1. It took decades to out her childhood rapist: the schoolhouse janitor. What gave Nancy Shmulsky the courage to publicly say 'Yes'? A billboard in Great Barrington paid for by the mother of another victim, abused at the school years later, but in the same room. It said: "Did something happen to you in the Janitor's Room at Sheffield Center School?" 

SHEFFIELD — As every summertime begins, Nancy Shmulsky starts to feel sick to her stomach. Eventually, she realized why. But, for decades, she remained silent about what caused it. That changed last year, when a billboard in Great Barrington …

2. It was a lonely death, and the first in the Berkshires linked to COVID-19. Anup Singh got sick when doctors were still learning how to treat the infections and manage contagion. The Hindu family was heartbroken to not have a proper funeral or cremation for Singh, 71, and had to watch by video call as a crematory worker pressed the button that turned on the fires. 

3. Back when people wondered how the coronavirus might have crept into the Berkshires, this story gives a timeline. For a brief time, the county was a hotspot in the state for a pandemic that has changed everything. With Amanda Drane.

4. An inspiring tale of love and faith: Khali Zabian and her boyfriend Michael Kahn show us the path of devotion as she makes a miraculous recovery from a catastrophic brain injury suffered when she was struck by a car in Great Barrington.  

5. A teen goes for a hike with his mother, and ends up risking his life to rescue a woman who had fallen off a Monument Mountain cliff. Henry Grant, now 19, blushes and goes quiet if you mention his selflessness. As it turns out, humility is the signature of heroes, and he's been given two medals for it — medals that we hadn't heard of until now.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or 413-329-6871. On Twitter @BE_hbellow.