WNPR

Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMCâââ

  One of the items that did not make it to the final version of the $40 billion state budget approved a week late by the Massachusetts legislature was a high-speed rail study.  Specifically, a requirement that MassDOT do a report on the costs and benefits of linking Springfield and Boston via high-speed rail.

   The Democratic mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts said he spoke with White House officials Thursday about federal plans for infrastructure projects. 

       Voters are going to the polls in high numbers across Massachusetts to cast ballots in the race for president and to decide a series of ballot questions including whether to legalize marijuana and expand charter schools. 

MGM Resorts International has suffered a setback in a bid to block development of a casino in Connecticut that would be a direct competitor to the $950 million casino the Las Vegas-based company is building in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts have won support for a last-ditch bid to block the project.

This Wednesday, June 1st,  marks the fifth anniversary of a devastating tornado striking western Massachusetts.

    As he has done in years past, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has called for a city-wide moment of reflection on the tornado anniversary.

" We want to commemorate it, not celebrate it.  I've asked the houses of worship to ring the bells at 4:38 p.m.," said Sarno.

Massachusetts-based Friendly’s Ice Cream is selling its manufacturing and retail operations to the country’s largest dairy processor for $155 million in cash.

Eight months away from the scheduled completion of the renovation of Union Station in Springfield, Amtrak officials toured the work site today with the goal of providing suggestions to make the $88.5 million publicly funded project a success.

Fates can change quickly in sports. The fates of two New England cities with long hockey histories became intertwined this week, with one winner and one loser.

Two weeks ago, people in Springfield, Massachusetts were bemoaning the loss of the city’s American Hockey League team to Tucson, Az. and the likely end of almost 80 years of professional hockey in western Massachusetts.

" I think people really thought we were losing hockey, but now it seems we've been able to pull a rabbit out of our hat," said  Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

A historic church in Springfield, Massachusetts is being moved down the street to make way for the city’s new casino. 

General Electric has committed to donating $50 million to Massachusetts philanthropy as the company prepares to move its corporate headquarters to Boston. 

The Boston Public Schools will be the biggest beneficiary, in line to receive $25 million for computer science courses and other career preparedness. Another $15 million will go to community health centers around greater Boston.  GE will reserve $10 million for workforce training programs in cities and towns outside the Boston metro area.  

A long-simmering debate over municipal residency requirements in Massachusetts has flared up in Springfield.

Three city councilors in Springfield claim six deputy or district chiefs in the Springfield Fire Department are in violation of the city’s residency ordinance.

Their public demand for the fire officials to move into the city immediately, or give up their jobs, brought a sharp rebuke from Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker talked about his administration’s efforts on economic development in a speech to more than 700 business and government leaders in Springfield today. The Republican governor heard an appeal for regional equity from Democratic Congressman Richard Neal.

Springfield’s mayor and the city council are clashing over a residency requirement for top level city employees. 

For the second time in three years, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has vetoed a city council-passed measure that would limit the mayor’s ability to grant waivers to an ordinance that requires department heads and their assistants to live in the city. 

City Council President Mike Fenton said the council voted 10-1 Monday night to amend the residency ordinance.

The cities of Springfield, Holyoke, and Northampton along with Amherst and UMass have signed an agreement committing to move forward on a regional bike share program. 

The program, tentatively named “ValleyBike,” would make bicycles available to people for a small fee to make short trips. 

Christopher Curtis, chief planner with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, said the communities and the institution will be looking to obtain $1.1 million in federal transportation funds to buy the bicycles and build the bike stations.

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