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    1. Playing for Keeps

      Playing for Keeps

      The video-game-development company that he and Paul Hake started in 2008 has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings and now employs about 35 people. Based first in Greenfield, then Hatfield, and most recently in Amherst, the firm relocated to downtown Springfield last week, thanks to a commitment of $1.25 million by area investors to keep HitPoint local at a time when Boston and California were calling.

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    2. Connecticut puts Springfield-New Haven commuter rail service out to bid | masslive

      Connecticut puts Springfield-New Haven commuter rail service out to bid | masslive

      The Connecticut Department of Transportation is looking for an operator to run its planned New Haven to Springfield commuter CTrail Hartford line service.  The $365 million project is expected to provide trains at least every half hour during peak hours from Springfield to New Haven with stops at Hartford and other stops in between. Trains are expected to start rolling in late 2016, according to the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  'This is definitely good news for Springfield,' said Timothy W. Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

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    3. Amtrak rail 'employment corridor' would open job opportunities: Letters to the Editor

      While the “high speed” Amtrak service through the newly inaugurated “knowledge corridor” is nice to have, even that with the three daily “shuttles” does not provide true commuter rail service north and south. But it does help. However, the time is long overdue for true commuter rail service between two capital cities passing through Springfield.

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    4. 'That peanut shop' in Springfield (Hampton Farms) gives former jail inmates opportunities for employment success

      'That peanut shop' in Springfield (Hampton Farms) gives former jail inmates opportunities for employment success

      Out of jail, out of work and out of options, Roberto Morales thought he'd give "that peanut shop" a try. Eighteen months ago, he went to what he knew as the peanut shop, the Hampton Farms packaging plant on Avocado Street, to see if see if they were hiring. And if they were hiring, he was interested to know if they would hire an ex-convict who spent five years in prison for selling crack cocaine.

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    5. Springfield Parking Authority seeks retail tenant for downtown Columbus Center complex, pledging 'open arms' approach

      Springfield Parking Authority seeks retail tenant for downtown Columbus Center complex, pledging 'open arms' approach

      The Springfield Parking Authority is looking for a new retail tenant at the Columbus Center complex in the downtown, pledging an "open arms" approach to potential new and innovative uses of the two-floor space that has housed restaurants in the past. Proposals are due by Jan. 15, at 2 p.m., at the Parking Authority office, 150 Bridge St.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    6. First passenger train in a generation stops at Northampton as new Amtrak service begins

      First passenger train in a generation stops at Northampton as new Amtrak service begins

      A crowd of about 100 people jammed the Northampton stop next to the former Depot Restaurant for The Vermonter's first voyage through Northampton since the 1980s. The route also passes through Springfield and Greenfield on its way between St. Albans, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. For decades, the line dog-legged through Amherst, which had its farewell voyage on Sunday.

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    7. ACCGS to Host Speed Networking Event Jan. 14

      ACCGS to Host Speed Networking Event Jan. 14

      Back by popular demand, the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (ACCGS) will hold an afternoon of speed networking on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the Sheraton Springfield, followed by an evening of informal networking at its After 5.  The combination of events will provide attendees the opportunity to meet new contacts in a formal manner, then continue conversations in an informal and casual setting. The core concept to speed networking is the ‘elevator speech,’ a short summary of an individual, business, organization, product, or service that a person could deliver in the time span of a short elevator ride.

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    8. Historic airplane Gee Bee Z, 'The City of Springfield,' proposed for new LEGO set

      Historic airplane Gee Bee Z, 'The City of Springfield,' proposed for new LEGO set

      In honor of its history and its unique design, Comeau is asking LEGO to create a kit that would allow children and adults alike to make their own models of the Gee Bee Z, also called "The City of Springfield." Gee Bee stands for Granville Brothers, the manufacturers of the plane that won every race it entered. The company was based at the former Springfield Airport during the Great Depression, and went bankrupt a few years after pilot Lowell Bayles was killed on Dec. 5, 1931, in a fiery crash of the only Gee Bee Z in existence. Comeau's ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    9. Northampton's new wine bar, ConVino, has soft opening; set for grand opening at month's end

      Northampton's new wine bar, ConVino, has soft opening; set for grand opening at month's end

      ConVino, a new wine bar in town, is nestled in the basement of Thorne's Market in the old Dynamite Records space. Based on the venue's initial soft opening for friends and family yesterday (the grand opening will on Jan. 31), it certainly seemed like a perfect place for friends to gather. The floor layout includes both open spaces for groups and booths for more romantic meet-ups.

