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Consumer News

Irma Salazar, left, of Santa Ana, Calif., loads plastic grocery bags into her car as her son Miguel looks on, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 in Santa Ana, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation on Tuesday imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Calif. bans plastic bags

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015. …

Safety agency looks anew at freak Toyota acceleration

Monday, September 29, 2014

DETROIT — A U.S. safety agency is looking into a car owner’s allegations that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes, reviving a problem that appeared to be in the automaker’s past. The inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 1.69 million Corolla compact cars …

Teen crash victims’ families drop GM suit, seek settlement

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DETROIT — The families of two Wisconsin teenagers killed in a car crash involving a faulty General Motors ignition switch have dropped their lawsuit against the company and are seeking a settlement with the automaker. The Oct. 24, 2006, crash that killed Natasha Weigel, who was 18, and Amy Rademaker, who was 15, …

Resurgence of interest in member-owned co-ops said key to River Valley Market’s success in Northampton

Friday, June 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Six years after opening in an old granite quarry on North King Street, River Valley Market’s is doing far better than expected. The market is on target to exceed $20 million in annual sales by the …

State woos electric car buyers

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts drivers buying or leasing new electric cars can begin applying for rebates from the state worth up to $2,500, according to Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration. Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia said the $2 million Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles program will let …

GM recalls 3.4M more cars

Monday, June 16, 2014

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it needs to change or replace the keys for about 3.4 million cars because they could cause the ignition switch to move out of position if they’re carrying too much weight. GM said in a statement Monday that the switches can rotate …

Wildwood Barbecue in Hadley expands with 25-seat covered patio

Saturday, June 14, 2014

HADLEY — Less than a year after Wildwood Barbecue opened — specializing in smoking meats on site and serving beer from regional microbreweries — it is undergoing an expansion that will nearly double the size of its seating …

Pittsfield company gets Tappan Zee contract

Thursday, June 12, 2014

PITSFIELD (AP) — A plan to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York is turning into a boon for a Pittsfield company that plans on creating 100 jobs. Unistress Corp. said Wednesday it has been awarded a $70 million contract to provide precast concrete deck panels for …

It's On Me, Greenfield startup offers one-stop shopping for e-gift cards

Friday, June 6, 2014

GREENFIELD — If you are looking for the perfect gift for someone and happen to know where they shop, but not what they like, e-gifting may be the way to go. Father-daughter team Andrey Agapov and Marina Banar …

Grow Food Northampton increases food access to low-income community members

Friday, June 6, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Grow Food Northampton works with Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence to provide fresh, local produce to low-income community members, and this year, Grow Food Northampton has increased the number of farmshares it offers. Grow Food Northampton is offering what it calls a Double SNAPshare to … 1

Ignorance, dithering cited in GM ignition-switch debacle

Thursday, June 5, 2014

WARREN, Mich. — General Motors said Thursday that it has forced out 15 employees for their role in the deadly ignition-switch scandal and will set up a compensation fund for crash victims, as an internal investigation blamed the …

Supporters lament passing of Food For Thought Book Collective in Amherst

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

AMHERST — Food for Thought Books Collective on North Pleasant Street was a place of support for groups feeling marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender, race or ethnicity. The collective’s closing, announced this week, is sad not …

Automakers report strong sales during May

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DETROIT — Brisk demand for SUVs and pickup trucks — and a strong Memorial Day weekend — was expected to push U.S. auto sales to a seven-year high in May. Nissan’s U.S. sales jumped 19 percent over last …