1. Articles from masslivenews

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    1. 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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    2. '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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    3. 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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    4. 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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    5. 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
    6. 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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    7. 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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    8. 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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    9. 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
    10. 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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    11. Following 'successful' grand opening, MGM Springfield lands permanent operations certificate from state

      Following 'successful' grand opening, MGM Springfield lands permanent operations certificate from state

      Commission members and executive staff praised the opening days of the casino including traffic control and MGM working to meet all license requirements.  "It appears we had a successful opening, which might have looked easy but was anything but," said Edward R. Bedrosian Jr., the commission's executive director. "It was the result of a lot of hard work by our incredible team here at the MGC, and some great municipal partners and state partners in coordination with MGM."

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    12. Springfield seeks buyer to redevelop 4 tax-foreclosed junkyard properties on Bay, Tapley streets

      Springfield seeks buyer to redevelop 4 tax-foreclosed junkyard properties on Bay, Tapley streets

      The two primary sites being offered are abutting properties on Tapley and Bay streets totaling 6.74 acres in the Bay neighborhood. The sites are zoned Industrial A. The two alternate sites, both on Bay Street, have a total area of 7.22 acres, are also zoned Industrial A and are adjacent to the primary sites. Kevin Kennedy, the city's chief development officer, said Monday the city's goal is to get the properties back on the tax rolls for some beneficial reuse.

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    13. Developer preparing to build $15 million Hilton hotel near MGM Springfield casino

      Developer preparing to build $15 million Hilton hotel near MGM Springfield casino

      A Longmeadow developer is preparing to demolish a Park Street building in the downtown-South End area to make way for a $15 million Hilton Hotel franchise, saying it presents a "great opportunity" across from the MGM Springfield resort casino. Louis Masaschi said he is planning a five-story, 100-room hotel at 24 Park St., to be built after a vacant warehouse there is demolished. The demolition is planned in late September or early October, which would be followed by foundation work before the winter, he said.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    14. LEGO in Enfield builds relationship with Springfield's Square One

      LEGO in Enfield builds relationship with Springfield's Square One

      Multiply six brightly colored DUPLO bricks by 150 preschoolers from Square One, and then multiply that number by 30 LEGO employees from the famed Danish toy maker, and the possibilities for building a learning community are endless. On a recent morning at Square One's Tommie Johnson Child & Family Center, cars, robots, dinosaurs and castles took shape as staff members from the Enfield-based LEGO International Systems played with the children to explore the limits of their imaginations. Kristine Allard, Square One's chief development and communications officer, said LEGO bricks are a staple of preschool learning.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    15. State approves up to $49.1M for new consolidated elementary school in Springfield's North...

      State approves up to $49.1M for new consolidated elementary school in Springfield's North...

      A state agency has granted Springfield up to $49.1 million for construction of a consolidated school on Plainfield Street in the North End to replace the aging, deteriorated Brightwood and Lincoln elementary schools. The state School Building Authority approved the funds during a Wednesday meeting in Boston, with the amount representing state reimbursements of up to 80 percent of all eligible construction costs. "Upon completion, this project will provide a new 21st century learning environment for students in Springfield," said state Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, who is chairwoman of the School Building Authority. "Our goal is to create the ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    16. MGM Springfield grand opening draws thousands -- how many thousands?

      MGM Springfield grand opening draws thousands -- how many thousands?

      An MGM Springfield spokesman said Friday that more than 10,000 people entered the casino campus in the first hours after its grand opening, but a full day total was not available. By late afternoon, there was a "steady stream of people coming and going," said Saverio Mancini, a spokesman for MGM Springfield. "It was a tremendous success the amount of people we had on opening day," Mancini said. "Our marketing campaign, our communications -- it worked."

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    17. Springfield promotes $1.5 million, free tree-planting program in McKnight, Old Hill, Upper...

      Springfield promotes $1.5 million, free tree-planting program in McKnight, Old Hill, Upper...

      The city was recently awarded a $1.5 million Greening the Gateway Cities Program grant for the planting of 2,400 trees in the McKnight, Old Hill, and Upper Hill neighborhoods, city officials said. The grant was awarded by the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs through funding from the Department of Energy Resources.

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    18. Springfield names Union Station bus entrance Peter Pan Way in honor of local company

      Springfield names Union Station bus entrance Peter Pan Way in honor of local company

      A short public way that serves as a bus entrance for Union Station was officially named "Peter Pan Way" on Monday night in honor of Peter Pan Bus Lines. The name was approved by the City Council by unanimous vote for the roadway that connects Liberty Street to Union Station on Frank B. Murray Street. Peter Pan Bus Lines, which moved its buses and offices this year from Main Street to Union Station, will use 1 Peter Pan Way as its official address, said Peter A. Picknelly, Peter Pan's president.

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    19. IHOP building coming down, KFC to go up on Boston Road in Springfield

      IHOP building coming down, KFC to go up on Boston Road in Springfield

      A property owner is planning to demolish the former International House of Pancakes building on Boston Road and replace it with a new KFC restaurant. The former IHOP at 1324 Boston Road, near Pasco Road, is slated for demolition next week, and the new KFC could be ready to open by Dec. 1, said Frank Colacchio, of Boston Road/Pasco RT20 Retail LLC, the property owner. A 2,382-square-foot building is planned with 42 seats inside and an outside dining area.

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    20. Springfield gets 2 proposals for reuse of former Oak Street fire station

      Springfield gets 2 proposals for reuse of former Oak Street fire station

      The city has received two competing proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the former Oak Street fire station in Indian Orchard -- one bid for a live-in art studio and the other to provide clinical services for opioid addiction. The two proposals were received by Tuesday's deadline, and each included an offer of $100 to buy the long-closed fire station at the intersection of Oak and Berkshire streets. The city had attempted to sell the station on four prior occasions, and this time added a $50,000 incentive that will help with redevelopment costs.

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    21. MGM Springfield's statistics on hiring and diversity continue to impress Massachusetts Gaming Commission

      MGM Springfield's statistics on hiring and diversity continue to impress Massachusetts Gaming Commission

      The chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Friday that he and other members are "thrilled" by MGM Springfield's track record on workforce diversity in hiring employees, contractors and vendors for its $960 million resort casino. The comments from Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby came after commission staff gave glowing reports and statistics on diversity hiring during a meeting at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

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    22. MGM Springfield gets advance approvals to open from Massachusetts Gaming Commission after glowing progress reports

      MGM Springfield gets advance approvals to open from Massachusetts Gaming Commission after glowing progress reports

      The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, after hearing glowing reports about MGM Springfield's casino project, including the quality of its work and workforce diversity, gave unanimous first-step approvals to the casino in advance of its opening Aug. 24. The commission, meeting at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, voted 5-0 that MGM Springfield is in "material compliance" with all state and commission regulations based on a series of inspections and reports from commission staff and submissions from MGM officials.

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    23. Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      The city has received two requests for grants for public art displays in the Cultural District downtown -- one for a proposed mural on a parking garage with a Dr. Seuss theme and the other for a spiral staircase art structure suggested at Court Square. While the city had hoped for more bids, a local official involved in the review said Wednesday the focus is on quality, not the number of bids. "We'll take a look," said Brian Connors, the city's deputy planner for economic development. "If there is one great proposal that is impactful, that is a good ...

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    24. Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Christopher Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority which owns Union Station, said discussions are underway with three restaurants, but he could not say when an agreement might be reached. "We're thrilled that there are three interested parties for that last retail space," Moskal said. 'We'll give them an opportunity to come back to us and move forward." The only publicized proposal was revealed last October by restaurateurs Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly.

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