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    1. Springfield's Chestnut Towers receives $10.2 million in state funding toward planned renovations

      Springfield's Chestnut Towers receives $10.2 million in state funding toward planned renovations

      Springfield's Chestnut Towers will receive $10.2 million in affordable housing funds for renovations, state Secretary of Housing and Development Jay Ash said Wednesday during a visit to the downtown complex. The new funding will supplement a $45 million investment by the property's management, Related Companies, to renovate and transform the 489-unit apartment complex, said Jeff Brodsky, the company's vice chairman, during a press conference.

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    2. Michele Cabral Named Director of Training & Workforce Options

      Michele Cabral Named Director of Training & Workforce Options

      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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    3. United Way of Pioneer Valley, Peter Pan Announce Stuff the Bus Program

      United Way of Pioneer Valley, Peter Pan Announce Stuff the Bus Program

      United Way of Pioneer Valley and Peter Pan Bus Lines will launch the annual Stuff the Bus campaign with a press-conference event on Friday, July 27 at 11 a.m. outside the Target store at the Holyoke Mall. The campaign will collect new school supplies from July 27 through Aug. 16. The supplies will be distributed in new backpacks to children who are homeless in Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, Westfield, West Springfield, and South Hadley.“Holyoke Mall is proud to be a collection site once again for this important initiative,” said Lisa Wray, the mall’s director of Marketing. “Shoppers purchasing ...

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    4. Springfield plans environmental review before seeking buyer to redevelop junkyard lots

      Springfield plans environmental review before seeking buyer to redevelop junkyard lots

      The city is planning to hire a company for an environmental assessment of a 14-acre swath of tax-title properties along Bay and Tapley streets with the hope that it will lead to the sale, cleanup and redevelopment of the site. The city recently received a $99,940 grant from MassDevelopment, the state's economic development finance arm, that will pay for the environmental assessment before the city pursues a new owner to develop the site, city officials said. The site has past industrial uses including storage of automotive parts and metal recyling.

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    5. Snapchef Cooks Up a Lifeline for the Food-service Industry

      Snapchef Cooks Up a Lifeline for the Food-service Industry

      The culinary world is a notoriously challenging place to forge a career, and turnover at the entry level is often high, a problem that constantly challenges restaurants, hotels, colleges, and a host of other food-service companies. Enter Snapchef, which has built a regional reputation for training those workers and matching them with workforce needs to help them get a foot in the door — and then, hopefully, kick it in.

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    6. PeoplesBank Again Named a Top Corporate Charitable Contributor - BusinessWest

      PeoplesBank Again Named a Top Corporate Charitable Contributor - BusinessWest

      The Boston Business Journal has announced the region’s Top Corporate Charitable Contributors, and, for the 11th year in a row, PeoplesBank is among the companies included.  The region’s top charitable companies, which include, in many instances, the companies’ corporate foundations, will be honored at the Boston Business Journal’s 13th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 6 at Fenway Park in Boston.

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    7. Holyoke Medical Center Names Kathy Anderson Director of Community Benefits

      Holyoke Medical Center Names Kathy Anderson Director of Community Benefits

      Holyoke Medical Center announced the appointment of Kathleen Anderson as the hospital’s director of Community Benefits. She begins her new role on Aug. 27. “We are thrilled to welcome Kathy to the Holyoke Medical Center team. She is an accomplished professional with over 20 years of networking experience in the city of Holyoke and regionally. Her extraordinary ability to build trusting relationships will be greatly appreciated in the role of director of Community Benefits,” said Spiros Hatiras, Holyoke Medical Center’s president and CEO. Added Anderson, “throughout my career I have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know ...

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    8. Greenfield library gets $9.4 million grant for new building

      Greenfield library gets $9.4 million grant for new building

      Plans to build a new library on Main Street got a boost with the announcement of a $9.38 million state grant. Saturday afternoon, project supporters gathered to celebrate the news from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The entire project cost is around $20.5 million, so the grant halves the amount that might be paid from municipal funds -- and the Greenfield Public Library Association said it would raise funds to further soften the tax blow.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    9. There are still jobs at MGM Springfield, and Job Talk Tuesday at Cambridge College will have the details

      There are still jobs at MGM Springfield, and Job Talk Tuesday at Cambridge College will have the details

