1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. IHOP building coming down, KFC to go up on Boston Road in Springfield

      IHOP building coming down, KFC to go up on Boston Road in Springfield

      A property owner is planning to demolish the former International House of Pancakes building on Boston Road and replace it with a new KFC restaurant. The former IHOP at 1324 Boston Road, near Pasco Road, is slated for demolition next week, and the new KFC could be ready to open by Dec. 1, said Frank Colacchio, of Boston Road/Pasco RT20 Retail LLC, the property owner. A 2,382-square-foot building is planned with 42 seats inside and an outside dining area.

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    2. Solar farm proposal gets heavy scrutiny from Belchertown Planning Board

      Solar farm proposal gets heavy scrutiny from Belchertown Planning Board

      Members of the Planning Board are digging in their heels scrutinizing a proposed solar farm off Gulf Road, saying the project requires an unprecedented level of study. The board must determine whether the nearly 8-megawatt facility would, or would not, be detrimental to the community prior to voting whether to approve it.

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    3. Riders on Springfield-Hartford-New Haven CTrail trains can now bring their bikes along

      Riders on Springfield-Hartford-New Haven CTrail trains can now bring their bikes along

       As of Thursday, passengers can bring their bicycles on board CTrail Hartford Line trains, which stop multiple times each day in Springfield, the Connecticut Department of Transportation said. ConnDOT said it changed its rules in response to passenger desire to bring their bikes along. "Cyclists throughout Connecticut welcome the new bicycle access policy on the Hartford Line. For those who ride to and from stations or put their bikes aboard local buses or on other rail lines, this new policy extends the range for car-free travel in Connecticut," stated Paul Hammer, past president of the Connecticut Bicycle Coalition, in a ...

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      Mentions: Amtrak Springfield
    4. PeoplesBank unveils plan for financial services center at former Yankee Pedlar in Holyoke

      PeoplesBank unveils plan for financial services center at former Yankee Pedlar in Holyoke

      The Planning Board conducted a public hearing and site plan review Tuesday night of PeoplesBank's ongoing renovation of the former Yankee Pedlar Inn at 1850 Northampton St. The bank hired Western Builders as the lead contractor. PeoplesBank paid $1.2 million in September 2017 for the site, which includes the main house and several smaller structures. Crews already demolished the former Opera House, Carriage House and gift shop. Only the Hildreth House, or main building, remains.

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    5. Looking to find your way in Springfield? After 2 years of development, new wayfinding system sprouting downtown

      Looking to find your way in Springfield? After 2 years of development, new wayfinding system sprouting downtown

      A system of 52 wayfinding signs are in the process of being installed downtown, officials said Wednesday. Designed to orient visitors, increase foot traffic and promote central locations throughout the city's downtown area, the signs are going into place just in time for the grand opening of the MGM Springfield casino. The system was developed over a period of two years and will be crucial in orienting new visitors to the city, said Kevin Kennedy, the city's chief development officer.

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    6. MassMutual removes name from Tower Square in Springfield as new owners reach deal on hotel

      MassMutual removes name from Tower Square in Springfield as new owners reach deal on hotel

      The letters for "MassMutual" are coming down from Tower Square in what was -- given the current state of the sign Wednesday -- an "utual" decision between the insurer and the new owners of the 28-story building. But the recently departed Marriott sign on the complex's hotel is on its way back, according to the new owners, who plan extensive renovations at the hotel. MassMutual is removing its name from the Tower Square office building, four months after selling the downtown Springfield skyscraper to a group of investors for $7 million. The sign was on the north and south sides of ...

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    7. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito 'can't wait to see' MGM Springfield, senses momentum and excitement...

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito 'can't wait to see' MGM Springfield, senses momentum and excitement...

      Although MGM Springfield is not set to open its doors to the public until next week, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said Wednesday that she can already feel the "momentum" and excitement that  the $960 million casino project has brought to the city.  Polito, who joined local officials in announcing public safety plans ahead of MGM Springfield's opening, praised the city's efforts to promote economic development and grow housing options in connection with the casino project.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    8. Springfield Innovation Center work resumes; US Rep. Richard Neal, secretary of state William Galvin announce $250K grant

      Springfield Innovation Center work resumes; US Rep. Richard Neal, secretary of state William Galvin announce $250K grant

      The long-delayed Springfield Innovation Center at 270-276 Bridge St. got a $250,000 boost Wednesday. Construction has already resumed on the the $7 million renovation project, with completion expected by the end of December. Workers started back on the renovation project earlier this week, said Nicholas A. Fyntrilakis, chairman of DevelopSpringfield, which owns the building. He said the primary tenant, Valley Venture Mentors, should be ready to move in by the end of 2018. It might take longer for the Ground Up Cafe restaurant planned for the first floor to be ready.

