1. Articles from JimKinney413

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    1. Proposed lawsuit intended to stop Massachusetts' new technology tax gathering steam, Springfield lawyer Scott Foster says

      Proposed lawsuit intended to stop Massachusetts' new technology tax gathering steam, Springfield lawyer Scott Foster says

      "I grew and added jobs through the bad economy," said Edward Watson, CEO of Mobius Works, an IT and and computer technology company in Westfield. "And now my reward for doing that is a new tax that makes my business harder. I feel like I've been slapped in the face. You have a growing industry here. It needs to be nurtured, not penalized."

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    2. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department chooses Smith & Wesson

      Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department chooses Smith & Wesson

      The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has selected Smith & Wesson's M&P9 pistol as its new department-issued duty handgun, according to a news release from the Springfield-based gunmaker.  Smith & Wesson announced the five-year contract for an unnamed amount of money Tuesday.  The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is the second-largest law-enforcement agency in the country with more than 9,000 sworn deputies and 8,000 professional staff members. The LASD provides general service law enforcement to 43 municipalities that encompass more than three million people.

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    3. News of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant's planned shutdown surprises environmentalists, businesses

      News of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant's planned shutdown surprises environmentalists, businesses

      The reactor was expected to break even this year and its earnings would decline during the coming years, the company said. With a maximum capacity of more than 600 megawatts, Vermont Yankee is among the region’s largest power plants and is one of four nuclear stations providing baseload power to New England. Overall, nuclear generation produced 31 percent of New England’s electricity in 2012, according to ISO new England, operator of the region’s power grid.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    4. Family Wireless shuts down, cites conflict with Verizon

      Family Wireless shuts down, cites conflict with Verizon

      The locally owned Family Wireless chain of cellphone stores has shut down, claiming carrier Verizon won't provide it with enough options and products to sell customers.  'We cannot survive on the meager options Verizon has left us with,' a voice on the company's voice-mail system said Monday. Without Verizon the business cannot provide wireless service.  Verizon issued a statement denying any role in the decision by Family Wireless to close and stating it has a current contract with the business.  Family Wireless operates six locations, with stores in Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Lee, South Hadley, Southwick and Westfield.

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      Mentions: Chicopee Westfield
    5. Baystate gets energy savings award from Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

      Baystate gets energy savings award from Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

      This week, Baystate was awarded the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships Business Leadership Award for its work with Western Mass Electric Co. and Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.  Moran said WMECo granted the hospital $700,000 for the electric improvements and Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, formerly Bay State Gas, gave Baystate Medical Center $100,000.  The work will integrate the latest energy-efficient technology, including LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting, installing occupancy sensors in hallways and offices, and using high-efficiency condensing boilers.

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    6. Microtest develops zebrafish test

      Microtest develops zebrafish test

      A new test that utilizes zebrafish embryos to screen plastics, composites and polymers for toxicity in medical device manufacturing developed by Microtest Laboratories will be featured at AMI’s Medical Grade Polymer 2013 technical conference in September.  “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires testing to assess medical device toxicology and describes which situations may trigger the need for manufacturers to repeat testing or undertake new programs. The dynamics of such testing are rapidly evolving,” according to a news release from Steven Richter, Ph.D., president and scientific director of Microtest Laboratories and a former FDA official.

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      Mentions: Microtest
    7. Western Massachusetts manufacturing group works to introduce youngsters to machine technology

      Western Massachusetts manufacturing group works to introduce youngsters to machine technology

      So Maier, Siedlik and others hope to work with the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County so middle school students get a chance to visit local machine shops and the Eastec trade show, a showplace for the latest and greatest technology, put on every other May on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield.  Housing and Economic Development Secretary Gregory Bialecki was one of the state officials at the event. He said the state is supportive of vocational education. For him, Westfield's Mainline Drive is a bit of a metaphor.

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    8. UMass, Mount Holyoke, Holyoke Community and other local colleges want to be held accountable for cost; just measure them fairly

      UMass, Mount Holyoke, Holyoke Community and other local colleges want to be held accountable for cost; just measure them fairly

      Tying federal financial aid not only to the student’s grades but to college or university’s performance sounds fair to Robert L. Caret, president of the University of Massachusetts system.  “The students are going to have to perform to get their aid and the institution is going to have to perform in order to get the aid to give to the student,” Caret said Thursday in a telephone interview following President Barack Obama’s series of speeches on college affordability.

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    9. Lia Auto Group opens Lia Kia on King Street in Northampton

      Lia Auto Group opens Lia Kia on King Street in Northampton

      The Lia Auto Group, which includes 17 dealerships in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, has announced the opening of Lia Kia. The dealership, located at 263 King Street in Northampton, opened July 25. It is the former Agway location. Now through August 31st, the Northampton Kia dealership is running a grand opening giveaway. Customers can walk in and enter to win a three year lease on a brand new 2013 Kia Optima. People can also enter by visiting www.LiaKiaOfNorthampton.com

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      Mentions: Northampton
    10. New Massachusetts tech tax hurts job creation, Pioneer Valley software companies consider court fight

      New Massachusetts tech tax hurts job creation, Pioneer Valley software companies consider court fight

      Paragus Strategic IT of Hadley hires a new employee making at least $30,000 a year every six months and had been thinking of opening a branch office in Springfield to handle its growing workload.  But that branch office and the jobs associated with it are now more likely to go to Nashua, N.H., or Hartford because Massachusetts has imposed a sales tax on computer software services, said Delcie Bean, the 27-year-old CEO of Paragus who founded the company when he was still a high-school student in Amherst.

