1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. Businessman Naresh Patel to buy Whiskerz Pub in Easthampton

      Businessman Naresh Patel to buy Whiskerz Pub in Easthampton

      Local businessman Naresh K. Patel is buying a popular downtown bar from a popular downtown bar owner. Patel on June 4 told the Easthampton Licensing Board that he plans to purchase Whiskerz Pub, including the business and building at 71-77 Cottage St., from Eugene "Joe" Bernier Jr. The building includes the first floor commercial space and four apartments on the second floor.  The three-member board unanimously approved the liquor license transfer from Whiskerz Pub, Inc., managed by Bernier since 2002, to Easthampton Sports Bar Inc., doing business as "Eagles Sports Bar," with Patel as manager.

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    2. MassDOT announces $21.5M project to rebuild Morgan-Sullivan Bridge linking Agawam to West Springfield near Big E

      MassDOT announces $21.5M project to rebuild Morgan-Sullivan Bridge linking Agawam to West Springfield near Big E

      The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors announced Monday that the $21.5 million Morgan-Sullivan Bridge reconstruction project is slated to get underway this summer. The aging bridge carries traffic on Memorial Avenue (Route 147) over the Westfield River between Agawam and West Springfield near The Big E fairgrounds. State Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver says MassDOT appreciates the input it received from its two municipal partners in the state and federal project, which calls for replacing the structurally deficient bridge with a wider span that can handle increased traffic capacity. The federal government is expected to fund around 80 ...

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    3. Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies urging state to continue funding technical assistance programs that help municipalities

      Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies urging state to continue funding technical assistance programs that help municipalities

      A critical funding source that allows the state's 13 regional planning agencies to provide free technical assistance to municipal planning departments was not included in the state Senate budget and now depends on the Legislature's conference committee to preserve it. Timothy W. Brennan, the executive director of both the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, sent a letter last week to members of the fiscal year 2019 Budget Conference Committee, "strongly and respectfully" urging them to authorize $2.8 million for the District Local Technical Assistance program and $88 million for Regional ...

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    4. Sunderland celebrates 300 years of community: Viewpoint

      Sunderland celebrates 300 years of community: Viewpoint

      It was that soil which no doubt drew early settlers more than three centuries ago to what is the southernmost community in Franklin County and which has proven to be the lifeblood of the town once known as Swampfield.  Drive Route 47 along North and South Main streets through the heart of Sunderland and you'll find historic (and newer) homes that stand on some of the original 40 lots designated when the town was incorporated in 1718, fronted by now towering maple trees planted many decades ago. Better yet, return when fall's foliage season turns those maples ablaze ...

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    5. 400 students participate in 1st academy signing day as Holyoke redesigns high school...

      400 students participate in 1st academy signing day as Holyoke redesigns high school...

      About 400 students who will be sophomores during the 2018-2019 school year participated in the first academy signing day of the redesigned high school experience. "This is a major milestone for Holyoke High School, our students and their families," Stephen P. Zrike, state-appointed receiver in charge of the Holyoke public schools, said in a press release after the Thursday event. "We are all excited about next year and this new and innovative way to help our students achieve their goals," he said. The event at Holyoke High School at 500 Beech St. entailed students signing letters of intent to attend ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    6. Gov. Charlie Baker says he thinks 'people are going to be blown away' by MGM Springfield

      Gov. Charlie Baker says he thinks 'people are going to be blown away' by MGM Springfield

      Although MGM Springfield is still months away from opening, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he believes people are going to be "blown away" by the nearly $1 billion resort.  Baker, who toured the downtown casino and hotel project Saturday, told reporters he was impressed by the project's attention to detail and commitment to highlighting local history. "This thing is going to be spectacular. ... There's so many items and elements to this thing that are specifically geared toward reminding people this is in Springfield and it's a big part of Springfield's history," he said following an afternoon ...

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    7. CTrail: With commuter trains a week away, officials warn of increased traffic

      CTrail: With commuter trains a week away, officials warn of increased traffic

      Train traffic will increase on the rail line from Springfield through Hartford to New Haven starting Saturday, the Connecticut Department of Transportation warned. The ceremonial first trains of the new CTrail commuter train service won't run until June 15. Rides will be free over the weekend of June 16-17, and regular service begins June 18. But starting Saturday, Amtrak's portion of the Hartford Line service will commence, ConnDOT said in a news release. This will increase the number of daily Amtrak trains from 12 to 18. Also starting Saturday, CTrail trains will begin test runs of the full ...

