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Consumer News

State’s first medical pot dispensary opens

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SALEM — The first medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts opened Wednesday — by appointment only — nearly three years after voters overwhelmingly approved the drug’s therapeutic use. Patients lined up outside the Alternative Therapies Group’s dispensary in Salem a day after state regulators signed off on its final paperwork. Access to the dispensary in a converted factory building that houses other businesses will be restricted to patients with a state-issued …

European deal creates new US grocery giant

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NEW YORK — The owner of Stop & Shop and Giant will tie up with the parent company of Food Lion, creating a $29 billion grocer that will be in a stronger position to compete with Wal-Mart and other discount retailers. The deal, which would create the fourth largest grocer in the U.S., …

FDA orders end to artificial trans fats

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — Popular foods like pie crusts, frostings and microwave popcorn will be largely rid of artery-clogging trans fats after a decision by the Obama administration to phase them out over the next three years. The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered food companies to phase out artificial trans fats, calling them …

Former employees André and Devon Boulay take ownership of downtown icon A2Z Science & Learning

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Florence resident André Boulay remembers trips to Northampton when he was around 7 from his Blandford home — they invariably involved stops at a place he adored, A2Z Science & Learning Store in Thornes Marketplace. Extra …

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 …

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 …

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 …

‘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 …