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    9. People in Business: Twenty-six Graduate from MHA Leadership Series 2018

      People in Business: Twenty-six Graduate from MHA Leadership Series 2018

      MHA's Leadership Series, which is open to all members of management in the agency and targeted at program Supervisors and Directors, delivers a leadership curriculum specialized for human services professionals. The comprehensive training is designed to support Supervisors and Directors within their roles. With such diverse responsibilities associated with positions throughout the agency, MHA believes there is much value in providing access to skill building trainings in order to better prepare their leaders for their current and future roles.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    10. Now open on Springfield-New Haven CTrail trains: a restroom; ConnDOT continues work on ADA compliance

      Now open on Springfield-New Haven CTrail trains: a restroom; ConnDOT continues work on ADA compliance

      The CTrail Hartford Line has opened one restroom per train on the route serving Springfield to New Haven, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation will keep temporary handicapped-accessible bathrooms at stations in place. The on-board bathrooms reopened Monday. Meanwhile, Connecticut will continue to work on modifying the onboard bathrooms to meet modern handicapped accessibility rules.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. Baystate Health gets $750K grant to expand asthma program

      Baystate Health gets $750K grant to expand asthma program

      A Baystate Health partnership formed to served MassHealth enrollees through the model of an Accountable Care Organization has been awarded a $750,000 state grant to expand in-home asthma services through an area pilot program. The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission grant to Baystate Health Care Alliance/BeHealthy Partnership ACO will help expand over an 18-month period beginning this fall the asthma program of Springfield Healthy Homes Collaborative.

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    12. South Hadley High's culinary arts program receives state certification

      South Hadley High's culinary arts program receives state certification

      South Hadley High School's culinary arts program has received state Chapter 70 vocational certification, according to Superintendent Nicholas Young. The district continues to introduce vocational offerings and improve the educational experience for all grades, Young said. The high school also added a carpentry component in recent years, which is awaiting state certification. Young described the culinary arts certification as the state's "gold seal" for curriculum, letting students pursue a career or academic tracks in the discipline. "It allows our graduates to be more employable and be more prepared for post-secondary education," he said.

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    13. MGM Springfield reveals 'The Loop' bus service to bring casino patrons to city attractions (photos, video)

      MGM Springfield reveals 'The Loop' bus service to bring casino patrons to city attractions (photos, video)

      MGM Springfield, the PVTA and the city unveiled The Loop Monday at a news conference with U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal at the renovated Union Station as MGM nears its Aug. 24 grand opening. The free bus service begins at 1 p.m. on opening day, just after traffic clears from a planned parade, said Sandra E. Sheehan, administrator for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.

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    14. Agawam High School adds manufacturing classes to meet employer needs

      Agawam High School adds manufacturing classes to meet employer needs

      Agawam High School is starting a new advanced manufacturing program after many years without one. The school has cleaned up a collection of Bridgeport milling machines dating to its construction in the 1950s, adding new computer-simulated manufacturing technology, and has a trained a math teacher in manufacturing. It's all part of a $90,000 effort to prep students for in-demand careers and for further study in manufacturing technology after high school. The 1,150-student high school will offer two classes beginning in September for 15 to 18 students in each class.

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    15. White Lion announces downtown Springfield location featuring brewery, test kitchen

      White Lion announces downtown Springfield location featuring brewery, test kitchen

      A new space for small-batch beer and comfort food will soon open in downtown Springfield.  White Lion Brewing Company announced Saturday their new location in downtown Springfield. The brewery has signed a lease for 4,400 square feet on the ground floor of the MassLive building on Main Street, space previously occupied by Santander Bank. "It's going to be a very unique experience in downtown Springfield," founder Raymond L. Berry Jr. told MassLive.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    16. Westover Job Corps gets new management while culinary candidates are in demand

      Westover Job Corps gets new management while culinary candidates are in demand

      Westover Job Corps Center, with 234 students at its Johnson Road  location, has a new management company under an $82 million, two-year contract -- part of a regular churn of contractors within Job Corps locations across the country. The U.S. Department of Labor issued the contract Aug. 3 to Alternate Perspectives Inc., of Leesburg, Virginia. Alternative Perspectives already operates the Shriver Job Corps in Devens, Massachusetts, among other locations. Alternate Perspectives declined to answer questions about the contract, except to say that it is now reorganizing the center to fit its model.

