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. 

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A private investment group in Pittsfield, Massachusetts says two new housing developments will create 36 new units by 2022.

The Berkshire Healthcare logo
Berkshire Healthcare / https://www.berkshirehealthcare.org/

Two Berkshire County nursing and rehabilitation facilities continue to see COVID-19 cases spike among staff and residents.

The Lenox Town Seal (founded 1767)
wikipedia.org / Wikipedia Commons

The town of Lenox, Massachusetts was pushed into the Massachusetts Department of Health’s COVID-19 “red zone” designation last week with an average daily incidence rate of 38.4 per 100,000. It was the only Berkshire County community given that high-risk designation through mid-November, with around 30 active cases.

A sign for Springside Park
Josh Landes / WAMC

A plan to remove unhoused residents living in city parks is set to go into effect in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tuesday.

Berkshire Hills Regional School District logo
Berkshire Hills Regional School District

Unlike other regional districts, the Berkshire Hills Regional School District says it does not plan to revert to entirely remote learning in the weeks after Thanksgiving.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

A back and forth over a defendant’s request for a new trial captured in court documents reveal sharp criticisms of the Berkshire County District Attorney by a superior court judge.

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams

The North Adams, Massachusetts fire chief is retiring at the end of January.

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

A loan program designed to improve the housing stock of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has finally been accepted by the city council almost two years after its introduction.


New England Musicians Relief Fund logo
New England Musicians Relief Fund / https://www.nemrf.org/

The New England Musicians Relief Fund is raising money to distribute $200,000 in grants by the end of the year to musicians struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.

A sign for Springside Park
Josh Landes / WAMC

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has set a December 1st deadline to remove unhoused residents living in public parks.

The Lenox Town Seal (founded 1767)
wikipedia.org / Wikipedia Commons

The Lenox, Massachusetts public schools are suspending in-person teaching until January 19th, 2021.

The Berkshire Healthcare logo
Berkshire Healthcare / https://www.berkshirehealthcare.org/

Berkshire Healthcare says that all of its facilities in Berkshire County have at least one staffer with COVID-19.

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams

The Vice President of the North Adams, Massachusetts City Council says Mayor Tom Bernard should take further action to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the community of around 13,000. Jason LaForest – who is a nurse – tells WAMC that table service at restaurants should be suspended and all of the city’s schools should move to remote learning.

A man stands behind a podium with a Hampshire College logo in a wooden structure
Josh Landes / WAMC

2019 saw Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts plot a course through financial troubles and leadership transitions. This week, a $60 million fundraising effort to keep the college open and independent got a big boost when Paula H. and James S. Crown – a Hampshire graduate himself – committed $5 million. WAMC spoke with Ed Wingenbach, president of the experimental private liberal arts institution, about the college’s largest single donation.

A man sits in a chair wearing a suit and bow tie in an office with wooden walls
Josh Landes / WAMC

With COVID cases surging across Massachusetts, Pittsfield – the largest city in Berkshire County – suspended in-person education through December 4th and restaurant table service last week. WAMC spoke with Mayor Tom Bernard of North Adams, the county’s second largest community, about the measures he’s taking to control the spread as one city high school has closed following four positive cases in the past week.

A park has a "Park of Honor" banner flanked by American flags on one side and a row of flags including a Blue Lives Matter one on the other.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Pittsfield, Massachusetts is contending with a spike in coronavirus spread in the weeks following private social gatherings at homes and in restaurants in late October. With its public school buildings shuttered until December 4th and a suspension of in-person dining at city eateries in place, public health officials have voiced concerned about what impact Thanksgiving could have on efforts to halt the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Mayor Linda Tyer spoke with WAMC on Tuesday about the ongoing fight against COVID, as well as a controversial downtown Blue Lives Matter display.

Fire fighters and a fire truck are in front of a burning wooden building
Monterey Fire Department

A fire destroyed a theater at the Berkshire County dance center Jacob’s Pillow early this morning.

Building Toward Racial Justice and Equity in Health: A Call to Action
Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey / mass.gov

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey released a report today identifying and exploring responses to racial injustice in health care.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Last week, Pittsfield, Massachusetts issued new public health orders including the closure of public school buildings through December 4th and a suspension of table service at city restaurants following a spike in COVID-19 cases. Since late October, around 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the city of about 42,000. Dr. Alan Kulberg, chairman of the Pittsfield Board Of Health, spoke with WAMC about how the city is responding to the surge, fueled by Halloween parties and restaurant gatherings last month. Kulberg says now he’s concerned about Thanksgiving.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts is alerting residents to a major spike in COVID-19 cases related to house parties and dining inside restaurants. 

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

A man from Lanesborough, Massachusetts has been convicted on multiple counts related to child pornography.

Two hands embrace under a rose over a red backdrop with "Berkshires Democratic Socialists Of America" in a ring around them.
Berkshires Democratic Socialists of America

The Ecosocialist Working Group of the Massachusetts Democratic Socialists of America has put forward a Green Stimulus Plan that it says prioritizes equity, working people and the environment. It comes as the state slowly rebuilds from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. WAMC spoke to John Prusinski of the Berkshire Chapter of the DSA. He says the plan corresponds with legislation working its way through the Massachusetts legislature.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stands at a podium in front of a marble building with a row of people standing on either side of him
Josh Landes / WAMC

As new COVID-19 related public health orders from Governor Charlie Baker go into effect today across Massachusetts, Berkshire County communities are getting ready to implement them.

A black man holding a mic with a face mask and an NAACP sign stands in a sun-dappled grassy park surrounded by people
Josh Landes / WAMC

Dennis Powell was re-elected to a fourth two-year term as president of the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP in Wednesday’s virtual election. 

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission logo
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

With COVID-19 rates rising in Massachusetts, a new round of public health mandates from Governor Charlie Baker take effect Friday. WAMC spoke with Berkshire County Boards of Health Association and Berkshire Public Health Alliance Director Laura Kittross of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission about the state of the pandemic in the region right now.

A map of the Massachusetts house districts.
Massachusetts / https://malegislature.gov/

There were few surprises in Berkshire County on Election Day, with the region’s all-Democratic legislative delegation running unchallenged.

A voting ward
Jim Levulis / WAMC

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters embraced a ballot measure that would standardize vehicle data access while rejecting one that would instate a ranked choice voting system in 2022.

NAACP logo
Facebook: NAACP-Berkshire County Branch

After a candidate for president of the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP levelled accusations of sexism at the incumbent, some women in the branch are pushing back. 

https://www.facebook.com/NaacpReActivationGroupBerkshireCounty?ref=br_tf

The Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP has its own contentious presidential election happening this week.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

With coronavirus cases mounting in the city, top health officials in Pittsfield, Massachusetts are imploring residents to observe public health measures.

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