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    1. Bright ideas shine at Easthampton lamp business

      Bright ideas shine at Easthampton lamp business

      After three decades of designing whimsical, one-of-a-kind lamps, Janna Ugone still has a few bright ideas up her sleeve as a visit to her One Cottage Street studio and workshop reveals. For example, among the tables and shelves of lamps in her light-filled showroom, Ugone has set up a lending library section where do-it-yourself home decorators can borrow lamps and try them out in their living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms or home offices before making a purchase.

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    2. Redevelopment proposals for Springfield’s former York Street Jail site include apartments, hotels

      Redevelopment proposals for Springfield’s former York Street Jail site include apartments, hotels

      The unused York Street Jail site on West Columbus Avenue could be home to 70 to 100 apartments, according to one of three proposals the Springfield Redevelopment Authority has received. The property might still become a hotel, a proposal that became public back in March. Developers Dinesh Patel of East Longmeadow and Vid Mitta of Lexington — also two of the investors who own Tower Square and the Tower Square Hotel — submitted the apartment idea in response to a request for proposals put out earlier this month by the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, which owns the 2.5-acre former jail parcel.

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    3. Springfield children clock over 500,000 summer reading minutes … so far - masslive.com

      Springfield children clock over 500,000 summer reading minutes … so far - masslive.com

      When Molly Goren-Watts asked a roomful of children how many times they think kids in Springfield have read this summer, she got a wide range of answers.  “One thousand or more!”  “Fifteen!”  “Ten thousand!”  The actual count was way higher. So far this summer, Springfield children have read 27,919 times at 20 minutes a session, amounting to 558,380 minutes of page-turning as part of the Springfield Reads to Build a Better World summer reading project. The results were announced at an assembly Tuesday at Central High School.

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    4. Tighe & Bond Again Named PSMJ Circle of Excellence Member

      Tighe & Bond Again Named PSMJ Circle of Excellence Member

      Tighe & Bond has been named as a member of the PSMJ Resources Inc. 2019 Circle of Excellence for second year in a row. The Circle of Excellence highlights successfully managed firms that demonstrate outstanding achievements in areas such as profitability, overhead management, cash flow, productivity, business development, and staff growth. “To be recognized as a member of PSMJ’s Circle of Excellence for the second consecutive year is a high honor. Tighe & Bond has always strived to create an outstanding client- and employee-focused firm that adheres to exceptional business practices and delivers sustainable business results,” said Bob Belitz, president and ...

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    5. NBA’s Travis Best teams up with MGM Springfield for fundraising gala - masslive.com

      NBA’s Travis Best teams up with MGM Springfield for fundraising gala - masslive.com

      The Travis Best Foundation will host its annual “Best in the City” fundraising gala at The Plaza at MGM Springfield next month in an effort to raise funds for sports, music and art programs for children in Springfield.  This year marks the first time the event is open to the public – an effort to broaden community outreach. The foundation was started by the Springfield native, and former NBA player.

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    6. Berkshire delegation says east-west rail means trains, not slower, cheaper bus service

      Berkshire delegation says east-west rail means trains, not slower, cheaper bus service

      East-west passenger rail from Boston through Worcester and Springfield should not rely on a bus link to reach Pittsfield, the Berkshire County delegation to the state Legislature reiterated this week. The five lawmakers expressed their concerns in a letter to state transportation officials Monday, one week after state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, voiced his opposition to bus links during a meeting in Springfield. Pignatelli’s remarks to the East West Passenger Rail Advisory Committee prompted applause from business and civic leaders representing the Berkshires.

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    7. MassMutual Foundation donates $1.5M for Way Finders Housing Center at former Peter Pan site

      MassMutual Foundation donates $1.5M for Way Finders Housing Center at former Peter Pan site

      The MassMutual Foundation has donated $1.5 million to Way Finders toward the new Housing Center the agency is building at the former Peter Pan Bus Lines site at 1780 Main St. MassMutual Foundation announced the donation Tuesday. The $1.5 million, along with some other donations, puts Way Finders 75% of the way to its fundraising goal of raising $2.5 million for the $16.8 million building, said Peter A. Gagliardi, chief executive officer of Way Finders.

