1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. New unemployment claims fall as Massachusetts economy recovers from coronavirus - masslive.com

      New unemployment claims fall as Massachusetts economy recovers from coronavirus - masslive.com

      Fewer Massachusetts workers are losing their jobs, according to new numbers out Thursday from federal labor officials.  Massachusetts reported 27,174 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ending May 3 — that’s down from 37,740 in the previous week and 38,332 for the week before that.  More than 900,000 unemployment claims have been filed in Massachusetts since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders meant to arrest its spread.

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      Mentions: Boston Fed
    2. Collectors lined up at Basketball Hall of Fame as commemorative coins went on sale for first time

      Collectors lined up at Basketball Hall of Fame as commemorative coins went on sale for first time

      Coin collectors lined up Thursday outside the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame even before the hoop shrine put its commemorative U.S. Mint coins on sale for the first time. “It’s a rare thing,” said Kevin Winn, a member of the Nashua Coin Club who is himself from Tyngsboro. “You only get a few new issues a year. And this is the first day.” Collectors also received Thursday with their purchase a certificate signed on the spot by U.S. Mint director David J. Ryder and one signed by John L. Doleva, president and CEO of the Hall ...

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    3. Springfield Preparatory Charter School plans move to new site, expanded grades - masslive.com

      Springfield Preparatory Charter School plans move to new site, expanded grades - masslive.com

      Springfield Preparatory Charter School has found a new permanent home on Roosevelt Avenue in East Springfield that will lead to an expansion of grades and enrollment.  The new school, once renovations are completed, is planned at 2071 Roosevelt Ave., at the corner of Memorial Drive,  “This building project is a huge step for the Springfield Prep community,” said Bill Spirer, founder and executive director of the charter school. “We have been looking for a permanent space for our school community for many years, and we’re thrilled to have found a property that we know will serve us well.”

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      Mentions: Springfield
    4. Big Y, Antonacci Family Foundation, aid Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, as coronavirus pandemic makes it tough for families to keep food on the table

      Big Y, Antonacci Family Foundation, aid Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, as coronavirus pandemic makes it tough for families to keep food on the table

      The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts received more than $250,000 through the Antonacci Family Foundation and its Millions of Meals Initiative. The Food Bank and the foundation headed up by Frank M. Antonacci, COO of USA Waste & Recycling, announced the donation Wednesday. Big Y Foods also announced that it is donating an additional $125,000 to food banks in its service territory including the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

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    5. Hampden County Sheriff’s Office donating face shields to aid coronavirus protections for Westfield salons, barbershops

      Hampden County Sheriff’s Office donating face shields to aid coronavirus protections for Westfield salons, barbershops

      he Hampden County Sheriff’s Office is donating face shields to Westfield salons and barbershops to help the businesses reopen to customers with protections from the coronavirus. The formal donation is scheduled Wednesday at 8 a.m., at the Vivid Salon, 99 Elm St., in Westfield. “As we work to get back to business during the pandemic, the least we can do is make sure the people providing services to us have the tools they need to safely perform their trade,” Sheriff Nick Cocchi said in advance of the event. ““Our York Street Industries manufacturing training program has juggled their ...

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    6. Western Massachusetts recovery depends on working together (Guest viewpoint) - masslive.com

      Western Massachusetts recovery depends on working together (Guest viewpoint) - masslive.com

      Now more than ever, it is clear that our region’s economic recovery depends on working together.  Here in Western Massachusetts, there is an effort known as Springfield WORKS that has been bringing together employers, educators, community leaders and job seekers so that together we can figure out how to meet the economic needs of our residents and our local businesses.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    7. Survey offers positive news for Western Mass travel and tourism (Editorial)

      Survey offers positive news for Western Mass travel and tourism (Editorial)

      As of April 6, according to the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, the business of hosting conventions, meetings trade shows and competitions in the Pioneer Valley has taken a $27-milion and growing hit from coronavirus. In 2018, travel and tourism had a $928 million impact on the Pioneer Valley’s economy, according to a 2019 study by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. The industry is responsible for 5,773 jobs.

