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    1. MassMutual announces record dividend estimated at $1.49 billion

      MassMutual announces record dividend estimated at $1.49 billion

      MassMutual Financial Group has approved the insurer's largest dividend payout in history for 2014.  The record payout to eligible policy holders is estimated at $1.49 billion. The dividends to be paid in 2014 reflect a dividend interest rate of 7.1 percent for eligible policy holders, an increase over last year’s rate of 7 percent flat.

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    2. UMass Amherst town-gown committee hopes to draft proposal to hire consultant to address shared issues

      UMass Amherst town-gown committee hopes to draft proposal to hire consultant to address shared issues

      Town Manager John P. Musante, who is not on the committee but attended the first meeting to talk about the charge, said it is a “great, very talented group.” David Ziomek, assistant town manager, is the co-chair. 
 Musante said they talked about having information available on the websites of both the town and the university to keep the public informed.

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    3. UMass Women in Engineering & Computing Career Day gets high school girls interested in science

      UMass Women in Engineering & Computing Career Day gets high school girls interested in science

      Music to ears of the organizers behind the Women in Engineering & Computing Career Day, a program designed to open the eyes of high school girls to the opportunities in the scientific careers. In its 20th year, the event drew more than 300 girls along with counselors and teachers from high schools all over the state including, but not limited to, schools in Springfield, Westfield, Chicopee and Amherst in addition to Holyoke and Belchertown. Girls need role models in these careers, said Paula Rees, who holds an engineering doctorate and serves as director of the diversity programs office in the UMass ...

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    4. State Department of Transportation Secretary Richard Davey views East Longmeadow rotary, Interstate 91 viaduct

      State Department of Transportation Secretary Richard Davey views East Longmeadow rotary, Interstate 91 viaduct

      Sen. Gale D. Candaras, D-Wilbraham, and state Rep. Angelo J. Puppolo, D-Springfield, met with Davey to express their concerns about the region. "We wanted to show him the rotary in East Longmeadow because it really needs remediation," Candaras said. "The last time the issue was looked at was 14 years ago, and we wanted him to bring his fresh eyes and his expertise." The rotary sees an average of 49,000 cars a day and almost a daily accident, officials said.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. Springfield considers 2 sites as new home for tornado-damaged South End Community Center

      Springfield considers 2 sites as new home for tornado-damaged South End Community Center

      The city has long considered the Gemini property on Central Street as a future site for the South End Community Center but is also considering Emerson Wight Park. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, who was executive director of the community center prior to serving as mayor, said the center is “near and dear to my heart” and will have a new home as soon as possible. The community center used the former state armory on Howard Street rent-free from the city to provide social and recreational programs for residents.  “We want to do, obviously, what is in the best interest for ...

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    6. Friends Greg Lawrence, Brian Bucala open Indie Automotive repair shop in Hatfield

      Lawrence and Bucala said that by focusing on a small group of manufacturers, they can provide more precise repairs, reduce vehicle downtime, give attentive customer service and cut costs on repairs. “I thought I would never have my own shop,” said Lawrence, 35. “But over the years I reached a certain point where I realized I could make it happen. That is when I started to do my research and crunch the numbers.” With a roughly $30,000 investment in automotive and diagnostic repair tools, Bucala, also 35, and Lawrence rented a vacant repair shop owned by Todd Dextraze, who ...

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    7. Luxe Burger Bar opening in Springfield in December, promises transformation of old Visitors Information Center on riverfront

      Luxe Burger Bar opening in Springfield in December, promises transformation of old Visitors Information Center on riverfront

      The former Visitors Information Center at 1200 Hall of Fame Ave. was built to grab people's attention; it was not built for serving food. But by the time Luxe Burger Bar opens in early December it will do both, said restaurateur John Elkhay. Elkhay and Tom Cox of Chicopee-based Gardner Construction Industrial Services described last week how the building's tower, visible from Interstate 91, will soon be home to a suspended lighted sculpture with a 30-foot-long fabric wave. The fabric, besides being eye-catching, will serve as a noise baffle to dampen echoes in the glassed-in space where a ...

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    8. Leanne Sedlak's SkinCatering opens location in Springfield's Tower Square

      Leanne Sedlak's SkinCatering opens location in Springfield's Tower Square

      Leanne Sedlak, owner of SkinCatering day spa, is opening a second location downtown in Tower Square, 1500 Main St., on the second floor. "I would like to thank Leanne for her belief and investment here in downtown Springfield and, specifically, here in Tower Square," Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said in a news release. "This is another great story of a growing and exciting business and it is happening right here in our Springfield."

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    9. Sunday Republican cited as distinguished newspaper by New England Newspaper & Press Association

      Sunday Republican cited as distinguished newspaper by New England Newspaper & Press Association

      The Sunday Republican was named a distinguished newspaper of the year at the annual New England Newspaper & Press Association awards ceremony held in Boston last month.  It was one of three newspapers in its category of over 45,000 circulation to be so honored.  The Sunday Republican came in second only to the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, which won first place. It, along with the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, Conn., won recognition as “distinguished” newspapers.

