1. Articles from Jim Kinney, The Republican

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    1. Columbia Gas of Massachusetts opens new maintenance depot in Easthampton

      Columbia Gas of Massachusetts opens new maintenance depot in Easthampton

      Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has opened a new maintenance base at 7 Industrial Parkway, replacing an outmoded facility in Northampton. Depots like this one, called a MOD for Mobile Operations Deployment, are the direction gas companies across the country are taking, Columbia Gas spokeswoman Andrea M. Luppi said. The new MOD will be supported by distribution crews and service technicians and will house materials, supplies and equipment for easy accessibility. The Easthampton MOD will have about a dozen employees.

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    2. Demolition clears site for entrance to renewed Union Station in Springfield

      Demolition clears site for entrance to renewed Union Station in Springfield

      Demolition crews are wrapping up work removing an unstable parking garage on Frank B. Murray Street, making way for the new improved Springfield Union Station taking shape across the street. The property will serve as a new entrance to the planned $83 million Union Station Intermodal Transportation and Rail Center. As part of the center, the soon-to-be-vacant lot also will be the site of a surface parking lot and four bus berths. Renovations at the historic station were delayed but are on track to be completed sometime in 2015.

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    3. Massachusetts Broadband Institute completes construction and testing of fiber-optic network

      Massachusetts Broadband Institute completes construction and testing of fiber-optic network

      The Massachusetts Broadband Institute completed construction and testing last week on MassBroadband123, a 1,200-mile high-speed Internet access system that promises to bring high-speed connectivity to rural parts of the Berkshires and hill towns. The new network has been turned over to network operator Axia NG Networks USA, which uses a hub in the Springfield Technical Community College Technology Park on State Street. Many community facilities are already using the MassBroadband123 network, with hundreds more expected to come online over the next several months, the institute said.

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    4. MassMutual donates $100,000 to Rebuilding Together

      MassMutual donates $100,000 to Rebuilding Together

      Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has donated $100,000 to Rebuilding Together to help families across the country repair and rebuild their homes. This is the second year that MassMutual has donated to Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit organization that provides critical repairs and renovations for low-income homeowners across the United States. The donation is a result of MassMutual’s ongoing efforts to encourage its retirement plan participants, employees and agents to sign up for e-delivery for their quarterly statements, sent by email and available on the company’s RetireSmart website, in the place of mailed paper statements. For every ...

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    5. Downtown Holyoke building marketed as a hydropower resource

      Downtown Holyoke building marketed as a hydropower resource

      Marcos Marrero, director of planning and economic development for the city of Holyoke, said the folks behind 195 Appleton St. are not alone. Open Square developer John Aubin has long marketed Open Square, located a few blocks away, as the country’s largest zero net energy mixed-use development. Open Square generates 500 kilowatts of electricity, also using water drawn from the canals. Open Square produces more energy than it uses and feeds electricity back to the city's power grid. The city's grid itself is also green, considering Holyoke Gas & Electric's hydro and solar operations. "Clean energy is ...

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    6. Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield support modest, incremental increase in Massachusetts' minimum wage

      Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield support modest, incremental increase in Massachusetts' minimum wage

      Saying the lowest wage paid by most respondents to its survey is already above $8 an hour, the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield
      called for measured and incremental raises to the state's minimum wage. "It seemed to us that a modest increase in the wage would not adversely affect
      the large majority of our members," said Jeffrey Ciuffreda, president of the Affiliated Chambers. "There was some acknowledgment that it hasn't been raised in a long time."

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    7. Dr. David Peck, general contractor Craig Sweitzer renovate former Duryea building in downtown Springfield

      Dr. David Peck, general contractor Craig Sweitzer renovate former Duryea building in downtown Springfield

      NAI Plotkin real estate brokers and property managers sold the building to Peck, President Evan Plotkin said. Plotkin said he'll keep his offices on the first floor, renting from Peck. Contractor Craig Sweitzer and his family have made a specialty out of dental offices, having built more than 70 such facilities in the Pioneer Valley over the past two decades.

