1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. Six-acre solar farm planned off Plain Street in Easthampton | masslive.com

      Six-acre solar farm planned off Plain Street in Easthampton | masslive.com

      A June 20 Planning Board hearing on a proposed solar farm off Plain Street drew neighbors concerned about visual impact, property values, and the environment. ForeFront Power plans a 1-megawatt facility on a 16-acre parcel, with 5.7 acres devoted to two arrays. A seven-foot fence would enclose the facility, located within the city's aquifer protection overlay district. The land is next to the Guistina Conservation Area.

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      Mentions: Easthampton
    2. Springfield plaza owners say Kmart wasn't in long-term plans anyway

      Springfield plaza owners say Kmart wasn't in long-term plans anyway

      Investors Davenport Companies and Albany Road Real Estate were not banking on Kmart sticking around when they bought Springfield Plaza for $35 million back in 2014. That's good thinking. On Friday troubled retailer Sears Holdings announced it would close the Springfield Plaza Kmart in early October and that a liquidation sale will begin Thursday, July 13.

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    3. Springfield Regional Chamber seeks 'Super 60' nominees

      Springfield Regional Chamber seeks 'Super 60' nominees

      The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the annual Super 60 awards program, sponsored by Farmington Bank.  The Super 60 awards program, in its 28th year, recognizes 30 local companies and institutions with the highest revenue and 30 local companies or institutions with the fastest-growing revenue for a total of "Super 60" winners. The annual Super 60 awards lunch will be Oct. 27 at Chez Josef in Agawam.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    4. Greenfield Center for Human Development project gets MassDevelopment financing

      Greenfield Center for Human Development project gets MassDevelopment financing

      The largest social-service organization in Western Massachusetts bought and will renovate the former Central Appliance store at 102 Main St. with a $3.1 million tax-exempt bond from MassDevelopment. MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, announced the financing Thursday. The Springfield-based Center for Human Development will use bond proceeds to renovate and furnish the 38,000-square-foot building. It will house offices, clinical space, and the organization's primary medical, dental, outpatient behavioral and wellness services, according to the news release.

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    5. Smith & Wesson acquires Idaho company specializing in firearm suppressors

      Smith & Wesson acquires Idaho company specializing in firearm suppressors

      Smith & Wesson plans by summer's end to acquire a company that makes firearm suppressors -- an "opportunistic" move it says will help it expand into a growing market as states across the country legalize gun suppressors for consumers. The Springfield manufacturer, a branch of American Outdoor Brands Corp., announced Monday it will acquire Gemini Technologies Inc. The Idaho company known as Gemtech manufactures "high quality suppressors and accessories for the consumer, law enforcement, and military markets."

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    6. Hydroponic farm puts down roots in Springfield's Gasoline Alley

      Hydroponic farm puts down roots in Springfield's Gasoline Alley

      Call it an island in a food desert. That's how former chef Tony Renzulli and business partner Jack Wysocki think of their new business, Urban Artisan Farm, which uses hydroponic technology to produce 100 heads of lettuce a week in a greenhouse complex at 250 Albany St. The indoor farm, located in a section of the city known as Gasoline Alley because of the huge fuel storage tanks that dot the landscape, is one of several businesses operating out of a quirky set of buildings owned and managed by entrepreneur Joseph Sibilia.

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    7. Massachusetts Gaming Commission OKs $371,833 for programs for MGM Springfield job seekers

      Massachusetts Gaming Commission OKs $371,833 for programs for MGM Springfield job seekers

      The Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently approved $371,833 in grants for two local workforce development programs designed to help area residents gain jobs and careers with the MGM Springfield casino. The commission awarded $171,833 for an "Ahead of the Game Program" through the Springfield public schools that will target low-skill, low-income adults interested in pursuing long-term careers with MGM Springfield, according to the pilot program summary. The program will focus on individuals seeking adult basic education (ABE or GED) in order to pursue higher education, the summary said.

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    8. Holyoke Medical Center to open new Emergency Department on Thursday

      Holyoke Medical Center to open new Emergency Department on Thursday

      Holyoke Medical Center will open its new $25.4 million Emergency Department on Thursday at 7 a.m. The new facility is located at 575 Beech St. and will be accessible by the main campus entrance at the intersections of Beech Street and Hospital Drive, as well as Northampton Street and Corser Street.  The Emergency Department will no longer be accessible from Portland Street and Winchester Avenue.

