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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 »

Heating costs on rise as cold grips nation

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NEW YORK — The cold is back, and with it, rising heating bills. This winter was expected to bring much lower bills than last year because it wasn’t supposed to be so darn cold. Homeowners could go a …

Regulators cut New England cod quota

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine — The maximum amount of cod fish that fishermen can take from the Gulf of Maine will be reduced by 75 percent next year after a Tuesday vote by a federal regulatory council. The New England Fishery Management Council voted to reduce the total allowable cod …

Feds push for national air bag recall

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DETROIT — The federal government is demanding that the auto industry recall millions of additional cars equipped with faulty air bags that can injure — and even kill — a driver. The action Tuesday by the National Highway …

After BID signatures approved, City Clerk Wendy Mazza harbored doubts about their legitimacy

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Three months before the City Council approved a petition to create the Business Improvement District, City Clerk Wendy Mazza voiced misgivings about the signature-verification process used to establish the organization. In a January 2009 email to …

First Night fireworks will be held, holiday lights in limbo after judge disbands Northampton Business Improvement District

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — It’s not as easy to turn the holiday lights on downtown this year as opponents of the Northampton Business Improvement District might think. Alan Scheinman, Eric Suher and at least a dozen other downtown property owners …

Stocks mixed as S&P ekes out new record

Monday, November 17, 2014

Despite a day of mostly listless trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index managed to notch another all-time high. The index on Monday inched past its most recent record-high close set on Friday, extending its gain for the …

Huge solar plant lags in early production

Monday, November 17, 2014

LOS ANGELES — The largest solar power plant of its type in the world — once promoted as a turning point in green energy — isn’t producing as much energy as planned. One of the reasons is as …

Japan misses bounce, slides into recession

Monday, November 17, 2014

TOKYO — Japan’s economy unexpectedly slipped back into recession as housing and business investment dropped following a sales tax hike, hobbling its ability to help drive the global recovery. The world’s third-largest economy contracted at a 1.6 percent …

Airlines feel free to pocket savings from falling oil prices

Monday, November 17, 2014

NEW YORK — U.S. airlines are saving tens of millions of dollars every week because of lower prices for jet fuel, their largest expense. So why don’t they share some of the savings with passengers? Simply put: Airlines …

MGM pays $85M license fee for Springfield casino

Monday, November 17, 2014

BOSTON — MGM Resorts International has paid Massachusetts a required $85 million gambling licensing fee for its $800 million Springfield resort casino on Monday, state gambling regulators announced. The Las Vegas-based company, through the limited liability company Blue Tarp reDevelopment, submitted the payment for its 15-year license electronically. …