1. Articles from masslivenews

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    1. Blame it on the rain: Weather at fault for delay in Springfield Riverfront Park renovation...

      Blame it on the rain: Weather at fault for delay in Springfield Riverfront Park renovation...

      A $2.5 million renovation project at Riverfront Park is taking longer than expected, with Mother Nature getting the blame. Officials are blaming the extremely rainy weather this fall for the delay, with the project now expected to be done by June 15, 2019, said Peter Garvey, the city's director of Capital Asset Construction. In addition to the near record rainfall this fall, there was a snowstorm in November. When the City Council approved a $1.6 million bond for the project in November 2017, officials said they hoped to have the park ready to coincide with the opening ...

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    2. For sale: Springfield seeks bids, offers incentives for 2 city-owned houses

      For sale: Springfield seeks bids, offers incentives for 2 city-owned houses

      The city is offering incentives totaling up to $65,000 for the purchase and reuse of two historically significant, tax-foreclosed houses. The city is advertising for bids for the houses at 427 Bay St. and 74 Irvington St., offering funding assistance through the federal Community Development Block Grant program. The assistance is aimed at encouraging proposals and assisting with needed renovations, the city said.

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    3. Springfield gains, pursues state grants for park improvements

      Springfield gains, pursues state grants for park improvements

      The state recently awarded $200,000 to the city to create a walking trail at Ruth Elizabeth Park in Six Corners. The project will be part of a multiphase effort to create and improve trails and public access in several city parks. In addition, the city is awaiting a decision from the state on its application for a $400,000 grant for renovations and improvements at Emily Bill Park in lower Liberty Heights. State grants for parks are "extremely important," Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said.

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    4. Springfield City Council approves special permit for lumber recycling business at Diamond Match property

      Springfield City Council approves special permit for lumber recycling business at Diamond Match property

      The City Council granted a special permit Monday for a wood recycling business on Paridon Street at the former Diamond Match property in East Forest Park, after the owner made improvements to the site and gained support from the neighborhood association. The council vote was 11-1 in favor of the special permit following a hearing at City Hall, with the lone no vote cast by Councilor Adam Gomez.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. Springfield seeks developer for tax-title business lots

      Springfield seeks developer for tax-title business lots

      The city has advertised for bids for the purchase and development of three tax-foreclosed business lots at the corner of Walnut and Union streets in the Old Hill neighborhood. The combined lots, totaling 25,603 square feet, are across the street from the Mason Wright Retirement Community. The combined lots have an assessed value of $55,100. "We are open to anything that conforms with the zoning, and is compatible with the neighborhood," said Brian Connors, the city's deputy director of economic development. "Over the years, there has been some amount of interest in that property."

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    6. 15 Massachusetts businesses, including MGM Springfield, CRRC, Table Talk Pies, Wayfair, win economic impact awards

      15 Massachusetts businesses, including MGM Springfield, CRRC, Table Talk Pies, Wayfair, win economic impact awards

      MassEcon, the state's private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, honored the businesses with the Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards for contributions of investment, job growth, facility expansion and community development, MassEcon stated in a news release. MGM Springfield won the gold award for the West region, and CRRC won the silver award for the region. Decker Machine Works of Greenfield won the bronze.

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    7. Springfield City Council OKs $1.1 million for community preservation: Here's who received...

      Springfield City Council OKs $1.1 million for community preservation: Here's who received...

      The City Council on Monday night approved special tax funds totaling $1.1 million for 11 community preservation projects including studies aimed at restoring the long-deteriorated Campanile tower and advancing bike-walkway projects along an abandoned rail line. The funds were approved by unanimous votes and are dedicated to historic preservation, open space and recreation and affordable housing initiatives under the Community Preservation Act property tax surcharge program. The new surtax was approved by Springfield voters two years ago.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    8. Springfield extends search for new management at Symphony Hall, while leaving CityStage...

      Springfield extends search for new management at Symphony Hall, while leaving CityStage...

      The city is asking the management company at Symphony Hall to continue services on a month-to-month basis after its contract expires Dec. 31, as a search continues for a new company. Springfield Performing Arts Development Corp. is being asked to stay on temporarily and there will be no gap in Symphony Hall operations, said Kevin Kennedy, the city's chief development officer. "They always indicated they would stay until a replacement was found," Kennedy said. "There will be no gap."