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    10. Patrick administration announces $32.5 million clean energy and winter-heating initiative

      Patrick administration announces $32.5 million clean energy and winter-heating initiative

      Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan chose the warm confines of the Quabbin Reservoir Visitor’s Center that is heated by a state-of-the-art biomass system to announce a $32.5 million Patrick Administration renewable energy initiative on Friday. The seven programs being funded continue the governor’s strong commitment to clean energy systems that create jobs, save money, and grow the economy, Sullivan told an audience of senior administration officials, members of the public and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre.

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    11. Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield and member groups endorse MGM Springfield casino proposal

      Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield and member groups endorse MGM Springfield casino proposal

      Jeffrey S. Ciuffreda, president of the affiliated chambers, said MGM "has been transparent and forthcoming regarding its plans and has made every effort to understand our members’ needs and priorities, and in turn has designed ways for our members to capitalize on an $800 million investment in the urban center of our region."

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    12. Ground is broken on new Berkshire Place, retirement facility in Pittsfield

      Ground is broken on new Berkshire Place, retirement facility in Pittsfield

      MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, has issued a tax-exempt bond on behalf of Berkshire Retirement Home Inc., which operates Berkshire Place, to assist the project. Berkshire Place expects to create 18 jobs as a result of the project, along with 75 construction jobs, according to MassDevelopment calculations, the state agency said in a press release. NBT Bank, Adams Community Bank and Glens Falls National Bank purchased the bond. The bond was enhanced by a MassDevelopment guarantee.

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    13. Westfield Mayor Daniel M. Knapik cites downtown revitalization and strides in education as accomplishments

      Westfield Mayor Daniel M. Knapik cites downtown revitalization and strides in education as accomplishments

      “Our groundwork has been laid, and Westfield is set to take off,” he asserted. “Our children’s academic performance is improving, our streets are safe and clean, and businesses have been expanding and creating jobs for working Westfield folks. I am excited about the progress that's been shown at the airport and at businesses across our great city. People around the region are buzzing about our improvements, and our old friends who may have been gone for some time are returning and expressing their surprise at what we've been able to accomplish.”

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    14. College of American Pathologists - Springfield Pathologist Elected Governor of College of American Pathologists

      College of American Pathologists - Springfield Pathologist Elected Governor of College of American Pathologists

      Dr. Friedberg currently serves as chairman for the Department of Pathology at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. In addition, he is a medical director at Baystate Reference Laboratories, also in Springfield. Dr. Friedberg is professor and deputy chairman of the Department of Pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

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    15. TD Bank volunteers plant trees, shrubs, bulbs at Springfield's Riverfront Park in continued tornado recovery efforts

      TD Bank volunteers plant trees, shrubs, bulbs at Springfield's Riverfront Park in continued tornado recovery efforts

      City and state officials, including Mayor Domenic Sarno, thanked the volunteers and TD Bank and the nonprofit organization Regreen Springfield for their replanting efforts. TD Bank donated labor as well as $20,000 for costs related to the tree-planting efforts.

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    16. Great Gardens: MassMutual employees tend garden at Springfield headquarters, deliver produce to food pantries

      Great Gardens: MassMutual employees tend garden at Springfield headquarters, deliver produce to food pantries

      MassMutual’s partnership with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts also includes an annual summer food drive to help boost inventories for the food bank and its affiliated pantries. This year MassMutual employees donated more than 4,000 pounds of non-perishable food items ranging from canned goods to baby formula, and plans are already underway for next year’s food drive and garden. “The dedication of our employees in making the garden and food drive a success is truly inspiring, and we are so very proud of their generosity and commitment to our communities,” noted Fyntrilakis. “We look forward to ...

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    17. Amazon.com to start collecting sales tax in Massachusetts, but will it matter to consumers?

      Amazon.com to start collecting sales tax in Massachusetts, but will it matter to consumers?

      Amazon and the state struck the bargain to start collecting tax here about a year ago after the company established a physical presence here in the state with research offices in Cambridge and bought robotics company Kiva System in Woburn for $775 million. Amazon recently advertised for 50 new employees and has promised to create hundreds of new jobs in the state in the next few years.

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    18. Commonwealth to Inject $20+Million Into Manufacturing Programs in 2014

      Mike Prior, Director of Business Development/NGM Programs at the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), and Douglas Kehlhem, Senior Director at MassEcon were also part of the panel that led the summit conversations. Keynote speakers included Greg Bialecki, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Arthur Vigeant, Marlborough Mayor. MEDC Executive Director, Tim Cummings, hosted the event.

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    19. Springfield school district, volunteers and United Way discuss 'stay in school' initiative on WGBY's 'Connecting Point'

      Springfield school district, volunteers and United Way discuss 'stay in school' initiative on WGBY's 'Connecting Point'

      President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Pioneer Valley Dora Robinson, Springfield School District's Patricia Spradley and Executive Director for Springfield School Volunteers Denise Cogman discuss Springfield's "Stay in School" initiative in an interview with Aliz Koletas, of WGBY's Connecting Point.

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