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    9. Stand for Children Massachusetts literacy information sessions aim to improve state's...

      Stand for Children Massachusetts literacy information sessions aim to improve state's...

      In an effort to get students reading at grade level, Stand for Children Massachusetts is hosting literacy information sessions for parents and teachers across the state this summer. "Despite having some of the best schools in the country, too many Massachusetts children can't read at grade level, and this has lifelong consequences," said Ranjini Govender, executive director of Stand for Children Massachusetts, an organization that focuses on education including literacy, family engagement and more.

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    10. UMass Amherst opens core facilities labs to manufacturers

      UMass Amherst opens core facilities labs to manufacturers

       Edward Leyden of Ben Franklin Design and Manufacturing in Agawam has a customer in Canada who wants him to make a tiny metal part using 3-D printing. "Steel. Using laser beams to print in three dimensions using powdered metal dust. It is where we are going whether we want to or not," Leyden said.

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    11. Baystate Health honored for healthcare innovation

      Baystate Health honored for healthcare innovation

      North Carolina-based health care improvement company Premier Inc. has awarded Baystate Health its 2017 Premier Alliance Excellence Award for being a national innovator in industry practices and in the delivery of cost effective care. Premier, which was created by hospitals who share information and purchasing power to improve patient care and lower costs, selected Baystate from among the partnership alliance of approximately 3,750 hospitals and more than 130,000 other provider organizations. "An industry-leader, Baystate is never satisfied and always looking for ways they can improve," said Susan DeVore, president and chief executive officer of Premier whose insurance subsidiary ...

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    12. $475,000 fueling battery storage study for Holyoke Gas and Electric Department

      $475,000 fueling battery storage study for Holyoke Gas and Electric Department

      The local utility just got $475,000 from the state to acquire a battery aimed at saving ratepayers money. "Battery storage is changing the conversation around peak demand and (the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department) is excited to be a part of the solution," said Kate C. Sullivan, marketing coordinator at the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HGE). The grant from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is part of the state's "Peak Demand Management Program." The money will be used to obtain and analyze state-of-the-art battery storage, she said.

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    13. West Springfield scores $150K grant for traffic mitigation related to MGM Springfield

      West Springfield scores $150K grant for traffic mitigation related to MGM Springfield

      The Town of West Springfield has received a $150,000 community mitigation grant to help deal with traffic related to MGM Springfield, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced Wednesday. The local funding is part of almost $2 million in mitigation assistance for communities impacted by the casino, which is expected to open in fall 2018. "I'm thrilled," Mayor William C. Reichelt said. "It's our third year in a row getting grant dollars from the Gaming Commission."

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    14. Jobs are growing, so why not wages? MassBenchmarks analyzes the state economy

      Jobs are growing, so why not wages? MassBenchmarks analyzes the state economy

      Massachusetts employers are having a hard time filling open jobs, but demographics, low growth in productivity and competition are keeping wages low. All these factors are also making it hard for households to keep up and depressing state tax receipts, according to MassBenchmarks, a study of the state’s economy issued Wednesday by the UMass Donahue Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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    15. New $5 million Springfield Healthy Homes Program seeks to link construction work, contractors

      New $5 million Springfield Healthy Homes Program seeks to link construction work, contractors

      The city is inviting area contractors to attend a meeting on Thursday at Putnam Vocational Technical Academy on State Street to obtain information about the city's new $5 million Healthy Homes program. The meeting, hosted by the city's Office of Housing, begins at 7:30 a.m., and is intended for contractors, subcontractors and their employees interested in the housing rehabilitation opportunities under the new program, according to the mayor's office.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    16. Depression treatment center opens in North End

      Depression treatment center opens in North End

      The Tuesday ribbon cutting at Achieve TMS East's treatment center for depression in the city's North End came with an applauded announcement. Dr. Thomas J. Bombardier, who is helping the California-based Achieve Treatment Centers open such partnership clinics nationwide, announced the clinic would be dedicated to Sister of Providence Mary Caritas Geary. Bombardier, an ophthalmologist turned businessman, also said he would donate half of his profits from the Springfield location to Providence Ministries Service Network.

