1. Articles from JimKinney413

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    1. Seen@ 2017 Howdy Awards honoring Western Mass. hospitality workers for service excellence

      Seen@ 2017 Howdy Awards honoring Western Mass. hospitality workers for service excellence

      The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau honored eleven hospitality workers Monday night at the 22nd Annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence. The gala dinner, held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, attracted more than 300 tourism industry professionals. The idea is to thank the workers who often do thankless jobs but whose efforts are critical to the region's tourism industry. "We're proud and happy to present the Howdy Awards to honor just some of the most important people in the hospitality industry, the front-line workers," said GSCVB President Mary Kay Wydra in a statement ...

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    2. Springfield-based MassMutual celebrates 166th birthday with a new logo

      Springfield-based MassMutual celebrates 166th birthday with a new logo

      MassMutual unveiled a newly refreshed brand Monday to celebrate its 166th birthday. The company said its new branding strategy celebrates the gift of interdependence.The logo features the letter M spelled out in dots. MassMutual changed logos Monday at its headquarters on State Street and its offices in Enfield. The old logo is down from the MassMutual-owned Tower Square office tower on Main Street. The MassMutual name remains on the building, however. Johannes Leonardo advertising agency in New York City did strategy and creative work on the campaign. The Working Assembly, also of New York, design studio, did the logo ...

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    3. White Lion creates beer for Union Station reopening

      White Lion creates beer for Union Station reopening

      White Lion Brewing Co. has created a beer called Legendary Union to celebrate the reopening next month of Springfield Union Station. It will release the new brew next week, in time for the first White Lion Wednesday get-together downtown and during American Craft Beer Week. "White Lion is a part of the fabric of the city of Springfield and of Western Massachusetts. Union Station is a significant development for the city of Springfield and the region. It calls for a special beer," said Raymond Berry, company president and general manager.

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    4. Eastec 2017: West Springfield hosts massive manufacturing expo at The Big E

      Eastec 2017: West Springfield hosts massive manufacturing expo at The Big E

      Eastec is a massive manufacturing trade show hosted every other year by the Michigan-based trade group SME at the Eastern States Exposition, The Big E, in West Springfield. This year's edition runs from May 16-18. Eastec has what the manufacturing industry in the Northeast needs to stay competitive and to grow, said Kim Farrugia, senior event manager at SME. That includes the latest technology, machines available for purchase at $500,000 and more, educational seminars, an opportunity for high school and college students to learn about manufacturing and engineering, and networking time where manufacturers can sniff out new customers ...

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    5. At Holyoke event, hands-on, real-world experience touted as path to employment

      At Holyoke event, hands-on, real-world experience touted as path to employment

      There will be a career fair this fall for Westfield's middle schools. But it won't be kids learning about what it takes to be a machinist, an engineer or an auto-body technician. It'll be their teachers. The idea isn't that educators are looking for new gigs themselves, said Kate Phelon, executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce. The idea is for teachers to learn what employers are looking for -- and what they hope not to see -- in job applicants, so they can impart those skills to their students as early as sixth grade.

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    6. Cruising in the Downtown to bring classic cars back to Springfield

      Cruising in the Downtown to bring classic cars back to Springfield

      The Springfield Business Improvement District is bringing back for a third year its Cruising in the Downtown classic car show starting Monday night. The show runs from 5 p.m. to dusk on Monday nights from May 15 though Aug. 28 at Court Square downtown. The show features cars 20 years old or older, live music, raffles and giveaways. Visitors are invited to grab a bite to eat from the nearby Palazzo Cafe or visit one of the surrounding restaurants in the downtown area.

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    7. With Peter Pan bus deal in place, 1st floor of Springfield's Union Station nears 100% occupancy ahead of grand opening

      With Peter Pan bus deal in place, 1st floor of Springfield's Union Station nears 100% occupancy ahead of grand opening

      The deal bringing Peter Pan Bus Lines along with its Springfield ticketing, dispatch and driver's lounge into Union Station means the ground floor of the sprawling intermodal transportation hub is 91 percent rented. The deal, formally announced on Tuesday, also means that Peter Pan will soon bring 100 long-distance intercity buses through Union Station a day, said Brian Stefano, president and CFO of Peter Pan Bus Lines. The company expects to carry more than 1 million passengers a year through Union Station. All told, planners expect five-to-eight million passengers and other guests to pass through Union Station, its grounds ...

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    8. Peter Pan Bus Lines agrees on move to Springfield's Union Station

      Peter Pan Bus Lines agrees on move to Springfield's Union Station

      Peter Pan Bus Lines has agreed to move its bus operations to Union Station, joining the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, Amtrak and the Connecticut Department of Transportation as transportation operators at the refurbished transit hub. Springfield-based Peter Pan and its partner Greyhound submitted the only response to a request for proposals soliciting bids for intercity bus service. U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Peter Pan officials have set a formal announcement for Tuesday morning.

