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    1. A state grant is funding a new pedestrian plaza in downtown Greenfield

      A state grant is funding a new pedestrian plaza in downtown Greenfield

      A pedestrian plaza is coming to downtown Greenfield. It will start on Court Square, in front of Greenfield Town Hall and extend to Bank Row. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development is providing $15,000 to fund the plaza design. “We are trying to make downtowns more pedestrian-friendly and helping to connect them with stores popping up downtown, and make things more walk-able, and ultimately more healthy,” said Jay Ashe, Secretary for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

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      Mentions: Palmer Greenfield
    2. At Holyoke event, hands-on, real-world experience touted as path to employment

      At Holyoke event, hands-on, real-world experience touted as path to employment

      There will be a career fair this fall for Westfield's middle schools. But it won't be kids learning about what it takes to be a machinist, an engineer or an auto-body technician. It'll be their teachers. The idea isn't that educators are looking for new gigs themselves, said Kate Phelon, executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce. The idea is for teachers to learn what employers are looking for -- and what they hope not to see -- in job applicants, so they can impart those skills to their students as early as sixth grade.

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    3. Holyoke Medical Center raises $2M; ER ribbon cutting set for June 19

      Holyoke Medical Center raises $2M; ER ribbon cutting set for June 19

      A ribbon cutting ceremony for Holyoke Medical Center's new Emergency Department has been set for June 19. The center also announced that its capital campaign has raised $2 million in pledges during its "quiet" phase of the last year, and is now mounting a public campaign, complete with a fund-raiser indicator thermometer on the hospital's Beech Street campus, to help meet the goal of $3 million. "To raise $2 million in what is often called the 'quiet' phase of our capital campaign efforts shows the true value that businesses and individuals see in supporting our local, community-based hospital ...

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    4. Six Massachusetts towns win broadband infrastructure grants to build fiber optic networks

      Six Massachusetts towns win broadband infrastructure grants to build fiber optic networks

      Six Western Massachusetts towns have received state grants to design and build their own municipal broadband networks. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration last week released $4.6 million to Ashfield, Leyden, Shutesbury, Plainfield, Windsor, and Mount Washington. The grants will cover about a third of the cost, with towns borrowing the rest to build fiber optic networks to serve homes and businesses. "We were very excited to get the news," said David Kulp, chairman of the Municipal Light Plant Advisory Board in Ashfield. "When I made the announcement at Town Meeting on Saturday, the room broke out into cheers."

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    5. Cruising in the Downtown to bring classic cars back to Springfield

      Cruising in the Downtown to bring classic cars back to Springfield

      The Springfield Business Improvement District is bringing back for a third year its Cruising in the Downtown classic car show starting Monday night. The show runs from 5 p.m. to dusk on Monday nights from May 15 though Aug. 28 at Court Square downtown. The show features cars 20 years old or older, live music, raffles and giveaways. Visitors are invited to grab a bite to eat from the nearby Palazzo Cafe or visit one of the surrounding restaurants in the downtown area.

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    6. With Peter Pan bus deal in place, 1st floor of Springfield's Union Station nears 100% occupancy ahead of grand opening

      With Peter Pan bus deal in place, 1st floor of Springfield's Union Station nears 100% occupancy ahead of grand opening

      The deal bringing Peter Pan Bus Lines along with its Springfield ticketing, dispatch and driver's lounge into Union Station means the ground floor of the sprawling intermodal transportation hub is 91 percent rented. The deal, formally announced on Tuesday, also means that Peter Pan will soon bring 100 long-distance intercity buses through Union Station a day, said Brian Stefano, president and CFO of Peter Pan Bus Lines. The company expects to carry more than 1 million passengers a year through Union Station. All told, planners expect five-to-eight million passengers and other guests to pass through Union Station, its grounds ...

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    7. White Lion Wednesdays Return on May 17

      White Lion Wednesdays Return on May 17

      White Lion Wednesdays return to Springfield on May 17 and will run through August 27, presented by Berkshire Bank in partnership with the Springfield Business Improvement District (BID) and Springfield’s White Lion Brewing Co. Touted as one of last summer’s “Best Pop-up Beer Gardens” by Food & Wine magazine, Raymond Berry, president of White Lion, said this season will be even better. “White Lion is ecstatic to kick off this year’s beer garden series in May. Last year’s series had great attendance and obtained national recognition; we will look to capitalize on its success, and we are ...

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    8. Greentown/EDC Manufacturing Event - East is Coming Out West on June2

      Greentown/EDC Manufacturing Event - East is Coming Out West on June2

      I am excited to announce that on June 2 we will be bringing a van of Greentown Labs Member Companies out to visit Western Massachusetts.  The van will be leaving Greentown Somerville at 9:00 am headed West! We will be starting our day with a manufacturers luncheon in Springfield and ending our day with pizza and beer at New City Brewery in Easthampton. Between lunch and the evening we will be spending the afternoon touring a couple of Western Mass' premier manufacturing facilities.  

