1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. Amherst Select Board skeptical of losing parking to North Common update

      Amherst Select Board skeptical of losing parking to North Common update

      The Select Board on Wednesday took no action on three proposals to change North Common, expressing concerns about reducing parking spaces. One of the proposals would turn a public parking lot and a portion of Boltwood Avenue into a plaza outside Town Hall. The plan would create diagonal parking spaces for eight vehicles. Because that design calls for one-way traffic on Boltwood Avenue, in a southerly direction away from Town Hall, those eight spaces would not be accessible via Route 9 -- which Select Board member Alisa Brewer said was not pointed out by designers at a community forum Aug. 28 ...

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    2. National freight company plans truck terminal on Westfield's north side

      National freight company plans truck terminal on Westfield's north side

      Old Dominion Freight Line, a billion-dollar company with 233 service stations across the country, is planning to open a truck terminal on Medeiros Way. The company has a few hurdles to jump, including some questions from the city engineer, and concerns about lighting and a retaining wall. Terry Hutchins, vice president of field services and real estate for Old Dominion, and Timothy A. Coon of Russo Surveyors and Engineers in Connecticut, spoke during a public hearing at the Westfield City Council meeting Thursday. The proposal needs council approval before receiving final approval from the Westfield Planning Board.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    3. Officials celebrate Comcast broadband expansion in 9 rural Western Massachusetts towns

      Officials celebrate Comcast broadband expansion in 9 rural Western Massachusetts towns

      The towns of Buckland, Chester, Conway, Hardwick, Huntington, Montague, Northfield, Pelham and Shelburne now have vastly expanded internet access. Standing in front of a Comcast-branded backdrop, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined corporate executives and local officials at the Pelham library Thursday to celebrate the completion of the Broadband Extension Program. Comcast had previously deemed it uneconomic to provide service to most areas of the rural towns, but the company agreed to expand its cable network to 1,089 new premises with a $4 million grant from the state. The grant required that 96 percent of the rural premises be reached.

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      Mentions: Comcast Westfield
    4. MassHire: Employment boards, job centers take on new name, statewide brand

      MassHire: Employment boards, job centers take on new name, statewide brand

      What used to be the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County is now the MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board. The former CareerPoint in Holyoke is now the MassHire Holyoke Career Center, and the former FutureWorks is now the MassHire Springfield Career Center. It is all part of a statewide rebranding of Massachusetts' 29 career centers and 16 workforce boards, which used to go by 45 different names. They're now part of the unified MassHire brand, with a consistent logo and themed website addresses and social media handles. It's statewide, so the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board is now ...

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    5. MGM Springfield to bring Cher to MassMutual Center | masslive.com

      MGM Springfield to bring Cher to MassMutual Center | masslive.com

      On the heels of a successful grand opening celebration and sold out Stevie Wonder concert, MGM Springfield announced Friday that it will bring legendary songstress Cher to the MassMutual Center in 2019.  'We are excited to welcome Cher to the Springfield neighborhood as she brings her unforgettable flair and talent to Massachusetts,' said Talia Spera, executive director of entertainment for MGM Springfield. 'MGM Resorts has had a successful partnership with Cher and her team and we look forward to giving Springfield fans the opportunity to see this legendary entertainer.'

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    6. ABLE Machine Tool Sales in Agawam, adding jobs, earns visit from Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito | masslive.com

      ABLE Machine Tool Sales in Agawam, adding jobs, earns visit from Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito | masslive.com

      A company that distributes custom machine tools is expanding and hiring, thanks in part to a package of tax incentives from the city and the state.  ABLE Machine Tools, now in an 11,000 square-foot building at 253 Silver St., is building a new, 18,000 square-foot facility at 800 Silver St., investing more than $ 2 million.  'We're pretty cramped here now, and we're growing,' said Alan Lockery, the company's president and co-founder.  Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Mayor William Sapelli visited both sites Thursday.

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    7. With water, sewer upgrades complete, Chicopee's Cabotville Mill project economically viable; plans for 600 apartments move forward

      With water, sewer upgrades complete, Chicopee's Cabotville Mill project economically viable; plans for 600 apartments move forward

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined Mayor Richard J. Kos on Thursday in celebrating West End infrastructure improvements that make renovations viable at the Cabotville Mill complex. They said they look forward to people living in the residences there and shopping and dining in nearby downtown businesses. Standing with Kos and other Chicopee city officials in front of the mostly vacant 19th century manufacturing complex, Polito said $2.6 million worth of improvements to water and sewer lines near the Cabotville project are prime examples of the state's policy to look at such buildings as assets rather than under-developed liabilities.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    8. Amtrak, CTrail shift to buses for rail construction this weekend

      Amtrak, CTrail shift to buses for rail construction this weekend

      CTrail Hartford Line and Amtrak passenger service between Hartford and Springfield will be on buses this weekend to accommodate construction crews adding a second set of rails between Hartford and Windsor, Connecticut.  The rail line is also switching to a new schedule starting Monday and running through Sept. 30. One change with the new schedule is that all CTrail trains stop at New Haven's State Street station. The schedule is available here.

