1. Articles from Jeanette DeForge, The Republican

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    1. Willimansett Bridge construction linking Holyoke and Chicopee may be complete at the end of the year

      Explore masslive.com (Feb 27 2014)

      Willimansett Bridge construction linking Holyoke and Chicopee may be complete at the end of the year

      State Rep. Joseph F. Wagner, D-Chicopee, and state Rep. Aaron Vega, D-Holyoke, with Chicopee Mayor Richard J. Kos and Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse announced Thursday that a preliminary agreement has been made with the state Department of Transportation that will allow the process to find a new contractor to start as soon as next week.  “This is great news. The impact on the businesses on both sides has been heartfelt,” said state Rep. Aaron Vega, D-Holyoke.

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      Mentions:   Chicopee   Holyoke

    2. Chicopee's cost of cleaning up the former Facemate factory soared because of unknown fuel tanks, buried buildings

      Explore masslive.com (Feb 25 2014)

      Chicopee's cost of cleaning up the former Facemate factory soared because of unknown fuel tanks, buried buildings

      Several years after the city started cleaning up the former Facemate and Uniroyal factory sites, officials proposed demolishing buildings at the Facemate Factory campus, removing any hazardous waste and building the new senior center there.  The initial estimate put the cost of demolition and cleanup at $3 million, which was to come from part of a $5 million Housing and Urban Development low-interest loan that will be paid back by subtracting about $360,000 from the city’s annual block grants it receives to spend to improve low-income neighborhoods and provide grants to social service agencies which serve the poor ...

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    3. Springfield Preparatory Charter School will focus on early literacy and preparing children for college

      Explore masslive.com (Feb 25 2014)

      Springfield Preparatory Charter School will focus on early literacy and preparing children for college

      The Springfield Preparatory Charter School was one of two charter schools in the state to receive approval this year to open. The other is the Argosy Collegiate Charter School in Fall River that will open in September 2014. The board also approved opening the TEC Connections Academy, a virtual school.  “We believe every child can make it to college and deserves to make it. Kindergartners will take college trips. We will use the language of college to get kids thinking college is something they can and will do,” said Bill Spirer, the head of the school.

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    4. Chicopee Chamber of Commerce hires Eileen Drumm as new president to replace retiring Gail Sherman

      Explore masslive.com (Jan 20 2014)

      Chicopee Chamber of Commerce hires Eileen Drumm as new president to replace retiring Gail Sherman

      Eileen P. Drumm, of Chicopee, will officially begin the job on Feb. 3, but she is already spending time working with retiring president Gail A. Sherman, who is leaving the job after 17 years.  “I’m thrilled about this. This is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Drumm said. “I love this chamber.” Drumm, who most recently worked as the director of community relations at Armbrook Village, a senior living facility in Westfield, earned a master's degree in management of non-profit organizations from American International College in 2011.

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      Mentions:   American International College   Baystate Health   Chicopee

    5. Sequestration costs state $1.3 billion in lost revenues and 14,000 in reduced job growth

      Explore masslive.com (Dec 18 2013)

      Sequestration costs state $1.3 billion in lost revenues and 14,000 in reduced job growth

      The federal budget cuts known as sequestration has cost the state about $1.3 billion in lost revenues and about 14,000 new jobs for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.  Officials for the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts Wednesday released the results of an economic study that calculated the impact the nationwide $1 trillion in automatic across-the-board budget cuts that took effect on March 1 had in Massachusetts.

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   Springfield   Northampton

    6. Chicopee approves tax break for Menck Windows

      Explore masslive.com (Dec 4 2013)

      Chicopee approves tax break for Menck Windows

      The company, which is in a joint venture with Menck Fenster a 130-year-old German company, initially plans to hire 20 to 30 employees and hopes to expand to at least 50 within five years.  Before the City Council meeting, Todd Bachelder, president and chief executive officer for Menck USA, asked for a quick approval so the company could begin installing equipment and be ready for business for the end of the 2014 construction season.  The approval enables the company to appear before the state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council this month to request economic development incentive grants or tax credits.

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    7. Westover pumps $225 million into local economy; federal budget cuts cause impact to decrease | masslive.com

      Explore masslive.com (Nov 19 2013)

      Westover pumps $225 million into local economy; federal budget cuts cause impact to decrease | masslive.com

      The total is a reduction from the $238 million impact the base had during fiscal years 2012 and 2011. In 2009, the impact was $231 million and in 2010 the impact was $266 million but most of that was due to a building boom on base.  Many of the reductions are due to the $85 billion across-the-board federal spending cuts called sequestration that were imposed in March.  “One of the keys is a $3.3 million decrease in civilian pay,” said Lt. Col. James G. Bishop, chief of public affairs for Westover.

