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    1. PVTA proposes 25 percent bus fare hike and regular increases plus route cutbacks

      PVTA proposes 25 percent bus fare hike and regular increases plus route cutbacks

      The Springfield-area public transit agency also wants an automatic 5 percent per year fare increase implemented every three years. Level funding in the face of rising costs for buses, fuel, maintenance and payroll leaves the PVTA with a $3.1 million budget gap, the PVTA said Friday in a press release. The PVTA had an operating budget of $47 million in fiscal 2017, down from $47.2 million a year earlier. The PVTA, which carried 11.5 million passengers in fiscal 2017, already cut back routes this summer over the objections of users and businesses. The agency's fiscal year ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. Massachusetts negotiating with Connecticut on passenger rail to Holyoke, Northampton, Greenfield

      Massachusetts negotiating with Connecticut on passenger rail to Holyoke, Northampton, Greenfield

      The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is negotiating with Connecticut on plans to extend the CTrail commuter train service north from Springfield to Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield on the Knowledge Corridor rail line Massachusetts already owns. The plan is to run trains further north up the Pioneer Valley sometime this year, said Astrid Glynn, the MassDOT rail and transit administrator, Friday at a question-and-answer session organized by U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield.

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    3. Union Station platform work delayed again; accessibility upgrades required

      Union Station platform work delayed again; accessibility upgrades required

      Bid specifications for handicapped accessibility modifications at Union Station's Platform C are now due in March. But even that incremental progress on one major piece of unfinished work at the city's newly renovated transit hub is months late. In the meantime, rail passengers are still using the older, unfurnished Platform D. "We've been anxious about that for a number of months," said Kevin Kennedy, the city of Springfield's chief development officer, following a conference call with Amtrak and the state Department of Transportation on Thursday afternoon. Springfield Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Christopher Moskal was also on ...

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    4. Northampton reaffirms support for goal of 100 percent renewable energy

      Northampton reaffirms support for goal of 100 percent renewable energy

      The Northampton City Council reaffirmed its commitment to a goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy reliance at its meeting Thursday night. Councilors voted unanimously Thursday to pass a resolution in its 2nd reading that champions the goal. The legislation was unanimously passed during its first reading on Jan. 18 as well. The document encourages the city to develop an energy plan that makes usage as efficient as possible, eventually leading to total reliance on renewable resources. The legislation does not give a timeline for achieving this goal.

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      Mentions: Amherst Northampton
    5. Westfield YMCA adds Baystate Health pediatric weight management program

      Westfield YMCA adds Baystate Health pediatric weight management program

      The Greater Westfield YMCA is partnering with Baystate Health and Kohl's Cares to bring the MIGHTY program to the city. MIGHTY is Baystate Health's pediatric weight management program that stands for Moving, Improving and Gaining Health Together at the YMCA. It has operated in Springfield since 2007.  YMCA of Greater Westfield Fitness Director Cindy Agan said the local Y has been communicating with the Baystate Health's MIGHTY team, striving to form a partnership to continue the growth of the program.  "Thanks to the support of a Kohl's Cares Grant, Baystate is able to expand the program ...

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    6. DevelopSpringfield 'very close' to restarting Innovation Center project

      DevelopSpringfield 'very close' to restarting Innovation Center project

      DevelopSpringfield says it will soon be able to say when renovations will restart at the long-awaited Springfield Innovation Center at 270 and 276 Bridge St. downtown. "We have made a great deal of progress with regard to getting the project moving again," wrote Nicholas Fyntrilakis, chairman of the DevelopSpringfield board of directors. Work on the $5.5 million, 24,000-square-foot Innovation Center stopped in April after the general contractor said it was owed money. NL Construction of Ludlow filed papers with the Hampden Registry of Deeds showing it was owed $254,000.

