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    1. HCG Welcomes New Director of Energy Operations, Sales, and Innovation

      Marin Goldstein has been tapped to lead electricity and renewable-energy programs at HCG as director of energy operations, sales, and innovation. In his new role, he will oversee Hampshire Power, Hampshire Renewables, and HCG’s Renewable Energy Credit brokerage program. “We are thrilled to have Marin join our team,” said Todd Ford, executive director of HCG. “With a strong background in solar and sustainability, Marin will be a huge asset to Hampshire Power as we continue our work in local, renewable energy.”

       

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    2. Ware receives $725K grant for paving, water and sewer project | masslive.com

      Ware receives $725K grant for paving, water and sewer project | masslive.com

      The town on Wednesday confirmed receipt of a $725,000 Community Development Block Grant.  According to Ware Town Manager Stuart Beckley, the bulk of the funds will pay for road work and infrastructure repairs on Spring Street, a 100-yard road located in a section of town the Community Development Authority deemed a 'slum and blight' area.  One reason selectmen were convinced to approve that designation was because it would increase the town's eligibility for government grants.

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    3. Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      The city has received two requests for grants for public art displays in the Cultural District downtown -- one for a proposed mural on a parking garage with a Dr. Seuss theme and the other for a spiral staircase art structure suggested at Court Square. While the city had hoped for more bids, a local official involved in the review said Wednesday the focus is on quality, not the number of bids. "We'll take a look," said Brian Connors, the city's deputy planner for economic development. "If there is one great proposal that is impactful, that is a good ...

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    4. Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Christopher Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority which owns Union Station, said discussions are underway with three restaurants, but he could not say when an agreement might be reached. "We're thrilled that there are three interested parties for that last retail space," Moskal said. 'We'll give them an opportunity to come back to us and move forward." The only publicized proposal was revealed last October by restaurateurs Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly.

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    5. A new spark of life has ignited Downtown Springfield (Viewpoint)

      A new spark of life has ignited Downtown Springfield (Viewpoint)

      "There's a buzz in the air." "Good things are happening." "Things are looking up." Pick your cliche, but they all hold true. Springfield is experiencing a renaissance. I recently sat in the beautiful new Starbucks on Main Street at Monarch Place sipping coffee, reading the newspaper and watching the world go by. A young, professional looking crowd streamed past the windows, many stopping inside to make a purchase.

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    6. MGM Springfield to host year-round entertainment, seasonal events and yoga at casino's outdoor plaza

      MGM Springfield to host year-round entertainment, seasonal events and yoga at casino's outdoor plaza

      MGM Springfield is pledging there will be "something for everyone" at the open-air plaza in the heart of its $960 million resort casino, slated to open on Aug. 24. MGM Springfield officials said Wednesday the offerings at the large outdoor plaza will include activities ranging from concerts to ice skating to pop-up art to outdoor yoga. "The Plaza will be a high-energy gathering place at the heart of the resort, uniting visitors with Springfield locals, businesses and attractions," said Michael Mathis, president of MGM Springfield. "Our goal is to introduce the region to a new standard of entertainment offerings with ...

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    7. MassMutual lays off workers in Enfield, elsewhere; no impact in Springfield

      MassMutual lays off workers in Enfield, elsewhere; no impact in Springfield

      MassMutual laid off workers Tuesday as part of a reorganization of its Workplace Solutions retirement plan business, spokeswoman Laura Crisco said. "MassMutual is making significant investments in our retirement business to simplify and enhance the experience for plan sponsors, financial advisors, third party administrators, and plan participants," she said in a written statement. "At the same time, we continually evaluate our operations to ensure we are working as efficiently and effectively as possible, delivering the best experience to our customers and the greatest value to our policyowners.

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    8. West Springfield development office eyes purchase of First Congregational Church

      West Springfield development office eyes purchase of First Congregational Church

      The city's development office is looking to reallocate federal grant funds to purchase First Congregational Church on Lathrop Street. The property is needed to access Coburn Elementary School, where renovations are planned, said Community Development Director Morgan Drewniany. "After the renovation it would be used as a community center," Drewniany said. The church and property are assessed at $650,000, however, a purchase price has not been agreed upon.