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    8. AAA Pioneer Valley reopens branches Monday as coronavirus restrictions ease

      AAA Pioneer Valley reopens branches Monday as coronavirus restrictions ease

      AAA Pioneer Valley said it will reopen all six of its branch offices Monday following strict social distancing procedures and other guidelines for protection against the coronavirus. Registry of Motor Vehicles services will be available by appointment only, to AAA members, who can reserve a time online up to two weeks in advance, said spokeswoman Sandra Marsian. Appointments can be made by visiting www.aaa.com/appointments.

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    9. Back to work: Factories deemed nonessential in pandemic ramp back up, but need more employees

      Back to work: Factories deemed nonessential in pandemic ramp back up, but need more employees

      Cartamundi is back making toys and games after months of making protective face masks and safeguarding its workspaces against the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Yankee Candle’s Franklin County factory and distribution center is back as well after, like Cartamundi, having its business deemed not essential under statewide shutdown rules meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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    10. As coronavirus reopening plan unfolds, Northampton gets $10,000 grant to design safe outdoor dining, curbside business on Main Street

      As coronavirus reopening plan unfolds, Northampton gets $10,000 grant to design safe outdoor dining, curbside business on Main Street

      As plans to jump start the commonwealth’s economy unfold amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials in Northampton announced Thursday the community has received a multi-thousand-dollar grant to help the reopening process in the city’s business district. The city was awarded a $10,000 design grant from the Lawrence & Lillian Solomon Foundation to encourage outdoor dining and easy curbside purchases on Main Street in Northampton and Florence that abide by social distancing practices, according to a statement from Mayor David Narkewicz.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    11. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Mayor Domenic Sarno set to announce $36M in coronavirus relief for PVTA

      U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Mayor Domenic Sarno set to announce $36M in coronavirus relief for PVTA

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will receive $36.6 million in Federal Transit Administration funding under the CARES Act, the major package of legislation designed to offer relief during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Rep Richard E. Neal, a Springfield Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, is expected to join Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and PVTA Administrator Sandra Sheehan Friday for an announcement at Springfield’s Union Station.

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    12. Decision on new date of Basketball Hall of Fame 2020 enshrinement, postponed due to coronavirus crisis, expected in June

      Decision on new date of Basketball Hall of Fame 2020 enshrinement, postponed due to coronavirus crisis, expected in June

      Officials with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will decide by mid-June whether to delay this year’s enshrinement events to the fall or postpone them to early next year. In a statement Thursday, Hall of Fame president and CEO John Doleva said the new date will be announced following a June 15 board meeting. This year’s events were originally planned for late August. The late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January, is among the Class of 2020, along with former Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett.

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    13. J&E Precision Tool of Southampton plans Westfield expansion as it gears up for F-35 fighter jet work

      J&E Precision Tool of Southampton plans Westfield expansion as it gears up for F-35 fighter jet work

      Up to $1.5 million in machining equipment will be just the start for J&E Precision Tool of Southampton as it expands into the former Berkshire Industries building near the Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport to build parts for the military’s new F-35 fighter jet. "We have to be ready to act quickly and we need to be ready to expand," said James R. Labrie, president of 41-year-old J&E Precision. "And we don’t have room to do that here in Southampton. We're very busy."

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      Mentions: Westfield
    14. MassMutual’s Roger Crandall, heads of 3 other Massachusetts companies named to ‘Best CEOs in world’ list

      MassMutual’s Roger Crandall, heads of 3 other Massachusetts companies named to ‘Best CEOs in world’ list

      Roger W. Crandall, chairman, president and CEO of insurance giant MassMutual, is among four Massachusetts business leaders included on a list of the “Best CEOs in the World For 2020” published by the trade publication CEOWorld Magazine. Crandall ranks 39th on the list of 100 chief executives, which includes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg at number 12, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway at number 5, Apple’s Tim Cook at number 3 and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at number 1.