      MGM Springfield is boosting its Job Talk Tuesday program by moving it to Cambridge College in Tower Square with a live, in-person question and answer format. The new format will begin Tuesday and continue for the next month, MGM Springfield said in a press release. The change occurs as MGM's resort casino plans for a Aug. 24 opening and hiring efforts continue. Job Talk Tuesday has been a weekly MGM Springfield Facebook Live Q&A session in which MGM Springfield workforce development representatives answer questions as they are posted on MGM's Facebook page.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    10. Downtown Parking Venture Is Fulfilling Promise

      Downtown Parking Venture Is Fulfilling Promise

      Valet parking isn’t exactly a novel concept; banquet halls, restaurants, and hospitals have been offering that service for years, if not decades. But it is when it comes to downtown Springfield’s office towers. One Financial Plaza recently introduced the concept, and in a few weeks, it is living up the promise first foreseen a decade ago. Evan Plotkin says he first conceived of the idea of instituting valet parking at 1350 Main St. in downtown Springfield — the office tower he co-owns — almost 10 years ago.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    11. Super 60 Program Issues Call for Nominations

      Super 60 Program Issues Call for Nominations

      It’s time to recognize the region’s top-performing companies. The Springfield Regional Chamber has issued a call for nominations to its annual Super 60 program. To be eligible, companies must be independent and privately owned, have revenues of at least $1 million in the last fiscal year, be based in Hampden or Hampshire county or be a member of the Springfield Regional Chamber, and have been in business for at least three full years. Companies will be honored for percentage of revenue growth over a full three-year period or total revenues for the latest fiscal year. Honorees will be ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    12. Wayne Phaneuf, executive editor of The Republican, to be honored with Yankee Quill Award

      Wayne Phaneuf, executive editor of The Republican, to be honored with Yankee Quill Award

      Wayne E. Phaneuf, executive editor of The Republican and Sunday Republican, will be honored this fall with the Yankee Quill Award, the highest individual honor bestowed on journalists in New England. Phaneuf, whose career spans 49 years with The Republican and its predecessor publications, is among five honorees who will be recognized in October at the fall conference of the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Established in the 1960s and presented by the New England Academy of Journalists, the Yankee Quill "recognizes the lifetime achievement of those who have had a broad influence for good, both inside and outside ...

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    13. ArtWalk, Downtown Live concerts draw visitors to downtown Westfield (photos)

      ArtWalk, Downtown Live concerts draw visitors to downtown Westfield (photos)

      Downtown was bustling with activity Friday night, from the Downtown Live concert to the ArtWalk, visitors walked, shopped, ate and even danced. The ArtWalk is a monthly event hosted by ArtWorks Westfield, a local organization that promotes the artistic diversity of the city and surrounding communities. ArtWorks board member Donna Carmel said the group hosts the ArtWalk the third Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. downtown. Four different local artists are highlighted each month and display their work at Rosewood Gifts, Two Rivers Burrito, Mama Cakes and Blended Vintage Marketplace.

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    14. International juggling competition in Springfield is all about numbers (photos, video)

      International juggling competition in Springfield is all about numbers (photos, video)

      Competitors from the International Jugglers' Association took part Friday in the Numbers Championships, one of the many events held during the organization's 71st annual festival this week at the MassMutal Center. The event serves as a challenge to the jugglers as they try to successfully juggle the greatest numbers of balls, clubs and rings in a set amount of time.

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    15. Chicopee eyes tax deal to help develop apartments in Cabotville Mill

      Chicopee eyes tax deal to help develop apartments in Cabotville Mill

      Tax break details for the redevelopment of the Cabotville Mill complex still have to be worked out, but city leaders are already looking beyond converting the old factory buildings into housing to the dream of drawing customers to the nearby shops and restaurants. "I think it could revitalize the whole downtown,'' City Councilor James K. Tillotson said. "I think all those businesses are really looking forward to it. We would entice more small restaurants and markets, and some specialty shops,'' Tillotson said.

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    16. Grant program could provide money for security upgrades for Massachusetts nonprofits

      Grant program could provide money for security upgrades for Massachusetts nonprofits

      A $150,000 grant program included in the state budget could help Massachusetts nonprofits afford security updates to their buildings. "It's very important that we provide these organizations with this type of funding, because a lot of them are shoestring organizations that don't have the budget to put these types of protections in place," said state Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, who sponsored the amendment for the grant program.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. Westfield State Awarded $21 Million for Extensive Renovations

      Westfield State Awarded $21 Million for Extensive Renovations

      Ramon Torrecilha says that when it opened in 1956, Parenzo Hall, the first building on what was then Westfield State College’s new campus on Western Avenue, housed “pretty much everything.” That included classrooms, the dining hall, a large auditorium, administrative offices — yes, everything, said Torrecilha, president of what is now Westfield State University. Over time, many all of those facilities moved somewhere else. The dining commons went in Scanlon Hall, new classroom facilities were built, and a number of administrative offices were moved down Western Avenue to the building, acquired by the college nearly 20 years ago, that was ...

