1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. OMG, Inc, Strengthens Operations and Supply Chain Management for Growth

      OMG, Inc, Strengthens Operations and Supply Chain Management for Growth

      As part of the continued effort to position the company for stronger growth and faster product innovation to better meet the changing global needs of its customers, OMG, Inc. has announced several Agawam-based promotions in supply chain management and operations. Brad Bedard has been promoted to Director of Supply Chain Management, responsible for overall management of the company's global supply chain and distribution logistics. In this new role, Brad will work with his organization to develop and implement short and long-term strategies that maximize the company's supply and distribution performance. He reports to Hubert McGovern, president and CEO.

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    2. Ware receives $725K grant for paving, water and sewer project | masslive.com

      Ware receives $725K grant for paving, water and sewer project | masslive.com

      The town on Wednesday confirmed receipt of a $725,000 Community Development Block Grant.  According to Ware Town Manager Stuart Beckley, the bulk of the funds will pay for road work and infrastructure repairs on Spring Street, a 100-yard road located in a section of town the Community Development Authority deemed a 'slum and blight' area.  One reason selectmen were convinced to approve that designation was because it would increase the town's eligibility for government grants.

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    3. Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      Springfield downtown art program generates 2 bids, including a Seuss-themed mural

      The city has received two requests for grants for public art displays in the Cultural District downtown -- one for a proposed mural on a parking garage with a Dr. Seuss theme and the other for a spiral staircase art structure suggested at Court Square. While the city had hoped for more bids, a local official involved in the review said Wednesday the focus is on quality, not the number of bids. "We'll take a look," said Brian Connors, the city's deputy planner for economic development. "If there is one great proposal that is impactful, that is a good ...

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    4. Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Three businesses reportedly interested in developing new restaurant at Springfield's Union Station

      Christopher Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority which owns Union Station, said discussions are underway with three restaurants, but he could not say when an agreement might be reached. "We're thrilled that there are three interested parties for that last retail space," Moskal said. 'We'll give them an opportunity to come back to us and move forward." The only publicized proposal was revealed last October by restaurateurs Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly.

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    5. A new spark of life has ignited Downtown Springfield (Viewpoint)

      A new spark of life has ignited Downtown Springfield (Viewpoint)

      "There's a buzz in the air." "Good things are happening." "Things are looking up." Pick your cliche, but they all hold true. Springfield is experiencing a renaissance. I recently sat in the beautiful new Starbucks on Main Street at Monarch Place sipping coffee, reading the newspaper and watching the world go by. A young, professional looking crowd streamed past the windows, many stopping inside to make a purchase.

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    6. MGM Springfield to host year-round entertainment, seasonal events and yoga at casino's outdoor plaza

      MGM Springfield to host year-round entertainment, seasonal events and yoga at casino's outdoor plaza

      MGM Springfield is pledging there will be "something for everyone" at the open-air plaza in the heart of its $960 million resort casino, slated to open on Aug. 24. MGM Springfield officials said Wednesday the offerings at the large outdoor plaza will include activities ranging from concerts to ice skating to pop-up art to outdoor yoga. "The Plaza will be a high-energy gathering place at the heart of the resort, uniting visitors with Springfield locals, businesses and attractions," said Michael Mathis, president of MGM Springfield. "Our goal is to introduce the region to a new standard of entertainment offerings with ...

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    7. MassMutual lays off workers in Enfield, elsewhere; no impact in Springfield

      MassMutual lays off workers in Enfield, elsewhere; no impact in Springfield

      MassMutual laid off workers Tuesday as part of a reorganization of its Workplace Solutions retirement plan business, spokeswoman Laura Crisco said. "MassMutual is making significant investments in our retirement business to simplify and enhance the experience for plan sponsors, financial advisors, third party administrators, and plan participants," she said in a written statement. "At the same time, we continually evaluate our operations to ensure we are working as efficiently and effectively as possible, delivering the best experience to our customers and the greatest value to our policyowners.

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    8. West Springfield development office eyes purchase of First Congregational Church

      West Springfield development office eyes purchase of First Congregational Church

      The city's development office is looking to reallocate federal grant funds to purchase First Congregational Church on Lathrop Street. The property is needed to access Coburn Elementary School, where renovations are planned, said Community Development Director Morgan Drewniany. "After the renovation it would be used as a community center," Drewniany said. The church and property are assessed at $650,000, however, a purchase price has not been agreed upon.

