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    1. Hungry Ghost Bread in Northampton nominated again for James Beard Foundation Award

      Hungry Ghost Bread in Northampton nominated again for James Beard Foundation Award

      The James Beard Foundation has tapped Hungry Ghost Bread in Northampton again as a semifinalist for its 2014 Restaurant and Chef Awards.  This is the fourth straight year that owners Cheryl Maffei and Jonathan Stevens have been nominated in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category. This year, they're up against nationally-known names like Dominique Ansel (inventor of the cronut) and Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    2. Community Spotlight: Greenfield | BusinessWest

      Community Spotlight: Greenfield | BusinessWest

      As a former economic-development director for 13 years with the Economic Development Council (EDC) of Western Mass., Robert Pyers was consulted several times by various Greenfield municipal employees about growing the town at the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 2. The answer was always the same.  “We’ve been very successful since converting from the selectman style of government to mayoral; it changed things because you have greater impact in terms of designing your business plan,” he said, noting that a mayor’s decision comes much faster than the colliding opinions of select board members and their executive council ...

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    3. People in Business: Jeannette Strange named mortgage specialist at PeoplesBank

      People in Business: Jeannette Strange named mortgage specialist at PeoplesBank

      PeoplesBank has announced the appointment of Jeannette Strange as a mortgage consultant.  Strange will focus primarily on the communities of Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, South Hadley and Ludlow. As a PeoplesBank mortgage consultant, she will have a variety of mortgage options to offer customers, including refinancing and special first-time homebuyers’ programs. Strange joins the following experienced team of PeoplesBank mortgage professionals: Lisa Baltronis, Beverly Orloski and Jocelyn Kinlock.

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    4. Chick-Fil-A opens first Mass. free-standing store

      Chick-Fil-A opens first Mass. free-standing store

      Chick-Fil-A opened its first freestanding Massachusetts location in Chicopee today, a project managed by Jones Lang LaSalle's Project and Development Services group. Jones Lang LaSalle is working with Chick-Fil-A on a New England expansion that includes the permitting of 12 restaurants, with four more starting construction this spring. The expansion will bring additional Chick-Fil-A locations to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine.

       
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      Mentions: Chicopee
    5. Transportation Secretary says state working to buy Western Mass. train tracks

      Davey said he expects all construction on all three projects, including phase one work repairing Interstate 91 near the Interstate 291 ramp, to begin in 2014 if the state Senate passes a pending authorization bill already passed by the House. That $260 million first phase also includes planning for the possibility of rebuilding the 2.5-mile stretch of highway either at or below grade. Doing so would reconnect the city to its waterfront for the first time since the highway was built in the 1960s.

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    6. Northampton loses bid for mitigation funds from MGM casino project in Springfield

      The Massachusetts Gaming Commission members voted today to deny Northampton 'surrounding community' status, for the MGM Springfield casino project, rendering the city ineligible to receive mitigation funds.  'We took a look at proximity and there are significant arguments that Northamapton is not proximate (to the proposed casino), said John Ziemba, ombudsman to the Mass. Gaming Commission. Northampton is located approximately 20 miles north of Springfield.

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    7. Develop Springfield plans 3rd annual gala; will honor Colleen Loveless, Terry Powe and Mark Tolosky for inspiring city revitalization | masslive.com

      Develop Springfield plans 3rd annual gala; will honor Colleen Loveless, Terry Powe and Mark Tolosky for inspiring city revitalization | masslive.com

      DevelopSpringfield will be presenting its Partner in Progress Award to recognize the outstanding contributions of three individuals toward revitalization in Springfield. Honorees are selected for their leadership and ability to motivate and inspire others, and to acknowledge their efforts toward work that supports the Rebuild Springfield Plan.  This year’s honorees are: Colleen Loveless, executive director of Rebuilding Together; Terry Powe, principal of Elias Brookings Elementary School; and Mark R. Tolosky, president and CEO of Baystate Health.

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    8. Northampton wants to obtain Zipcars to ease traffic congestion and create more parking spaces

      Northampton wants to obtain Zipcars to ease traffic congestion and create more parking spaces

      In a move designed to take cars off the road and make the city more sustainable, Mayor David J. Narkewicz hopes to add to the local Zipcar inventory. Zipcars is a ride-sharing concept popularized in Europe and slowly becoming available in the United States. Members pay modest monthly dues and get a card that unlocks and starts the cars, which can then be driven at an hourly rate. Smith College introduced two Zipcars in 2006. Because of demand, that fleet has grown to six. As an incentive, the city reduced the number of parking spaces that would have been required ...

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    9. State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey talks rail, Interstate 91 viaduct

      State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey talks rail, Interstate 91 viaduct

      State Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey talked passenger rail, Interstate 91 and the Willimansett Bridge Tuesday in a wide-ranging luncheon hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce.  The event also featured remarks from state Rep. Joseph Wagner, D-Chicopee.  Davey said he expects all construction on all three projects, including phase one work repairing Interstate 91 near the Interstate 291 ramp, to begin in 2014 if the state Senate passes a pending authorization bill already passed by the House. That $260 million first phase also includes planning for the possibility of rebuilding the 2.5-mile stretch of highway either at ...

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    10. MassDevelopment issues $19.5 million in tax-exempt bonds to Bay Path College for Health Sciences building | masslive.com

      MassDevelopment issues $19.5 million in tax-exempt bonds to Bay Path College for Health Sciences building | masslive.com

      Bay Path College will use bond proceeds to build a 56,000-square-foot, two-story Center for Graduate Studies in Health Sciences on 11 acres of land on Shaker Road and Denslow Road in East Longmeadow. A portion of the bond proceeds will refund a previous MassDevelopment bond, which funded projects at the main campus in Longmeadow. PeoplesBank, United Bank, and Nuvo Bank & Trust Company purchased the bonds.

