1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. Savage Arms of Westfield, independent again, plans to expand

      Savage Arms of Westfield, independent again, plans to expand

      Savage Arms, newly acquired by a group of private investors headed by CEO and President Al Kasper, will soon be looking to expand as it takes advantage of its new independence. “We’ll be looking for acquisition opportunities,” Kasper said in a recent interview. “Businesses that are in the same space in the marketplace where we are and that will allow us to take full advantage of our manufacturing capabilities.”

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    2. Coding group hosts inaugural meetup in downtown Springfield

      Coding group hosts inaugural meetup in downtown Springfield

      Springfield’s new coding meetup group, Springfield PHP, will offer its first event, “Learn to Code,” on Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. at Naismith’s Pub & Pretzel. The free event is open to all with an interest to learn or desire to increase their knowledge of coding. All levels of experience are welcome. Organizer Lawrence Shea says he wished there had been a group like this when he was first starting out.

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    3. Hot Oven Cookies plans Agawam expansion; eyes Northampton, Westfield and additional Springfield shop

      Hot Oven Cookies plans Agawam expansion; eyes Northampton, Westfield and additional Springfield shop

      Sheila Coon and her Hot Oven Cookies have made enough dough to fund making more dough. Coon's cookie-fueled expansion plan that will see Hot Oven Cookies open a manufacturing and production hub in Agawam in a former pizzeria at 369 Walnut St., probably in September that will work in tandem with a bakery Coon and her husband, David Coon, opened last year at 1597 Main St., in Springfield's historic Worthington Building at the SilverBrick Lofts complex.

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    4. Agawam High School, Atlantis Charter School, Brockton High School and Burlington High School to launch ‘Innovation Pathways’ job training programs

      Agawam High School, Atlantis Charter School, Brockton High School and Burlington High School to launch ‘Innovation Pathways’ job training programs

      Students at Agawam High School and three other Massachusetts schools will have the opportunity to get a head start on their career plans with the launch of Innovation Pathways programs that offer job training in fields from information technology to advanced manufacturing. Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the award designations Friday, bringing the state’s number of schools offering the programs to 25.

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    5. Bentley Billiards/ Lambson Furniture in Westfield has new owner, $1M redevelopment planned

      Bentley Billiards/ Lambson Furniture in Westfield has new owner, $1M redevelopment planned

      The new owners of the old Bentley Billiards/ Lambson Furniture buildings on Elm Street in the heart of the city’s downtown business district plan to begin $1 million worth of renovations in as little as two weeks. "We want to clean the thing up immediately," said Eugene J. Borowski Jr. "Structurally the building is in great shape." Borowski, owner Beyond Builders, heads a group of investors who bought the buildings at 81-83 Elm St. and at 87-89 Elm St. for $275,000, according to a deed filed Monday at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.

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    6. WGBY changing its over-the-air frequencies on Monday - masslive.com

      WGBY changing its over-the-air frequencies on Monday - masslive.com

      Public television station WGBY will be changing its frequencies on Monday.  Over-the-air antenna users must rescan their TVs on or after Monday or they will lose the local PBS signal. Cable and satellite viewers are not affected.  Approximately 1,000 television stations across the country will experience frequency changes between now and July 2020 because of a FCC plan designed to make room on the airways for new 5G and other mobile broadband services.

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    7. Springfield eyes creating 2 historic districts around Innovation Center, ‘unusual’ house (photos) - masslive.com

      Springfield eyes creating 2 historic districts around Innovation Center, ‘unusual’ house (photos) - masslive.com

      The city is considering the creation of two local historic districts downtown, aimed at preserving the home of the Springfield Innovation center on Bridge Street and a deteriorated, “unusual” house at 60 Byers St.  Both the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Springfield Historical Commission have approved the proposed districts in recent months, and the City Council added its first-step approval on Monday night. Final approval from the council is pending at a future meeting.

