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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame presented the fourth annual Hoophall Classic Leadership Award to Springfield College sport management students Brooke Fairman and Gregory Weigert.

Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper and Hall President and CEO John Doleva made the formal presentation during the 2016 Spalding Hoophall Classic at Blake Arena.

Both Fairman and Weigert were key contributors during the 2016 Spalding Hoophall Classic, the leading high-school basketball tournament in the country, showcasing the nation’s top recruits. As part of their responsibilities, Fairman and Weigert helped lead more than 75 student event-staff workers and more than 30 student liaisons during the event. They created and conducted training sessions for volunteers of the event; collaborated with Springfield College Office of Conferences & Special Events, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and ESPN to ensure schedules of events; and supervised all event operations during the five-day tournament.

Fairman is the current president of the Springfield College Sport Management Club. She served as one of the main student leaders for the Springfield College Department of Sport Management and Recreation at this year’s Hoophall Classic, the third consecutive year she assisted at the event. She has earned dean’s-list status on a regular basis during her academic career at Springfield College, which includes a double minor in business management and coaching. She graduated from nearby Gateway Regional High School before enrolling at Springfield College, and currently works as a camp counselor for the Huntington Recreation Committee during the summer.

Weigert has participated in the Hoophall Classic for three consecutive years, working as a supervisor, team liaison, and member of the event-management and operations staff. Currently a dean’s-list student, he has served as a Springfield College student ambassador for both the Team IMPACT organization and St. Baldrick’s Foundation. He remains active in his hometown of Windsor Locks, Conn., volunteering as an assistant varsity baseball coach for Windsor Locks High School and as a youth basketball supervisor for the Windsor Locks Parks and Recreation Department.

The Hoophall Classic Leadership Award is presented annually to both a male and female junior majoring in sport management who have maintained a successful grade point average and demonstrated a combination of service to Springfield College and the Hoophall Classic. The recipients are each awarded a $2,500 scholarship to be used during their senior year at the college.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Every season has its own unique set of safety hazards, and the winter months are no exception. These include carbon-monoxide poisoning, snowthrowers, and slips and falls.

“Every year, more than 150 people in the United States die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, while some 6,000 people are injured using snow throwers,” said John Murray, safety director, Safety and Environmental Affairs, Baystate Health.

While it is known that smoke alarms save lives and that numerous advertising and promotional campaigns have stressed their importance, Murray noted it is equally important to outfit your home with carbon-monoxide (CO) detectors. CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, backup generators, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.

“Installing a carbon-monoxide detector outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home will alert you to the deadly, odorless, colorless gas known as carbon monoxide, which we call the ‘silent killer.’ Regular battery checks are also important,” he added.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. More severe symptoms resulting from very high levels of CO poisoning include confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, and loss of consciousness.

The Western Mass. Safe Kids Coalition, headquarterd at Baystate Children’s Hospital, offers the following additional tips to protect against CO poisoning:

• Never use a stove for heating.

• Do not use a grill, generator, or camping stove inside a home or garage or near a window.

• Never leave a car, SUV, or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even if the garage door is open.

• Place CO alarms at least 15 feet away from every fuel-burning appliance to reduce the number of nuisance alarms.

Snowthrowers pose another winter hazard. “When the snow piles up and snow throwers come out of the garage, extra caution must be taken when using this potentially dangerous piece of equipment. In addition to your own safety, never leave a snow thrower running unattended, especially if children are nearby, and do not let younger people operate the machine,” said Murray.

Added Dr. Pranay Parikh of Baystate Hand & Wrist Surgery, “with each winter storm, we unfortunately see many devastating hand and finger injuries from snowblower accidents.” According to the Baystate Medical Center plastic surgeon, 10% of those injuries involve amputation of the hand or fingers, and most often occur when users attempt to clear a clogged auger or exit chute with their hands. Other injuries can include broken bones, bruises, sprains, as well as severe cuts.

“One of the most common misconceptions is that the spinning blade or auger located at the intake end of the snowblower poses the greatest hazard. While this is true, most snowblower injuries occur at the exit chute, where the impeller spins rapidly to propel snow away from the area being cleared. When the exit chute is clogged, there is torque and energy loaded in the impeller blades, just like a wound-up spring. When the chute is cleared, the impeller blades will spin, releasing that energy, and forcefully striking anything near their path,” said Parikh, noting that injuries from snowblower accidents are devastating in terms of suffering, recovery time, and medical costs.

To prevent serious hand injuries when using a snow blower, Parikh and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand recommend the following safety tips if a snowblower jams:

• Turn the snowblower off, disengage the clutch, and wait five seconds after shutting off to allow impeller blades to stop rotating.