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    9. Baystate Health set to cut ribbon on new Wing Hospital emergency department in Palmer

      Baystate Health set to cut ribbon on new Wing Hospital emergency department in Palmer

      The new $17.2 million emergency department at Baystate Wing Hospital is now built, and the organization's leadership will formally inaugurate the facility during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 14. The 10 a.m. event begins with brief remarks by the health system's top leaders, followed by public tours. The 17,800-square-foot facility at 40 Wright St. was funded in part by $2.9 million from donations. "The new space includes separate ambulance and public entryways and features 20 patient rooms, including trauma, behavioral health, and other dedicated specialty care areas," Baystate said in a statement.

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    10. Proposed Palmer water park resort promises 2,000 jobs, $650 million investment

      Proposed Palmer water park resort promises 2,000 jobs, $650 million investment

      Promising a $650 million investment and 2,000 jobs, the developers behind the proposed 450-room Palmer Water Park Resort & Spa are going public with more details about their project, its designers and the next steps they'll need to take. The park would be built at the site once proposed for a Mohegan Sun casino. The 152-acre property is just off Exit 8 on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

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      Mentions: Mohegan Sun Palmer
    11. People in Business: Mary Brittain joins GZA as Environmental Senior Project Manager

      People in Business: Mary Brittain joins GZA as Environmental Senior Project Manager

      Springfield and Norwood - GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., a multi-disciplinary, employee-owned firm that focuses on environmental, geotechnical, ecological, water and construction management services, announced that Mary Brittain of Lee has been hired as an Environmental Senior Project Manager in GZA's Springfield office.

       

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    12. People in Business: Area medical societies select The Markens Group for Management

      People in Business: Area medical societies select The Markens Group for Management

      Springfield - Three regional medical societies have selected The Markens Group, Inc. as their full service management firm, The Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association, Hartford Medical Society and the New England Association of Neonatal Nurses. A Springfield-based company, The Markens Group hopes to help these groups advance wellness throughout the Pioneer Valley, Hartford, and beyond.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. Pride starts construction of 2 Springfield stores

      Pride starts construction of 2 Springfield stores

      Pride Stores has begun the work of installing underground tanks and improving drainage at 700 State St. with plans to build a 4,800-square-foot store on the site. At the same time, Pride has already begun site preparations for a new 4,600-square-foot store at its existing location at the corner of Breckwood Boulevard and Wilbraham Road in Sixteen Acres near Western New England University, Pride Stores CEO Robert Bolduc said.

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    14. Springfield seeks buyer to redevelop 4 tax-foreclosed junkyard properties on Bay, Tapley streets

      Springfield seeks buyer to redevelop 4 tax-foreclosed junkyard properties on Bay, Tapley streets

      The two primary sites being offered are abutting properties on Tapley and Bay streets totaling 6.74 acres in the Bay neighborhood. The sites are zoned Industrial A. The two alternate sites, both on Bay Street, have a total area of 7.22 acres, are also zoned Industrial A and are adjacent to the primary sites. Kevin Kennedy, the city's chief development officer, said Monday the city's goal is to get the properties back on the tax rolls for some beneficial reuse.

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    15. Help wanted: Manufacturers, jobs programs scramble to attract workers (photos, video)

      Help wanted: Manufacturers, jobs programs scramble to attract workers (photos, video)

      Richard K. Sullivan Jr., president of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. "It's a major economic development issue for us. These companies are major employers in their communities. And they can't grow." The 1,400-job deficit and other figures come from a recent survey prepared by the MassHire state job centers for Hampden County and for Hampshire and Franklin counties. It's a document the two agencies will incorporate into the regional workforce plan they have already submitted to the Baker administration and will present to schools up and down the valley.

