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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Jack Miller Hires Office Manager, Project Manager, Carpenter Positions
04:33PM / Friday, December 10, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jack Miller Contractors (JMC) has hired several new members: Billy Rogers as project manager, Alyssa Teeple as office manager and bookkeeper, and Scott Snyder as carpenter.    Also hired over this past year is Jacob Charbonneau, apprentice carpenter.   Jack Miller Contractors currently employs 20 professionals in the community.    As project manager, Billy Rogers offers 20-plus years of construction and contracting experience on large-scale projects delivering value to customers with high-quality services. Versed in supervising all phases of construction, schedule management and workflow planning, Rogers worked with BBL Construction

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Restrictions Return in Region as COVID-19 Cases Surge
By Stephen Dravis,
12:52PM / Friday, December 10, 2021
With COVID-19 cases surging throughout the Northeast, areas bordering Berkshire County are beginning to see increased restrictions in a post-Thanksgiving surge of the novel coronavirus.   On Friday afternoon, Bennington, Vt.'s, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center announced that it is suspending in-person visits for hospital patients beginning Monday, Dec. 13.   Earlier Friday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state will require face coverings to be worn in all indoor public places unless the business or venue has a vaccine mandate in place, also effective on Monday.   "Caring for patients during a pandemic involves making difficult choices," said SVMC Chief

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SVMC Collects More Than 2,000 Pounds of Unwanted Drugs
12:49PM / Friday, December 10, 2021
BENNINGTON, Vt. — In the 4 years since its installation in the main lobby of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, the MedSafe collection box has facilitated retrieval of 2,000 pounds of unwanted medications from homes and the street.    The specialized box is available to the public 24 hours each day.    The box looks like a mailbox, featuring a one-way medicine drop. It can be used to dispose of unused or expired controlled substances, non-controlled substances, and even over-the-counter medications.   Several features ensure security, including a double-locked front panel. Medications can be removed for disposal only when both a member of the Bennington

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'Repro Japan' Exhibition On View At WCMA
12:20PM / Friday, December 10, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — "Repro Japan: Technologies of Popular Visual Culture," an exhibition that traces Japanese popular culture across place, time, and medium, is on view at the Williams College Museum of Art through March 20, 2022.   In Japan's Edo period (1603-1868), the growth of urban audiences and new popular entertainments combined with new printing technologies to produce new forms of popular art. Subsequently, photography and electronic media have fostered the global spread of Japanese popular visual culture, while many of its central themes and motifs—sports, fashion, and fighting, along with fantasies of all kinds—have remained remarkably

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Road Test Applicants Will Need Own Vehicles
06:40PM / Thursday, December 09, 2021
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is informing learner's permit holders applying for a Massachusetts issued driver's license that all applicants will be required to supply their own vehicle for road testing beginning on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.    Due to the pandemic and health and safety protocols, since June of 2020, the RMV has deployed a fleet of Commonwealth-owned vehicles for road tests which were cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.  The use of these Commonwealth-owned vehicles will end on Dec. 31, 2021.    Applicants for a Class M, or Motorcycle license, will continue to supply their own motorcycle for testing.

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The Retired Investor: Holiday Spending Expected to Stay Strong
By Bill Schmick,
03:20PM / Thursday, December 09, 2021
Despite the recent scare caused by Omicron, the new novel coronavirus mutation, retailers are hoping consumers will continue spending in December 2021. I like that bet.   The National Retail Federation (NRF) is expecting a record holiday season totaling a take of between $843 billion and $859 billion in revenues throughout November 2021 and December 2021. That would be a record year for retailers such as Target, Walmart and Amazon.   Time is running out, however, given that we have less than three weeks to go until Christmas Day.   Remember, too, that the shopper began picking up gifts earlier than normal this year due to fears of continued supply chain shortages. Many

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Unsilent Night
04:11PM / Wednesday, December 08, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Phil Kline's walking symphony experience, "Unsilent Night" returns again to the Berkshires on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021.    "It's like a Christmas caroling party except that we don't sing, but rather carry boomboxes, each playing a separate tape or CD which is part of the piece," said Kline in a press release. "In effect, we become a city-block-long stereo system."   This free community event starts at the '62 Center on the Williams College campus and will end at the Williams Inn.    Participants collectively create the event by walking in a group with boomboxes, bluetooth speakers, and other

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BRTA Service Planning Survey
12:10PM / Wednesday, December 08, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) is asking for public opinion on what riders would like to see at the BRTA.    The BRTA is seeking input from customers and community members about current and future bus services. Users are asked to share candid input about what the BRTA should prioritize in the coming years.   Answers will guide the BRTA planning principles, as the region emerges from the pandemic. To take the survey, go to https://bit.ly/brta-survey-2021.   All individual responses will remain anonymous, while the overall information and results will be shared publicly and with BRTA stakeholders.    Particpants can add

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Williamstown Group to Purchase Store at Five Corners
10:45AM / Wednesday, December 08, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A non-profit hopes to raise more than a million dollars by the end of January to purchase the historic Store at Five Corners.    The newly minted The Store at Five Corners Stewardship Association says it has finalized a purchase-and-sale agreement for the property at the intersection of Routes 43 and 7 with a closing date set for late January.   "I'm thrilled that we've been able to work so collaboratively with the owner, Franklin Lewis, to achieve this result and pave the way to reviving the store and keep it thriving for many years to come," said the association's President Karen Charbonneau, a Williamstown

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Berkshire County Pollinator and Native Plant Initiative
08:30AM / Wednesday, December 08, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Conservation District received grant funding to address the decline of native pollinators and their host plants across all landscapes.   The funding comes from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Commission for Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources and Berkshire Agricultural Ventures. The funds will help the district continue its commitment to conservation and sustainability in the community.     This funding will enable the district to launch a new program to support habitats, including pollinator plantings and to increase the number of Berkshire communities adopting

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Projected Cost Soars for Planned Williamstown Fire Station
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Wednesday, December 08, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A consultant working with the fire district last week told its Building Committee that a rough estimate of the cost of building a new station is more than twice what district officials heard in 2008.   Due to the rate of inflation in the building industry and an underestimate of the square footage needs for a new station, Robert Mitchell of Mitchell Associates Architects said the $7.2 million estimate the district received more than a decade ago has ballooned to more than $15 million.   "This is definitely what you call a spitball number," Mitchell said at the committee's Wednesday meeting. "In 2008, if it was $7.15 million, today it

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SVMC's Dr. Trey Dobson Answers COVID-19 Questions
08:30PM / Tuesday, December 07, 2021
BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce's Executive Director Matthew Harrington will host Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Trey Dobson for a live program, "ShiresHealth," at 1 p.m. Wednesday on Facebook Live and on CAT-TV's public access Channel 1075.   The program is produced in cooperation with Catamount Access Television.   The show will include information about the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19, case trends, hospital capacity, up-to-the-minute guidance, and more. He will also discuss the COVID vaccine/boosters and misunderstandings impacting the local community and

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