Josh Landes | WAMC

Josh Landes

Berkshire Bureau Chief

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods. 

Ways to Connect

A piece of matzah - flat white cracker mottled with brown baking burns - sits next to a box of matzah
Yoninah / commons.wikimedia.org

With tonight’s celebration of the first night of Passover, Jews around the world are experiencing a unique version of the ancient tradition: the Skype Seder. WAMC spoke with rabbis from across Berkshire County to hear how they’re approaching this pandemic Passover.

A man in a white tuxedo stands with his arms raised in the center of an orchestra
Winslow Townson / Boston Symphony Orchestra

For the first time since 1890, the Boston Pops are canceling their spring season. 

The Williamstown Theatre Festival logo - the festival's name in white block letters on a blue backdrop
Williamstown Theatre Festival

Broadway will be dark until at least June 7th, and the COVID-19 outbreak is leading to a spate of cancellations among Berkshire County’s cultural institutions, too. Jacob’s Pillow called off its summer season for the first time in its 88-year history, the Chester Theatre Company cancelled three of its four scheduled shows, and Barrington Stage Company is moving to a “wait and see” model. Whatever happens, the county’s tourist-based economy is in for yet another shock.

On Tuesday, the Williamstown Theatre Festival joined that list with an announcement that it won’t put on its summer season – at least, not on stage. WAMC spoke with the festival’s artistic director, Mandy Greenfield, to find out what happens next.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts has extended the payment deadline for city taxes.

The Williamstown Commons logo
https://williamstowncommons.org/

Since the Williamstown Commons nursing home in Williamstown, Massachusetts reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 24, 10 residents have died and 35 more have tested positive for coronavirus. On Monday, the remaining 75 of the center’s roughly 130 residents were tested for the virus. Now, the company that manages the facility says there are five positive cases at another of its centers, Fairview Commons in Great Barrington, 45 miles south of Williamstown. WAMC spoke with Berkshire Healthcare Systems Vice President of Communications Lisa Gaudet Monday about the company’s response to the outbreak.

The Williamstown Commons logo
https://williamstowncommons.org/

The company that manages a Williamstown, Massachusetts nursing home says 10 residents have now died after testing positive for COVID-19. Five residents at another facility it manages in Great Barrington are positive for coronavirus too.

A long building with a real estate sign and a large trash container outside of it sits off a long sidewalk
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County’s largest community is responding to the ever-changing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sign that reads "Entering Windsor"
ToddC4176 / wikimedia.org

Guidance from officials was brief and firm: school and most work has to be done from home during the pandemic. But some of Berkshire County’s smallest communities are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak through their ongoing struggles with internet access.

The word "Williams" in purple
Williams College

Williams College has canceled June’s commencement and reunion events due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The words "Berkshire Pride" sit over a rainbow flag
Berkshire Pride

The 4th Annual Berkshire Pride LGBTQ+ Festival has been postponed due to the pandemic.

A sign hangs from a brick arch against a grey sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting services across Berkshire County. For Michelle Lopez, executive director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, the pandemic and the resulting shutdown are making it even harder to provide aid to one of the county’s most vulnerable populations. Lopez spoke with WAMC about supporting the immigrant community during the pandemic.

A stone building with a colonnade lit by lights sits in front of a brick churck and a street lamp
Josh Landes / WAMC

Pittsfield, Massachusetts has closed its basketball and tennis courts and its skate park in hopes of stemming the spread of coronavirus.

The Southern Berkshire Regional School District logo
Southern Berkshire Regional School District

With Massachusetts schools closed into May due to the COVID-19 outbreak, educators are working to find new ways to continue teaching students. The Southern Berkshire Regional School District anticipates rolling out its new remote learning plan on Friday. WAMC spoke with Superintendent of Schools Beth Regulbuto about how her district intends to serve more than 600 students while its three campuses remain shuttered.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

WAMC News has obtained an internal memo from Berkshire Health Systems that indicates the company will no longer require staffers to be furloughed after exposure to patients with COVID-19.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal held a telephone town hall Tuesday to answer constituents’ questions about COVID-19.

Hayim Heron

Becket, Massachusetts dance center Jacob’s Pillow has canceled its annual summer festival for the first time in its 88-year history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s just the latest arts world casualty of the disease in an area that relies on summer cultural tourism. WAMC spoke with Director Pamela Tatge about the cancellation and its impacts on the center’s staff and budget.

The entrance sign at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Becket, Massachusetts dance center Jacob’s Pillow has canceled its summer festival for the first time in its 88-year history.

This is a photo of State Representative Smitty Pignatelli
JD Allen / WAMC News

A Berkshire County state representative says he doesn’t expect schools to reopen this school year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Williamstown Commons logo
https://williamstowncommons.org/

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is up to 20 at a nursing home in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

Nurses at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts are demanding that all frontline staff at the hospital be outfitted with N95 facemasks.

The Robare Family

A resident of the Williamstown Commons nursing and rehabilitation facility in Williamstown, Massachusetts has died after testing positive for COVID-19. WAMC spoke with her daughter.

Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel has tested positive for COVID-19. She announced the news Friday evening after being tested for the virus Thursday night.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts is changing its meal schedule for city students with public schools closed until at least May 4th.

An elderly white woman holds a ceremonial cane while sitting in a chair
Paul Hopkins

As positive cases of COVID-19 mount at a Williamstown, Massachusetts nursing home, family members of the residents are reacting.

A brick building with a metal sculpture of a tree with hebrew letters in its boughs
Josh Landes / WAMC

Even if they can’t gather for services, spiritual leaders across Berkshire County are tending to their congregants in the anxious era of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Williamstown Commons logo
https://williamstowncommons.org/

A nursing and rehabilitation center in Williamstown, Massachusetts has seen cases of COVID-19 among residents skyrocket from one on Tuesday to 14 by Friday.

A white man in a sweater plays a stringed instrument in a plaza surrounded by house-covered mountains
Powerless In Peru

A Berkshire County resident is one of the thousands of Americans stranded overseas as the world grinds to a halt amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts is calling on its landlords to seek relief from mortgage lenders and pass it on to their tenants. 

The Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing Logo
berkshiresterilemanufacturing.com

A company in Berkshire County is working on manufacturing new drugs to treat COVID-19.

The Williamstown Commons logo
https://williamstowncommons.org/

A nursing and rehabilitation center in Williamstown, Massachusetts says one of its residents has tested positive for COVID-19. 

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