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    1. Chicopee Chamber of Commerce president Gail Sherman retiring

      Chicopee Chamber of Commerce president Gail Sherman retiring

      “Gail Sherman is going to be missed. I have worked with her for the past six years and found her to be a great leader,” he said. “Gail’s relationship with members, community leaders and elected officials has created a branding of the chamber as a regional collaborator, a valuable advocate for members and a necessary component in the area’s economic development.”

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    2. Massachusetts employers gloomy in reaction to federal budget woes

      Massachusetts employers gloomy in reaction to federal budget woes

      The Associated Industries of Massachusetts said this week that it's Business Confidence Index fell 4.8 points in October from 51.5 points in September to 46.7. The index is based on a 100-point scale where 50 is neutral, anything above 50 is positive and anything below 50 is negative. \

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    3. Elms College dedicates new Center for Natural and Health Sciences

      Elms College dedicates new Center for Natural and Health Sciences

      The new facility was financed with $12 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing from Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp., with PeoplesBank and United Bank as investors. Financing for the project also came from a capital campaign and from tax-exempt bond proceeds lent to Elms College by a consortium of local banks, led by Chicopee Savings Bank.

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    4. Springfield wins approval to spend $13 million in federal tornado recovery funds

      Springfield wins approval to spend $13 million in federal tornado recovery funds

      Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield announced details of the redevelopment project in August. The plan was developed with the help of city officials, neighborhood groups and after three public hearings in tornado-damaged neighborhoods. Funding for the first stage must be spent within 2 years, and the entire $22 million project must be completed in 5 years, McCafferty said.

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    5. Bradley International Airport adds parking programs for frequent fliers | masslive.com

      Bradley International Airport adds parking programs for frequent fliers | masslive.com

      Two programs have gone into effect at Bradley International Airport making it easier to park there, courtesy of the Connecticut Airport Authority and Standard Parking Inc., the parking operator.  The first program is a new “Frequent Parker Program” called “Auto-Pilot Rewards.” It started on Oct. 1, and already, more than 500 customers have enrolled.

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    6. Pioneer Valley Transit Authority seeks $70 million to build new bus operations and maintenance facility in Springfield

      Pioneer Valley Transit Authority seeks $70 million to build new bus operations and maintenance facility in Springfield

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is seeking about $70 million in state money to construct a new operations and maintenance facility in Springfield for its fleet of vans and buses.  The proposed 308,840-square-foot facility would be built on 18 industrially-zoned acres at 665 Cottage St. in Springfield. It would be a major upgrade from the current outdated, cramped operations and storage building at 2840 Main St. in Springfield, according to Mary L. MacInnes, administrator of the authority, which provides public transportation for 24 communities.

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    7. Former Union Station restaurant in Northampton to be home to new sports bar

      Former Union Station restaurant in Northampton to be home to new sports bar

      Jeremiah Micka, who bought the one-time train station from Matthew Pitoniak with partners David Fortier and John Rhoades, said the Platform Sports Bar should be open for business by mid-January or early February. The bar, which will be located on the north side of the building, was once an open platform, Micka said, thus the name. The rest of the building will be turned into a 200-seat banquet hall. That part of the project will not be completed until early summer, Micka said.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    8. Maria Ligus named new executive director of New North Citizens Council

      Maria Ligus named new executive director of New North Citizens Council

      Ligus, who has a master's degree in education from Cambridge College, has served as chief operating officer for several years and had been serving as the interim director since Denney’s death. She said the switch to chief executive officer has been a natural transition. "Some responsibilities are the same, but we must also have the ability to move the agency forward in its vision and mission," she said.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    9. 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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    10. 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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    11. 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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    12. 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
    13. 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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    14. 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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    15. 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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    16. 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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    17. 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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    18. 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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    19. 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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