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    9. People in Business: Westfield resident named director of Training & Working Options at Holyoke Community College

      People in Business: Westfield resident named director of Training & Working Options at Holyoke Community College

      Westfield resident Michele Cabral, a former accounting professor and interim dean of Business and Technology at Holyoke Community College, has been appointed the new director of Training & Workforce Options, a workforce development partnership between HCC and Springfield Technical Community College. TWO offers customized training for businesses and nonprofits, needs assessments and career development programs.

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    10. Springfield prepares to launch $2.7 million roundabout construction at Six Corners...

      Springfield prepares to launch $2.7 million roundabout construction at Six Corners...

      The city is slated to open bids on Aug. 8 for an estimated $2.7 million project to construct a roundabout at a long-troubled intersection in Six Corners aimed at improving traffic flow and safety in the area. Christopher Cignoli, the city's director of public works, said he expects construction will begin by late fall, and would then take approximately one year to complete.

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    11. Agawam gets $800,000 in CDBG grants for housing rehab and town hall accessibility

      Agawam gets $800,000 in CDBG grants for housing rehab and town hall accessibility

      Housing rehabilitation and town hall accessibility will get a boost under a competitive Community Development Block Grant awarded to the city this week. Mayor Bill Sapelli traveled to the State House in Boston Friday to accept the $799,750 award from the Department of Housing and Community Development. "We would like to thank the Baker-Polito administration for their generous award and continued support of Agawam and all of Western Massachusetts," said Sapelli.

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    12. 2nd $3.5M grant funds road construction at Ludlow Mills

      2nd $3.5M grant funds road construction at Ludlow Mills

       The state House of Representatives has approved $3.5 million for ongoing redevelopment efforts at the 170-acre Ludlow Mills property, state Rep. Thomas Petrolati, D-Ludlow, said this week. Petrolati said the money would be used to build a nearly one-mile road to allow access to 68 acres of the property, helping to lure additional private investment and create jobs. A bond bill including the funds still needs approval from the state Senate and governor. The new money, combined with a previous state grant in the same amount, is intended to secure building the 4,500-foot road, to be called Riverside ...

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    13. Controversy emerges over taxes, free speech in proposed 'community benefit districts'

      Controversy emerges over taxes, free speech in proposed 'community benefit districts'

      A bill allowing the creation of Community Benefit Districts where residents can be taxed to fund local improvements is getting a second look after passing both the House and Senate, amid criticism by groups on both the right and the left of the political spectrum. "Many municipalities are struggling to find resources to help grow their local economy and make neighborhood community improvements," said Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, who sponsored the bill. "We feel that through this community benefit bill, it will empower the community to decide on additional and supplemental services that could help attract more folks to their ...

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    14. Owner cleans up vacant Black Pearl block in Springfield's South End

      Owner cleans up vacant Black Pearl block in Springfield's South End

      - Lawyers for the city and for a vacant restaurant-apartment block in the South End said the property is being maintained and cleaned under a recent Housing Court agreement. Jhanvi Hospitality, owner of the former Black Pearl property at 1127 Main St., has been keeping the site clear of trash and debris as required under a Western District Housing Court agreement reached in June, lawyers for both sides said recently. The three-building property, referred to as the Burbach-McKinney building, is across the street from the $960 million MGM Springfield casino, slated to open Aug. 24.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    15. Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint)

      Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint)

      The economic progress our region is seeing is undeniable. From the construction of MGM Springfield, to production of subway cars for the MBTA at the North American headquarters for CRRC Massachusetts Rail Co., to the renovated Union Station, with nearly $2 billion in economic development initiatives, Springfield and its surrounding communities are moving in the right direction. But even as our communities begin to band together to spur innovation, rebuild our manufacturing base and create good paying jobs for the future, that progress is undermined by a lack of clean, reliable, affordable energy.

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    16. House-passed National Defense Authorization Act includes $43 million for Westover Air...

      House-passed National Defense Authorization Act includes $43 million for Westover Air...

      A Western Massachusetts air reserve base is poised to receive millions in federal funding to construct a regional ISO maintenance hangar under a $716 billion national defense bill compromise that cleared the U.S. House Thursday.  The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which now awaits Senate approval, includes funding for an array of Pentagon initiatives and priorities across the United States, including $42.6 million for construction at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.