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    9. Peter Pan Bus Lines agrees on move to Springfield's Union Station

      Peter Pan Bus Lines agrees on move to Springfield's Union Station

      Peter Pan Bus Lines has agreed to move its bus operations to Union Station, joining the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, Amtrak and the Connecticut Department of Transportation as transportation operators at the refurbished transit hub. Springfield-based Peter Pan and its partner Greyhound submitted the only response to a request for proposals soliciting bids for intercity bus service. U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Peter Pan officials have set a formal announcement for Tuesday morning.

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    10. Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer

      Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer

      Monthly Eversource bills could drop 2.7 percent this summer, from $115.38 to $112.29 for an average user of 550 kilowatt-hours of electricity, under rates announced Monday. Investor-owned utilities like Eversource have lower rates in summer, when the natural gas used to generate most electricity is more plentiful and cheaper. This rate announcement has nothing to do with the company's proposal to increase its charge for delivering electricity. Delivery charges and the cost of power are both represented in the monthly bill. Eversource has 210,000 customers in Western Massachusetts.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. Springfield again seeks developer for long-vacant downtown building near Union Station

      Springfield again seeks developer for long-vacant downtown building near Union Station

      The city is once again seeking a developer for a long-vacant, six-story building on Lyman Street in the downtown, believing the chances for success are enhanced by the redevelopment of nearby Union Station set to open in June. Proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the vacant building at 135-155 Lyman St. are due by May 23, by 2 p.m., at the Office of Procurement at City Hall. Reuse of the building is preferred but the city will consider options including projects involving demolition, officials said.

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    12. Seen@ Indian Orchard Mills annual Spring Open Studios Art Show

      Seen@ Indian Orchard Mills annual Spring Open Studios Art Show

      On Saturday, a group of musicians from Longmeadow High School will entertain visitors. The artists' colony recently added five artists: Photographer David Manch, Kelly Mount, a writer and sketch artist; Phyllis Ollari, who strives to incorporate the landscape and nature into her work, sometimes collaging physical components of nature within her pieces; Bonnie Roy, whose work includes mosaic designs in glass and tile, wind chimes and glass marble creations; and Barbara Stroup, who makes quilts, wall-hanging and small art pieces that combine fabrics and occasionally paper, ribbon, stenciling and collage.   There are more than 130 tenants at Indian Orchard Mills ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit wins workforce development award

      Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit wins workforce development award

      The Springfield job training nonprofit Tech Foundry has received a workforce development award from Associated Industries of Massachusetts, winning statewide recognition for its efforts to boost Western Massachusetts' IT workforce. Tech Foundry was given the 2017 John Gould Education and Workforce Development Award in a ceremony Friday with a keynote address by Gov. Charlie Baker.

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    14. Westfield State University opens $48M Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science & Innovation Center (photos, video)

      Westfield State University opens $48M Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science & Innovation Center (photos, video)

      Steven G. Richter, founder of MicroTest Laboratories in Agawam, reminded the audience of that fact Friday during the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the $48 million Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science & Innovation Center at Westfield State University. He did so because students and researchers in the Stevens Center, working with modern genetic science, have the potential to treat or cure breast cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis and a host of other diseases. "This isn't just about bricks and mortar," Richter said. "This is about students' lives. This is about the health care system."

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    15. New PVTA Administrator Sandra Sheehan says she'll bring public transit 'into the next era'

      New PVTA Administrator Sandra Sheehan says she'll bring public transit 'into the next era'

      Sandra E. Sheehan, the next administrator of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, said she is looking forward to her new job. Sheehan, a veteran planner who is active in education issues in the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District, was hired this week by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Advisory Board to succeed Mary MacInnes, the PVTA's administrator for the past decade. Sheehan is expected to begin her new job at the end of this month. MacInnes, whose annual salary was $137,000, retired from the PVTA last month.

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    16. Dr. Seuss' never-before-seen doodles, letters and personal items arrive in Springfield...

      Dr. Seuss' never-before-seen doodles, letters and personal items arrive in Springfield...