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    10. UMass science center rceives interior funding to look at climate change on fish and wildlife

      UMass science center rceives interior funding to look at climate change on fish and wildlife

      Scientists at the Northeast Climate Science Center at the University of Massachusetts have received more than $200,000 from the federal government to look at how climate change is affecting coastal fish and wildlife.The funding is part of nearly $690,000 the Department of the Interior has awarded to universities and other partners for research to help managers of parks, refuges and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change, according to a press release

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    11. Mohawk Fine Papers plans to open South Hadley facility in 4 months

      Mohawk Fine Papers plans to open South Hadley facility in 4 months

      New York-based Mohawk Fine Papers officials says they expect to sign a seven-year lease next month and begin producing 500 million envelopes annually when they start operations in April at 28 Gaylord St. located in the Falls village.And according to a statement released Tuesday by Mohawk Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas D. O'Connor, Jr., the 40 full-time workers at the state of the art, 112,342 square foot facility, exemplifies their commitment to the region

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    12. Chemetal in Easthampton seeks permit for major warehouse addition

      Chemetal in Easthampton seeks permit for major warehouse addition

      A manufacturing firm at 39 O'Neil Street is seeking an amended special permit from the Planning Board for a 30,000 square-foot warehouse addition. Chemetal, a subsidiary of the Easthampton-based October Company, presented its plans, which included a stormwater management component, at a public hearing before the Planning Board Tuesday night. No decision was returned, and the hearing was continued until January 13. Chemetal manufactures and distributes custom architectural laminates for the commercial construction industry, and is located between O'Neill and Lovefield streets on a parcel which abuts the Manhan Rail Trail.

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    13. Knowledge Corridor Special: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, others christen Amtrak rails

      Knowledge Corridor Special: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, others christen Amtrak rails

      Gov. Deval Patrick,  U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Worcester, and retired U.S. Rep. John Olver of Amherst hosted dignitaries and press on the "Knowledge Corridor Special." It was a test run of passenger service on tracks rebuilt in a $120 million state and federal project. The federal stimulus program provided $73 million of the $120 million, with the state making up the rest. The trip was also an old-fashioned whistle-stop with politicians de-training in Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield for speeches and well-wishes. Northampton even had a marching band.

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    14. Chicopee officials hoping state-city-military partnership will preserve Westover Air Base

      Chicopee officials hoping state-city-military partnership will preserve Westover Air Base

      The biggest grant is a $5 million allocation to UMass Amherst to support the creation of a Research and Development partnership program at Westover. The money will be used to lease and renovate a vacant Westover building to establish a national aeronautics, research, development, and training center with the university in the lead. In addition there are plans in discussion to extend the time the air traffic control tower is open to 24-hours. The base also received $930,000 in money to make upgrades to the heating system to make it more energy efficient and Chicopee received $1 million in ...

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    15. Parsons Street School in Easthampton sold; 17 market-rate apartments planned

      Parsons Street School in Easthampton sold; 17 market-rate apartments planned

      The Parsons Street Elementary School was sold Friday to Kevin Perrier, president of Norwich Properties, LLC and Five Star Building, with offices at 123 Union St., for the sum of $10,000, said Mayor Karen Cadieux. Norwich was the only entity to respond to a request for proposals issued on Oct. 29, Cadieux said. Proposals were due in the mayor's office on Dec. 1. Reached Monday, Cadieux said the proposal represents "a significant investment in the community and the neighborhood" and that the sale price is reasonable considering the development costs.

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    16. Holyoke steps toward return of passenger train service with ground-breaking for $3.2 million platform

      Holyoke steps toward return of passenger train service with ground-breaking for $3.2 million platform

      "It's exciting to see Holyoke at the center of that in Western Massachusetts," Mayor Alex B. Morse said. Shortly after, a silver Amtrak trained pulled up to the dirt lot at Main and Dwight streets, a good 10 minutes early, and out stepped U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, Gov. Deval L. Patrick and other officials. Then the officials from up and down the levels of government grabbed a shovel each and conducted the ceremonial and simultaneous tossing of dirt to signal the launch of what will be a 400-foot-long concrete platform with a canopy. Morse and a ...

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    17. Thirst for Progress

      Thirst for Progress

      David Reckhow says water treatment is ripe for innovation.  “We’re working with technologies that are about a century old. We haven’t really advanced all that much over the past 100 years,” said the professor in UMass Amherst’s College of Engineering. “Think about biotechnology or information technology, and all the advances that have been made over the past century. Now imagine what our lives would be like if we had 100-year-old information technology.”  But that’s what water-treatment workers must deal with. Admittedly, one reason is that the processes in use have worked remarkably well at keeping people ...

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    18. Economic Outlook 2015 — Positively Charged | BusinessWest

      Economic Outlook 2015 — Positively Charged | BusinessWest

      Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, economic expansion in Western Mass. — and many other parts of the country as well — has been, in a word, limited.
      And these limits have resulted from a host of factors that have stood in the way of more profound recovery. They include everything from lackluster hiring trends to high energy prices and their impact on businesses and consumers alike; from economic turmoil abroad, especially in Europe, to political chaos in Washington, as with the so-called fiscal cliff of early 2013; from a floundering housing market to a persistent lack of confidence ...

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