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    8. Hampshire Colleges Hires President, Charts New Course - BusinessWest

      Hampshire Colleges Hires President, Charts New Course - BusinessWest

      When asked whether he thought Hampshire College could not only maintain its accreditation but forge a long-term future, Ed Wingenbach, the recently named president of the beleaguered institution, didn’t hesitate in his response and spoke with a voice brimming with confidence.  “Yes; do you need me to say more?” he replied as the question was posed at a press conference to announce his appointment on July 18.

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    9. Samite, Tia Fuller among acts at Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival 2019 - masslive.com

      Samite, Tia Fuller among acts at Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival 2019 - masslive.com

      Vocalist. Multi-instrumentalist. Actor. Photographer. Humanitarian. But at the end of the day, Uganda-born artist Samite just wants to show the world how music can be used to help people of all different backgrounds overcome the obstacles in their life.  Samite will play an important role at this year’s Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival on Saturday, Aug. 10 as both performer and speaker, appearing on the Court Square music festival’s main stage as well as the city’s Community Music School the night before to participate in a special discussion.

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    10. Merger of Aerospace Giants Creates Uncertainty, but Perhaps Opportunity   - BusinessWest

      Merger of Aerospace Giants Creates Uncertainty, but Perhaps Opportunity   - BusinessWest

      Since the announcement last month that defense and aerospace giants Raytheon and United Technologies will merge into one firm based in Eastern Mass., few other details have emerged, and questions remain about the impact on the companies’ workforce, particularly those currently based at UTC’s Connecticut plant. But some see potential growth in the merger, which may bode well for the many Western Mass. machine shops — and their 5,000 employees — that make components for those companies.

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    11. American Benefits Group CEO and Founder Bob Cummings Reelected as President of NAPBA

      Bob Cummings has been re-elected to serve as president of The National Association of Professional Benefits Administrators (NAPBA). A  NAPBA trustee since 2007, Cummings was first elected NAPBA president in 2015, and has been an instrumental force in the emergence of the consumer directed healthCare industry over the past 20 years, orchestrating the growth of NAPBA as the primary compliance standards and best practice organization for third party employee benefits administrators serving the consumer directed healthcare industry.

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    12. Cash-strapped Hampshire College may develop some of its 800 acres for housing, commercial use

      Cash-strapped Hampshire College may develop some of its 800 acres for housing, commercial use

      Financially strapped Hampshire College will one one day turn some of its 800-acre campus into housing or commercial space as one way of insuring its future. “In due time and for its benefit, Hampshire will develop some of this acreage in mission-aligned ways,” college interim president Kenneth Rosenthal said Friday during a public meeting with state Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago at Amherst Town Hall.

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    13. PIP in East Longmeadow Receives Franchise Top 10 Award

      PIP in East Longmeadow Receives Franchise Top 10 Award

      PIP in East Longmeadow recently received a Top 10 Sales Volume award recognizing the business as one of the top 10 in the entire PIP franchise network. The award is based on 2018 annual sales revenue and was announced at the annual PIP Convention, staged July 17-20, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio in Texas. PIP in East Longmeadow is owned by Michael and Vicki Tarby and Bob and Claudia Pelzek.

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    14. Nominations Close August 2 for Super 60

      Nominations Close August 2 for Super 60

      The Springfield Regional Chamber is seeking nominations for its annual Super 60 awards program, presented by Health New England, with platinum sponsor People’s United Bank. Marking its 30th year, the awards program recognizes the success of the fastest-growing and privately-owned businesses in the region, which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Each year, the program identifies the top-performing companies in revenue growth and total revenue. Last year, Total Revenue winners combined for more than $750 million in revenues, with 25% of these winners exceeding revenues of $40 million. All winners in the Revenue ...

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    15. Westfield seeks developers for downtown block, once home to J.J. Newberry store destroyed in 1986 fire

      Westfield seeks developers for downtown block, once home to J.J. Newberry store destroyed in 1986 fire

      Vacant since a devastating fire more than 30 years ago, developers are being sought for a major parcel along Westfield’s Elm Street downtown business corridor. The Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday advertised a request for interest in the Massachusetts Central Register, seeking proposals from private developers for redevelopment of a 1.6 acre downtown parcel. The site includes what was once the location of the J.J. Newberry store that burned in 1986 and was later demolished. It sits next to the John P. Olver intermodal transportation center that opened two years ago.

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    16. Women of Impact 2019

      Women of Impact 2019

      BusinessWest has consistently recognized the contributions of women within the business community and has now created the Women of Impact awards to honor women who have the authority and power to move the needle in their business; are respected for accomplishments within their industries; give back to the community; and are sought out as respected advisors and mentors within the field of influence.

