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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

SVHC Weekly Health Update: Dec. 17
10:27AM / Monday, December 27, 2021
  December 17, 2021   A Bold Prediction: You will get

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SVHC's Weekly Health Update: Dec. 23
08:30AM / Monday, December 27, 2021
  December 23, 2021   Happy Holidays from Southwestern Vermont Health

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Williamstown 2021: An Interim Kind of Year
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:13AM / Monday, December 27, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After ending 2020 with upheaval and uncertainty at the highest level of town leadership, the Village Beautiful began 2021 with more of the same.   And it enters 2022 without any real stability.   The year that is ending is arguably less tumultuous than the one preceding, and there was (finally) resolution on at least one issue that dominated one of the town's boards for more than a year.   But in other areas, the word of the year is "interim" as the town went through most of 2021 with a town manager and police chief were installed as caretakers while the Select Board makes a second try to find a permanent occupant for the corner

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Q&A: Community Group Looking to Reopen Williamstown Landmark
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:15PM / Sunday, December 26, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — If all goes according to plan, a South Williamstown institution will have new life as soon as late spring.   The Store at Five Corners Stewardship Association is moving forward with plans to purchase and revive the historic store at the junction of Routes 7 and 43.   And it is still accepting donations to help meet a $1.5 million fund-raising goal that will establish an endowment to maintain the store, which began as a tavern in 1770.   Association President Karen Charbonneau said recently that the directors of the nonprofit have no doubt the store — closed since summer 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic — once again can be a successful

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Sullivan Named Superintendent's Award Winner at Mount Greylock
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:26AM / Thursday, December 23, 2021
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Student leader, scholar and standout athlete Christian Sullivan recently was awarded the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents' Academic Excellence Award at Mount Greylock Regional School.   Superintendent Jason McCandless announced Sullivan's selection at a School Committee meeting last month and shared with the panel some thoughts from Sullivan's guidance counselor.   "Academically, Christian has challenged himself in every way possible, including nine Advanced Placement classes, a dual enrollment Williams College course entitled 'The Tropics: Biology & Social Issues' and a virtual high school (VHS)

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Holiday Hours: Christmas & New Year's
01:02PM / Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Businesses, schools and government offices will be taking breaks over the next week as the nation celebrates Christmas and New Year's. Christmas falls on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, and New Year's Day on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. 

Christmas is now a state holiday but it wasn't always. The General Court under the control of the Puritans outlawed the holiday in 1659.

There was too much eating, drinking, wassailing and other festiveness for the colony's righteous rulers. Even after the ban was lifted, Christmas was treated as a regular day until its popularization during the Victorian era. Thank goodness. Can you imagine Norman Rockwell not painting Stockbridge at

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Baker Issues New Mask 'Advisory,' Stops Short of Mandate
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com
09:49AM / Tuesday, December 21, 2021
BOSTON – Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday announced that the state is “encouraging” residents to wear face coverings indoors regardless of their vaccination status for COVID-19 but balked at the idea of a statewide mask mandate.   “We are saying more people should be masking, but people in Massachusetts know at this point that masking is one of the tools they can pursue, if they choose to do so, to protect themselves,” Baker said in a morning announcement alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.   “Let’s not forget: 5 million people in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated, and vaccines are, by far, the most effective tool we

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RSVP's Wheels for Wellness Seeks More Volunteers
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:05PM / Sunday, December 19, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A rather new volunteer community car ride service operated by the Berkshire County Retired Senior Volunteer Program has been well received and needs more drivers to support its mission.

Wheels for Wellness has given 468 rides to 176 local individuals since its launch in June. Volunteers have driven more than 13,000 miles combined and have contributed over 1,000 hours of service.

Medical rides are given priority but they can also be provided for other human needs and wellness-related activities.

Currently, the demand exceeds driver availability and RSVP's goal is to fulfill every ride request.

"Each week, it kind of snowballs and the demand is pretty

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Mass Cultural Council Head Tours North County Venues
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:53PM / Friday, December 17, 2021

Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Michael J. Bobbitt follows the conversation in a working lunch at the Clark Art Institute on Friday afternoon. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — On Friday afternoon, leaders of the North Country arts community gathered on the top floor of the Clark Art Institute's Manton Research Center to talk to the executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.   And there was more talk about buses than Botticelli.   "When you're 20, you do not come with a car," Clark Director Olivier Meslay said during a working lunch with the MCC's Michael J. Bobbitt. "But here, if you don't have a car, you are in

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State Extends and Expands WiFi and Connectivity Programs in Berkshire County
04:46PM / Friday, December 17, 2021
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) at MassTech Collaborative announced the extension of several digital equity programs launched through the "Partnerships for Recovery" efforts earlier this year.   Supported with $9.2 million in economic recovery funds, the MBI launched public wireless hotspots in unserved towns in western and central Massachusetts and provided digital support for job seekers provided through the Mass.    In Berkshire County availability will be extended through June 30 at Becket Town Hall, Florida Senior Center, Sandisfield Town Hall, and Savoy Town Hall.    In addition, the MBI has expanded the

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@theMarket: Markets Keep Churning
By Bill Schmick,
04:32PM / Friday, December 17, 2021
As most investors expected, the Federal Open Market Committee announced the start of their tapering effort but doubled the pace of the monthly taper to $30 billion a month until March 2022 when the effort will conclude. In addition, FOMC members see three, 25-basis-point increases in the Fed Funds interest rate next year, and more in 2023.   Faced with the end of a decades-long era of loose monetary policy, historical behavior would indicate interest rates up, equities down. That still seems a good bet despite the market's immediate reaction to the Fed announcement.   Some participants may still be scratching their heads after Wednesday's (Dec. 16) Federal Reserve Bank

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The Berkshires Can Expect a Few Inches of Snow Saturday
02:33PM / Friday, December 17, 2021
The unseasonably warm weather will give way to something more in-season Saturday, and there is a winter weather advisory in place for Berkshire County from 7 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday.   According to the National Weather Service, Berkshire communities can expect mixed precipitation, total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, and ice accumulations of around one-tenth of an inch.   The snow is expected to change into sleet and or a light freezing rain through the late afternoon and evening. A change back to snow is expected overnight.   Precipitation should taper off toward daybreak Sunday. Plan for slippery road conditions. Temperatures are expected to stay in the 30s

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