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    1. Holyoke ideas for reuse of former coal plant include mixed-use with community ownership, natural gas provider

      Holyoke ideas for reuse of former coal plant include mixed-use with community ownership, natural gas provider

      Among ideas pitched to reuse the closed Mount Tom Power Station on Route 5 Wednesday (Dec. 3) were to sell it to the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department to run as a natural-gas provider or to make it a mixed-use site. Whatever happens, a decision is perhaps years away, a consultant told a gathering of about 60 people at the Holyoke Transportation Center, 206 Maple St. "We like to look at things through a lense of possibilities and then try to figure out how you might actually do it," said Kevin Hively, founder of Ninigret Partners, an economic development consultant ...

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    2. American Red Cross celebrates new Springfield headquarters on Brookdale Drive

      American Red Cross celebrates new Springfield headquarters on Brookdale Drive

      The American Red Cross of Western Massachusetts hosted a luncheon and ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 3, for its new, 16,000-square-foot headquarters at 15 Brookdale Drive. The new headquarters combines all Red Cross services, blood donation, disaster services, services to armed forces, nurses assistant training classes and preparedness health and safety services under one roof. The Red Cross moved in about a month ago. "It streamlines everything for us," said Executive Director Kim Goulette. "We will be able to be more efficient and build a better capacity to serve the community. It is one-stop shopping."

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    3. Pioneer Valley Planning commission seeks health survey input

      Pioneer Valley Planning commission seeks health survey input

      The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, on behalf of the Oversight Committee of the Hampden County Shared Public Health Nurse Assistance program, has announced an online Hampden County community health survey and invites the public to participate. This survey is conducted by Ready EDI, a local research and consulting company hired to conduct a community public health assessment for 12 Hampden County municipalities: West Springfield; East Longmeadow; Ludlow; Palmer; Monson; Hampden; Brimfield; Southwick; Granville; Tolland; Blandford; and Montgomery.

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    4. MassDOT, city officials discuss pending Interstate 91 viaduct project concerns, remedies

      MassDOT, city officials discuss pending Interstate 91 viaduct project concerns, remedies

      During the nearly 90-minute meeting, representatives of the state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and its consultants, said that compressing the project from a potential six-year timetable to a planned three-year timetable does create added challenges, and there will be inconveniences. However, there will be a myriad of steps including monitoring cameras, police details at key city intersections, traffic signal adjustments, and public outreach efforts to address the issues, they said.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. Holiday Inn Express slated for spring opening at Epiphany Tower building in downtown Springfield | masslive.com

      Holiday Inn Express slated for spring opening at Epiphany Tower building in downtown Springfield | masslive.com

      After years of delay, a new, 98-room Holiday Inn Express is slated to open in the spring at the Epiphany Tower building on lower State Street in the downtown.  The project, costing more than $10 million, was first proposed eight years ago at the site, located at 145 State St. The eight-story hotel is located across the street from the MassMutual Center.  Delays and hurdles over the years have included the economic recession and changes in partners, officials said.

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    6. Springfield City Council accepts second highest bid for foreclosed apartment building on Central Street, praising developer's track record and plans

      Springfield City Council accepts second highest bid for foreclosed apartment building on Central Street, praising developer's track record and plans

      Viva Development was the only developer of four proposals, "who has an extensive track record in developing and managing comparable urban, multi-family residential sites," according to its report submitted to the council." Mayor Domenic J. Sarno selected Viva Development as the preferred developer, with the council granting final approval Monday night. The highest bid was $100,000, submitted by DB, LLC,, of Lynnfield, and listing its co-managers John Visone of Lynnfield, and Tony Visone of Highland Beach, Florida.

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    7. STCC professor, Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh, earns Carnegie honor

      STCC professor, Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh, earns Carnegie honor

      The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education recently named Springfield Technical Community College professor Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh, a city resident, their 2014 Massachusetts Professor of the Year. McGinnis-Cavanaugh was selected from 400 nominated professors in the United States. On Nov. 20, McGinnis-Cavanaugh, along with the 30 other state winners, was honored at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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    8. Sisters of St. Joseph, Tryko partners close on Mont Marie property

      Sisters of St. Joseph, Tryko partners close on Mont Marie property

      The transfer of the Mont Marie property in Holyoke from the Sisters of St. Joseph to Tryko Partners is a done deal, according to Wendy Hammerle, communications director for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Springfield. The two parties closed on the sale Monday and the deed was filed Tuesday. The 52-acre campus includes the Mont Marie Health Care Center, the congregation's Motherhouse and two HUD-supported senior residences. The sale became necessary as a cost-saving measure, according to Hammerle.

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    9. Holyoke meeting set on reuse of closed Mount Tom Power Station site and cleaning soil of contaminants | masslive.com

      Holyoke meeting set on reuse of closed Mount Tom Power Station site and cleaning soil of contaminants | masslive.com

      Discussing how the site of the coal-powered Mount Tom Power Station should be reused will be discussed at a meeting Wednesday (Dec. 3).  The public is encouraged to attend the 6 p.m. session at the Holyoke Transportation Center, 206 Maple St., a press release said.  'This study seeks to determine the best way to repurpose the site to maximize benefits for Holyoke ...,' said Marcos A. Marrero, director of the city Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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    10. Massachusetts business confidence rises, employers plan hiring in 2015

      Massachusetts business confidence rises, employers plan hiring in 2015

      Employers planning to add staff in the next six months outnumber those expecting layoffs by three to one, according to the November Business confidence Survey released by Associated Industries of Massachusetts. Thirty-two percent of respondents predict they will hire more workers before July 2015, Associated industries said. Just 10 percent predict layoffs. More employers, 31 percent, reported having added workers in the last six months compared with 17 percent reporting recent layoffs.