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    9. Nominations for Women of Impact Awards Due by Aug. 13

       BusinessWest magazine is currently accepting nominations for a new recognition program to honor a specific segment of the local population: women who are making an impact in and on this region. Nominees who score the highest in the eyes and minds of a panel of three independent judges will be honored at a luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Sheraton Springfield.“We decided to create a special program recognizing women because, after careful consideration, we decided that this region needed one and that BusinessWest was the right organization to do it,” Kate Campiti, associate publisher and sales manager for ...

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    10. People in Business: Westfield resident named director of Training & Working Options at Holyoke Community College

      People in Business: Westfield resident named director of Training & Working Options at Holyoke Community College

      Westfield resident Michele Cabral, a former accounting professor and interim dean of Business and Technology at Holyoke Community College, has been appointed the new director of Training & Workforce Options, a workforce development partnership between HCC and Springfield Technical Community College. TWO offers customized training for businesses and nonprofits, needs assessments and career development programs.

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    11. Springfield prepares to launch $2.7 million roundabout construction at Six Corners...

      Springfield prepares to launch $2.7 million roundabout construction at Six Corners...

      The city is slated to open bids on Aug. 8 for an estimated $2.7 million project to construct a roundabout at a long-troubled intersection in Six Corners aimed at improving traffic flow and safety in the area. Christopher Cignoli, the city's director of public works, said he expects construction will begin by late fall, and would then take approximately one year to complete.

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    12. OMG Inc. Announces Four Promotions

      OMG Inc. announced four promotions in supply-chain management and operations. Brad Bedard was promoted to director of Supply Chain Management, Wayne Ringenbach was promoted to director of Manufacturing, Chris Mowatt was promoted to director of Manufacturing Engineering, and Geri McCarthy was promoted to director of Operations.Bedard is responsible for overall management of the company’s global supply chain and distribution logistics. In this new role, he will work with his organization to develop and implement short- and long-term strategies that maximize the company’s supply and distribution performance. He has been with OMG since August 2007, most recently as ...

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    13. Agawam gets $800,000 in CDBG grants for housing rehab and town hall accessibility

      Agawam gets $800,000 in CDBG grants for housing rehab and town hall accessibility

      Housing rehabilitation and town hall accessibility will get a boost under a competitive Community Development Block Grant awarded to the city this week. Mayor Bill Sapelli traveled to the State House in Boston Friday to accept the $799,750 award from the Department of Housing and Community Development. "We would like to thank the Baker-Polito administration for their generous award and continued support of Agawam and all of Western Massachusetts," said Sapelli.

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    14. 2nd $3.5M grant funds road construction at Ludlow Mills

      2nd $3.5M grant funds road construction at Ludlow Mills

       The state House of Representatives has approved $3.5 million for ongoing redevelopment efforts at the 170-acre Ludlow Mills property, state Rep. Thomas Petrolati, D-Ludlow, said this week. Petrolati said the money would be used to build a nearly one-mile road to allow access to 68 acres of the property, helping to lure additional private investment and create jobs. A bond bill including the funds still needs approval from the state Senate and governor. The new money, combined with a previous state grant in the same amount, is intended to secure building the 4,500-foot road, to be called Riverside ...

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    15. Controversy emerges over taxes, free speech in proposed 'community benefit districts'

      Controversy emerges over taxes, free speech in proposed 'community benefit districts'

      A bill allowing the creation of Community Benefit Districts where residents can be taxed to fund local improvements is getting a second look after passing both the House and Senate, amid criticism by groups on both the right and the left of the political spectrum. "Many municipalities are struggling to find resources to help grow their local economy and make neighborhood community improvements," said Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, who sponsored the bill. "We feel that through this community benefit bill, it will empower the community to decide on additional and supplemental services that could help attract more folks to their ...

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    16. Krish Thiagarajan Named to Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy at UMass Amherst

      Krish Thiagarajan, an expert on marine renewable energy and energy-producing offshore structures, has been appointed to the endowed chair in Renewable Energy in the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The chair was established in 2014 with $2.5 million in funding from the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to attract a preeminent scholar in the field to provide leadership in positioning both the university and the Commonwealth to take advantage of opportunities in emerging areas of renewable energy. Thiagarajan will collaborate with DOER staff on renewable-energy research and projects.

