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Coretta Scott King, left, watches President Ronald Reagan sign the bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Holiday Hours: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is being celebrated Monday, Jan. 17. It is a federal holiday to commemorate the birthday of the civil rights activist born Jan. 15, 1929. It is observed on the third Monday in January.

King, a Baptist minister, led the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by espousing nonviolent protest. His best-known address, the "I Have a Dream" speech, was given in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of 250,000 who participated in the March on Washington. The 1964 Nobel Prize winner was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

While the reverend was born in Atlanta, he has ties to Massachusetts. He earned his doctorate from Boston University and met and married his wife, Coretta Scott, in Boston. The state's U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke sponsored the first bill to declare a holiday in his honor in the 1970s. MLK Day was first observed as a federal holiday in 1986 but a number of states, particularly in the South and West, did not add it to their list of state holidays until some years later.

While federal and state offices are closed, only about a third of businesses give their employees the time off.

Northern Berkshire Community Coalition will not hold its annual Day of Service on Monday because of the high rates of COVID-19 cases. However, there will be some volunteer opportunities available by contacting NBCC at 413-663-7588, Carrisa at csacherski@nbccoalition.org or or Liz at lboland@nbccoalition.org. The Peacemaker Award will be presented at NBCC's annual meeting in June.

Berkshire Community College plans to hold its annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service event completely virtually on Jan. 17 over the Zoom platform. Register here. This event is co-sponsored by the Berkshire Branch of the NAACP.

Closed:
Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks
Stock markets


Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Some offices and businesses
BRTA is not running

Open:
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars
Convenience stores


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Winter Storm Warning for Berkshires as Nor'easter Brings Up to Foot of Snow

Staff Reports
The Berkshires are in for a double whammy this week — a Nor'easter is expected to bring up to a foot of snow and ice overnight followed by another Arctic blast that will keep temperatures in the freezer zone. 
 
A winter storm warning is now in effect beginning Sunday at 10 p.m. and through Monday at the same time. The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., is forecasting 5 to 11 inches of snow and ice accumulations of up to a 10th of an inch. Winds could gust to 40 mph.
 
Adams, Clarksburg, North Adams (starting at 10 p.m.) and Pittsfield have so far declared snow emergencies and other communities may before the afternoon is over. Snow emergencies mean motor vehicles cannot be parked on the roadways during the storm to allow for plowing; in some communities public parking lots will be made available. Residents in North Adams needing assistance during the storm should contact Public Safety dispatch at 413-664-4945
 
The storm warning covers the Berkshires, eastern New York and northern Connecticut. 
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