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    11. Smith & Wesson reaches out to tell story as gun debate rages

      Smith & Wesson reaches out to tell story as gun debate rages

      Smith & Wesson, the 161-year-old Springfield gunmaker well known for making the revolver Clint Eastwood used in "Dirty Harry," has been on a public-relations push of late with a two-page advertisement in The Republican; billboards, including one on Interstate 291 within sight of the plant; radio and television ads along with Tweets (messages on the microblogging site Twitter); Facebook posts; and videos posted to the brand’s own Youtube channel.

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    12. Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund boosts job-skills programs in Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire counties

      Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund boosts job-skills programs in Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire counties

      MassMutual Financial Group hires between 80 and 120 customer service representatives a year to staff its call centers, each earning $30,000 a year or more.  But the Springfield based financial-services giant has trouble finding people with the right technical, communications and language skills to fill those positions at call centers, said Shannon Levesque, assistant vice president of strategic recruiting and human services for MassMutual Financial Group. It's a need she and other business leaders plan to address with a $350,000 state grant to the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County announced at a news conference Tuesday.

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    13. United Bank in West Springfield has 'big appeal': Barron's

      United Bank in West Springfield has 'big appeal': Barron's

      United Bank is one of "Two Small Banks with Big Appeal," according to financial publication Barron's. Barron's, published by Wall Street Journal Owner Dow Jones & Co., has actually written favorably about West Springfield-based United once before, said Richard B. Collins, president and CEO of United Bank.

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    14. CareerPoint, other One-Stop Career Centers serve record number of Massachusetts job seekers in FY2012-2013

      CareerPoint, other One-Stop Career Centers serve record number of Massachusetts job seekers in FY2012-2013

      These figures, compiled in a report from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, were released by the Massachusetts Workforce Professional Association. CareerPoint worked with 675 businesses last year, assisting them with fulfilling their workforce needs, including job postings and referrals, prescreening candidates, job fairs, labor market information and incumbent worker trainings. The One Stop Career Centers worked with almost 12,000 businesses last year, and 70 percent of these businesses were return customers.

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      Mentions: Holyoke CareerPoint
    15. Massachusetts business confidence moves into optimistic territory in latest survey

      Massachusetts business confidence moves into optimistic territory in latest survey

      Business confidence rose in July, crossing into optimistic territory after a dull June, according to a new survey by Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
      Business confidence rose 3.6 points in July to 52.5 points on a 100-point scale where 50 is considered neutral, according to a news release from Associated Industries, a statewide business group. Survey results were released Tuesday.

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    16. Western Massachusetts Electric Co. partners with Allconnect for customer service

      Western Massachusetts Electric Co. partners with Allconnect for customer service

      Western Massachusetts Electric Co. is partnering with the Atlanta-based company Allconnect, launching the Allconnect Move Advisor Service program.
      The goal is to give customers a simple, convenient place to go when they’re signing up for multiple services at a new address. At the same time, Allconnect provides the opportunity to find the best deals by comparing services and prices.

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    17. Springfield's Smith & Wesson makes presence known in gun control debate

      Springfield's Smith & Wesson makes presence known in gun control debate

      Smith & Wesson wants its voice, and the voices of its 1,500 employees, heard as the state Legislature considers new gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.  Smith & Wesson is committed to safety, James Debney, president and CEO, said Thursday in an interview. But he suggests making school buildings safer, improving the background check process for handgun purchasers and including more mental health information in the application. Smith & Wesson also wants to make the process of getting a Massachusetts license to carry a weapon consistent statewide and not dependent on individual police departments.

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    18. Fallon Community Health Plan opens Summit ElderCare in Springfield

      Fallon Community Health Plan opens Summit ElderCare in Springfield

      Fallon Community Health Plan recently opened a new senior care facility, Summit ElderCare, in the North Medical District at 101 Wason Ave. Fallon said it is the first to bring what it calls a nationally-recognized model of care to the Western Massachusetts region. Summit ElderCare is a community-based alternative to nursing home care for older adults who want to avoid moving into a nursing home.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    19. Western Massachusetts job training programs get a boost; Community Works provides apprenticeships for building trades | masslive

      Western Massachusetts job training programs get a boost; Community Works provides apprenticeships for building trades | masslive

      Aziza Holloway-Abdegeo used to sell buildings; now she builds them.  The economy put a damper on Holloway-Abdegeo's career selling real estate. But, a pre-apprenticeship training program called Community Works helped get her foot in the door as a union apprentice carpenter.  As an apprentice she's helped build the $114-million Roger L. Putnam Vocational-Technical Academy and work on the $43.4 million renovation and expansion of Forest Park Middle School.

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    20. Yankee Candle reportedly interested to pursue an initial public offering after abandoning sale earlier this year | masslive

      Yankee Candle reportedly interested to pursue an initial public offering after abandoning sale earlier this year | masslive

      Yankee Candle Co.'s private-equity owners are reportedly considering an IPO, or an initial public offering, a move that would once again make the candle maker a public company.  Madison Dearborn Partners is working with Bank of America and Morgan Stanley on the offering, Bloomberg News reported Thursday citing unnamed sources.

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