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    1. MachineMetrics Announces $11.3 Million Funding Round

      MachineMetrics Announces $11.3 Million Funding Round

      MachineMetrics, which equips factories with the digital tools needed to increase productivity and win more business, announced it has raised $11.3 million in Series A financing. Tola Capital led the round with participation from existing investors Hyperplane Venture Capital, Long River Ventures, Mass Ventures, Hub Angels, and Firebolt Ventures. With the new funds, the company will expand its data-science and product-development teams while accelerating global sales. MachineMetrics is a pioneer in industrial IoT (internet of things) technology. Its system is designed so customers can install it themselves without the need for expensive and time-consuming customization.

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    2. Westfield River Brewing Co. renovated barn becomes backdrop for holiday events

      Westfield River Brewing Co. renovated barn becomes backdrop for holiday events

      The Westfield River Brewing Co. was brimming with holiday cheer in its recently renovated barn on Sunday. The first Holiday Market was held on the second and third floors of the barn where 20 vendors shared their talents and crafts. And, of course, beer and wine were served in the taproom. "The barn is such a customizable space. It really works for every type of event," said brewing company owner Sergio Bonavita. He and his partners renovated the space this year to host more events, including the Holiday Market.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    3. New restaurant planned at Longmeadow Shops by owners of the Federal in Agawam | masslive.com

      New restaurant planned at Longmeadow Shops by owners of the Federal in Agawam | masslive.com

      A new restaurant is coming to the Shops in Longmeadow.  Ralph Santaniello, owner of the Federal restaurant in Agawam, along with his partner and executive chef, Michael Presnal, will open an Italian-style restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Bertucci's. It will be called Posto.  'Posto means 'place' in Italian,' says Santaniello, '(and) in this case, the place to be.'

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    4. 100-unit apartment complex proposed on Holy Family Road in Holyoke

      100-unit apartment complex proposed on Holy Family Road in Holyoke

      Developer Tom Adamczyk unveiled plans this week for 100 rental units at 15 Holy Family Road in the city's Ingleside neighborhood. The City Council's Ordinance Committee is considering a zone change for the site that would allow for multifamily use. Ron Levesque, of R. Levesque Associates, a Westfield design firm, presented plans for the proposed development at the committee's meeting Tuesday.

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    5. NAI Plotkin Sells Historic Hampden Savings Bank Building in Downtown Springfield

      NAI Plotkin, a leading commercial real-estate brokerage firm, announced it represented the seller in the sale of 1665 Main St., a 2,010-square-foot commercial building, formerly Hampden Savings Bank, located in downtown Springfield. The building was constructed in 1918 and has a glass ceiling with an ornate supporting structure, marble walls, and copper entrance. The asset sold for $285,000, although it last assessed for $127,600. Wilfredo Lopez of NAI Plotkin was the listing broker for the property. RLTY Development Springfield LLC secured the property and, as the new owner, plans to complete restoration of the original bank building ...

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    6. Bay Path cybersecurity students attack in order to defend businesses' sensitive data

      Bay Path cybersecurity students attack in order to defend businesses' sensitive data

      Students from Bay Path University and Springfield Technical Community College are planning cyberattacks against local businesses -- and Gov. Charlie Baker won't do anything to stop them. In fact, the state has already bankrolled the operation, and Baker offered his encouragement on a tour of the Bay Path campus in Longmeadow. The attacks will be for cybersecurity assessments the businesses will order. Students might send "phishing" emails in search of passwords, or just call up and ask for access to sensitive files. It'll be sophisticated work performed by interns under the direction of Delcie Bean and his Paragus IT ...

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    7. With $2.4 million dam rehab done, Springfield to evaluate upper dam at Van Horn Park

      With $2.4 million dam rehab done, Springfield to evaluate upper dam at Van Horn Park

      The city, having completed a $2.4 million rehabilitation project at the lower dam of Van Horn Park, once deemed a "high hazard' for flooding, is now turning its attention to study an upper dam at the park to further safeguard the area. The city recently received an $84,000 state grant for a Phase 2 study of the Upper Van Horn Reservoir Dam, officials said. The grant was received from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

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    8. River Valley Co-op, eyeing Easthampton site, plans public info session

      River Valley Co-op, eyeing Easthampton site, plans public info session

      Those with questions about plans by River Valley Co-op to open a second store on Rt. 10 in Easthampton could gain more information over the weekend. The upscale natural foods market, now located in Northampton, plans an "Easthampton Store Project Open House & Info Session" on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Eastworks building.  Draft site plans will be on display, market management and board members will be on hand, and representatives from Thomas Douglas Architects and The Berkshire Design Group plan to attend, according to a Facebook post, which says public feedback and input will ...