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    16. Developer preparing to build $15 million Hilton hotel near MGM Springfield casino

      Developer preparing to build $15 million Hilton hotel near MGM Springfield casino

      A Longmeadow developer is preparing to demolish a Park Street building in the downtown-South End area to make way for a $15 million Hilton Hotel franchise, saying it presents a "great opportunity" across from the MGM Springfield resort casino. Louis Masaschi said he is planning a five-story, 100-room hotel at 24 Park St., to be built after a vacant warehouse there is demolished. The demolition is planned in late September or early October, which would be followed by foundation work before the winter, he said.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    17. 'There is something special happening here': Valley Venture Mentors, Spark get state funding for more business mentoring

      'There is something special happening here': Valley Venture Mentors, Spark get state funding for more business mentoring

      OpenPixel Studios has done animated videos for General Electric, for the U.S. Open tennis tournament and for The Masters golf tournament. Hot Oven Bakery is preparing to move from a food truck into a brick-and-mortar bakery on Springfield's Main Street, and founder Sheila Coon plans to sell dough to MGM Springfield. On Friday, the two organizations that helped entrepreneurs found Hot Oven Cookies, OpenPixel and dozens of other startups in the Pioneer Valley -- Valley Venture Mentors, of Springfield, and Spark, of Holyoke -- each received $80,000 grants from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

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    18. LEGO in Enfield builds relationship with Springfield's Square One

      LEGO in Enfield builds relationship with Springfield's Square One

      Multiply six brightly colored DUPLO bricks by 150 preschoolers from Square One, and then multiply that number by 30 LEGO employees from the famed Danish toy maker, and the possibilities for building a learning community are endless. On a recent morning at Square One's Tommie Johnson Child & Family Center, cars, robots, dinosaurs and castles took shape as staff members from the Enfield-based LEGO International Systems played with the children to explore the limits of their imaginations. Kristine Allard, Square One's chief development and communications officer, said LEGO bricks are a staple of preschool learning.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    19. Life Sciences Center at Holyoke Community College aims to develop biotech workforce

      Life Sciences Center at Holyoke Community College aims to develop biotech workforce

      Holyoke Community College's new $4.55 million Center for Life Sciences will feature a cleanroom training facility, a first for Massachusetts two-year institutions. The 13,000-square-foot Center for Life Sciences, part of the Marieb Building, is set to open Sept. 4. The college plans to use the center for courses in biotechnology, genetics and microbiology, in keeping with the growing demand for biotech workers. The project was funded through a $3.8 million Massachusetts Life Sciences Center grant and $750,000 from the HCC Foundation's Building Healthy Communities Campaign.

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    20. Entrepreneurship conference will focus on women business owners in Western Massachusetts

      Entrepreneurship conference will focus on women business owners in Western Massachusetts

      More than half the 400 or so members of the Western Massachusetts SCORE chapter are women, and nationally the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs are women, particularly women of color. But when it comes to getting venture capital and corporate funding, women-owned businesses are less than 5 percent of the funding stream. "There is this perception that women are not starting businesses," Simeoli said. "We are fighting against that." The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 8 at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield. Registration is available online at scorebeyondthelimits.com.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. Way Finders in line for $2M in state money for new Springfield headquarters

      Way Finders in line for $2M in state money for new Springfield headquarters

      Way Finders, the Springfield-based housing agency once known as HAPHousing, expects $2 million in state economic development bond money for its $8 million to $9 million headquarters project. Way Finders bought the former Peter Pan Springfield Bus Terminal at 1776 Main St. back in April for $2.75 million. Way Finders took possession in June, after Peter Pan moved its offices across the street to Union Station. The housing agency quickly set about removing asbestos and other contamination.

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    22. State approves up to $49.1M for new consolidated elementary school in Springfield's North...

      State approves up to $49.1M for new consolidated elementary school in Springfield's North...

      A state agency has granted Springfield up to $49.1 million for construction of a consolidated school on Plainfield Street in the North End to replace the aging, deteriorated Brightwood and Lincoln elementary schools. The state School Building Authority approved the funds during a Wednesday meeting in Boston, with the amount representing state reimbursements of up to 80 percent of all eligible construction costs. "Upon completion, this project will provide a new 21st century learning environment for students in Springfield," said state Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, who is chairwoman of the School Building Authority. "Our goal is to create the ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    23. Eversource begins rollout of 400 electric car chargers across Massachusetts; 'range anxiety' seen as enemy to emissions progress

      Eversource begins rollout of 400 electric car chargers across Massachusetts; 'range anxiety' seen as enemy to emissions progress

      With its rounded top and the two crescent-shaped handles at its side, the electric vehicle charging station on display Wednesday bears an odd resemblance to an old-fashioned gas pump. But the charger, which will be installed permanently in the Union Station parking garage in the next few weeks, is more the future than the past, said Jim Hunt, Eversource senior vice president and chief communications officer. Hunt hosted a news conference with Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, who pointed to the charger's retro look, U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, and others.

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    24. MGM Springfield, Head Start unveil $4 million child and family center in South End...

      MGM Springfield, Head Start unveil $4 million child and family center in South End...

      When Susan Gosselin and Janis Santos were teachers for Head Start many years ago, they worked in basements, community rooms in churches or wherever they could find space. They saw one of their dreams come true Tuesday morning during the unveiling of the $4 million MGM Head Start Child and Family Center on Union Street in the city's South End.

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