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    1. With CTrail ready to roll, travelers ponder if they'll use Springfield-Hartford-New Haven train line

      With CTrail ready to roll, travelers ponder if they'll use Springfield-Hartford-New Haven train line

      CTrail's Hartford Line begins service Saturday. CTrail and Amtrak trains will provide a total of 34 daily trips on weekdays, 12 trips on Saturdays, and 13 trips on Sundays and holidays. A timetable is available at hartfordline.com. On Friday, U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal and others will cut a ribbon at Springfield Union Station for a ceremonial launch. A party of officials from Springfield will take a train to Hartford, where they'll meet Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, who's planning to take a train north from New Haven.

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    2. Springfield Union Station offers commuter parking rate as CTrail service begins

      Springfield Union Station offers commuter parking rate as CTrail service begins

      Starting Monday, with the arrival of CTrail train service from Springfield to Hartford and New Haven, commuters will be able to park in Springfield Union Station's parking deck for $5 a day. And starting in July, they'll be able to park in the Union Station garage for $65 a month, according to a news release issued Wednesday. Parking at Union Station will be free this Saturday and Sunday when CTrail offers free trips as a way to introduce folks to the service. Local officials, including U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, will take a ceremonial ride Friday ...

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    3. Hannoush Jewelers will open store at MGM Springfield casino

      Hannoush Jewelers will open store at MGM Springfield casino

      Hannoush Jewelers will have a store at the MGM Springfield casino, the Springfield-based chain and MGM announced today. "We are going to build, or we are in the process of building, a beautiful new store," Camile Hannoush said. "A new prototype, a whole new look. Springfield is our home." The Hannoush brothers -- Elias, Joseph, Anthony, Norman, Peter, George, Camile and Nabil -- got their start locally working for Kay Jewelers in the Eastfield Mall back in 1978. They opened their first store in Chicopee two years later.

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    4. Gov. Charlie Baker expected at groundbreaking for North Amherst housing project

      Gov. Charlie Baker expected at groundbreaking for North Amherst housing project

      Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to be on hand Thursday to celebrate Beacon Communities' 130-unit housing project in North Amherst's Mill District. According to his deputy press secretary, the governor is planning to attend the 2 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony. State, local and project officials are also expected to speak. Work on the project began earlier this spring.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    5. Northampton mayor sees busy train station getting busier with planned north-south Knowledge Corridor service expansion

      Northampton mayor sees busy train station getting busier with planned north-south Knowledge Corridor service expansion

      Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz knows that an old technology -- the passenger train -- is a big part of his city's future. "You can see it when you drive past the station," Narkewicz said Tuesday of his city's open-air Amtrak station on Pleasant Street at the edge of downtown. "There are people lined up in the parking lot." It's a scene he feels he'll see more often starting in June 2019 when expanded train service from Springfield on the Knowledge Corridor line through Holyoke and Northampton to Greenfield begins.

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    6. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker cites MassMutual expansion, job creation in Springfield economic development speech

      Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker cites MassMutual expansion, job creation in Springfield economic development speech

      Gov. Charlie Baker spoke before a large audience of business executives and property developers Tuesday at the MassMutual Center, but at times he was talking to just two men. State Sen. Eric P. Lesser, D-Longmeadow, and State Rep. Joseph F. Wagner, D-Chicopee, each chair the committees reviewing the Baker administration's $610 million economic development bill.

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    7. Expanded north-south rail service from Springfield to begin in June 2019

      Expanded north-south rail service from Springfield to begin in June 2019

      The commonwealth of Massachusetts has an agreement with Connecticut authorities and Amtrak to provide on a pilot basis two extended daily CTrail trains from Springfield with stops in Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. One train will run in the morning and one later in the day -- both north and south -- on the Knowledge Corridor line paralleling the Connecticut River. The only train traveling north of Springfield now is Amtrak's Vermonter, which runs once a day in each direction.  The pilot project, revealed Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Baker at a news conference in Springfield's Union Station, will cost Massachusetts $1 ...

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    8. Ludlow’s Mill Project Is Right on Schedule

      Ludlow’s Mill Project Is Right on Schedule

      Eric Nelson said he recently had cause to look over the occupancy permit issued to Westmass Area Development Corp. for the property now known as Ludlow Mills. The date on the document — April 2012 — gave him both pause and more evidence that time does, indeed, fly. Yes, it’s been more than six years since this ambitious project — a blend of both brownfield and greenfield development — was launched, and, for the most part, it is on schedule, said Nelson, president of Westmass for roughly half the duration of this effort. And by on schedule, he was referring to the pace ...