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    9. Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer

      Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer

      Monthly Eversource bills could drop 2.7 percent this summer, from $115.38 to $112.29 for an average user of 550 kilowatt-hours of electricity, under rates announced Monday. Investor-owned utilities like Eversource have lower rates in summer, when the natural gas used to generate most electricity is more plentiful and cheaper. This rate announcement has nothing to do with the company's proposal to increase its charge for delivering electricity. Delivery charges and the cost of power are both represented in the monthly bill. Eversource has 210,000 customers in Western Massachusetts.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    10. Westfield State University opens $48M Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science & Innovation Center (photos, video)

      Westfield State University opens $48M Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science & Innovation Center (photos, video)

      Steven G. Richter, founder of MicroTest Laboratories in Agawam, reminded the audience of that fact Friday during the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the $48 million Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science & Innovation Center at Westfield State University. He did so because students and researchers in the Stevens Center, working with modern genetic science, have the potential to treat or cure breast cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis and a host of other diseases. "This isn't just about bricks and mortar," Richter said. "This is about students' lives. This is about the health care system."

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    11. New TigerPress solar array to generate 70% of power needed by East Longmeadow commercial printing company (photos)

      New TigerPress solar array to generate 70% of power needed by East Longmeadow commercial printing company (photos)

      Buying the electric power generated by TigerPress' new 653-kilowatt rooftop solar array would cost the commercial printer $100,000. Taking that into consideration along with the tax breaks and green energy incentives offered by the state and federal governments, as well as and the ability to depreciate the equipment for tax purposes, and the decision to invest $1.5 million in the solar array was easy to make, owner Reza Shafii said. "We always wanted to do green and environmentally friendly printing," said Shafii, who owns the company with wife, Jennifer Shafii. TigerPress isn't the first local company to ...

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    12. PVTA selects Sandra Sheehan of Hampden as new administrator

      PVTA selects Sandra Sheehan of Hampden as new administrator

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Advisory Board has selected Sandra E. Sheehan of Hampden as the agency's next administrator. "The Advisory Board was very impressed with Ms. Sheehan and strongly supported offering her the administrator position," said Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, chairman of the PVTA Advisory Board. "We felt that she has the right mix of transit industry experience, leadership skills, and local knowledge to lead the PVTA as it faces new challenges in the coming years."

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    13. Westfield, PVTA promote bicycle use downtown with vending machine

      Westfield, PVTA promote bicycle use downtown with vending machine

      If your bike ride through Westfield has you a little deflated, the newly opened John Olver Transit Pavilion might just have what it takes to get you rolling again.  And it's available 24/7. The transit center has  a vending machine -- like a snack machine with those corkscrew wire racks that push product out into bin -- stocked with bicycle parts and supplies like tire levers, tubes, patch kits, locks, headlights and taillights. It sells lubricants and some snacks like powdered drink mixes and granola bars that bicyclists like.

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    14. Valley Gives 2017 raises $1.6 million

      Valley Gives 2017 raises $1.6 million

      Valley Gives 2017 netted nonprofit groups up and down the Pioneer Valley $1.6 million in donations, challenge gifts for meeting fundraising goals and prizes Tuesday. Valley Gives, a massive annual fundraising push organized by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, attracted 17,000 gifts from 9,500 unique donors. The number of gifts exceeds the number of donors because some donors gave to more than one group. "It was great. There was a huge amount of engagement. There were hundreds of events that happened up and down the valley showcasing the work of the nonprofits," said Katie Allan Zobel ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    15. PVTA bus, office and retail contracts OK'd for Springfield's Union Station; Peter Pan deal still in the works

      PVTA bus, office and retail contracts OK'd for Springfield's Union Station; Peter Pan deal still in the works

      The Springfield Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday night approved contracts for Union Station with the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, office tenant Dietz & Company Architects and a vendor that will operate two of the three retail kiosks. The SRA, owner of the reborn transit hub, is close to a deal for intercity bus service with Springfield's Peter Pan Bus Lines and its national partner Geyhound, said SRA Executive Director Christopher J. Moskal. Moskal discussed Peter Pan and Peter A. Picknelly, chairman & CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines, with SRA board members in executive session, and said there will be a further ...

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    16. Big Y Foods completes $13 million in renovations at 3 Hampshire County locations

      Big Y Foods completes $13 million in renovations at 3 Hampshire County locations

      Big Y Foods Inc. announced this week that it has completed $13 million in renovations at 3 Hampshire County locations: Big Y World Class markets at 175 University Drive in Amherst; 136 North King St. in Northampton and the Big Y Express Gas and Convenience store at 73 Russell St. in Hadley. Big Y announced Monday that it will host grand re-opening celebrations at all three locations on Wednesday, May 3. The Springfield-based chain also announced $3.1 million in completed renovations at two Connecticut stores. The grand re-opening festivities start out at Big Y Express at 9:30 a ...

