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    1. Springfield students rack up the summer reading minutes, as part of program to increase...

      Springfield students rack up the summer reading minutes, as part of program to increase...

      Molly Goren-Watts of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission recently tested the children of the South End Community Center Summer Program on their math and reading skills. And she learned in the past three weeks, the children had read for a total of 222,000 minutes, so they don't let learning slip during the summer. The total will be updated in another three weeks. About 11,000 students are taking part in the program which was promoted by Sally Fuller, project director of Reading Success by 4th Grade, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Allison Gearing Kalill of Brightside ...

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    2. Monarch Place Starbucks: Cornerstone Cafe to stay, get new coffee brand

      Monarch Place Starbucks: Cornerstone Cafe to stay, get new coffee brand

      The Cornerstone Cafe -- the locally owned  coffee, soup and sandwich shop in Monarch Place -- will continue operating once a new Starbucks sets up shop in the downtown office tower. Paul Picknelly, building owner and president of Monarch Enterprises said in an email Tuesday that Conerstone will stay, but that the cafe is searching for a new high-quality coffee brand to serve. Cornerstone now sells Starbucks Coffee.

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    3. Starbucks to open downtown Springfield store at Monarch Place

      Starbucks to open downtown Springfield store at Monarch Place

      Starbucks is opening a storefront in Monarch Place, the 25-story commercial building on Main Street connected to the 325-room Sheraton hotel. The Springfield Business Improvement District confirmed Monday that Starbucks would be Monarch Place's newest tenant, after teasing the coffee chain's arrival in a Facebook post on Friday.

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    4. Holyoke Machine Co., oldest manufacturer in Paper City, shuts down and plans to auction off equipment (photos, video)

      Holyoke Machine Co., oldest manufacturer in Paper City, shuts down and plans to auction off equipment (photos, video)

      A manufacturer in Connecticut recently called James Sagalyn, owner of Holyoke Machine, looking for repairs on a giant drive shaft for one of the production machines in his shop. For the first time since Abraham Lincoln was in the White House, Holyoke Machine can't help. In February, Sagalyn closed Holyoke Machine, a machine shop founded in 1863 that built the "Hercules" water turbines that helped make Holyoke famous and whose foundry cast doors for the U.S. Capitol building.

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    5. Hadley planners considering proposal for new Manny's location

      Hadley planners considering proposal for new Manny's location

      The owners of the Hadley Village Shops have filed for site plan approval of construction of a 7,140-square-foot retail building that a town planner said is for Manny's TV and Appliances to relocate there. Planning Board member William Dwyer said a hearing on the proposal has been continued to Aug. 1. He said one page of the application includes a rendering of the building showing the Manny's logo. The Hadley Village Shops are at 41 Russell St. (Route 9), about a half-mile from the Calvin Coolidge Bridge and the Northampton border.

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    6. Owners of former Black Pearl building in Springfield plans rehab ahead of MGM casino...

      Owners of former Black Pearl building in Springfield plans rehab ahead of MGM casino...

      A lawyer for the owners of the vacant, boarded-up Black Pearl property in the South End said Friday that renovations will begin this fall for a new restaurant. The work is scheduled to be completed well ahead of the MGM Springfield casino across the street, he said. Attorney Bart Heemskerk, who represents property owner Jhanvi Hospitality LLC, said the company reached a signed agreement with the city on Friday in Housing Court to clean the property at 1127 Main St. and to monitor it on a daily basis.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    7. Eversource pulls plug on Hadley solar array, plans one in Franklin County instead

      Eversource pulls plug on Hadley solar array, plans one in Franklin County instead

      Eversource has withdrawn plans to develop a solar array on South Maple Street and is now looking at building it on a similarly sized property in Sunderland. The energy company listened to concerns from Hadley residents and "we agreed to look for other sites working with Kestrel Land Trust," said Eversource spokeswoman Priscilla Ress in an email.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    8. Springfield, MassDOT team up to complete Gerena School repairs

      Springfield, MassDOT team up to complete Gerena School repairs

      State and city officials are working on getting the necessary permits to begin repairs on the German Gerena Community School tunnel, said Sen. James Welch, D-West Springfield, and Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, D-Springfield, during a small community meeting Thursday. For years the school has been plagued with mold, leaks and flooding in its tunnel, which not only serves as a passageway under Interstate 91 between the Plainfield Street side and the Main Street side of the North End neighborhood, but also has several classrooms meant to serve as a community center.