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    9. Kathy Anderson leaving as Holyoke Chamber president for job at Holyoke Medical Center

      Kathy Anderson leaving as Holyoke Chamber president for job at Holyoke Medical Center

      Kathleen G. Anderson will leave after six years as president of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce July 31 for a job at Holyoke Medical Center, she said Monday. "The chamber has been probably the most rewarding job of my life. It has been so good to watch businesses grow," said Anderson, 60. At the hospital, at 575 Beech St., Anderson will be manager of community benefits, she said. "It's going out in the community, understanding the needs of the different parts of  your community. Like going into different senior centers and asking what their needs are. I'll ...

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    10. Businessman Naresh Patel to buy Whiskerz Pub in Easthampton

      Businessman Naresh Patel to buy Whiskerz Pub in Easthampton

      Local businessman Naresh K. Patel is buying a popular downtown bar from a popular downtown bar owner. Patel on June 4 told the Easthampton Licensing Board that he plans to purchase Whiskerz Pub, including the business and building at 71-77 Cottage St., from Eugene "Joe" Bernier Jr. The building includes the first floor commercial space and four apartments on the second floor.  The three-member board unanimously approved the liquor license transfer from Whiskerz Pub, Inc., managed by Bernier since 2002, to Easthampton Sports Bar Inc., doing business as "Eagles Sports Bar," with Patel as manager.

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    11. MassDOT announces $21.5M project to rebuild Morgan-Sullivan Bridge linking Agawam to West Springfield near Big E

      MassDOT announces $21.5M project to rebuild Morgan-Sullivan Bridge linking Agawam to West Springfield near Big E

      The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors announced Monday that the $21.5 million Morgan-Sullivan Bridge reconstruction project is slated to get underway this summer. The aging bridge carries traffic on Memorial Avenue (Route 147) over the Westfield River between Agawam and West Springfield near The Big E fairgrounds. State Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver says MassDOT appreciates the input it received from its two municipal partners in the state and federal project, which calls for replacing the structurally deficient bridge with a wider span that can handle increased traffic capacity. The federal government is expected to fund around 80 ...

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    12. Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies urging state to continue funding technical assistance programs that help municipalities

      Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies urging state to continue funding technical assistance programs that help municipalities

      A critical funding source that allows the state's 13 regional planning agencies to provide free technical assistance to municipal planning departments was not included in the state Senate budget and now depends on the Legislature's conference committee to preserve it. Timothy W. Brennan, the executive director of both the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, sent a letter last week to members of the fiscal year 2019 Budget Conference Committee, "strongly and respectfully" urging them to authorize $2.8 million for the District Local Technical Assistance program and $88 million for Regional ...

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    13. Sunderland celebrates 300 years of community: Viewpoint

      Sunderland celebrates 300 years of community: Viewpoint

      It was that soil which no doubt drew early settlers more than three centuries ago to what is the southernmost community in Franklin County and which has proven to be the lifeblood of the town once known as Swampfield.  Drive Route 47 along North and South Main streets through the heart of Sunderland and you'll find historic (and newer) homes that stand on some of the original 40 lots designated when the town was incorporated in 1718, fronted by now towering maple trees planted many decades ago. Better yet, return when fall's foliage season turns those maples ablaze ...

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    14. 400 students participate in 1st academy signing day as Holyoke redesigns high school...

      400 students participate in 1st academy signing day as Holyoke redesigns high school...

      About 400 students who will be sophomores during the 2018-2019 school year participated in the first academy signing day of the redesigned high school experience. "This is a major milestone for Holyoke High School, our students and their families," Stephen P. Zrike, state-appointed receiver in charge of the Holyoke public schools, said in a press release after the Thursday event. "We are all excited about next year and this new and innovative way to help our students achieve their goals," he said. The event at Holyoke High School at 500 Beech St. entailed students signing letters of intent to attend ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    15. Gov. Charlie Baker says he thinks 'people are going to be blown away' by MGM Springfield

      Gov. Charlie Baker says he thinks 'people are going to be blown away' by MGM Springfield

      Although MGM Springfield is still months away from opening, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he believes people are going to be "blown away" by the nearly $1 billion resort.  Baker, who toured the downtown casino and hotel project Saturday, told reporters he was impressed by the project's attention to detail and commitment to highlighting local history. "This thing is going to be spectacular. ... There's so many items and elements to this thing that are specifically geared toward reminding people this is in Springfield and it's a big part of Springfield's history," he said following an afternoon ...

