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    1. Beginning today, doctors can grab far-flung medical records in emergencies

      At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center today, Governor Deval Patrick will participate in a simulation that will demonstrate a health information exchange that has real power to improve care and lower costs. The launch of this second phase means that the HIE is finally fully operational. The state was the first out of the gate with funding for the HIE, now called the HIway, back in 2009, after the approval of the federal HITECH act. The state won a total of $14 million from the Office of the National Coordinator, the health IT agency, and another $20 million from Medicaid ...

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    2. Associated Industries of Massachusetts: 2013 a 'lost year' for state economy

      Associated Industries of Massachusetts: 2013 a 'lost year' for state economy

      Employers' confidence in the Massachusetts economy remained unchanged in December, closing the year barely better than neutral after what the Associated Industries of Massachusetts called a 'lost year' of little overall progress.  'It's better than it was a year before, but last December was an awful month with the fiscal cliff facing us,' said Andre Mayer, senior advisor for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a statewide business group that does the monthly confidence surveys. 'We had our ups and downs, basically ending up back where we were. The downs appear to be the result of fiscal policy deadlock in Washington.'

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    3. Unemployment battle needs training arsenal | masslive.com

      Unemployment battle needs training arsenal | masslive.com

      To some extent, these issues can be addressed by fixing the skills gap that many local employers face right now. It seems strange that there are thousands of unfilled jobs, many with good wages, when nearly 250,000 people remain unemployed in Massachusetts. Community colleges can certainly help, but private universities should also look at the considerable resources they can contribute.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    4. At Springfield's Renaissance School, students march toward college

      At Springfield's Renaissance School, students march toward college

      On a blustery December morning, Springfield Renaissance School’s senior and freshman classes marched out the front door, crossed Carew Street and followed the sidewalk to a mailbox on St. James Avenue. One by one, the seniors stepped up and mailed their college applications as the underclassmen hooted and cheered.  “That’s seven years of work,” said 18-year-old Connor Gadbois, the first to drop his envelope in the box.

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    5. Springfield Hampton Inn & Suites to feature 87 rooms on East Columbus Avenue site

      Springfield Hampton Inn & Suites to feature 87 rooms on East Columbus Avenue site

      The 87-room Hampton Inn and Suites under construction at 851 East Columbus Ave. should be open by July or August, says developer Dinesh Patel.  The hotel is being built on the former site of Balise Hyundai on a 1.4 acre lot at a cost of $4.4 million. It is near the area proposed as a site for the MGM Resorts International casino.  Patel said it is a perfect location for a hotel with great visibility from Interstate 91.

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    6. Exec's departure signals culture, strategy shift at NU

      Exec's departure signals culture, strategy shift at NU

      'We basically relied on NU as a major supporter of the Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership,' said Lyle Wray, executive director of the Connecticut Capital Region Council of Governments. 'We were able to recover from the loss and still keep the partnership going … but the biggest impact they had was eliminating their support.'

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    7. One-stop shop: Detector Technology in Palmer looks to create 'manufacturing mall'

      One-stop shop: Detector Technology in Palmer looks to create 'manufacturing mall'

      Jay Ray, president and CEO of Detector Technology Inc., likens his company's expansion project to a manufacturing mall. Think of storefronts, he said, lining the perimeter of a precision machine shop. Each storefront, each distinct physical space in the plant, run by and representing a critical step or aspect of manufacturing, development and assembling highly technical products.

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      Mentions: Palmer Holyoke
    8. Springfield's Putnam Vocational Technical Academy staff, students take pride in new school, student achievement

      Springfield's Putnam Vocational Technical Academy staff, students take pride in new school, student achievement

      In the span of just four years, Putnam has transformed from a school with serious discipline problems and struggling academic performance to a school with dramatically improved behavior and rising test scores and graduation rates, said Principal Gilbert E. Traverso. His sentiment were echoed by many others during recent visits to the school by The Republican/MassLive.com. Traverso and others raved about their new, $114 million school that opened in August 2012 on State Street, replacing the adjacent, deteriorated building. The former school was subsequently demolished.

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    9. The Lights Fantastic | BusinessWest

      The Lights Fantastic | BusinessWest

      Mike Zaskey says LED (light-emitting diode) technology has been on his radar screen for more than a decade now.  He understood its vast potential to open new doors for the company he founded, Chicopee-based Zasco Productions, by enabling it to contend for projects — and there are many of them — that could benefit from the technology’s ability to produce a sharp, bright, high-quality video display image, even in direct sunlight, a considerable improvement over projection technology.  But he also understood its high price tag and how difficult — especially years ago, when this technology was considerably more expensive — it would likely ...

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    10. Raising Their Game | BusinessWest

      Raising Their Game | BusinessWest

      The fact that the Business Growth Center positively teems with knowledge, from the array of economic-development organizations, small businesses, and other agencies that populate the center, is one of its key strengths, she noted, and one that the center is actively marketing, not just to lease space at the center, but through a series of new programs and outreaches aimed at helping small businesses throughout the region grow and thrive.

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      Mentions: Marla Michel
    11. TD Charitable Foundation awards $100,000 to Parsons Village project in Easthampton

      TD Charitable Foundation awards $100,000 to Parsons Village project in Easthampton

      Northampton-based Valley Community Development has been awarded a $100,000 grant for the Parsons Village project from the TD Charitable Foundation, one of just 25 given nationally. The award will allow the developer to restore some aspects of the project it had to cut to meet budget, said CDC Executive Director Joanne Campbell.

