1. Articles from JimKinney413

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    1. Westfield AA bond rating upheld by Standard & Poors

      Westfield AA bond rating upheld by Standard & Poors

      Ratings service Standard & Poor's affirmed the City of Westfield's long-term "AA" bond rating recently, according to a news release issued Monday by Mayor Brian Sullivan. The "AA" rating is the third-highest rating in S&P's system of municipal bond ratings and indicates that the debtor has a very strong capacity to pay back any money it borrows. Having good credit means the city can get a good interest rate on borrowed funds, thereby saving it money.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    2. New details of MGM Springfield revealed on City2City tour

      New details of MGM Springfield revealed on City2City tour

      From candlepin lanes in the bowling center to local foods in the restaurants, Alex Dixon, general manager of MGM Springfield, shared some updates on a City2City Pioneer Valley tour of the casino property Monday. Dixon explained that he'd never heard about candlepins, a New England favorite unknown outside the region, but people asked for them, so he's working to include them in the facility's 10-lane bowling center. "If it's what your local community wants, it just doesn't make sense not to include those things," he said.

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    3. With 150 employees, Berkshire Industries in Westfield abruptly closes

      With 150 employees, Berkshire Industries in Westfield abruptly closes

      Berkshire Industries, a precision parts manufacturer founded in 1956 that recently had 150 employees, closed abruptly this week. Employees at the 100,000-square-foot facility at 109 Apremont Way referred questions to Whitesell Industries, the company's Naples, Florida-based owner. Berkshire Industries was a contract manufacturer that specialized in components for the aerospace, semiconductor, and telecommunications industries. The real estate at 109 Apremont Way changed hands in 2015 from one Massachusetts-based entity called Berkshire Industries inc. to an identically named company based in Florida. The price was $1.1 million, according to city records and the Hampden Registry of Deeds.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    4. Whistle Stop Cafe derailed at Springfield's Union Station, but Student Prince's Andy Yee, Peter Picknelly ready to step in

      Whistle Stop Cafe derailed at Springfield's Union Station, but Student Prince's Andy Yee, Peter Picknelly ready to step in

      The Springfield Redevelopment Authority, owner of Union Station, and the backers of the Whistle Stop Cafe were unable to come to terms, SRA Executive Director Christopher J. Moskal said. The Whistle Stop was planned as a 1,107-square-foot Italian-themed restaurant with craft beer and wine. The owner would have been Carlo Bonavita, whose son Sergio owns Westfield River Brewing in Southwick. Bonavita's cousin, John, owned The Tavern in Westfield. Moskal said the SRA is in talks with an entity to run a restaurant, but he couldn't identify the party until the deal is further along its way toward ...

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    5. With SkillSmart, EDC of Western Massachusetts connects people, training, jobs (video)

      With SkillSmart, EDC of Western Massachusetts connects people, training, jobs (video)

      Baystate Health has 12,000 employees and makes about 1,400 new hires a year of folks from outside its system, said President and CEO Mark Keroack. And as the city's largest employer, Baystate's gotten used to creating its own pipelines, or dedicated training programs to fill its need for workers, Keroack said. That's changing with Springfield Works and SkillSmart, an online portal for job seekers that tells them what skills they need for the job they want. It also helps them identify the skills they have already -- either from school, the military or just from living ...

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    6. Springfield Works introduces online SkillSmart tool linking people, jobs, skills

      Springfield Works introduces online SkillSmart tool linking people, jobs, skills

      For Anne Shecrallah Kandilis, Working Cities Challenge director for the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, that duplication represents a problem. All 43 agencies have their own funding streams, their own management and their own goals, Kandilis said. They all operate in silos -- up and down in their own organizations, with no one working across.  "There is such a disconnect," said Kandilis, who started at the EDC in January. Kandilis administers a program called Springfield Works, and the $475,000 Working Cities Challenge grant -- a competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston -- that funds its efforts.

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    7. CTrail announces proposed fares for Springfield-New Haven trains

      CTrail announces proposed fares for Springfield-New Haven trains

      Under a set of proposed fares released Monday, it would cost $12.75 for a one-way ticket from Springfield to New Haven on the new CTrail commuter train service that begins in May 2018. The short hop to Windsor Locks would cost $4, according to the rate schedule released by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. When the CTrail Hartford Line service launches, 12 round-trip trains will operate daily from Springfield to New Haven, nine on weekends. Tickets bought on board the trains will be a little more expensive. But there are discounts for weekly passes, as well as 10-trip ticket ...