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      Mentions: Amtrak Springfield
    8. West Springfield to work with Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on affordable housing production plan

      West Springfield to work with Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on affordable housing production plan

      The town has received two free technical assistance grants to work with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on a housing production plan and a stormwater ordinance to comply with upcoming changes to West Springfield's permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.  West Springfield Planning Administrator Allyson Manuel announced the news at Wednesday's Planning Board meeting. The housing production plan is expected to examine West Side's current needs, including a strategy to develop more affordable units in town. As of September 2017, West Side's affordable housing stock was around 3.4 percent, or 429 units, according to the ...

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    9. Gov. Charlie Baker to visit Springfield Museums Saturday

      Gov. Charlie Baker to visit Springfield Museums Saturday

      Gov. Charlie Baker plans to visit Springfield on Saturday to tout a $200,000 grant for upgrades to the Springfield Science Museum. The grant is part of the latest round of awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Cultural Facilities Fund, which were announced in May. The $9.3 million was spread across 63 grants for capital projects and 35 planning grants. The Springfield Science Museum grant will go toward renovations to the bathroom, lighting and carpeting. Other Western Massachusetts grants went to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Northampton Community Arts Trust, Chester Theatre Co., Shakespeare & Co., Sterling and Francine ...

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    10. MGM Springfield reveals what hotel lobby and suites will look like

      MGM Springfield reveals what hotel lobby and suites will look like

      When the $960 million MGM Springfield opens just 11 weeks from now, its 1,600-square foot Presidential Suite will include a chandelier with many hats. Probably not 500 hats, like Dr. Seuss' book "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," but plenty of hats just the same. And all of them will be inspired by the real-life Dr. Seuss, Springfield native Theodor Seuss Geisel, who in real life made guests at his dinner parties wear silly hats.

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    11. Northampton bike path tunnel under railroad tracks celebrated at grand opening

      Northampton bike path tunnel under railroad tracks celebrated at grand opening

      The days when rail-trail cyclists would illegally carry their bicycles over the former Pan Am railroad tracks when traveling from Amherst to Northampton are over. Thursday morning, officials cut the ribbon on a $4.4 million two-lane cast concrete tunnel underneath the tracks, which are now owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and actively used by freight lines and the high-speed Amtrak Vermonter. The bike tunnel connects the Norwottuck Rail Trail -- which originates in Belchertown, goes through Amherst and Hadley, and crosses the Connecticut River -- with rail trail networks in Northampton and Easthampton. The underpass actually opened in November ...

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    12. Springfield announces summer Movies in the Park schedule

      Springfield announces summer Movies in the Park schedule

      The city announced the return of its Movies in the Park series, which is set to provide outdoor family entertainment on a large-screen in three city parks this summer. The series set to begin July 16 through Aug. 3, and there will be one showing each week in Kenefick Park, Blunt Park and Forest Park.  The nights planned at each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The announcment was made Thursday morning by Mayor Domenic Sarno and Patrick Sullivan, the city's executive director of parks, buildings and recreational management, during a brief presentation in Forest Park.

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    13. Natick franchisee, a UMass Amherst alum, says Five Guys Burgers and Fries on track for Hadley

      Natick franchisee, a UMass Amherst alum, says Five Guys Burgers and Fries on track for Hadley

      Plans for a Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant in the Mountain Farms Mall on Route 9 appear to be moving forward. Five Guys corporate offices in Virginia said the chain has plans for Hadley and the local franchisee, Natick-based Massachusetts Burger Enterprises, confirmed that the location would be in one of two new buildings on Route 9 where two vacant buildings -- a former Burger King and a former Florence  Bank -- still stand. It's a deal that was in the last few months renewed by plaza owner WS Development, of Chestnut Hill, said Marc Magerman, co-founder and CEO of ...

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    14. Greenfield parking garage construction to finally begin

      Greenfield parking garage construction to finally begin

      Massive pre-cast concrete panels will be delivered from Vermont on trucks, and Olive Street will close from June 11 to July 14 as a downtown parking garage is assembled. The project is expected to finish before Oct. 31, and will cost $10.1 million, said Mayor Bill Martin. The 261 65-foot blocks will be plucked from 85-foot trailers by a crane, swung, and stacked into place, according to the Greenfield Recorder.  Between 12 and 15 sections will be delivered a day.

