berkshire county

Our kayak skims across Stockbridge Bowl.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Josh Billings Triathlon around southern Berkshire County, Massachusetts is celebrating its 41st year. The big race is September 17th. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with event organizer Patty Spector about the bike, paddle and foot race.

JD Allen / WAMC

In today’s global economy, many small, family farms are struggling to make ends meet. That’s the case for the Olsen Farm in Lanesborough, Massachusetts. The couple living there are trying to keep their family’s tradition alive.

JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission held a recreational marijuana workshop in Lenox, Massachusetts Thursday for political leaders. The drug is now legal statewide.

JD Allen / WAMC

Western Massachusetts residents and lawmakers are calling on state leaders to strengthen elder services in Berkshire County, where about half of the population is over the age of 65. 

JD Allen / WAMC News

Berkshire Children & Families, an adoption and family services agency, has sent four Pittsfield students to Los Angeles for the National Take a Stand Concert in an effort to create social change. 

This is a picture of the campus of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Lawmakers and colleges in Berkshire County have been discussing the prospect of free tuition in Massachusetts. 

JD Allen / WAMC

At a town hall in Pittsfield Saturday, Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, said the right people need to get into government because what’s happening now, isn’t working.

The Berkshire Metropolitan Planning Organization wants to see how its federal transportation dollars are being spent.

Central Berkshire District Court First Justice William Rota has stepped down. 

JD Allen / WAMC

The number of immigrants seeking help in Berkshire County has grown tenfold in 20 years – and there’s only one center dedicated to assisting them. The center is now expanding.  

Berkshire County has lost a political leader.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

Berkshire County has received $1.1 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to remediate sites in the region.

JD Allen / WAMC

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition discussed transportation system needs in the region during an economic forum Friday in North Adams. The challenge is upgrading aging transportation infrastructure to accommodate the aging population. 

ballot box
Wikimedia Commons

It’s election season in southern Berkshire County. Here's a round up.

This is a logo for UCP Berkshire.
UCP Berkshire

United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County has been awarded an Assistive Technology Regional Center contract through 2027. 

Punching Judy/Flickr

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission wants more municipal leaders and residents to be trained in using the overdose reversal drug Naloxone. They say there is a growing opioid crisis in Western Massachusetts. 

  Founded in 1954, Berkshire County Arc provides a broad range of community-based services to 650 individuals with developmental disabilities, brain injuries and autism throughout Berkshire and Hampden Counties in Massachusetts. The agency offers three day programs, 35 residential programs, employment services, citizen- and self-advocacy programs, respite services, an adult family care program and Zip 'N Sort Mail Services.

On Saturday, March 28, the Berkshire County Arc Down Syndrome Family Group will host the 2015 Berkshire County Sprout Film Festival at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Mass. The Festival begins at noon and will feature short films about individuals with various disabilities, their lives and personal achievements.

Here to tell us more are Jessica Dennis, Adult Family Care Case Manager at Berkshire County Arc and Amy Robandt, Director of Family Services at Berkshire County Arc.

  This year’s month-long Berkshire Festival of Women Writers kicks of on Sunday, March 1st.

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers a collaborative, multi-venue event sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with many local partners, celebrated during March – which is of course Women’s History Month. This is the festivals Fifth Anniversary Season and includes an exciting line-up of readings, lectures, workshops, performances and screenings by women writers from the Berkshire region.

Dr. Jennifer Browdy is the Founding Director of the festival and she joins us.

Rogovoy Report For April 25, 2014

Apr 25, 2014

This week the cultural highlights in the greater Berkshire region include two experimental dance performances; several classical music concerts emphasizing Eastern European sounds; jazz concerts incorporating Afro-Cuban and Armenian flavors; and a whole lot more.

    This morning we will discuss the issues of literacy with two experts from Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County. We will talk about literacy in general and specifically about the needs of those they serve right here in our region.

    The Berkshire Immigrant Center will host the 9th “Immigrants' Day in the Berkshires” on October 19th at Morningside Community School in Pittsfield, MA.

Immigrants’ Day is a free event with entertainment for children, music and dancing, food from immigrant-owned businesses and the opportunity to receive a free consultation from an immigration attorney. The annual event celebrates the achievements of Berkshire County’s newest U.S. citizens.

Here to tell us more are Brooke Mead, Program Coordinator; Eleanore Velez- originally from Mexico and a bilingual admissions counselor/coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College; and Elisa Fuller, originally from Ecuador, an Immigrant Community member and Berkshire Immigrant Center/Immigrants' Day Volunteer.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Wednesday at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Berkshire Health Systems announced a new partnership with the Canyon Ranch Institute that will bring the Institute’s nationally recognized Life Enhancement Program to medically underserved and low-income individuals.

Dr. Richard Carmona, President of the Canyon Ranch Institute Board of Directors and the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, said prevention needs to be the new focus of healthcare providers.

Pittsfield Prevention Partnership and Students Against Destructive Decisions

A campaign aimed at parents and teenagers to encourage a safe prom season kicks off today in the Berkshires and online.

The three-week Safe Prom Berkshire County campaign is a project of the Pittsfield Prevention Partnership and the Berkshire Family Focus. With information passed on to teens and parents through community businesses and partners, and an online social media strategy, the campaign hopes to encourage safe behavior and prevent automobile accidents.

A Massachusetts legislator in Berkshire County is sponsoring a bill that would require health insurers in the state to allow victims of substance abuse greater access to recovery treatment.

4th Berkshire District Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, a democrat, is one of four co-sponsors of the so-called healthcare parity bill. The legislation would require health insurance providers in Massachusetts to pay for the continuing treatment of individuals recovering from substance abuse.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Berkshire County, Massachusetts has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state. In Pittsfield, a local organization kicked off a campaign that intends to raise awareness of this issue.

Emerald Ash Borer
courtesy NYS DEC

Due to the discovery of the invasive emerald ash borer in Dalton last summer, Berkshire County is now under strict orders to contain the movement of ash lumber and all hardwood firewood from outside of its borders.

Dicken Crane sells ash lumber from his Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton. He said that if the quarantine zone were not confined to Berkshire County only, he’d have an easier time getting his lumber or firewood processed, which often must be done in other parts of the state.

The search for a superintendent for Pittsfield Public schools has come to an end. Current superintendent of Lee Public Schools Jason McCandless will be taking the position in Pittsfield in the next school year. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with McCandless about his new job, the federal and state education budget, and closing the so-called achievement gap in Massachusetts Gateway Cities.

Wikimedia Commons / Lee Brimelow

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The lawyer for one of three men charged with a Berkshire County triple slaying has asked a judge to move his client's trial out of the county because "incessant" and "inflammatory" media coverage has "impaired" the ability to get a fair trial.

According to state officials in Massachusetts, the unemployment rose to 6.7% in December, and for the Berkshires, the unemployment rate is now above the state average.

Although the numbers released by the State Executive Office of Labor and Workforce development are not seasonally adjusted, the Berkshires now face an unemployment rate at 6.6% That’s up half a percentage point from October and November, and the highest it’s been since February 2012.