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    17. Holyoke, Boston developer continue pursuit of historic tax credits for Farr Alpaca Mill conversion to rental units

      Holyoke, Boston developer continue pursuit of historic tax credits for Farr Alpaca Mill conversion to rental units

      The city and WinnDevelopment continue to pursue historic tax credits and other incentives to convert the former Farr Alpaca Mill at 216 Appleton St., into 100 rental units. Winn and the Holyoke Redevelopment Authority entered into an agreement on the property. The former mill is situated between the Upper Canal and the Holyoke Police Department. WinnDevelopment, of Boston, plans to offer market and income-rate apartments. The company has regularly undertaken similar projects nationwide, including the Ludlow Mills and Residences at Mill 10, a 55-plus community in Ludlow.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    18. Investment in the life sciences sector is critical to Massachusetts' future (Viewpoint)

      Investment in the life sciences sector is critical to Massachusetts' future (Viewpoint)

      Ten years ago, Massachusetts took a risk. With a 10-year, $1 billion initiative proposed by then-Gov. Deval Patrick, we chose to breathe life into a budding biotech and life sciences sector with the bold hope that funding new research would transform our state's economy. That investment has paid off. Students at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Springfield High School of Science and Technology -- and 146 other middle and high schools in the state -- have brand-new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) equipment in their classrooms because of that investment.

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    19. Springfield's Chestnut Towers receives $10.2 million in state funding toward planned renovations

      Springfield's Chestnut Towers receives $10.2 million in state funding toward planned renovations

      Springfield's Chestnut Towers will receive $10.2 million in affordable housing funds for renovations, state Secretary of Housing and Development Jay Ash said Wednesday during a visit to the downtown complex. The new funding will supplement a $45 million investment by the property's management, Related Companies, to renovate and transform the 489-unit apartment complex, said Jeff Brodsky, the company's vice chairman, during a press conference.

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    20. Springfield plans environmental review before seeking buyer to redevelop junkyard lots

      Springfield plans environmental review before seeking buyer to redevelop junkyard lots

      The city is planning to hire a company for an environmental assessment of a 14-acre swath of tax-title properties along Bay and Tapley streets with the hope that it will lead to the sale, cleanup and redevelopment of the site. The city recently received a $99,940 grant from MassDevelopment, the state's economic development finance arm, that will pay for the environmental assessment before the city pursues a new owner to develop the site, city officials said. The site has past industrial uses including storage of automotive parts and metal recyling.

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    21. Greenfield library gets $9.4 million grant for new building

      Greenfield library gets $9.4 million grant for new building

      Plans to build a new library on Main Street got a boost with the announcement of a $9.38 million state grant. Saturday afternoon, project supporters gathered to celebrate the news from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The entire project cost is around $20.5 million, so the grant halves the amount that might be paid from municipal funds -- and the Greenfield Public Library Association said it would raise funds to further soften the tax blow.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    22. There are still jobs at MGM Springfield, and Job Talk Tuesday at Cambridge College will have the details

      There are still jobs at MGM Springfield, and Job Talk Tuesday at Cambridge College will have the details

      MGM Springfield is boosting its Job Talk Tuesday program by moving it to Cambridge College in Tower Square with a live, in-person question and answer format. The new format will begin Tuesday and continue for the next month, MGM Springfield said in a press release. The change occurs as MGM's resort casino plans for a Aug. 24 opening and hiring efforts continue. Job Talk Tuesday has been a weekly MGM Springfield Facebook Live Q&A session in which MGM Springfield workforce development representatives answer questions as they are posted on MGM's Facebook page.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    23. Wayne Phaneuf, executive editor of The Republican, to be honored with Yankee Quill Award

      Wayne Phaneuf, executive editor of The Republican, to be honored with Yankee Quill Award

      Wayne E. Phaneuf, executive editor of The Republican and Sunday Republican, will be honored this fall with the Yankee Quill Award, the highest individual honor bestowed on journalists in New England. Phaneuf, whose career spans 49 years with The Republican and its predecessor publications, is among five honorees who will be recognized in October at the fall conference of the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Established in the 1960s and presented by the New England Academy of Journalists, the Yankee Quill "recognizes the lifetime achievement of those who have had a broad influence for good, both inside and outside ...

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