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    17. Michael J. Kittredge II, founder of Yankee Candle, dies at 67

      Michael J. Kittredge II, founder of Yankee Candle, dies at 67

      Michael J. “Mike” Kittredge II, the founder of the Yankee Candle Company, passed away Wednesday. He was 67 years old. Kittredge began making candles 50 years ago in the garage of his childhood home in South Hadley, making his first candle out of melted crayons as a gift for his mother. The candle company grew to become one of the largest employers in Western Massachusetts, with about 1,400 employees in the region, including at the offices and flagship store in South Deerfield, the Whately factory and a facility in East Longmeadow.

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    18. Longmeadow’s historic Brewer-Young mansion nears rebirth; coworking space, offices planned (photos, video)

      Longmeadow’s historic Brewer-Young mansion nears rebirth; coworking space, offices planned (photos, video)

      With his father, Ted Eayrs, lifting ever so gently with a razor blade, Walter Eayrs slid the thin tube of a glue syringe behind the sagging wallpaper of the Brewer-Young mansion. This Zuber wallpaper — similar to what’s hanging in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House — has decorated the grand front hallway and staircase since soon after the 734 Longmeadow St. mansion was built in 1885.

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    19. Planet Fitness coming to Holyoke Mall in late 2019

      Planet Fitness coming to Holyoke Mall in late 2019

      Planet Fitness plans to open a 19,000-square-foot gym at the Holyoke Mall in late 2019. Billing itself as a “Judgement Free Zone,” Planet Fitness said it has more than 1,800 locations and 13.6 million members. Pyramid Corp., which manages the Holyoke Mall and 18 other properties in Massachusetts, New York and Virginia, welcomed a Planet Fitness to the Hampshire Mall in Hadley in 2017. “We are excited to open a new location at Holyoke Mall and introduce the community to our high-quality facility and supportive atmosphere,” Ryan Fernades, a representative for Planet Fitness, said in a statement.

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    20. Springfield’s Tower Square food court adds healthy options with Revitalize Superfoods

      Springfield’s Tower Square food court adds healthy options with Revitalize Superfoods

      Having announced several large and small new tenants in the past year, the owners of Tower Square on Wednesday welcomed a new restaurant that specializes in healthy foods. City officials, representatives of Tower Square, the business owner and many family members and supporters gathered Wednesday to announce the opening of Revitalize Superfoods, which fills the food court’s last available space.

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    21. Mom-and-pop stores survive Easthampton’s transition from struggling mill town to arts and dining destination

      Mom-and-pop stores survive Easthampton’s transition from struggling mill town to arts and dining destination

      While this small city is now home to a number of breweries, cafes, tattoo shops and an artsy atmosphere, what has kept Easthampton grounded through its change and growth over the past two decades are a stable of mom-and-pop stores that meet practical, everyday needs.You can get sushi and poke bowls on Cottage Street now, or eat at a restaurant owned by a chef who’s been nominated in the James Beard Foundation’s restaurant awards four years in a row. But it’s still a city where residents and visitors can get a haircut, go grocery shopping, run ...

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    22. MassDevelopment Provides $310,000 for Real-estate Projects Across Massachusetts

      MassDevelopment announced up to $310,000 in funding for 10 projects through its Real Estate Technical Assistance program. Under this program, through a combination of in-house expertise and contracts with consultants, MassDevelopment works with municipal officials, planners, local stakeholders, and others to address site-specific and district-wide economic-development challenges. The technical-assistance funds will support a range of projects, from feasibility studies to master-planning efforts. Locally, the town of Greenfield will use one of the awards to prepare a market assessment and operational analysis of proposed uses in the First National Bank and Trust building. This follows a feasibility study that consultant ...

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    23. MassDOT: Boston-Springfield-Pittsfield passenger rail must balance speed, cost and convenience

      MassDOT: Boston-Springfield-Pittsfield passenger rail must balance speed, cost and convenience

      A commuter train trip from Springfield to Boston could take between 80 and 105 minutes, but only if the state builds a new rail line along the MassPike and connects it to historic Springfield Union Station and Worcester Union Station. But the trip is only marginally longer — about 90 minutes to just under two hours — if new rails are built basically along the existing freight rights of way with curves straightened out, according to a Massachusetts Department of Transportation analysis released Tuesday.

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