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    9. 11-acre site in Holyoke getting groomed to attract developers

      11-acre site in Holyoke getting groomed to attract developers

      Tasks like soil borings and wetlands delineations are being carried out on 11 acres on Whiting Farms Road in a grooming that city officials hope will attract a buyer. "The idea is to advance predevelopment actions so that it's more 'site ready,' " said Marcos A. Marrero, director of the Planning and Economic Development Department. "We'll be doing things such as soil borings, utility hookup survey, wetland delineation and some conceptual design patterns that can help us market the property and make it 'easier/lower risk' for a developer to advance a proposal," he said in a recent email ...

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      Mentions: Northampton Holyoke
    10. Hatfield and Williamsburg preserve 128 acres on Horse Mountain with help from Kestrel Land...

      Hatfield and Williamsburg preserve 128 acres on Horse Mountain with help from Kestrel Land...

      The Horse Mountain ridge forms an iconic landscape element separating the towns of Williamsburg and Hatfield. Now 128 acres of the ecologically diverse forest land will be preserved forever, serving recreation, wildlife habitat, and resiliency in the face of climate change. Over the course of many months, Kestrel Land Trust worked with the two communities, secured grants, and helped coordinate a complicated process. The towns now own the land, with 34 acres in Williamsburg and 94 acres in Hatfield.

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      Mentions: Amherst Northampton
    11. Tech Foundry nonprofit seeking students from Springfield neighborhoods hit by natural disasters

      Tech Foundry nonprofit seeking students from Springfield neighborhoods hit by natural disasters

      Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit is recruiting potential students from city neighborhoods that have faced both natural disasters and economic disadvantage. "We are currently recruiting in these neighborhoods asking residents if they have the ambition, aspiration and commitment to take advantage of this 'no-cost' program and start a career in Information Technology," Tech Foundry Director of Strategic Partnerships Jonathan Edwards said in a statement. "Students who apply for and are accepted into the Tech Foundry program will ultimately begin a career that can help them attain a job where entry-level salaries will pay between $30,000 and $40 ...

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    12. Ski Butternut one step closer to buying Blandford Ski Area

      Ski Butternut one step closer to buying Blandford Ski Area

      The owner of Ski Butternut and Otis Ridge ski areas in the Berkshires plans to start work this fall upgrading the snowmaking and snow-grooming equipment at the venerable Blandford Ski Area now that he's one step closer to buying it. Members of the Springfield Ski Club voted Tuesday night to move forward with serious discussions aimed at selling the 132-acre property to Ski Butternut and its owner Jeff Murdock, said Dave Fraser, the club's marketing and publicity chairman. The price is still being negotiated. Both sides said Wednesday they don't even have a formal purchase-and-sale agreement yet.

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    13. Springfield developer plans 45-unit housing project at former Brookings School wrecked by tornado

      Springfield developer plans 45-unit housing project at former Brookings School wrecked by tornado

      The city recently approved the sale of the former Elias Brookings School on Hancock Street to a local nonprofit development group planning to restore the tornado-damaged building as a mixed income housing complex. Home City Development Inc., formerly Better Homes Inc., was the winning bidder for the city-owned property, offering $215,000 for the site to restore it for 45 units of mixed-income housing. The building in the Six Corners neighborhood has been vacant and boarded since June 2011 when it was struck and heavily damaged by a tornado.

