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    1. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker gets up close look at MBTA train cars set to be built in...

      Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker gets up close look at MBTA train cars set to be built in...

      Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is getting an up close look at the new MBTA Orange Line cars. Baker is scheduled to see a model on Tuesday. The model came via cargo ship from China and is sitting in Medford's Wellington Yard. The Chinese-owned firm CRRC MA is building the cars inside a $95 million subway car factory in Springfield. The company has a contract with Massachusetts to build 152 Orange Line cars and 252 Red Line cars, and is seeking contracts with other US transit agencies. Transporation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Acting MBTA General Manager Brain Shortsleeve and MBTA Chief ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. Planet Fitness to celebrate grand opening in Springfield with giveaways, free pizza

      Planet Fitness to celebrate grand opening in Springfield with giveaways, free pizza

      A new Planet Fitness location has opened in Springfield and the owners are celebrating with free food, charity donations and raffle prizes.  The 22,000-square-foot gym just off Boston Road features cardio machines, strength equipment, a locker room with day lockers and showers, HydroMassage beds, massage chairs, tanning beds and a red light therapy booth that seeks to increase circulation and produce elastin and collagen in the body.  The location has tailored its workout equipment to gym goers hoping to fit a quick workout into their days, with a 20 station circuit of strength machines and cardio-step stations that takes ...

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    3. Stanley Black & Decker completes Lenox American saw purchase, plans to continue operating East Longmeadow plant

      Stanley Black & Decker completes Lenox American saw purchase, plans to continue operating East Longmeadow plant

      Connecticut-based tool giant Stanley Black & Decker earlier this month completed its purchase of Newell Brands' tool division, which includes Lenox American Saw and its 500,000-square-foot factory here with 640 employees. The $1.95 billion acquisition was first announced in October. The deal represents more than $700 million of revenues from brands like Lenox and Irwin hand tools, Stanley Black & Decker said in a news release.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    4. Springfield unemployment rate rises in January, but is lower than it was a year ago

      Springfield unemployment rate rises in January, but is lower than it was a year ago

      Unemployment in the city of Springfield rose in January, likely because seasonal jobs at stores and delivery services ended, according to numbers released Friday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for the city of Springfield in January was 7.2 percent, up two percentage points from 5.2 percent recorded in December. But the unemployment rate was higher, at 8.9 percent, a year ago in January 2016. Unlike statewide and national unemployment data, local employment numbers are not adjusted for seasonal changes in the ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. New start-up offers fine dining and fast food delivery in Western Massachusetts

      New start-up offers fine dining and fast food delivery in Western Massachusetts

      A new service in the Pioneer Valley offers a wide menu of food options, from sushi or a rack of lamb to donuts and coffee. Dine In Deliver offers delivery from local and franchise restaurants in Western Massachusetts.  Customers visit the delivery service website and place their order online. Dine In Deliver offers delivery currently from 21 restaurants, including: Chick-fil-a, Dunkin Donuts, Europa Restaurant in Ludlow, Master Chef in South Hadley, Rumbleseat Bar and Grille in Chicopee and Taco Bell / Pizza Hut Express in Chicopee.

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    6. Tree House Brewing Co. Expands Its Horizons

      Tree House Brewing Co. Expands Its Horizons

      It’s one of the region’s most unlikely success stories — a brewery that doesn’t distribute its beers beyond the building where they’re crafted, yet has managed to amass a passionate following of enthusiasts who wait in long lines to buy that week’s selections. From humble beginnings in a Brimfield barn, Monson-based Tree House Brewing Co. will make its second big move later this year, into a 55,000-square-foot brewery in Charlton, which will dramatically expand its capacity, raise its profile, and put smiles on the faces of a lot more thirsty people.

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    7. PVTA plans to cut hundreds of bus stops in Springfield

      PVTA plans to cut hundreds of bus stops in Springfield

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority has exactly 814 stops in the city of Springfield -- and that's about twice as many as an intracity bus line needs to have in a city this size. So, with a plan that's been in the works for months but is now in front of the City Council, the transit authority hopes to cut the number of Springfield stops by more than 45 percent, to just 442. The move, said outgoing PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes, will bring some rationality to a transit layout where some stops are just 400 feet apart.

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    8. Developers Find New Uses for Holyoke Properties

      Developers Find New Uses for Holyoke Properties

      Marco Luzuriaga and his brother Denis are betting on the future. To be precise, that’s the future of Holyoke, a city where years of disinvestment led to vacant buildings with major environmental challenges that squashed any interest developers had in investing in them. But a slow evolution has occurred over the past few years, and the landscape is undergoing marked change. The combination of Mayor Alex Morse’s proactive stance, support from the City Council, and work by other officials led to the creation of an urban-renewal plan four years ago that is finally coming to fruition. Notable progress ...