• To clear impacted snow, always use the snowblower’s attached clearing tool or a broom handle, which must be strong enough to avoid breakage, or eye injuries can result from flying fragments.

• Never put your hand near the chute or around the blades.

• Keep all shields in place and do not remove safety devices on the machine.

• Keep hands and feet away from moving parts.

Finally, along with the snowy and icy weather conditions of wintertime comes the risk of slips and falls outdoors on black ice, as well as indoors.

“Slips and falls on snow-covered and icy walkways can result in a variety of injuries, from broken bones to fractures to lacerations. Some of these injuries can be quite serious, resulting in spinal and traumatic brain injuries,” said Dr. Joseph Schmidt, vice chair, Emergency Medicine, who noted that the elderly are especially vulnerable to slips and falls, especially in the winter weather.

To avoid slipping on ice and snow, Murray recommends buying a pair of shoes or boots with good traction (rubber tread) or use ice cleats available at many retail stores, and taking shorter steps than usual to maintain your center of balance, as well as walking slowly on icy ground. Remember to always remove your boots or shoes immediately upon entering the house, since snow and ice on the floor will melt and cause slippery conditions.

“If you are elderly or you cannot do it yourself because of a medical condition, make sure you have someone to clear all walking surfaces of snow and ice, and to treat them with de-icer before going outdoors,” said Murray.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — State & Bond, LLC, has become a member of ACA International, a association of credit and collection professionals.

ACA membership demonstrates that State & Bond is dedicated to advancing quality and professionalism in the credit and collection industry. As an ACA member, State & Bond has agreed to comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the ethical standards and guidelines established by the association. State & Bond is also a member of the New England Collectors Assoc.

Founded in 1939, ACA brings together third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset-buying companies, creditors, and vendor affiliates, representing more than 230,000 industry employees. ACA establishes ethical standards; produces a wide variety of products, serices, and publications; and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers, and consumers. For more information, visit www.acainternational.org.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The United Way of Pioneer Valley Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) will hold its Membership Meeting and New Year’s Celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. at the UMass Center in Springfield.

Allison Werder, president of MassLive.com, will be the event’s featured speaker. During her time at MassLive, it has grown into the second-largest news website in the state. Previously, she worked for Time Inc.’s Money and People magazines, and was chief marketing officer at Parade Media.

WLC membership offers an opportunity to network with local women business leaders, share ideas, create events, support meaningful initiatives, and offer valuable skills and expertise to support WLC initiatives. This meeting will welcome new members, and a pinning ceremony will be held.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Lou Mayo has been installed as president of the 1,700-member Realtor Assoc. Aof Pioneer Valley at the organization’s 101st annual installation ceremony held Jan. 14 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Mayo, a Realtor since 1997, is the office manager with Real Living Realty Professionals, LLC in Wilbraham.

As president, he will oversee the association’s activities and operations, including meetings of the board of directors, and act as a liaison to the association’s various committees. He is the official spokesperson of the association on issues related to the real-estate industry and the regional housing market.

The other 2016 officers are Richard Sawicki Jr., president-elect; Edward Alford, treasurer; Susan Drumm, secretary; and Dawn Henry, immediate past president. Directors include Elias Acuna, Kelly Bowman, Shawn Bowman, Suzi Buzzee, Janise Fitzpatrick, Raymond Hoess-Brooks, Susan Rheaume, and Russell Sabadosa.

Peter Ruffini, the 2014 president of the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors, was the installing officer. David Valino of Mortgage Masters served as the emcee.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College communication sciences and disorders students, who are members of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Assoc., recently received the WillPower Foundation’s University/College Humanitarian Award. The WillPower Foundation provides financial support that empowers Western Mass. families and individuals with different abilities to meet their unique needs.

“We are extremely honored to have received this award in our first year as an official National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapter,” said Springfield College student and National Student Speech Language Hearing Assoc. treasurer Abbie King. “The Springfield College communication sciences and disorders program was given the award in recognition of the program’s commitment to assisting the WillPower Foundation with fund-raising and advocacy work. The college hosted multiple fund-raising events over the last year for WillPower, and we plan to have another large fund-raising event for the foundation in the spring.”

The WillPower Foundation provides grants for items such as mobility equipment, therapeutic recreation, advocacy costs, attorney’s fees, private tutoring, and personal-care needs.

“I witnessed first-hand how important the WillPower Foundation is in the community,” said King. “At my internship with Communicare, I noticed that many of the clients we worked with had been awarded grants to purchase communication apps on their iPads, which gave these children a voice that they otherwise would not have had.”

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Assoc. has approximately 13,000 members at more than 300 independently operated chapters located on college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The Academy of Music will offer a free tour of the historic theater on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5:15 p.m.

