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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Baker: State Stay-in-Place Guidelines Extended to May 4
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:44PM / Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  BOSTON, Mass. — Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday that he is extending the order closing non-essential businesses and his stay-at-home advisory for residents of the commonwealth through May 4.   "I know this is difficult to hear, but we need everyone to continue to go without being around many of your family and most of your friends for your own health and safety and the health and safety of your family, your friends and others," Baker said.   "As most of you know, my weekly visits with my 91-year-old father are phone calls. And as I said previously, neither one of us are very good at that.   "I miss him. But that's just the way it is,


Jacob's Pillow Cancels Summer 2020 Season
03:26PM / Tuesday, March 31, 2020

BECKET, Mass. — For the first time in its 88 year history, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival has been canceled for the summer 2020 season.

The festival's board of trustees and executive leadership announced the decision on Tuesday. The festival had been scheduled for June 24-Aug. 30.

The Pillow, which has expanded to a year-round center over the past four years, already had cancelled all public events, artist residencies, and rentals from March 13 through April 25 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with state and federal mandates. 

"For the safety of our staff, artists, audiences and the larger Berkshire community, this is our only


Feeding the hungry
by buddy 04:12PM / Friday, February 21, 2014

Williamstown Community Preschool Installs New Signage
by Billsville 02:46PM / Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Community Preschool began sprucing up its new home by hiring local sign maker Lindsay Neathawk,

Williamstown Youth Center Thanks Bedard Bros.
by Billsville 02:13PM / Friday, June 22, 2012
Bedard Brothers Chevrolet, through the Chevrolet Youth Soccer Program, has helped sponsor the Williamstown Youth Center's Soccer Program for the 2012 season. In addition to soccer equipment, this

Taylors Donate $350K to Launch BMC COVID-19 Relief Fund
10:09AM / Tuesday, March 31, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Kim and James Taylor have donated $350,000 to Berkshire Medical Center to bolster the hospital's efforts in fighting the ongoing battle to stop COVID-19.    The gift, announced Monday by BMC, will be the inaugural donation establishing the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Berkshire Health Systems, which will be used by BHS to fight the rapidly escalating public health crisis.   ''My wife, Kim, and I have both pursued careers that have included a good deal of global travel. While we also spend a good deal of time in Boston, our favorite place to live our lives is Berkshire County," James Taylor said in a statement for both. "We are so


Time for Some Financial Spring Cleaning
Submitted by Edward Jones,
09:58AM / Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Spring is officially here – and for many of us, that means it's time for some spring cleaning around our homes and yards. But why stop there? This year, why not do some financial spring cleaning, too?

You can apply some of the same principles of traditional spring cleaning to your financial environment. Here are a few suggestions:

• Clear your vision. Spring brings extra hours of sunshine – and to enjoy them, you will want to clean your windows, inside and out. As an investor, you also need to take a clear-eyed view of your situation periodically. Are you on track toward achieving your goals? If not, what moves can you make to get back on the right path? You need to be


Berkshires Beat: Nursing Home Residents Share Messages With Public
09:51AM / Tuesday, March 31, 2020
All is well

As friends and neighbors take to social media to communicate, residents of the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care in Bennington, Vt., are posting messages their own way. A sign out front of the facility shares the message, "All is well. We miss our community." 

Residents aim to update the message a few times a week. For the safety of patients and residents, all except medical visits have been excluded since earlier this month. Those who would like to message residents back can do so by using the hashtag #Love4CLR on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The messages will be shared with CLR residents.


Susan B. Anthony


March 31 COVID-19 Briefs: Food Pantry Distribution Moves to St. Elizabeth's
09:17AM / Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Friendship Center Distribution Moves

Starting Wednesday, April 1, the Food Pantry of the Al Nelson Friendship Center will temporarily operate from the St. Elizabeth Parish Center. The move from the location at 45 Eagle St. to the Parish Center, located at the corner of St. Anthony Drive and Holden Street, is being made to provide more room for social distancing and to adjust to increased need for emergency food during the COVID-19 emergency.

The food pantry operating hours will remain 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The phone number will remain 413-664-0123.

Because of public health concerns, the center will continue to provide pre-assembled boxes of food based on


Barrett Says State's Unemployment System Still 'Completely Overwhelmed'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Tuesday, March 31, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — State Rep. John Barrett III on Monday morning said the commonwealth's unemployment system does not yet have the capacity to meet demand generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.   And later Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker said a move aimed to help the newly unemployed may only make that problem worse.   Barrett said that last week that Massachusetts received 19,000 calls from residents making unemployment claims, and the system received another 33,000 calls the next day.   The jobless rate had been stable at less than 3 percent for six months but between March 15 and 21, claims soared by 1,904 percent as 147,995 initial claims were


State Encouraging School Districts to Develop 'Remote Learning' Plans
Staff Reports,
10:35PM / Monday, March 30, 2020
BOSTON — School districts throughout the commonwealth this week are deciding how they will act on remote learning guidelines issued by the commissioner of education last week.   After consulting with a range of stakeholders, including the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association, Jeffrey C. Riley sent districts a three-page memo outlining his guidelines.   And he stressed that they are only suggestions.   "Please note that the guidance below is a set of recommendations and does not constitute a requirement for any district or school," Riley wrote, italicizing


Soldiers' Home Superintendent Removed as Contagion Spreads
07:36PM / Monday, March 30, 2020

"A front line in military terminology is a line formed by the most advanced tactical combat units, in our case COVID-19. The Soldiers' Home Team has stepped up, making sure our Veterans are getting the best care with honor & dignity. Thank you to our Front Line!!" Bennett Walsh

— SoldiersHome Holyoke (@HolyokeSOHO) March 18, 2020 HOLYOKE, Mass. — The superintendent of the Soldiers' Home has been suspended effective immediately.   In a brief statement late Monday, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Dan Tsai said Bennett Walsh was being put on administrative leave.    "It is imperative that the Holyoke Soldiers' Home provide


State Staying with County Numbers for COVID-19 Reports
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:28PM / Monday, March 30, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — At last report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there are 5,752 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth and 162 cases — including five fatalities — in Berkshire County.   Of course, those numbers are always changing and likely will look different when the DPH updates its numbers again, which it does daily.   State officials are doing their best to report the impact of the pandemic, but they will not any time soon change the practice of reporting statistics on a county-by-county basis.   On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders fielded a question from a reporter asking why Massachusetts


State Officials Bracing for COVID-19 Surge Next Week
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:41PM / Monday, March 30, 2020
BOSTON — State officials are ramping up for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases between April 7 and 17.    Gov. Charlie Baker at Monday's briefing said reviewed plans being implemented to reduce pressure on the health system including increasing bed capacity, equipment and staffing.    "This isn't an exact science, but generally speaking, most of the calculations that are out there with respect to Massachusetts both, some of the ones we've done and some of the others, suggests that the surge here is probably going to start somewhere between the 7th and the 17th," he said.   Massachusetts has seen the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases


Mental Health Providers Adjust to Provide Services During Pandemic
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:07AM / Sunday, March 29, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Throughout the country, people are trading in their therapist's couch for their living room couch.   But it is not by choice.   Social distancing required by the fight against COVID-19 means the end of in-person counselling for many people.   Berkshire County's Brien Center moved all of its psychotherapists to a telehealth model last week, according to the agency's vice president of service operations.   It's not ideal, but it is better than the alternative, Paul Hickling said.   "I've been a psychotherapist since 1992, and there is no substitute for a face-to-face session, whether it's the initial session or

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