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    9. Dunkin' -- complete with donuts -- unveils store of the future at Springfield College

      Dunkin' -- complete with donuts -- unveils store of the future at Springfield College

      The new store, which opened last week in the Union Station Food Court area of the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union, also features a nitrogen-charged tap system for Dunkin's new cold brew coffees. The new food trend is to charge iced coffee with nitrogen to give at a creamy texture. Think of a Guinness beer. This new Dunkin' also has the latest technology for brewing coffee both hot and iced and for making espressos, including macchiatos.

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    10. To Keep Top Talent, Employers Need to Consider Work-life Balance

      To Keep Top Talent, Employers Need to Consider Work-life Balance

      In its 2019 National Business Trends Survey, the EEA aimed to determine the top five most important factors prospective employees are looking for, with the goal of assisting employers with recruitment and retention. The top five factors included, in order, competitive pay (named by 82% of respondents), good work/life balance (69.2 %), flexibility in work hours (56.1%), opportunities for advancement (55.4%), and competitive health benefits (49.9%). “The shortage of labor will be a key factor for employers in 2019,” said Phil Brandt, who chairs the EAA board of directors. “How employers will fill those new jobs ...

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    11. Cargo rail line running through Western Mass. gets $10.8M from feds, $9.6M from state for modernization

      Cargo rail line running through Western Mass. gets $10.8M from feds, $9.6M from state for modernization

      The New England Central Railroad will use the federal money along with $9.6 million in state money and its own $9.6 million investment to replace 31 miles of rail and 20,000 cross ties, and to strengthen 20 bridges. The current state of the infrastructure doesn't allow for the movement of today's average freight cars, decreasing the amount of cargo that is shipped on the line. The modernization will specifically be paid for from the $10.8 million from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program along with $9.6 million in state funding ...

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    12. Initiative Aims to Make Individuals Workforce-ready

      Initiative Aims to Make Individuals Workforce-ready

      “We’ve been hearing this for years, but it had just reached a boiling point.” That’s how Kermit Dunkelberg chose to sum up the conversation in this region regarding how many individuals lack the soft skills and the essential skills needed to be workforce-ready. This ‘boiling point’ status helped inspire a regional response to a request for proposals for state funding — and a $247,000 grant aimed at putting more qualified workers in the pipeline.

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    13. Charlemont rejects Comcast broadband offer; opts to build $1.4M fiber optic network

      Charlemont rejects Comcast broadband offer; opts to build $1.4M fiber optic network

      Charlemont has decided to build its own fiber optic broadband network instead of accepting a cheaper cable option from Comcast. The $462,123 Comcast proposal, which would have connected 96 percent of households with high-speed internet, was rejected by town meeting voters last Thursday. The defeat means Charlemont will likely advance a $1.4 million project to create a town-owned fiber network, as approved by town meeting voters in 2015. The Hawlemont Regional School auditorium was filled to the brim, around 160 paper ballots were cast, and in an unofficial count, the Comcast proposal failed by 20 votes, according to ...

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      Mentions: Comcast Westfield
    14. Hickory Ridge owners plan solar array, end of golf at Amherst course

      Hickory Ridge owners plan solar array, end of golf at Amherst course

      The owners of Hickory Ridge Golf Club want to build a solar farm on the golf course property. This is according to the agenda for an Amherst Conservation Commission meeting  set for 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at Town Hall. Course owner Dave Wasenda of Appliedgolf in Millstone, New Jersey, he plans to build a 5.2-megawatt solar array at the 150-acre property sometime next year. "It's no secret that the golf industry has been contracting, he said. "You used to have a steady flow, the working population golfed a little, then when they retired the kept golfing and ...

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    15. Blame it on the rain: Weather at fault for delay in Springfield Riverfront Park renovation...

      Blame it on the rain: Weather at fault for delay in Springfield Riverfront Park renovation...

      A $2.5 million renovation project at Riverfront Park is taking longer than expected, with Mother Nature getting the blame. Officials are blaming the extremely rainy weather this fall for the delay, with the project now expected to be done by June 15, 2019, said Peter Garvey, the city's director of Capital Asset Construction. In addition to the near record rainfall this fall, there was a snowstorm in November. When the City Council approved a $1.6 million bond for the project in November 2017, officials said they hoped to have the park ready to coincide with the opening ...