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    9. Report: Nonprofits Have Vital Role in Closing EITC Awareness Gap - BusinessWest

      The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) recently released a new edition of its Commonwealth Insights publication series. The report, “Doing More Good: Making the Most of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC),” details the lifeline for low-income families that is the EITC and the gap between those eligible for this credit and those claiming it. With less than a month to go before the tax-filing deadline, MNN is calling on nonprofits across the state to help spread awareness and increase access to the EITC. The report indicates that, each year, more than 100,000 Massachusetts residents who are eligible for the ...

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    10. STCC students build 'solar suitcases' used by doctors in Kenya

      STCC students build 'solar suitcases' used by doctors in Kenya

      Teaching students about the real-world applications of science is one of professor Barbara Washburn's passions. The chairwoman of the physics department at Springfield Technical Community College, who has degrees in electrical and laser engineering, is constantly looking for ways to engage her students. Her most recent idea was to let students in her engineering class work with Gateway to College high school students to build "solar suitcases" that can be used by health workers and schools in third-world countries to provide light and electricity. According to the We Care Solar website, the suitcases that go to schools and community ...

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    11. WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      Massachusetts energy officials have awarded $1.4 million in grants to seven Western Massachusetts communities to fund clean energy projects. The grants will go to Chicopee, Agawam, Blandford, Granville, Ware, Warren and Westfield. The largest grant, $266,000, will go to Westfield, followed by $208,000 to Agawam. The grants were part of the "Green Communities" program, in which communities make certain commitments related to energy and the environment, such as reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years, and are then eligible for state grants and assistance.

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    12. UMass Center teams up with Springfield schools to give students college experience

      UMass Center teams up with Springfield schools to give students college experience

      Dressed in their Sunday best 5th graders from Rebecca M. Johnson School drew pictures all over the white board in a classroom at the UMass Center in downtown Springfield. "They are drawing pictures to reflect different careers in STEAM, science, technology, engineering, arts and math," said Jamina Scippio-McFadden, director of student services, academic support, marketing and community relations for UMass Springfield. The students were able to tour the satellite campus as part of the University of Massachusetts program called College Matters for U, designed to reach out to Springfield schoolchildren and to demystify the process of getting into and attending ...

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    13. East Longmeadow Play-Doh plan puts focus on need for manufacturing employees

      East Longmeadow Play-Doh plan puts focus on need for manufacturing employees

      Making stuff out of Play-Doh is child's play. But making Play-Doh and packaging it for shipment requires giant bakery-style mixers, high-speed rollers, extruders, cutters, plastics molding machines, at least four robots and workers with the technical know-how to keep all that equipment churning away. "It's a fairly automated and complex process," said Jeff Lombard, CEO of Cartamundi East Longmeadow, which is gearing up to start making Play-Doh for toy giant Hasbro by the end of 2018. "You need people who understand mechanics, electronics, pneumatics. You have equipment integration." Hasbro contracts with Cartamundi to make its games and toys ...

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    14. Rodney Hunt liquidates tools and supplies as Orange manufacturer closes

      Rodney Hunt liquidates tools and supplies as Orange manufacturer closes

      Rodney Hunt manufactured gate valves and other large industrial parts like sluiceways for hydroelectric plants. In 2015, the company announced it would shut down completely and close its plant in the town of Orange. The company was founded in 1840 as a maker of wooden tools and simple machines. At the time of the 2015 announcement, Rodney Hunt had about 200 employees. Now, that's down to barely any workers as the factory building at 46 Mill St. is shut down, said Town Administrator Diana M. Schindler. "Now we are looking for something to replace those jobs, just like everyplace ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    15. Springfield seeks contractor for $3.5M repair-renovation of historic Central Library

      Springfield seeks contractor for $3.5M repair-renovation of historic Central Library

      Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Peter Garvey, the city's director of capital asset construction, said the project is essential for the historic integrity and care of the city's main library. "We're extremely fortunate to have a magnificent 'Andrew Carnegie' Central Library and Quad/Museums complex," Sarno said. "In turn, it's important that we preserve and protect this legacy to further our city's future." The library is one of four in Springfield, and nearly 1,700 around the U.S., whose construction was funded in part by donations from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in the late 19th ...

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    16. Springfield officials talk economic development, jobs with state secretary of Housing and...

      Springfield officials talk economic development, jobs with state secretary of Housing and...

      Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy met Wednesday with Jay Ash, secretary of the state's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, for a continued discussion of the city's economic development projects. Sarno said he and Kennedy provided Ash with updates on $3.3 billion in economic development initiatives in Springfield and the effort to expand other development and job-creation projects.

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    17. Shutesbury opts for fiber optic network; rejects Charter cable offer

      Shutesbury opts for fiber optic network; rejects Charter cable offer

      The Shutesbury Board of Selectmen has rejected a proposal from Charter Communications to build a cable network within its borders, saying the town should take take available state broadband grants and apply the money to constructing its own fiber optic network. Local officials wrote to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute on March 9, saying the Charter cable proposal "is not a good long-term solution to bring broadband to our town" and that "town leadership still believes that building and owning our own network is preferable."

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    18. Porchlight Partnership with STCC Yields Advances in Home Care

      Holly Chaffee, president of Porchlight VNA/Home Care, and Sharon Grundel, director of Healthcare Training Development at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), presented to healthcare leaders at the Organization of Nurse Leaders Quarterly Educational Meeting at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. on March 10. The presentation detailed the partnership the two organizations developed in 2015 to bring an innovative approach to in-home, direct-care worker training, including the use of new technology. The training program was made possible with a grant from the Training and Workforce Options (TWO) collaborative between STCC and Holyoke Community College and the Mass. Department of Higher ...

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    19. Agway Home & Garden stores in Westfield, Palmer roar back to life with new owners

      Agway Home & Garden stores in Westfield, Palmer roar back to life with new owners

      Some customers at Kelly's Home & Garden early this week were looking for replacement belts to get their snowblowers up and running. Some wanted to know when the spring flowering annuals would be in stock. That's life in New England when there is a March snowstorm and life at a store that sells products and equipment for homes and gardens in the springtime like Kelly's Home & Garden in Westfield.

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      Mentions: Palmer Westfield
    20. Springfield Housing Authority offers literacy program, expands elderly services

      Springfield Housing Authority offers literacy program, expands elderly services

      The Springfield Housing Authority has been awarded a $482,094 federal grant which will help the agency expand services for seniors as well as establish a literacy program. The three-year U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency grant will fund the Talk/Read/Succeed! program at Duggan Park Apartments, a family development with 196 units in the Indian Orchard section of the city, according to the agency. The grant will also provide staffing for additional Resident Services programming at Riverview Apartments, which includes 302 units for elderly and handicap residents, and another 42 family ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. Chandler's Restaurant at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield to be replaced with Au Bon Pain

      Chandler's Restaurant at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield to be replaced with Au Bon Pain

      Chandler's Restaurant, the award-winning restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, will soon serve its last meal.  The company told employees Monday that the restaurant will be closed and replaced with an Au Bon Pain in July. Chandler's has offered traditional American dishes for both a lunch crowd and couples seeking romantic candlelight dinners since 1995. The restaurant's last day of operation will be May 14.

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    22. Halpern Titanium Has a Sharp Focus on Continued Growth

      Halpern Titanium Has a Sharp Focus on Continued Growth

      Marianne Halpern says the company used to be called Custom Knife Supply because … well, that’s what it did — that’s all it did.  It supplied custom parts — blades, handles, hinges, and other components — to knife makers across the country, she said of the venture that she and her husband, Les, started out of their home in Monson, more as a money-making hobby than anything else.  Exactly how much the new name has helped the company is a matter of debate, but what isn’t is the fact that Halpern Titanium, now located in the Palmer Technology Center (the old ...

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      Mentions: Palmer
    23. Chipotle Mexican Grill opening on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield

      Chipotle Mexican Grill opening on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield

      A new chain restaurant is slated to make its debut on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield. Chipotle Mexican Grill will open its doors for the first time at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, March, 16, according to representatives of the Denver-based company, which employs over 45,000 people and has a net income of around $475 million. Mayor Will Reichelt is among the dignitaries slated to attend a 4 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening day of the restaurant, which is located at 241 Memorial Ave. The restaurant will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m ...

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    24. Women’s Fund, Bay Path Partner to Promote Leadership, Learning

      The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and Bay Path University announced a groundbreaking partnership aimed at driving women’s leadership and educational access by providing college credits as part of the Women’s Fund Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) program. Through this partnership, which aims to educate women for leadership roles, the LIPPI program will give participants access to Bay Path’s online classroom tools, including access to virtual sessions with instructors and with their cohort. LIPPI participants will also be able to opt in to receive three undergraduate or graduate credits from Bay Path or ...

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      Mentions: Carol A. Leary
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