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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Veteran Spotlight: Army Sgt. Terry McGinnis
By Wayne Soares, iBerkshires columnist
04:08PM / Sunday, January 31, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — At 27 years of age, Terry McGinnis is far ahead of his peers. An extremely humble, courteous and respectful young man, he served his country in the Army for six years, finishing with the rank of sergeant.    His story is an amazing one.   McGinnis grew up in Englewood, Calif., and did his basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. His first assignment was at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii as a member of the 2nd Platoon, 25th Infantry Division. He remembered there "being a great deal of history there." After being deployed to the Philippines to train that country's Scout Rangers, he was sent to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State

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Burnett Farm Designated As Massachusetts Century Farm
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:28AM / Sunday, January 31, 2021

A bird's eye view of the farm and picture of Carrie Burnett's parents, who ran the farm as a dairy. ADAMS, Mass. — More than 100 years later, Burnett Farm is still thriving under the same family and the same spirit   Carrie Burnett was surprised when a plaque showed up at her doorstep notifying her that the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and the Massachusetts Grange have recognized Burnett Farm as a Century Farm.   "I forgot all about it … and then it showed up in the mail," she said.   Burnett said she was contacted by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau last year about the designation and an agent encouraged her to apply

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Ventfort Hall Presents 'Tables for Two: Famous Couples Celebrate Valentines Day'
08:08AM / Saturday, January 30, 2021
LENOX, Mass. — Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will open "Tables for Two: Famous Couples Celebrate Valentines Day" on Monday Feb. 1.   Displaying decorated table settings representing couples from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the exhibit will be open to the public until Sunday, Feb. 28.  Reservations are required due to the pandemic.   The eleven table settings will represent these famous and inspirational couples:   Tarzan and Jane, "Monkey Business in a Tree" 1930s Cole and Linda Porter, "Picnic on Venice's Grand Canal" 1930s Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, "Lunch During

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@theMarket: A Roller Coaster Market
By Bill Schmick,
04:59PM / Friday, January 29, 2021
Investors learned a number of lessons this week. First among them was that stocks, on occasion, can go down as suddenly as they can go up. They also began to realize that it may take longer than expected before this pandemic is put to rest.   Over the last two weeks, I have been warning investors to shuck those rose-tinted glasses and take a more realistic view of exactly where we are in this pandemic relief world. That advise is starting to sink in. This week, the Biden administration, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, gave investors a more sobering look at the future.   The distribution and delivery

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Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative Launches Website
04:00PM / Friday, January 29, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative has announced the launch of a new website containing comprehensive information on how to access the Berkshire area COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

The new site, www.getvaccinatedberkshires.org, was developed to provide a consolidated resource with information about the COVID-19 vaccines, to provide resources on the state's Vaccination Phases and vaccine availability, and to aid the public in making appointments at the three large mass vaccination clinic sites in the Berkshires.

The Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative has established vaccination sites in Pittsfield at the Berkshire Community College Field House, in Great

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Deep Freeze Descending on the Berkshires; Nor'easter Up Ahead
Staff Reports,
05:24PM / Thursday, January 28, 2021
Temperatures are about to plummet across the region with wind chills as low as 20 below zero.    The National Weather Service has posted a wind chill advisory beginning midnight Thursday through at least noon on Friday.    The bitter cold air coming south from Canada may be accompanied by snow squalls and showers that could make travel hazardous. Friday is expected to be the coldest day so far this winter.    People should avoid being outdoors for lengthy periods over the weekend and to wear loose-fitting layers of warm clothing and a hat. Keep thermostats no lower than 55 and maintain the same temperature for both day and night.    Check on neighbors

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The Retired Investor: Make Way for the Retail Investor
04:59PM / Thursday, January 28, 2021
By now, you may have realized that this is not your father's stock market, nor will it ever be again. An entirely new army of investors have arrived on the scene with different attitudes, values, and beliefs. You can either hop on this train or be left behind.   Back in the day, burnt by the Financial Crisis of more than a decade ago, many investors decided to forsake the stock market, embracing bonds instead. Over that time, Americans amassed a $3 trillion in savings and 94 percent of that money went into bonds. Those bond buyers have had a good run, but all good things must come to an end.   Most fixed income investors are scrapping the bottom of the barrel if they are

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South County Transit Survey Under Way
02:55PM / Thursday, January 28, 2021

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. —  The Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC), working to improve the area's transportation options, invites residents, students, employers and employees to complete a survey.

Participants will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Big Y gift card.   "We are working to help shape future transportation services and hope that everyone will participate, even if they've never taken a bus in their life," Tate Coleman, chair of RTAC said.   The 4-minute survey asks questions about public and senior transportation in Southern Berkshire County. Questions are not specifically about the Berkshire Regional Transportation

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Berkshire Health Group Keeping Insurance Premiums Flat in FY22
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:36AM / Thursday, January 28, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Towns and school districts throughout the county who are members of Berkshire Health Group will see no increase in health or dental insurance premiums in fiscal 2022, and the group will offer its units a premium holiday this June.   The BHG board of directors met virtually on Monday morning to hear a review of its fiscal 2020 audit and decide on the premium rate for the year that begins on July 1, 2021.   Berkshire Health Group is a joint purchase group that allows 32 governmental units throughout the county to combine their buying power to provide health insurance for their employees and retirees.   Under the plan's umbrella, there are more

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Baker-Polito Administration Files $45.6B Fiscal 2022 Budget Proposal
06:59PM / Wednesday, January 27, 2021
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration on Wednesday filed its fiscal year 2022 budget recommendation, a $45.6 billion proposal that continues the administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses critical priorities including promoting economic growth, fully funding the first year of the landmark Student Opportunity Act, and supporting cities and towns across Massachusetts.   This balanced proposal does not raise taxes on the commonwealth's residents and preserves substantial financial reserves for the future, according to the administration.   Submitted as House 1, this budget recommendation provides $246.3 million in new funding for the Student

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Baker Acknowledges Frustration of Those Trying to Sign Up for Vaccines
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:27PM / Wednesday, January 27, 2021
BOSTON — On the first day residents 75 and older could sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Charlie Baker said he knows people are frustrated about the time it takes to get those appointments, but the commonwealth continues to be constrained by the supply of vaccines on hand.   "I think the biggest challenge we're going to face on this rollout, and we've said this several times, is if demand does outstrip supply, which is where we're going to be for some period of time until the federal government can get to the point where their distribution to us reaches some level that's consistent with the number of people who are eligible to get vaccinated," Baker

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Berkshire County Has 8 Vaccination Sites for Phase 2 Rollout
12:50PM / Wednesday, January 27, 2021

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The state has released the expanded sites for COVID-19 vaccinations, including eight in Berkshire County.   Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout begins Monday, Feb. 1, by appointment. Currently there are three "mass vaccination" sites, including one in Springfield. There is expected to be 165 vaccination sites and seven mass vaccination locations by mid-February at public and private entities.    The first priority group in Phase 2 will be residents 75 and older who can begin to schedule vaccination appointments on Wednesday.   The locations in Berkshire County are, with links to online signup, the following:    • North

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