1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. Springfield tax levy set at $216.3M; rates to be determined

      Springfield tax levy set at $216.3M; rates to be determined

      The city’s tax levy — the total amount of real estate and personal property taxes it expects to bill in the current fiscal year — will be $216.3 million. That’s up from $205.3 million last year, said Springfield Assessor Richard J. Allen. The 5.4% increase is driven by a $5.9 million jump in the total value of all the real estate and taxable personal property in Springfield, including business and industrial equipment and tools, Allen said.

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    2. Deborah Bitsoli named president of Mercy Medical Center and affiliates

      Deborah Bitsoli named president of Mercy Medical Center and affiliates

      Deborah Bitsoli has been named president of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates, effective Dec. 2. “Deborah is a respected, visionary leader with extensive experience in health care operations. Her dedication to our Mission and tremendous enthusiasm, in combination with her focus on quality, safety and growth, will serve Mercy and the greater Springfield community well,” Paul Mancinone, the hospital’s board chairman, said in an announcement.

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    3. Breakthrough Worship Center opens at former Melha Shriners building in Springfield

      Breakthrough Worship Center opens at former Melha Shriners building in Springfield

      Breakthrough Worship Center plans to show off its new location at the former Melha Shrine Center on 133 Longhill St. with a ribbon cutting ceremony Sunday, Nov. 24, at 10:30 a.m. "The BWC community is excited about the grand opening of this building as it will allow us to expand our ministry to the Lord and add more activities that will serve the community we live in, said Pastor Dmitriy Mozolevskiy in a news release.

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    4. ‘We just don’t think it is fair’: Businesses speak out ahead of annual Springfield commercial vs. residential tax argument

      ‘We just don’t think it is fair’: Businesses speak out ahead of annual Springfield commercial vs. residential tax argument

      Springfield officials are deciding how much of the city’s property tax levy — the total amount in taxes it will bill for the fiscal year — will be paid by owners of residential property and how much will be paid by businesses. The city relies on money from taxes on residential property and from businesses in taxes on commercial property, industrial property and what’s called “personal property” owned by businesses, such as tools and equipment.

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    5. Legion Paper plans distribution hub at former Canson Paper plant in South Hadley

      Legion Paper plans distribution hub at former Canson Paper plant in South Hadley

      Legion Paper announced this week that it has opened a new distribution center for its fine art paper business at the former Canson paper converting plant at 21 Industrial Drive. Canson Inc., a maker of fine papers for art and photo printing, closed its plant and laid off 67 people earlier this year as operations were consolidated in Wisconsin. Canson’s owners — Italian conglomerate Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A., or FILA — purchased Pacon Corp. of Wisconsin in 2018.

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    6. Developers of Holyoke Cubit building launch coworking space

      Developers of Holyoke Cubit building launch coworking space

      Cubit building owners Denis and Marco Luzuriaga recently launched Cubit Coworks, offering desk, office and creative spaces that they showed off at an open house Thursday evening. Marco Luzuriaga said Cubit Coworks is a shared office without a long-term lease. Clients pay a monthly membership for a variety of spaces and desk options. The space also includes a kitchen, coffee bar, meeting rooms, a comfortable lounge, shower and restrooms. It taps into Holyoke Gas & Electric’s fiber-optic network for wireless connectivity. Coworks plans to install printers in every office and a central high-speed printer.

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    7. Amherst chamber, Mill District will host forum on housing and economic development - masslive.com

      Amherst chamber, Mill District will host forum on housing and economic development - masslive.com

      The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mill District will host a public forum Monday on housing and economic development that will include remarks by a state official discussing Gov. Charlie Baker’s Housing Choice Initiative.  Chris Kluchman, the Housing Choice program director at the state Department of Housing and Community Development, will discuss the administration’s housing initiative.

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    8. Bradley International Airport begins flights to Miami on Frontier Airlines - masslive.com

      Bradley International Airport begins flights to Miami on Frontier Airlines - masslive.com

      Frontier Airlines made its first flight Thursday from Bradley International Airport to Miami.  It is a seasonal service running nonstop Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays through April aboard an A320 Neo aircraft, Bradley said in a news release. The outbound flight departs from Bradley at 8 p.m. and arrives at Miami International Airport at 11:23 p.m. The inbound flight leaves Miami at 3:55 p.m. and arrives at Bradley at 7:04 p.m.

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    9. ‘With a tournament on the line’ Callaway Golf finishes $40M expansion, adds staff to Chicopee golf ball factory

      ‘With a tournament on the line’ Callaway Golf finishes $40M expansion, adds staff to Chicopee golf ball factory

      Jobs making golf balls at Callaway Golf Ball Operations Inc. in Chicopee come with all the usual benefits plus one unique perk: Company-paid visits to Annie’s Driving Range. If you are going to make golf balls, you must know about golf. “It’s all part of our on-boarding,” said Vincent J. Simonds, senior director, global golf ball operations for Callaway. “I want people to think about the quality and consistency of each ball they make. Is this a ball they would want to put into play on a golf course with a tournament on the line?”

