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News and events in North Adams, Mass.

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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North Adams Airport Panel Recommends New Access Badge Fee Structure
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:35PM / Monday, December 20, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Airport Advisory Panel continues working through the draft airport rules and regulations and has made some changes to the access badge fee structure.   The panel first went over access badges and possible fees associated with them last week and eventually agreed to set a $50 badge fee with a $25 renewal/reissue fee.    Access badges would be renewed every five years.    But before that, there was much discussion on how best to reorganize the access badge structure.   Administrative Officer Angie Ellison said a new revenue stream would give the airport some more autonomy and would allow the airport to bump up the airport manager

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North Adams Food Drive Collects Half-Ton for Friendship Center Food Pantry
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:35PM / Monday, December 20, 2021

Volunteers Robert Dubreuil, left, Franklin Risatti and coordinator Richard Davis stack boxes of food at the food pantry on Monday.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The annual citywide food drive has collected a half-ton of packaged and canned foods and personal care items for the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry.   City workers aided by pantry volunteers and Mayor Thomas Bernard and Superintendent of School Barbara Malkas unloaded 1,150 pounds of goods on Monday morning.    All four schools, the Armory, greenhouse program, City Hall, the library, Spitzer Center and Police and Fire departments participated in the two-week "Restock the Shelves"

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McCann Students Collecting for Kentucky Tornado Relief Effort
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:18AM / Monday, December 20, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School students are collecting items to help a fellow technical school in Mayfield, Ky., affected by a devastating tornado.   "We heard that part of the Mayfield School District is a technical school. They have a SkillsUSA and BPA chapter just like we do," McCann Principal Justin Kratz said. "So we wanted to see what we could do to help. We got some students and faculty together, and they were fired up to help out."   On Dec. 10, a long-tracked tornado moved through western Kentucky, causing damage and death in 11 counties.   A table has been set up in McCann's lobby. SkillsUSA and Business Professionals of

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North Adams American Legion's Be Our Guest Dinner Returns
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:18PM / Sunday, December 19, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Be Our Guest holiday dinner returns this Christmas Day and veterans and members of the community are welcome.   "With COVID we couldn't hold this last year," Post 125 Commander Mitchell Keil said. "We are excited to be able to bring it back. This is my first year in charge, so I am excited for that. This is an event we have always really enjoyed."   This is the 66th year Frank R. Stiles American Legion Post 125 will be hosting its annual free Christmas dinner. The meal will consist of turkey soup, ham, potatoes, vegetables, a dinner roll, and a dessert.   "We are veterans, and it is important for us to look out for

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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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BAAMS To Premier Student Written Song
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
08:45AM / Sunday, December 19, 2021

Drury senior Braden Collins wrote the song 'These Four Walls' over a series of zoom music lessons with BAAMS faculty. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshires' Academy for Advanced Musical Studies will premier a student-written song "These Four Walls" that reflects frustrations felt during the pandemic.   "Just being in the house through quarantine and being stuck inside surrounded by walls — it all just made me anxious to get out," songwriter Braden Collins said. "It is all about being locked up and not being able to go out and talk to people. It is about being away from other people."    The idea came out of a

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Graves of North Adams Veterans Adorned With Wreaths
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:18PM / Saturday, December 18, 2021

A ceremonial laying of wreaths is held at the Veterans Circle on Saturday to recognize the different armed forces and those killed and missing in action.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Dozens of volunteers on Saturday placed more than 1,000 wreaths on the graves of the city's veterans at Southview Cemetery as a memorial to their sacrifices.    "We are here to celebrate the mission, to remember the fallen, to honor those that have served and their families and teach the next generation the value of freedom," said Amy Christian, part of the local Wreaths Across America group. "Americans live in a society made up of many people from many walks of life. The

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Family and Friends Welcome North County Soldier Home
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:33AM / Saturday, December 18, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — After 10 months away, Spc. Nicholas Lillie has returned home after serving his country in the Middle East.   Lillie, a member of the Army National Guard, was welcomed home by friends and family Friday night at the American Legion post home.   "It is a little strange to be back. It is a little weird to jump right back into everything again," he said. "Just seeing the grass and the trees again is strange … the cool crisp air. It is great to be back."   All he has known for the past year is sand, hot air, and blazing sun while stationed in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria.   The Cheshire native said the biggest surprise

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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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