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    8. Maverick Group, a document services company, celebrates 20 years in Springfield

      Maverick Group, a document services company, celebrates 20 years in Springfield

      The Maverick Group moved to the 17th floor of Tower Square in 1998 before outgrowing that space and taking a larger space on the 15th floor finally settling in approximately 2,000 square feet of space on the second floor above Champions restaurant. According to founder and owner Jose Rodriguez, the company, processed about 15,000 documents per month when they first started out. Now the Maverick Group processes more than half-a-million documents each month.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    9. Menck USA window company gets $5 million in tax-exempt bonds

      Menck USA window company gets $5 million in tax-exempt bonds

      MassDevelopment has issued a $5 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Menck USA Inc., which does business as Menck Windows. Menck USA, which will be based in Chicopee, was formed through a partnership between Menck Fenster GmbH, a 130-year-old Hamburg, Germany, custom window and door manufacturer and Liesenfeld International. The company is using bond proceeds to buy manufacturing equipment and renovate roughly half a 150,000-square-foot Chicopee building that was vacant for several years. Menck USA expects to create 50 jobs over the next five years as a result of the project. Boston Private Bank purchased the bond and the ...

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    10. MassMutual board of directors honored by National Association of Corporate Directors New England Chapter

      MassMutual board of directors honored by National Association of Corporate Directors New England Chapter

      MassMutual's 13-member board, made up of some of the top business minds in the region, has contributed greatly to the company's success, the association said in awarding its Private Company Board of the Year award for 2014. In recent years, MassMutual recorded many new achievements: in 2012, the company acquired The Hartford Retirement Plans, nearly doubling the number of retirement participants served across the country, and its assets under management reached a record high of $508 billion. MassMutual is currently one of only two Fortune 100 companies located within Massachusetts (the other is Boston-based Liberty Mutual).

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    11. Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield taking applications for Leadership Institute

      Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield taking applications for Leadership Institute

      The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield is accepting applications are now being accepted for the 2014 session of Leadership Institute, Rethinking Leadership: Sharpening Skills for Organization and Community Service, sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group and the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation. The Leadership Institute is a unique collaboration between the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield and Western New England University to teach mid and upper level managers the crucial thinking and problem solving skills needed to enable them to be effective leaders in service to the community and in their workplaces and designed to ...

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    12. Springfield's Tower Square wins building operations and management award

      Springfield's Tower Square wins building operations and management award

      The CBRE-NE Tower Square management office recently announced Tower Square 's designation as a 360 Performance Building by the Building Owners and Managers Association International. The 360 Performance program recognizes commercial properties that demonstrate best practices in building operations and management. The BOMA 360 Performance Program validates and recognizes commercial properties that demonstrate best practices in building operations and management.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. Microbusiness for Inclusion and Collaborative Success launches effort

      Microbusiness for Inclusion and Collaborative Success launches effort

      Microbusiness for Inclusion and Collaborative Success, a business leadership initiative driven by UnityFirst.com’s Janine and Tom Fondon and a group of diverse business owners has been launched with the collaborative support of the MassMutual Center, Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield and the Greater New England Minority Supplier Diversity Council.

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    14. One-stop shop: Detector Technology in Palmer looks to create 'manufacturing mall'

      One-stop shop: Detector Technology in Palmer looks to create 'manufacturing mall'

      Jay Ray, president and CEO of Detector Technology Inc., likens his company's expansion project to a manufacturing mall. Think of storefronts, he said, lining the perimeter of a precision machine shop. Each storefront, each distinct physical space in the plant, run by and representing a critical step or aspect of manufacturing, development and assembling highly technical products.

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      Mentions: Palmer Holyoke
    15. Nuclea Biotechnologies in Pittsfield hopes to relocate manufacturing to old GE site from Cambridge

      Nuclea Biotechnologies in Pittsfield hopes to relocate manufacturing to old GE site from Cambridge

      Nuclea Biotechnologies, a developer and maker of diagnostic tests for cancer and diabetes, hopes to move manufacturing operations from Cambridge to the Berkshires. The new location would be near Nuclea's current headquarters in what was once General Electric's sprawling Pittsfield manufacturing complex. Today it is the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority property now known as the William Stanley Business Park.

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    16. Square One, United Personnel help mothers enter job market with Mom Squad training program

      Square One, United Personnel help mothers enter job market with Mom Squad training program

      United Personnel also brings recruiters into a Square One child-care center for a job fair, followed by practice interviews and resume help. It also allows Mom Squad participants to go through the company's assessment tests and figure out what kind of jobs they are good at.

      "Job hunting is lonely these days because so much of it is on the Internet," she said.

