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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Lee Lions Seeking Protective Masks to Distribute
11:03AM / Sunday, May 10, 2020
LEE, Mass. — The Lee Lions Club is seeking anyone who has masks to donate or would like to make some for charity.     The club will collect masks and distribute at no charge to anyone who might need one. Any excess will be bagged individually and the club will schedule safe public places to distribute what we have collected.    The club will also contact senior centers, churches, community support programs and police and fire departments to assess any additional needs for protective wear in the community.   Anyone who can supply masks or an organization with excess masks please contact us.  Anyone in Lee or the adjacent towns who requires a mask


Youth Baseball, Softball Leagues Working to Salvage Seasons
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:26AM / Saturday, May 09, 2020

Players in the Williamstown Cal Ripken League eagerly await the start of opening day festivities last spring.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Playing before an international television audience in Williamsport, Pa., is not the goal for Little Leaguers this year.   Playing games in their own hometowns will be victory enough.   Local youth baseball and softball officials are discussing how they can give youngsters an experience in the sport if and when state and local authorities give the green light.   Last week, Little League announced that it is following the lead of its colleagues in professional, college and high school sports by canceling the World Series and


@theMarket: The Stock Market Is Not the Economy
By Bill Schmick,
04:34PM / Friday, May 08, 2020
If ever one needed an example of the above saying, today's market would prove that point. Friday's unemployment figure for the month of April revealed that 20.3 million Americans are out of work, bringing the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent. The stock market gained more than one percent on the news.   While new cases of COVID-19 are reported and deaths multiply with no cure or vaccine in sight, the NASDAQ turned positive for the year. Corporate earnings have been abysmal and future guidance nonexistent for most companies, but their stocks went up anyway. How can this be, you might ask?   As I have said before, the stock market is a forward-looking mechanism. As such,


Great Barrington Traffic Stop Uncovers 748 Bags of Heroin
02:43PM / Friday, May 08, 2020
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A traffic stop Tuesday morning on Main Street resulted in the arrest of a local man and the seizure of a large cache of drugs.    Officer Andres Huertas was on patrol when he noticed Ryan P. Babcock operating a vehicle operating on Main Street at about 10:30 a.m. He knew that Babcock's driver's license had been revoked.   Huertas stopped the vehicle in front of Town Hall; Officer James Bragdon assisted with the stop. Huertas advised the 34-year-old Babcock that he was being placed under arrest.    During an inventory of the vehicle, Huertas discovered an "extremely large cache of narcotics." The car was impounded and


'Bang the Drum Slowly': Of Pitchers & Catchers
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:07PM / Friday, May 08, 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


Southwestern Vermont Health Care Resumes Elective Procedures
07:49AM / Friday, May 08, 2020

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care's outpatient surgeries and diagnostic services, like those for imaging and laboratory work, have resumed in full with enhanced safety protocols after Gov. Phil Scott announced May 4 that hospitals could resume these services.

In early March, the governor directed health systems to put on hold non-urgent appointments and procedures as Vermont prepared for, and responded to, COVID-19. 

One important protocol that has been implemented is that all patients should arrive to the hospital or clinic with their own cloth face covering and it must be worn for the entire duration of their visit.

"SVHC has always maintained the


The Independent Investor: Workers face a serious dilemma
By Bill Schmick,
07:01PM / Thursday, May 07, 2020
During the last week or two, the federal government has done an about face concerning the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. From the nightly exhortations to social distance, work at home, and expect more deaths, the message has now switched to go back to work, re-open the economy and, oh, about those deaths, expect even more.   The Trump White House has "officially" left it up to the governors of the states to set a timeline for reopening their economies, since it is illegal to do anything else. The guidelines advise that each state should monitor the number of new cases. Only when they see hard evidence that those cases have not only plateaued but started to


Boston Man Joins Lever's Board of Trustees
05:39PM / Thursday, May 07, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Travis McCready, a senior consultant and thought leader with 20-plus years economic development expertise in private, public and large scale not-for-profit institutions, has joined Lever's board of trustees, effective April 2020.

"I am thrilled that Travis has joined Lever's board of trustees," said Jeffrey Thomas, Lever's founder and executive director. "He has a remarkable resume, a wealth of experience, and a longstanding interest in Lever's work and our mission of supporting Berkshire entrepreneurs, companies and the economic ecosystem as a whole. I'm confident that his contributions as a board member will be


iBerkshires Awarded Facebook COVID-19 Grant
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:05PM / Thursday, May 07, 2020
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — has been awarded a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project to aid us in our coverage of COVID-19's impact on our community.    We are one of only three newsrooms in Massachusetts to receive funding, including The Boston Globe. The COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program awarded $10.3 million to 144 newsrooms across the country.   "We are very thankful to receive this grant from the Facebook Journalism Project," said Boxcar Media Publisher Osmin Alvarez. "Since March we have seen our advertising revenue drop quite a bit while our page views have grown significantly.    "This is great


Massachusetts Golf Courses Reopen Under Restrictions
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
11:14AM / Thursday, May 07, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The U.S. Golf Association's "Rules of Golf" runs more than 160 pages long.   On Thursday, Massachusetts golfers got a few more rules to follow, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic and the commonwealth's social distancing restrictions.   Local officials say the game's devotees will be ready to do whatever it takes to get back on the course.   "We're ready," said Eric Mabee, the head pro at the Country Club of Pittsfield.   "[Social distancing] is going to be up to the players. That's their civic duty to maintain that."   It will be impossible for the courses themselves to


Child Protection Leaders Ask for Public's Help
10:28AM / Thursday, May 07, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Child protection leaders are asking the public's help in detecting ongoing child abuse while the COVID-19 shutdowns keep kids away from the adults who normally step in to help.

Reports of child abuse have plummeted, even as family stress factors like job insecurity, food insecurity and sickness have disproportionately increased in March and April. Mandated reporters for child abuse include teachers, medical providers, therapists, and clergy. None of those groups are having in-person interaction with children during the state of emergency. 

The heads of the Massachusetts Children's Alliance, Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) and


WAM Theatre Nominated for Two Elliot Norton Awards for 'Pipeline'
10:18AM / Thursday, May 07, 2020

LENOX, Mass. — WAM Theatre's co-production with The Nora at Central Square Theater of Dominique Morisseau's "Pipeline" has been nominated for an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Ensemble (Midsize Theatre), and that Hubens "Bobby" Cius, who played the leading role of Omari, has been nominated as Outstanding Actor (Midsize Theatre). 

The Boston Theater Critics Association announced the nominees on April 16. The winners of the 38th Annual Elliot Norton Awards will be revealed in a virtual ceremony on Monday, May 11, at 7 p.m.. Details on how to view the event can be found on the website.

"I could not be more proud of the collective effort that is


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