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    16. Bay Path University Named Safest College in Massachusetts

      Bay Path University Named Safest College in Massachusetts

      Campus safety is a top consideration for many individuals and their families when it comes to choosing a college to attend. Niche.com compiled a list of the safest college campuses in America, and Bay Path University ranked third out of nearly 1,500 reviewed. The university ranked first for safety in both Massachusetts and New England.  “We do as much as we can to ensure that the Bay Path University campus is a safe place,” said Michael Giampietro, vice president for Finance & Administrative Services. “Campus safety is a top priority here. Our Longmeadow campus, in particular, is well-lit with ...

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    17. West Springfield seeks proposals for community block grants

      West Springfield seeks proposals for community block grants

      In June, the Baker administration awarded that amount to West Springfield for housing rehabilitation assistance for seven units, Gardner Street infrastructure improvements, code enforcement, creating a master plan for Merrick Neighborhood, support for family self-sufficiency and home-buyer programs, English for Speakers of Other Languages, camp scholarships and Head Start. The projects were among 41 in 59 different communities to receive a total of $32 million in Community Development Block Grants this year.

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    18. Creating value in Western Massachusetts and across the Commonwealth

      Creating value in Western Massachusetts and across the Commonwealth

      Governor Charlie Baker often says our economy is firing on all cylinders. Massachusetts currently has more people working than at any time in our history. Businesses continue to relocate, expand, and start up in the Commonwealth. And, we've benefitted from sustained job growth by adding more than 200,000 jobs since 2015.  Nearly every week, we are approached by an advanced manufacturer, a life sciences company, or tech firm who are eager to make Massachusetts their home, and in need of the space and talent to do it. The latter of which we have in abundance.

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    19. Neal, Lesser among 33 appointed to east-west rail advisory panel; Palmer gets a seat at...

      Neal, Lesser among 33 appointed to east-west rail advisory panel; Palmer gets a seat at...

      Western Massachusetts rail transit boosters U.S. Rep. Richard Neal state Sen. Eric Lesser are among a group of 33 people appointed to the state's east-west passenger rail study advisory committee, which will hold its first meeting on Dec. 18. The panel will be a sounding board for a rail proposal that could result in passenger service linking Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston. Although the final agenda is still being prepared, the state Department of Transportation said topics of discussion are likely to include the panel's role, a project overview, and discussion about the committee's and the ...

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    20. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, mountaineer help celebrate 'Women of Impact'

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, mountaineer help celebrate 'Women of Impact'

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito helped BusinessWest magazine and mountaineer Lei Wang -- the first Chinese woman and the first Asian-American to complete the Explorers Grand Slam -- to celebrate seven "Women of Impact" Thursday. Polito took the occasion to highlight her continued work on issues of women's economic and physical security. Look for a major public awareness campaign in the new year aimed at combating domestic violence. It'll be  the first time in decades the state will have done a similar education campaign in the media.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. Irish lawmakers visit ICC of Western New England, tout importance of supporting Irish...

      Irish lawmakers visit ICC of Western New England, tout importance of supporting Irish...

      Irish parliamentary lawmakers stopped in West Springfield Thursday to get a firsthand look at how some of the more than $4 million Ireland has invested in U.S. groups is working to support and promote the country's culture in Western Massachusetts. Four members of Ireland's governing body -- a senator and three Teachta Dala -- visited the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, one of the organizations to receive Irish funding to support its arts, history and other educational efforts.

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    22. For sale: Springfield seeks bids, offers incentives for 2 city-owned houses

      For sale: Springfield seeks bids, offers incentives for 2 city-owned houses

      The city is offering incentives totaling up to $65,000 for the purchase and reuse of two historically significant, tax-foreclosed houses. The city is advertising for bids for the houses at 427 Bay St. and 74 Irvington St., offering funding assistance through the federal Community Development Block Grant program. The assistance is aimed at encouraging proposals and assisting with needed renovations, the city said.

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    23. HealthSouth changes its name to Encompass

      HealthSouth changes its name to Encompass

      HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Western Massachusetts is changing its name to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Western Massachusetts as part of a corporate rebranding. HealthSouth will host an Embrace Encompass event from from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 8. The event will be open to the public and will take place in the hospital cafeteria, 222 State St., Ludlow. Birmingham, Alabama-based HealthSouth Corp. launched its new name and brand on Jan. 1, 2018, according to a news release. It is transitioning 130 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and 273 home health and hospice locations serving 36 states and Puerto Rico to the new ...

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