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    8. Dunkin’ opens ‘next generation’ store in Holyoke

      Dunkin’ opens ‘next generation’ store in Holyoke

      Dunkin’ Donuts officially cut the ribbon on a “next generation” store at 473-489 Pleasant St. Thursday morning. The new Dunkin’ features a unique, modern design equipped with the latest in brewing and pouring technologies, including Nitro Cold Brew, a richer, foamier offering. Freshly baked donuts, muffins and bagels filled the shelves. Franchisees Derek Salema and Peter Martins welcomed Mayor Alex B. Morse and City Councilors David Bartley and Peter Tallman to the ceremony. Aides to state Sen. Donald Humason and state Rep. Aaron Vega presented proclamations to the owners.

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    9. Toys R Us plans to reopen stores before Christmas

      Toys R Us plans to reopen stores before Christmas

      Toys R Us will be back in business in some locations just in time for the Christmas shopping season. The former toy retailer has teamed up with software retailer b8ta to reopen 10 Toys R Us stores across the country after the company went out of business last year. The first two stores will be located in Paramus, New Jersey, and Houston, Texas, according to b8ta. The initial stores will each be about 6,500 square feet, roughly a quarter of the size of a traditional Toys R Us store.

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    10. New owner of Strathmore Paper mill in Russell works on cleanup, mulls plans after tax sale

      New owner of Strathmore Paper mill in Russell works on cleanup, mulls plans after tax sale

      The new owner of the old Strathmore Mill #2 in Russell has begun working on the property while he considers plans for reuse and redevelopment. “I really don’t have any 100% set plans,” said Jacob Trudeau of Pittsfield. “I really just want to get it cleaned out. The real goal is just to get it clean, get the outside clean and get it in better shape.” Trudeau said he’s been talking with experts in mill redevelopment and might have more to share in a few weeks.

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    11. Edward Wingenbach, Hampshire College’s new president, ‘understands the challenges,’ say those who made the hire

      Edward Wingenbach, Hampshire College’s new president, ‘understands the challenges,’ say those who made the hire

      Hampshire College’s new president, Edward Wingenbach, has already raised morale at the beleaguered liberal arts college. Now he’s got to start raising money. “I think there is a new attitude and new energy here,” said Luis Hernendez, a member of the founding class of 1970 and chairman of the Hampshire board of trustees. “Sometimes, when you are in the midst of challenges, its easy to get down, to lose hope. In order to be a leader, you need confidence and you need to instill confidence that we’ll get through this.”

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    12. Savage Arms bought by management-led investors for $170 million; company employs about 300 in Westfield

      Savage Arms bought by management-led investors for $170 million; company employs about 300 in Westfield

      Investors led by Savage Arms CEO and President Al Kasper purchased the gun manufacturer from sporting goods conglomerate Vista Outdoor for $170 million earlier this month. Savage, which employs about 300 workers at its Westfield factory and headquarters, is one of the city’s largest private employers. Savage also has a rifle factory in Ontario, Canada.

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    13. Massachusetts Department of Public Health demands Baystate Health provide more detail on plans to close ICUs, pediatric unit in Westfield, Palmer

      Massachusetts Department of Public Health demands Baystate Health provide more detail on plans to close ICUs, pediatric unit in Westfield, Palmer

      The intensive care units at Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer, along with a pediatric unit at Noble, are essential services “necessary for preserving access and health,” the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has ruled. That means that Baystate Health must submit detailed information before it can move forward with plans to close the three units at the end of August. The state is asking for information on patient travel times, transportation needs, language difficulties and other factors.

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    14. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announces $175K workforce grant for Dielectrics in Chicopee

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announces $175K workforce grant for Dielectrics in Chicopee

      Medical device manufacturer Dielectrics is seeing its business grow thanks to new technologies and products — but it is having trouble hiring workers to keep up with demand. “Finding skilled people with experience is very difficult,” said Mario Godbout, senior director of manufacturing for the 300 Burnett Road business. “We are always hiring. We’ve taken the approach that we have to build from within and train our employees.”

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    15. Holyoke Planning Board OKs Lower Westfield Road distribution center, over traffic objections from neighbors - masslive.com

      Holyoke Planning Board OKs Lower Westfield Road distribution center, over traffic objections from neighbors - masslive.com

      The Planning Board approved plans by BL Companies, Inc. to open a distribution center at 161 Lower Westfield Road during a rare Friday night session to continue the hearing and site plan review.  Residential neighbors again voiced their opposition to the distribution center, which would see up to 700 vehicles a day entering and exiting the site and involve late-night and early-morning truck deliveries.