Led by Academy of Music Development Coordinator Kathryn Slater, the tour will provide insight into the history behind this Northampton mainstay, including details about the organization’s founder and interesting notes about the many revitalizations.

Built in 1891, the Academy of Music was the first municipally owned theater in the U.S., and home to the first stock theater company in the nation, the Northampton Players, formed in 1912.

For nearly 125 years, the Academy has hosted an impressive array of performers, and the building holds the tales. See for yourself the century-old hole cut in the stage floor for Houdini’s disappearing act; Cole Porter’s grandfather clock; dressing rooms used by Sarah Bernhardt, Boris Karloff, Ethel Barrymore; and more. Step on the stage and see the Academy of Music from a whole new perspective, and take in the results of the 2014 restoration that refurbished the 800-seat auditorium, which earned a Mass. Historical Commission Preservation Award.

This walking-and-talking tour begins promptly at 5:15 p.m. in the main lobby and is expected to run approximately 45 minutes. Admission is free, but reservations are required, as attendance is limited to 20. Reservations may be made through the Academy of Music Box Office by calling (413) 584-9032, ext. 105, Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., or by e-mailing [email protected].

Daily News

BOSTON — Ahead of Saturday’s AFC Divisional Round playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon have staked a friendly bipartisan bet on the playoff game — one that involves a Springfield business.

Baker has wagered the famous Boston crème pie cupcakes from the Koffee Kup Bakery in Springfield, recently named the state’s official cupcake, while Nixon has offered up ribs from Gates BBQ in Kansas City. The governors have agreed to donate the winnings to a local food pantry of their choice.

“With the benefit of home-field advantage and the luck of the Commonwealth’s official cupcakes, the Patriots are bound to continue their record of success,” said Baker, referring to the cupcakes’ role in a winning Super Bowl wager last year. “I’m confident that we can expect a great game and some tasty Kansas City ribs from Gov. Nixon when we win.”

Nixon responded, “there has been no hotter team in the NFL over the past 11 weeks than the Kansas City Chiefs — coincidentally, a streak that began right before the Royals made it to the World Series,” he said. “There are many reasons the Chiefs will beat the Patriots, especially a swarming pass defense that will put more than enough pressure on Tom Brady if he tries to air the ball out.”

The two teams face off tomorrow, Jan. 16, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, with kickoff slated for 4:35 p.m.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — PeoplesBank has announced the promotions and appointments of four associates.

Brian Canina has been promoted to senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer. He possesses more than 16 years of financial experience and first joined the bank in 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bryant College and is a certified public accountant. He is also a graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking and is a recipient of the Wharton Leadership Certificate. Canina is president of the Finance and Accounting Society of New England and an officer of the Financial Managers Society, Boston Chapter. He serves on the boards of directors for the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce and the Children’s Study Home.

Stacy Sutton has been promoted to senior vice president, retail administration. Boasting more than two decades of banking experience, she joined the bank in 1992 and previously served as first vice president, retail administration. She holds an associate degree in accounting from Springfield Technical Community College and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. School for Financial Studies. She serves on the board of directors for Springfield Partners.

Joseph Zazzaro has been promoted to senior vice president and chief information officer. He possesses over three decades of information technology experience with a focus in financial services. He joined the bank in 2006 and previously served as first vice president, information technology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems from the University of Phoenix and an associate degree in management information systems from Holyoke Community College. He also is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. Zazzaro was a 14-year member of the Greater Westfield Boys and Girls Club board of directors and continues to volunteer to provide technical support for the club. He has also volunteered his technical and leadership skills at other local organizations, such as the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, the Red Cross, and the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club.

Russell Fontaine has been promoted to first vice president, retail sales. Boasting more than a decade of financial experience, he first joined the bank in 2009 and previously served as vice president, sales and service manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University and a certificate from the Wharton School of Business Leadership at the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He serves on the board of the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

Daily News

BOSTON — The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is now accepting nominations for its annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education until March 30.

EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton will present awards this spring to Massachusetts teachers and students involved in school-based programs that promote environmental and energy education.

“I am proud to recognize the teachers and students leading and inspiring their communities as they tackle critical energy and environmental issues,” Beaton said. “It is important to engage students early in issues like energy, recycling, conservation, and wildlife, and they have so many fresh ideas to offer.”

All public and private Massachusetts schools (K-12) that offer energy and environmental education programs are eligible to apply for the awards. In 2015, schools and nonprofit organizations from 22 communities across the state were recognized for their work on issues including recycling, energy conservation, ocean science, wildlife conservation, and alternative fuels.

The Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education will review applications through mid-April. Qualified entrants will be invited to attend a formal award ceremony with Beaton at the State House later in the spring.