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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Berkshire County Schools Closing for Two Weeks
Staff Reports,
02:52PM / Friday, March 13, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Schools across Berkshire County will be closed for the next two weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.    The decision follows teleconference meetings held on Friday with the state Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and of Public Health, as well as between the Berkshire County Superintendents Roundtable.    DESE left much of the decisionmaking up to local authorities but there was a recommendation that communities seeing an increase in community transmission of the novel coronavirus should consider closing for 14 days. Community transmission means that there are patients who are diagnosed or presumptive for the coronavirus

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The Independent Investor: Chances of a 2020 Recession Have Just Sky-Rocketed
By Bill Schmick,
12:19PM / Friday, March 13, 2020
The one-two punch of a worldwide pandemic, plus the sudden sharp decline in energy prices have increased the odds that the U.S. economy could fall into a recession as early as this year. The fact that we still do not know the economic damage of the COVID-19, only increases the odds of a prolonged economic downturn.   At this writing, the number of cases and deaths attributed to the pandemic is growing, which is moving both consumers and businesses to dial back their spending on travel, conferences, large events and various work processes. As schools close, more and more parents are stuck at home instead of going into the office. This is also causing increased disruptions in

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Open Meeting Law Modification Allows for Remote Participation
11:02PM / Thursday, March 12, 2020
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration has issued an emergency order temporarily modifying the state's Open Meeting Law in order to allow state, quasi and local governments to continue to carry out essential functions and operations during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.   This emergency order suspends the requirement for public access to the physical location where a public meeting is taking place, provided there are other means of access available. This includes the use of a phone conference line for members of the public, social media or other internet streaming services, online meeting services, or methods of access.   Additionally, the order relieves the

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'The Way Back': Hoosiers, Too
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:39PM / Thursday, March 12, 2020
Occasionally, especially in unstable times, a predictable movie like Gavin O'Connor's "The Way Back," about a former basketball phenom on the skids who seeks grace by coaching the ragtag team at his alma mater, instills a salubrious sense of order, albeit for only 108 minutes.   Truth be told, I never really liked the idea of entertainment as diversion from one's troubles, but rather preferred that my amusements be the cherry on top of a life relatively free of any truly serious adversities. Oh, that it would always be the case.   Still, referring to yet another category of use, entertainment's ability to render instructive wisdom, as is dramatically

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How Much Will Market Volatility Really Affect You?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
12:14PM / Thursday, March 12, 2020

There's no way to sugarcoat it: If you're an investor, you haven't liked what you have seen in the financial markets recently. The effects of the coronavirus triggered a market "correction" – a decline of 10 percent or more – and more volatility is almost certainly on the way. But instead of fretting over your investment statements, you could consider some more positive approaches to this situation.

For one thing, ask yourself this: When do you really need the money from your investment accounts, such as your IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan? These are retirement accounts, so, depending on your age, you may not need to tap into them

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Social Worker Joins CHP Behavioral Health Team
12:01PM / Thursday, March 12, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Licensed social worker Linda Moro has joined the Community Health Programs behavioral health team. 

Moro is now seeing clients at CHP’s Great Barrington Health Center and Barrington OB/GYN.

Moro earned her master's degree from Fordham University School of Social Work in New York and received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Herbert Lehman College. She worked recently in correctional health services at Rikers Island in New York City and she previously at The Children's Village in New York City, as well as at Catholic Charities in Bedford, N.Y.

She brings experience in individual and group therapy, treatment plan development,

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Pignatelli, Barrett File Bill to Establish Coronavirus Fund
03:54PM / Wednesday, March 11, 2020
BOSTON — State Reps. William "Smitty" Pignatelli and John Barrett III have filed an emergency bill to establish a "COVID-19 Quarantine Assistance Fund."   The act would establish an account to be administered by the secretary of health and human services and to be funded through amounts transferred or authorized by the Legislature.    The money would be expended as grants to residents of the commonwealth of Massachusetts who are unable to work during an infection, quarantine or isolation period caused by the novel coronavirus.    "In this time of public health emergency, it is vital that we do all we can to assist those in

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Berkshire County COVID-19 Cases at 7; Governor Declares State of Emergency
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:14PM / Tuesday, March 10, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on Tuesday afternoon as the state continued to grapple with rising numbers of presumptive positives for the novel coronavirus.   The governor, at a press conference broadcast from Boston, said the Executive Branch would begin instituting measures to address the spread of the disease, including prohibiting international travel on behalf of the state for its 42,000 employees, encouraging the use of telecommunicating and video conferencing where viable, canceling large events and asking workers who are sick or who exposed to the virus to remain home.    The total number of presumptive positives for

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CDC: Updates and Information
01:55PM / Tuesday, March 10, 2020
 

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Updates on COVID-19: Adams, North Adams, SWVMC
09:53PM / Sunday, March 08, 2020
Adams The Adams Visitors Center and all programs of the Council on Aging, include van transporting services, will be closed on Monday, March 9, through Wednesday, March 11.     The three-day closure will allow the town to have the building properly cleaned and sanitized out of an abundance of caution to protect the users of the building. Council on Aging staff will be on site and available via phone at 413-743-8333.     During this time, our staff will also be undergoing training to be sure they staff are prepared and able to identify symptoms of COVID-19. It is important to note that these steps are preventative in nature and not based on any known cases or

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Berkshire County's First Coronavirus Case Confirmed
Staff Reports,
03:05AM / Sunday, March 08, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center has confirmed that a patient has tested as presumptive positive for COVID-19.   In a statement of facts to press, Director of Media Relations Michael Leary said the patient is an older man who lives in Berkshire County. He is listed in stable condition.   The patient could not be tested before Friday, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Public Health rules were changed to allow him to be tested. The CDC had limited testing to those who had traveled to areas where the disease was prevalent or had contact with someone who had.    The man had been admitted to BMC several days earlier but at

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CATA Names New Development Director
04:16PM / Friday, March 06, 2020

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Access to the Arts has appointed Alexandra Heddinger as the nonprofit's new development director.

Heddinger's hiring comes at a pivotal moment for the organization as they prepare to open their new, fully accessible arts center and implement a strategic expansion of the nonprofit’s innovative arts programs for people with disabilities.

Heddinger comes to CATA from Berkshire Country Day School, where she served as director of admission and marketing, and the Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y., where she worked for 17 years, most recently as director of advancement. Heddinger has deep ties to the local arts community, having started

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