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    15. Actor-restaurateur Mark Wahlberg tours MGM Springfield site

      Actor-restaurateur Mark Wahlberg tours MGM Springfield site

      Mark Wahlberg, known for his acting skills and successful Wahlburgers restaurant chain, spent his 47th birthday touring the MGM Springfield construction site. A photo posted on social media showed the Oscar-nominated actor posing with an admirer near Main and State streets in downtown Springfield on Tuesday morning. He was wearing a white hard hat and accompanied by two workers also wearing hard hats. MGM Springfield declined to comment on the visit by the Dorchester native. The $960 million casino project will open on Aug. 24.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    16. Amherst chamber hires Claudia Pazmany as director

      Amherst chamber hires Claudia Pazmany as director

      The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director, the first full-time director in nearly a year. Claudia Pazmany, who lives in town, was chosen from a handful of candidates the chamber's board interviewed. Chamber President Peter Vickery said the search was done by word of mouth. Chamber members were looking for the right person for the job, he said, and Pazmany was just that person.

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    17. Hadley property, once considered for homes and a solar farm, preserved as open space

      Hadley property, once considered for homes and a solar farm, preserved as open space

      In 2016, Eversource was looking to sell 31 acres of land to a developer for a possible 14-unit subdivision, but now that same land on South Maple Street and Moody Bridge Road will be forever protected. Kestrel Land Trust has been working with the electric company to preserve the land as open space since it was first marketed.  The parcel will be added to the Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge with $680,000 coming from the state Land and Water Conservation Fund. The full price of the deal was not disclosed.

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    18. $5,000 at stake as Holyoke entrepreneurs to compete in 'SPARK Tank' fundraiser

      $5,000 at stake as Holyoke entrepreneurs to compete in 'SPARK Tank' fundraiser

      A fundraiser will be held to benefit the SPARK business-calalyst program from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St. The $55 admission covers food, cash bar and silent auction, said a press release Monday from SPARK Program Manager Tessa Murphy-Romboletti. The "SPARK Tank" event will be based on the popular television series "Shark Tank," in which tycoons listen to pitches and decide whether to invest in businesses and products, the press release said.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    19. High speed monorail commuter service would open doors for Massachusetts

      High speed monorail commuter service would open doors for Massachusetts

      Tim Brennan's article on freight railroad's playing a key role in Western Mass's economy offers a good explanation of the role logistics and the supply chain play in our lives. "Freight railroads key to moving western Mass. economy." But it misses an important point. CSX control of most of the rails makes putting commuter rail service east and west of Springfield a difficult if not impossible task.

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    20. 'Putting America to Work' job expo today at Basketball Hall of Fame

      'Putting America to Work' job expo today at Basketball Hall of Fame

      FutureWorks Career Center is among the sponsors of "Putting America To Work," a job expo today, June 4, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 1000 Hall of Fame Ave. (West Columbus Avenue). The event includes employers looking to hire in the service, health care and manufacturing fields as well as in education and advertising. Alpha Oil Company, Baystate Health and Hillside Plastics are among the companies slated to be represented as well as Cambridge College and 94.7WMAS/Sportsradio 1450.

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    21. Gourmet Food Solutions scooping up success in Springfield with Aunt Lily's line of dips (photos, video)

      Gourmet Food Solutions scooping up success in Springfield with Aunt Lily's line of dips (photos, video)

      Aunt Lily is doing very well for Gourmet Food Solutions of Springfield. Aunt Lily isn't a she, it's the brand name for Gourmet Food Solutions' new line of dairy-free refrigerated vegetable dips. Selling under its own brand name is a departure for the 4-year-old company. It had been exclusively making dips, salsa, pesto, sauces, salads and dressings used to simmer or finish vegetables. Those products are sold under store brand names for retailers like Stop & Shop, Wegman's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and others.

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    22. Massachusetts gives Holyoke $131,600 grant for early college program for high schoolers

      Massachusetts gives Holyoke $131,600 grant for early college program for high schoolers

      Students can earn up to 12 college credits before they graduate from high school thanks to a $131,600 state grant. The funding is for an early college partnership between the city public schools and Holyoke Community College (HCC). "We are most appreciative of the state's critical investment in the sustainability and growth of early college access linked to our high school academies for more students in Holyoke," said Stephen K. Zrike, the state-appointed receiver managing Holyoke public schools.

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    23. Early education gets another needed boost

      he need for a sustained, targeted improvement of Massachusetts early education programs is captured by some disturbing numbers from 2011. According to research done by the Children's Investment Fund, 20 percent of facilities had one or more classrooms with no windows. A third had inadequate heating and cooling. Two-thirds lacked sufficient technology for teachers. That's why the re-authorization of the Early Education and Out-of-School Time Capital Fund (EEOST Capital Fund) in the state's housing bond bill is such important news.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
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