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    11. Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announces internship development challenge

      Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announces internship development challenge

      The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has announced the launch of the 2014-2015 Internship Challenge. The workforce development program, first launched in 2009, creates hundreds of new paid internship opportunities each year throughout Massachusetts.  Eligible college students and recent graduates can apply online through the MLSC’s website for an internship with one of over 300 life sciences companies registered to host interns. Companies review candidates through a web-based interface in which they can match skills with their needs. Upon conclusion of the internship, the MLSC reimburses companies for stipends paid to their interns.

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    12. Springfield-based HAP looking for applicants for new 42-unit Amherst affordable housing project

      Springfield-based HAP looking for applicants for new 42-unit Amherst affordable housing project

      With the Olympia Oaks affordable housing development just months from completion, the housing authority overseeing the 42-unit project has started accepting applications. The project on Olympia Drive is a mix of one-, 
 two- and three-bedroom apartments in townhouses and triplexes around
 a common green, including garden space and a playground. The project “designed for community connection, accessibility, affordability and energy efficiency,” according to the website at HAP, the Springfield-based nonprofit housing assistance agency overseeing the project.

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    13. The Republican, editors, writers and photographers earn 18 New England Newspaper & Press Association awards

      The Republican, editors, writers and photographers earn 18 New England Newspaper & Press Association awards

      The Republican, its editors, writers and photographers, earned a total of 18 journalism awards, including six first-place awards and third place in the area of general excellence, in the 2013 New England Better Newspaper competition. The awards were presented by New England Newspaper & Press Association.

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    14. Bio-pharma firm aims to bring 90 'high-end' jobs to Berkshires

      A bio-pharmaceutical company is working to establish a manufacturing facility in Berkshire County that could bring dozens of jobs within five years Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, which officially incorporated this week, has spoken with officials in both Pittsfield and Lee, and has also been in contact with MassDevelopment, said Andrea Wagner, one three Boston-area shareholders who established the company. Wagner said the company hopes to have a facility in the Berkshires up and running within 15 months after financing is completed. The firm has verbal commitments from equity investors, and is currently working with local banks, including Berkshire Bank, Wagner said.

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    15. National Priorities Project of Northampton nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

      National Priorities Project of Northampton nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

      The National Priorities Project, a Northampton-based organization dedicated to educating the public about the repercussions of the federal budget, with emphasis on war spending, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The National Priorities Project will compete with whistle blowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and other nominees for the prize, which will be announced in October. If it wins, the 30-year-old local organization will find itself in the illustrious company of such past winners as Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    16. Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable - Feb. 12, 2014

      Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable - Feb. 12, 2014

      The two companies expect the merger to receive government approval and take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers. Through the consolidation of Time Warner Cable, Comcast would be the dominant provider of television channels and Internet connections in roughly one in three American homes, a total unmatched by any other distributor.

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      Mentions: Comcast
    17. Western Massachusetts vocational-technical high schools partner with industry to build skills for jobs | masslive.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

      Western Massachusetts vocational-technical high schools partner with industry to build skills for jobs | masslive.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

      At Westfield Vocational Technical High School, an advisory committee comprised of representatives of local businesses and industries gives advice about needs in various fields, upcoming trends and what is happening in those fields. Eighth-graders also help gauge programs of interest.

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    18. Outlook 2014: Allan Blair, president of Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, says jobs, business and investment opportunity knocking at region's door | masslive.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

      Outlook 2014: Allan Blair, president of Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, says jobs, business and investment opportunity knocking at region's door | masslive.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

      It is an optimistic word, and when I think about it with respect to economic development, I immediately consider the many opportunities for growth - in jobs, business establishments, visitors and investment. All of which contribute to our collective standard of living, and to an increase in tax revenues that support the quality of life we desire.

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    19. Outlook 2014: Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Western Massachusetts says building permits for new homes show modest growth, still lower than national average | masslive.com

      Outlook 2014: Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Western Massachusetts says building permits for new homes show modest growth, still lower than national average | masslive.com

      The housing market in 2013 continued to show modest progress, coming out of the Great Recession, as it has come to be called. But it’s going to take a long, concerted, unified effort from the public and private sectors to expand recent gains. Last year the values and sales of existing homes generally continued to increase. Those increases, while helpful to Realtors’ commissions, did not do much to make housing any more affordable for the vast majority of Massachusetts residents.  This is true even in areas considered more affordable to live, such as the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area.  According ...

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    20. Developers of Kloudbook startup turn to Valley Venture Mentors for help getting off the ground

      Developers of Kloudbook startup turn to Valley Venture Mentors for help getting off the ground

      Kloudbook was born of a father’s frustration and a son’s drive.  The father, David Mullen, wanted there to be a way on the Internet to store and retrieve people’s current contact information – home and work phones, e-mails and cell phones – and the son, Michael Mullen, a University of Massachusetts senior, set about to make the idea into an actual thing.  That thing is Kloudbook, which they tout as the world’s first social network that deals only with up-to-date contact information. The Mullens believe it has the potential to soar high, providing they can get it off ...

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    21. UMass Donahue Institute will look at whether online classes can help boost graduation rate

      University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute researchers will look at high schools with high dropout rates, including schools in Holyoke and Springfield, to determine whether online courses help keep students in school. The Quincy-based Nellie Mae Education Foundation has awarded the institute $354,000 for the two-year study. He said by the time they are finished with the data, the study will include 6,000 students.

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