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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 …

Air-bag maker nixes demand for coast-to-coast recall

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WASHINGTON — Japan’s Takata Corp. rejected federal regulators’ demand Wednesday for an expanded, nationwide recall of millions of air bags, setting up a possible legal showdown and leaving some drivers to wonder about the safety of their cars. …

Smiles prompted by fund plentiful in these parts

Monday, December 1, 2014

HADLEY — For one single mother who uses scholarships to pay for her son’s participation in youth sports and other activities, the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund ensures that he won’t be disappointed with his gifts come Christmas. “Sidney Smith has put a smile on his face on …

Slow wage growth, higher costs, search for deals drive cautious holiday spending

Monday, December 1, 2014

Falling gas prices. Soaring stock market. Unemployment at a six-year-low. All signs point to a successful holiday shopping season. Despite the economic tail winds, though, retailers are finding themselves having to work to get shoppers into stores. Why? …

Sales, store visits down on big shopping weekend

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NEW YORK — Black Friday fatigue is setting in. Early discounting, more online shopping and a mixed economy meant fewer people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend, the National Retail Federation said Sunday. Overall, 133.7 million people shopped in stores …

Black Friday relatively low key at Valley shopping destinations

Friday, November 28, 2014

HADLEY — Michele Wojtowicz found the deal she was looking for at the Hampshire Mall on Black Friday: a $150 jacket at J.C. Penney, which she bought for her niece for $29.99. But she didn’t have to trample …

Early-bird shoppers turn out on Thanksgiving in new holiday tradition

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NEW YORK — Early-bird shoppers headed to stores on Thanksgiving in what’s becoming a new holiday tradition. In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store was full roughly 30 minutes before Thanksgiving …

US agency threatens to act against air-bag maker

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

DETROIT — U.S. safety regulators threatened fines and legal action against Takata Corp. Wednesday unless the company admits that its driver’s air bag inflators are defective and agrees to a nationwide recall. In a letter to Takata’s Washington …

Order up: Jerry’s Place reopens after a month of repairs

Monday, November 24, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Bacon is sizzling and spatulas are flying for the first time in almost a month at Jerry’s Place. Deerfield Selectman David Wolfram and his wife, Mary, were among some of the first hungry patrons to step through the familiar Elm Street doors into the newly …

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 …

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 …