1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. National literacy group recognizes Springfield for education advances

      National literacy group recognizes Springfield for education advances

      For its efforts to improve childhood education standards, Springfield was recognized Friday with an All-America City Award from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading at the organization's awards ceremony in Denver. The award is based on a "track record of success that includes reductions in the city's rates of chronic absence and summer learning loss, and an 11 percent increase in 2015-16 in third grade reading proficiency," the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading said in a statement. Springfield was one of 15 communities nationwide recognized with the award.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. Track laid at CRRC subway car factory in Springfield

      Track laid at CRRC subway car factory in Springfield

      Workers are making tracks at the massive CRRC rail car factory now under construction in East Springfield. In addition to laying actual railroad tracks, they are installing electrical equipment and air handling systems, testing fire alarms, painting and putting the fixtures in the employee restrooms. Next week, workers are scheduled to put in the prefabricated electrical substation that will power the 2,240-foot-long test track, said Joseph Maliszewski, project manager at the site for Plaza Construction.

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    3. Photos: Plans revealed for $32 million transformation of Springfield's Paramount Theater...

      Photos: Plans revealed for $32 million transformation of Springfield's Paramount Theater...

      The New England Farm Workers Council has unveiled plans for a $32 million redevelopment of the historic Massasoit Block and Paramount Theater on Main Street intended to restore its grandeur as a boutique hotel and performing arts complex. The project financing will include a mix of private and public funds including a $3,650,000 low-interest loan application with the U.S, Department of Housing and Urban Development, for immediate repairs to preserve the building including the roof and facade, said the Farm Workers Council, the property owner.

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    4. Massachusetts unemployment rate rises; economy adds jobs in education, health care, hospitality

      Massachusetts unemployment rate rises; economy adds jobs in education, health care, hospitality

      Massachusetts added 2,900 jobs in May, but the state's unemployment rate rose to 4.2 percent from 3.9 percent in April 2017. From May 2016 to May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates Massachusetts has added 58,300 jobs.  The May state unemployment rate remains slightly lower than the national rate of 4.3 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. Westfield Gas & Electric buys derelict Meadow St. building

      Westfield Gas & Electric buys derelict Meadow St. building

      Westfield Gas & Electric, the city's municipal utility, purchased a derelict building May 20 to provide a buffer around one of its electrical substations along the Westfield River. The utility paid $63,000 for 20 Meadow St., according to papers on file at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. The seller was Wells Fargo National Bank, which had held the mortgage on the property. Westfield G&E General Manager Daniel Howard said this week that the building is structurally unsafe from the foundation on up and, liability wise, the utility has no alternative but to raze it.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    6. Eastern States Exposition hires new director for Storrowton Village Museum

      Eastern States Exposition hires new director for Storrowton Village Museum

      Eastern States Exposition has named Jessica K. Fontaine as the new director of the Storrowton Village Museum. The Chicopee resident is a lifelong supporter and volunteer at Storrowton Village, located on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition at 1305 Memorial Ave. in West Springfield. Fontaine has been an "integral volunteer" at Storrowton for almost 20 years, according to ESE officials, who said her history with the village stretches back to when her grandmother, Betty Kaeding, began volunteering there in the early 1990s. Kaeding would dress the young Fontaine in authentic-looking period costumes and bring her to events at Storrowton.

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    7. TechSpring, Baystate's Springfield innovation center, receives $80K from state for digital health advances

      TechSpring, Baystate's Springfield innovation center, receives $80K from state for digital health advances

      TechSpring, Baystate Health's digital health care laboratory in downtown Springfield, has received $80,000 in state money from the the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative. Christian Lagier, managing director of TechSpring, said the money will help pay for the lab to do more outreach efforts, like its "Tap into TechSpring" networking events and its practice of opening its offices in the MassLive Building at 1350 Main St. in Springfield as co-working space for startups. He calls it innovation community building.

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    8. West Springfield seeking project manager to oversee Coburn School project

      West Springfield seeking project manager to oversee Coburn School project

      The Town of West Springfield is seeking the services of a qualified project manager to oversee all facets of the Philip G. Coburn Elementary School reconstruction project. The town is collaborating with the Massachusetts School Building Authority on a feasibility study for possible construction of a new Coburn School at 115 Southworth St. The MSBA is a quasi-independent government authority that funds construction and renovation projects for public schools across the commonwealth.