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    17. Conceptual designs presented for Westfield urban renewal project

      Conceptual designs presented for Westfield urban renewal project

      The Westfield Redevelopment Authority is considering which conceptual design for the urban renewal project on Elm Street would be the best fit for the city. The WRA hopes the empty lot that spans the block from the Church Street Commons building to the corner of Arnold Street will become a mixed-use space incorporating restaurants, retail and apartments. The location is the site of the former J.J. Newberry's department store and other retail shops and apartments. The store burned down in 1986.

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    18. Tennesee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop

      Tennesee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop

      Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. plans to expand its Agawam compressor station and install a new two-mile pipeline loop to help Columbia Gas of Massachusetts grow its customer base in the Pioneer Valley. Tennesee hosted a site visit in July; plans are described in a 315-page environmental notification form Tennessee filed with Massachusetts regulators in June; and the deadline for public comment was today. Tennessee's new 12-inch diameter buried pipeline would start at the 1615 Suffield Street compressor, cross the road, head north, and cross Shoemaker Lane, Gold Street, and Silver Street before terminating at a tie-in for Columbia's ...

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    19. New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council

      New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council

      In May, a Nebraska company finalized purchase of Berkshire Power Company, LLC, and its 229-megawatt natural gas generator off Shoemaker Lane. Wednesday night, representatives from Tenaska assured the City Council they plan to prioritize safety and the environment in running the 18-year-old power plant, while also giving back to the community. "We have a reputation for safe, reliable, environmentally responsible operation," said Jason Behrens, Tenaska's vice president of strategic development and acquisitions.

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    20. HCC-Westfield State-Springfield schools among 3 Massachusetts partnerships aiming to...

      HCC-Westfield State-Springfield schools among 3 Massachusetts partnerships aiming to...

      Westfield State University will partner with Holyoke Community College and Springfield Public Schools on a new initiative to train more science, technology, engineering and math teachers. The schools are one of three regional partnerships that will use a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to develop MassTeach, a new model for increasing and diversifying the ranks of STEM teachers in high-need school districts.

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    21. UMass professor receives grant from DARPA to teach computers 'visual common sense'

      UMass professor receives grant from DARPA to teach computers 'visual common sense'

      A computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $1.6 million grant to teach computers how to develop "visual common sense."  How does one go about doing that? And what does that mean, exactly? It's complicated. Erik Learned-Miller, who has taught at the school since the early 2000s, is heading a project whose goal is to teach computer systems to "intelligently" see and identify objects and be able to categorize them, the school announced Wednesday.

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    22. Springfield gets 2 proposals for reuse of former Oak Street fire station

      Springfield gets 2 proposals for reuse of former Oak Street fire station

      The city has received two competing proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the former Oak Street fire station in Indian Orchard -- one bid for a live-in art studio and the other to provide clinical services for opioid addiction. The two proposals were received by Tuesday's deadline, and each included an offer of $100 to buy the long-closed fire station at the intersection of Oak and Berkshire streets. The city had attempted to sell the station on four prior occasions, and this time added a $50,000 incentive that will help with redevelopment costs.

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    23. Opening of MGM Springfield marks new era for Western Mass hospitality (Guest viewpoint)

      Opening of MGM Springfield marks new era for Western Mass hospitality (Guest viewpoint)

      In addition to the massive investment in land and construction employment that has already occurred, MGM Springfield brings 3,000 new hospitality jobs to the region, and will tremendously strengthen the appeal of Western Mass as a visitor destination. We already offer our guests outstanding value, access and one-of-a-kind attractions, and MGM Springfield will expand those offerings and recognition in a dramatic fashion. The curiosity and interest has been building for many years, and we know that large numbers of people will be coming here to experience a new era of entertainment.

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