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    10. United Way recognizes local heroes at Springfield awards luncheon - masslive.com

      United Way recognizes local heroes at Springfield awards luncheon - masslive.com

      The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Steve Lowell, president of Monsons Savings Bank and a member of the United Way of Pioneer Valley board of directors. He has been involved in community service, particularly focused on financial literacy, for the past 30 years. “This is a very humbling experience. What I do, I do because I enjoy it. It’s been great to help the people of the Pioneer Valley get some of the things that they can’t afford,' he said.

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    11. Smith & Wesson parent company splits in two; firearm maker retains name, will be headquartered in Springfield

      Smith & Wesson parent company splits in two; firearm maker retains name, will be headquartered in Springfield

      Smith & Wesson changed its name to American Outdoor Brands in 2016 as part of a diversification push — the opposite corporate strategy from the one announced Wednesday.Smith & Wesson has has 1,600 employees at its Springfield manufacturing plant. New companies Smith & Wesson Brands Inc., based in Springfield, will encompass the firearms business, and American Outdoor Brands Inc. will include the outdoor products and accessories businesses, which sell everything from pocketknives to saws and gun cleaning supplies. Corporate spokeswoman Liz Sharp didn’t respond to emailed questions Wednesday

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    12. Survey: Western Massachusetts tourism up thanks marketing, Dr. Seuss museum, MGM

      Survey: Western Massachusetts tourism up thanks marketing, Dr. Seuss museum, MGM

      Visitors to Springfield and the rest of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties are more likely to be millennials, wealthier and spending more than they did three years ago, before MGM Springfield and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum opened.The latest Western Mass Visitor Profile survey results, released Wednesday by the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, showed the share of visitors to the region ages 18-24 climbed from 10% in 2013 to 19% in 2019. Visitors ages 25-34 years old increased from 25% in 2013 to 28% in 2019.

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    13. Rep. Richard Neal, quoting Ronald Reagan, makes case for expanding earned income, child tax credit

      Rep. Richard Neal, quoting Ronald Reagan, makes case for expanding earned income, child tax credit

      Research suggests expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, like U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal wants to do, would boost 1.9 million Massachusetts families, giving a quarter of the state’s population tax cuts or refunds averaging $1,820 in 2020. “And the best part about it is that it is an incentive to work,” said Neal, a Springfield Democrat and chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

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    14. Springfield Union Station platform nears completion; Amtrak sees record-breaking year

      Springfield Union Station platform nears completion; Amtrak sees record-breaking year

      The refurbished Platform C at Springfield’s Union Station should be completed in three or four weeks, possibly in time for the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas travel seasons, according to the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, which owns and manages the depot. At issue are final touches to the elevator that will bring passengers up from the station’s concourse and pedestrian tunnel to the platforms where they board trains, said Executive Director Christopher J. Moskal.

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    15. CVS opens near MGM Springfield Sunday; developer says it’ll draw shoppers to neighborhood

      CVS opens near MGM Springfield Sunday; developer says it’ll draw shoppers to neighborhood

      CVS opens its $2 million store Sunday in the new Davenport Square on Main Street across from MGM Springfield in the city’s South End. It's a step landlord and developer Charles Irving, president of Davenport Properties, said will help existing businesses and lure new ones to the neighborhood. One criticism of MGM is that it has not, as promised, brought a retail rejuvenation to the surrounding neighborhood.

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    16. Four Western Mass., 2 Boston hospitals get ‘A’ grades for patient safety

      Four Western Mass., 2 Boston hospitals get ‘A’ grades for patient safety

      Four area hospitals – Baystate Franklin in Greenfield, Baystate Noble in Westfield and Holyoke Medical Center as well as Cooley Dickinson in Northampton – received the top grade of "A" in the Fall 2019 round of hospitals scored nationwide on protecting patients from medical errors, infections and injuries by the Washington-based Leapfrog Group.

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    17. Williams Distributing sells Chicopee warehouse and land for $5 million as part of Quality Beverage deal

      Williams Distributing sells Chicopee warehouse and land for $5 million as part of Quality Beverage deal

      Quality Beverage paid $5 million for the Williams Distributing real estate at 880 Burnett Road last month, according to documents on file with the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. In August, officials with both companies announced that Quality Beverage would buy the Chicopee-based beer distributorship — the business and the real estate — for an undisclosed sum.

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    18. End of partnership with US HealthVest could delay plans for Baystate Health psychiatric hospital in Holyoke

      End of partnership with US HealthVest could delay plans for Baystate Health psychiatric hospital in Holyoke

      Baystate Health’s search for a new partner in its quest to build a standalone psychiatric hospital in Holyoke might set the project back three to six months. “But we feel that the plan is a good one,” Baystate President and President and CEO Mark A. Keroack said. “We are committed to finding a partner who can make this happen.”

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