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    11. Using capped landfills to site solar farms makes sunshine work for communities: Editorial | masslive.com

      Using capped landfills to site solar farms makes sunshine work for communities: Editorial | masslive.com

      Mayor Daniel M. Knapik announced Tuesday that Citizens Energy Corp. will break ground next week on a $3 million solar farm at the former Twiss Street landfill.  The 2.5 million megawatt solar array is expected to bring in $85,000 in property tax and fees. The structure is $7,500 annually and another $75,000 in lease payments. The terms are valid for the next 20 years.

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    12. STCC offers workforce development for Springfield residents in Six Corners, South End neighborhoods

      STCC offers workforce development for Springfield residents in Six Corners, South End neighborhoods

      In October Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced that the city had been awarded $250,00 in grants to assist residents who were affected by the 2011 tornado. "Providing education and job training to our residents is vital in our efforts in knocking down poverty and crime," Sarno said when the grants were announced. "Whenever we can step up and provide opportunity it is a win-win for us all."

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    13. Springfield's Smith & Wesson buys Battenfield Technologies, maker of gun supplies and accessories | masslive.com

      Springfield's Smith & Wesson buys Battenfield Technologies, maker of gun supplies and accessories | masslive.com

      Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. has agreed to buy Missouri-based Battenfield Technologies Inc. for $130.5 million in cash.  With a 145,000-square-foot facility in Columbia, Mo., 22-year-old Battenfield sells shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and gun cleaning products under several brand names: Caldwell Shooting Supplies, Wheeler Engineering, Tipton Gun Cleaning Supplies and Lockdown Vault Accessories.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    14. MGM Springfield prepares to distribute nearly $2M in initial payments to

      MGM Springfield prepares to distribute nearly $2M in initial payments to

      As MGM Resorts International works to obtain all the necessary permits to begin breaking ground in early 2015 for its $800 million Springfield casino, the company is also preparing to shell out nearly $2 million to eight Western Massachusetts communities on Friday, Dec. 5. The surrounding community agreements, as required by the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, called upon MGM to work with communities which sought that status to determine a payment schedule to offset any potential negative impacts its massive Springfield project could have on a neighboring town or city. In the end, eight communities landed that designation, and there ...

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    15. The Fort / Student Prince reopens to big Springfield crowds with renovations, updates | masslive

      The Fort / Student Prince reopens to big Springfield crowds with renovations, updates | masslive

      Regulars were settling in once again at the bar of The Student Prince Cafe and The Fort Dining Room Wednesday even as Wayne Lavallee of Tower Electric finished installing the final new light fixtures at the back of the restaurant.  Nearby, other workers carried the last two new booths in from the alley and installed them. The work was the finishing touches of a $750,000 renovation of The Fort.  An invitation-only grand opening ceremony is set for a week from today, Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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    16. Amherst officials welcome comments about how best to use $725k mini-entitlement grant

      Amherst officials welcome comments about how best to use $725k mini-entitlement grant

      With the news that the town is once again a mini-entitlement community, Amherst officials will be holding a pubic hearing Dec. 4 to talk about the strategy for how to best use the $725,000 to meet community needs. The Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Bangs Community Center.  Amherst earlier this month found out it was once again eligible for the grant. Two years ago, it was deemed ineligible.

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    17. Press barred from Kinder Morgan gas pipeline meeting for Franklin County business community | masslive

      Press barred from Kinder Morgan gas pipeline meeting for Franklin County business community | masslive

      The public and the press are not invited to an upcoming Franklin County meeting regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas pipeline.  The Dec. 2 morning event, co-sponsored by Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, will be held at Greenfield Community College's downtown campus. The meeting is open by invitation only, targeting chamber board members and large energy users in the region, the Greenfield Recorder reports.  The event will feature presentations by Kinder Morgan, Berkshire Gas, Columbia Gas, the Northeast Gas Association and ISO-New England, the region's electric grid operator. Representatives from Western ...

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    18. Springfield unemployment falls to 8.4 percent; as a region, Greater Springfield unemployment falls to 6 percent | masslive

      Springfield unemployment falls to 8.4 percent; as a region, Greater Springfield unemployment falls to 6 percent | masslive

      Springfield's unemployment rate fell in October to 8.4 percent from 10.4 percent the month before, according to data released Tuesday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The city's unemployment rate was 10.6 percent a year ago in October 2013.  The labor force, or number of people working or looking for work, remained virtually unchanged from September 2014 to October 2014. But year over year it rose by more than 1,000 from 65,707 to 66,866.

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    19. MGM Springfield outlines busy pre-construction schedule and pledges transparent, collaborative approach

      MGM Springfield outlines busy pre-construction schedule and pledges transparent, collaborative approach

      MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis told city councilors Monday night there is no let-up in plans for a local casino project, with the revised site plans slated to be ready in January and a general contractor hired by February. During a 90-minute work session at City Hall, Mathis outlined the current project schedule for MGM's $800 million casino project in the South End, saying there is much work to be done before major construction starts in the spring of 2015. The pre-construction work includes: final revisions to site plans, for council review and needed approval; completion of the purchase ...

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    20. MGM Springfield signs deal with Berkshire Brewing Company as its regional premiere beer provider

      MGM Springfield signs deal with Berkshire Brewing Company as its regional premiere beer provider

      MGM Springfield announced Monday that it has a contractual agreement with Berkshire Brewing Company, of South Deerfield, to serve as its "premiere regional brewing partner and draft beer provider" at its future casino here. "We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Berkshire Brewing Company," said Michael Mathis, MGM Springfield president, in a prepared release. "BBC has a history of brewing quality, good tasting products with Western Massachusetts in mind. Our company has a commitment to sustainability and BBC's efforts to use local ingredients made this a natural partnership."

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
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