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    17. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno adds support for study of high-speed, east-west rail in Massachusetts

      Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno adds support for study of high-speed, east-west rail in Massachusetts

      With the grand opening of Union Station just celebrated, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno has urged the state House Ways and Means Committee to support a feasibility study of Springfield-to-Boston high-speed passenger rail service. Sarno filed the letter Tuesday with state Rep. Brian Dempsey, D-Haverhill, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, supporting a proposal to add the cost of the feasibility study to the state budget. State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, is sponsor of the Senate amendment.

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    18. City Council OKs 3rd Racing Mart in Springfield; developer investing $3.5M at former FL Roberts site

      City Council OKs 3rd Racing Mart in Springfield; developer investing $3.5M at former FL Roberts site

      A developer is planning to build a new Racing Mart gas station and convenience store at Taylor and Armory streets as part of $3.5 million investment that includes tearing down the closed F.L. Roberts Sunoco station there. The City Council unanimously approved a special permit for the gas station, store and drive-up service window at 487 Taylor St. Several city councilors praised the developer, Johnny Kayrouz of Armory Street Holdings LLC, saying that two of his other Racing Mart businesses in Springfield are neighborhood assets and well-run. One of the businesses is at Carew and Armory streets and ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    19. East Longmeadow insurance brokerage grants scholarships to central and Western Mass. students

      East Longmeadow insurance brokerage grants scholarships to central and Western Mass. students

      Continuing a 30-year tradition, the East Longmeadow branch of a global insurance brokerage presented scholarships to five graduating high school seniors from central and Western Massachusetts. All five recipients of the scholarships given out by HUB International New England, a division of HUB International Ltd., plan to enter college this year and study business, as per the scholarship guidelines, a statement from HUB International New England says. Students were offered the scholarships based on their schools' recommendation.

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    20. STCC offers $222,500 to purchase city lots for expanded student parking

      STCC offers $222,500 to purchase city lots for expanded student parking

      Springfield Technical Community Center has offered to buy a string of tax-foreclosed properties on upper Worthington Street from the city for $222,500 under a proposal to convert the site to student parking. The proposal, which was submitted by the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation in response to the city's advertisement for proposals, was the sole proposal received by the city by the June 20 deadline.

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    21. Gov. Charlie Baker, Rep. Richard Neal speak at black tie gala, celebrating reopening of...

      Gov. Charlie Baker, Rep. Richard Neal speak at black tie gala, celebrating reopening of...

      For years, the station sat largely unused, falling into disuse in the 1970s when the popularity of rail travel declined. Yet after a long period of redevelopment it will finally open its doors to the public again.  With $94 million in floor-to-ceiling renovations, the new station has been resurrected, converted into an intermodal transit hub that offers service from Amtrak and Connecticut's commuter rail system to New Haven and New York City, as well as local and long-distance bus service.

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    22. MBI and Comcast sign deal to bring broadband to Montgomery

      MBI and Comcast sign deal to bring broadband to Montgomery

      Comcast received an $805,800 grant from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to build a cable network in Montgomery, MBI announced this week. Town officials and Comcast still need to sign a cable franchise agreement. If that goes as planned, Comcast estimates it could have its cable network up and running by the end of 2018. Comcast has agreed to reach around 96 percent of the town's premises, or 360 homes and businesses. The arrangement was approved by town officials in April.

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    23. Hospice home opens in Chicopee after 10 years of planning

      Hospice home opens in Chicopee after 10 years of planning

      As the Allard siblings watched, a team of volunteers snipped a purple ribbon in half and officially turned their childhood home into a place where people will be able to live their final days in a home-like atmosphere surrounded by caring people. "It is a tribute to my father. This is what he would have wanted," Paul Allard said. It is also the culmination of a 10-year dream for Ruth Willemain and multitudes of volunteers who worked to create Harmony House, a hospice home where people who cannot spend their last days in their own home can come as an ...

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      Mentions: Chicopee Holyoke
    24. Cultural District adding color to downtown Springfield with painted pianos and more (photos) | masslive.com

      Cultural District adding color to downtown Springfield with painted pianos and more (photos) | masslive.com

      Springfield Central Cultural District has been a nonprofit organization for about a year now. Its plan is to make the downtown area more comfortable and fun to walk around.  One of its initiatives is an Aug. 2 pop-up art walk. From 4:30-6 p.m. people can check out art displayed in downtown buildings, attend a jazz concert and even play pianos right outside. All ages are welcome.  Cultural district Director Morgan Drewniany believes art can bring the city together and increase the amount of walking downtown, whether it's people stopping to look at the painted utility boxes or ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
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