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    9. Northern Tree Service proposes waste wood processing plant in Springfield's Bay neighborhood

      Northern Tree Service proposes waste wood processing plant in Springfield's Bay neighborhood

      Northern Tree Service Inc., of Palmer, is proposing to purchase four tax-title junkyard properties along the Bay and Tapley street corridor for $701,700 to convert them into a facility that makes mulch and other products out of clean waste wood. Northern Tree Service submitted the sole bid for the vacant properties by Thursday's deadline. It will be referred for evaluation by a city review committee, said Thomas Mathews, project manager for the city's Office of Planning and Economic Development.

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    10. Boston, Springfield land on top 10 list of best cities for STEM professionals

      Boston, Springfield land on top 10 list of best cities for STEM professionals

      Boston and Springfield were among the "Top 10 best metro areas for STEM professionals" in 2018, according to statistics compiled by WalletHub, a personal finance website. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Boston was ranked second and Springfield eighth on the list. Worcester came in at 18th.  "We made another good list," Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said. "Glad to see our educational and workforce development are starting to pay off - this is all about a good four-letter word - jobs!"

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    11. Springfield launches $600,000 renovation project at Van Horn Park

      Springfield launches $600,000 renovation project at Van Horn Park

      The city formally launched a $600,000 renovation project at Van Horn Park in Liberty Heights on Tuesday that includes new playground equipment and a small pavilion, aided by federal grant funds. The contractor, Omasta Landscaping of Hadley, was joined by local officials and residents including Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, during the groundbreaking ceremony. The funding consists of a $300,000 federal grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $150,000 in federal Community Development block grant money, and $150,000 in city funds, as detailed in August.

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    12. Westfield company submits low bid for Forest Park culvert repairs after earlier bids rejected as too high

      Westfield company submits low bid for Forest Park culvert repairs after earlier bids rejected as too high

      A Westfield company has submitted the apparent low bid for a planned major culvert repair project at Forest Park after much higher bids received in June were rejected by the city as being too expensive. Nine companies submitted proposals for the work by Friday's deadline, with the apparent low bidder listed as J.L. Raymaakers & Sons, Inc., of Westfield, at a base price of $2,461,301.60. In June, bids ranged from $3.3 million to $7.9 million and were rejected, after which changes were made in the specifications aimed at encouraging lower bids, city officials said.

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    13. Springfield extends deadline for Symphony Hall management bids

      Springfield extends deadline for Symphony Hall management bids

      The city is giving companies additional time to submit proposals for the management contract at Symphony Hall, as the current organization overseeing the operations prepares to leave at the end of the year. The new deadline for proposals is Nov. 26, at 2 p.m., at the Office of Procurement at City Hall. The previous deadline was Oct. 31. "The bid went out later than scheduled and the city would like the prospective bidders to have enough time to put a solid proposal together," said Lauren Stabilo, the city's director of procurement.

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    14. Springfield working with Boston firm on $450,000 evaluation of long-closed Campanile

      Springfield working with Boston firm on $450,000 evaluation of long-closed Campanile

      The city is working with a Boston firm to help evaluate what repairs are needed now and in the future at the historic, long-deteriorating Campanile tower at Court Square. The approximately $450,000 architectural study includes both an interior and exterior evaluation of the tower, including rigging and roping on the exterior facade to aid the analysis, said Peter Garvey, the city's director of capital asset construction. Bruner/Cott of Boston is the hired architectural firm.

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    15. Springfield offers long-term contract for new manager of Symphony Hall

      Springfield offers long-term contract for new manager of Symphony Hall

      The city, facing the task of hiring a new management company for historic Symphony Hall, advertised for proposals this week, offering a contract of up to 15 years in order to spur greater interest and offers. Proposals are due Oct. 31 for an initial five-year contract with the option of two five-year extensions. The extension periods are at the city's option.

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    16. 'We believe it will pay off': Gov. Charlie Baker delivers $2.5 million grant for Paramount Theater-Massasoit Block restoration in Springfield

      'We believe it will pay off': Gov. Charlie Baker delivers $2.5 million grant for Paramount Theater-Massasoit Block restoration in Springfield

      Gov. Charlie Baker announced a $2.5 million state grant on Wednesday toward the planned $41 million restoration of the historic Paramount Theater and Massasoit Building on Main Street, citing the project as a "linchpin" for downtown revitalization. Baker, joined by Jay Ash, the state secretary of Housing and Economic Development, announced the state economic development grant inside the Paramount Theater foyer to the applause of city and state officials and local advocates.