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    7. Bay Path’s MS in Nonprofit Management Named to Top-10 List

      Bay Path’s MS in Nonprofit Management Named to Top-10 List

      Bay Path University’s master of science (MS) program in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy has been named to the top 10 in the nation, as ranked by thebestschools.org. The university’s program has been recognized among the top online graduate nonprofit-management programs annually since 2014. This year, Bay Path ranked 10th on the list as one of just two New England colleges to make the cut. The program has also been rated as one of the top-10 most affordable online master’s degree programs in nonprofit management in the U.S., according to affordablecolleges.com.

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    8. This Massachusetts team is in the Super Bowl every year: See how Holyoke's Hazen Paper makes the Patriots-Eagles program cover

      This Massachusetts team is in the Super Bowl every year: See how Holyoke's Hazen Paper makes the Patriots-Eagles program cover

      There is a team from New England that shines in the Super Bowl every year: Hazen Paper Co. of Holyoke. The 93-year-old family business once again produced holographic images for the official in-stadium Super Bowl program. It will be sold at Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Xuan Li, holography specialist, is Hazen's Tom Brady, said company president John H. Hazen.

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      Mentions: Holyoke Hazen Paper
    9. Peter Pan offers Springfield to Boston promo fares for $5

      Peter Pan offers Springfield to Boston promo fares for $5

      Peter Pan wants to take you from Springfield to Boston on the cheap. The Springfield-based bus company is offering $5 promotional fares from Springfield, Hartford, Philadelphia and Providence to Boston. It's also offering $5 fares from Baltimore and Silver Spring, Maryland, Washington, Philadelphia and Providence, Rhode Island, to New York City. The promotions run now through Feb. 15.

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    10. Hearing on Massachusetts rail plan scheduled for Springfield

      Hearing on Massachusetts rail plan scheduled for Springfield

      The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will hold a hearing on its rail plan in Western Massachusetts. The hearing will be held Friday, Feb. 2 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in Springfield. "It is critically important to provide the people of Western Massachusetts with an opportunity to be heard on the state-wide rail plan, and to provide input that will be helpful in both developing and implementing that plan," Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, said in a statement.

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    11. Craft beer bar coming to downtown Springfield's Worthington Street in former Naismith's space

      Craft beer bar coming to downtown Springfield's Worthington Street in former Naismith's space

      A new craft beer and pretzel bar is opening in downtown Springfield. The Springfield Business Improvement District (BID) has confirmed with MassLive that a new business, The Pub and Pretzel, is coming to the former Naismith's space, located at 211-213 Worthington St. this spring.  According to city records for the property, the space was purchased in late 2016 by Edale Realty LLC, of West Suffield, Conn.  "The owners purchased the building with a concept in mind," said Chris Russell, executive director of the Springfield BID.  The new bar is slated to open in late April or early May of ...

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    12. Report: Holyoke Community College an Economic Powerhouse

      Report: Holyoke Community College an Economic Powerhouse

      Students who graduate from Holyoke Community College (HCC) with an associate degree will see an average increase in annual earnings of about $10,000 a year compared to those with only a high-school diploma, according to a new report that calculates the total economic impact of HCC on the Pioneer Valley at nearly $215 million annually. “By comparison,” the report says, “this contribution that the college provides on its own is almost as large as the entire arts, entertainment, and recreation industry in this area.” The analysis of HCC’s economic value was conducted by Emsi, an economic modeling firm ...

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    13. Bay State Business Link - Greentown Labs Event - February 15

      Bay State Business Link - Greentown Labs Event - February 15

      Last year, I was proud to join Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs, to announce that Greentown Labs Manufacturing Initiative would be opening an office in Springfield. By opening in Springfield, Greentown Labs is exemplifying the spirit of the Bay State Business Link. To support Greentown’s efforts in expanding the circle of prosperity beyond Greater Boston, the House provided $150,000 for a clean energy economic development grant program in Springfield.

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    14. East-West rail study's inclusion in MassDOT plan a 'major breakthrough,' Sen. Eric Lesser...

      East-West rail study's inclusion in MassDOT plan a 'major breakthrough,' Sen. Eric Lesser...

