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Consumer News

YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Jeremiah Micka, left, and Jessica Micka, right, pose at the Tunnel Bar in Northampton, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  The Mickas are the owners of both bars.

Northampton’s Tunnel Bar named No. 1 bar to ‘drink at before you die’ by Buzzfeed

Sunday, March 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — If you’re a bar owner in the Internet age, when Yelp reviews can make or break you, there may be nothing better than having a hugely popular website tell hundreds of thousands of people that your establishment is the No. 1 bar in America they should visit before kicking the bucket. That’s what happened this weekend when a …

Lawsuit against Purina claims food sickens, kills dogs

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — A dog owner has filed a lawsuit against a pet food company alleging that thousands of dogs have been sickened or died from eating a brand of dry dog food. Pet owner Frank Lucido filed the suit on Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California against Nestle Purina PetCare Company, saying he fed his three …

Local activists say Wal-Mart wage increases a step in the right direction toward a living wage for all

Saturday, February 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Shoppers at the North King Street Wal-Mart lauded the national chain’s decision to raise entry-level wages to $9 an hour, while local labor activists contended it’s only a step toward paying a living wage for the majority of workers. “We’ve been in the thick of the struggle to get Wal-Mart to …

‘Adaptive use’ of old buildings can be alternative to new construction

Saturday, February 21, 2015

With a high price tag attached to new construction, some businesses are choosing to remodel and repurpose older buildings to suit their needs. “Adaptive use” — the reusing of old buildings for a new purpose — makes sense …

Wal-Mart to pay a little more

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping its decision to boost workers’ paychecks will help it boost its bottom line. The nation’s largest private employer announced on Thursday that it’s giving a raise to about half-million U.S. …

US reports 64 million vehicles recalled last year

Thursday, February 12, 2015

DETROIT — For the U.S. auto industry, 2014 was the year of the recall. Automakers issued 803 recalls totaling almost 64 million vehicles, more than double the old record from a decade ago, according to government figures. The …

Spike in electricity bills a shock to some Valley customers

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Robert Carey was not pleased when he opened a monthly electricity statement for his Hatfield home this month and found the bill had jumped nearly 30 percent. The retiree said he and his wife made virtually no changes to their daily routines that would cause such …

RadioShack in Hadley on ‘Potential Store Closure List’; South Hadley couple to continue operating Greenfield and Brattleboro franchises

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The RadioShack store at the Hampshire Mall in Hadley could be a victim of the electronics retailer’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week. Meanwhile, Ira and Shelly Brezinsky of South Hadley plan to continue operating their RadioShack franchise stores in Greenfield and Brattleboro, Vermont. The husband and …

Sylvester’s Restaurant in Northampton closes temporarily for renovations

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — For the next week the sounds and smells of  eggs and bacon sizzling on flatiron stove tops, coffee brewing and silverware clinking that usually fill Sylvester’s Restaurant at 111 Pleasant St. will be replaced by the clamor of sand blasters and whining drills. The popular breakfast …

Jury orders Toyota to pay $11M to victims of fatal 2006 crash

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — A federal jury decided on Tuesday that the design of the 1996 Toyota Camry had a dangerous defect that was partly to blame for a fatal 2006 crash, and the automaker must pay nearly $11 million to victims. Jurors said the company was 60 percent to …

Death toll from GM ignition switches rises to at least 51

Monday, February 2, 2015

DETROIT — The families of 51 people who died in crashes caused by faulty ignition switches in small General Motors cars will get payments from a company fund, but others will have to wait months for decisions on …

Steve Schechterle of South Deerfield opens third Spirit Shoppe in Gill

Friday, January 30, 2015

GILL — Steve Schechterle of South Deerfield earlier this year opened his third Spirit Shoppe beer, wine and liquor store in the former Jan’s Package Store overlooking the intersection of Main Road and Route 2 in Gill. Schechterle …

Hadley gets double the expected revenue in meals tax earnings

Friday, January 23, 2015

HADLEY — Town Administrator David Nixon accepted a windfall earlier this month — about twice the amount of local meals tax revenue as he expected. Nixon said he was not sure whether that resulted from a trend of more people eating out in Hadley or whether there were …