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north adams

A tent with signs in front of a large brick complex
Josh Landes / WAMC

After months of closure, North Adams, Massachusetts art museum MASS MoCA is reopening its doors to visitors Saturday.

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

Berkshire County’s second city – North Adams – will see one of its biggest draws, sprawling contemporary art museum MASS MoCA, reopen on Saturday. The museum has been shuttered since March because of the pandemic, which is impacting many aspects of life in northern Berkshire County. WAMC spoke with Mayor Tom Bernard about how the city is preparing, as well as how North Adams is weathering the pandemic and planning its 2021 operating budget.

People lie in a roadway with signs
Josh Landes / WAMC

Protests against police brutality brought out thousands of demonstrators across the Northeast this weekend. WAMC was in northern Berkshire County Friday night.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Following protests in Williamstown and North Adams Friday evening, hundreds gathered in Great Barrington Saturday afternoon for an NAACP sponsored Black Lives Matter rally.

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

The city of North Adams, Massachusetts has canceled all of its summer events due to public health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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

Civic leaders in North Adams, Massachusetts are preparing for their budget process to begin before fiscal year 2021 starts on July 1st. The planning comes at a time when revenues are sharply down during the coronavirus pandemic. WAMC spoke with City Council Vice President Jason LaForest after Tuesday night’s meeting to get a sense of what Berkshire County’s second city can expect.

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

Keith Bona is a long-serving member of the North Adams, Massachusetts city council – as well as the owner of Berkshire Emporium & Antiques in the Northern Berkshire city’s downtown He tells WAMC that efforts to govern the community of around 13,000 have been hamstrung by the COVID-19 pandemic and the budgetary concerns it raises. Bona says he disagrees with State Representative and former Mayor John Barrett about how the region needs to reshape its economy moving forward.

A sign that says "Crane" stands outside of a brick building
Josh Landes / WAMC

Starting Monday, North Adams, Massachusetts is fining the Crane Stationery Plant a thousand dollars a day for operating against city orders.

A sign that says "Crane" stands outside of a brick building
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Crane Stationery Plant in North Adams, Massachusetts is continuing to operate against the orders of Mayor Tom Bernard.

A sign that says "Crane" stands outside of a brick building
Josh Landes / WAMC

Just over a week after announcing sweeping layoffs, the 220-year-old Crane Stationery Plant in North Adams, Massachusetts resumed operations today for the first time since March 18th. But North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard says the move violates an order he issued Sunday, which stipulates that the plant can only reopen if it solely works on essential business related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plant owner Mohawk Paper has not responded to interview requests from WAMC this week. Mayor Bernard spoke with WAMC Friday morning about the latest developments, and his message to the plant’s 229 workers.

A sign that says "Crane" stands outside of a brick building
Josh Landes / WAMC

The mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts has issued a list of conditions required for a paper company to reopen its plant in the city, just days after it announced sweeping layoffs next month.

The NORAD Mill's lobby sign has a list of businesses on each floor of the building
Josh Landes / WAMC

With COVID-19 related shutdowns leading to a sharp spike in national unemployment claims and a steep economic downturn, most are pessimistic about the nature of business during the pandemic. But Berkshire County businessman David Moresi – President and CEO of North Adams-based Moresi and Associates – sees opportunity in the crisis. Between his ventures in restaurants, construction, and real estate – including the NORAD Mill business complex that Moresi renovated and leased himself – he employs a staff of around 100. Speaking with WAMC, he explains how the Great Recession of 2008  helped form his approach to business, as well as why he thinks Northern Berkshire County is due for a post-pandemic demographic shift.

Crane Stationery Plant / Mohawk

Cohoes, New York-based Mohawk Paper is refuting published reports that Crane Stationery Plant in North Adams, Massachusetts will close in June. But most of the workforce is being let go.

A long brick building sits beyond a green lawn and trees with a rotunda with a gold spire rising above it
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County school superintendents are preparing for remote learning to continue for the rest of the school year after Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that schools will not reopen before summer break.

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

On Tuesday, Massachusetts entered a new phase of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak with an order from Governor Charlie Baker to shutter all non-essential businesses. In North Adams, the city of 13,000 continues to develop its own measures to provide vital services while maintaining the curve-flattening social distancing experts have called for. WAMC spoke with Mayor Tom Bernard.

