Chicopee | WAMC


Paul Tuthill, WAMC

A program that repairs homes so that low-income people can age in place has been welcomed to another city in western Massachusetts. 


      Voters in three western Massachusetts cities are guaranteed to elect new mayors Tuesday.


The president of the Chicopee City Council and a former police officer turned high school vice principal will face off  for mayor of the second-largest city in western Massachusetts.

A "vote here" sign in English and Spanish on sidewalk

        It is still somewhat early in the municipal election season in western Massachusetts, but things are beginning to fall into place as candidates begin to emerge. 

File: Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

The longest-serving mayor of Chicopee, Massachusetts will not seek reelection.

    Details have been announced for the return of the “Great New England Air & Space Show” to western Massachusetts. 


A landmark western Massachusetts restaurant is closing its doors after 53 years, but it may not be goodbye forever.

City of Chicopee

A significant milestone is expected this year in a nearly decade-long massive project to clean up two former industrial sites in western Massachusetts.


   Pentagon budget cuts have affected the Westover Air Force Reserve Base for the last several years, but its economic impact in western Massachusetts remains strong.

City of Chicopee

As Congress considers whether to reauthorize funds for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program, a top agency official this week highlighted the latest funding awards in western Massachusetts.


The only public library bookmobile in western Massachusetts is back on the road for a third season.


A brand new state-of-the-art outdoor public pool beckons swimmers in a western Massachusetts city that was forced to close the majority of its pools when hazardous PCBs were discovered.

  A western Massachusetts city has undertaken several initiatives to revitalize its downtown, from improving public safety to attracting new housing.


    An automobile parts manufacturer has received the final local approvals to expand a facility in western Massachusetts that will result in new jobs.

      Plans to redevelop two old mill complexes are being called a “game-changer” for the downtown of a western Massachusetts city.


The only public library bookmobile in western Massachusetts is back on the road for a second season.

A Japanese automobile parts manufacturer will expand a facility in western Massachusetts rather than move jobs to Mexico.

U.S. Tsubaki will spend at least $12 million to increase the size of its manufacturing plant in Chicopee by more than a third, keeping almost 350 people working in the region, and adding 35 new jobs.  Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos, who made the announcement Wednesday, said the company had considered expanding in Tennessee or Mexico.


In western Massachusetts Tuesday, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos were re-elected by big margins.  Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse squeaked out a victory in a contest where bad blood remained even after the votes were counted.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse addresses supporters after winning reelection

The current mayors of Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee, Massachusetts will keep their jobs for another term. WAMC's Ian Pickus gets the details from our Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.


More than $9 million in state funding has been awarded to three western Massachusetts cities to pay for infrastructure such as new sewer and water mains and streetscape work needed to support housing and other economic development projects.

The state grants will help support an effort to repair and preserve one of the oldest public housing complexes in the nation located in the city of Holyoke, convert an old mill building in Chicopee into loft apartments, and reconfigure one of the most dangerous traffic intersections in the region: the “Six Corners” in Springfield.

With two recent shootings as a catalyst, officials announced initiatives today to combat crime in downtown Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos said plans will be accelerated to put up more streetlights and  install surveillance cameras while additional police patrols will begin immediately in Chicopee Center, where police said Tuesday a gang war over drug trafficking and turf is taking place.


In its first summer in operation, a western Massachusetts city’s bookmobile has been a big success. Library advocates hope the service offered in Chicopee will inspire other communities to put libraries on wheels.

The Chicopee Public Library Bookmobile, which began a biweekly schedule in late June of two 90- minute stops per day that will end the Friday before Labor Day, is on course to exceed 2,000 customers who checked out close to 1,300 items.

Mayor Richard Kos, who championed the creation of a bookmobile, said it was a “home run.”


Massachusetts is expanding an initiative to reduce energy use in urban neighborhoods by planting trees.  In western Massachusetts, the city of Chicopee is now a beneficiary of the program.

The “Greening the Gateway Cities Program” has a goal of increasing the urban tree canopy by 10 percent in selected neighborhoods in cities where age and a history of manufacturing has contributed to a loss of trees through the years.


A program to repair structurally deficient bridges in Massachusetts is about to run out of money.  Legislators point to the renovation of the Willimansett Bridge in western Massachusetts as one of the program’s success stories.

Horns blared and people cheered as the steel truss bridge spanning the Connecticut River between Holyoke and Chicopee reopened to traffic Thursday afternoon following a four- year renovation.

The traffic was music to the ears of Fiore Santaniello, owner of Capri Pizza located just a few blocks down Cabot Street off the Holyoke side of the bridge.

A bridge that connects Chicopee and Holyoke that's been closed for nearly four years is scheduled to reopen in June, delighting businesses and political leaders in both cities.

A western Massachusetts city is taking a unique step – actually, steps -- to encourage a healthier municipal workforce.  Healthcare officials hope what the city of Chicopee is doing will spread to other cities and towns.  

Beginning next month employees of the city of Chicopee can earn a $25 a month cash bonus by just walking an average of 7,000 steps a day, five days a week.  Mayor Richard Kos said he hopes in the long run the wellness incentive program will help reduce employee absences and lower the city’s health insurance premiums.


A city in western Massachusetts is launching a unique program to encourage landlords to live in the multi-family homes they purchase.

 The buyer of a three-family home in one of three designated neighborhoods in the city of Chicopee could receive $16,000 from the city towards the down payment.  The catch?  They must agree to live in one of the apartments of that house.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its largest cities have for several years now featured so-called “open checkbooks” on their websites.  Some smaller cities are now joining the movement to make public information about how taxpayer money is spent just a few mouse clicks away


Just 44 days into his term, the new mayor of Chicopee, Massachusetts offered a somber assessment today in a State of the City address delivered to a business group.

   Mayor Richard Kos said he would pursue an agenda to improve education and to create jobs, but warned Chicopee is facing challenges including a threat to future economic development because of skyrocketing expenses on a major public construction project.

The city of Chicopee, Massachusetts will get a new, yet familiar, mayor on Monday when an inauguration ceremony is held for Richard Kos.  Kos, who served as mayor of Chicopee a decade ago, will be sworn in to a two-year term. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Kos about his priorities.