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    17. What's next for CityStage? Springfield Parking Authority seeks outside advice on downtown...

      What's next for CityStage? Springfield Parking Authority seeks outside advice on downtown...

      As CityStage's management company prepares to leave at the end of the year, the Springfield Parking Authority is seeking professional advice about future options for the downtown theater. The parking authority, which owns the Columbus Center parking garage complex that houses CityStage, issued a formal advertisement on Tuesday asking for professional guidance to help determine the future options for the public live entertainment facility.

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    18. Big E sets new record with 1.54M visitors

      Big E sets new record with 1.54M visitors

      The Big E set a new attendance record with the 2018 edition of the Eastern States Exposition drawing 1,543,470 visitors during its 17-day run. It was an increase of 17,917 over the previous record of 1,525,553 guests set in 2017. A combination of a "tremendous lineup of terrific talent," unique foods that people want to try, a four-day draft horse show that included a six-horse hitch competition and many, many other attractions helped draw more than 1.5 million people to the fair this year, according to Eugene Cassidy, president of the Exposition.

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    19. Springfield schools superintendent lauds MCAS results, but says more work to be done

      Springfield schools superintendent lauds MCAS results, but says more work to be done

      Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick praised the results of the newly released MCAS scores for students in Springfield, which showed slight increases. But he said there is more work to be done as local scores -- among the trove of statewide data released Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education -- remain below state averages. Warwick said students' overall academic performance continues to improve. And, under a new state accountability system, Springfield schools were listed as "not requiring assistance or intervention."

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      Mentions: Springfield
    20. New $21 million food service center for Springfield students nears completion

      New $21 million food service center for Springfield students nears completion

      City and school officials toured a $21 million culinary and nutrition center in East Springfield Tuesday, saying they are excited it is on course to open in January. The facility will provide about 60,000 meals to students each day. "It's a tremendous facility," Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said. "This is really a first of its kind in the area. This unique collaborative approach not only enhances health food aspects for our children, but just as important, creates training and job opportunities, too."

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    21. Funeral services announced for Kevin Sullivan, Westfield School Committee vice chairman | masslive.com

      Funeral services announced for Kevin Sullivan, Westfield School Committee vice chairman | masslive.com

      The family of long-term School Committee member Kevin J. Sullivan, who died suddenly, has announced the dates for his funeral services.  Sullivan, 52, died of a heart attack on Sunday. Mayor Brian P. Sullivan said the death of his younger brother was a 'major shock' and completely unexpected.  'He had the biggest heart in the world and would help anyone. He had a special place in his life for kids whether they were yours or his,' he said.

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    22. Springfield Central Street project inches ahead with first land-takings

      Springfield Central Street project inches ahead with first land-takings

      A proposal $3 million corridor improvement project along Central Street moved a step closer last week with the City Council voting to approve property takings in that area including a building with automotive businesses. The roadway improvements in the Maple High-Six Corners area, however, remain on hold pending additional property takings needed including a strip of land along Ruth Elizabeth Park. "I'm itching to get it going," Public Works Director Christopher Cignoli said Tuesday.

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    23. Westfield mourns death of Kevin Sullivan, long-term School Committee member and 'great...

      Westfield mourns death of Kevin Sullivan, long-term School Committee member and 'great...

      The city is mourning the death of long-term School Committee member and tireless volunteer Kevin Sullivan, who died suddenly of a heart attack Sunday. Sullivan, 52, a lawyer with Sullivan, Hayes and Quinn, the father of two and brother of two mayors of Westfield, was a long-time advocate for children and an "all-around great guy," friends said. His family is well-known in Westfield for their community involvement. He also leaves parents Richard Sr. and Edie Sullivan and brothers Mayor Brian Sullivan and former Mayor Richard Sullivan, Bo Sullivan and his sister Janet.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    24. Will it happen? MGM Springfield sees 'light at the end of the tunnel' for Court Square housing project

      Will it happen? MGM Springfield sees 'light at the end of the tunnel' for Court Square housing project

      MGM Springfield officials, meeting with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission this week, raised hope that the long-delayed renovation of a vacant, historic block building at Court Square could become a reality. MGM Springfield has been considering an investment of $11 million toward the redevelopment costs of the building at 13-31 Elm St. as part of its commitment to create at least 54 units of market-rate housing downtown. At a Gaming Commission meeting Sept. 13, MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis said the discussions have a long way to go on the proposed housing redevelopment project, but there is "a little light at ...

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