economy. The fact that it makes our exports more expensive, and imports cheaper, is also true. A strong dollar, in the past, has also been a safe

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 24-30
03:20PM / Thursday, July 23, 2020
On Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at 8 p.m., The Colonial Theatre hosts  The Naughton Family in Concert, featuring singer/songwriter Greg Naughton, Tony Award-winner James Naughton, Broadway actress Kiera Naughton, and Tony Award-winner Kelli O'Hara! Enjoy an evening of group numbers, sweet duets, funny originals, and powerful solos.

  FUN & LEARNING   On Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m., Hancock Shaker Village will present Back Porch Music, a socially distanced live concert on the lawn with Billy Keane of The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow. This is

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DCR Closes Bash Bish Falls Parking to Manage Crowds
01:22PM / Thursday, July 23, 2020
MOUNT WASHINGTON, Mass. — The state Department of Conservation and Recreation has closed the parking area at Bash Bish Falls after reports of crowds at the remote park.    The Berkshire Edge reported that upwards of 1,000 people had "packed into the small park over the weekend." The numbers made it difficult for appropriate social distancing during the pandemic as visitors reportedly were picnicking and swimming in defiance of the rules in the hot, humid weather. At one point, state and local police aided rangers in shutting down the park because of overcrowding.   The park, which is also part of New York's Taconic State Park, has been open but with no

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Mill Town, Dalton CRA Offer Music on Main Live Music Series
10:49AM / Thursday, July 23, 2020

DALTON, Mass. — Mill Town and the Dalton Community Recreation Association have partnered to host a series of free weekly outdoor live music concerts on the lawn of the Mill + Main property in Dalton.

With Gov. Charlie Baker's announcement of Massachusetts Phase III reopening in the beginning of July, the group received the green light to invite the public to come together safely and enjoy the newly renovated property during the coronavirus pandemic. The group has worked closely with the town of Dalton Department of Health to put in place strict social distancing protocols in adherence with public health and safety guidelines.

The events run every Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.

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Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Berkshires; More Rain Expected Thursday
06:33PM / Wednesday, July 22, 2020
The Berkshires could be in for some wild weather as several storm systems move through the area.    The National Weather Service has posted a severe thunderstorm warning until 10 p.m. for the Berkshires, eastern New York, northwestern Connecticut and Southern Vermont. Wind gusts could reach up to 70 mph in some areas.    The potential for severe weather stretches from Charleston, W.Va., up the Atlantic Coast to Upstate New York.    "A very humid air mass spreading out across the East into Wednesday evening is going to be a key ingredient which will cause some heavy thunderstorms to break out, especially in the central Appalachians and the mid-Atlantic

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