An SUV is parked on the street in front of a brick building with "Pittsfield Police" on its doors
Josh Landes / WAMC

Police departments around Berkshire County are adapting their service as the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies.

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

The city of North Adams, with 13,000 residents in the Northwestern corner of Massachusetts, has closed municipal offices today, and is preparing for the three-week ban on all on-site service in state restaurants and bars that starts tomorrow. North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard spoke today with WAMC about how schoolchildren will receive the food they rely on while public schools are closed for three weeks, and more.

A man in a blue suit holds a plaque with two men standing on either side of him. One of them men wears an ornamental necklace.
Emily Schiavoni

On Tuesday, the North Adams Elks Lodge gave Drury High School band director Christopher Caproni its Citizen Of The Year Award. The award is intended to recognize a community member who has shown leadership, volunteered, and has gone above and beyond to prove themselves both helpful and reliable. Caproni, who has directed the Drury band for over a decade, spoke with WAMC.

A white man smiles in a blue button-down shirt and a blue blazer with a pin shaped like Massachusetts with the American flag over it on his lapel
Ben Mancino

The Vice President of the North Adams, Massachusetts City Council is quarantined after being tested for exposure to COVID-19 and "developing mild symptoms" Tuesday afternoon. While Jason LaForest awaits the results of those tests, he will remain home until March 24th. He tells WAMC that members of his family have also been tested, and that he must maintain a six-foot distance from them while under quarantine. LaForest spoke to WAMC about the circumstances that led to his possible exposure, and what it’s like to be caught up in the emerging story.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Communities are responding to the first reported case of COVID-19 in Berkshire County.

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

The city of North Adams, Massachusetts is moving to draft short-term rental regulations.

Is it possible that a man is in prison for the murder of his wife -- when an owl actually committed the crime? What is a very special bourbon going for on the black market -- and why? How does a seemingly typical person get roped into counterfeiting money by their boyfriend? “Criminal” is an award-winning true-crime podcast, distributed by PRX and Radiotopia, with episodes devoted to these stories and many others.

On Saturday, February 22 “Criminal” will be in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. “Criminal” launched January of 2014 and is hosted by Phoebe Judge, who co-created the show with Lauren Spohrer. Judge attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, her work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Previously, she was a host at WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon, and a reporter based in the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio.

A man at a podium looks at a row of seated people at a series of tables. They sit before a wood panelled wall in a room lit with long flourescent lights.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Two and a half years after MASS MoCA abruptly painted over public art made by children in North Adams, Massachusetts, city leaders are calling for answers.

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

Alleged behind the scenes maneuverings involving the North Adams, Massachusetts city council has created discontent over how its new president was selected.

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

In November, North Adams, Massachusetts city councilor Paul Hopkins was elected to a second two-year term. This week, as the city of almost 13,000 swore in its elected officials for the new term, Hopkins was also voted in as president of the nine-member council. Hopkins spoke with WAMC about his relationship with Mayor Tom Bernard and why he thinks the city should reexamine how it manages its solid waste – as well as what he sees as the largest challenges North Adams faces.

Josh Landes / WAMC

In November’s municipal election, Jess Sweeney was the only newcomer elected to the nine-person North Adams, Massachusetts city council. Sweeney is the creative director of Common Folk, an artist collective with a store and studio on Main Street. She spoke with WAMC about what led her to seek public office, and what her priorities are for 2020 and beyond.

Hoosic River Revival

Last fall, Jason LaForest became the Executive Director of Hoosic River Revival, a nonprofit advocating for the transformation of the waterway in North Adams, Massachusetts. LaForest – who is also a nurse and a city councilor – sat down with WAMC to explain the work HRR has done for the last 11 years, and what its vision would mean for northern Berkshire County.

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

Tom Bernard is the newly re-elected Mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts. As he prepares for his second term in Berkshire County’s second city, he tells WAMC that he’s keeping an eye on a few key issues – infrastructure, the city’s finances, and how to best invest the city’s money.

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

The Berkshire County District Attorney says a North Adams, Massachusetts woman has died from injuries sustained in a brutal attack by her husband over the summer.

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