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Consumer News

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 Alfa Romeo cars and SUV models for North America by 2018 with total sales of 150,000. Globally, the business plan is to …

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 Shimizu, Takata’s senior vice president of quality, said the Japanese parts supplier is “deeply sorry …

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 released Wednesday by a Massachusetts-based consumer watchdog group. World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., …

Friendly’s restaurant closes on King Street in Northampton

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — What was for many people a nostalgic downtown fixture has closed its doors. The Friendly’s restaurant at 63 King St. closed Monday, according to a statement by the chain’s corporate headquarters in Wilbraham. GLG Corporation owned …

Five-story building with 78 apartments and four retail spaces would replace Amherst Carriage Shops

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

AMHERST — A five-story building with 78 apartments, 36 garaged parking spots and space for four retailers has been proposed to replace the Amherst Carriage Shops. The plans for 1 East Pleasant, the name Archipelago Investments LLC of …

Florence Subway franchise owner Matthew Baca to open new restaurant in downtown Northampton

Sunday, August 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A new Subway restaurant is planned for the 193 Main St. storefront downtown formerly occupied by Main Street Cleaners. Matthew Baca, who already owns the Subway at 91 Main St. in Florence, tentatively plans to open …

Premier FBI cybersquad office with global reach will add agents

Sunday, August 17, 2014

PITTSBURGH — The FBI’s premier cybersquad has focused attention on computer-based crime in recent months by helping prosecutors charge five Chinese army intelligence officials with stealing trade secrets from major companies and by snaring a Russian-led hacking ring that pilfered $100 million from bank accounts worldwide. Because of …

J.C. Penney’s next hurdles big ones too

Friday, August 15, 2014

Analysts are weighing in on J.C. Penney’s improved second quarter results, and while liquidity concerns through 2015 have subsided and the company has achieved stability, concerns have shifted to the next phase for Penney. Standard & Poor’s analyst Tobias Crabtree said this morning that performance trends are positive, …

Merchants offer advice to customers taking advantage of Massachusetts tax-free weekend

Thursday, August 14, 2014

As merchants brace themselves for crowds this tax-free weekend, some advise their customers to decide on their purchases the day before to avoid some of the hassle. “Try to picture 32 bodies” in this store, remarked Ken Adams, …

Patrick urges protesting Market Basket employees to return to work

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick is urging Market Basket employees to go back to work while a deal to sell the chain is hammered out. Patrick told reporters Wednesday that he spoke with ousted former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. He also spoke with Market Basket Board Chairman Keith …

Five-story building with 78 apartments and four retail spaces would replace Amherst Carriage Shops

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

AMHERST — A five-story building with 78 apartments, 36 garaged parking spots and space for four retailers has been proposed to replace the Amherst Carriage Shops. The plans for 1 East Pleasant, the name Archipelago Investments LLC of …

Smith College selling off furniture and fixtures from former infirmary Saturday

Thursday, August 7, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — If you’re looking for a new bed, desk, filing cabinet, want some raw material for an art project or two or just trying to keep stuff out of a landfill, Smith College may be able to help. On Saturday from 9 to 3, the college will …

Grocery workers rally for fired boss

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

TEWKSBURY — Thousands of workers and customers at the troubled Market Basket supermarket chain shouted “Bring him back!” Tuesday at a boisterous rally designed to pressure management to reinstate the company’s fired chief executive or accept his offer …