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    16. CTrail: With commuter trains a week away, officials warn of increased traffic

      CTrail: With commuter trains a week away, officials warn of increased traffic

      Train traffic will increase on the rail line from Springfield through Hartford to New Haven starting Saturday, the Connecticut Department of Transportation warned. The ceremonial first trains of the new CTrail commuter train service won't run until June 15. Rides will be free over the weekend of June 16-17, and regular service begins June 18. But starting Saturday, Amtrak's portion of the Hartford Line service will commence, ConnDOT said in a news release. This will increase the number of daily Amtrak trains from 12 to 18. Also starting Saturday, CTrail trains will begin test runs of the full ...

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      Mentions: Amtrak Springfield
    17. West Springfield to work with Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on affordable housing production plan

      West Springfield to work with Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on affordable housing production plan

      The town has received two free technical assistance grants to work with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on a housing production plan and a stormwater ordinance to comply with upcoming changes to West Springfield's permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.  West Springfield Planning Administrator Allyson Manuel announced the news at Wednesday's Planning Board meeting. The housing production plan is expected to examine West Side's current needs, including a strategy to develop more affordable units in town. As of September 2017, West Side's affordable housing stock was around 3.4 percent, or 429 units, according to the ...

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    18. Gov. Charlie Baker to visit Springfield Museums Saturday

      Gov. Charlie Baker to visit Springfield Museums Saturday

      Gov. Charlie Baker plans to visit Springfield on Saturday to tout a $200,000 grant for upgrades to the Springfield Science Museum. The grant is part of the latest round of awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Cultural Facilities Fund, which were announced in May. The $9.3 million was spread across 63 grants for capital projects and 35 planning grants. The Springfield Science Museum grant will go toward renovations to the bathroom, lighting and carpeting. Other Western Massachusetts grants went to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Northampton Community Arts Trust, Chester Theatre Co., Shakespeare & Co., Sterling and Francine ...

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    19. MGM Springfield reveals what hotel lobby and suites will look like

      MGM Springfield reveals what hotel lobby and suites will look like

      When the $960 million MGM Springfield opens just 11 weeks from now, its 1,600-square foot Presidential Suite will include a chandelier with many hats. Probably not 500 hats, like Dr. Seuss' book "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," but plenty of hats just the same. And all of them will be inspired by the real-life Dr. Seuss, Springfield native Theodor Seuss Geisel, who in real life made guests at his dinner parties wear silly hats.

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    20. Northampton bike path tunnel under railroad tracks celebrated at grand opening

      Northampton bike path tunnel under railroad tracks celebrated at grand opening

      The days when rail-trail cyclists would illegally carry their bicycles over the former Pan Am railroad tracks when traveling from Amherst to Northampton are over. Thursday morning, officials cut the ribbon on a $4.4 million two-lane cast concrete tunnel underneath the tracks, which are now owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and actively used by freight lines and the high-speed Amtrak Vermonter. The bike tunnel connects the Norwottuck Rail Trail -- which originates in Belchertown, goes through Amherst and Hadley, and crosses the Connecticut River -- with rail trail networks in Northampton and Easthampton. The underpass actually opened in November ...

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    21. Springfield announces summer Movies in the Park schedule

      Springfield announces summer Movies in the Park schedule

      The city announced the return of its Movies in the Park series, which is set to provide outdoor family entertainment on a large-screen in three city parks this summer. The series set to begin July 16 through Aug. 3, and there will be one showing each week in Kenefick Park, Blunt Park and Forest Park.  The nights planned at each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The announcment was made Thursday morning by Mayor Domenic Sarno and Patrick Sullivan, the city's executive director of parks, buildings and recreational management, during a brief presentation in Forest Park.

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    22. Natick franchisee, a UMass Amherst alum, says Five Guys Burgers and Fries on track for Hadley

      Natick franchisee, a UMass Amherst alum, says Five Guys Burgers and Fries on track for Hadley

      Plans for a Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant in the Mountain Farms Mall on Route 9 appear to be moving forward. Five Guys corporate offices in Virginia said the chain has plans for Hadley and the local franchisee, Natick-based Massachusetts Burger Enterprises, confirmed that the location would be in one of two new buildings on Route 9 where two vacant buildings -- a former Burger King and a former Florence  Bank -- still stand. It's a deal that was in the last few months renewed by plaza owner WS Development, of Chestnut Hill, said Marc Magerman, co-founder and CEO of ...

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    23. Greenfield parking garage construction to finally begin

      Greenfield parking garage construction to finally begin

      Massive pre-cast concrete panels will be delivered from Vermont on trucks, and Olive Street will close from June 11 to July 14 as a downtown parking garage is assembled. The project is expected to finish before Oct. 31, and will cost $10.1 million, said Mayor Bill Martin. The 261 65-foot blocks will be plucked from 85-foot trailers by a crane, swung, and stacked into place, according to the Greenfield Recorder.  Between 12 and 15 sections will be delivered a day.

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