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      Mentions:   Michael D. Bissonnette   Chicopee

    8. Westfield State University's $2 million for science center recommended for release

      Explore masslive.com (Nov 13 2013)

      Westfield State University's $2 million for science center recommended for release

      “Restoring the $2 million appropriation is a vote of confidence in the future of the university and most importantly, in the students of Massachusetts who will benefit from access to a state-of-the-art science facility,” university spokeswoman Molly C. Watson said in a written statement thanking Freeland.
      The $2 million was the first amount approved to build a $48 million science and technology building, the first academic building in 40 years at the university. Construction is expected to begin next year.

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      Mentions:   Westfield State University   Westfield   Dr. Evan S. Dobelle

    9. Chicopee Chamber of Commerce president Gail Sherman retiring

      Explore masslive.com (Nov 7 2013)

      Chicopee Chamber of Commerce president Gail Sherman retiring

      “Gail Sherman is going to be missed. I have worked with her for the past six years and found her to be a great leader,” he said. “Gail’s relationship with members, community leaders and elected officials has created a branding of the chamber as a regional collaborator, a valuable advocate for members and a necessary component in the area’s economic development.”

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    10. Chicopee mechanical contracting business to expand its building

      Explore masslive.com (Oct 9 2013)

      Chicopee mechanical contracting business to expand its building

      B-G Mechanical Contractors is adding a 10,000 square-foot building to its existing site. The new building is not expected to add jobs, at least initially. Currently between two to eight people work in Holyoke depending on the type of contracts the company has at the time and they will be transferred to the new building when it is finished. Another 42 people work in Chicopee and there are also some outside staff, Geroux said.

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      Mentions:   Chicopee   Holyoke

    11. Westover Air Base in Chicopee sends hundreds of employees home because of government shutdown

      Explore masslive.com (Oct 1 2013)

      Westover Air Base in Chicopee sends hundreds of employees home because of government shutdown

       Col. Steven Vautrain, commander of the 439th Airlift Wing, had submitted a list of essential personnel he requested to be exempted from the furlough to keep the base running. The Air Force did not approve exempted personnel until Tuesday morning so most did not know if they would be staying or going home. Even those who are working knew they should not expect their regular paycheck, Bishop said.  All active duty military are exempt from the furlough but Reservists and civilians are not. At Westover about 10 percent of all personnel are active duty while the remaining 90 percent are ...

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    12. Chicopee receives $185,000 for using environment friendly building practices

      Explore masslive.com (Sep 3 2013)

      Chicopee receives $185,000 for using environment friendly building practices

      By constructing the new senior center with passive solar energy, the most efficient lighting and plenty of insulation, the city received a check for $185,280 from Chicopee Electric Light.  The contribution, which is being granted through rebates, will count toward the $2 million the Friends of the Chicopee Senior Center has promised to raise toward construction of the building. It was announced during a gathering with the building commission and officials from the state Department of Energy Resources.

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      Mentions:   Michael D. Bissonnette   Chicopee   The Republican

    13. Chicopee businesses discuss downtown improvements, call for walking police patrol

      Explore masslive.com (Aug 15 2013)

      Chicopee businesses discuss downtown improvements, call for walking police patrol

      Downtown business owners pushed for a stronger police presence in the city’s center during a regular meeting Thursday to discuss improvements and problems in the center. About 30 people, most of them small business owners, gathered with Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette and a number of department heads. They discussed a wide variety of issues including upcoming work on sidewalks and parking lot paving, a Halloween parade and plans to get cleaning crews on the city streets.

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      Mentions:   Michael D. Bissonnette   Chicopee

    14. Westover Air Reserve Base receives 'excellent' score in inspection of 439th Airlift Wing operations

      Explore masslive.com (Aug 14 2013)

      Westover Air Reserve Base receives 'excellent' score in inspection of 439th Airlift Wing operations

      Westover Air Reserve Base received an overall score of "excellent" in an intensive review of all of the 439th Airlift Wing’s operations.  The full-base inspection was done by a team of 55 examiners from Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia from Aug. 8 through Aug. 12. When inspectors left on Monday they told Westover officials they passed with flying colors.

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    15. Office building proposed for former Uniroyal parking lot in Chicopee

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 17 2013)

      Office building proposed for former Uniroyal parking lot in Chicopee

      A portion of a former parking lot for the old Uniroyal plant has been rezoned for businesses so a new office building can eventually be built there.  The 45,864 square feet of property on the corner of Oak and Grove streets were rezoned from residential C to business A with an 11-0 vote of the City Council earlier this month.

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      Mentions:   Michael D. Bissonnette   Chicopee

    16. F-15 fighter jets based in Westfield moving temporarily to Westover in Chicopee

      Explore masslive.com (Jul 11 2013)

      F-15 fighter jets based in Westfield moving temporarily to Westover in Chicopee

      Residents near Westover Air Reserve Base are likely to experience increased noise from training flights of F-15 Eagle fighter jets that will be stationed there or as long as six months.  About 14 of the jets from the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing will be temporarily located at Westover while Barnes Regional Airport in Westfield undergoes a $30 million project to repair its runways.