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    18. Regional Rail Service Picks Up Speed

      Regional Rail Service Picks Up Speed

      The launch of the Hartford line last month, which expands rail activity from Union Station in Springfield to a host of Connecticut stops, has been a success, judging by early ridership. More important, it has municipal and economic-development leaders from Greater Springfield thinking about the potential of a Springfield-to-Greenfield service beginning next year, as well as the viability of east-west service between Boston and Springfield. It’s about more than riding the trains, they say — it’s about what riders will do once they get here.

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    19. Hundreds of jugglers descend on downtown Springfield for 71st annual festival (photos, video) | masslive.com

      Hundreds of jugglers descend on downtown Springfield for 71st annual festival (photos, video) | masslive.com

      With workshop names like 'Factory Variations with 3 Balls,' and '4-5 Club Multiplex,' you might not know what is being taught this week at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield.  But one peek into the center's exhibition hall will answer all your questions as plastic juggling clubs fly from person to person and balls are tossed into the air.  Juggling enthusiasts from all over the world are in Springfield from July 17-22 for the 71st International Jugglers' Association Annual Festival.

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    20. Community Connections Energize Easthampton - BusinessWest

      Community Connections Energize Easthampton - BusinessWest

      As executive director of the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, Moe Belliveau has a good view of what has become one of the region’s more unique and energetic small cities.  “There’s a lot of great stuff here, different stuff,” she told BusinessWest. “I think Easthampton has a very eclectic flavor to it, and that just continues to grow. I believe the community really enjoys that about itself and embraces that part of themselves, and helps to nurture that. It’s lovely to be a part of that.”

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    21. As casino opening looms, MGM Springfield on course to meet hiring goals for diversity, Springfield residents

      As casino opening looms, MGM Springfield on course to meet hiring goals for diversity, Springfield residents

      MGM Springfield officials told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday that they are well on course with the hiring of 3,000 casino employees, as pledged, and with meeting goals for local hiring and diversity. Gaming Commission officials praised the effort and results during its meeting in Boston, occurring as the $960 million resort casino is a month away from opening on Aug. 24. As MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis quipped during the meeting, just before 11 a.m. -- the casino is scheduled to open in "36 days and 3 minutes."

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    22. Holyoke city employees learn to create healthy meals at Hcc Mgm Culinary Arts Institute

      Holyoke city employees learn to create healthy meals at Hcc Mgm Culinary Arts Institute

      During the first day of the two-part class, Jim Crowley grilled some salmon that he ate with fresh, locally grown produce. "It's fantastic on a salad," said Crowley, who works for Holyoke Gas & Electric. "So when you're eating it, it doesn't feel like you're on a diet. You're just eating better food." Crowley was one of several city of Holyoke employees and their spouses who took a two-day course and learned to prepare healthy meals at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. After preparing them in the industrial sized kitchen, they sat down to enjoy ...

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    23. Bloomberg Philanthropies names Holyoke national finalist for $1 million art grant

      Bloomberg Philanthropies names Holyoke national finalist for $1 million art grant

      Bloomberg Philanthropies on Wednesday named the El Corazon de Holyoke (The Heart of Holyoke) and the city, along with 14 communities nationwide, as finalists for a Public Arts Challenge Grant. Holyoke competed with more than 200 applicants for the coveted grants of up to $1 million. Bloomberg Philanthropies will name three winners in the fall. The applications hail from communities with 30,000 or more residents.

       

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    24. PVTA gets boost in state budget, still plans service cuts

      PVTA gets boost in state budget, still plans service cuts

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will get more money under the state budget passed Wednesday by the Legislature than it expected under the governor's budget proposal, but it might not be enough to stop planned service cuts. The Legislature's budget adds $455,605 in funding for the PVTA as compared with the last two budget cycles. Additional funding could come from the state Department of Transportation. But the gains could also be wiped out by Gov. Charlie Baker if he decides to veto portions of the budget.

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