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    14. 'Big crowd' at South Hadley meeting to unveil 'smart growth' zoning proposal surprises officials

      'Big crowd' at South Hadley meeting to unveil 'smart growth' zoning proposal surprises officials

      Curiosity about a proposal to stimulate economic development near the former Big Y plaza brought a big crowd to a recent public forum. The initiative targets an approximately 14-acre plot on Newton and Lyman streets, that includes the plaza, for both commercial and residential development. The proposal, according to a town document released prior to the July 11 meeting, would create the "Newton Street/Lyman Street Smart Growth District." Separate residential and business zoning districts currently govern land use in that area. Town officials hope to adopt a regulation known as 40R, which refers to a chapter of Massachusetts general ...

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    15. Bay Path, Girls Inc. of Holyoke Partner for STEM Summer Event

      Bay Path, Girls Inc. of Holyoke Partner for STEM Summer Event

      A group of 15 second-year students from Girls Inc. of Holyoke will participate in “Eureka! Too Fast, Too Furious: the Physics of Car Racing” at Bay Path University today, July 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Led by Bay Path faculty and students, participants from Girls Inc. will have the opportunity to perform hands-on scientific activities and take a tour of campus. They will learn about what Bay Path University has to offer and how it differs from other universities they have been exposed to.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    16. Peter Pan Bus Lines reveals expected date to move into Springfield's newly refurbished Union Station

      Peter Pan Bus Lines reveals expected date to move into Springfield's newly refurbished Union Station

      Peter Pan Bus Lines will likely move its Springfield hub to Union Station on or around Labor Day, Peter A. Picknelly, chairman & CEO, said Tuesday. Here is a breakdown of what money was spent and from where it came, courtesy of a document provided by the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, which owns Union Station. Picknelly said it will take about a month and a half to do some construction customizing the space and to get it ready. The lease, he said, is still not final, but lawyers for both sides are working on it, all the major issues have been resolved ...

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    17. Longmeadow design firm certified as Women's Business Enterprise

      Longmeadow design firm certified as Women's Business Enterprise

      The Women's Business Enterprise National Council, which is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the country, last week certified Lisa Scheff Designs as Women's Business Enterprise, a statement from the firm says. "We learned about the certification process at an informative panel for MGM Springfield's vendor selection process," Lisa Scheff, the firm's owner and principle designer said in a statement. "We are proud to be a women owned and operated business and honored to receive this certification."

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. Granite City Electric Supply Relocates from Springfield to Chicopee

      Granite City Electric Supply Relocates from Springfield to Chicopee

      Granite City Electric Supply Co. has opened a new, 80,000-square-foot distribution center and relocated its Springfield retail counter service to 451 Meadow St., Chicopee. This distribution center will provide service to the Western Mass., Connecticut, and New York markets, and further enhance the company’s exclusive GCE Night Train Delivery Service.

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    19. Ludlow seeking $7M in grants for Westmass Area Development's Riverside Drive project

      Ludlow seeking $7M in grants for Westmass Area Development's Riverside Drive project

      The Board of Selectmen has agreed to apply for $7 million worth of grants on behalf of Westmass Area Development Corp., the region's leading industrial and business park developer, so Westmass can get started on its Riverside Drive project at Ludlow Mills. If Ludlow receives the funding, work on the roadway could begin as early as spring 2018, according to the president and CEO of Westmass, Eric Nelson, who advocated for the grants at the selectmen's July 11 meeting. 

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    20. Want to start business but not sure how? SPARK Holyoke gives explainer to entrepreneurs

      Want to start business but not sure how? SPARK Holyoke gives explainer to entrepreneurs

      The next class is Sept. 12 to Nov. 14 for the SPARK Holyoke program that helps entrepreneurs launch new businesses, organizers said at an information session Monday. "You're not alone when you're going through this program....and you'll see there's a lot of people that want to help," Program Manager Tessa Murphy-Romboletti said at the event held at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow St.  The deadline to apply for the nine-week course is Aug. 1. Interviews will be held with prospective participants Aug. 14 and 15, she said. Classes will b e ...

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