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    8. Eastfield Mall owners buy old Macy's store in move paving the way for redevelopment on Boston Road

      Eastfield Mall owners buy old Macy's store in move paving the way for redevelopment on Boston Road

      Mountain Development, the New Jersey-based owners of Springfield's Eastfield Mall, bought the former Macy's store there earlier this month for $1 million. The move, anticipated last spring when the beleaguered retailer put the 127,000-square-foot building on the market, is one more step toward redeveloping the site and "de-malling" it into a mixed use complex. The transaction became public in papers filed at the Hampden Registry of Deeds.

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    9. Marcotte Ford begins building $8M dealership facility (photos)

      Marcotte Ford begins building $8M dealership facility (photos)

      The new Marcotte Ford building taking shape at 1025 Main St. will reflect the latest in Ford Motor Co. design and branding. But it will be filled with a lot of the familiar faces customers know from Marcotte's 55 years in business in the Paper City. "We have a lot of immediate family who work here," said Suzanne Keller, a granddaughter of dealership founder, Al Marcotte. "But all the people who work here are family. People come here to work and we don't want them to leave."

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    10. CRRC sets ship date for first MBTA Orange Line demonstration cars

      CRRC sets ship date for first MBTA Orange Line demonstration cars

      CRRC, which is nearing completion on its 204,000-square-foot rail car factory in East Springfield, will ship the first four prototype Orange Line MBTA cars from China to Boston Nov. 18. The cars will leave via the Port of Shanghai and arrive at the Hub in December -- the first of the 404 Orange and Red line cars CRRC plans to build for the Boston-area subway in the next few years.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. Any Amazon deal should require Western Massachusetts investment, says head of Economic Development Council

      Any Amazon deal should require Western Massachusetts investment, says head of Economic Development Council

      Any Amazon tax and infrastructure incentive package from Massachusetts should require the internet retailing giant to make some investment in the western part of the state, says Richard K. Sullivan Jr., president and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. "So its not all about Suffolk Downs or about any of these other sites that are being discussed," Sullivan said Thursday in an interview. "It is a way to make sure there is some benefit from this project in Western Massachusetts. And you know what? it doesn't cost (the state) a thing."

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    12. Business leaders say enhanced rail service will boost industry and quality of life in Western Mass. & Connecticut

      Business leaders say enhanced rail service will boost industry and quality of life in Western Mass. & Connecticut

      Ninety percent of business leaders in the bi-state Springfield and Hartford region say the soon-to-begin New Haven to Springfield CTrail commuter train service will benefit their enterprise. Many of those businesses, 41 percent, say the most important benefit will be to bring them the skilled workers they need. Nearly half, 49, percent said the service will benefit the region's quality-of-life. This is according to the Hartford New Haven Business Survey unveiled Wednesday by New England's Knowledge Corridor.

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    13. Gov. Baker tours CRRC plant in Springfield; rail car production begins in February

      Gov. Baker tours CRRC plant in Springfield; rail car production begins in February

      Promising modern MBTA subway cars and more frequent service on the Orange and Red lines, Gov. Charlie Baker toured the nearly completed CRRC MA rail car factory here on Thursday afternoon. "These cars can't get here fast enough," Baker said after walking through the mammoth production floor and meeting with newly trained workers. "We have a lot of work to do on our public transit systems. That includes our tracks, switches, station and yes, it includes these cars."

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      Mentions: Springfield
    14. MGM Resorts HCC Center for Culinary Arts in Holyoke lands $229K grant from state

      MGM Resorts HCC Center for Culinary Arts in Holyoke lands $229K grant from state

      The state has granted the Holyoke Community College MGM Culinary Arts Institute, now in its final stages of construction at the Cubit Building downtown, $229,500. The center is due to open in November. Gov. Charlie Baker announced the funding this week as part of a total of $9.5 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants given to 32 community colleges, high schools and educational institutions around the state. He made the announcement at Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford.

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    15. As CRRC Springfield rail car factory heads toward opening, Gov. Charlie Baker to tour facility

      As CRRC Springfield rail car factory heads toward opening, Gov. Charlie Baker to tour facility

      With the start of subway car production at CRRC MA's massive new factory in East Springfield just months away, Gov. Charlie Baker and Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno are set to tour the facility. They'll be at the factory, a $95 million behemoth nearing completion at the old Westinghouse site on Interstate 291, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

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    16. Smart Band-Aids: Gov. Baker announces $500K for flexible electronics at UMass Amherst

      Smart Band-Aids: Gov. Baker announces $500K for flexible electronics at UMass Amherst

      Within five to seven years a piece of clothing -- a watch band, a bandage -- might be able not only to monitor the wearer's heart rate but also perform more sophisticated diagnostic tasks, even harvesting sweat to instantly get a handle on body chemistry and hydration. And research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is helping to make that happen, now with the help of $500,000 from the state. Gov. Charlie Baker announced the funding Friday with a visit to the campus' Institute for Applied Life Sciences and its Center for Personalized Health Monitoring.

