Archive for the ‘News’ Category

$20 million capital campaign to restore campanile

    Although now covered with protective netting, the cracks in the limestone of the campanile are severe.Reminder Publications submitted photos By G. Michael Dobbs The Reminder, March 13, 2014 SPRINGFIELD – More than a century old, the campanile – the clock and bell tower that stands between City Hall and Symphony Hall – is […]

Comedian Todd Oliver to bring his ‘dog-gone’ ventriloquism to Symphony Hall

  By Keith O’ConnoThe Republican March 11, 2014     Todd Oliver  Todd Oliver has worked with dummies for most of his life. Literally. “I was 10 when I got my first dummy on Christmas. I remember it well because my father was very sick and had been in the hospital for four mouths. He died three […]

Former WNBA player Edna Campbell headlines Rays of Hope Breast Cancer Survivors’ Day

In this file photo, breast cancer survivor and former WNBA basketball star Edna Campbell watches as 4 year-old Juan Perez shows her his best basketball shot at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y (File) The Republican March 11, 2014     SPRINGFIELD – Breast cancer survivors, their family and friends are invited to the 17th […]

Diocese, Cathedral commit to Surrey Road site

    Rep. Richard Neal addresses the media and Cathedral High School supporters during an announcement of a disaster relief agreement between the Diocese of Springfield and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on March 3. Reminder Publications photo by Chris Maza By Chris Maza March 6, 2014 SPRINGFIELD – Patience is a virtue, and one that […]

Armory aims to increase visitation, community outreach March 6, 2014 By G. Michael Dobbs SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is taking steps to increase visitation and community outreach. Superintendent James Woolsey recently released a report on the site’s activities about the same time the National Park Service (NPS) issued its report on how many tourists visited the parks and the economic impact. The Armory is the only NPS location in Western Massachusetts and the report for 2012 indicated that 16,978 people came to the museum resulting in an economic impact of $913,600. The NPS report offered no comparison to previous years as is using new methodology for that year. Affecting 2013 figures, according to a separate report, was the effect of the government shutdown from Oct. 1 through 16. According to the report, “A 7.88 million decline in overall NPS October visitation resulting in a loss of $414 million NPS visitor spending within gateway communities across the country; [and] gateway communities near 45 parks experienced a loss of more than $2 million in NPS related October visitor spending.” While there are no specific figures available for the Armory, Woolsey told Reminder Publications that he “knew for a fact that people came and did not come back.” He estimated around 1,000 visitors were turned away. While Woolsey cannot influence the decisions of Congress, he has taken steps to make visiting the Armory, on the campus of Springfield Technical Community College, an easier experience. There will be new signage on Interstate 91 and on city streets guiding visitors to the Armory. “Some might see this as a relative minor thing, Woolsey said, “but it’s our number one complaint.” He said the Armory administration had to work with both city officials and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on the permitting. The signs direct travelers to tune into 1710 on their AM radios to hear a message about activities at the Armory, he added. He also said the Armory is undertaking greater outreach to area school systems and colleges to being more students to the site. His report indicated the Armory hosted several professional development workshops in 2013 in conjunction with Westfield State University and the Collaborative for Educational Services to raise its profile among educators and researchers. This past summer the Armory conducted its first Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program to plan classroom materials for elementary and middle school children for lessons on the Armory and Shay’s Rebellion. The start of the Springfield Armory Alliance Inc., a nonprofit friends group, is also expected to assist the Armory staff in improving the grounds and advocating on half of the site, Woolsey explained. In the Armory’s report the president of the new group, City Councilor Melvin Edwards said, “The members of the Springfield Armory Alliance understand that like a diamond that must be cut, shaped, and polished, the Armory needs some tender loving care. We share fond memories of the beautiful Victory Gardens on the grounds of the arsenal, family members who once worked here, and this sprawling facility’s enormous contribution to the economic viability of the City of Homes.” For more information on the Armory and its programs go to

  By G. Michael Dobbs, March 6, 2014 SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is taking steps to increase visitation and community outreach. Superintendent James Woolsey recently released a report on the site’s activities about the same time the National Park Service (NPS) issued its report on how many tourists visited the […]

MAAC basketball tournament returns to MassMutual Center in Springfield for last time

  MassMutual Center General Manager Matt Hollander speaking at Champion’s Sports Bar Wednesday to announce details of the upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship in Springfield March 6-10. The event was sponsored by the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. (The Republican / Michael S. Gordon)   By Jim Kinney, The Republican February […]

Springfield Historical Commission uncovers added history on Union House building slated for casino demolition

  The former Union House hotel is shown at the corner of Main and Bliss Street in Springfield, proposed for demolition as part of the MGM Resorts casino plans. The Historical Commission states it has a rich history, urging preservation. (Mark M. Murray / The Republican)   By Peter Goonan, The Republican  February 26, 2014      […]

Springfield Parking Authority narrows candidates for executive director

  The Civic Center Garage, seen above, is among the public parking facilities overseen by the Springfield Parking Authority. (File photo / The Republican)   By Peter Goonan, The Republican  February 26, 2014 SPRINGFIELD – The search for an executive director for the Springfield Parking Authority yielded approximately 25 applicants, now narrowed down to five finalists, officials said this […]

Springfield Falcons look to keep momentum alive as the season gets tougher

  Falcons defender Tim Erixon chases a rebound of a save by goaltender Jeremy Smith with Norfolk’s John Kurtz in hot pursuit during the first period last Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.   By Garry Brown  The RepublicanFebruary 26, 2014     SPRINGFIELD – Ever since the first week of this American Hockey […]

Restaurant review: Max’s Tavern in Springfield

    Max’s Tavern is located at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Here, Executive Chef Paul Roberge shows the Tavern special Maine Lobster served with champagne caviar risotto, fresee and Belgian endive salad with blood orange vinaigrette and and toasted pistachios. (Don Treeger / The Republican) Don Treeger, Republican staff photographer   By Fran […]