      Having Dr. Seuss as a stepfather meant a house full of peculiar objects, books, newspapers and plenty of doodles. Oftentimes Leagrey Dimond would find a note tucked in her jacket pocket or a doodle left on her bed from her stepfather, Theodor "Ted" Geisel, and she treasured every one. Dimond is in Springfield this week setting up three display rooms at the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss at the Springfield Museums, which is slated to open next month. She gave a tour of the displays to museum docents Thursday morning, sharing stories with them about the memories she cherishes of ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. Angela Lussier Finds Her Purpose in Helping Women Find Theirs

      Angela Lussier Finds Her Purpose in Helping Women Find Theirs

      It took just nine words to change Angela Lussier’s life: “you’ll never be ready; you just have to start.” That’s good advice for entrepreneurs of all kinds, but it was especially relevant for a shy, self-conscious, but creative and ambitious woman who decided her path to leadership was learning to overcome her fear of public speaking. Today, through the Speaker Sisterhood, she’s helping women around the world do the same — and, in the process, discover who they really are and what they were meant to do.

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    18. Springfield Pedicab bicycle taxi service rolls into downtown

      Springfield Pedicab bicycle taxi service rolls into downtown

      The pedicabs can be booked for private events or for longer rides for a fee, but their primary service area will be the Springfield Central Cultural District that spans much of downtown. Mozell and Cruz's partnership started several years ago when they met while working on individual projects. They decided to team up and worked with the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce to form a flyer distribution, marketing and advertising agency in Springfield called LTLife.

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    19. New TigerPress solar array to generate 70% of power needed by East Longmeadow commercial printing company (photos)

      New TigerPress solar array to generate 70% of power needed by East Longmeadow commercial printing company (photos)

      Buying the electric power generated by TigerPress' new 653-kilowatt rooftop solar array would cost the commercial printer $100,000. Taking that into consideration along with the tax breaks and green energy incentives offered by the state and federal governments, as well as and the ability to depreciate the equipment for tax purposes, and the decision to invest $1.5 million in the solar array was easy to make, owner Reza Shafii said. "We always wanted to do green and environmentally friendly printing," said Shafii, who owns the company with wife, Jennifer Shafii. TigerPress isn't the first local company to ...

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    20. PVTA selects Sandra Sheehan of Hampden as new administrator

      PVTA selects Sandra Sheehan of Hampden as new administrator

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Advisory Board has selected Sandra E. Sheehan of Hampden as the agency's next administrator. "The Advisory Board was very impressed with Ms. Sheehan and strongly supported offering her the administrator position," said Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, chairman of the PVTA Advisory Board. "We felt that she has the right mix of transit industry experience, leadership skills, and local knowledge to lead the PVTA as it faces new challenges in the coming years."

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    21. Westfield, PVTA promote bicycle use downtown with vending machine

      Westfield, PVTA promote bicycle use downtown with vending machine

      If your bike ride through Westfield has you a little deflated, the newly opened John Olver Transit Pavilion might just have what it takes to get you rolling again.  And it's available 24/7. The transit center has  a vending machine -- like a snack machine with those corkscrew wire racks that push product out into bin -- stocked with bicycle parts and supplies like tire levers, tubes, patch kits, locks, headlights and taillights. It sells lubricants and some snacks like powdered drink mixes and granola bars that bicyclists like.

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    22. SPARK Celebration today to highlight business-catalyst program in Holyoke

      SPARK Celebration today to highlight business-catalyst program in Holyoke

      The first annual SPARK Celebration to highlight the program that helps entrepreneurs start businesses will be today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Volleyball Hall of Fame, 444 Dwight St. "Holyoke is lucky to have so many talented and passionate entrepreneurs that have launched or are in the process of launching their businesses and we want to celebrate their efforts," said Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, SPARK program manager.

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    23. Valley Gives 2017 raises $1.6 million

      Valley Gives 2017 raises $1.6 million

      Valley Gives 2017 netted nonprofit groups up and down the Pioneer Valley $1.6 million in donations, challenge gifts for meeting fundraising goals and prizes Tuesday. Valley Gives, a massive annual fundraising push organized by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, attracted 17,000 gifts from 9,500 unique donors. The number of gifts exceeds the number of donors because some donors gave to more than one group. "It was great. There was a huge amount of engagement. There were hundreds of events that happened up and down the valley showcasing the work of the nonprofits," said Katie Allan Zobel ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    24. PVTA bus, office and retail contracts OK'd for Springfield's Union Station; Peter Pan deal still in the works

      PVTA bus, office and retail contracts OK'd for Springfield's Union Station; Peter Pan deal still in the works

      The Springfield Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday night approved contracts for Union Station with the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, office tenant Dietz & Company Architects and a vendor that will operate two of the three retail kiosks. The SRA, owner of the reborn transit hub, is close to a deal for intercity bus service with Springfield's Peter Pan Bus Lines and its national partner Geyhound, said SRA Executive Director Christopher J. Moskal. Moskal discussed Peter Pan and Peter A. Picknelly, chairman & CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines, with SRA board members in executive session, and said there will be a further ...

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