1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. STCC students build 'solar suitcases' used by doctors in Kenya

      STCC students build 'solar suitcases' used by doctors in Kenya

      Teaching students about the real-world applications of science is one of professor Barbara Washburn's passions. The chairwoman of the physics department at Springfield Technical Community College, who has degrees in electrical and laser engineering, is constantly looking for ways to engage her students. Her most recent idea was to let students in her engineering class work with Gateway to College high school students to build "solar suitcases" that can be used by health workers and schools in third-world countries to provide light and electricity. According to the We Care Solar website, the suitcases that go to schools and community ...

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    2. WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      Massachusetts energy officials have awarded $1.4 million in grants to seven Western Massachusetts communities to fund clean energy projects. The grants will go to Chicopee, Agawam, Blandford, Granville, Ware, Warren and Westfield. The largest grant, $266,000, will go to Westfield, followed by $208,000 to Agawam. The grants were part of the "Green Communities" program, in which communities make certain commitments related to energy and the environment, such as reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years, and are then eligible for state grants and assistance.

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    3. UMass Center teams up with Springfield schools to give students college experience

      UMass Center teams up with Springfield schools to give students college experience

      Dressed in their Sunday best 5th graders from Rebecca M. Johnson School drew pictures all over the white board in a classroom at the UMass Center in downtown Springfield. "They are drawing pictures to reflect different careers in STEAM, science, technology, engineering, arts and math," said Jamina Scippio-McFadden, director of student services, academic support, marketing and community relations for UMass Springfield. The students were able to tour the satellite campus as part of the University of Massachusetts program called College Matters for U, designed to reach out to Springfield schoolchildren and to demystify the process of getting into and attending ...

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    4. East Longmeadow Play-Doh plan puts focus on need for manufacturing employees

      East Longmeadow Play-Doh plan puts focus on need for manufacturing employees

      Making stuff out of Play-Doh is child's play. But making Play-Doh and packaging it for shipment requires giant bakery-style mixers, high-speed rollers, extruders, cutters, plastics molding machines, at least four robots and workers with the technical know-how to keep all that equipment churning away. "It's a fairly automated and complex process," said Jeff Lombard, CEO of Cartamundi East Longmeadow, which is gearing up to start making Play-Doh for toy giant Hasbro by the end of 2018. "You need people who understand mechanics, electronics, pneumatics. You have equipment integration." Hasbro contracts with Cartamundi to make its games and toys ...

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    5. Springfield seeks contractor for $3.5M repair-renovation of historic Central Library

      Springfield seeks contractor for $3.5M repair-renovation of historic Central Library

      Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Peter Garvey, the city's director of capital asset construction, said the project is essential for the historic integrity and care of the city's main library. "We're extremely fortunate to have a magnificent 'Andrew Carnegie' Central Library and Quad/Museums complex," Sarno said. "In turn, it's important that we preserve and protect this legacy to further our city's future." The library is one of four in Springfield, and nearly 1,700 around the U.S., whose construction was funded in part by donations from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in the late 19th ...

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    6. Rodney Hunt liquidates tools and supplies as Orange manufacturer closes

      Rodney Hunt liquidates tools and supplies as Orange manufacturer closes

      Rodney Hunt manufactured gate valves and other large industrial parts like sluiceways for hydroelectric plants. In 2015, the company announced it would shut down completely and close its plant in the town of Orange. The company was founded in 1840 as a maker of wooden tools and simple machines. At the time of the 2015 announcement, Rodney Hunt had about 200 employees. Now, that's down to barely any workers as the factory building at 46 Mill St. is shut down, said Town Administrator Diana M. Schindler. "Now we are looking for something to replace those jobs, just like everyplace ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    7. Springfield officials talk economic development, jobs with state secretary of Housing and...

      Springfield officials talk economic development, jobs with state secretary of Housing and...

      Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy met Wednesday with Jay Ash, secretary of the state's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, for a continued discussion of the city's economic development projects. Sarno said he and Kennedy provided Ash with updates on $3.3 billion in economic development initiatives in Springfield and the effort to expand other development and job-creation projects.

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    8. Shutesbury opts for fiber optic network; rejects Charter cable offer

      Shutesbury opts for fiber optic network; rejects Charter cable offer

      The Shutesbury Board of Selectmen has rejected a proposal from Charter Communications to build a cable network within its borders, saying the town should take take available state broadband grants and apply the money to constructing its own fiber optic network. Local officials wrote to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute on March 9, saying the Charter cable proposal "is not a good long-term solution to bring broadband to our town" and that "town leadership still believes that building and owning our own network is preferable."

