1. Articles from Jim Kinney

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    1. Looking for an exit? Hundreds at Blandford meeting debate possibility of new MassPike interchange between Westfield and Lee

      Looking for an exit? Hundreds at Blandford meeting debate possibility of new MassPike interchange between Westfield and Lee

      Some came Thursday with an open mind to hear detailed plans to build a long-sought Massachusetts Turnpike exit in Blandford in the Berkshire hills between Westfield and Lee. Others in the crowd of more than 300 attending an information session in the Town Hall basketball court had their minds made up on the project, which could cost between $29.5 million and $34 million and take at least a dozen years to design and build.

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    2. Calling the internet ‘required infrastructure,’ Gov. Charlie Baker announces $5M in broadband funding at Blandford visit

      Calling the internet ‘required infrastructure,’ Gov. Charlie Baker announces $5M in broadband funding at Blandford visit

      On most evenings people sit in parked cars surrounding the Blandford Memorial Library, Select Board Member Eric McVey said. The library on Route 23, the main drag through this scenic hilltown now awash in vibrant fall color, is one of the only places with Wi-Fi or any type of internet service that’s not either too slow, too expensive or both.

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    3. Amazon hiring for Holyoke distribution center by invite only; applicants told to text e-commerce giant - masslive.com

      Amazon hiring for Holyoke distribution center by invite only; applicants told to text e-commerce giant - masslive.com

      Amazon is hiring workers for its new $5.6 million distribution center now under construction near the Holyoke Mall, but applicants must first apply online for access to invitation-only hiring fairs.  Applicants are told to text the word WESTMASS to 77088 to receive updates of job opportunities, or view all opportunities at or visit http://amazon.force.com.

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    4. Heritage Hall nursing facilities in Agawam sold for $24M; Genesis HealthCare will remain as operator

      Heritage Hall nursing facilities in Agawam sold for $24M; Genesis HealthCare will remain as operator

      An Ohio real estate company sold the Heritage Hall campus of nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in Agawam last month to a new ownership group that includes current operator Genesis HealthCare for a total of $24 million. The four facilities — called Heritage Hall West, North, South and East — total 533 beds, according to documents on file at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes and keeps track of changes in ownership and results of inspections.

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    5. Mayor Domenic Sarno criticizes MBTA for awarding $278M deal to South Korea instead of Springfield-based Crrc Ma

      Mayor Domenic Sarno criticizes MBTA for awarding $278M deal to South Korea instead of Springfield-based Crrc Ma

      Mayor Domenic J. Sarno criticized the MBTA on Friday for ordering 80 bi-level passenger railcars from South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem for $278.6 million instead of the Chinese-owned CRRC MA. CRRC already has a $95 million factory on Page Boulevard in East Springfield making MBTA Red and Orange line cars and already planning to make similar commuter rail double-decker cars for Philadelphia’s SEPTA.

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    6. Dave Ratner sells 5 locations, keeps Agawam as last Dave’s Soda & Pet City

      Dave Ratner sells 5 locations, keeps Agawam as last Dave’s Soda & Pet City

      Dave Ratner has sold five of his Dave’s Soda & Pet City locations to a Connecticut Agway dealer, retaining the Agawam location as his lone remaining store. Dave's locations in Hadley, Ludlow, Northampton, Ware and Stafford Springs, Connecticut will become Smithland Supply stores. Smithland, an Agway dealer like Ratner, already has five Connecticut Locations and plans for further expansion across New England, Ratner said this week.

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    7. Car buff Prestley Blake, co-founder of Friendly’s, to help Springfield Museums celebrate 100th anniversary of Springfield-built Rolls-Royce

      Car buff Prestley Blake, co-founder of Friendly’s, to help Springfield Museums celebrate 100th anniversary of Springfield-built Rolls-Royce

      S. Prestley Blake, co-founder of Friendly’s and longtime Rolls-Royce enthusiast, will be on hand for a book signing Oct. 13 when the city and the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History celebrates Rolls-Royce Day. The event, held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., celebrates not only the 10th anniversary of the Wood Museum of Springfield History, but also the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Springfield Rolls-Royce Factory.

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    8. Holyoke apartment complex Devonshire Place sells for $19.75M

      Holyoke apartment complex Devonshire Place sells for $19.75M

      Devonshire Place, a 180-unit apartment complex at 48-50 Holy Family Road in the Ingleside neighborhood, was sold earlier this month for $19.75 million to a unit of Yellowstone Property Group of Monsey, New York. Cosmetic renovations and updates are planned at the complex, said Tarin Chartier, the property manager. She said management at the complex hasn’t changed and she’s worked there for two years herself.

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    9. Hospital profit report points out disparities in Western Massachusetts; Springfield’s Mercy Medical Center report $12.6M loss

      Hospital profit report points out disparities in Western Massachusetts; Springfield’s Mercy Medical Center report $12.6M loss

      Mercy Medical Center reported a $12.6 million loss in its 2018 fiscal year, according to figures released Friday by the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis. That’s a loss of 4.2% compared with an average statewide profit margin for hospitals of 4.5%. Among other local hospitals, only Northampton’s Cooley Dickinson, part of Partners HealthCare, reported a loss — 0.3% or $600,000.