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    15. UMass report: More than half of major employers are not altering their hiring plans

      UMass report: More than half of major employers are not altering their hiring plans

      Findings by the University of Massachusetts Amherst career development office provide modestly encouraging news for new job seekers. The numbers nonetheless reflect the profound impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring. They paint a picture of jobs becoming available, but delayed in many situations as companies use staff for remote work or, in some cases, freeze hiring. According to Career Development and Professional Connections findings, 80 percent of employers in April said they were honoring full-time offers, though some said they have delayed start dates. A follow-up survey in May showed that 52.6% said they had no plan to ...

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    16. Developer renews plans for Dunkin’ donut shop in Springfield’s Hungry Hill

      Developer renews plans for Dunkin’ donut shop in Springfield’s Hungry Hill

      A developer is again proposing to build a Dunkin’ doughnut shop on Liberty Street in the Hungry Hill area. The City Council first approved the plans in January of 2018, but the special permit expired as a result of construction not occurring within the mandated two-year period. A new council hearing took place May 18, and there was no public opposition.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. White Lion Brewing getting ready to roar in downtown Springfield

      White Lion Brewing getting ready to roar in downtown Springfield

      The coronavirus pandemic has of course caused immense large tragedies in numerous lives. But it also has caused minuscule twinges of pain, which although may be microscopic in comparison, still elicit a sigh or two. One such local mild annoyance for beer fans is the delay in White Lion Brewing’s opening of its brewery and taproom in downtown Springfield. The company, which is set to become Springfield’s first fully operational independent craft brewery, has seen its launch delayed by the pandemic’s reach.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. In a coronavirus world, how will malls be able to operate? Massachusetts retailers look to reopen May 25 with curbside delivery

      In a coronavirus world, how will malls be able to operate? Massachusetts retailers look to reopen May 25 with curbside delivery

      As the coronavirus pandemic ramped up earlier this year, Springfield’s Eastfield Mall was left with empty halls, an “ugly” decrease in revenue and a “skeleton crew” of workers, according to property manager David Thompson. When management found out in March that brick-and-mortar retailers and other businesses deemed non-essential would be forced to close due to the public health crisis, they announced the shopping center’s staff would be reduced.

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    19. As some Western Massachusetts colleges plan to reopen campus, others hold off

      As some Western Massachusetts colleges plan to reopen campus, others hold off

      College students sometimes list their majors as “undeclared.” That applies to colleges and universities that are eyeing the fall semester with mixtures of hope and caution - and weighing the practicality and risk of reopening campus. Virtually every institution has expressed hope of reopening campus in the fall, but some speak with more confidence that it will. All say any reopening would be accompanied by dramatic changes and new regulations that will affect dormitory life, classroom settings and everyday student movement.

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    20. Catholic Diocese of Springfield closes St. Francis Chapel downtown, puts building on the market

      Catholic Diocese of Springfield closes St. Francis Chapel downtown, puts building on the market

      The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has closed St. Francis Chapel on Bridge Street in downtown Springfield and put the building up for sale. “We remember in prayer all who found spiritual comfort at St. Francis Chapel on Bridge Street, and we will be forever grateful to all who made this holy, special place possible,” said Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski in a statement. “Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us and for all who invoke your aid.”

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    21. 15 companies receive $9.5M in Massachusetts grants to produce personal protective equipment in response to coronavirus pandemic - masslive.com

      15 companies receive $9.5M in Massachusetts grants to produce personal protective equipment in response to coronavirus pandemic - masslive.com

      Fifteen companies received state grants totaling $9.5 million to produce personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. The Baker administration announced the awards as part of the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team, which was created in April so manufacturers could stay open and help with the state’s COVID-19 response. The 15 recipients are making masks, gowns, ventilators, swabs and testing materials.

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