      And there are jobs out there, Canavan said.

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    17. F.L. Roberts to complete car wash in Springfield's South End by end of December

      F.L. Roberts to complete car wash in Springfield's South End by end of December

      Local chain F.L. Roberts hopes to open a new Golden Nozzle Car was location on East Columbus Avenue in the city 's South End by the end of December. Steven M. Roberts, chief executive officer and president of F.L. Roberts, said the company might close a nearby car wash when the new one opens, but the decision is not final. FL Roberts already has a nearby Mobil gas station.

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    18. Greater Springfield Reliability Project is completed | masslive.com

      Greater Springfield Reliability Project is completed | masslive.com

      The Greater Springfield Reliability Project - a major transmission upgrade to improve reliability in the region - is now complete, Western Massachusetts Electric Co. announced.  Connecticut Light & Power and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. finished the project both on-time and under budget, despite challenging storms that included Superstorm Sandy and the blizzard of 2013.

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    19. Classic Burger plans to open at former Friendly's location on Westfield Street in West Springfield

      Classic Burger plans to open at former Friendly's location on Westfield Street in West Springfield

      The color, says prospective restaurateur Barry Parker, is '57 Chevy Blue. That's the hue he chose for the exterior of his new restaurant, Classic Burger, set to open in early March in a former Friendly's location at 1261 Westfield Street in West Springfield. It's part of a classic car theme Parker is working on, a theme that will include booths made from chassis of actual classic cars, a seating bench made from a '56 Buick and one made from an old Pepsi ice-chest-style vending machine.

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    20. Regional Employment Board of Hampden County receives $444,000 for precision manufacturing training program

      Regional Employment Board of Hampden County receives $444,000 for precision manufacturing training program

      The state has granted $444,208 to support the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County's Precision Manufacturing Training Program, according to a news release issued last week. The grant is part of a larger program. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki announced four awards totaling more than $1.3 million to support regional programs to train unemployed and underemployed individuals, including veterans, for careers in the state’s advanced manufacturing industry.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. Springfield Technical Community College in midst of $11 million heating and air conditioning project

      Springfield Technical Community College in midst of $11 million heating and air conditioning project

      New heating plants as well as a new low-pressure central steam plant are in place at Springfield Technical Community College and workers are now installing a new air conditioning plant as part of an $11 million heating, ventilating and air-conditioning project at the school. The state-funded project is meant to address the failure two years ago of the college's old central steam plant, said Maureen E. Socha, senior director of facilities at the college.

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    22. Hampden Bank participates in state Small Business Partnership Program

      Hampden Bank participates in state Small Business Partnership Program

      In an effort to help local small businesses expand and create new jobs, Hampden Bank, in conjunction with the office of the State Treasurer, is participating in the Small Business Partnership Program. The program is a special funding initiative launched by State Treasurer Steven Grossman to promote small business loans, according to a news release.

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    23. Pafumi Motors in Springfield's Indian Orchard section moves as Family Dollar adds locations

      Pafumi Motors in Springfield's Indian Orchard section moves as Family Dollar adds locations

      Pafumi Motors in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield is moving three doors down and across Main Street to make way as discount-retailer Family Dollar continues its local expansion. Pafumi Motors has temporary quarters nearby at Nick's Auto Body at 390 Main St. Construction has already begun on the department store, which could open as early as June.

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      Mentions: Springfield
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    Westfield State, UMass-Amherst, Amherst and Williams rank as top cost-effective colleges | Massachusetts Local News - MassLive.com Yankee Candle founder Michael Kittredge, Msnbc host Rachel Maddow and actor Bill Cosby among this year's college commencement speakers Blu Homes, manufacturer of environmentally efficient modular homes, officially opens East Longmeadow factory Western Massachusetts Development Collaborative's new office building on State Street filling fast Big Y Food opening 9 new supermarkets in Massachusetts, Connecticut Megabus adds Holyoke to its list of stops, joining Amherst MassMutual gets Massachusetts tax incentive to move jobs to Springfield; Crane gets tax incentive to add jobs in North Adams F.W. Webb opens new Smith & Wesson Industrial Park site in Springfield Classic Burger plans to open at former Friendly's location on Westfield Street in West Springfield Cafe plans perking for Springfield Innovation Center STCC workforce training program sets employer forums MassDOT to host public meeting set on Interstate 91 viaduct progress