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    17. PVTA, Union Station sign pact; Peter Pan only bidder on long-distance bus service

      PVTA, Union Station sign pact; Peter Pan only bidder on long-distance bus service

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority has signed a 75-year lease to move into Springfield's Union Station. Union Station reopens in June as a multimodal transit hub following a $94 million soup-to-nuts rehabilitation decades in the making. Union Station will serve as the PVTA's Springfield hub and as its main ticketing and customer service facility. U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, long a champion of the Union Station project, announced the pact Friday afternoon with retiring PVTA administrator Mary L. MacInnes. They were joined by Mayor Domenic Sarno.

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    18. Westfield opens $3.6M Olver Transit Pavilion as hub of downtown redevelopment

      Westfield opens $3.6M Olver Transit Pavilion as hub of downtown redevelopment

      Westfield officials and the PVTA opened the doors Friday on the new $3.65 million Olver Transit Pavilion at the corner of Arnold and Elm streets in the heart of the city's downtown. With bathrooms, a ticketing kiosk that video links with Pioneer Valley Transit Authority customer service representatives, a display board for the Chamber of Commerce, bike racks, a vending machine with bike parts and supplies and, soon, a coffee shop, the pavilion is seen by city planners as the center of a downtown redevelopment project stretching over blocks and decades.

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    19. Florence Bank plans to open West Springfield office in July; brick-and-mortar leads to online banking

      Florence Bank plans to open West Springfield office in July; brick-and-mortar leads to online banking

      Florence Bank is expanding into Hampden County but the size of its branches is shrinking, a reflection of how popular online and mobile banking is today. The bank's West Springfield branch, expected to open in July, will be about 7,000 square feet. It will have space for just three tellers and a drive-up ATM, along with business lenders, mortgage originators and a financial services adviser. The ATM will be a smart ATM capable of most things a teller typically does, said Florence Bank President and CEO John F. Heaps. The flesh-and-blood tellers will be able to perform many ...

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    20. Springfield unemployment rate falls; here are March 2017 unemployment rates for 18 Western Massachusetts cities and towns

      Springfield unemployment rate falls; here are March 2017 unemployment rates for 18 Western Massachusetts cities and towns

      The city's unemployment rate fell in March to 6.8 percent as more people were looking for work and more jobs were available. The rate dropped from 7.3 percent in February and from 7.8 percent in March 2016. More people living in Springfield were working, and more were looking for work, according to statistics provided Tuesday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. Massachusetts adds jobs in March, but unemployment rate climbs slightly

      Massachusetts adds jobs in March, but unemployment rate climbs slightly

      Massachusetts added just 200 jobs in March and the state's unemployment rate increased two tenths of a percentage point to 3.6 percent from 3.4 percent. However, from March 2016 to March 2017, Massachusetts has added 49,000 jobs, according to statistics released Thursday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    22. Mercy Medical Center names interim president

      Mercy Medical Center names interim president

      Trinity Health-New England on Tuesday named Mary Elizabeth (Beth) O'Brien interim president of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates. A registered nurse with a bachelors degree and an  MBA, O'Brien most recently served as chief executive officer/chief operating officer for Vancouver, Washington-based PeaceHealth, a $2 billion not-for-profit Catholic health care organization that operates 10 hospitals, medical clinics and laboratories within Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

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    23. United Bank moving State Street location to Monarch Place in downtown Springfield

      United Bank moving State Street location to Monarch Place in downtown Springfield

      United Bank and parent company United Financial Bancorp plan to move its office at 115 State St. into 2,400 square feet of leased space on the first floor of One Monarch Place, a storefront previously occupied by Bank of America. United Bank, now headquartered in Glastonbury, Connecticut, announced the move Tuesday. The bank will need regulatory approval in order make the move. It's expected to be completed in the fall of 2017. The to-be-closed United Branch is at the corner of State and Main streets across from the MGM Springfield casino.

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    24. Springfield seeks bids on long-distance bus service at Union Station

      Springfield seeks bids on long-distance bus service at Union Station

      The Springfield Redevelopment Authority issued a formal request for proposals Monday seeking qualified intercity bus carriers to operate long-distance service from the soon-to-reopen Union Station. Negotiations continue with Springfield's own Peter Pan Bus Lines, said Springfield Chief Economic Development Officer Kevin Kennedy. "We don't have an agreement," Kennedy said. The RFP announcement requires interested parties to respond by 2 p.m. April 28. The RFP doesn't mean the city and the Redevelopment Authority will never reach a deal to bring Peter Pan into Union Station. The bus company now operates out of the Peter Pan-owned Peter L ...

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