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    12. Holyoke Creative Arts Center moving to downtown site near other arts-related ventures

      Holyoke Creative Arts Center moving to downtown site near other arts-related ventures

      The non-profit Creative Arts Center opened nearly a century ago with a mission of teaching the creative arts and trades. Classes can last several weeks or consist of one-day workshops in crafts like quilting and upholstery to wood-carving and making of cupcakes. The center, at 400 South Elm St., is an independent non-profit that has received city funding to help with its rent since county government stopped funding such centers statewide. Funding from the city for this year is $42,000, said Bianchine, who is president of the center's board.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    13. UMass climate center to award $800,000 to help park and refuge managers adapt to changing weather

      UMass climate center to award $800,000 to help park and refuge managers adapt to changing weather

      The Northeast Climate Science Center at the University of Massachusetts is awarding more than $800,000 to universities and other partners for research that will aid park and refuge managers and to help species and ecosystems adapt to regional climate change, according to a press release. The money is coming from the Department of the Interior, which is funding this and other regional science centers around the country.

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    14. Nuclea Biotechnologies in Pittsfield hopes to relocate manufacturing to old GE site from Cambridge

      Nuclea Biotechnologies in Pittsfield hopes to relocate manufacturing to old GE site from Cambridge

      Nuclea Biotechnologies, a developer and maker of diagnostic tests for cancer and diabetes, hopes to move manufacturing operations from Cambridge to the Berkshires. The new location would be near Nuclea's current headquarters in what was once General Electric's sprawling Pittsfield manufacturing complex. Today it is the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority property now known as the William Stanley Business Park.

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    15. Cooley Dickinson's radiation oncology program receives accreditiation

      Cooley Dickinson's radiation oncology program receives accreditiation

      Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Radiation Oncology program has earned accreditation by the American College of Radiology. According to spokeswoman Christina Trinchero, the hospital had to submit medical records to the organization for quality assurance review as part of the process. Accreditation shows that Cooley Dickinson is exceeding quality assurance protocols in the radiation oncology fields, Trinchero said. It represents the highest level of quality and patient safety.

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    16. Greenfield's new 'green' master plan almost finished

      A new “sustainable” master plan that will carry the town through at least the next 10 years includes suggestions for preserving open space and agricultural land, promoting energy efficiency throughout town, and encouraging more use of pedestrian and bike paths, as well as public transportation, to reduce the town’s carbon footprint. The words that came up again and again as a 35-member Sustainable Master Plan Advisory Committee met over the last 13 months to write the sustainable master plan were: resilience, vibrancy and quality (of life). Now, the sustainable master plan, which will go to the town’s Planning ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    17. Western Massachusetts residents not surprised on gaming commission's MGM vote, still hold mixed feelings about Springfield casino project

      Western Massachusetts residents not surprised on gaming commission's MGM vote, still hold mixed feelings about Springfield casino project

      "MGM is a world-class company and they are a perfect fit for this neighborhood. I grew up here in the South End so there are a lot of heart strings for me in this neighborhood," Bertelli said. "The (June 2011) tornado was seen as the final nail in the coffin for the neighborhood, and I think MGM is the chance of hope."

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    18. Springfield officials pleased with Massachusetts Gaming Commission's positive suitability decision on MGM's South End ...

      Springfield officials pleased with Massachusetts Gaming Commission's positive suitability decision on MGM's South End ...

      "I had a brief conversation with the mayor earlier and he is very, very pleased as are all of us who've worked so hard on this," Kennedy said at a brief press conference following the commission's announcement. "And we expect that we've overcome another hurdle in the process and we look forward to working with MGM to settle the remaining issues that are there as we march, hopefully, toward a licenseure in May of 2014."

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    19. Square One, United Personnel help mothers enter job market with Mom Squad training program

      Square One, United Personnel help mothers enter job market with Mom Squad training program

      United Personnel also brings recruiters into a Square One child-care center for a job fair, followed by practice interviews and resume help. It also allows Mom Squad participants to go through the company's assessment tests and figure out what kind of jobs they are good at.

      "Job hunting is lonely these days because so much of it is on the Internet," she said.

      And there are jobs out there, Canavan said.

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    20. Menck Windows in Chicopee, Berkshire Mountain Distillers in Sheffield, Titan Roofing in Springfield and Mestek in Westfield get tax incentives for growth

      Menck Windows in Chicopee, Berkshire Mountain Distillers in Sheffield, Titan Roofing in Springfield and Mestek in Westfield get tax incentives for growth

      Four Western Massachusetts companies, including three manufacturers, are getting tax incentives to encourage investment and job creation, the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development said Thursday.  And one of the four, Menck Windows of Chicopee brings an entirely new business to the region, according to the news release  The other three are Mestek Inc., a maker of heating and cooling equipment in Westfield, Berkshire Mountain Distillers Inc. in Sheffield and Titan Roofing in Springfield.

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    21. State tax credit given WinnDevelopment for independent living apartments at Ludlow mills

      State tax credit given WinnDevelopment for independent living apartments at Ludlow mills

      Kenneth Delude, president of Westmass Area Development Corp., which is overseeing redevelopment of the Ludlow Mills, said, “This is the fifth round of funds from the Secretary of State’s office, bringing the funding so far to $1.9 million for the senior housing project.  WinnDevelopment will now apply for federal historical tax credits to further fund the $24.5 million project, Delude said.

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