1. Articles from Jim Kinney

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    1. Developer eyes Vibra Hospital property on State Street in Springfield; state’s contract for mental-health unit runs out in 2020

      Developer eyes Vibra Hospital property on State Street in Springfield; state’s contract for mental-health unit runs out in 2020

      A Chicago-area developer says he has an agreement in place to buy Vibra Hospital and convert the building into housing once the hospital closes next year. The state’s contract with Vibra to operate a 30-bed mental health unit at the 1400 State St. hospital expires at the end of June 2020. Vibra has talked for years of its desire to close its Springfield operation. Vibra Healthcare, based in Pennsylvania, announced in 2017 its plans to close the 400,000-square-foot hospital, in part because of the difficulty of maintaining the 1950s-era building.

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    2. MassMutual, 800 Springfield middle school students, celebrate financial literacy

      MassMutual, 800 Springfield middle school students, celebrate financial literacy

      It’s not enough to earn the money, says 13-year-old Aidan Quee of Springfield. You must know how to spend, and more importantly save, that money as well. "Budgeting is the most important thing," Quee, a seventh grader at the Springfield Renaissance School, said. "In the future I'm going to have to save for things I need, like books for school." Quee was one of the 800 Springfield students from 10 schools Wednesday, who attended a celebration of their having completed the MassMutual Foundation’s FutureSmart — a financial education program developed for middle school students.

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    3. New Valley Bank & Trust Co., first Springfield bank in 11 years, opens Thursday

      New Valley Bank & Trust Co., first Springfield bank in 11 years, opens Thursday

      New Valley Bank & Trust Co., the first startup bank in Springfield in 11 years, will begin opening accountsand accepting deposits on Thursday, May 30. New Valley — the only bank with its headquarters in Springfield — received its final regulatory approval, this one from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, on Wednesday.

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    4. Baystate Health plans ICU closures at Noble in Westfield, Wing in Palmer, as Massachusetts lawmakers mull making such shutdowns harder

      Baystate Health plans ICU closures at Noble in Westfield, Wing in Palmer, as Massachusetts lawmakers mull making such shutdowns harder

      Baystate Health plans to close underutilized intensive care units in Westfield and Palmer and convert the six beds at each hospital to regular medical-surgical use with a lower level of care. It has also asked the state Department of Public Health to take the six pediatric beds at Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield off the institution’s license and close that ward, said spokeswoman Shelly Hazlett.

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    5. Marion A. McGowan named CEO of Health New England, VP for Baystate Health

      Marion A. McGowan named CEO of Health New England, VP for Baystate Health

      Baystate Health announced Thursday that it will appoint Marion A. McGowan to the newly created position of president and CEO of Health New England and senior vice president of payer innovation for Baystate Health. "We are confident that Marion’s experience in strategy development, operations, and new business ventures — along with her background in new population health business, service models and value-based payment — will help us to improve the health and the health care experience for the populations we serve,” said Dr. Mark A. Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health and chair of the Health New England board of ...

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    6. Payless ShoeSource says all stores closing in June

      Payless ShoeSource says all stores closing in June

      Payless ShoeSource announced this weekthat its liquidation sales will continue through the end of June and its stores will close on a rolling basis throughout the month. The company announced in February that it would shut down all 2,100 Payless locations across the country. But that announcement left the actual date of closing a mystery.

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    7. Church for sale: Congregation puts H.H. Richardson building in Springfield’s Mattoon Street neighborhood on the market

      Church for sale: Congregation puts H.H. Richardson building in Springfield’s Mattoon Street neighborhood on the market

      The former North Congregational Church at the corner of Salem and Elliot streets in Springfield’s Mattoon Street neighborhood is for sale with an asking price of $600,000. The brownstone church at 18 Salem St. — which has gone by many names over the decades — dates to 1873 and features stained-glass windows from the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

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    8. Well, Howdy! Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts annual Howdy Awards for hospitality excellence

      Well, Howdy! Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts annual Howdy Awards for hospitality excellence

      The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau honored a dozen workers in the hospitality industry Monday during the 24th-annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence. The Visitors Bureau hosts the awards each year to recognize front-line employees at restaurants, attractions, modes of transportation, hotels and the like who help make a visitor’s stay in Western Massachusetts special.

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    9. MassMutual moving Barings out of Tower Square; Springfield-grown Wellfleet taking its place

      MassMutual moving Barings out of Tower Square; Springfield-grown Wellfleet taking its place

      Barings, the investment management arm of Springfield’s MassMutual, is closing its Springfield location in Tower Square. The move has cleared the way for another insurance company, Wellfleet, to move in. Barings has been relocating employees away from Springfield since it opened a headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2016, said spokeswoman Kelly Smith in an email Monday. She offered no further detail about when the Springfield office would finally close.

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    10. Westfield OK’s tax incentive for James Hardie plant expansion

      Westfield OK’s tax incentive for James Hardie plant expansion

      James Hardie Building Products, the manufacturer that bought the former old Colony Envelope and National Envelope plant last year, could invest an additional $12 million to $18 million at the site and hire more people. That’s if it gets a tax incentives from the city and state. The Westfield City Council voted 10-1 in favor of the agreement, a tax increment financing, or TIF, agreement Thursday night.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    11. Downtown Springfield Farmers Market returns, but at new location

      Downtown Springfield Farmers Market returns, but at new location

      The Downtown Springfield Farmers Market returns Friday, May 17, for the 2019 season, but at a new location. The market will now be at Court Square, a block south of Tower Square Park, also known as Steiger Park, where it had been located. The market runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Friday from May 17 through Sept. 27 . White Lion Brewing Co. will host a summer beer garden, May 22 through Aug 31, in Tower Square Park at 1477 Main St.

