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Robert Barrett, Dana Clement, Taylor Kline, Sakan Sadowsky, and John Brack are sworn in as permanent North Adams police officers.
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North Adams Welcomes New Public Safety Personnel, Promotion

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Firefighter Ryan Richards is sworn in by City Clerk Deborah Pedercini. Below, Ross Vivori has difficulty putting Sgt. Brad Vivori's shield after his swearing in. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city has welcomed five new police officers, a new firefighter and promoted a new sergeant.
City Council chambers were packed  Tuesday with friends, family and colleagues and Mayor Thomas Bernard again quipped they were all in the safest place in the city. 
"I think I made this joke every time we have the opportunity," he joked. 
Ryan Richards was sworn in by City Clerk Deborah Pedercini as a permanent firefighter, after some time as a reserve. Fire Chief Stephen Meranti beckoned his parents, Bruce and Lauren Richards, up to the podium and his father pinned on Richards' new shield and his mother gave him a hug. 
Robert Barrett, Dana Clement, Taylor Kline, and Sakan Sadowsky, recent graduates of the police academy, were then sworn in as patrol officers by Pedercini along with John Brack, who had been an officer in the state of Florida before joining the North Adams force. 
Pedercini also swore Brad Vivori into his new post as sergeant. Vivori joined the force as a permanent officer in 2012 after a period as a reserve. He was a detective before his promotion to sergeant. 
Vivori's father, Ross, pinned on his new shield — after Police Chief Jason Wood found the momentarily misplaced item, which led to some joshing from the mayor and councilors.
The mayor pointed to both Richards and Vivori's family tradition of service: Bruce Richards has worked for the city in the Department of Public Works for 30 years and Vivori has been the city assessor for nearly a decade.
"I know many of the families of our new officers who graduated from the academy were there with us in Fall River two weeks ago, but I want to thank them again while they're here," Bernard said.
In his communique to the City Council requesting the time for a public swearing in  during the council's televised meeting, the mayor stated that "Sergeant Vivori has distinguished himself through his training, service, and commitment to the department and the residents of the City of North Adams; I am confident our new officers and our new firefighter will embody the same commitment to excellence, and will serve the City of North Adams with distinction."

Tags: NAFD,   NAPD,   swearing in,   

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CARES Act Offers Help for Investors, Small Businesses

Submitted by Edward Jones

As we go through the coronavirus crisis, we are all, first and foremost, concerned about the health of our loved ones and communities. But the economic implications of the virus have also weighed heavily on our minds. 

However, if you're an investor or a business owner, you just got some help from Washington – and it could make a big difference, at least in the short term, for your financial future. Specifically, the passage of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act offers, among other provisions, the following:

* Expanded unemployment benefits: The CARES Act provides $250 billion for extended unemployment insurance, expands eligibility and provides workers with an additional $600 per week for four months, in addition to what state programs pay. The package will also cover the self-employed, independent contractors and "gig economy" workers. Obviously, if your employment has been affected, these benefits can be a lifeline. Furthermore, the benefits could help you avoid liquidating some long-term investments you’ve earmarked for retirement just to meet your daily cash flow needs.

* Direct payments: Individuals will receive a one-time payment of up to $1,200; this amount is reduced for incomes over $75,000 and eliminated altogether at $99,000. Joint filers will receive up to $2,400, which will be reduced for incomes over $150,000 and eliminated at $198,000 for joint filers with no children. Plus, taxpayers with children will receive an extra $500 for each dependent child under the age of 17. If you don't need this money for an immediate need, you might consider putting it into a low-risk, liquid account as part of an emergency fund.

* No penalty on early withdrawals: Typically, you would have to pay a 10 percent penalty on early withdrawals from IRAs, 401(k)s and similar retirement accounts. Under the CARES Act, this penalty will be waived for individuals who qualify for COVID-19 relief and/or in plans that allow COVID-19 distributions. Withdrawals will still be taxable, but the taxes can be spread out over three years. Still, you might want to avoid taking early withdrawals, as you’ll want to keep your retirement accounts intact as long as possible.

* Suspension of required withdrawals: Once you turn 72, you will be required to take withdrawals from your traditional IRA and 401(k). The CARES Act waives these required minimum distributions for 2020. If you're in this age group, but you don't need the money, you can let your retirement accounts continue growing on a tax-deferred basis.

* Increase of retirement plan loan limit: Retirement plan investors who qualify for COVID-19 relief can now borrow up to $100,000 from their accounts, up from $50,000, provided their plan allows loans. We recommend that you explore other options, such as the direct payments, to bridge the gap on current expenses and if you choose to take a plan loan work with your financial adviser to develop strategies to pay back these funds over time to reduce any long-term impact to your retirement goals.

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