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    17. Owner cleans up vacant Black Pearl block in Springfield's South End

      Owner cleans up vacant Black Pearl block in Springfield's South End

      - Lawyers for the city and for a vacant restaurant-apartment block in the South End said the property is being maintained and cleaned under a recent Housing Court agreement. Jhanvi Hospitality, owner of the former Black Pearl property at 1127 Main St., has been keeping the site clear of trash and debris as required under a Western District Housing Court agreement reached in June, lawyers for both sides said recently. The three-building property, referred to as the Burbach-McKinney building, is across the street from the $960 million MGM Springfield casino, slated to open Aug. 24.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint)

      Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint)

      The economic progress our region is seeing is undeniable. From the construction of MGM Springfield, to production of subway cars for the MBTA at the North American headquarters for CRRC Massachusetts Rail Co., to the renovated Union Station, with nearly $2 billion in economic development initiatives, Springfield and its surrounding communities are moving in the right direction. But even as our communities begin to band together to spur innovation, rebuild our manufacturing base and create good paying jobs for the future, that progress is undermined by a lack of clean, reliable, affordable energy.

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    19. House-passed National Defense Authorization Act includes $43 million for Westover Air...

      House-passed National Defense Authorization Act includes $43 million for Westover Air...

      A Western Massachusetts air reserve base is poised to receive millions in federal funding to construct a regional ISO maintenance hangar under a $716 billion national defense bill compromise that cleared the U.S. House Thursday.  The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which now awaits Senate approval, includes funding for an array of Pentagon initiatives and priorities across the United States, including $42.6 million for construction at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.

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    20. Holyoke, Boston developer continue pursuit of historic tax credits for Farr Alpaca Mill conversion to rental units

      Holyoke, Boston developer continue pursuit of historic tax credits for Farr Alpaca Mill conversion to rental units

      The city and WinnDevelopment continue to pursue historic tax credits and other incentives to convert the former Farr Alpaca Mill at 216 Appleton St., into 100 rental units. Winn and the Holyoke Redevelopment Authority entered into an agreement on the property. The former mill is situated between the Upper Canal and the Holyoke Police Department. WinnDevelopment, of Boston, plans to offer market and income-rate apartments. The company has regularly undertaken similar projects nationwide, including the Ludlow Mills and Residences at Mill 10, a 55-plus community in Ludlow.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    21. Young Women’s Initiative Awards Four Mini-Grants

      A group of Springfield young women participating in the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts’ Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) recently awarded four YWI mini-grants to nonprofits that serve the Springfield area. The project was in partnership with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.In the past year, the YWI participants were charged with identifying and researching issues that are barriers to young women and girls in Springfield. According to Program Officer Christine Monska, “the YWAC [Young Women’s Advisory Council] worked over the course of several months to conduct research on the specific needs of their community through interviews ...

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    22. Investment in the life sciences sector is critical to Massachusetts' future (Viewpoint)

      Investment in the life sciences sector is critical to Massachusetts' future (Viewpoint)

      Ten years ago, Massachusetts took a risk. With a 10-year, $1 billion initiative proposed by then-Gov. Deval Patrick, we chose to breathe life into a budding biotech and life sciences sector with the bold hope that funding new research would transform our state's economy. That investment has paid off. Students at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Springfield High School of Science and Technology -- and 146 other middle and high schools in the state -- have brand-new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) equipment in their classrooms because of that investment.

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    23. New Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Named at American International College

      New Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Named at American International College

      Effective July 30, 2018, Mika Nash, Ed.D. will join American International College (AIC) as the executive vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Nash comes to AIC from Champlain College in Vermont where she served as the dean of Continuing Professional Studies. Dr. Nash has more than 20 years of experience in the field of higher education with the majority of her career spent in senior leadership. In her most recent role, Nash was tasked with the development and administration of all academic and operational responsibilities associated with running the Continuing Professional Studies academic unit with management oversight for all ...

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