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    16. West Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield anticipate $2M from carbon credit program preserving forests, watershed

      West Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield anticipate $2M from carbon credit program preserving forests, watershed

      Trees covering 15,000 acres of watershed and parkland in West Springfield, Holyoke and Westfield stand to make more than $2 million for the three cities over the next 10 years. And all the trees must do is breathe. The Tri-City Carbon Sequestration Program converts those trees — and what they take in in carbon dioxide and give off in life-giving oxygen — into carbon credits that are then sold to developers looking to offset the impact of their projects.

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    17. River Valley Co-op exceeds $5 million financing goal for Easthampton store

      River Valley Co-op exceeds $5 million financing goal for Easthampton store

      River Valley Co-op said this week that members have loaned $5.2 million toward its new store in Easthampton. That exceeded the co-op’s goal of raising $5 million. The loans came form 300 members. Total development costs are projected to be about $17 million. The co-op expects more economic development financing from other sources, according to a news release. River Valley Co-op opened its first store at 330 North King St. in Northampton in 2008. It said it expects construction of the Easthampton store to begin this fall and for the store to be open in the fall of ...

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    18. Bradley International Airport looks for local vendors to add ‘sense of place’ to terminal

      Bradley International Airport looks for local vendors to add ‘sense of place’ to terminal

      Bradley International Airport wants to highlight local businesses and is looking for vendors who want to rent kiosks in a refurbished food court within the security checkpoints in Terminal A. The offer is good to local businesses across Bradley’s service territory in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts that sell specialty retail items or fully prepared, prepackaged food, according to a news release.

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    19. Work begins on Westfield Planet Fitness project; contracts go out to bid soon for Route 20 improvements

      Work begins on Westfield Planet Fitness project; contracts go out to bid soon for Route 20 improvements

      Construction has begun on a Planet Fitness, a nearly 18,000-square-foot commercial building, at 99 Springfield Road (Route 20) on Westfield’s busy commercial corridor. Owner Nabil Hannoush said the hope is to have the building completed in January. The existing Expert Fitness gym next door will be folded into the new Planet Fitness business and the memberships will be combined in the new facility.

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    20. FunZ Trampoline Park approved for Bon-Ton space in Westfield Shops

      FunZ Trampoline Park approved for Bon-Ton space in Westfield Shops

      FunZ Trampoline Park, part of a plan to help the Westfield Shops bounce back from the loss of key retail tenants, has its special use permit from the Westfield City Council. Jia Min “Johnny” Chen of Groton, Connecticut, said he has plans to build an indoor trampoline park with rope course, “ninja-warrior” obstacles and basketball and dodgeball courts in the 50,000-square-foot former Bon-Ton department store space in the East Main Street plaza.

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    21. Crepes Tea House of West Springfield prepares Southwick location; 9-year-old restaurant focuses on Eastern European fare

      Crepes Tea House of West Springfield prepares Southwick location; 9-year-old restaurant focuses on Eastern European fare

      Promising farm-fresh ingredients and Eastern European foods made in the authentic, old-country way, Crepes Tea House will open a Southwick location later this summer. Arturas Ribinskas, an owner, said Crepes has closed restaurants in the Enfield Square Mall and Holyoke Mall and will focus now on the location in West Springfield, at 261 Union St., and the new location at 157 Feeding Hills Road in Southwick.

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    22. Jazz concert series brings life back to shuttered CityStage while owner Springfield Parking Authority seeks long-term plan

      Jazz concert series brings life back to shuttered CityStage while owner Springfield Parking Authority seeks long-term plan

      CityStage, closed since December, will reopen with four jazz concerts from September to December while the Springfield Parking Authority, which owns the building, comes up with a long-term plan for the venue. “We don’t want the space to be dark,” Thomas D. Moore, interim executive director of the Springfield Parking Authority, said Tuesday.

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