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    12. What’s new at Eastec 2019: Robots and efficiency drive innovation

      What’s new at Eastec 2019: Robots and efficiency drive innovation

      The Eastern States Exposition’s Mallary Complex, where folks normally gather around livestock, is full this week of folks gathering around robots on display at the Eastec trade show. Robots throwing dice, robots alphabetizing a pile of children's ABC toys, robots stacking tiny squares of gum.

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    13. Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza and Cafe opening West Springfield location

      Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza and Cafe opening West Springfield location

      Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza and Cafe owner Anthony Martone is opening in a new location at 816 Westfield St. "We are going to specialize in our brick-oven pizza," Martone said. "We are also introducing new Tuscan bread pressed sandwiches and we'll have an outdoor area for a late-night coffee."

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    14. What’s next for Friendly’s ice cream plant in Wilbraham as owner Dean Foods looks to restructure?

      What’s next for Friendly’s ice cream plant in Wilbraham as owner Dean Foods looks to restructure?

      Dean Foods, the Texas-based dairy conglomerate that owns Friendly’s ice cream manufacturing business, isn’t tipping its hand when it comes its future or the future of Friendly’s. In February, Dean Foods announced plans to restructure and possibly sell all or parts of its business. Dean has already received a half dozen offers for various parts of its business, including the Friendly’s operation, according to a story Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

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    15. ‘There must be some good use for it,’ Jacob Trudeau says after buying Strathmore Mill building in Russell for $15K

      ‘There must be some good use for it,’ Jacob Trudeau says after buying Strathmore Mill building in Russell for $15K

      A Pittsfield man who thought he’d get a chance to bid on different mill building has instead purchased Strathmore Mill #2 at auction from the town for just $15,000. “I thought as long I was here, I’d try and buy it anyway,” buyer Jacob Trudeau, 30, said Thursday following the auction at Russell Town Hall. He'd seen a sign on Route 20 advertising the auction last week while driving home from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

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    16. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield using augmented reality for fundraising

      Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield using augmented reality for fundraising

      The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will use augmented reality technology to help it raise funds. Augmented reality adds images or video to the screen as users look at the real world through the camera function on their phone or another electronic device. Its best-known application thus far has been in the game “Pokémon Go.” The hoop shrine announced Wednesday a deal with Imagination Park Entertainment of Vancouver and Los Angeles for the augmented reality technology.

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    17. Eastec manufacturing trade show in West Springfield focuses sustainability, ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’

      Eastec manufacturing trade show in West Springfield focuses sustainability, ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’

      Eastec, the massive manufacturing trade show, returns to the Big E next week with a focus on the future — the future of manufacturing, of the planet and of the industry’s workforce. “Sustainability is a focus area at Eastec this year,” said event manager Kim Farrugia. That means conserving energy, minimizing waste, streamlining practices and even using environmentally friendly packaging, she said.

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    18. Smith & Wesson sells former Springfield Shooting Sports Center for $740,500 to Northstar recycler next door

      Smith & Wesson sells former Springfield Shooting Sports Center for $740,500 to Northstar recycler next door

      The sale, for the price of $740,500, was recorded April 18 at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. Neither Smith & Wesson nor Northstar responded to questions Monday. The 5.7-acre property in the industrial East Springfield neighborhood was home to Smith & Wesson’s retail store and an indoor gun range for about a decade. There, shooters could rent time and rent Smith & Wesson firearms for practice or to try out before they bought.

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    19. Sears holding on to Eastfield Mall site, Kmarts in Holyoke, Palmer during bankruptcy

      Sears holding on to Eastfield Mall site, Kmarts in Holyoke, Palmer during bankruptcy

      Kmart stores on Northampton Street in Holyoke and Wilbraham Street in Palmer, as well as the closed Sears at the Eastfield Mall were recently sold to a company controlled by former Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert as he buys what’s left Sears and Kmart out of bankruptcy. All three transactions were recorded in the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. In an email Monday, Sears Holdings said there are no plans to close the Kmarts in Palmer and Holyoke.

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    Balise Motor Sales plans to open new Honda dealership at former Yale Genton clothing store site in West Springfield by May 1 DevelopSpringfield Corp. to offer $10,000 grants to merchants to spruce up storefronts on Main and State streets Springfield visitors' center reopens at new home in Basketball Hall of Fame building Lunt Silversmiths' decision to shut down operations, prompts Greenfield to seek ways to reuse property Temporary seasonal jobs reported in short supply in Western Mass. FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp.-Western New England College partnership gets $1 million in federal funding Big Y supermarkets ask full-time employees to take voluntary layoffs Bradley International Airport faces challenges in tough economic times 'Cash for clunkers' program to be expanded to appliances in Mass. ‘We just don’t think it is fair’: Businesses speak out ahead of annual Springfield commercial vs. residential tax argument Springfield office buildings, including landmark at State and Main streets, don’t sell at auction; now in hands of mortgage lender Legion Paper plans distribution hub at former Canson Paper plant in South Hadley