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    9. Eversource to host open house for Westfield Reliability Project

      Eversource to host open house for Westfield Reliability Project

      Eversource has proposed a new electric transmission line on an existing set of power structures as a long-term solution to address energy needs in the area. The utility plans to host an open house on the project, called the Westfield Reliability Project, with drop-in hours from 6-8 p.m. Thursday 15 at the Westfield High School cafeteria, 177 Montgomery Road. The Westfield Reliability Project includes constructing new equipment adjacent to Eversource's existing Pochassic Substation and related upgrades to the Buck Pond Substation, according to a news release.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    10. PVTA sets date to move into Springfield's Union Station | masslive.com

      PVTA sets date to move into Springfield's Union Station | masslive.com

      The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will begin serving the newly remolded Springfield Union Station on Sunday, June 25, according to a notice from the PVTA. June 25 will also be the date that the PVTA will stop servicing the Springfield Bus Terminal at 1776 Main St., about a block away from Union Station.  The official notice can be seen online here.  Peter Pan Bus Lines and its partner Greyhound will follow PVTA into Union Station, but a switch over date is not yet announced.

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    11. Developers hope to raze Amherst Motel, replace it with 131-unit luxury apartment complex

      Developers hope to raze Amherst Motel, replace it with 131-unit luxury apartment complex

      Owners of the Amherst Motel on Route 9 want to raze the building and replace it with a four-story, 131-unit luxury apartment building. The proposal by the Breck Group calls for razing the 23,451-square foot motel, replacing it with a 180,247-square foot apartment building with a footprint of 47,740 square feet. The plan calls for 15 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom, 11 three-bedroom and 82 four bedroom apartments. There would be 273 parking spaces. The Breck Group has applied for a modification of a previously granted special permit and an extension of approval for a pre-existing nonconforming apartment use ...

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      Mentions: Amherst
    12. High school student interns in STEM fields offer foundation for economic growth to region...

      High school student interns in STEM fields offer foundation for economic growth to region...

      Despite being a small business, Palmer's Creative Material Technologies is home to a strong high school student internship program. During the past few years, the company has hosted close to a dozen interns that perform high-level work in a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas. High school student interns at Creative Material Technologies solve challenges for clients, such as determining new ways to generate electricity from waste heat. They also support business development by completing market analyses for product launches and providing mathematical modeling for new projects. At the same time, interns bring immeasurable energy, ideas ...

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      Mentions: Palmer Springfield
    13. State Senate clean energy tour to make Springfield stop tonight

      State Senate clean energy tour to make Springfield stop tonight

      The Western New England University School of Law Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs is hosting the Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour, tonight, 6 to 8 p.m., in the J. Pellegrini Moot Court Room of Blake Law Center. The event seeking public input is the sixth of nine statewide tour stops, and is being presented here by Senator James T. Welch, D-Springfield. It is an initiative of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton, will chair Monday's event.

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    14. Chicopee distribution company employing nearly 500 given OK to expand

      Chicopee distribution company employing nearly 500 given OK to expand

      A distribution company which employs nearly 500 people was given approvals to construct a large addition that will contain a new freezer and cooler area. The about $9 million project in Willimansett is expected to add at least 22 jobs to the existing 486-person staff at the company. As part of the plan to add a 37,500 square-foot addition to its main building on 705 Meadow Street, J. Polep owners will also rip up pavement in the front parking lot and plant trees to beautify what is now a huge expanse of asphalt along the road and the building ...

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    15. Wellspring Harvest breaks ground for greenhouse in Springfield (photos, video)

      Wellspring Harvest breaks ground for greenhouse in Springfield (photos, video)

      By fall, between five and nine currently unemployed people will be working in a new hydroponic greenhouse growing salad greens for major local institutions like Baystate Medical Center, the public schools and Big Y supermarket. That's the plan from Wellspring Harvest, which broke ground Thursday at the former Chapman Valve site at 121 Pinevale St. in Indian Orchard. "This will be a great place to go grow food. This will be a great place to grow people," said greenhouse manager and grower Stephen Hilyard.

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    16. Projects abound along West Springfield's Riverdale Street corridor, including new Wendy's restaurant | masslive.com

      Projects abound along West Springfield's Riverdale Street corridor, including new Wendy's restaurant | masslive.com

      Things are humming along busy Riverdale Street in West Springfield, where a number of developments are in the works or poised to debut, including a new Wendy's restaurant at 644 Riverdale St. and a major expansion of the Agri-Mark facility across from the Riverdale Shops.  An opening date for the fast-food restaurant has not been announced, but the transformation of the former Arby's site into a drive-thru Wendy's was permitted over a year ago, according to Allyson Manuel, West Side's planning administrator.

