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Business & Money

State approves 29 percent rate increase sought by Western Massachusetts Electric Co.

Friday, November 21, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — State regulators have approved a 29 percent rate increase sought by Western Massachusetts Electric Co., which serves about 200,000 customers in Western Massachusetts. WMECo has said the rate increase would take effect Jan. 1 and remain in effect for six months. It would raise the average residential customer’s bill by about $26 a month. The increase was approved Friday by the state Department of Public Utilities. WMECo …

Senate probes soaring prices of generic drugs

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers. A Senate panel met Thursday to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which usually cost 30 …

Dow, S&P 500 edge back up to record highs

Thursday, November 20, 2014

U.S. stocks rebounded Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index back into record territory. It was the second record-high close for the Dow this week and the third for the S&P 500. The modest gains erased losses from the day before, pushing the three major stock indexes …

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Members of the First Church prepare to bake apple pies for the Bag Day fundraising event at the First Church in Northampton, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA Members of the First Church prepare to bake apple pies for the Bag Day fundraising event at the First Church in Northampton, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Mary Webber, of Southampton, front, and Diane Drohan, of Leeds, back, prepare to open the center for clients to pick the food at the Northampton Survival Center, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA Mary Webber, of Southampton, front, and Diane Drohan, of Leeds, back, prepare to open the center for clients to pick the food at the Northampton Survival Center, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Crime scene on North Main street in Northampton Thursday afternoon.

    CAROL LOLLIS Crime scene on North Main street in Northampton Thursday afternoon. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
(L-R) Paul McNeil, Jill Griffin, Michael Cutler, Jeremy Bucci, Bob Gunther and Ezra Parzybok discuss about medical marijuana during the Medical Marijuana Pot Forum at the JFK Middle School, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA (L-R) Paul McNeil, Jill Griffin, Michael Cutler, Jeremy Bucci, Bob Gunther and Ezra Parzybok discuss about medical marijuana during the Medical Marijuana Pot Forum at the JFK Middle School, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JASON PICARD
Singer-songwriter Marcia Gomes in her home in Granby on Saturday afternoon, Feb 1st.

    JASON PICARD Singer-songwriter Marcia Gomes in her home in Granby on Saturday afternoon, Feb 1st.

  • KEVIN GUTTING
Luke Bosco, on piano, accompanies Hayley Hemminger-Martin (Sabina), on stage with arms raised, in a rehearsal of the finall scene of Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth." Joining Hemminger-Martin on the edge of the stage are, from left, Kaitlyn Andersen, Jonathan Letendre, Jasmeet Singh and Jimmy Murphy.

    KEVIN GUTTING Luke Bosco, on piano, accompanies Hayley Hemminger-Martin (Sabina), on stage with arms raised, in a rehearsal of the finall scene of Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth." Joining Hemminger-Martin on the edge of the stage are, from left, Kaitlyn Andersen, Jonathan Letendre, Jasmeet Singh and Jimmy Murphy. Purchase photo reprints »

After 20-year hiatus, Alfa Romeo officially back in the US

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Alfa Romeo is back in the U.S. after a 20-year hiatus. This week dealerships are starting to receive shipments of the low-volume 4C sports car, which starts at $53,900, said Reid Bigland, head of the brand in North America. The plan is to provide eight …

MGM, Wynn to take on $1 billion debt for casino projects

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two Las Vegas-based casino companies announced plans Thursday to take on at least $1 billion in debt to help pay for new casino-hotel developments in Massachusetts and cover other incidental costs. MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. disclosed their plans in separate financial …

Regional auction lists livestock prices

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Northampton Co-op Auction Inc. lists Tuesday prices: Calves: 0 to 60 lbs., $43 to $63; 61-75 lbs., $20 to $78; 76-95 lbs., $40 to $85; 96-105 lbs., $78 to $97; 106 lbs. & up, $80 to $90; farm calves, $100 to $450; start calves, $41 to $300; …

Hearing draws apology, admission in air-bag mess

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — The global quality chief of Takata Corp. apologized and an official from Honda acknowledged the automaker broke a disclosure law as a Senate committee put the spotlight on a growing problem with exploding air bags. Hiroshi …

Consumer group lists ‘10 worst toys’ for kids

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — A light-up bow whose arrows are advertised as flying up to 145 feet and the “Catapencil” — a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style launcher on its end — are on an annual list of unsafe toys …

Stocks drift lower after release of Fed minutes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

U.S. financial markets pulled back slightly from their most recent record highs Wednesday, ending lower for the first time this week. The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index mostly hovered slightly below the all-time …

MBTA fines commuter rail operator for tardiness

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — The new company running the MBTA’s commuter rail service has been fined $434,000 by the transit agency for failing to meet on-time targets. In the four months since Keolis Commuter Services has been running the system for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, it has failed to …

Drugmaker moving HQ to state

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LEXINGTON — Shire PLC says its plans to make Lexington, Massachusetts, its U.S. operational headquarters and will move more than 500 jobs there from its Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, site. The drugmaker is headquartered on the British island of Jersey. It currently has about 5,000 employees globally, including 1,300 in …

JetBlue to add bag fees, cut passenger legroom

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JetBlue will add bag fees and squeeze seats a bit closer together as it tries to boost profit. The airline said Wednesday that it will create three ticket classes beginning in the first half of 2015, and only …

Relief from Japan edges stocks higher

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Investors remained in a record-setting mood Tuesday, edging the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index to their latest all-time highs. Pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies led the broad pickup in stocks, extending gains for …