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    17. Rail projects in Holyoke, Ware funded by state industrial freight access program

      Rail projects in Holyoke, Ware funded by state industrial freight access program

      Two projects in Holyoke and one in Ware are among several around the state that will receive funding from the state Industrial Rail Access Program. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation released a list this week of eight grant projects totaling $3 million. To qualify, each project must by matched with at least 40 percent private sector money, according to the news release.

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    18. Holyoke Gas & Electric to have largest utility-scale energy storage installation in Massachusetts

      Holyoke Gas & Electric to have largest utility-scale energy storage installation in Massachusetts

      Holyoke Gas & Electric will soon have the capacity to store green electricity generated at a solar farm on the grounds of a former coal plant, allowing the utility to meet peaks in demand without buying power from the grid. HG&E announced Wednesday that construction will start soon on a three-megawatt energy storage system at Mt. Tom Solar. The system will be up and running in April, according to a news release. Built on property also occupied by the old coal-fired Mount Tom Power Station that closed in 2014, the new solar farm produces enough energy to power 1,000 ...

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    19. With Springfield factory nearing completion, China's CRRC readies first prototype T cars for shipment to Boston

      With Springfield factory nearing completion, China's CRRC readies first prototype T cars for shipment to Boston

      CRRC will unveil the first prototype subway cars it's building for Boston's MBTA on Oct. 16 at its factory in Changchun, China. The unveiling will trumpet the cars as CRRC's first entry into the North American market despite being the world's largest manufacturer of railway cars. The company has built vehicles and even whole transit systems elsewhere around the world. The ceremony comes as contractors finish work on CRRC's factory in the East Springfield neighborhood that will make all the production models and fulfill CRRC's orders from the T totaling 524 rail cars.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    20. Peter Pan Bus Lines touts investment, expansion after Greyhound split

      Peter Pan Bus Lines touts investment, expansion after Greyhound split

      Peter Pan Bus Lines has doubled its route miles, hired more workers and spent $13 million on new buses after ending its partnership with rival Greyhound. "We are back to our complete independence," said Peter Picknelly, chairman of Springfield-based Peter Pan Bus Lines. Peter Pan and Greyhound announced in August that they were ending their cooperative agreement after nearly 19 years. The two bus lines had worked together servicing routes and sold tickets to each others buses.

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    21. Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce announces Super 60 award recipients

      Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce announces Super 60 award recipients

      Tree House Brewing Co. of Charlton is tops for revenue growth in its first year as a Springfield Regional Chamber Super 60 award winner. Tree House, known for India pale ales like Julius, Green and Doppelganger, opened its 55,000-square-foot brewery in Charlton  in July. The chamber of commerce will honor the brewery along with other winners at the annual Super 60 lunch from 11:30  a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    22. Mercedes-Benz of Springfield opens next month in Chicopee

      Mercedes-Benz of Springfield opens next month in Chicopee

      As Michelle Wirth tells it, she and her husband fell in love with Mercedes-Benz -- and then fell in love with each other. She started working for Mercedes Benz 15 years ago as a mechanical engineer. Her husband, Peter Wirth, is from a town near Stuttgart, Germany, where Mercedes-Benz has its headquarters. He was working there when they met. Now the couple, along with business partner Rich Hesse, are just weeks away from opening a dealership -- Mercedes Benz of Springfield -- at 295 Burnett Road in Chicopee.

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    23. After departure of CEO, DevelopSpringfield taps Jeff Daley to oversee local projects

      After departure of CEO, DevelopSpringfield taps Jeff Daley to oversee local projects

      DevelopSpringfield, whose CEO leaves for a new job Oct. 5, has hired Westfield's former economic development officer to get work restarted at Springfield Innovation Center. Jeffrey R. Daley, the founder and principal of consultancy CJC Development Advisors in Westfield, will also handle the general transition for DevelopSpringfield as CEO Jay Minkarah leaves to take a job as the executive director of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission in New Hampshire, said Nick Fyntrilakis, chairman of the DevelopSpringfield board.

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    24. Real estate brokers to show Tower Square in weeks; potential buyers already received 'teaser' promotion

      Real estate brokers to show Tower Square in weeks; potential buyers already received 'teaser' promotion

      CBRE/New England in Boston, the brokers tasked with selling Tower Square, expect to start touring potential buyers through the 1.6 million-square-foot complex in about two weeks. More than 2,000 potential buyers got a "teaser" brochure this month touting the office tower, retail mall, hotel and parking complex as an investment property, said David J. Pergola, executive vice president and partner at CBRE/New England and its capital markets team.

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