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      Mentions:   Chicopee   Westfield   Barnes Municipal Airport

    17. Westover Air Base in Chicopee to see new $24 million refuling system

      Explore masslive.com (Jun 17 2013)

      Westover Air Base in Chicopee to see new $24 million refuling system

      “This is a very significant investment into the infrastructure and long-term viability of the base. The $24 million upgrade will help Westover perform its mission more effectively. As one of the largest employers in the region, this contract will bring construction jobs and economic growth,” said U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, who represents the base.

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      Mentions:   Springfield   Chicopee   Congressman Richard E. Neal

    18. 8 Western Massachusetts communities get low-interest loans to improve water, sewer systems

      Explore masslive.com (May 11 2013)

      8 Western Massachusetts communities get low-interest loans to improve water, sewer systems

      One project, costing $14 million for the first phase will connect the Provin Mountain Reservoir in Agawam and connect to twin pipes crossing the Connecticut River to Springfield. The total project will cost $28 million and loan funds will be pursued for the second year of construction, Pedersen said.
      The 83-year-old steel water transmission main being replaced provides water to Springfield, Agawam, Longmeadow and East Longmeadow. The pipeline is near the end of its useful lifespan, and inspections have uncovered significant corrosion, according to a project summary.

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      Mentions:   Michael D. Bissonnette   Palmer   Springfield

    19. Chicopee City Council approves $37.9 million to turn former Chicopee High School into middle school

      Explore masslive.com (May 9 2013)

      Chicopee City Council approves $37.9 million to turn former Chicopee High School into middle school

      The City Council has unanimously approved borrowing $37.9 million to renovate the former Chicopee High School and convert it to a middle school, giving the last project approval before construction can begin.  The project received final approvals in April from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which has agreed to reimburse the city 80 percent of the renovation costs up to $30.1 million.

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    20. Chicopee Electric Light to purchase hydroelectric power facility on Chicopee River

      Explore masslive.com (Mar 30 2013)

      Chicopee Electric Light to purchase hydroelectric power facility on Chicopee River

      Chicopee Electric Light Department will soon get into the hydroelectric business.  The department is preparing to purchase the hydroelectric facility built on the Chicopee River as part of an agreement created 30 years ago when the facility was first built, said Jeffrey R. Cady, general manager of Chicopee Electric Light.  The power plant, constructed by the Swift River Company in 1983, was built with an agreement that gave the company an easement to the dam. The deal included a provision that it was to be sold to the Chicopee Electric Light Department after 30 years, Cady said.

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      Mentions:   Northeast Utilities   Chicopee   Western Massachusetts Electric Company

    21. Fontaine Brothers of Springfield hired to build $8 million Chicopee Senior Center

      Explore masslive.com (Mar 14 2013)

      Fontaine Brothers of Springfield hired to build $8 million Chicopee Senior Center

      The city has hired the Springfield-based Fontaine Brothers to built the new senior center and expects to break ground on the building in early April.
      The full cost of the building, which will be built on the former Facemate factory property off West Main Street, will be $8.05 million, Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette said.

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      Mentions:   Michael D. Bissonnette   Springfield   Chicopee

    22. Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School approved for Springfield; Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley allowed to expand

      Explore masslive.com (Feb 26 2013)

      Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School approved for Springfield; Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley allowed to expand

      The school does not divide students into grades but they work in three levels. One cohort will be catching up to grade level work, a second group is prepare to take the MCAS tests and a third group has passed the state test and is preparing for college. It also offers dual enrollment opportunities and will work with Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College, she said.

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      Mentions:   Holyoke Community College   Springfield Technical Community College   Springfield

    23. Mary Walachy of Davis Foundation, Cheryl Stanley of Westfield State named to Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care

      Explore masslive.com (Feb 20 2013)

      Mary Walachy of Davis Foundation, Cheryl Stanley of Westfield State named to Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care

      Mary E. Walachy, the executive director of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, was appointed in November to the 11-member board which sets policies and oversees spending for the state Department of Early Education and Care.

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      Mentions:   Westfield State University   Springfield   Holyoke

    24. Barnes Regional Airport runway reconstruction could cause F-15 fighter jets to be temporarily transferred to Westover Air Force Base

      Explore masslive.com (Feb 5 2013)

      Barnes Regional Airport runway reconstruction could cause F-15 fighter jets to be temporarily transferred to Westover Air Force Base

      The project, which is estimated to cost at least $30 million, must be approved and funded by the Air National Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration, the city of Westfield and the state. It is very early in the planning process, he said.  If the runway is resurfaced, it will call for Fighter Wing’s F-15 Eagle fighter jets to be moved to another location while work is being done. Base officials are having discussions with those at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee and other airports in the northeast to find a temporary home for the planes, Mutti said.

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Chicopee   Westfield

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