      On Friday, MassDOT released a draft of its 2018 rail plan, which among other priorities includes a feasibility study of expanded rail service between Springfield and Boston -- a priority for Lesser which has faced roadblocks each time he has introduced it on Beacon Hill. "Given the lack of consensus on the appropriate type of service to pursue between Western Massachusetts and Boston, as well as a lack of full understanding of the costs and impacts of a higher speed service, further study is necessary," the rail plan says. "This study, at the direction of MassDOT, will address more than ridership ...

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    15. CTrail: How New Haven to Springfield line will work, cost to build it, ticket prices, train schedules and its MBTA connection

      CTrail: How New Haven to Springfield line will work, cost to build it, ticket prices, train schedules and its MBTA connection
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      Mentions: Springfield
    16. Willys-Overland Property Might Become a Growth Engine

      Willys-Overland Property Might Become a Growth Engine

      Chuck Irving says the property at 151 Chestnut St. in Springfield — known to the well-informed as the Willys-Overland Building because the long-defunct car maker had a showroom on its first floor and a 1,000-car garage above — caught his attention some time ago, after it was damaged and then abandoned after the natural-gas explosion in late 2012.  And he thought it had some potential.  But what really opened his eyes was the rebirth of an almost identical property in Detroit also built by Willys-Overland.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. Chicopee Chamber announces annual Shining Stars award winners

      Chicopee Chamber announces annual Shining Stars award winners

      This week the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce announced its Shining Stars awards. Interstate Towing was named business of the year; Dawn Creighton was named citizen of the year; Karen Hansmann is volunteer of the year; and Valley Opportunity Council is nonprofit of the year. Every year the Chamber honors businesses and individuals who are outstanding leaders and have helped the community. The winners are always among the 351 members of the regional organization, said chamber President Jessica Roncarati-Howe.

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    18. Springfield's $14.4 million preschool grant saving lives, educators tell Massachusetts'...

      Springfield's $14.4 million preschool grant saving lives, educators tell Massachusetts'...

      The $14.4 million federal Preschool Expansion Grant the city received four years ago is saving children and family's lives, preschool leaders told Massachusetts' top early education official Friday. Doreen Malone, of Headstart, told Ted Weber, commissioner of early education and care, told the story of a preschooler whose violent behavior and vulgar language was making it impossible for teachers to reach him. After securing a spot at the new Early Childhood Education Center on Catharine Street, the preschool team found out that the child's  mother was in an abusive relationship.

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    19. New MassDOT plan includes East-West rail study, after years of legislative struggle

      New MassDOT plan includes East-West rail study, after years of legislative struggle

      A newly-released draft of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's 2018 rail plan includes a proposal to study ways to connect Boston and Springfield with passenger rail, following a years-long struggle by Longmeadow Sen. Eric Lesser and other Western Mass. legislators to pass such a study through the State House. In the plan, MassDOT has designated East-West rail as a Tier 2 project -- one meriting further study. The rail plan says that MassDOT will examine both conventional rail service proposed by a multi-state study in 2016 and higher-speed options.

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    20. Northampton planning board approves affordable housing project in Village Hill...

      Northampton planning board approves affordable housing project in Village Hill...

      The Northampton Planning Board voted Thursday night to approve the second of two mixed-income apartment buildings that will be built in the city's Village Hill neighborhood. The developer behind the project, The Community Builders (TCB), is a nonprofit based in Boston that specializes in development of affordable housing for low- and middle-income families. MassDevelopment selected TCB for the project in April.

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    21. Skechers footwear store coming to West Springfield's Century Center

      Skechers footwear store coming to West Springfield's Century Center

      Skechers, the California-based global footwear company, is opening a 10,000-square-foot store at Century Center, the 285,000-square-foot shopping complex on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield.  The store is set to open in March, according to Andrew M. Cohen, owner of Century Center, the region's first strip mall. "We are excited to have the No. 2 shoe brand in the world join the center," he said in a statement Thursday. Cohen said Skechers will be a "great addition" to Century Center, located just over the Memorial Bridge from Springfield.

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