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    9. Agway Home & Garden stores in Westfield, Palmer roar back to life with new owners

      Agway Home & Garden stores in Westfield, Palmer roar back to life with new owners

      Some customers at Kelly's Home & Garden early this week were looking for replacement belts to get their snowblowers up and running. Some wanted to know when the spring flowering annuals would be in stock. That's life in New England when there is a March snowstorm and life at a store that sells products and equipment for homes and gardens in the springtime like Kelly's Home & Garden in Westfield.

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      Mentions: Palmer Westfield
    10. Springfield Housing Authority offers literacy program, expands elderly services

      Springfield Housing Authority offers literacy program, expands elderly services

      The Springfield Housing Authority has been awarded a $482,094 federal grant which will help the agency expand services for seniors as well as establish a literacy program. The three-year U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency grant will fund the Talk/Read/Succeed! program at Duggan Park Apartments, a family development with 196 units in the Indian Orchard section of the city, according to the agency. The grant will also provide staffing for additional Resident Services programming at Riverview Apartments, which includes 302 units for elderly and handicap residents, and another 42 family ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. Chandler's Restaurant at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield to be replaced with Au Bon Pain

      Chandler's Restaurant at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield to be replaced with Au Bon Pain

      Chandler's Restaurant, the award-winning restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, will soon serve its last meal.  The company told employees Monday that the restaurant will be closed and replaced with an Au Bon Pain in July. Chandler's has offered traditional American dishes for both a lunch crowd and couples seeking romantic candlelight dinners since 1995. The restaurant's last day of operation will be May 14.

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    12. Chipotle Mexican Grill opening on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield

      Chipotle Mexican Grill opening on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield

      A new chain restaurant is slated to make its debut on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield. Chipotle Mexican Grill will open its doors for the first time at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, March, 16, according to representatives of the Denver-based company, which employs over 45,000 people and has a net income of around $475 million. Mayor Will Reichelt is among the dignitaries slated to attend a 4 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening day of the restaurant, which is located at 241 Memorial Ave. The restaurant will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m ...

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    13. First CRRC employees ready to go to China

      First CRRC employees ready to go to China

      Recently hired engineers at CRRC MA Corp. in Springfield are learning about the subway cars they'll soon start building through reams of specifications and diagram after diagram. Starting next month, they'll have their hands on the real thing in the Chinese factory where they were developed. On April 7, CRRC will send four engineers, a number of production supervisors and 22 newly hired union production workers to Changchun, China, for three months of training. It's the beginning of what CRRC calls the technology transfer of its rail car design to Springfield.

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    14. Staff at The Republican take top honors in regional newspaper awards

      Staff at The Republican take top honors in regional newspaper awards

      Staff at the Springfield daily newspaper earned more than two-dozen awards in the 30,000 and over circulation category at the association's dinner on Feb. 25 at the Boston Mariott Long Wharf Hotel. The contest annually recognizes outstanding journalism at New England newspapers in five weekly and daily categories. More than 3,226 entries were reviewed by judges for work published between Aug. 1, 2015 and July 31. "The Republican received a total of 21 awards, ranging from reporting, photography, layout and design, headline writing and videography. We received nine first-place awards. It was truly a great effort across ...

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    15. Massachusetts Broadband Institute OKs proposal for internet service to six towns

      Massachusetts Broadband Institute OKs proposal for internet service to six towns

      Peter Larkin, board chairman of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, said there is no perfect solution, but the institute is committed to helping each town find the best possible project. "We're going to stumble, and we're going to be successful," Larkin said. "This administration is committed to this cause." Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker's administration revamped the state's "Last Mile" broadband program and brought Larkin on to oversee it. The goal of the program is to bring high-speed internet connectivity to 40 rural towns in Western Massachusetts that do not have it.

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    16. CareerPoint brings job center to Dean Technical High School in Holyoke, plans to go to more schools

      CareerPoint brings job center to Dean Technical High School in Holyoke, plans to go to more schools

      CareerPoint, a Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center located nearby at 850 High St., hosted a grand opening Friday for its office at William J. Dean Technical High School. "It's OK to not know as a high school freshman what you want to do with the rest of your life," said David Gadaire, executive director of CareerPoint. "What's not OK is not wanting to do anything."