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    17. Sears plans to close Newburyport Kmart; Western Massachusetts Sears, Kmart locations spared

      Sears plans to close Newburyport Kmart; Western Massachusetts Sears, Kmart locations spared

      Sears Holdings has plans to close its Kmart location in Newburyport on Massachusetts' North Shore in September. But Sears locations in the Holyoke Mall, the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough and the Eastfield Mall in Springfield and the Kmart locations in Holyoke, Springfield and Palmer and the Sears Outlet in Holyoke have apparently been spared in this round  according to a list of 72 doomed stores circulated internally Tuesday and published online by Business Insider.

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    18. Chicopee receives $600,000 in EPA grants to clean up Uniroyal

      Chicopee receives $600,000 in EPA grants to clean up Uniroyal

      The city will be able to take one more step to clean up the former Uniroyal property after the federal Environmental Protection Agency awarded three new grants that will allow asbestos and other hazardous waste to be removed from buildings. The grants are designed to help communities clean up brownfields, which are former industrial sites often contaminated with hazardous waste, so the property can be redeveloped.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    19. Groundbreaking set for assisted living facility at former Belchertown State School | masslive.com

      Groundbreaking set for assisted living facility at former Belchertown State School | masslive.com

      A groundbreaking ceremony on Friday will mark the start of construction of an 83-unit, $15.9 million assisted living facility at the former Belchertown State School. The event starts at 10 a.m. and will take place at 99 Front St. The construction site is at the intersection of Front Street and Berkshire Avenue in Belchertown, off of Route 202.  Belchertown Economic Development Industrial Corporation, a selectmen-appointed committee in charge of the land, owns the property. The BEDIC contracted with MassDevelopment as their agent to prepare the land for reuse. The organizations are responsible for developing the property.

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    20. Timetable, price tag set for rehab of historic 31 Elm St. on Springfield's Court Square

      Timetable, price tag set for rehab of historic 31 Elm St. on Springfield's Court Square

      The "moon and the stars are aligning" for the rehabilitation of 31 Elm St., a historic building on Court Square, after more than 15 years of effort. That is how Peter Picknelly, founder of OPAL Real Estate Group and chairman of Peter Pan Bus Lines, described the situation Monday during a presentation to the Springfield Redevelopment Authority. He cited interested partners, funding and MGM Springfield's casino project rising nearby.

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    21. Easthampton Media to build new TV station and 'cultural media center' at Eastworks building

      Easthampton Media to build new TV station and 'cultural media center' at Eastworks building

      The city's public access television station, now housed at White Brook Middle School, plans to move into a new, state-of-the-art production studio by September. Easthampton Media recently won a $172,000 state grant to help build a "cultural media center" on the first floor of the Eastworks building at 116 Pleasant St. The new space will focus on digital story telling, performance, arts events, and engagement with the public, said executive direct Kathy Lynch. At its core will be modern television studio with 45 seats that can also double as a black-box theater.

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    22. Ciro's restaurant preps for opening in Springfield's South End

      Ciro's restaurant preps for opening in Springfield's South End

      A new Ciro's restaurant will open next week in the city's South End, stirring memories of an identically named dining spot in that Italian-American neighborhood. "The name is historic," general manger David A. Vecchiarelli said. "It's a recognition of old time Springfield." The 904 Main St.restaurant is owned by attorney Gerald Glasser of the Springfield firm Kalill Glasser & Associates. Vecchiarelli and Glasser are working on the new Ciro's with Anthony Bruno. The 904 Main St. location was most recently home to Blackjack Steakhouse and briefly an Italian-American restaurant called Carpaccio.

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    23. Demolition of downtown Westfield building nearly done; city plans to create parking

      Demolition of downtown Westfield building nearly done; city plans to create parking

      The Central Street project is being funded through the federal government's Community Development Block Grant program, said Peter J. Miller, Westfield community development director. The demolition contract is for $139,000 with J Mor Enterprises of Hudson, New Hampshire, he said. The city bought the property, which sits on about a quarter acre of land, from Berkshire Bank in September for $80,000, according to records on file with the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. Miller said the city inherited a lease from Berkshire Bank of 25 parking spaces rented to University Housing, LLC, a private apartment complex at ...

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