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    10. As movie theater plans advance, Holyoke Mall seeks zoning change

      As movie theater plans advance, Holyoke Mall seeks zoning change

      With plans for a movie theater moving forward, the owners of the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside have asked the city to relax zoning guidelines that restrict the height of the property. “We are just attempting to get a little more flexibility for the property if we need it,” said Bill Rogalski, Holyoke Mall general manger. “We are just trying to make sure we have every competitive advantage in the marketplace.” While Rogalski said the mall is moving forward with plans for a movie theater, he would not say if that was the reason it is seeking the height allowance.

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    11. MassPike study completed; October meetings set to plan I-90 exit between Westfield, Lee

      MassPike study completed; October meetings set to plan I-90 exit between Westfield, Lee

      After a summer of silence, MassDOT has completed its analysis of the three alternative locations for a new Massachusetts Turnpike exit between Westfield and Lee and drafting study recommendations. The new high exit, which could take a decade to get built, would cost between $29.5 and $37.8 million, according to MassDOT estimates. Now the agency, after promising local lawmakers they'd hear back in "summer" has set a pair of meetings in October to reveal its findings.

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    12. White Lion launches ‘Harvest Nights’ beer fests; downtown Springfield tap room to open in January

      White Lion launches ‘Harvest Nights’ beer fests; downtown Springfield tap room to open in January

      White Lion Brewing Co. has extended its Wednesday and Friday night summer beer gardens into the fall with Harvest Nights at Steiger Park across from Tower Square. Harvest Nights runs from 5 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday nights through the end of October, the last event being Wednesday, Oct. 30, said Ashley Clark, managing partner of the Springfield-based micro brew brand.

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    13. MyPayrollHR exec Michael Mann charged with $70M bank fraud; collapse left some United Personnel employees in Western Mass. without pay

      The top executive at MyPayrollHR — which failed earlier this month leaving more than 1,000 small business in the lurch including Springfield-based United Personnel — has been charged with bank fraud. Michael T. Mann, 49, of Saratoga County, New York, appeared in a federal court in Albany Monday on a criminal complaint charging him with committing a $70 million bank fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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    14. Three Wingate nursing homes sold for $19 million

      Three Wingate nursing homes sold for $19 million

      hree former Wingate nursing and rehabilitation centers in the Pioneer Valley were sold earlier this month to a New York City investment firm for $19.6 million. The centers, now called Vero Health & Rehab at Hampden, Vero Health & Rehab of South Hadley and Vero Health & Rehab of Wilbraham are now under the management of Vero Health & Rehab, a Maryland company with nine locations including four others in Massachusetts.

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    15. Amazon moving ahead in Holyoke despite layoffs at New England contractor

      Amazon moving ahead in Holyoke despite layoffs at New England contractor

      Amazon has already begun recruiting for the 235 jobs it’s promised at the $5.6 million distribution center it’s fitting out at 161 Lower Westfield Road. The internet retailing giant told City Hall it expects to open the facility in November, just in time for the Christmas rush, said Mike Bloomberg, chief of staff to Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.

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    16. L.L. Bean sets opening date for Hadley store; first 200 customers will draw gift cards worth up to $500

      L.L. Bean sets opening date for Hadley store; first 200 customers will draw gift cards worth up to $500

      L.L. Bean will open its new store in the Mountain Farms Mall Oct. 18, the Maine-based retailer announced Wednesday. The store will employ approximately 50 staff members, according to a news release. L.L. Bean also said the store will host free L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs year-round, including product demonstrations, map and compass clinics, and guest speakers, as well as hiking and biking outings and community service activities.

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    17. Amazon delivery contractor lays off hundreds in Massachusetts, Connecticut, state documents say

      Amazon delivery contractor lays off hundreds in Massachusetts, Connecticut, state documents say

      A delivery service is ending its contract with Amazon and laying off 201 drivers in Massachusetts and another 74 who work out of Bristol, Connecticut. Urban Mobility Now, with offices in Boston and Bristol, told departments of labor in both states last week that the layoffs will be effective Oct. 9, according to documents made public under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The Massachusetts layoffs are in Chelsea, Dedham and Milford, according to WARN notices filed Sept. 12 with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

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    18. CRRC announces apprentice program for Springfield rail car plant; first such program in the U.S.

      CRRC announces apprentice program for Springfield rail car plant; first such program in the U.S.

      CRRC MA and the Sheet Metal Workers Local 63 have created a registered apprentice program for mechanical production worker training in rail car manufacturing at CRRC’s mammoth factory in East Springfield. The program at the plant — now building Orange Line subway cars for the T and soon to start work on Red Line cars — is the first apprenticeship program in the U.S. for rail car manufacturing, according to a news release.

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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. Celebrate the Healthcare Heroes on Oct. 17 Westfield State to Host Information Session for Two Graduate Programs on Oct. 21 Looking for an exit? Hundreds at Blandford meeting debate possibility of new MassPike interchange between Westfield and Lee