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    17. Western Mass. employers get training funds

      Western Mass. employers get training funds

      Manufacturers and one community service organization in the Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires were among the 111 employers from across the state that received a total of $7.9 million in workforce training grants this week. The money, which comes from a fund to which employers contribute, will train 5,243 workers and help create an expected 522 new jobs. "Workforce training grants invest in the strength of our workers and Massachusetts' labor market," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a news release. "We are pleased these funds can assist workers in developing the skills they need to advance their careers ...

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    18. Western Massachusetts colleges host career fair March 29 in Springfield

      Western Massachusetts colleges host career fair March 29 in Springfield

      Nearly 100 companies are expected when the College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts hosts its annual career fair March 29 from noon to 3 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center on the campus of Western New England University. Employers will offer full-time and part-time employment opportunities and internships, according to a news release from Western New England. The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts is a consortium of eight colleges in Hampden County: American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Western New England University and Westfield State University.

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    19. HitPoint Studios in Springfield is at forefront of augmented reality gaming | masslive.com

      HitPoint Studios in Springfield is at forefront of augmented reality gaming | masslive.com

      When Paul Hake comes up with an idea for work, he hopes his 6-year-old daughter likes it. If not, it's likely back to the drawing board.  Hake is the founder of HitPoint Studios in Springfield. The company has designed games for a number of clients, including Microsoft, Disney, Hasbro Toys, Nokia and Dreamworks. While they make various types of games, they primarily focus on augmented reality (AR) games for children.  When people think of AR games they likely think of Pokemon Go, which was a first of its kind for many. But HitPoint Studios actually designed a similar game ...

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    20. Radio Shack to close stores in Springfield, West Springfield, Westfield and Chicopee

      Radio Shack to close stores in Springfield, West Springfield, Westfield and Chicopee

      Radio Shack employees in Greater Springfield have been told that stores in West Springfield at Century Plaza, in Chicopee on Memorial Drive, at Springfield Plaza and in the Westgate Shopping Plaza in Westfield will all close by the end of this month. Stores on King Street in Northampton and in Great Barrington are the  only stores in this part of the state not scheduled to close, but their future certainly remains in doubt. The stores are corporate-owned.

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    21. Massachusetts adds 13k jobs in January, unemployment rises

      Massachusetts adds 13k jobs in January, unemployment rises

      The Massachusetts unemployment rate rose in January to 3.2 percent from 3.1 percent a month earlier, according to statistics released Thursday by the state the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Massachusetts added 13,000 jobs in January, according to those same numbers. The Jobless rate increased because the pool of those looking for work also increased. Updated local jobless numbers won't be available for a few more weeks. 

       

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      Mentions: Springfield
    22. Springfield mayor, Park Commission approve final plans for downtown Strearns Square...

      Springfield mayor, Park Commission approve final plans for downtown Strearns Square...

      A proposed $1.2 million major improvement project for Stearns Square and Duryea Way in the downtown moved another step forward Wednesday with approval of the design plans by Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the Park Commission. The improvements include restoration of the downtown park and fountain at Stearns Square, new and widened sidewalks, retained trees and new landscaping, and enhancements for pedestrians and outdoor dining, according to city officials and the design firm. "The renovation of Stearns Square and Duryea Way is an integral part of the renaissance of our downtown," Sarno said. "The proposed improvements along with significant ...

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    23. Poll: 77 percent of expanding businesses in Massachusetts say they would choose investing in the commonwealth all over again

      Poll: 77 percent of expanding businesses in Massachusetts say they would choose investing in the commonwealth all over again

      Companies that have relocated or expanded in Massachusetts over the past decade nearly always say they chose the Bay State because of its expert work force. And more than three-quarters, 77 percent to be exact, of those companies told pollsters from the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute and MassEcon. The survey also showed that and 64 percent rated the state as a "good" or "very good" place to do business, according to the report released on Tuesday  Forty companies relocated or expanded in Western Massachusetts, defined here as Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire counties, from 2004 through 2015. Another 21 expanded ...

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    24. Greenfield's Ann Hamilton retires after more than 30 years with Franklin County Chamber of Commerce

      Greenfield's Ann Hamilton retires after more than 30 years with Franklin County Chamber of Commerce

      Before Ann Hamilton accepted the position of executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, she cultivated an interest in land use and community development and accepted a part-time position with Go Greenfield, now the Greenfield Business Association. Her husband - always supportive and tolerant of her activities - often joked that he could always recognize her because she would come home wearing a nametag from some meeting or event, Hamilton remembers.

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